Joseph S. Biderman is a retired Los Angeles Superior Court Judge. He has over thirty-five years of legal experience as a state and federal trial attorney, corporate managing counsel, big firm and sole practitioner litigator, criminal defense lawyer and U.S. Department of Justice civil rights attorney. He has also served as a judicial officer for twenty years. Prior to his retirement in 2014, Judge Biderman served as Supervising Judge of the West District of the Los Angeles Superior Court (Malibu, Santa Monica, West Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, and L.A. Airport Courthouses) where he initiated the establishment of three dedicated civil settlement courtrooms. Presiding in one of these courts, he resolved hundreds of civil cases prior to retiring from the bench. Thereafter, he quickly became one of Southern California’s preeminent alternative dispute resolution neutrals. In his three years serving as a private mediator, he has mediated over 1,000 cases in numerous practice areas.
Prior to Judge Biderman’s retirement from the Los Angeles Superior Court, he developed a reputation for his intelligence and quick wit, but beyond all, his commitment to access and fairness. His diverse legal and personal background has enabled him to be an especially skilled negotiator in assisting the parties to achieve resolution in a multitude of cases.
Judge Biderman also presided over the West District’s probate calendar and handled myriad high profile trust and estate matters, as well as conservatorships, guardianships, and elder abuse actions. His warm demeanor and ability to forge communication with long-estranged family members enabled him to oversee and ultimately resolve highly emotional cases involving large asset family estates. His thoughtful sense of humor and ability to lighten the mood were appreciated by parties on both sides and assisted them in their making important decisions to move beyond the emotional aspect of the dispute. He also presided for over six years in an Independent Calendar Civil Court, handling an array of matters including real estate, professional malpractice, business litigation, personal injury, product liability, and entertainment cases.
In addition to his experience on the bench and as a litigator, Judge Biderman served as Managing Counsel of Honda North America, Inc. There he supervised outside counsel in all phases of product liability litigation from claims, pretrial, trial, to appeals. He interfaced directly with risk management and overseas corporate executives as well as individual company witnesses on each case. He has a thorough understanding of regulatory compliance, litigation, mass tort litigation practice management and coordination, and business processes. In this position, he served as a corporate representative in court matters and was a media spokesperson in high profile cases. He coordinated the resolution of nearly one thousand cases involving all-terrain vehicles throughout the United States.
Having studied in Spain and represented many Spanish-speaking clients both in private practice and as a Deputy Public Defender, Judge Biderman was certified bilingual by the County of Los Angeles and remains very proficient in Spanish. Of mixed heritage, including Japanese American, Judge Biderman also represented clients of different Asian Pacific American backgrounds. Now, Judge Biderman continues to work with diverse minority, ethnic, and LGBTQ communities as a mediator and arbitrator.
Judicial Career, Los Angeles Superior Court 1994 – 2014
Judge Biderman served as a judge at the Los Angeles Superior Court. Preceding his term as a judge, he served as a Commissioner at the Los Angeles Municipal and Superior Courts for nine years.
During his judicial career, Judge Biderman managed the Culver City, West Los Angeles, and Santa Monica Courthouses and served as Supervising Judge of the West District of the Los Angeles Superior Court in Santa Monica. He managed judicial officers in each courthouse he was in and served on many of the court’s special committees. He participated in the judicial training of over 150 judges newly appointed to the bench.
Private Practice 1981 – 1994
Judge Biderman began his private practice in 1985, having previously served as a trial attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. from 1981-1983 and as a Deputy Public Defender in Los Angeles from 1983-1985. He was associated with the law firm of Bryan, Cave, McPheeters and McRoberts (now Bryan Cave LLP) from 1985-1988, where he handled a variety of civil litigation matters including product liability, business, and environmental cases. He formed his own law practice in 1991 and handled general civil litigation. He later was Of Counsel to Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro (Now Pillsbury LLP) in the defense of automotive product liability matters.
Corporate Practice 1988 – 1991
Judge Biderman served as managing counsel at Honda North America, Inc., the North American subsidiary of a multi-national manufacturer of automobiles, motorcycles, and power equipment. He managed the in-house legal department and directed staff attorneys and paralegals in numerous product liability disputes, and supervised the company’s outside counsel during major litigation cases.