Hon. Joseph S. Biderman (Ret.)


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 five years serving as a private mediator, he has mediated over 1,500 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.

Legal Experience

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.

Areas of Expertise

  • Business/Commercial Contracts
  • Civil Rights
  • Class Action
  • Employment
  • Entertainment
  • Environmental
  • Insurance
  • Personal Injury
  • Probate
  • Product Liability
  • Professional Liability
  • Real Estate


  • University of California Los Angeles, School of Law – J.D., 1981
  • University of Virginia – B.A. with Distinction, 1978
  • University of Barcelona, Spain – 1977
  • Occidental College – 1974-1975

Representative Cases


  • Dispute regarding adequacy of staffing and budgeting for clinical drug trials.
  • Dispute regarding medical facility using a staffing company for senior practitioners and calculation of compensation and fees based upon patient volumes and revenue collected.
  • Industrial equipment damaged during cross-country transport. The trucking company had insufficient insurance coverage and the transport-broker sued for failure to ensure adequate coverage was in place prior to transport.
  • Unfair Debt Collection practices action against a cell phone company over identity theft and refusal to remove record from credit report.
  • Dispute in family-held corporation regarding allegations of fraudulent share transfers and violations of Buy-Sell Agreement.
  • Alleged lockout of restaurant proprietor based on change in lessee without lessor’s permission.
  • Alleged violations of California Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act and Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
  • Construction defect allegation in 49-unit apartment building and restrictions on low-and ultra-low-income rental amounts on ten units.
  • Interior designer provided custom furnishings, drapery and carpets for luxury condominium unacceptable to clients
  • Credit report agency's alleged omissions, errors, and misidentifications damaging credit rating
  • Arbitration of entertainment dispute alleging breach of contract in production and financing of music video
  • Employment dispute charging violations of non-compete clause by former contract high technology employees being hired by contractor
  • Lemon law and warranty coverage arising out of automobile engine failure
  • Discovery referee for commercial litigation
  • Commercial dispute arising out of secured lending agreement with buy- sell provision upon default
  • Multi-party litigation alleging defects in design and installation of 450 windows in condominium complex
  • “Click Fraud” claim against major internet company
  • Franchise dispute between franchiser and operator of 27 fast food restaurants
  • Create confidentiality agreement following dissolution of high profile romantic relationship

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Civil Rights

  • Suicide of mentally ill inmate.
  • Jail suicide by a mentally ill inmate alleging improper administration of psychotropic mediation.
  • Claims of multi-year, post-sentence confinement violative of due process.
  • Law enforcement pursuing an automobile theft suspect on foot climbed over a fence and detained the wrong individual with a knee to the back to handcuff them, resulting in claimed orthopedic and neurologic injuries.
  • Action brought by survivors of a jailed inmate who was found deceased next to his bunk bed.
  • Shooting death of an armed suspect fleeing law enforcement.
  • Negotiated resolution of statutory attorneys’ fees in a civil rights action brought by recipients of in-home health services.
  • Fatal shooting of individual exhibiting signs of mental illness and bizarre behavior. Allegations of violations of Section 1983 and the ADA.
  • Attorney’s fees mediation in Supreme Court litigation regarding Public Records Act request for disclosures from law enforcement agencies.
  • Jail inmate with mental health issues involved in an inmate altercation was pepper sprayed and later died of cardiac arrest.
  • Allegation of assault and battery on student by school police officer.
  • Civil rights action alleging sexual assault by jail guard on female in custody.
  • Mediation over claims of police brutality and wrongful death
  • Civil rights action alleging wrongful arrest, detention, and incarceration based on racial profiling
  • Civil rights action alleging false arrest and imprisonment, refusal to return eyeglasses during entire incarceration, and over-detention
  • Civil rights action arising out of shooting death of detained person by law enforcement
  • Civil rights action alleging false arrest and imprisonment following minor’s sexual abuse and death
  • Civil rights action alleging racially motivated brutality by custody staff against inmate
  • Civil Rights class action by disabled inmates against correctional institution
  • Civil rights action involving allegations of false charges of child neglect resulting in loss of parental rights and child wrongfully falling under jurisdiction of the court
  • Civil rights action alleging unjustified shooting in plaintiff’s home resulted in his losing internal organ

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  • Dispute arising regarding commissions earned by different brokerages in the sale of a large commercial building.
  • Dispute regarding clearing/grading of 120 acres of old growth trees in compliance with Fish and Game and protected species regulations.

Consumer Class Action

  • TCPA Class Action alleging unauthorized calls for debt collection

Elder Abuse

  • Allegations of fraudulent transfers, in sale of properties and division of assets, trustee surcharges, elder abuse


  • Allegations of failure to engage in interactive process to accommodate an employee with rapid onset bipolar disorder.
  • Discrimination and retaliation claims by apartment resident manager against the management company.
  • Funeral home director claimed wrongly classified as an independent contractor and not an employee. Additional claims of sexual harassment, hostile work environment, and retaliatory termination.
  • Resolution of employee’s claim that earned and vested commissions on insurance sales were unpaid and that she was wrongfully terminated in retaliation for wage claims and gender discrimination.
  • Employment litigation where plaintiff claimed she was retaliated against for becoming pregnant and ultimately discriminatorily discharged.
  • Allegation of medical condition discrimination and wrongful termination of at-will employee of government agency.
  • Claim by government employee of sexual harassment by supervisor
  • Employment dispute by nanny for overtime wages
  • Employee alleged retaliatory termination for sustaining on the job injury
  • Wage and Hour mediation involving national pharmacy franchise
  • Worker claimed sexual molestation by supervisor at fast food restaurant

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  • Entertainment action contesting calculation of compensation to television show talent based on marginally adjusted gross revenue vs. net profits
  • Presided over case involving claims that performers were induced to become intoxicated prior to signing waivers for film
  • Entertainment action involving competing writers' claims for royalty payment in production of television show
  • Entertainment action in dispute of credit rights for producer and executive producer
  • Entertainment action regarding competing claims of right to produce life story film of noted actress

Government Entities

  • Dispute over responsibility for cleanup of long dormant waste water field in industrial parcel
  • Action by homeowners against municipality for public sewage backup that flooded homes with raw sewage
  • Resolution of multi-resident and government action regarding hillside development density and grading requirements
  • Resolution of government entity's action against multiple homeowners and HOA for installation of berms to divert storm surges from ocean away from residences and interference with public beach access
  • Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act litigation alleging municipality passed zoning restriction to prevent church from opening in business district


  • Allegations of mold and dust contamination and exposure in waterfront apartment resulting in physical and psychological injuries.

Insurance/Bad Faith

  • Claims for property damage and loss of business and income due to fire on newly acquired building inadvertently omitted from insurance policy.
  • Insurance coverage of upgrades to industrial billing following total loss in fire
  • Insurance bad faith dispute regarding coverage for allegations of intentional and negligent torts committed by property owner against tenants
  • Multi vehicle collision resulting in 10 fatalities with extensive insurance coverage issues
  • Construction defect and earthquake damage insurance coverage issues

Intellectual Property

  • Digital Millennium Copyright Act claims over use of architectural plans for coastal resort hotel complex
  • Mediation of patent infringement claim by large air conditioning manufacturer claiming knock-off of filter products

Legal Malpractice

  • Legal malpractice alleging counsel mishandled a conservatorship hearing, necessitating a successful appeal, incurring a high amount of attorney’s fees and loss of substantial real property assets.
  • Legal malpractice action arising out of alleged inadequate and untimely bankruptcy court filings
  • Legal malpractice action brought as cross-complaint in response to action for collection of unpaid fees

Medical Malpractice

  • Medical malpractice case involving allegations that Defendant injected patient’s face with a drug indicated for topical use only, resulting in scarring and disfiguration.
  • Medical malpractice action alleging failed carpal tunnel surgery resulting in nerve damage and functional impairment to wrist and hand
  • Medical malpractice action alleging poorly performed spinal surgery resulting in paresthesia and chronic pain
  • Medical malpractice action alleging multiple complications from cervical discectomy
  • Dental Malpractice alleging negligent performance of root canal and implants
  • Dental malpractice alleging disfigurement from drill "jumping" during root canal
  • Malpractice claims against a major hospital
  • Medical malpractice action alleging wrongful death due to physician’s failure to follow up with patient regarding aggressive cancer

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Personal Injury

  • Wrongful death action arising from forklift accident in an agricultural packing facility.
  • Care accident with cervical fusion treatment and allegations of “open policy” due to limits demand not being timely accepted by the insurance company.
  • Sexual relationship between minor student and her coach.
  • Allegations of bullying and assault by middle school students due to school’s failure to supervise.
  • Binding mediation of uninsured motorist claim.
  • Trip and fall on uneven city sidewalk resulting in labral tear and dislocated shoulder.
  • Pedestrian injured when utility cover in sidewalk suddenly gave way.
  • Customer went on a trail ride and claimed ill-trained, fatigued, and dehydrated horse threw her when spooked by another rider’s sunhat being blown off her head.
  • Multiple fractures sustained following a fall off of a loading dock during a garment sample sale.
  • Exposure to flooring compound caused lung damage and respiratory impairment.
  • Slip and “almost” fall on French fry resulted in contested orthopedic injuries.
  • Unpermitted structure rented to tenants who suffered injuries when floor collapsed.
  • Law enforcement vehicle responding to an emergency radio call lost control and caused catastrophic injury to a pedestrian.
  • While demonstrating a new car’s safety features, a sales person failed to engage “active breaking” and rear-ended another vehicle. The plaintiff passenger suffered an open fracture of the elbow.
  • Allegation that a pedestrian was killed due to an inattentive elderly driver in the course and scope of work for a construction company and that the city failed to maintain flashing lights at the crosswalk.
  • Special needs student drowned in a public pool, leading to allegations of inadequate school and park supervision.
  • Police pursuing murder suspect lost control and impacted three vehicles, causing injuries to occupants.
  • Action by pedestrian hit in school crosswalk when driver failed to see crossing guard as well as pedestrians.
  • Impersonator of political figure pushed by incensed fellow performer who had political differences resulting in significant physical injury.
  • Police pursued on foot unarmed individual suspected of carrying handgun, resulting in suspect being fatally shot.
  • A trucker fell asleep on the freeway, hit a pole and downed power lines, causing the Plaintiff’s car to impact and cantilever, resulting in severe injuries.
  • UIM bath faith claimed when excess carrier refused to tender policy limits to Claimant, who had multiple back and neck surgeries.
  • Pedestrians struck in crosswalk alleged City defendant defectively designed intersection in violation of mandatory state and local requirements.
  • Wrongful death of pedestrian crossing street to event venue with inadequate parking, lighting and security
  • Wrongful death of juvenile engaged in sport activity at private gym
  • Below hip double amputation in industrial meat grinder
  • Alleged sexual assault by coworker on another warehouse employee
  • Allegations of inadequate security at restaurant parking lot resulting in fatal shooting of two customers
  • Wrongful death alleged due to inadequate safeguards at oil drilling sites resulting in soil failure
  • Personal injury action by multiple plaintiffs injured in commuter train collision with tractor trailer truck
  • Wrongful death action arising out of tour bus/auto collision
  • Premises liability action alleging inadequate security at a rave party where multiple
    persons shot by patron
  • Wrongful deaths (3) action arising from collision between tractor trailer driver allegedly under the influence of drugs and workers’ pickup truck

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Probate, Estate & Trusts

  • Trust dispute alleging undue influence and financial elder abuse in successor Trustee persuading Decedent to transfer property from a Trust to a Joint Tenancy with him prior to her death.
  • Trust contest among four sisters regarding disposition of mother’s estate. Dispute involved allegations of undue influence and elder abuse.
  • Attorney's and Trustee's fees, charitable bequests to non-501(c)(3) entities, estate tax implications
  • Trust and estate contest involving issues of oil leases, multiple real estate holdings, and conflict between stepchildren and surviving spouse
  • Trust and estate contest between siblings alleging financial and physical elder abuse, undue influence to mother
  • Trust and estate contest alleging lack of testamentary capacity and due execution, undue influence, fraud and duress
  • Trust and estate action of allegations regarding sale of trustor's residence, incapacity, fraudulent transfers, and satisfaction of beneficiaries' debts to Trust
  • Estate contest regarding validity of "Purported Will"
  • Trust and Estate dispute between children and stepmother over asset
    management and trustee's fees
  • Trust and estates matter with allegations of elder abuse, conversion, deficient accountings and seeking surcharge and removal of trustee
  • Trust and Estate/Conservatorship matter with issues of elder abuse, competency, management of estate and disbursements, reimbursement demands for allegedly improper expenses
  • Trust and estates matter involving beneficiaries' dispute over validity of grant deed and prior transfers to intervivos trust
  • Trust and estate contest alleging imprudent investment in securities and challenging trustee's fees, GAL fees, division and transfer or real estate

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Product Liability

  • Product Liability action against manufacturer of skin product alleging ingredient caused blistering akin to third degree burns.
  • Product liability action arising out of an exploding food processor/blender that allegedly caused permanent hand, neurological, and psychological injuries.
  • Commercial refrigerator hinge failed and door collapsed on visitor.
  • Product liability action arising airbag failure causing multiple injuries to lower extremities.
  • Product liability action following leg amputation in industrial trash compactor.
  • Product liability action alleging non-disclosure of contents in sports drink resulted in hospitalization and neurologic damage.

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Real Estate

  • Allegation that a cell tower crashed on a neighboring property preventing construction of a medical training facility.
  • Retaliatory eviction, habitability, and negligent infliction of emotional distress claims arising out of plumbing failure in rented condo that resulted in the displacement of long-term tenants.
  • Neighbor dispute regarding validity, scope and details of easement for driveway between two residences
  • Real estate dispute over disclosures by listing agent
  • Multiparty real estate action regarding residential vs. commercial nuisance involving brokers, parties to sale, and owners of adjacent properties along with pending criminal charges and civil harassment restraining orders
  • Real estate litigation alleging failure to disclose that location of building in historic district would restrict ability to construct new condominium complex
  • Real estate action for specific performance of residential real estate transaction
  • Homeowner vs. HOA dispute re: conflict between CC&Rs and rights under Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Landlord tenant dispute alleging tenant's removal of improvements with cross-claims for breaches of landlord's covenants
  • Alleged slumlord conditions in 30 unit apartment building

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Real Property

  • Fire in laundromat destroyed a shopping center. Matter involved claims for losses beyond what insurance compensated.
  • Resolution of employee’s claim that earned and vested commissions on insurance sales were unpaid and that she was wrongfully terminated in retaliation for wage claims and gender discrimination.

Toxic Tort

  • Multi-party asbestos and toxic exposure arbitration