Hon. Steven J. Kleifield (Ret.)


Hon. Steven J. Kleifield (Ret.) is a distinguished public servant and esteemed legal professional admired for his intellect, integrity, and unwavering commitment to justice. With 42 years of experience working in the Los Angeles Superior Court, including 20 years as a Superior Court Judge and 22 years in private practice, Judge Kleifield has vast experience in handling a wide range of civil cases. Known for his fairness and patience, he is well-respected by attorneys representing both plaintiffs and defendants. Judge Kleifield has a deep understanding of the challenges faced by civil litigants and their attorneys. He is dedicated to assisting the Superior Court, litigants, and attorneys in the resolution of civil cases.

Judge Kleifield earned his B.A. degree from Washington University (St. Louis) in 1975 and his J.D. from the National Law Center at George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C. in 1980.

Upon completing his legal education, Judge Kleifield entered into civil private practice, working in the trial and appellate courts. As an attorney, Judge Kleifield participated in every aspect of trial practice – trials, pleadings, motions, discovery, and appeals. His keen legal mind and meticulous attention to detail quickly earned him recognition within the legal community. He argued twice before the California Supreme Court. Judge Kleifield remained in private practice for 22 years until his appointment to the bench in 2002.

As a Judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court, Judge Kleifield first served in the Criminal Division. During this time, he presided over 85 criminal trials that resulted in verdicts and approximately 2,000 preliminary hearings. He was later transferred to the Civil Division, beginning with a one-year appointment as a limited civil trial court judge. Over the course of that year, he presided over 25 jury trials and numerous bench trials. Following a brief stint in the Limited Civil Master Calendar courtroom, he was then appointed to a general civil court at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse.

For nine years, Judge Kleifield presided over an Independent Calendar court, tackling a diverse range of civil cases, including employment, personal injury, business and partnership disputes, unlawful detainer and habitability, lemon law, medical and other professional malpractice, and real estate, among others. In addition, he served for two years in the Complex Department as the Coordination Judge for asbestos-related cases in Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego Counties.

Throughout his judicial career, Judge Kleifield served on a number of committees, the most memorable being the Civil Legislation Committee of the California Judges Association, which reviews and proposes legislation and communicates with the State legislature. In this capacity, he played an important role in shaping public policy and ensuring the fair and equitable administration of justice. As an attorney, he served on the board of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles for ten years and on the board of the Los Angeles County Bar Association for four years. He was a member of the amicus curiae committee of the Consumer Attorneys Association of California.

Judge Kleifield also participated in judicial outreach. He presided over high school mock trials sponsored by the Constitutional Rights Foundation. He also started Teen Court programs at Fairfax High School and Los Angeles High School. During his 12 years volunteering his time to these programs, he presided over trials where high school students sat as jurors in misdemeanor cases involving other students. Judge Kleifield is also a regular contributor to legal publications and has written articles for the Advocate and the Los Angeles Daily Journal.


Civil Independent Calendar Court, 2011-2016, 2018-2023

  • Handled unlimited jurisdiction cases assigned directly to the department, including employment, personal injury, business and partnership disputes, unlawful detainer and habitability, lemon law, medical and other professional malpractice, and real estate, among others. Handled cases from beginning to end, including case management conferences, discovery, motions, bench trials, jury trials, post-trial motions, and a variety of other tasks.

Asbestos Coordination Judge, 2016-2018

  • As part of the Complex Civil department, handled asbestos cases for Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego Counties. Tasks included case management for hundreds of cases and pre-trial motions, including a heavy calendar of summary judgment motions and jurisdictional and venue motions.

Limited Civil Court, 2009-2011

  • Presided over both court and jury trials, including over 25 jury trials to verdict. Ran master calendar department for six months before assignment to general civil.

Criminal Court, 2002-2009

  • Conducted 85 jury trials and approximately 2,000 preliminary hearings, as well as various motions, including suppression motions.

Court-Related Activities:

  • Member of various Los Angeles Superior Court committees, including executive, technology, civil and small claims, community outreach, rules, and trial jurors.
  • California Judges Association: member of civil legislation committee; lecturer at Judges College.
  • Presided over Teen Court, where high school students sit as jurors in misdemeanor cases involving other students; started programs at Fairfax High School and Los Angeles High School.
  • Presided over high school mock trials sponsored by the Constitutional Rights Foundation.


Partner – Gordon, Edelstein, Krepack, Grant, Felton & Goldstein, LLP, 1989-2002
Associate – Schlifkin and Papell, 1980-1989

  • Practiced in civil courts throughout Southern California, primarily representing plaintiffs.
  • Licensed and practiced in Los Angeles and other Superior Courts, including Orange, San Diego, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Bernardino and Riverside; Second and Fourth District Courts of Appeal; California Supreme Court; U.S. District Court, Central District; 9th Circuit Court of Appeals; United States Supreme Court.

Law-Related Activities as Attorney:

  • Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA), Board of Governors for ten years, achieving emeritus status. Taught at numerous CAALA Seminars.
  • Board of Governors, Los Angeles County Bar Association for four years.
  • Consumer Attorneys of California, Amicus Curiae Committee.
  • Conducted 50 arbitrations under the Los Angeles Superior Court’s ADR program.
  • Coached high school students for mock trials for Constitutional Rights Foundation.


  • Author, “Do You Want the Judge to Read Your Papers?”, Advocate
  • Author, “Effective Courtroom Lawyering: Don’t Annoy the Judge!”, Advocate
  • Author, “Examinations Under Evidence Code Section 776 – Don’t Call the Defendant Just Because You Can…”, Advocate
  • Author, “Unlawful Detainer Trials”, Los Angeles Daily Journal


  • Asbestos
  • Breach of Contract/Fraud
  • Employment
  • Insurance Coverage & Bad Faith
  • Landlord/Tenant
  • Legal Malpractice
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Personal Injury
  • Products Liability
  • Professional Liability
  • UM/UIM

Representative Cases


  • Settled sensitive case involving a student's claims of asbestos exposure from a school classroom.
  • Asbestos coordination judge for all cases in Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego Counties for two years, overseeing hundreds of cases
    Representative cases involved:
    Brake linings containing asbestos
    Liability of manufacturers and suppliers of products containing talc
    Exposure to asbestos by workers applying and sanding joint compounds
    Exposure to asbestos at school site during maintenance and repairs
    Exposure to asbestos on construction sites
    Exposure to asbestos at naval shipyard
    Exposure to asbestos when working with cement pipe
    Secondary exposure to asbestos by spouse
    Exposure to asbestos due to improper abatement procedures
    Exposure to asbestos by refinery workers building refineries overseas
    Exposure to asbestos while using gun plastic cement
    Sufficiency of expert testimony regarding exposure to asbestos and causation of disease
    Jurisdictional and forum non convenience issues
  • Owner of construction company who visited work sites was exposed to asbestos in powder form and developed mesothelioma. Issues included liability of supplier of raw asbestos when there were multiple potential suppliers. Case resulted in verdict and significant appellate precedent.
  • Student in art class creating clay objects exposed to asbestos from talc in classroom.


  • Action by restaurant against mall. Restaurant claimed floors were damaged due to excessive power washing outside doors, causing business interruptions and loss of profits. Mall cross-complained for lost rent, claiming restaurant failed to mitigate losses and moved out.
  • Plaintiffs purchased convalescent home, claimed seller breached contract by failing to assist Plaintiffs in obtaining license and causing business to fail; also claimed seller misrepresented the condition of the company. Major issue was whether the written contract contained all the material provisions of the agreement so as to be enforceable
  • Law firm partner claimed the partner that managed the finances stole money from the partnership and lied to partner about the finances
  • Dentist in partnership claimed partnership failed to pay money owed under buy-out agreement
  • Investor/actor in film claimed producer misled him about having to engage in simulated sex and failed to pay amount owed; Defendant denied allegations and claimed that Plaintiff released his claims in an earlier case
  • Complicated partnership dissolution where partnership kept inadequate records and each had a personal vendetta against the other.
  • Bidder for intellectual property against the purchaser for breach of oral contract. Plaintiff claimed it shared confidential information in return for a share of the value of the property.
  • Unfair competition claim by maker of product that competitor advertised as “made in America”
  • Breach of contract case by American clothing company against foreign supplier for failure to provide products per contract. Supplier claimed clothing company did not provide the necessary materials in a timely fashion so it could manufacture the product.
  • Plaintiff purchased a shopping center in the Mojave Desert, claimed that paid over $1,000,000 too much due to misrepresentations by the seller and breach of fiduciary duty by the joint broker; Defendants claimed that if Plaintiff overpaid it was due to failure to exercise due diligence
  • Plaintiff purchased a “board and care” facility as a business and lodging for his father. Plaintiff claimed Defendant made misrepresentations stating that the solar panels were in working condition and that the rear units were fully permitted. Plaintiff also claimed that Defendants misrepresented the condition of the business.
  • Plaintiff claimed to be a partner in a business based on a written contract and sued for share of profits; Defendants claimed that she never became a partner by failing to provide capital for the start up of the company
  • City sued contractor and others for millions of dollars for improper billing and fraudulent representations on public works project. Complex relationship among parties.
  • Plaintiff technology reporter sued for breach of contract, age discrimination, unfair business practices, and misappropriation of likeness against television broadcaster. Plaintiff was replaced by reporter who broadcasted from the same studio with the same format and style as Plaintiff
  • Contractor brought action for compensation for work performed. Defendant claimed the contractor could not recover because it was not licensed at all times during the performance of the contract. Plaintiff claimed that it could recover because it “substantially complied” with the licensing requirements.
  • Action for breach of contract, accounting and unfair business practices by marketer, promoter, distributor and seller of performance content for breach of duty to defend and indemnify; performer provided Plaintiff with copyrighted materials owned by a third party. The third party made a claim against the Plaintiff; Defendant failed to defend against the third party claim and indemnify Plaintiff for amounts paid to defend against the copyright claim as required by their written contract.
  • Action by film producer for breach of contract against estate of investor for failure to provide final funding for motion picture
  • Plaintiff purchased claims of company that arranged for medical treatment for defendant law firm’s clients, in exchange for medical lien; plaintiff alleged that law firm withheld proceeds from settlement of personal injury cases
  • Action by homeowner against lender for failure to comply with the terms of a loan modification agreement.
  • Former partner in a technology company sued for lost profits after bought out by former partner based on misrepresentations and concealment of business opportunity that was available to the partnership.
    Complicated issues involving binding effect of settlement of earlier lawsuit.
  • Plaintiffs alleged that defendants fraudulently induced them to invest a large sum of money into a corporation that soon became suspended. Defendants represented that it was going to be listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange.
  • Three law firms joined forces to bring a malicious prosecution action. The case settled for millions of dollars. One of the law firms deposited the money in its trust account, and paid one law firm but not the other.
  • Plaintiff’s business premises were burglarized. Plaintiffs claimed that the burglars entered through an opening in the roof, which the burglars were able to access via an attached ladder on the outside wall. The ladder had been placed by a communications company who claimed a contractual right to do so to maintain equipment on the roof. Case involved matters of contract interpretation and negligence.
  • Plaintiff claimed to have an equity interest in business based on a written agreement with one of the two other equity holders. Defendants disputed the validity of the written agreement as it had not been agreed to by the other equity holder, contrary to the terms of the written agreement.

view all


  • Action for elder abuse and medical malpractice by plaintiff with dementia against hospital for fractured leg based on failure to monitor her
  • Action for elder abuse against hospital for allowing mentally impaired senior to leave premises and sustain fatal injuries
  • Action for elder abuse and medical malpractice by family members of decedent at residential care facility. Decedent was a hemiplegic, who suffered several falls, bruises and lacerations. As a result of the last fall she sustained a fractured hip, and died during the surgery.
  • Elder abuse action against two health care facilities based on stage 3 pressure sores on elderly patient.
  • Action for financial elder abuse against real estate agent who engaged in scheme to profit from convincing client to sell property at less than market value.


    • Numerous eminent domain cases, including:
      - Related eminent domain cases against various homeowners and businesses for purple line subway extension.
      - Jury trial on amount of compensation owed to gas station for partial easement due to street improvement project.
      - Court trial on whether compensation owed to supplier of fuel to public agency at bus terminal. Factual Issue regarding ownership of underground tanks and other objects claimed to be fixtures.


    • Claims involving wrongful termination and sexual harassment settled in a case where a chef was fired immediately after bringing a claim of sexual harassment to human resources.
    • Employee at supermarket claimed wrongful termination based on age. Employer claimed termination was due to poor work performance. Plaintiff claimed the explanation was pretextual, as he had years of positive performance evaluations.
    • Student in apprenticeship program claimed religious discrimination for refusal of the employer to give time off for religious observance and meetings.
    • Employee claimed wrongful termination due to pregnancy; employer claimed termination was due to poor work performance.
    • Employee claimed wrongful termination against County agency based on religious discrimination. Employee refused to participate in County events for religious reasons, and claimed supervisor’s testimony was not credible.
    • Two female restaurant employees claimed sex harassment by supervisor and co-employees based on improper physical contact and language. Employees claimed supervisor and another employee would pin Plaintiffs between them in a “Mexican sandwich”.
    • Black manager of a restaurant chain claimed wrongfully terminated in retaliation for his reporting same-sex

      harassment and unfair sharing of tips. Plaintiff claimed he lost his income, home and marriage.
    • Middle-Eastern employee claimed wrongful termination by national chain store based on her national origin
    • Wage and hour and national origin harassment brought by nanny against wealthy couple. Plaintiff claimed that she worked uncompensated hours, and that harassing comments were made by the couple and their children.
    • Plaintiff mechanic claimed he was replaced by younger employee because Plaintiff was getting older and slowing down; employer denied doing so and claimed to employ numerous other employees at least as old as Plaintiff
    • PAGA case brought by route sales manager against employer who provided safety and sanitation products to its customers. Plaintiff claimed that the employer improperly calculated overtime due on a nondiscretionary bonus
    • Wrongful termination by high school band leader based on religious discrimination. Band leader declined to perform the national anthem based on sincerely held religious beliefs.
    • Part time astronomy teacher claimed age discrimination when the full-time course became available, and the position was given to the younger, far less-qualified younger applicant.
    • Plaintiff was an editor for an internet news site. When a news personality closely associated with the defendant made a racially insensitive comment on television, Plaintiff claimed that Defendant did not adequately respond to it, and led an employee outcry. Plaintiff was terminated shortly thereafter. Defendant denied having an improper motive, and claimed that the selection of content editors was an exercise of its right to free speech.
    • Therapist sued employer at detox and residential services facility for wrongful termination in retaliation for her complaining about illegal practices and mistreatment of patients. Defendant employer denied the allegations and claimed that it never fired her, and that she was a serial litigant who made similar claims against a previous employer.
    • Employee at market sued for wrongful termination, claiming he was terminated because he was gay.
    • Vietnamese-American county employee claimed harassment and discrimination by supervisor who bragged about killing Vietnamese people during the Vietnam war, and gave him poor job positions based on his abilities.
    • Plaintiff claimed disability discrimination due to employer’s failure to accommodate her rheumatoid arthritis. Defendant claimed it terminated Plaintiff because of her bullying and unprofessional conduct, including name calling, mocking of elderly customers, and grabbing employees by the arm.

    view all


    • Plaintiff was sued for fraudulently inducing elderly citizens to apply for life insurance. Plaintiff tendered the defense of the case to his liability insurers. The insurers refused to defend, based on misrepresentations made by Plaintiff in the application. In the bad faith case brought by Plaintiff against the insurer, the insurer claimed that Plaintiff concealed information regarding prior similar claims that had been made against him.
    • Investors sued a securities firm for recommending investments in real estate ventures that went bankrupt. Securities firm demanded a defense and indemnity from its professional liability insurer. Insurer refused to provide a defense and indemnity due to the securities firm’s nondisclosure of facts that might lead to a claim in the application for insurance. While the securities firm disclosed one existing claim, the undisclosed potential claims arose out of the same events as the disclosed claims.
    • Breach of contract and bad faith against insurer for refusal to pay for losses from fraudulent theft of jewelry that was being held on assignment
    • Breach of contract and bad faith against insurer for refusal to pay for damages caused by rain; Plaintiff also sued the company repairing the roof for improperly failing to cover roof and prevent water intrusion
    • Insured restaurant brought action against insurer for breach of contract and bad faith for insurer’s denial of coverage for “physical loss or damage” to restaurant caused by covid-19.
    • Insured dentist brought action against insurer for business interruption caused by covid-19. Insurer argued that coverage would only be for physical loss or damage, and there was none alleged or proved by dentist.
    • Homeowner action against insurer for breach of contract and bad faith for denial of coverage under water damage exclusion clause. Homeowner claimed the exclusion did not apply when raw sewage was diverted above a break in the municipal sewer line.
    • Business owner made claim for bad faith against insurer after Plaintiff’s business premises were damaged when a motorist crashed his vehicle into it. Defendant claimed that it had no responsibility to pay for improvements that were beyond the scope of the necessary repairs, which were in effect a remodel of the premises.
    • Plaintiff lost her home in the Woolsey fire. When she made a claim against her insurer for the cost of rebuilding the house, she discovered that she was greatly uninsured. Action was against the insurer and the broker who placed the insurance.
    • Permissive user was involved in collision causing total loss of car. Plaintiff owner’s claim was denied when insurer took statement under oath from permissive her and concluded that accident did not occur as described by the permissive user. Owner sued for breach of contract and bad faith.
    • Family of decedent in automobile accident made policy limits demand on insurer for the driver. When the demand was not met, plaintiffs obtained a judgment against the driver, agreed not to execute on the judgment against the driver, and obtained an assignment of the driver’s rights against the insurer for bad faith. In its defense on the bad faith action, insurer argued that policy limits demand was for economic loss sustained by the estate, and not wrongful death damages incurred by survivors
    • Plaintiffs who were in car accident were denied coverage in action for damages brought against them. Insurer denied coverage due to a material misrepresentation made in the application that they were married. Insurer claimed it would have charged a higher premium had they known the true facts. Plaintiffs claimed the insurer engaged in “post-claim underwriting”, having failed to conduct a reasonable investigation.
    • Plaintiff’s home was demolished in a fire and made a claim for full replacement cost. Insurer claimed it only owed a dollar amount stated in the policy, and had no obligation to pay replacement costs unless and until the home was replaced within 18 months.
    • Securities company was sued by client who claimed the company failed to follow her instructions. Insurer denied tender of defense by virtue of the “discretionary authority” exclusion, whereby there was no coverage for claims made arising out of the exercise of discretionary authority on the account. Company disputed that the claim included matters other than the exercise of discretion.
    • Psychiatric nursing and drug rehabilitation facility sustained fire damage to two buildings. Insurer accepted coverage for one building but not the other. Factual issue existed respecting the intent of the parties when policy was renewed. Owner sued for breach of contract and insurance bad faith.

    view all


    • Tenant in rent-controlled unit claimed wrongful eviction so landlord could raise rents; tenant claimed landlord caused utilities to be shut off to cause her to leave.
    • Plaintiff was purchaser of condominium who claimed that the seller broker failed to disclose structural defects and causing uneven floor. Plaintiff claimed that Defendant owner should replace entire floor and garage ceiling under floor due to dangerous cracking.
    • Unlawful detainer action for failure to pay rent; Tenant claimed unlawful under Covid-based ordinances
    • Action by commercial tenant against provider of warehouse space for breach of contract. Plaintiff claimed Defendant provided two unfit spaces, causing him to move to a third site which was also unfit.
      Defendant was unable to bring premises up to code, disrupting Plaintiff’s business. Defendant claimed that Plaintiff was doing business prohibited by the contract. Dispute as to whether the contract was a “lease” or a “license”.
    • Action by tenant for business losses caused by water from burst pipe. Tenant claimed landlord knew of prior incidents and failed to remedy because didn’t want to spend the money while trying to sell the property.
      Landlord raised exculpatory clauses in the lease as a defense.
    • Landlord sued tenant for unpaid rent. Tenant cross- complained for conversion and declaratory relief to determine ownership of a billboard.
    • Twenty-four unlawful detainer jury trials in one year
    • Plaintiff landlord sued tenant for failure to pay rent. Defendant tenant defended against the Plaintiff’s claims, and asserted its own claim that it was damaged for Plaintiff’s failure to comply with its promise to assist the tenant in obtaining a liquor license.
    • Landlord brought unlawful detainer action against tenant who sublet rooms to homeless people and was paid by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. The tenant stopped paying the rent. Plaintiff was a disabled subtenant, who refused to leave the premises, claiming she was protected by city, county and state eviction moratoria.

    view all


    • Cannabis store tenant sued attorney for negligence in representing him in an unlawful detainer action brought by landlord. Attorney claimed that client failed to abide by terms of settlement agreement he had negotiated against landlord, and that other claims were outside of the scope of the representation
    • Action for attorney’s fees incurred in prosecution of a probate matter. Client claimed that the amount of attorney’s fees owed should be reduced by harm caused by attorney’s negligence in failing to secure the services of an appraiser.
    • Investor brought action for negligence against attorneys regarding the legal advice he received with respect to the tax consequences of an extremely large investment. Business partner alleged that attorneys represented the partnership. Plaintiff claimed that the attorneys breached their fiduciary duty to him and the partnership by assisting his partner in investing in another fund without his participation, causing millions of dollars in losses.
    • Investor sued attorneys for faulty tax advice, which resulted in huge tax liabilities. He claimed that he incurred losses based on the legal advice; however, the IRS disallowed his claimed losses.


    • Medical malpractice and elder abuse by Plaintiff with dementia against hospital for fractured leg based on failure to monitor her.
    • Wrongful death/medical malpractice claim based on performance of improper heart surgery that was beyond the scope of informed consent. Also, Plaintiffs claimed fraudulent failure to perform an autopsy to conceal the cause of death.
    • Action against surgical center and surgeon for negligent performance of plastic surgery, and fraud in inducement in negligently-performed second surgery to repair harm caused by first surgery
    • Elder abuse/medical malpractice case by family members of decedent at residential care facility. Decedent was a hemiplegic, who suffered several falls, bruises and lacerations. As a result of the last fall she sustained a fractured hip, and died during the surgery.
    • Developmentally disabled minor brought action against regional center and treating facility alleging sexual assault by another patient under defendants’ care.
      Plaintiff alleged negligent hiring, supervision and retention, and failure to provide adequate personnel or facilities.
    • Elder abuse action against two health care facilities based on stage 3 pressure sores on elderly patient.

    view all


    • During his twenty two years in private practice and thirteen years in a civil assignment, Judge Kleifield participated in numerous cases involving approval of minor’s compromises.


    • During over twenty years on the bench Judge Kleifield presided over 135 trials to verdict and conducted hundreds of court trials. Judge Kleifield is available to conduct mock arbitrations/trials to assist in resolving cases.


    • Numerous partnership disputes, including:
      - Court trial on action by law partner based on misappropriation of firm profits by managing partner. Plaintiff sought dissolution and damages.
      - Court trial on cross-actions by partners for dissolution of partnership and damages in computer supply business.
      - Action for misrepresentation and breach of contract by former partner surrounding use of proprietary information in forming a new business.


    • Handled asbestos calendar for three counties for two years
    • Elderly woman claimed traumatic brain injury after falling in a parking structure. Plaintiff claimed the ramps were excessively sloped, causing her to lose her balance.
    • Baggage handler at airport claimed traumatic brain injury after being struck by negligently-operated tug. Defendant claimed Plaintiff was in the wrong area and disputed the nature and extent of injuries.
    • Elderly Plaintiff claimed permanent injuries, including traumatic brain injury, when she was a passenger in a tour bus that overturned on a freeway.
    • Husband and wife sued asbestos manufacturer for husband’s mesothelioma. Husband was building contractor who claimed exposure to asbestos from premixed joint compound. Primary issues were whether husband was exposed to the manufacturer’s asbestos product when there were other manufacturers of asbestos and joint compound whose products could also have been the cause of the disease.
    • Plaintiff janitor fell descending stairs at the defendant’s mall. Plaintiff claimed she slipped and fell on a round object. Defendant presented evidence, including Plaintiff’s own statement after the fall, that she had missed the bottom step.
    • Plaintiff was seriously injured in a motor vehicle collision. Plaintiff alleged that the driver of the other car was a minor who was served alcoholic beverages at a restaurant, and was driving recklessly. Plaintiff also sued the driver and the ride-sharing company he worked for illegally parking close to the curb, thereby obstructing the view of cars approaching the intersection where the accident occurred.
    • Utility worker was climbing wooden ladder attached to wall at business premises when the ladder broke and detached from wall, causing fractured ribs and back injuries. Plaintiff alleged that the nails attaching the plank to the wall should have been staggered, rather than in a straight line along the grain.
    • Plaintiff alleged that he suffered personal injuries while eating at a fast-food restaurant when the chair collapsed. Plaintiff sued the manufacturer for negligent design and manufacture, and franchise owner for failure to perform adequate maintenance of the chairs.
    • Gas fireplace exploded when plaintiff attempted to light it, causing serious burns. Plaintiff claimed the defendants negligently failed to maintain the fireplace.
    • Plaintiff fell from dropped ceiling and sustained serious injuries. An area of the dropped ceiling had rotted due to water intrusion. The landlord claimed it had no liability as the tenant had exclusive possession of the premises. The tenant claimed that the rotting occurred due to water intrusion from the roof that was negligently maintained.
    • Plaintiff suffered 3d degree burns while spraying sealant from an aerosol can. The vapors spontaneously ignited, causing the can to explode. Plaintiff alleged that defendant manufacturer and other involved companies were aware of several earlier similar events and acted in conscious disregard of the safety of the users.
    • Adult female brought action against public figure for sexual molestation when she was a child. She alleged that he drugged her and groped her.

    view all


    • Partition action regarding 17-unit apartment building. Plaintiffs claimed that defendants rented out units without plaintiffs’ knowledge, and pocketed the rents.
    • Plaintiff was a sound engineer who rented a unit with an option to purchase, with the goal of creating a sound studio. Plaintiff offered to purchase the property; Defendant claimed that the offer was late. Plaintiff claimed that he had been given an extension to exercise option by defendant’s agent.
    • Plaintiff purchased property through a real estate broker who represented both the buyer and seller. After the buyer took possession of the property it determined that the square footage was much less than what had been represented. Plaintiff sued for damages, claiming that it paid more than the property was worth due to the fraud of the seller and the negligence or assistance of the joint broker.
    • Plaintiff purchased a commercial center based on representations by seller regarding income stream from tenants; brought action against seller and broker.
    • Plaintiff purchased a care facility; claimed seller misrepresented the profitability of the enterprise and that various improvements were permitted.
    • Numerous quiet title actions.

    view all


    • Jury trial of action against seller of residence and broker for failing to disclose a history of mold infestation, allegedly causing physical injuries and requiring remediation
    • Court trial of action by tenant against landlord for failing to reveal and remediate mold infestation


    • Numerous wage and hour actions, including:
      - Action by employee claiming improper calculation of commissions on sales.
      - Jury trial on action for damages by nanny employed by parents for Labor Code violations and national origin discrimination.
      - Jury trial on alleged failure to pay overtime and other Labor Code violations in nursing home setting.


    “Judge Kleifield was excellent and now on my list of recommended mediators. This was a very difficult case to resolve and his calm approach and attention to detail made it resolve. Highly recommend him.”

    “We really enjoyed working with Judge Kleifield. He has a calm and effective way of communicating news that may not be so good for our case. I have suggested him to defense counsel on another case we plan to mediate.”

    “Judge Kleifield was a very good mediator. I enjoyed him when he was a judicial officer in Los Angeles Superior Court. He works hard and took the time before the mediation to reach out to counsel and talk about the case and what he would need to assist him during the mediation. We were prepared and the prior preparation and discussion assisted in resolving the litigation. He was professional and courteous and worked well to speak with all parties and listen to all parties. Overall, good mediator.”