Hon. Michael D. Marcus (Ret.)


Judge Michael D. Marcus (Ret.) has a well-deserved reputation throughout California as a skilled, personable and forceful mediator and a fair and impartial arbitrator, having been honored by the Daily Journal as a “Top Neutral” for six years and as a “Southern California Super Lawyer” for 2008-2020. He has mediated over 3,000 matters and arbitrated more than 100 cases.

Judge Marcus brings an extremely broad legal background to his ADR practice. He was a judge, a successful trial lawyer, and a former law firm partner. Judge Marcus has taught evidence and trial tactics at law schools and is a legal author and bar leader as well as an efficient and effective mediator and arbitrator.

Mediation and Arbitration Experience

Since 2002, Judge Marcus has successfully mediated the following types of cases: employment (including discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, whistleblowing, retaliation, wrongful termination, wage and hour, PAGA and class action), commercial/business (including partnership disputes), legal malpractice, personal injury, wrongful death, real property, premises liability, product liability, construction defect, intellectual property, medical malpractice, eminent domain, police misconduct and civil rights.

Judge Marcus has arbitrated the following types of cases: employment, commercial, real property, partnership, medical malpractice, legal malpractice, personal injury and fee disputes.

Discovery Referee

Judge Marcus has been appointed by Judges of the Los Angeles and Orange County Superior Courts to resolve discovery disputes.

Mediation Honors

Daily Journal “Top 50 Neutral in California”, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
Southern California “Super Lawyer” (Neutral), 2008 – 2018

Judicial Experience

  • 1995 – 2001 Judge of the California State Bar Court
  • 2000 – 2001 Supervising Judge of the State Bar Court Hearing Department
  • 1996 – 2000 Assistant Supervising Judge of the State Bar Court Hearing Department

In his 6 years on the State Bar Court, Judge Marcus presided over approximately 160 trials involving such issues as breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, conflicts of interest, failure to perform competently, misappropriation, and client abandonment; wrote lengthy decisions containing findings of fact and conclusions of law for each trial; and was involved in over 400 settlement conferences with a settlement rate of about 95%.

Litigation Experience

  • 1987 – 1995 Partner, Coleman & Marcus, Los Angeles
  • 1985 – 1987 Of Counsel, Sanger Grayson Givner & Booke, Encino
  • 1968 – 1985 Deputy District Attorney, Office of the District Attorney, Los Angeles


  • 1964 – 1967 JD, UCLA School of Law, Los Angeles, California
  • 1962 – 1964 BA in Political Science, University of California, Berkeley
  • 1960 – 1962 Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio


Judge Marcus is a prolific writer who has written about mediation tactics, mediation ethics, arbitration ethics, trial preparation, legal ethics, prosecution discovery and the destruction of evidence for such organizations as the State Bar of California, the California Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB), the California District Attorneys Association, the San Fernando Valley Bar Association and the California Attorneys for Criminal Justice. He is also the author of Trial Preparation for Prosecutors (3rd Edit.), Lexis Law Publishing 2010, and is presently writing California Courtroom Conduct: The Do’s and Don’ts of Litigation. Judge Marcus is also the author of a popular series of monthly articles on “Mediation Messages” and “Arbitration Insights.”

Teaching and Lecturing

Judge Marcus has lectured on mediation and legal ethics for the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles, the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel, at the California State Bar’s annual meeting, to the California Judges’ Association, for the CEB and at many prominent law firms.

Judge Marcus taught evidence at the USC Law Center and has also been a member of the faculties at Southwestern University School of Law and the National College of District Attorneys in Columbia, South Carolina. He was a clinical instructor at the UCLA School of Law as well as an adjunct professor on trial skills at Pepperdine University School of Law.

Bar Activities

  • Member, Board of Governors, State Bar of California, 2007-2010
  • Trustee, Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA), 1979-1980
  • Chair, Professional Responsibility and Ethics Committee (LACBA), 2005-2006; Member, 1997-Present
  • Chair, Criminal Justice Section (LACBA), 1977-1978
  • Member, State Bar of California Conference of Delegates, 1968-1993

Formal Alternative Dispute Resolution Training

  • “Mediating the Litigated Case,” a 42-hour program offered by the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University School of Law
  • “Mediating Complex Construction Disputes,” an 18-hour program offered by the Straus  Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University School of Law

Representative Cases

Civil Rights

  • Settled ADA lawsuit against large apartment complex for discriminating against children.
  • Settled ADA lawsuit against 12-unit apartment building for discriminating against children.
  • Settled mediation involving claims of ADA violations at a hotel.
  • Handled a dispute involving a student at a junior college who alleged ADA discrimination by the college.


  • Warehouse sued former tenant for rent owed; tenant cross-complained for loss of progits
  • Breach of a distribution agreement re beauty products.
  • Medical doctor suing for fees owed by a medical practice.
  • Breach of agreement to provide customized truck for country-wide sales tour.
  • Breach of indemnification agreement re sale of trailer park.
  • Money owed for work performed at LAX.
  • Consultant fees owed to a restaurant group.
  • Legality of corporate election.
  • Medical partnership dissolution.
  • Doctor sues medical partnership for share of profits.
  • Breach of fiduciary duty in operation of partnership.
  • Partnership dissolution and breach of fiduciary duties.
  • Lesser claimed that the lessee “walked away” from a five-year lease. Lessee claimed that a “mutual mistake of fact” justified their conduct. Additionally, lessee claimed that the lessor failed to disclose a material defect in the property.
  • Business sued for declaratory relief to decide estate’s share of business when minority shareholder died.
  • Partner claimed ex-partner breached oral promise to repay him for his investment. Ex-partner claimed the alleged amount owed was highly inflated.
  • Dispute between a homeowners’ association and a condo owner over the installation of a new floor in the condo unit.
  • A business matter involving three different but related lawsuits. Suit one: a card club sued a second card club for RICO violations. Suit two: Investors sued competitor for legal malpractice. Suit three: Partner in second card club sued for legal malpractice.
  • Plaintiffs (Several limited partnerships) sued General Partner for breach of fiduciary duty, accounting, and dissolution of partnership.
  • Plaintiff claimed they were owed money as an investor, director, and employee of company. Claims faced major legal hurdles because of statute of limitation issues.
  • Buyer of marijuana dispensary claimed owner of dispensary diverted funds. Owner claimed buyer defaulted on payments.
  • Employer sued former employee for theft of trade secrets. Employee cross-complained for unpaid wages.
  • Lessee sued sub-lessee for breach of lease. The sub-lessee sued the lessee for fraud.
  • Settled fee dispute between seller of business and client, who terminated the arrangement.
  • Mediated partnership dispute involving breach of the partnership agreement without good cause.
  • Settled restaurant partnership dispute regarding claims of deceit and negligence.
  • Mediated breach of contract dispute regarding financial management services.
  • Handled a motion to enforce an arbitration agreement regarding public housing.
  • Mediated a dispute involving claims of breach of contract and intentional interference with prospective business advantage.
  • Mediated claims for misappropriation of trade secrets.
  • Mediated a matter involving allegations of a breach of oral and written contract and fraud, as well as a cross-complaint for a breach of fiduciary duty.
  • Settled a dispute involving the sale of a franchise back to the franchiser.

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  • Plaintiff, a marijuana distributor, claimed that defendant stole its trade secrets following an unsuccessful merger.


  • Plaintiff, with Lupus, claimed that employer made it difficult for her to visit her doctor to be treated for the Lupus. She quit the job as a result. Proposal outstanding.
  • Husband and wife allegedly lived at and maintained remote homestead owned by the defendants and only the husband was paid minimum wages for his work.
  • Temp. nurse in a state prison was sexually harassed by her male supervisor.
  • Bartender at a restaurant claimed she was harassed by a manager; not paid for overtime and wrongfully terminated.
  • Plaintiff manicurist claimed that defendant owner's conduct forced her to quit. She also sued for failure to pay overtime, meal breaks and rest breaks. The owner's main defense was that she had no money to settle the case.
  • Plaintiff-employee, a perfusionist, claimed she was owed overtime, meal and rest breaks. The defendant employer said she was exempt per statute.
  • Employee claimed wrongful termination, disability discrimination and failure to provide meal and rest breaks. Employer stated the employee quit for a better paying job, had no disability and got all of his meal and rest breaks.
  • Claimed that doctor, who left practice, improperly took client lists.
  • Hostile workplace environment and constructive termination.
  • Sexual harassment in movie industry; same sex harassment; quid pro quo harassment; sexual battery.
  • Employee, an R.N., claimed she was terminated for complaining in an email that the defendant school could no teach out-of-state because of regulations. The school employer said she was terminated because of inability to lead and follow directions.
  • Employee claimed that she was not paid for "off the clock work" and untaken meal and rest breaks, and quit because she was not paid for this time. The employer contended that she never complained, was paid for all time, took all breaks and quit with a thank you letter for a better job.
  • Employee claimed harassed by comments of peers and racist Christmas gift. Employer said she was terminated after three years of errors.
  • Employer at a restaurant claimed she was terminated and replaced after she went on pregnancy leave. Employer counters that she was not terminated and was ready and willing to give her the job back. When she finally returned in March 2020, the restaurant had closed because of the pandemic.
  • Sexual orientation discrimination and wrongful termination.
  • Failure to accommodate disability and to engage in the interactive process.
  • Independent contractor v. employee question.
  • Harassment and constructive termination.
  • Race discrimination, retaliation, wrongful termination and wage and hour violations.
  • Pregnancy discrimination, retaliation and wrongful termination.
  • Pregnancy discrimination, retaliation for taking pregnancy leave, retaliation and wrongful termination in violation of public policy.
  • Sex harassment, hostile workplace and retaliation.
  • Retaliation for complaining about practices at a car dealer.
  • Breach of employment contract, failure to indemnify, Intentional infliction of emotional distress.
  • Sexual harassment at private school, retaliation and wrongful termination.
  • Sexual harassment, retaliation and wrongful termination.
  • Sexual assault and battery, sexual harassment and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
  • Disability discrimination, failure to engage in the interactive process, failure to accommodate, retaliation and wrongful termination in violation of public policy.
  • Defamation, interference with prospective economic advantage, meal period denied and wrongful termination in violation of public policy (car dealership).
  • Gender discrimination, retaliation and constructive termination in violation.
  • Disability discrimination (depression), failure to accommodate, failure to engage in the interactive process, retaliation, wrongful termination in violation of public policy, breach of contract, conversion, Labor Code sec. 203 violation and failure to pay overtime wages.
  • Employee claimed that she was discriminated against for being pregnant, retaliated against for complaining about the mistreatment, and ultimately wrongfully terminated. Employer claimed that the employee refused a valid reinstatement offer.
  • Employee claimed breach of contract, harassment, sexual orientation discrimination, intentional interference with perspective business advantage, and wrongful termination.
  • Claim of disability discrimination, failure to accommodate, failure to engage in interactive process, and wrongful termination.
  • Pregnancy discrimination, failure to accommodate and engage in interactive process, and wrongful termination. Employee claimed undue economic hardship.
  • Wage and hour claims against an employer by one employee, with wage and hour and harassment claims against the same employer by a second employee. The employer claimed that the plaintiffs were independent contractors.
  • Claim for missed meal and rest breaks, and incorrect wage statements.
  • Employee claimed he was denied meal and rest breaks and was also not paid for “off the clock” work.
  • Alleged retaliation and wrongful termination for taking Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) leave. Employer claimed that the plaintiff was terminated for an act of dishonesty.
  • Employee claimed he was terminated because his mother-in-law, who was living with him, had cancer, which was causing him to miss work.
  • Male employee claimed that his supervisor, a woman, sexually harassed him for a lengthy period and then retaliated against him by terminating his employment.
  • Claims of harassment, retaliation, failure to accommodate disability, age discrimination, and wrongful termination, as well as meal break, rest break, minimum wage, overtime, and Labor Code sections 203 and 226 violations. The case came down to section 226 issues.
  • Claim for pregnancy discrimination, wrongful termination, failure to pay all commissions owed, meal and rest break violations, incomplete wage statements, and Labor Code sections 203 and 226 claims. Employer’s main defense was that Plaintiff resigned and took a higher paying job.
  • Plaintiff claimed disability discrimination, failure to accommodate, wrongful termination, failure to pay minimum wages, as well as Labor Code sections 203 and 226 violations. Employer claimed that it accommodated Plaintiff and he then walked off of the job.
  • Federal class action for meal break, rest break, overtime, and reimbursement of expenses violations. Employer claimed that its procedures were compliant as to one location and that the second location was controlled by a collective bargaining agreement.
  • Sexual harassment in movie industry involving same sex harassment, quid pro quo harassment, and sexual battery.
  • Claims of perceived disability discrimination, failure to accommodate, and wrongful termination.
  • Allegations of harassment, sexual discrimination, retaliation, wrongful termination, and meal and rest break violations.
  • Employee claimed he was wrongfully terminated for refusing to sign a non-compete provision regarding an affiliate of the employee in which he was a limited partner.
  • Employment dispute regarding disability discrimination, failure to accommodate, and wrongful termination.
  • Claim for misclassification, wage and hour violations, whistleblowing (1102.5), retaliation, and wrongful termination.
  • Former CFO of employer claimed that she was retaliated against for whistleblowing and then wrongfully terminated. Employer contended that the CFO resigned without any notice.
  • Employee (pre-litigation) claimed that she was terminated as a result of complaining about sexual problems at work. She also claimed that she was misclassified as exempt. Employer denied all claims.
  • Doctor-plaintiff alleged that the non-profit where she worked retaliated against her because of whistle blowing, which led to her resigning because of the intolerable retaliation.
  • Wage and hour class action/PAGA matter regarding meal breaks, rest breaks, off-the-clock, wage statements, and waiting time issues.
  • Employee claimed that he was terminated because he had been on disability for a knee injury, which required weekly therapy. The employer claimed it terminated the employee because he didn’t provide proof of two occasions in which he went to the emergency room because of pain.
  • Employee placed by defendant staffing agency with defendant employer. She was pregnant and had a 5-pound lifting restriction. Employer said that it had no job for her with the restrictions. Staffing agency had no other alternatives. Plaintiff claimed discrimination and wrongful termination. Defendants stated that they accommodated her demand, without success.
  • Employee claimed she was harassed by a subordinate. The subordinate denied the allegation and cross-claimed against the supervisor for quid pro quo harassment and then the employee and two other employees sued the employer in the cross-complaint for retaliation and constructive termination.
  • Employee claimed he was terminated for complaining about wage and hour issues to the Chief Operating Officer.
  • 18 employees sued a restaurant for sexual harassment. Two of the 18 also sued for wrongful termination. All 18 also sued for wage and hour violations. Another 14 employees sued only for wage and hour violations.
  • Employee claimed he was discriminated against for being disabled (knee replacement). Employer said that he was replaced because of hardship.
  • A former employee, transitioning from female to male, claimed that employer would not let him dress as a man and made things so intolerable that he quit. Employer denied the allegations, contending that the employee agreed to the minimal requests and also that it offered to reinstate the employee at full pay and without any conditions to which he refused.
  • Wage and hour class action of approximately 600 regarding meal breaks, rest breaks, and waiting time penalties.
  • Highly compensated salesman claimed he was terminated because of his age. Employer said it terminated Plaintiff because of harassment allegations.
  • Former HR Director claimed she was terminated because of her age. Employer said that she was terminated because it had conducted extensive investigations about her after receiving numerous complaints about her behavior from subordinates.
  • Plaintiff alleged harassment, age discrimination, gender discrimination, and wrongful termination. Employer argued that there was no discrimination or retaliation, and that plaintiff was terminated for forging documents. Additionally, there was strong evidence that plaintiff had falsified her employment application.
  • Plaintiff claimed that her supervisor verbally, physically, and sexually harassed her and that she quit because of the intolerable circumstances. The employer denied the harassment, contending that Plaintiff worked for two and a half years before complaining, and that the alleged emotional distress was the result of Plaintiff’s relationship with her boyfriend and mother.
  • An individual Plaintiff with PAGA claims alleged that he was harassed and then assaulted by his supervisor. The employer terminated both the employee and the supervisor. The employee claimed harassment, retaliation, and wrongful termination. The employer said that it had a zero-violence policy.
  • Car salesman brought individual and PAGA claims against a new car dealer for wage and hour claims plus wrongful termination. The dealer claimed it terminated the Plaintiff for underperforming.
  • Plaintiff claimed that she told her employer that she was suffering from anxiety and panic attacks and was terminated three days after. The employer denied Plaintiff ever complained about any ailments and was part of a layoff caused by declining business.
  • Class action matter involving off the clock, overtime, meal break, rest break, wage statement, and waiting time violation claims against a hospital. There were 2,800 former and current class members, many of which were nurses.
  • Pregnancy disability claim, specifically post-partum depression. Defendant claimed that the employee’s job was eliminated, and that she was offered a new job at the same rate of pay, which she refused and then resigned.
  • Plaintiff quit his job after 27 years because employer, a non-profit, allegedly retaliated against him for complaining about the non-profit’s security practices. The employer denied retaliation and claimed that the plaintiff’s version of facts was not credible and he would be impeached by written documents.
  • Plaintiff alleged he, a dishwasher, was sexually harassed by the cook and was terminated for complaining. Defendant denied the harassment and claimed that Plaintiff quit as part of a worker’s compensation settlement.
  • Plaintiff (an African American) sued employer for racial discrimination, armed forces discrimination, and wrongful termination. Employer claimed it terminated the employee because of several threats of violence.
  • Three separate former employees of a hotel claimed failure to pay overtime, meal breaks, rest breaks, and wages upon termination.
  • Former employee claimed that her male supervisor put her in a headlock, brushed her breasts with his arm, and made threatening comments to her. The employer (defendant the supervisor) denied the battery and threats.
  • A 13-year employee claimed he was terminated because he was on disability leave for five months. The employer said that it fired the plaintiff because two months of his leave was unapproved.
  • Initially a PAGA claim that alleged meal and rest break violations that was converted at mediation to a class action/PAGA settlement. Defendant was a technology company.
  • Class action/PAGA matter in which the Defendant was a restaurant. Claims of violations involved meal breaks, rest breaks, inaccurate wage statements, failure to pay all wages earned, over time, and waiting time, among other claims.
  • 81-year-old female Caucasian claimed that she was terminated because she had complained about favoritism to her African American employer by her African American supervisors. The employer denied the complaint and claimed that it terminated the Plaintiff because of her attitude.
  • Plaintiff, a 20-year employee of defendant, claimed that he was terminated by the hotel defendant because he was gay, had complained about his supervisors’ harassment, and because of his cancer, which was in remission. The hotel claimed that plaintiff conceded that the issues raised in his performance improvement plan were justified, that it didn’t know that he was gay, and didn’t know about his lymphoma. It argued in its MST (which was calendared after the mediation) that it terminated the plaintiff because of time card fraud.
  • A 23-year-old employee claimed that a male employee called her “bitch” repeatedly and smacked her rear. She quit because the employer failed to investigate her complaint. The employer claimed that the plaintiff flirted with the employee, that it investigated her complaint and, in any event, she suffered no monetary damages because she got a better paying job right away.
  • Plaintiff, a teacher at a for-profit college, claimed that he was terminated because of his age and a complaint he made of discrimination. The school said that it terminated the plaintiff because of the inferior nature of his teaching.
  • Plaintiff alleged that she was retaliated against (i.e. terminated for her multiple doctor-ordered absences for depression). Defendant contended that Plaintiff had a history of unexcused absences unrelated to any disability throughout her 2-year employment, for which she was terminated.
  • Claimants, former fast food employees, claimed misclassification and failure to pay overtime and meal and rest breaks.
  • Plaintiff claimed he was harassed, retaliated against, and discriminated against because of his age and disability, and that he was wrongfully terminated. Employer said the employee is still employed at the company and only admitted that it didn’t engage in the interactive process.
  • Plaintiff, director of human resources, complained she was constructively terminated after she was retaliated against and discriminated against because of her disability. Employer said it was going to terminate Plaintiff before she ever asked for accommodation.
  • Plaintiff, a truck driver, claimed that his former employer did not accommodate his back injury and then fired him because of that disability. The employer claimed it terminated the plaintiff because he had threatened a supervisor with violence.
  • Plaintiff sexually harassed by a supposed supervisor. The issue therein was whether the harassment was time barred. Thereafter, Plaintiff filed an unrelated worker’s compensation claim and was terminated allegedly for performance reasons three weeks later.
  • Plaintiff was choked and touched on her “bottom” by a supervisor to whom Plaintiff did not report. She quit her job after she found the company owners to be unsympathetic and unsupportive.
  • Plaintiff, employed for three months, claimed he was terminated in retaliation for whistleblowing and being disabled. Employer said it terminated Plaintiff at the end of his probation because he was an unsatisfactory employee.
  • Employee claimed she was retaliated against after having complained about harassment by another employee and then constructively quit because of the retaliation. Employer denied the retaliation and claimed that the employee was still on leave at the company and had never quit.
  • Quality control employee claimed he was retaliated against for raising contamination issues in the manufacturing of the company’s product and then was forced to quit because of the retaliation. The employer denied the retaliation and claims of discrimination.
  • Claims involving disability and FMLA/CFRA discrimination, and wrongful termination. The defense claimed the employee resigned.
  • Plaintiff, a foreign national, came to the USA on a “green card” per a 2-year agreement. He claimed he was terminated in violation of both the agreement and his native country’s laws for whistleblowing. The employer contended the contract had been cancelled/was no longer in effect, he was at will, his complaints did not constitute whistleblowing, and was terminated for insubordination.
  • Plaintiff claimed that he was misclassified, resulting in wage and hour violations, was retaliated against, and was terminated because he had complained about safety violations. Employer argued that plaintiff was an exempt manager, never whistleblew, and quit the job.
  • Two plaintiffs claimed breach of contract, fraud, harassment, hostile work place, failure to pay commissions, retaliation, and wrongful termination. Employer replied that plaintiffs never complained about anything, were paid all commissions owed, and were terminated because the division they ran had lost money for three consecutive years.
  • Disability discrimination and sexual harassment claims. Plaintiff had MS and claimed defendant did not accommodate that disability, which led to her termination. She also claimed that her supervisor harassed her.
  • Pregnancy discrimination matter. Plaintiff claimed she was terminated after taking a one-week doctor’s ordered leave. Employer claimed Plaintiff abandoned the job. Plaintiff miscarried two weeks after the alleged termination.
  • Settled case involving claims of whistleblowing, violation of Labor Code section 1102.5 (retaliation), and wrongful termination.
  • A Vice President of Sales who was terminated sued for breach of contract, retaliation, failure to pay wages timely, and wrongful termination. The defense was that the plaintiff’s department was closed because of poor sales.
  • Employee, a server with defendant restaurant, sued for denial of meal breaks and rest breaks, failure to distribute tips, and retaliation. As part of the settlement, plaintiff employee resigned from her job.
  • Prefiling mediation: allegations of sexual harassment, hostile work place environment, retaliation per Labor Code section 1102.5, and wrongful termination.
  • Multiple truck drivers claimed they had been misclassed as independent contractors and sued as individuals for reimbursement of expenses, minimum wages, meal and rest breaks, wage statement violations, and wait time penalties.
  • Settled alleged misclassification of supervisor for manufacturing company; plaintiff was claiming overtime and compensation for meal breaks, rest breaks, and waiting time penalties.
  • Settled at mediation an employment claim for disability discrimination and wrongful termination.
  • Settled sexual harassment and retaliation case.
  • Settled wrongful termination case with retaliation, CFRA/FMLA aspects.
  • Mediated fraudulent inducement, breach of oral contract, negligent misrepresentation, and intentional infliction of emotional distress allegations where defendant company fired the plaintiff 11 days after hiring him.
  • Handled matter involving sexual harassment allegedly notified by employer plus alleged sexual harassment by supervisor and constructive termination.
  • Mediated class action matter involving PAGA claims/violations: meal breaks, rest breaks, reporting time, overtime, and wage statements.
  • Settled matter involving claims of country of origin and religious discrimination, as well as wrongful termination.
  • Mediated several PAGA claims regarding overtime and meal and rest break violations.
  • Settled dispute regarding CFRA/FMLA discrimination and wrongful termination.
  • Settled class action case regarding overtime, meal and rest break, wage statement, and waiting time claims.
  • Settled a matter involving claims of country of origin harassment and discrimination, retaliation, and wrongful termination.
  • Settled numerous matters involving harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, and disability discrimination.
  • Settled matter involving PAGA claims for meal and rest breaks, overtime, and wage statements at a car dealership.
  • Handled several class action matters involving wage and hour, meal and rest breaks, overtime, and PAGA claims.
  • Settled dispute involving claims of violation of the Equal Pay Act, retaliation for CFRA leave, and wrongful termination.
  • Mediated a matter in which the plaintiff alleged retaliation and wrongful termination, and the defendant made a cross-complaint for theft of trade secrets.
  • Settled a case in which resident managers sued for overtime, meal and rest breaks, and wrongful termination.
  • Settled a matter involving claims of pregnancy discrimination and wrongful termination.
  • Settled a matter involving claims of breach of contract, fraud, slander, and wrongful termination.
  • Settled a case involving claims of pregnancy discrimination, wrongful termination, and retaliation.
  • Settled a case involving claims of whistleblowing (Labor Code §1102.5), retaliation, and wrongful termination.
  • Handled several employment cases involving claims of disability discrimination, age discrimination, racial discrimination, retaliation, failure to accommodate, and wrongful termination.
  • Mediated the case of two former employees making claims of disability discrimination, retaliation, and wrongful termination.
  • Mediated a case involving allegations of sexual harassment, quid pro quo, retaliation, intentional infliction of emotional abuse, and wrongful termination.

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Fee Dispute

  • Fees owed by client to law firm (approximately 10 such cases)
  • Failure to pay referral fees (two cases)
  • Settled a dispute between a client and the client’s former law firm for the return of unearned fees.


  • HOA sued roofing company for repairs to roof.
  • HOA sued a member for obstruction of views because of trees.
  • HOA sued a member for failure to comply with the HOA rules and regulations.
  • Homeowners Association sued several of the individual condo owners for their purchase from the developer of common area storage units.


  • Rate to be paid conflict counsel per Civ. Code sec. 2860.
  • Coverage of fire damage to private residence.

Intellectual Property

  • Plaintiff, a marijuana distributor, claims Defendant stole its trade secrets following an unsuccessful merger.


  • Tenant lessees wanted their security deposit of $20,000 back, claiming they cleaned up the premises upon vacating and all of the lessor’s repair costs were pre-existing, were ordinary wear and tear or not supported. Lessor claimed that it had to pay $70,000 to repair the premises.

Legal malpractice

  • Failure to represent competently in a criminal proceeding.
  • Failure to competently represent in an employment matter with cross-complaint for legal fees.
  • Client suing for unconscionable fees.
  • Failure to competently represent in an employment matter.
  • Exorbitant fees charged by expert witness.

    Medical Malpractice

    • Failure to supervise patient after surgery.
    • Misdiagnosis of patient as having MS.
    • Leaving foreign object in patient’s body during surgery.
    • Pain treatment mistreated and loss of consortium.
    • Failure to diagnose prostate cancer and loss of consortium.
    • Weight reduction surgery, lack of consent form and scarring.
    • Injuries sustained during an examination.
    • Failure to properly treat eye problems resulting in scarring.
    • Medical practitioner’s lawyer failed to timely advise carrier of medical malpractice claim against the practitioner. Medical practitioner threated attorney with legal malpractice and practitioner’s new attorney settled the case with a patient who claimed she was harmed by the medical practitioner.

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    Personal Injury

    • Resolved personal injury claims arising from a slip and fall that allegedly resulted in extensive medical treatment and expenses which the defense claimed exceeded the amount reasonably attributable to the fall.
    • 65 year old plaintiff slipped on water at a market and fell hurting her knee and back.
    • Elderly woman trips over wiring at concert.
    • Rear end collision on freeway.
    • Right side collision on freeway.
    • Rear end collision on surface street (two separate cases).
    • Bike v. car collision (two separate cases, one with TBI).
    • Car ran red light and hit another car in an intersection.
    • Single car accident from unsafe driving.
    • Trip and fall in parking lot.
    • Uninsured motorist claim from a hit-and-run.
    • Settled death case where bus hit a passenger in a cross walk.
    • Settled a serious injury matter where bus hit a pedestrian who was jaywalking.
    • Settled a matter where a bus hit a person who was standing on the sidewalk.
    • Settled a matter where a passenger fell when the bus stopped quickly, broke her neck and later died.
    • Settled case where teenage girl sexually assaulted in stalled hospital elevator.
    • Settled injury to child by statue that toppled in a hotel lobby.
    • Car v. Pedestrian matter plus a cause of action for negligence and dangerous conditions against the owner and lessee of the parking lot where the accident took place.
    • Plaintiff was sexually assaulted by a rideshare company driver. Defendant, the rideshare company, defended that the driver was not an employee, the assault was not in the course and scope of the driver’s employment (even if he was an employee, and that the Plaintiff was not credible.
    • Bus driver closed a door on exiting passenger, who fell and hurt knee. The bus company admitted liability.
    • Mediated personal injury matter where plaintiff was hit by a flying bounce house.
    • Mediated a personal injury matter involving an accident between a motorcycle and a car.
    • Settled a case involving a two-car accident in which soft tissue injuries, as well as bicep and shoulder tears were sustained.
    • Settled a case regarding a passenger on a bus who fell and injured himself.

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    Real Estate

    • Settled habitability claims (bug, rodent infestation; no heat; leaking pipes) by multiple tenants in five different cases.
    • Buyer sued seller of a residence for not closing on the escrow date and quit claiming the property to the original developer.
    • Lessee sued sub lessee for rent and taxes owed.
    • Dispute between lesser and lessee regarding water damage.
    • Buyer of residential property sued her broker for giving her erroneous information about whether a detached building on the property was permitted.
    • Mediated real property matter involving an HOA suing a non-conforming property owner.

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    Real Property

    • Failure to disclose material defects in private residence.
    • Breach of commercial lease and constructive eviction.
    • Breach of contract re the sales of condominiums.
    • Breach of lease for warranty of failed rents in commercial property.
    • Breach of restaurant lease.
    • Breach of agreement to purchase a commercial building.
    • Breach of contract, breach of a third-party beneficiary contract and conversion for the failure to pay commissions for lease of commercial property .
    • Lessor sued for breach of lease, lost rent, and associated costs (taxes, etc.). Lessee claimed lessor did not disclose latent defects, which were numerous, causing him to vacate and stop payment because his costs to make improvements had become excessive. Lessee’s contractor then filed a mechanic’s lien against the lessor.
    • Handled matter in which a commercial lessor sued lessee for property taxes not paid as part of a settlement. Lessee cross-complained for breach of lease and fraud.
    • Mediated a dispute regarding the terms of a commercial lease, including the option period to extend the lease.
    • Mediated a matter involving claims of failure to disclose material defects in the sale of a residential property.
    • Mediated a commercial real property matter involving claims of specific performance and breach of contract.

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    Trade secret

    • Successfully mediated at least twenty-five cases where departing partners and employees were alleged to have misappropriated trade secrets.


    “Hon. Marcus was very effective because he showed empathy and made the effort to relate to our clients. That made the experience much better for everyone involved and certainly led to a quicker resolution of the litigation. While the mediation lasted all day, it didn’t go until 9:30 at night, and Judge Marcus was turning the conversation toward the amount of the settlement after lunch, which help us come to an agreeable number by dinner. I would recommend him without reservation.”

    “Thank you very much for helping us resolve the two matters yesterday! Truly I don’t think we would have been as successful with another mediator. I am very grateful to you for guiding us toward resolution. It was a great pleasure to chat with you about world affairs as well! I look forward to crossing paths again! ”

    “One of the best mediators and mediation services in the UNIVERSE!!!”

    “Judge Marcus was excellent and did a terrific job. I was impressed.”

    “Judge Marcus is the best.”

    “Judge Marcus is the Fonzie of mediators. He knows where to hit to get a settlement out. He knows exactly where the strengths and weaknesses lie in your cases.”

    “Judge Marcus is incredibly strategic. He looks at a case holistically and plans out exactly how the case is going to go. He has studied each side’s case intently and so is able to stay three steps ahead and get the parties to resolution.”

    “Judge Marcus knows how to evaluate where a case should resolve. He can be persuasive even when he’s playing devil’s advocate. He is very honest in his approach and his evaluation. He really is able to convince both sides to settle.”

    “Judge Marcus’ proposals are always accepted. He has the ability to tell both sides to take a deep breath and settle.”

    “Judge Marcus is completely charming. He can get along with any attorney and any part. We bring our tough cases to Judge Marcus. He disarms them with his charm and gets them to focus on what’s important.”

    “Judge Marcus is a wonderful human being with a great demeanor and a big heart. He can be very persuasive but in a very pleasant way. He will not upset your client. I have used him many times and recommended him to many other attorneys.”

    “Judge Marcus is by far one of the best. He comes to the table with credentials. He is very adamant about getting the case settled and will follow up with emails and phone calls if necessary. I rarely remember a case not settling.”

    I love Judge Marcus as a neutral. He is incredibly sharp, very kind, and clever at getting matters resolved. He is a “go-to” mediator for me. I always propose him. He has my complete respect and admiration. I am glad you have him and that he is so willing to mediate!