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.
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.
Judge Marcus has been appointed by Judges of the Los Angeles and Orange County Superior Courts to resolve discovery disputes.
Daily Journal “Top 50 Neutral in California”, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
Southern California “Super Lawyer” (Neutral), 2008 – 2018
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%.
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.”
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.