Hon. Rita “Sunny” Miller (Ret.)



  • Loyola Law School, J.D., 1979
  • Harvard University, Special Studies
  • Connecticut College for Women, B.A.

Judge Miller graduated first in her class of 375 from Loyola Law School in 1979, summa cum laude with the highest grade-point average in the school’s history at that time. She was the Chief Articles Editor of the Loyola Law Review and published a comment.

Judge Miller was the recipient of the following awards for academic excellence: the Aggeler Award “for superior scholarship and noteworthy achievement,”; the J. Rex Dibble Honor Award; the Loyola Law School Scholarship for Excellence in the Study of Law; the Loyola Law School Scholarship for Academic Achievement and Financial Need; a Bancroft-Whitney Award; an American Judicature Society Award; and four American Jurisprudence Book Awards. She was also a member of the Alpha Sigma Nu Honor Society and the St. Thomas More Law Honor Society.


  • Munger, Tolles & Olson, 1979-2000
    Associate, 1979-1984
    Partner, 1985-2000

Judge Miller joined the Downtown Los Angeles firm of Munger, Tolles & Olson as an Associate upon graduation from law school in 1979 and was made a partner after five years. She remained at the firm until she was appointed to the bench in 2000.

Judge Miller specialized in complex civil litigation and had extensive experience in many areas, including legal malpractice, entertainment litigation, insurance coverage, insurance bad faith, commercial disputes, and land use litigation.


Judge, Los Angeles Superior Court, 2000-2018

Judge Miller was appointed to the bench by Governor Gray Davis in June 2000. For more than 14 years, she presided over an Independent Calendar general civil courtroom in Downtown Los Angeles. Previous judicial assignments included Limited Civil Jurisdiction, Misdemeanors, Traffic, and Proposition 36 (Drug) Court.


Trial Judge of the Year (2012), Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles


Justice Pro Tem, California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, 2009, 2013-2015

Judge Miller served as a Justice Pro Tem of the California Court of Appeal from 2013-2015 and for several months in 2009, hearing arguments and issuing opinions as a member of Division One of the 2nd Appellate District.


  • Appellate Consultations: Consultations on pending appeals and upcoming appellate arguments.
  • Aviation and Aerospace: Air crash litigation; aerospace whistleblower and compliance with government regulations.
  • Banking: Liability for safe deposit losses, mortgage issues, forged and stolen instruments.
  • Civil Rights: Civil rights claims involving Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
  • Class Actions: Dynamex cases; cases involving truck drivers; factories; PAGA; attorney’s fees.
  • Complex Business Litigation: Financial fraud, investment disputes, real estate development, disputes among members of partnerships, LLCs and startups, Ponzi schemes, immigrant visa fraud, development of businesses including hospitals.
  • Corporate Governance: Dissolution; self-dealing; misappropriation of corporate opportunities; breach of fiduciary duty by officers and directors; disputes as to election of board members.
  • Elder Abuse: Physical and financial abuse by family members, nursing homes, hospitals, fiduciaries and others.
  • Employment: Discrimination based on disability, age, sex, gender-identity, and race; sexual harassment; other forms of harassment; failure to engage in the interactive process; failure to accommodate; FEHA; CFRA; wrongful termination; retaliation; whistleblower retaliation; PAGA; wage and hour; meal and rest breaks; failure to pay overtime; misclassification; failure to provide compliant wage statements; donning and doffing issues; FEHA and workers compensation exclusivity.
  • Entertainment Disputes
  • Fee Disputes: Quantum meruit recovery in lieu of contractual fees.
  • Insurance and Reinsurance: Insurance contract interpretation; comprehensive general liability insurance; errors and omissions insurance; business interruption insurance with and without public adjusters; insurance bad faith.
  • Intellectual Property: Theft of trade secrets; non-compete clauses; misappropriation of name or likeness.
  • Legal Malpractice: Failure to comply with the standard of care; conflicts of interest; duty of loyalty; breach of fiduciary duty; statute of limitations issues.
  • Lemon Law
  • Malicious Prosecution
  • Personal Injury: Traumatic brain injury; products liability; premises liability; government tort; defamation including internet defamation.
  • Professional Malpractice: accounting malpractice; auditor malpractice; legal malpractice; medical malpractice.
  • Real Property: Easements for ingress and egress; easements by necessity; recreational easements; partition licenses; boundary disputes; title issues; title insurance; entitlements; land use; commercial tenancies; homeowners’ association disputes; CC&Rs.
  • Toxic and Other Torts
  • Unfair Competition, Unfair Collection Practices and Unfair Business Practices


Judge Miller has served on several professional and community organizations, in the following capacities: member of the Executive Committee of the Court; editor for more than 10 years of Gavel to Gavel, a magazine published by and for bench officers of the Los Angeles Superior Court; member of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers’ Judicial Advisory Committee and the Board of Directors; founding member of the Loyola Law School Civil Justice Program; member of the Board of Directors of Family Assistance Involving the Homeless; member of the Standing Committee on Group Insurance of the State Bar of California; Secretary of the Human Rights Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association; member of the Board of Governors of Loyola Law School; member of the Board of Directors of the Cowboy Lawyers Association; and Judicial Advisor to the Civil Jury Project at NYU Law School.

For many years, Judge Miller served as Special Counsel to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors assisting the Board by investigating and participating in the publication of semi-annual public reports concerning the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. The work involved evaluation of whether the department had implemented reforms designed to achieve gender neutrality in promotions, job assignments, and work evaluations. This necessarily also involved review of practices that might discriminate against other groups. The work also included investigation of incidents of sexual harassment and how the department performed in addressing these incidents and their root causes.

Judge Miller also served as a Hearing Examiner for the Los Angeles Police Department, adjudicating police officer discipline and/or suspension matters and presiding at Police Department license revocation hearings. These hearings involved police misconduct including sexual harassment, improper use of force, utilization of the trappings of office for personal gain, and other claims.

Judge Miller has spoken and taught extensively at events for several organizations such as the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles, the Association of Business Trial Lawyers, the Loyola Law School Civil Justice Program, the Litigation Section of the State Bar of California, Continuing Education of the Bar, the Los Angeles County Bar Association, and many others.

She has published several scholarly and more colloquial articles, as well as being an author of the California Judges Benchbook series.

Representative Cases


  • Dispute arising from crash of Cessna as to whether pilot or co-pilot or aircraft malfunction caused the crash and which victims should recover from whom.
  • Dispute as to cause of crash of helicopter on roof of aerospace manufacturer’s building and extent of damages to building and business interruption.
  • Investigations of whistleblower claims that aerospace contractor was not following protocols in the manufacture of test equipment.

Commercial Contract, General Business

  • Settled a dispute between a hip hop artist and his former manager with the artist claiming a failure to make all payments due to him. The manager counterclaimed against artist for working outside the management agreement and failing to pay commissions and against both the artist and the artist's attorney for extortion.
  • 4 alleged victims of car accident had claims against the wrongdoer's liability insurance and could not agree on the amounts to be allocated to each of them. They agreed with insurer to settle by way of a "binding mediation." The mediation occurred but the parties were unable to agree. Under the agreement, the mediator then was to allocate the proceeds among the victims. The mediator issued an order doing so.
  • Lemon law case brought against Tesla alleging computer system would fail during driving and car would stall.
  • Tenant vacated premises because it claimed they contained mold, roof leaked, gas was not hooked up and therefore there was no heat, septic tank was inadequate and toilets were discharging waste onto ground. Landlord claimed these conditions did not exist and that tenant vacated because it purchased a property next door that it preferred to occupy. Tenant sued for breach of contract and fraudulent concealment and Landlord counter-sued for failure to pay rent and for five years of future rent.
  • 4 alleged victims of car accident had claims against the wrongdoer's liability insurance and could not agree on the amounts to be allocated to each of them. They agreed with insurer to settle by way of a "binding mediation." The mediation occurred but the parties were unable to agree. Under the agreement, the mediator then was to allocate the proceeds among the victims. The mediator issued an order doing so.
  • Bank sued software provider for breach of contract and a third party for inducing the breach. The bank and software company had been providing banking/software services to bankruptcy trustees. The software company allegedly breached its contract with the bank in connection with the sale of its software business to a bank competing with the plaintiff bank, depriving the plaintiff bank of all its trustee customers.
  • Plaintiff purchased “vintage wood” that proved unsuitable for structure plaintiff was building. The contract provided the wood was sold “as is.” Plaintiff claimed the unsuitability was so extreme that the “as is” clause was inapplicable.
  • Plaintiff and defendants and cross-complainants formed a relationship whereby plaintiff was to recruit students from China to attend a private school in the U.S. The school was an investment vehicle where Chinese nationals could invest to obtain EB-5 visas, leading to green cards. A dispute arose as to whether plaintiff was appropriating funds or if defendants were compensating plaintiff for his services and failing to repay alleged loans by plaintiff to them.
  • A prepared employee handbook for plaintiff did not refer to employees’ right to third rest period and second meal break after 10 hours of work. Plaintiff was sued for wage and hour violations by employees. Plaintiff then sued the company which prepared the handbook for failure to perform its contractual obligations properly, by failure to include reference to the third rest period and second meal break.
  • Plaintiff loaned Defendant approximately $5-6 million at 12% interest rate. Defendant claimed the interest rate was usurious and that he was excused from paying interest. Plaintiff claimed the loans were exempt from usury laws. Plaintiff also claimed fraud, elder abuse, and conversion.
  • Business manager and shareholder of corporation alleged to have embezzled millions from health care corporation sued by other shareholder for embezzlement. Accountant for corporation and third parties who allegedly received embezzled funds were also sued by the shareholder.
  • Numerous contract disputes.
  • Numerous alleged frauds.
  • Fraud and misappropriation of opportunities in development of nursing home project.
  • Embezzlement by tax preparer/business manager.
  • Dispute between commercial tenant and real estate developer as to rights in commercial real property.
  • Dispute between developer and investors and buyers of real property.
  • Fraudulent schemes to deprive investors of fruits of their investments.
  • Fraudulent schemes to victimize immigrants seeking visas available to large investors in small businesses.
  • Contractual dispute between municipality and provider of services.
  • Commercial lending disputes.
  • Disputes about alleged misappropriation of corporate assets and opportunities by fiduciaries and employees.
  • CEQA challenge to development.
  • Contractual dispute between owner of outdoor advertising signs and past and future renters.
  • Safe deposit box owner sued bank for loss of more than $2million in allegedly misappropriated contents.
  • Dispute between government contractors in which one contractor was alleged to have improperly eliminated its joint venturer from contract.
  • Investigations of whistleblower claims that aerospace contractor was not following protocols in the manufacture of test equipment.

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  • Real estate developer and school district entered into a contract whereby developer would build homes and help school district fund construction of new school to serve the homes. Each side claimed the other had breached the agreement.
  • Construction disputes between contractors and subcontractors and/or owners and/or municipalities.

Corporate Governance & Dissolution

  • Surgeon who had been in business with two other surgeons sued the two other surgeons for ousting him from the business.
  • Brother and sister who had inherited family business disagreed as to whether to reinvest profits to grow the business for their heirs or to take profits out. Sister sued company controlled by her brother to dissolve business.
  • Dispute as to which of two groups was the legally constituted board of directors of an organization.
  • Dispute as to which of two groups was the legally constituted governing body of a religious organization.
  • Dispute among joint venturers in medical marijuana growing operation as to dissolution of the relationship.
  • Dissolution of limousine business located on east and west coasts.
  • Dissolution of partnership that owned and operated banquet halls.

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  • Settled claims arising out of a minor's employment by a fast food franchise where the minor was allegedly given methamphetamine and then seduced by a co-worker, all with the knowledge of the restaurant's manager.
  • Gay 67-year old kitchen worker claimed he was harassed due to age and orientation by co-workers, that he reported it to supervisor and that company did nothing.
  • Female assistant in doctor's office was fired immediately after taking medical leave. She claimed she was fired for discriminatory reasons concerning her leave. She also claimed she was fired in retaliation for complaining as a whistle blower about the doctor's prescription-writing practices and overtime pay. Doctor contended that she was fired for poor performance. Plaintiff also claimed she was not paid for overtime, and meal and rest break premiums.
  • Mechanic was fired after 20 years with the company. The triggering event was one failure to show up for work or call in a 20 year period. However he had been written up 2 years earlier for insubordination and a few months earlier in connection with a fire at the plant that he claimed he did not have anything to do with. Plaintiff had taken 2 leaves of absence for medical reasons, but had returned to work with no restrictions. His supervisor had moved him to the night shift from the day shift on the first day he returned and made comments that plaintiff claimed supported his contentions that he was later fired because of his age and disability. The supervisor was replaced with another one who allegedly did not know about the disability or leaves, but who seemed to want to find an excuse to fire plaintiff. An internal memo in the HR Department recited plaintiff's record at work and included references to his two medical leaves. The supervisor who made the decision to fire plaintiff allegedly did not know of this memo.
  • Plaintiff warehouse worker gave supervisor a doctor's note stating some restrictions. By the end of the work day, a supervisor advised her that there was no work for her and her shift the next day was being cancelled. The supervisor told her that, if her restrictions were removed, they would be able to find work for her at her current location or elsewhere. Plaintiff claims she got the restrictions reduced and gave a new doctor's note to the company the next day, but they never got in touch with her and when she called, they said there was no work for her. Plaintiff sued for failure to engage in the interactive process, failure to accommodate, disability discrimination and wrongful termination.
  • Dishwasher was injured at work. Her doctor placed her on restrictions. The employer placed her on leave. Plaintiff claimed that unpaid leave is an improper accommodation when an employee can work with accommodation per the regulations. Employer claimed there was no available work for a person with her restrictions. Employee was later terminated. She claimed it was in retaliation for her failure to work due to her injury.
  • Worker at drug abuse clinic claimed he was terminated because employer thought he had COVID and the termination constituted disability discrimination.
  • Shareholder sought to have her 25% interest in the company bought out. She claimed she had been harassed and discriminated against due to her age and sex. The parties disputed the value of her stock and company and officers/directors denied any FEHA violations.
  • Guard rail repair person who drove guard rail repair vehicle for CalTrans claimed that his supervisor retaliated against him due to his testimony against a third party concerning workplace violence and also retaliated because he complained of health and safety concerns on the job. He also claimed that he had an on-the-job injury and the supervisor failed to engage in the interactive process, failed to accommodate him, discriminated against him based on his medical condition and wrongfully terminated him on a pretext.
  • Three employees of hospital variously claimed wage and hour violations, disability and race discrimination, wrongful termination and whistleblower retaliation.
  • Employee of a gas station sued for disability discrimination, claiming she was fired on the same day that she told her employer that she needed several weeks off after a surgery. She also claimed wage and hour, meal and rest period violations.
  • Plaintiff worked for defendants as a meat cutter for 18 years. He suffered a work-related injury. He was given leave for nine months and was determined to be totally temporarily disabled. He was paid workers compensation benefits. His doctors put him out on disability leave until December 20, 2017. He did not report for work on that date or notify the employer of any continued disability. The employer telephoned and wrote a letter to which plaintiff did not respond. He was terminated and claimed he did not understand the letter and did not receive any phone messages, and that the employer failed to engage in the interactive process, failed to accommodate him, discriminated against him, and wrongfully terminated him due to his disability.
  • Correctional officers who were pregnant pursued a class action suit for failure to accommodate and engage in the interactive process, because they claimed the prison system pursued a “one-size-fits-all” accommodation system not tailored to the individual needs of the plaintiffs.
  • Assistant manager of a hotel’s housekeeping department went out on medical leave and was unable to perform job functions, even with accommodation. After extended leaves totaling more than 20 weeks in a 12-month period, she was terminated while on leave, with the hotel claiming undue hardship on continuing without filing her position. She sued for disability discrimination, failure to accommodate, failure to engage in the interactive process, and wrongful termination.
  • A former employee of a tea shop claimed that she and 1300 class members were denied meal and rest breaks, overtime, and were victims of other illegal deductions from earnings. The class action sought to add employees of eleven tea shops owned in part by the same individuals under theory that all twelve tea shops were operated as an integrated enterprise and thus should be treated as a single employer based on 1) common ownership, 2) centralized management, 3) centralized control of labor relations, and 4) interrelating operations of corporations.
  • Employee took almost one year of medical leave. When she sought to return to work, employer took the position that she was unable for medical reasons to perform her job as a “runner” and laborer at a hotel and terminated her. Employee sued for disability discrimination, etc.
  • Plaintiff worked at the front desk of a hotel. His supervisor allegedly tried to get him to attend his Evangelical Christian church to date a “church lady,” said plaintiff needed to be saved, and made inquiries about plaintiff’s religious beliefs. Plaintiff was terminated. The employer claimed it was due to a large number of customer complaints. Plaintiff claimed it was in retaliation for his rejection of his supervisor’s entreaties and in retaliation for reporting the supervisor to Human Resources.
  • Employee claimed she was terminated for taking too many sick days and sick leave. Employer claimed termination was based on poor performance prior to sick leave.
  • Executive employee claimed he was constructively terminated in violation of his employment agreement due to employer’s failure to pay his salary in a timely manner on several occasions. Employee also claimed a violation of Labor Code section that requires accurate pay stubs to be issued with salary.
  • Employee with breast cancer sued employer for failure to accommodate, family leave violations and disability discrimination after she was terminated due to length of absence from work due to unexpectedly long recovery time. Employer claimed it needed to put another person in the job and could not wait.
  • Manufacturing assembler recovering from knee surgery sued employer for failure to accommodate and disability discrimination after he was terminated for the stated reason that he made an implicit threat of violence against a supervisor.
  • Employee sued employer for sex discrimination and harassment after supervisor made flirtatious comments. Co-workers who spoke up to supervisor for this conduct sued employer for sex discrimination and whistleblower retaliation against them.
  • Substitute teacher sued school district for age, race, and sex discrimination and harassment after principal referred to him as a “big old white guy”. He also sued for disability discrimination and failure to accommodate him by failing to provide him with an elevator key causing him to use a staircase frequently with a bad knee.
  • Police officer sued the Department and City for disability discrimination and failure to accommodate her after she was off work with an injury and reassigned upon her return to a less desirable position. She alleged that the assignment was retaliatory.
  • Female police officer sued the Department and City for sex discrimination after the Department selected a male employee over her as a helicopter pilot.
  • Female employee sued employer for disability discrimination and failure to accommodate for failing to accommodate her need for frequent medical appointments.
  • Waitress sued employing restaurant.
  • Caucasian housekeeper for multi-national hotel chain sued employer for wrongful termination claiming her supervisor discriminated against non-Hispanics.
  • Nurse sued employer for whistleblower retaliation after she reported that she and other nurses were performing tasks that should only have been performed by doctors.
  • African-American in-house attorney sued employer for race discrimination.
  • Female employee who was sexually harassed in a bathroom stall on a single occasion claimed that the event was so extreme as to be sufficient to alter the conditions of her employment.
  • Police captain sued employer for wrongful termination.

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  • Producer of mini-series sued television network pursuant to “pay or play” contract when producer claimed deadline had passed and network claimed producer had prevented its performance.
  • Movie production houses sued television network for millions of dollars in costs incurred in responding to network subpoenas in “Family Hour” litigation.
  • Movie star who created a unique gangster persona in an iconic gangster movie sued animation studio for creating a character with some similarity to the persona created by the movie star.
  • Imprisoned rapper with reputation for being drug kingpin and “bad boy” sued clean-cut rapper for misappropriation of his name and “bad boy” identity and sued record label which published the clean-cut rapper’s music.
  • Grunge star sued manager.
  • Heir of famous author entered contract for screenplay based on author’s book and dispute with screenplay writers ensued.
  • Famous performer was sued by his girlfriend for battery; he sued his insurer for defense and indemnity.

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  • Dispute among insurers and reinsurers concerning the triggering of their policies and exhaustion of underlying tranches.
  • Disputes among insurers and their insureds as to the interpretation of policy language.
  • Disputes as to comprehensive general liability coverage.
  • Dispute as to errors and omissions coverage.
  • Dispute as to business interruption insurance coverage involving public adjuster.
  • First party insurance bad faith disputes against health care insurers, automobile insurers, and homeowners’ insurers.
  • Coverage dispute after music teacher was alleged to have molested minor student.
  • Disputes as to duty to defend.
  • Dispute as to whether applicant for life insurance policy made misrepresentations on application invalidating policy.
  • An insured sued the general counsel of a large insurance company claiming the general counsel was liable for malicious prosecution because the general counsel authorized the filing of a lawsuit against the insured, claiming the insured had obtained payment under a liability insurance policy by fraud. The insurance company lost the suit because the fraud, if any, was intrinsic rather than extrinsic.
  • Famous singer sued for battery sought declaration that he was entitled to defense and indemnity from his insurer.
  • Bank sued for malicious prosecution sought declaratory relief that it was entitled to a defense despite intentional nature of the tort alleged.

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Intellectual Property, Defamation, Unfair Competition

  • Small company developing technology for the Air Force sued a large company that had been its alleged joint venturer because the large company allegedly misappropriated small company’s trade secrets, cut the small company out of the business with the Air Force, and defamed it.
  • Movie star who created a unique gangster persona in an iconic gangster movie sued animation studio for creating a character with some similarity to the persona created by the movie star.
  • Bodybuilder sued a bodybuilding magazine for misappropriation of his likeness in advertising.
  • Imprisoned rapper with reputation for being drug kingpin and “bad boy” sued clean-cut rapper for misappropriation of his name and “bad boy” identity and sued record label which published the clean-cut rapper’s music.
  • Grunge star sued manager.
  • Heir of famous author entered contract for screenplay based on author’s book and a dispute with the screenplay writers ensued.
  • American manufacturer of hip blue jeans sued Japanese distributor of its garments for unfair competition resulting from Japanese distributor selling its overstocked blue jeans in competition with plaintiff at cut prices.
  • Bar Review educational firm sued former employee for misappropriation of its trade secrets upon his departure.
  • Action for slander on the internet in cat-lover chat rooms.
  • Action for slander among joint venturers.
  • Producer of mini-series sued television network pursuant to “pay or play” contract when the producer claimed a deadline had passed and the network claimed producer had prevented its performance.

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Landlord / Tenant

  • Settled contentious multi-unit landlord-tenant dispute where tenants of two low income units in an apartment building claimed that landlord was cited by local authorities for habitability violations and did not correct them in 35 days in violation of Civil Code, ignored complaints, and failed to make repairs. In particular, both families claimed that the habitability issues included water leaks, rodents, cockroaches, bedbugs and dust mites, lack of insulation, and holes in walls--all of which made the units unlivable.

Legal Malpractice, Fee Disputes

  • Woman tripped and fell on an open and obvious misalignment on public sidewalk fracturing patella and requiring two surgeries and an eventual knee replacement. Her attorneys failed to file suit in time for the statute of limitations. She sued for professional negligence. Comparative fault of the plaintiff was a substantial issue in determining potential recovery, as she fell after seeing the misalignment.
  • Dispute as to whether former attorney for Company A was permitted to testify in court as “Person Most Knowledgeable” for Company B over protest of Company A on matter that arguably did not involve information obtained during representation of Company A and was not directly adverse to its interests.
  • Where law firm representing real estate developer made a mistake and real estate market thereafter became unstable, developer sued law firm but law firm claimed its mistake was not the cause of the real estate developer’s damages.
  • Dispute as to whether attorney representing Client D in litigation had disqualifying past relationship with Client D’s litigation adversary, causing him to be disqualified.
  • Dispute as to whether attorney in family law matter met standard of care in representation of plaintiff.
  • Dispute as to whether attorney preparing will and trust met standard of care in representation of plaintiff’s decedent.
  • Dispute as to whether expert witness who had initially discussed a case with Attorney C could testify for the other side in the same litigation, because Attorney C had not given the witness any information about the case and the discussion had consisted of only a few sentences.
  • Where CEO of healthcare business absconded with embezzled funds, the bank whose funds were stolen sued the company’s attorneys claiming they aided and abetted the absconding CEO.
  • Dispute between law firm E and law firm F where law firm E hired law firm F to do work for it but allegedly overcharged for the work and put a lien on the ultimate recovery.
  • Dispute among lawyers over fee-splitting agreement.
  • Dispute between lawyer and an individual client where the lawyer had omitted to obtain a retainer agreement from the individual client and the issue was whether the lawyer could recover the amount agreed upon or only on a quantum meruit basis.
  • Dispute between lawyer and individual client as to fees where client claimed lawyer had churned the file and performed below the standard of care.

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Medical Malpractice, Elder Abuse

  • Dispute as to whether radiologist failed to discover fatal intestinal blockage.
  • Dispute as to whether surgeon was qualified to operate on brain.
  • Dispute as to whether doctor was qualified to operate on heart.
  • Dispute as to cause of brain injury to baby during delivery.
  • Dispute as to adequacy of psychological care given to young adult who committed suicide.
  • Dispute as to allegedly wrongful 5150 hold imposed on 6-year-old.
  • Disputes as to whether health insurer’s denial of benefits for psychological and other care was proper.
  • Disputes as to whether nursing homes committed elder abuse causing injury and death.
  • Disputes as to whether claims were for medical malpractice or elder abuse.

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Minor’s Compromise

  • In her many years presiding over an independent calendar court, Judge Miller was called upon to handle numerous minor's compromise cases. In one of them, a teen suffered brain damage and recovered over $14 million in a post-verdict settlement which had to be configured appropriately to meet his needs. In others, the Judge had to consider the propriety of the allocation of settlements where minors and their parents had to share the available proceeds in a zero sum manner. In some cases, the proceeds had to be split among variously-injured minors in the same family. Judge Miller believes the fair and appropriate allocation of funds and the approval of compromises when there are many competing interests are among the most important functions of the judicial officer.

Personal Injury

  • Decedent pedestrian was run over and killed by his best friend while inebriated, who was charged with second degree murder in the death.
  • 18-wheeler sideswiped plaintiff's car on freeway pushing her off the road. Plaintiff claimed mild traumatic brain injury and spine damage visible on MRI.
  • Limousine driver hired for the entire evening sought to pick up passengers across the street from night club. Inebriated passenger darted into street to reach limousine and was hit by a car, smashing his cervical spine, requiring 16 pins, fusions, and sustaining other serious injuries. Plaintiff claimed that driver was asked to come to the side of the street where passengers were and refused unnecessarily, despite duties of care of common carrier and foreseeability that passenger would be drunk after a night of clubbing. Limo company denied that it was its limo, and asserted that passenger was violating law vitiating duties.
  • A cable TV installer was injured by an electric shock when he opened a “facility” owned by the defendant company, thinking it was a cable facility. It allegedly was not marked as an electrical facility and was not maintained properly.
  • Plaintiff worked on the ramp at an airline. His supervisor was unhappy with him for talking on the phone at work. The supervisor hit him in the private parts, claiming it was an accident. The airline promptly investigated, put the supervisor off work, and ultimately terminated him. Plaintiff claimed he was harassed after the incident by co-employees, however, he refused to give the names of most of them and the airline claimed that this prevented a meaningful investigation. Plaintiff sued for sexual harassment and other torts.
  • Numerous automobile accidents.
  • Driver of car sued manufacturer where vehicle allegedly rolled out of park, running over and dragging exiting driver.
  • Injured driver sued good Samaritan who extricated her from car after accident, further injuring her.
  • Teenager sued driver who inflicted traumatic brain injury on teen in auto accident.
  • Teenager who suffered traumatic brain injury after being hit by car while crossing in crosswalk sued the driver and municipality, claiming the accident was caused in part by municipality’s landscaping, obscuring driver’s view.
  • Family sued municipality for drowning of minor in public swimming pool, alleging lifeguard negligence.
  • Family sued county and waverunner manufacturer after minor drowned after being pinned underneath waverunner.
  • Minor and family of decedent sued school district for off-campus stabbing of students by gang member after incident at school.
  • Special needs student sued school district for sexual molestation en route to and from school.
  • Family of young adult sued apartment building owner/manager after the young adult fell from rooftop or committed suicide.
  • Injured parties sued building owners for failure to provide adequate security in parking lot and common areas.
  • Arrested party’s family sued law enforcement for excessive use of force, violation of civil rights and wrongful death.
  • Disabled public bus patron sued for failure to secure wheelchair properly and failure to deploy ramp for access to bus.
  • Various parties sued for slip and trip and fall incidents on public sidewalks.
  • Various premises liability disputes.

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Products Liability

  • Vehicle products liability matters
  • Airplane and helicopter products liability matters
  • Wave runner products liability
  • Pharmaceutical products liability
  • Construction liability

    Real Estate/Real Property

    • Mediated case involving alleged fraudulent concealment by a seller of a home based on the failure to disclose. After purchasing a home from Defendants, the home experienced severe water damage within six months of purchase, due to poor grading, defective construction of sides of house, and roof leakage. Plaintiff alleged that the damage had been occurring for years, that Defendants must have known of it, and still failed to disclose it on the disclosure statements. Defendants claimed all water damage occurred after they vacated the house and that they did not know of any problems before the sale. Successfully resolved.
    • Plaintiff sues loan processor and mortgage holder (Fannie Mae) for wrongful foreclosure violation of Homeowners' Bill of Rights, breach of contract and various torts. Plaintiff claims the deed of trust was on the wrong property when foreclosure was attempted, that payments were not credited, accounting was not provided, and plaintiff became seriously ill due to stress caused by loan processor and Fannie Mae's wrongful conduct.
    • Plaintiff owned a gas station next to property purchased by Defendants. Defendants were building a gas station on it. Plaintiff claimed there was a restrictive covenant that runs with its land which precludes a gas station, and that Defendants had notice of the covenant when they purchased. The Court had already refused to allow a lis pendens because it found the covenant does not run with the land and there was no notice. Plaintiff believed new evidence would convince the judge that the covenant runs with the land and/or there was advance notice.
    • Boundary disputes
    • Easement disputes
    • Easement for public recreation
    • Disputes as to removal of invasive landscaping
    • Disputes as to allegedly improper removal of trees and shrubs
    • Disputes as to nuisances and bad neighbors
    • Disputes between individuals and homeowners’ associations
    • Disputes as to neighbors damaging adjoining properties
    • Dispute as to public utility damaging real property
    • Premises liability
    • Suit seeing damages for personal injury due to alleged failure to provide adequate security
    • Suits against title insurers
    • Disputes as to whether monetary contributions to purchase of property were loans or investments
    • Disputes as to title to real property
    • Disputes among investors in real property
    • Disputes between condominium developer and buyers and investors
    • Dispute between owner of outdoor advertising signs and past and future renters
    • Construction disputes and defects
    • CEQA challenge to development

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    Toxic Torts

    • Asbestos/mesothelioma matters, including second-hand exposure, involving disputes as to causation and expert testimony.
    • Benzene exposure cases.


    “Thank you for the extraordinary job you did yesterday dealing with the law, the personalities and the mechuganehs on both sides. Your expertise, but also charisma and inner, subtle, strength were obvious throughout the long drawn out event. In addition, your generosity in working overtime—overtime as long as the time technically on the clock—was not unnoticed and was above and beyond!. I hope to work with you again soon. You are now on my list of go-to judges.”

    “Judge Miller is one of the best . We had a very difficult client and the case did not settle but Judge Miller is and was fantastic.”

    “Judge Miller was very professional and understood the issues. She helped facilitate a resolution that came after the mediation.”

    “Judge Miller did a phenomenal job and has been very thorough in her follow-up as well. Will definitely use her again and encourage other Plaintiff’s lawyers to do so too.”

    “Judge Miller was terrific in all respects.”

    Judge Miller is a top-notch mediator and we always enjoy working with her.”

    “I used Judge Miller as an arbitrator in a complex commercial merger dispute that settled a week before the arbitration was scheduled to finish. In the 45 years I’ve been trying cases, she ranks probably at the top of my list of judges I would want to return to if I want to get a fair and complete hearing on the issues. She is extremely smart and extraordinarily well prepared. Judge Miller made good use of her judicial experience but always did so in a very respectful manner. I can’t remember a single decision that she made throughout – win or lose – that I didn’t feel as though I had a complete opportunity to develop my record and to develop my argument. I want to say she was wrong when she ruled against me, but I can’t think of any situation where that was true.”

    “I used Judge Miller to settle sexual abuse and sexual harassment cases. She’s one of the best mediators I’ve worked with in my 40-year career. She’s seen all kinds of cases, and she’s seen all kinds of lawyers. I think she figures out the sides and what’s either nonsensical or what’s practical or what’s in line with the law, and then she tries to advise the parties accordingly, so they can at least attempt to settle. Judge Miller really shines in cases where a neutral needs to go deep into the weeds. If you have a case that’s complex, I think she’s a really good pick.”

    “I tried a case in front of Judge Miller about 10 years ago and have since used her to mediate several disputes. Her judicial experience remains an important asset. Judge Miller is very smart both in terms of understanding the law and the issues, but she’s also a good people person in terms of being able to communicate effectively and understanding what the parties and the attorneys are most focused on.”