Hon. Victor H. Persón (Ret.)

Profile

Recognized as a Daily Journal “Top Neutral” in 2009 and a full time mediator, arbitrator, and discovery referee since 2007, Judge Persón brings 45 years of legal experience to his practice, including 23 years of judicial experience. Known on the bench for his courteous demeanor, thorough preparation, and excellent knowledge of the law, he has earned a reputation as an effective, serious ADR professional whose grasp of complex issues brings high-stakes and often high-value disputes to resolution.

Legal Experience

  • 1992-2007 Judge of the Los Angeles County Superior Court
    • 2000-2007 Civil Fast Track assignment
    • Served on the Rules, Technology, and ADR Committees
  • 1985-1992 Municipal Court Judge, Pasadena Judicial District
  • 1973-1985 Deputy District Attorney, Los Angeles County
    • Spent 5 years in the Consumer and Environment Protection Division prosecuting unfair competition, false advertising, and other consumer claims

Areas of Specialty

  • Business & Commercial
  • Employment
  • Real Estate
  • Elder Care & Abuse
  • Professional Malpractice (Accounting, Legal, Medical)
  • Entertainment
  • Personal Injury, including Product Liability

Awards & Memberships

  • 2009 Daily Journal “Top Neutral”
  • Honorary Member of the Board of Directors, Los Angeles Trial Lawyers Charities
  • Judicial Advisor to the Board of Directors, William J. Rea ABOTA Inn of Court
  • Member, Association of Business Trial Lawyers (ABTL), Los Angeles Chapter
  • Associate Member, California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA)
  • Associate Member, Association of Southern California Defense Counsel (ASCDC)

Education

  • 2005 Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution (40 hours), Pepperdine University
  • 1971 JD, Loyola Law School
  • 1968 BS in Business Administration, University of Southern California

Continuing Legal Education

  • Judge Persón regularly attends continuing legal education seminars offered by various professional groups or bar associations, including:
    • Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA) Annual Convention
    • California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA), Annual Conference
    • Association of Business Trial Lawyers (ABTL), Annual Seminar
    • Association of Southern California Defense Counsel (ASCDC), Annual Seminar

Representative Cases

Business

  • Plaintiff manufactured soda water carbonation bottles in China. Defendant sold those bottles in the USA and France (and was a French company). The breach of contract was of a settlement agreement entered into in 2016 that resulted in a second lawsuit filed in 2018.
  • Tenant has occupied two buildings of landlord for over 30 years. Dispute arose due to question as to whether tenant properly exercised, or exercised at all, his third of four 10-year lease extensions. Tenant claims he did. Landlord says he did not. Tenant’s rent rate is substantially below market, which made his business attractive for purchase and he wants to sell it but can’t unless he gets an option to buy.

Division of Settlement Proceeds

  • Judge Person has great experience with Division of Settlement cases. Two examples of his experience with these case types are separate matters that resulted from the flooding of a golf resort area in or near Palm Springs. There were two separate groups of homeowners who had received separate settlement funds as a group. The firm that handled both of them set up two separate hearings with Judge Person, at which, without the clients in the first instance, the groups went over each of the claims and tried to rank them as equitably as possible by a number of factors. After the initial hearing, Judge Person then wrote up his recommendations and then there was a hearing with the clients who had enough interest to attend in person (both pre-COVID) and many others attended on a conference basis on the phone. Each of the potential awardees was given the right to submit written statements or speak at the hearing on behalf of themselves.

Elder Abuse

  • Plaintiff, who had both dementia and metastasized cancer, was transferred into the Defendant care facility with a doctor’s order that she not have any weight bearing activity (standing, walking, getting out of bed, etc.) on her left extremity. The caregivers knew of her condition, but nevertheless she was not monitored properly. Plaintiff got out of bed on her own and fell on two occasions, fracturing her left ankle during the second fall. She subsequently died a few weeks later. The matter settled.

Employment

  • Plaintiff, a commissioned salesman with the title of Vice President of Sales, sued Defendant corporation 2.5 years after Plaintiff left work at the corporation. Plaintiff had voluntarily resigned his employment, gave no reason why, and made no complaints prior to leaving. The gravamen of Plaintiff’s complaint was a breach by Defendant of the implied contractual duty of good faith and fair dealing. He also filed a claim for unpaid wages under Labor Code 201, et seq. and a cause of action under Section 17200 of the Business and Professions Code (unlawful or unfair competition). Defendant claimed that Plaintiff never delivered on his promised to bring in new business, that they gave him the opportunity to develop further business with existing clients that he never completed before his resignation, and that he was paid all commissions that he earned before his resignation.

Entertainment

  • One case was with the female singer, Jewel, who was being sued by her manager/friend. Jewel and her manager had entered into a contract that provided that the manager would collect a certain amount of commission on work Jewel did and a certain percentage of the revenue on her first four published CD's.
  • Another major entertainment case was when Jennifer Lopez sued her ex-husband, for violating the marital settlement agreement that they had entered into to settle his former lawsuit against her when she fired him as the manager of her Cuban restaurant in Pasadena.
  • Finally, Judge Person also heard a very complex matter while on the trial court that he resolved on a demurrer, The Woods vs. Fox Broadcasting. It related to the interference with contractual relationships, either negligent or intentional. This case dealt with a very large scale sale of intellectual property--kids' television programming from Fox to Disney where the minority shareholders of the company selling the programming complained that they were not adequately compensated because of the majority shareholders' act

Insurance/Intellectual Property

  • Plaintiff tendered defense of claims for misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of contract, claims to carrier of officers and directors policy, as well as other policies. The insurance company exercised its reservation of rights as to coverage for the claims. The insurance company maintained that the law firm billed client “unreasonable” attorneys’ fees of approximately $400,000.00.

Minor’s Compromise

  • Judge Person has had several experiences with Minor’s Compromise cases when he was on the bench that related to filling out the paperwork (the Judicial Council forms) and following the California Rules of Court that cover the procedures to be followed when such a compromise is submitted to the Court for approval.

Professional Negligence

  • Defendant attorney and law firm represented Plaintiff client in transactional matter between 2014 and 2015. The transaction involved attempting purchase of a company through an option and right of first refusal. The plan failed and when the target company of the plan was later sold in January 2017, Plaintiff claimed that his shares of stock and loss of opportunity was almost $4 million. Plaintiff failed to pay attorneys’ fees of approximately $71,000. Plaintiff’s action was doomed by lack of negligence and causation, and was filed about 4 months to 1.5 years after the statute of limitations had run depending on when inquiry notice was triggered.

Real Estate

  • The case was an arbitration pending lawsuit by a landlord of a single-family home rented out for the first time by an inexperienced homeowner/landlord. She hired a broker (the Defendant) to deal with the tenant. She (landlord) breached the property management agreement by not putting the broker on her property damage insurance. The tenant (not at the mediation because she refused to participate) caused severe damage to the home for which the broker was not factually or legally responsible for.
  • Plaintiff was the estate of the owner of real property (residential) that was conveyed to an LLC set up as a loan source for funding the setting aside of a foreclosure initiated by the original lender, a major bank. Plaintiff was alleging fraud in the inducement, lack of consideration in the operating agreement and trying to cancel the deed.

Tort

  • Defendant was intoxicated and at a bar in Alta Dena when he became agitated and fired a pistol in the air three times. No one was struck by any projectile. Four patrons, as well as the business itself and the two bartenders (two sons of the owner) filed claims. All the patrons settled their rather weak emotional distress claims – some didn’t treat for two years – some didn’t treat until early the month of the mediation.