Hon. Sheridan L. Reed (Ret.)

Case Manager: Christopher Schuster

Profile

Known for her unparalleled commitment to fairness, Judge Reed enjoyed a long and satisfying career on the bench. Over the course of her 25 years as a bench officer, she earned the reputation of possessing superior legal knowledge, an even temperament, and an understanding of what it takes to practice law in today’s environment.  Equally effective as a trial judge and in settlement, Judge Reed has seamlessly  made the transition to private practice as a mediator, arbitrator and private referee.

Judicial Experience

  • 1981-2004 Judge, San Diego County Superior Court
  • 1979-1981 Judge, San Diego County Municipal Court

Types of cases handled include:

  • Business
  • Class Actions
  • Commercial Contract
  • Consumer Fraud
  • Copyright
  • Eminent Domain
  • Employment
  • Entertainment
  • Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith
  • Intellectual Property
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Personal Injury
  • Product Liability
  • Real Estate
  • Trade Secrets
  • Unfair Business Practices

Professional Career

  • 1971-1979 Private Law Practice (specializing in Personal Injury matters)

Education

  • 1970 University of San Diego School of Law – Magna Cum Laude
  • 1965   Scripps College

Professional Associations

  • Member, California Judges Association
  • President, San Diego Lawyers Club
  • Member, California Judicial Council Advisory Committee on Juvenile Court Law
  • Secretary, California Judges Foundation
  • Board Member, California Trial Lawyers Association
  • President, San Diego Trial Lawyers Association
  • Member, San Diego County Bar Association
  • Governor, California Women Lawyers Association
  • Member, San Diego Women in Business
  • Member, Business Advisory Committee, San Diego State University

Representative Cases

BUSINESS & CONTRACT

  • Company in Debt Collection Industry alleged interference with prospective advantage countered by cross-claim for damages caused by prior settlement agreement for which consent was obtained by material misrepresentation. Claims of damages to reputation, request for rescission of 181 lease agreements. Lawsuits filed in different counties.
  • Members of an L.L.C. were a brother and sister. There was no operating agreement. Disputes arose and claims were made for injunctive relief, dissolution of the L.L.C, accounting, and improper/illegal taking of funds, improper/illegal removal of and destruction of property.
  • Corporation, with two shareholders, was engaged primarily in the business of mortgage banking in the area of residential consumer loans. Action claimed misuse and misappropriation of funds, negligence in permitting lapse of licenses, false statements on license renewal applications and valuation of business for the purpose of buyout or sale of stocks.
  • Property owner claimed that a septic repair service installed a below ground septic system in the wrong direction and at the wrong elevation. Company then filed false "As built" drawings with the County. Thereafter property was sold conditioned upon certification of septic system. Septic system failed certification test and buyer backed out. Septic repair service claimed that all work was done properly and according to code.
  • Claimed breach of Residential Listing Agreement regarding sale of 6 million dollar home. Listing agent brought offer to purchase from parents of CEO of selling agency without any explanation or conversation with property owner. Owner claimed that several offers from same parties were made but agent merely faxed the offers and refused to advise or represent seller regarding offer, counter-offer, etc. Claimant attempted to cancel listing agreement but agency refused. Agency defense involved disputed facts regarding availability of agent, time agent spent will seller/owner of property, etc.

EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION, ASSAULT, HARASSMENT

  • Claim of sexual assault, sexual harassment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, constructive termination and other causes of action against the employee involved and against the employer of both under Respondeat Superior. Defense of consent by claimant and lack of notice by employer.
  • Claim of sexual harassment, hostile work environment and related causes of action against large employer.
  • Claim of gender discrimination against municipal employer and failure to follow civil service rules, failure of personnel department to keep records of complaints of employment discrimination by employees such as to put employer on notice. Defense of poor performance on part of employee and non-existence of employee complaints to personnel department.
  • Claim of age discrimination and retaliation. Claim of pattern and practice of age discrimination on part of employer. Claimant, age 40, applied for a higher position in her company and got the highest score on the panel interview. The company hired a much younger woman for the position. Claimant alleges that when she made an internal complaint about not being hired the company eliminated her duties making her job unnecessary. Company alleged that "younger woman" was a much stronger candidate and it was appropriate to hire the younger woman.
  • Claim that first women hired to participate in Academy for the Municipal Fire Department were terminated the day before the final exam for graduation from the Academy. All of the women, and only the women, were let go. Defense of poor performance during academy and inability to pass the final exam.

MEDICAL MALPRACTICE

  • Action for Wrongful Death due to medical negligence of specific doctors and medical facility for failure to timely diagnose and properly treat diabetes mellitus. Defense included failure to follow medical advice, failure to return to Dr. or facility for treatment and compliance with the standard of care.
  • Action for Wrongful Death due to medical negligence of medical facility of failure to diagnose, and negligent treatment. Defense included lack of standing to sue, named party not a health care provider, and lack of causation for any of the injuries or damages alleged.
  • Action for wrongful death of baby during birth after high-risk pregnancy of an insulin -dependent gestational diabetic. Parties agreed that hypoxia was the cause of death but differed on the cause of the hypoxia and whether it could/should have been avoided.
  • Professional negligence action against Acupuncturist. Patient's acupuncture treatment resulted in a pneumothorax and issues were standard of care and informed consent.
  • Negligence action and Elder Abuse Action against a skilled nursing facility for failure to ensure an elderly patient would be protected from fall risks and for the care or lack thereof when his fall was discovered.
  • Action for Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress based on words spoken by a medical professional to a 5 year old child and alleged to be racial slurs. Claim of emotional damages to child and to parents who were present.
  • Claim of medical negligence and sexual battery against medical facility and named physician for examination of minor presenting with symptoms of a UTI.
  • Wrongful death action against medical facility for failure to diagnose renal cancer.
  • Claim of preoperative, operative, and postoperative medical negligence, and failure to obtain informed consent involving surgery on claimant's hand.
  • Action against attorney for malpractice with a cross-complaint for breach of contract, fraud and fraud in the inducement of a contract. Action involved allegations of two flawed transfers of property, loss of client control and multiple underlying transactions.
  • Claimant, a patient with a high-risk pregnancy, claims medical negligence against hospital for miscalculation of claimant's delivery date, early induction of labor, use of wrong medication for induction of labor, and delay in performing C-section all of which resulted in a uterine rupture during child birth and the need for an emergent hysterectomy.

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PERSONAL INJURY, PRODUCT LIABILITY

  • Claim of product defect wherein Paraplegic athlete received 2nd degree partial thickness and 3rd degree full thickness burns on the backs of her legs from a seat heater in newly purchased truck. Claim that seat heater had turned on automatically or accidently during the operation of getting into truck as a result of a design defect. Claim that seat heater temperature exceeded manufacturer specifications as a result of a manufacturing defect and, failure to warn that paraplegic persons could be burned, failure to indicate seat heater was on through dash indicator light.
  • Sexual assault, battery and false imprisonment of minor female by two male minors and failure to supervise the male minors by adult male, father of one of the male minors when father knew of prior unlawful sexual assault by said minors and knew minors were becoming intoxicated. Defense of lack of knowledge of intoxication, didn't provide alcohol or drugs to minors and contributory negligence on part of female minor's mother.
  • Truck driver suffered injury to foot and shoulder when hit by a forklift when picking up a load of avocados. Because driver was diabetic he foot didn't heal and he suffered partial amputation. Lost half of foot. Defenses were contributory negligence, including failure to seek immediate medical care.
  • Auto-bicycle accident. Claimant was riding a bicycle on a sidewalk in a residential area when Respondent, exiting an alley, struck the bicycle, causing injuries and damages to the bicyclist.
  • Employee in adjacent building slipped and fell on plant material falling from decorative planters in front of business. Questions of notice, nature and extent of injuries, including loss of consortium, pre-existing injuries, failure to follow Doctors advice, knowledge of both parties of prior slip and falls' from same plant debris.
  • Fall by a disabled female on asphalt road within a mobile home park where claimant was a resident. Road had been recently resurfaced. Both owner of Mobile Home park and road contractor were Defendants. Claim by Plaintiff was that failure to stripe edges of road in white was causally related to fall inasmuch as Plaintiff could not see edge of sharply curved road on a dark, rainy, wintery night.
  • Slip and fall in buffet area of a business establishment. Plaintiff claims wet area of floor causing her to fall when returning to her table with a full plate. Business had surveillance cameras, which recorded the fall. Issue of whether there was something on the floor of which the Business did or should have had notice.
  • Fall on a hospital stairway when one side of stairway rail had been painted and was unavailable to use. Claim of negligence and negligence per se. Defense of lack of causation and lack of negligence. Defense that negligence per se didn't apply.
  • Uninsured motorist claim following two-car accident in which Claimant was injured.

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PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY - MEDICAL OR LEGAL MALPRACTICE

  • Action for Wrongful Death due to medical negligence of specific doctors and medical facility for failure to timely diagnose and properly treat diabetes mellitus. Defense included failure to follow medical advice, failure to return to Dr. or facility for treatment and compliance with the standard of care.
  • Action for Wrongful Death due to medical negligence of medical facility of failure to diagnose, and negligent treatment. Defense included lack of standing to sue, named party not a health care provider, and lack of causation for any of the injuries or damages alleged.
  • Action for wrongful death of baby during birth after high-risk pregnancy of an insulin -dependent gestational diabetic. Parties agreed that hypoxia was the cause of death but differed on the cause of the hypoxia and whether it could/should have been avoided.
  • Professional negligence action against Acupuncturist. Patient's acupuncture treatment resulted in a pneumothorax and issues were standard of care and informed consent.
  • Negligence action and Elder Abuse Action against a skilled nursing facility for failure to ensure an elderly patient would be protected from fall risks and for the care or lack thereof when his fall was discovered.
  • Action for Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress based on words spoken by a medical professional to a 5 year old child and alleged to be racial slurs. Claim of emotional damages to child and to parents who were present.
  • Claim of medical negligence and sexual battery against medical facility and named physician for examination of minor presenting with symptoms of a UTI.
  • Wrongful death action against medical facility for failure to diagnose renal cancer.
  • Claim of preoperative, operative, and postoperative medical negligence, and failure to obtain informed consent involving surgery on claimant's hand.
  • Action against attorney for malpractice with a cross-complaint for breach of contract, fraud and fraud in the inducement of a contract. Action involved allegations of two flawed transfers of property, loss of client control and multiple underlying transactions.
  • Claimant, a patient with a high-risk pregnancy, claims medical negligence against hospital for miscalculation of claimant's delivery date, early induction of labor, use of wrong medication for induction of labor, and delay in performing C-section all of which resulted in a uterine rupture during child birth and the need for an emergent hysterectomy.

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REAL ESTATE

  • Beachfront property inherited by a brother and sister from the mother became the subject of a partnership between the siblings for the purpose of rental, repair, etc. After a period of time Sister wanted to sell the property and brother, a retired teacher was not in a position to buy her half.
  • Real property dispute wherein down hill neighbor claimed property damage, including loss of value of property, and personal injury due to the intrusion of tree roots into sewer lines. Claims included water intrusion, mold from run-off, and damage to the foundation of the downhill home.
  • Dispute regarding distribution of proceeds of sale of property jointly owned by the parties following the severance of their ties. Issues regarding reimbursement of contributions to down payment and improvements, the mechanisms of sale etc.
  • Dispute regarding the obligations of the personal guarantors of a lease for the operation of a gas station. Expenses were incurred by the landowners regarding contamination of the soil over a long period of time both before and after the personal guarantee was signed. Lease was transferred, assigned and renewed a number of times, to a variety of companies during the course of the soil contamination.
  • Claim of encroachment on a 60-foot roadway and utility easement running between adjacent properties. Each property is burdened with 30 feet of the easement. For Claimant's property the easement is the only means of access to a portion of their property. Claimant's property is 10 acres; Respondent's property is 5 acres. There were also issues relating to trespass, intentional interference with right to use the easement, access to property, prescriptive easement, open and notorious use, and adverse use.