Profile

BACKGROUND

As a neutral with ADR Services, Inc. since 2014, Judge Solner brings his vast knowledge and experience of seventeen years on the bench both as a trial judge and, during his last two years on the bench, as a Settlement judge assigned to a dedicated MSC Court, successfully settling hundreds of cases. Often described as persuasive, insightful, knowledgeable and prepared, he is among the most highly regarded and effective neutrals with ADR Services, Inc.

Judge Solner has had an impressive 50-year career as both a litigator and judge with extensive legal experience in a wide range of matters. Beginning his legal career, he was appointed as an Assistant United States Attorney in Los Angeles where he excelled in the courtroom. For the next two decades he was a civil litigator handling plaintiff as well as defense representation.

Widely known for his ability to interject humor, when appropriate, to defuse tension, Judge Solner’s warm communication skills effectively lend themselves to establishing the rapport that expeditiously moves the parties to a successful, lasting resolution, either virtually or in person. With a deep sense of humanity and keen insight, he draws upon his natural abilities and wide-ranging unique life experiences including immersion in foreign cultures for years at a time. He lived in Paris, France as a young man and Mallorca in his teens.

Attorneys who have appeared both in his courtroom and in a mediation with him at ADR Services, Inc. have said that Judge Solner is “very knowledgeable about the law”, “legendary for his patience”, “the epitome of a great judge”, “understands cases crazy fast”, and “is forceful where he needs to be”. A former presiding judge has also described him as “an iron fist in a velvet glove”.

JUDICIAL EXPERIENCE

1997 – 2014
Judge of the Superior Court, Los Angeles
Unlimited Civil Independent Calendar Trial Court
Assistant Supervising Judge
Civil Trials
Settlement Judge
Three (3) years criminal trials at CCB

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

1988-1997
Sole Practitioner, Litigation Attorney
Law Offices of Michael C. Solner

1977-1988
Partner, Litigation Attorney
Thelen, Marrin, Johnson & Bridges (then the 6th largest California firm)

1972-1977
Assistant United States Attorney, Central District of California
Criminal Division – jury and non-jury trials, appeals, Grand Jury investigations,          acting Chief of Complaints

1975-1977
Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG), United States Air Force (Rank: Major)

EDUCATION

  • 2005   Strauss Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University School of Law
    Mediation: The Art of Facilitating Settlement
  • 1971   Loyola Law School, Juris Doctor
  • 1964   University of Southern California, Bachelor of Foreign Service

MILITARY EXPERIENCE

1964-1968   United States Air Force, Aerial Reconnaissance Missions 1965-66
Commissioned Officer and Viet Nam Combat Veteran

BAR MEMBERSHIPS

  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • United States Tax Court
  • 9th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • US District Courts for the Central, Eastern Districts of California
  • American Bar Association
  • International Bar Association

SERVICE TO THE JUDICIARY AND COMMUNITY

Judge Solner created and established a powerful and unique Invitational Program with the USC Price Bedrosian Center with then Dean Jack Knott for on-site visits and tours of the Mosk Courthouse to educate advanced degree students on the third branch of government.

PERSONAL

Judge Solner spent many of his formative years abroad, attending local grammar schools. He lived in Paris, France, and the Island of Mallorca, and attended College Champittet in Lausanne, Switzerland.

As a result, Judge Solner became trilingual in English, French and Spanish, affording him a rare ability to appreciate and absorb numerous cultures, backgrounds and personalities. He is an avid skier, scuba diver, ultra-marathoner and competitive triathlete, speaking to his love of the outdoors.

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Real Estate/Real Property

  • Commercial & Residential Landlord/Tenant Disputes
  • Construction Defects and Disputes
  • Environmental Disputes
  • HOA Disputes
  • Sale Disclosure Disputes
  • Construction Defects
  • Landlord-Tenant Disputes
  • Valuation
  • Partition
  • Real Estate Sales Commission
  • Quiet Title
  • Inverse Condemnation
  • Foreclosures
  • Mold Infestation
  • Property Boundary Disputes
  • Eminent Domain
  • Franchise Disputes
  • Buy-Sell Agreements
  • Environmental Contamination

Business & Commercial

  • Business Disputes
  • Non-Compete Clauses
  • School District Disputes
  • Construction Loans
  • Guarantee and Forbearance Disputes
  • Contract Interpretation
  • Partnership Dissolution
  • Breach of Fiduciary Duty
  • Territory/Commissionable Sales & Accounting
  • Fraud
  • Commercial Lease
  • Breach of Contract
  • 17200 Cases
  • Franchising Disputes
  • Architecture & Construction Design
  • Complex Commercial and Business Contracts
  • High Profile Destination Shopping Mall Lease Disputes

Employment

  • Retaliation
  • Wrongful Termination
  • Hostile Work Environment
  • Workplace Discrimination, Harassment: Age, Sex, Race, Religion, Disability
  • Wage and Hour
  • FEHA

Personal Injury

  • Catastrophic and Other Injuries
  • Automobile
  • Slip and Fall
  • Public Transportation (Rail and Bus)
  • Asbestos
  • Product Liability

Entertainment

  • Contract Disputes
  • Privacy Rights; Defamation and Disparagement
  • Breach of Contract among celebrities
  • Disputed Movie Rights
  • Licensing Agreements

Professional Malpractice

  • Legal Malpractice
  • Medical Malpractice

Insurance

  • Insurance Coverage
  • Professional Liability Coverage
  • Good Faith/Fair Dealing
  • UIM/UM Claims

General

  • Email Fraud
  • Data Leak
  • Manufacturing & Design Defects
  • Environmental Contamination
  • Identity Misappropriation

Representative Cases

BUSINESS AND COMMERCIAL CONTRACTS

  • Partnership dispute with allegations of fraud, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, theft, and money laundering.
  • Mandamus action requiring the City of Long Beach to reconsider its award of a cannabis license. Additionally, each side sued the other for fraud, breach of contract, and declaratory relief.
  • Suit for breach of contract for commission on construction project and cross complaint for unfair competition and fraud.
  • Suit alleging violation of electronic communication privacy act, violation of Penal Code 502(c)(1)(2)(6)(7) and invasion of privacy.
  • Suit over assignment of rights to pharmaceutical services in purchase of skilled nursing facility.
  • Suit by pharmaceutical tenant over CAM and insurance charges levied on shopping center lease.
  • Alleged breach of contract for purchase of large amount of textiles, involving alter ego allegations and bankruptcy of one defendant.
  • Complaint for breach of contract to produce comestible greens and cross complaint for fraud.
  • Subcontractor sued contractor for non payment on contract to install residential flooring that was allegedly defective.
  • Suit by bank against former employees for theft of trade secrets.
  • Alleged breach of contract for rendition of professional services in NBA contract.
  • Suit by tenant for health problems due to mold exposure.
  • Alleged fraud in commercial property purchase agreement, lease of the property, and assignment agreement.
  • Suit over commercial lease for property used as an art/photo studio and rights of tenants to live there.
  • Alleged breach of multi-million dollar loan agreement.
  • Suit for alleged accountant malpractice.
  • Class action where non-English speaking automobile purchasers were not provided with translation of documents.
  • Alleged fraud in inducing investments into the stock market.
  • Suit to enforce oral contract to sell one half of half of successful health food chain to plaintiff in return for consulting work.
  • Suit over terms of franchise agreement with national fast food chain.
  • Breach of contract over manufacture of and payment for manufacturing jukeboxes.
  • Suit by estate of decedent to enforce terms of contract that allegedly contained fraudulent representations made by decedent.
  • Action between seller and buyer of well-known and very profitable dry cleaning establishment for breach of contract and valuation of future lost profits.
  • Lawsuit by alleged joint venture for breach of contract and fraud against well-known celebrity. Allegations included failure to pursue production by celebrity with major worldwide retailer of a line of clothing licensing celebrity’s name.
  • Entertainment Law action for fraud and contract dispute with independent action film project involving multi-layered investment partners relating to full range of production from concept, financing, development, to ultimate distribution.
  • Specific Performance lawsuit by buyer of unique, famous and historical restaurant. Seller rescinded sale when buyer’s tender of payment was late due to time zone difference.
  • Entertainment Lawsuit for fraud by purchaser of film library consisting of thousands of movies. Ownership and determination of profit sharing of many hundreds of 1970’s movies where documentation of various rights to the movies was questionable or untraceable.
  • Numerous real estate leasing disputes between well-known high profile developer of destination malls involving iconic major national brand lessees.
  • First Amendment challenge to city’s denial of permit to conduct strip club business in an inappropriate area of community and neighborhood.
  • Dispute between joint venture partners involving the city of Los Angeles and the Community Redevelopment Agency in development of a multi-million dollar low income housing project. Numerous and layered aspects of disputes involved funding, statute of limitations, enforceability of developer’s note, and allegations of tax evasion.
  • Lawsuit against international fugitive hedge fund manager for fraud and misrepresentation in sales of securities. Defendant’s agents were found not liable for any fraud or misrepresentation. Punitive damages of $2 million were awarded against Defendant by the jury. Defendant was apprehended more than a year after the jury verdict.
  • Lawsuit by buyer for fraud against sellers of 12 acre Malibu property for residential development. Thereafter, the California Coastal Commission accused buyer of attempt to defraud the Commission by failing to provide geological report buyer claimed had not been provided to him.
  • Individual claim against insurer for coverage for major damage to large RV. Vehicle was “loaned” to 3rd party who proceeded to cause a single vehicle accident by driving RV off a bridge.
  • Alleged breach of confidentiality agreement and settlement by state beauty contest winner who had sued defendants for defamation then settled at mediation.
  • Dispute over insurance coverage for policy holders’ failure to disclose lack of safety precautions before fire destroyed his single family residence.

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EMPLOYMENT

  • Suit alleging wrongful termination and whistleblower retaliation; cross-complaint for theft of trade secrets and injunctive relief.
  • Suit involving allegations of wrongful termination involving pregnancy leave and wage and hour violations.
  • Breach of contract, wrongful termination and cross complaint for trade secret violations in start up visual effects business.
  • Suit for unpaid wages, overtime and meal breaks in automobile industry.
  • Suit for age discrimination, failure to investigate and prevent discrimination, and wrongful termination.
  • Suit where plaintiff was terminated by employer #1, went to work for employer #2, was allegedly defamed by employer #1 and then terminated by employer #2.
  • Suit where plaintiff was demoted in his job by national employer due to his changing medical condition.
  • Suit where former employees all ended up working for direct competitor, which then started using trade secrets from those employees to produce almost identical product.
  • Suit over unpaid wages for property managers who received only free rent for managing a 45 unit apartment building.
  • Suit for wrongful termination brought by whistleblower company president of national health care company.
  • Suit for misclassification, failure to pay overtime, meal and rest breaks, wrongful termination, 17200.
  • Class action brought by telemarketers selling subscriptions to a business newspaper. Full commissions paid on subscriptions sold that potentially would have to be repaid if subscriber cancelled within 16 weeks.
  • Lawsuit by three seamstresses for wage and hour, non-payment of overtime, mealtime and rest break violations.
  • Numerous other lawsuits for Wrongful Termination based on disability, itemized statement claims, late pay, retaliation, harassment, and discrimination, under both FEHA and common law causes of action.

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LEGAL MALPRACTICE

  • Suit by class action plaintiffs against their attorneys for determination of allocation of attorneys fees.
  • Suit for attorneys fees in case involving actor’s royalties and cross-complaint for malpractice.
  • Cross-complaint for legal malpractice after attorney sued for his legal fees.
  • Family sued law firm for erroneous advice, which led to burdensome tax consequences.
  • Various actions for missing statutes of limitation deadlines, incomplete documentation, excessive billing practices, and negligence in handling matters.

    MEDICAL MALPRACTICE

    • Alleged malpractice in placing counterfeit hardware in plaintiff during significant spinal surgery.
    • Failure to diagnose imperforate anus in neonate.
    • Lawsuit by family for Elder Abuse, against 3 successive healthcare providers. Issues involved the monitoring of the mother, a bedridden patient, and a change in her medication without consent.
    • Emotional Dispute between family members over care of elderly mother. One family member, a former child actor, stood to gain by removing mother from health care facility and discontinuing her medication.
    • Wrongful death lawsuit filed by family of elderly mother against well-regarded hospital and treating physician, alleging mismanagement of medication.
    • A) Partial List of types of cases handled either as an attorney or Judge:
      • Failure to diagnose various cancers
      • Amputation of wrong limb
      • Retained instruments
      • OB/GYN ( wrongful birth and/or death, breast cancer misdiagnosis, unnecessary surgeries, prenatal / perinatal care etc)
      • Pediatrics
      • Adult Cardiac problems
      • Iatrogenic problems
      • Nursing errors
      • Medication Errors ( both prescribing Dr. and Pharmacy)
      • Neurosurgical problems
      • Psychiatric
    • B) Unusual Medical Cases
      • Subacute Bacterial Endocarditis following dental surgery
      • Atrial Myxoma together with Multiple Myeloma

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    PERSONAL INJURY

    • Slip and fall case in which Claimant fell on substance in Defendant’s restaurant, alleging LOE medical expenses, as well as pain and suffering. Defendant claimed allegations were inflated.
    • Slip and fall case in which Claimant fell on substance in Defendant’s restaurant, alleging LOE medical expenses, as well as pain and suffering. Defendant claimed allegations were inflated.
    • Alleged design defect in playground equipment in public area of shopping mall led to child being severely injured.
    • Loaded tractor-trailer allegedly swerved in front of plaintiff, causing the need for extensive back surgery.
    • ATV suddenly erupted into flames causing severe burns to passenger.
    • Automobile accident with disputed liability leading to severs injuries requiring months of rehab.

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    PRODUCT LIABILITY AND NEGLIGENCE

    • Numerous Mesothelioma cases.
    • Wrongful death from alleged design defect in automobile.
    • Brain damage caused by rollover of prominent brand 4x4 vehicle.
    • Severe personal injuries from out of control automobile due to defective brake design and negligent driver.
    • Personal injury lawsuit at well known 5-star hotel in public area lounge. Plaintiff was severely injured when famous artist’s feature table fell on her leg causing rare migrating nerve damage.

      REAL ESTATE

      • Suit for breach of contract and specific performance for sale of banquet hall business.
      • Suit over extensive damage to leased residence caused by lessees.
      • Eviction action following purchase of real property and rehab center.
      • Suit over tenants-in-common rights in financing and managing major shopping center lease with pending foreclosure.
      • Breach of lease terms for commercial property.
      • Suit for fraud in inducing real estate investment.
      • Suit over habitability of residence leased to disabled couple.
      • Suit over habitability of leased premises where allegedly there was mold, leading to serious health problems for plaintiff.

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      Articles / Publications