Hon. Elia Weinbach (Ret.)

Profile

Judicial Experience

  • Judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court 2007 – 2015
    • Presided over a Personal Injury Hub court (2.5 years), a Family Law court (3.5 years) and a Misdemeanor Trials and Arraignments Court (1.5 years)
    • Presided over and resolved hundreds of pre-trial and discovery disputes in the Personal Injury Hub court.
    • Organized a week long settlement program designed to resolve numerous personal injury cases pending throughout the court system.
    • Participated in a similar week-long settlement program designed to resolve a variety of employment-related disputes.
    • At the request of other judges, resolved complex business litigation matters, including a highly complex class action legal malpractice matter.
    • Member, California Judges Association Ethics Hotline Committee

Professional Career

  • Partner, Trial and Litigation Attorney, Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP 1988-2007
    • Partner at Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp for almost twenty years, with a practice consisting of complex business litigation involving a wide variety of sophisticated business contract/tort, securities, and employment-related cases. Tried jury and non-jury cases in both state and federal courts and argued appeals in both court systems and was involved in a number of mediations and arbitrations
    • Tried a number of jury cases in state and federal courts, including the first “reverse bad faith” case in a fidelity insurance claim; a wrongful discharge/whistleblower case involving the termination of a company’s “employee of the year”; a medical malpractice case involving malignant hyperthermia; an action for wrongful discharge/retaliation/breach of implied contract; and a multi-million dollar action, alleging fraud/breach of contract/breach of fiduciary duty in connection with the rights of first refusal upon sale of a subsidiary
    • Defended against hostile takeover attempt of Fortune 200 company involving securities and common law claims; defended one of the largest oil and gas companies in suit alleging violation of preferential purchase rights
    • Elected to Management Committee of the firm
    • Served as the firm’s Ethics Committee Chair and as its General Counsel for several years
  • Partner, Phillips Nizer Benjamin Krim & Ballon 1985-1988
  • Partner, Weinbach & Greene 1984-1985
  • Partner, Elia Weinbach, A Law Corporation 1979-1984
  • Associate, Gang Tyre & Brown 1978-1979
  • Assistant United States Attorney, Criminal Division, Eastern District of New York 1975-1978
  • Trial Attorney, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, D.C. (antitrust) 1972-1975

Professional Awards

  • Attorney Settlement Officer, United States District Court, Central District
      Recognized in 2001 as the “Attorney Settlement Officer of the Year” — settled the most cases district-wide in the largest United States district in the country
  • Southern California Super Lawyer, Super Lawyers Magazine

Education

  • Harvard Law School, J.D. 1972
  • Fulbright Scholar, Merton College, Oxford University 1967-1969
  • New York University, B.A., cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, highest honors in History 1967

Publications and Teaching

  • Editorial Consultant, California Unfair Competition and Business Torts (Matthew Bender Practice Guide, 2004)
  • Co-Author, “Protection of Trade Secrets and Confidential Business Information in the Internet Age: A Brief Overview”, Chapter in Corporate Raiding, 2000: Handling, Preventing, and Litigating the Theft of Corporate Employees and Information (Practicing Law Institute, 2000)
  • Co-Author, “Contorts”, Chapter in Business Torts Litigation (American Bar Association, 1992)
  • Contributing Columnist on Trial Strategy, Los Angeles Daily Journal, 1989-1990
  • Frequent lecturer on trial preparation, evidence, and ethics to corporations, corporate law departments, and bar associations
  • Panelist and creator of number of programs for judges while in Family Law and Personal Injury assignments
  • Speaker, Practicing Law Institute, American Bar Association
  • Served as television commentator during the Rodney King trial

Professional Associations

  • American Bar Association – Co-Chair, Committee on Corporate Counsel, Section of Litigation
  • United States Magistrate Judge Selection Committee Panel, Central District of California
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association – Lawyer Delegate to the California State Bar Conference
  • Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference – Lawyer Delegate
  • Federal Criminal Indigent Defense Panel, Central District of California
  • L.A. Concerned Lawyers for Soviet Jewry – Co-Chair

Areas of Specialization

  • Business and Corporate Litigation
  • Employment
  • Professional Malpractice (Legal/Medical/Accounting)
  • Products Liability
  • Family Law
  • Catastrophic Personal Injury
  • Antitrust
  • Securities

Professional Commitment

  • To read and analyze submissions of all parties
  • To evaluate the positions of all parties
  • To facilitate resolution of all disputes

Representative Cases

Business

  • Dispute involving multi-national Fortune 200 Company in defense against a hostile take-over attempt
  • Dispute involving former President of major thrift in various securities and derivative lawsuits
  • Dispute involving a major corporation in suit alleging breach of contract in connection with consulting services
  • Dispute involving major oil and gas producer in suit regarding preferential rights to purchase interests in natural gas producing properties
  • Dispute involving defendants in $20 million dollar plus action based upon breach of contract, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and accounting theories in connection with sale of plaintiff’s business to defendants/clients
  • Dispute involving nationally-known insurance company in federal diversity case brought against it by a multi-national automobile corporation in a fidelity insurance/breach of contract/insurance bad faith action
  • Representation of major multi-national automobile manufacturer in federal campaign finance investigation
  • Dispute involving internet publisher accused by competitor of publishing false advertisements and refusing to publish competitor’s advertisements
  • Dispute involving company accused of aiding and abetting and engaging in a conspiracy with a major accounting firm to promote and sell illegal tax shelters
  • Disputes to enforce settlements.
  • Disputes involving imposition of various sanctions, including terminating sanctions
  • Probate dispute involving imposition of constructive trust and an accounting re commingling of trust and non-trust properties and failure to dutifully administer trust
  • Failure to pay referral fee for class action referral
  • Fraud and breach of contract re division of revenues and expenses
  • Breach of option agreement to buy business upon death of business owner
  • Construction contract breach re clean-up operations
  • Sale of private school and tortious interference
  • Hospital administration contract breach
  • Sale of allegedly illegal tax shelters
  • Breach of fiduciary duty
  • Easement disputes
  • Fidelity insurance disputes and bad faith claims
  • Civil contempt
  • False advertising under the Lanham Act
  • Unfair competition claims

view all

Employment

  • Two plaintiffs claimed they were misclassified as exempt employees and sought reclassification as non-exempt and sought overtime, lunch, and break pay. Three other plaintiffs sought overtime, waiting time, and lunch and break pay.
  • Dispute involving a major corporation sued by its “employee of the year” for wrongful discharge/whistleblowing suit in state court jury trial
  • Dispute involving a major corporation in a national origin discrimination case
  • Dispute involving a major corporation in a case alleging wrongful discharge, retaliation, and breach of implied contract
  • Cases involving physical disability discrimination, race discrimination and retaliation, pregnancy discrimination, sex harassment, hostile work environment, constructive discharge, negligent infliction of emotional distress, breach of contract involving finder’s fee
  • Retaliatory discharge and breach of implied contract
  • Merit Systems Protection Board case involving discharge of civilian employee based on alleged fraud
  • National origin discrimination
  • Physical disability discrimination
  • Sex harassment and sex discrimination
  • Hostile work environment
  • Constructive discharge
  • Negligent infliction of emotional distress
  • Waiting time cases
  • Pay stub cases

view all

Family Law

  • Disputes involving relocation/move-away situations, custody and visitation arrangements, child and spousal support and modification of existing orders pertaining to same
  • Disputes involving interpretation of Marital Settlement Agreements, interests in copyrights, publishing right, and contract rights; application of statutes of limitation
  • Disputes involving competing claims of paternity
  • Disputes involving date of separation (termination of status of marriage); guideline child support, permanent and temporary spousal support, determination of character, valuation, and division of property, and claims for reimbursement by the parties
  • Disputes involving determination of pendente lite spousal order when one spouse was cohabiting with another and the other spouse’s employment was terminated and received severance payments
  • Disputes involving consideration of Family Code § 4320 factors and whether there were sufficient changes of circumstances justifying downward modification of spousal and child support
  • Disputes involving sale of properties, Family Code § 2640 reimbursement rights
  • Disputes involving maintenance of insurance coverage, tax claims, equalization payments, attorneys’ fees, final disclosure declarations, income and expense declarations, and preparation of judgments
  • Disputes involving emancipation of minors
  • Disputes involving allegations of domestic abuse
  • Disputes involving support arrearages
  • Disputes involving FLARPLs (Family Law Attorney Real Property Liens)
  • Disputes involving motions to enforce settlement agreements, to set them aside
  • Modification of spousal and child support
  • Financial disclosure obligations
  • Retroactive modification of orders
  • Severance pay and modification of pendente lite child and spousal support orders

view all

Legal Malpractice

  • Legal malpractice disputes alleging ineffective trial tactics
  • Failure to file pleadings
  • Failure to obtain immigration bond when client in custody
  • Disputes involving unethical billing practices (double billing; block billing)

Personal Injury

  • Action for compensatory and punitive damages brought by daughters of victim who was clubbed to death in a major store by a “resident” panhandler who followed victim into store
  • Action for damages arising out of a spinal injury sustained at a construction site
  • Trip and fall action against governmental entity alleging damages under Government Code section 835 and against neighbors for deviation in sidewalk. Multiple cross-complaints for indemnity, apportionment of fault, and declaratory relief.
  • Personal injury/premises liability actions involving such issues as whether property owners had actual or constructive knowledge of dangerous conditions; whether the conditions were open and obvious; whether property owners owed a duty to plaintiffs; whether the condition was a substantial factor in causing the injury; whether public entities were immune to suit.
  • Actions involving issues of trail immunity, negligent infliction of emotional distress, drunk driving
  • Actions involving the following issues: (1) whether a statute of limitations had run; (2) whether there were periods of tolling; (3) whether punitive damages were available; (4) whether the primary and/or secondary assumption of the risk applied
  • Premises liability cases regarding whether a property owner had a duty of heightened foreseeability with respect to criminal or tortuous conduct on property.
  • Premises liability cases regarding dangerous conditions, open and obvious conditions, the existence and nature of minimally burdensome duties of property owners in the absence of any heightened foreseeability duty
  • Assault and battery cases
  • Numerous motions to compel arbitration, motions to compel responses and further responses to interrogatories (form and special), document demands, requests for admission, physical and psychological examinations, motions for protective order, augment expert witness lists, to quash personal service and testing personal jurisdiction
  • Actions involving primary and secondary assumption of the risk issues
  • Numerous dog-bite, slip and fall, and trip and fall accidents in supermarket cases
  • Medical malpractice including cases involving:
    o Malignant hyperthermia/wrongful death (anesthesiologist, surgeon, hospital)
    o Laparascopic cholescystectomy
    o Upper and lower blepharoplasty
    o Misreading of an X-ray of a child who swallowed a popcorn kernel
    o Informed consent issues
    o Displaced intertrochanteric fracture of decedent’s left hip, followed by decubitus ulcers
    o Hernia repair surgery with mesh implant
  • Dangerous condition of public property-Gov. C.§835
  • Negligent maintenance of public property
  • Claims of failure to supervise, public employee negligence, violation of Adult Abuse Act, professional negligence
  • Wrongful death and survivor actions
  • Slip and Fall cases
    o Public pool. Liability based on Government Codes §§815.2(A) and 835.
    o Supermarket cases
  • Trip and fall
    o Warehouses
    o Supermarkets
  • Falling off horse on trail
  • Minors’ claims
  • Sovereign immunity cases
  • Enforcement of settlements per §998 offers
  • Dog-bite cases
  • Stunt person injuries as a result of pyrotechnics on set
  • Truck v. car; Motorcycle v. car; Moped v. car
  • Highway design defect

view all

Professional Liability

  • Dispute involving plaintiffs (daughters) in federal civil jury trial in a wrongful death/medical malpractice case against surgeon, anesthesiologist and hospital for failing to treat patient who suffered from malignant hyperthermia
  • Medical malpractice actions – failure to properly diagnose a herniated disk
  • Medical malpractice/wrongful death in connection with a displaced intertrochanteric fracture of decedent’s left hip, followed by decubitus ulcers
  • Medical and dental malpractice cases involving informed consent