Profile

Chris White, Esq. practiced law for over 30 years and earned a reputation as one of the top civil litigators in California. As an experienced trial lawyer and litigator, Chris handled and tried a wide variety of cases including, but not limited to, personal injury cases, construction defect claims, and catastrophic loss cases that included fatalities, paralysis, traumatic brain injuries, and amputations. In 1999, Chris co-founded a prominent AV-rated law firm and served as Co-Managing Partner for more than 23 years before stepping down to become a full-time mediator. As an attorney and a mediator, Chris has been involved with more than 800 mediations. He is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), a prestigious trial lawyers’ organization whose membership is by invitation only.

Chris has also served the Orange County legal community by volunteering his time as a settlement officer and temporary judge for the Orange County Superior Court. He has successfully resolved dozens of settlement conferences and presided over hundreds of civil trials through this program. He is a proud member of the “100 club” which honors volunteers who have donated more than 100 hours of their time to the Orange County Superior Court in a year.

As a mediator, Chris blends his extensive civil litigation background and trial experience with his practical, optimistic and determined nature to effectively resolve disputes. He is known as a closer who gets cases settled, which is why he is such a sought-after mediator.

Chris advises: “I understand that parties hire me as a mediator to settle their case. They do not hire me to get them close to settling. My objective is to get the case settled. During my 30+ year legal career, I ran into too many mediators that were not willing to put in the time, energy, hustle, and determination to get a matter settled. As a mediator, I am a determined optimist, I work hard, and I energetically use my experience, expertise, and practical judgment in order to make sure I am doing all that I can to help the parties resolve their case. I take great satisfaction in settling a case, and I am not satisfied unless, and until, the matter settles. Helping people resolve their cases is a privilege, and the work is personally rewarding. I am grateful that this is my profession. It feels natural for me to be a mediator, and I think that is why I am effective at settling cases.”

EXPERTISE

  • Auto Accidents
  • Catastrophic Accidents
  • Construction Accidents
  • Construction Defect
  • Employment
  • Fire Cases
  • Habitability
  • Premises Liability
  • Product Liability
  • Security Guard Cases
  • Subrogation Matters
  • Toxic Tort Claims
  • Trucking Accidents
  • UM / UIM
  • Wrongful Death

EDUCATION

• Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine University
• Loyola Law School of Los Angeles, Juris Doctorate
• University of California at Berkeley, Bachelor of Science

Representative Cases

Auto Accidents

  • MVA involving police officer while on duty. Officer's alleged negligence caused serious life changing damages per plaintiff. City that employed the officer admitted liability but disputed the nature and severity of damages.
  • Driver in course of scope for large national employer involved in large accident. Plaintiff needed significant medical treatment and future treatment and continued suffering alleged, and large LOE's presented. Defendant disputed liability and contested nature and extent of claimed damages.
  • MVA involving motorcyclist, who was plaintiff. Motorcyclist Claimed negligence of driver caused the incident and damages. Driver alleged the motorcyclist hurrying and tried to " go around" driver while each making a left hand turn. Eye witnesses gave statements that made liability a dispute.
  • MVA involving 3 car " accordion type" wherein the back car rear ended the middle car that pushed it into car waiting at a red light. Multiple plaintiffs and cross complaints and cases were consolidated. Damages alleged by various plaintiffs ranged from low mid 5 figures to mid 6 figures.
  • Common carrier MVA. LAX shuttle bus involved in a collision with a vehicle picking up LAX passenger. Liability disputed and nature and extent of damages contested. Both drivers had credibility problems.
  • Common carrier MVA. Bus driver employed by a county transportation agency sued for causing a MVA. County denied liability and challenged the nature and extent of claimed injuries.
  • MVA with elderly husband and wife plaintiffs. Auto policy limits demanded by each plaintiff who had documented medical treatment post accident. Defendant disputed that plaintiffs were injured as seriously as they claimed and challenged each plaintiff's' credibility.
  • MVA case. Auto v Auto. Severe Injuries alleged suffered by elderly plaintiff. Significant past and future medical care claimed. Liability disputed, and nature and extent of damages challenged.
  • Three car rear end accident. Plaintiff claimed a multitude of injuries including TBI. Plaintiff alleged significant future treatment including future surgeries. Defense focused on causation and nature and extent of damages.
  • MVA - Auto v Auto. Severe back injury alleged. Loss of Consortium case included. Defendants disputed liability and contested damages.

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Business Disputes

  • Dispute over financing and leasing of several high end luxury vehicles. Complaint and cross complaint and filed.
  • Lemon law dispute over high end luxury vehicle.
  • Financial dispute over monies owed stemming from previous agreement concerning repayment terms and penalties.
  • Initial contractual agreement reached between parties several years earlier. Contractual dispute subsequently arose between the parties. First mediation handled by different mediator unsuccessful and neither party liked that mediator's proposal. I was hired as new mediator by the parties and helped them resolve their matter.
  • Case involving alleged breach of prior settlement agreement over single family home. Causes of action included, cancellation of written instrument, full reconveyance of deed, quiet title, breach of contract restitution and fraud. Parties highly emotional and distrustful of the other.
  • Case involving loans and financing of high end clothing boutique. Causes of action for Breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, book account and conspiracy to breach fiduciary duty. Defendants alleged to have defaulted on executed promissory note , and also alleged to have defaulted on personal and business loans.
  • Couple involved romantically and got engaged. Large loans for expensive luxury vehicles secured in addition to purchase of very expensive engagement ring. Broken engagement led to claims of fraud and monies owed on several hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of items. Both parties sued each other. Particularly emotionally charged case.
  • Business dispute case. Call center service provided support to large international business pursuant to a written agreement that provided detailed terms for “statement of work.” During significant downturn in business defendant claims that it properly notified plaintiff to cease providing particular parts of “statement of work.” Plaintiff disagreed and continued to provide contractually agreed upon “statement of work” worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Emotionally charged business dispute case.

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Construction

  • Construction case. Breach of contract and failure to pay claim. Dispute between residential contractor and homeowner over scope and quality of repairs and additions made to home by contractor. Defendant homeowners alleged plaintiff exceeded the agreed upon scope of work and that contractor provided deficient work. Damages and attorney fees sought by both sides.

Employment

  • A fired employee plaintiff alleged causes of action for sex/gender harassment and discrimination and sexual orientation harassment and whistleblower punishment. Defendant employer denied all allegations and asserted plaintiff was a inadequate/deficient employee.
  • Wrongful termination alleged by plaintiff with allegations she was targeted because of a disability. Defendant employer countered that plaintiff had conducted fraudulent transactions using the employer's gift card program for shoppers.
  • Plaintiff making wage claim. Defendant filed cross complaint for breach of contact, trade secret misappropriation and injunctive relief. This situation also involved a non compete clause and an NDA.
  • Alleged Failure to Perform proper background check on home health care employee who had several felonies on his record. Felonious health care worker alleged to have stolen from and misappropriated property from ailing elderly patient. Defendant employer contested liability for acts of wayward employee and also the nature and extent of alleged actions by wayward employee.
  • Employment FEHA case for disability and sexual orientation harassment, discrimination, and retaliation. Defendant asserted that plaintiff suffered from a non-industrial mental breakdown due to severe schizophrenia. Plaintiff asserted he was an “eggshell” plaintiff.

    Personal Injury

    • Slip and fall at a large public arena venue. Severe Injuries that included surgeries on the right leg and two surgeries on the achilles tendon. Large loss of earnings damages claimed in addition to substantial non economic damages. Liability in dispute-- Arena owner contended that inspections performed by arena staff exceeded the industry standard. MSJ on liability on calendar at time of mediation.
    • Industrial site accident. Forklift operator loading and unloading containers. Forklift operator had to jump off moving forklift while exiting container because unbeknownst to forklift operator the container was being worked on by container site employee subject to alleged red tag Container tilted to one side and plaintiff abandoned moving forklift. Orthopedic and psychological damages alleged with large work comp lien. Defendant challenged liability and nature and extent of alleged damages.
    • Slip and fall at southern California located sports arena. Severe, permanent injuries alleged. Defendants disputed liability and nature and extent of damages. Policy limits demand involved.
    • Intoxicated apartment tenant, who misplaced keys, returned to the apartment and tried to gain access by applying pressure to the sliding window which shattered and caused permanent severe injury to plaintiff. Plaintiff alleged the window was defective and pout of code and deficient window caused his permanent damages. Defendant countered that plaintiff conduct was the cause of his incident.
    • Slip and fall in a large national chain hotel. Video evidence disputed by parties. Defendant claimed incident fault of plaintiff. Damages claimed were substantial and disputed.
    • Assault and battery allegations occurring at nightclub inflicted by security guards. Defendant nightclub owner and security guard company denied liability and claimed plaintiff was the instigator and responsible for the incident. Conflicting eyewitness accounts and partial mostly inconclusive video heightened disagreement between parties.
    • Slip and Fall in nationally recognized big box store. Incident on video and the parties disputed what the video showed and who was at fault.
    • Slip and fall at grocery store. Plaintiff , who was an outside vendor, was working “ after hours” slipped due to alleged slippery substance and suffered serious injuries. Several surgeries involved and large past and future LOE claimed. Defendant contested liability and disputed damages.
    • Alleged Sexual battery case. Perpetrator scaled fence surrounding a Marina and swam to boat and sexually assaulted sleeping woman. Alleged negligence of Marina operator and local hotel that allegedly failed to have promised security guard patrolling area. Large general damages sought. Loss of consortium claim also made. Marina operator and Hotel disputed liability nature and extent of alleged assault and damages.
    • Slip and fall inside a doctor’s examination room pre-exam. Liability disputed and damages challenged. Large general damages claimed.
    • Trip and fall matter in large local sports arena during an event. Elderly plaintiff claimed large past and future medical treatment and damages. Significant orthopedic issues involved. Defendant disputed liability claiming negligence of plaintiff was cause of accident. Defendant also disputed severity and scope of claimed damages.
    • Construction site accident. Hotel Lobby under renovation. Plaintiff claimed slipped and fell on dangerous known condition and suffered severe life changing injuries. Property owner, General contractor and subcontractor filed various cross complaints alleging indemnity and coverage rights while also disputing liability and contesting large damages claim.

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    Premise liability

    • Premise liability case. Plaintiff tripped and fell in darkened concert venue and suffered substantial damages with high 5 figure medical specials. Defendant owner disputed liability, and nature and extent of plaintiff claimed damages.
    • Premises liability matter arising from alleged dangerous condition at a high end golf club. Plaintiff a guest of one of the members. Liability disputed, damages disputed and emotional overlay caused by membership issues that made case more complicated.

    Product Liability

    • Products Liability case. Elderly plaintiff with Polio claimed that his leg brace failed and caused him to suffer fall that caused significant spinal injury with possibility of future surgery. Defendant manufacturer contested that the product was defective and challenged claimed severity of damages.

    Real Estate

    • Real estate dispute amongst family members over expensive single family home. Allegations include false deed and improper transfer of property. The case was further complicated by a mistake made by notary concerning power of attorney documents. Allegations concerning fraud, lack of standing , and statute of frauds.
    • Dispute between homeowner and contractor for residential remodel. Homeowner plaintiff alleged work was insufficient and exceeded contractual terms, and contractor alleged work performed per contract and was owed tens of thousands of dollars.
    • Plaintiff purchased home through probate. Plaintiff alleged that realtor's failure to disclose parking easement substantially diminished value of the home purchased. Defendant countered that plaintiff knew of easement before purchasing home.
    • Real Estate failure to disclose case. Plaintiff alleged that defendants sold a single-family home without properly disclosing nature and extent of problems with the home and failed to disclose unpermitted work inside the home. Defendants challenged the non-disclosure claims and damages. Both sides sought attorney fees.

    Testimonials

    “I met Chris early in my career which spans over thirty years now. Immediately I saw in him attributes that would make a fantastic attorney. He was always prepared for the many depositions that young lawyers attend. He treated everyone with respect. He was, and still is smart. He has a great work ethic. His trial record speaks for itself. As the years went by and he began taking on mediation work I knew he would be making a move to become the trusted, effective mediator that he has become. Plaintiff attorneys and defense attorneys get the same treatment: respect, trust, hard-working and most of all results. You cannot make a mistake by choosing him for your case.”


    “I have had the pleasure of mediating several, complex cases with Chris.  In each instance, he has been well-prepared, thorough and considerate of both sides, bringing new insight to the cases.  Even where the issues, and sometimes personalities, are in conflict, he has been able to hoe the middle ground, being laser focused on the parties’ mutual goal; resolving the case.  His tenacity and dedication has made Chris a regular in our mediator rotation, both for my firm and for my clients. ”


    “Mr. White did an excellent job in a very personal mediation regarding a case of financial elder abuse with a disabled Plaintiff. Chris successfully shuttled between an (understandably) highly emotional Plaintiff, and a very stubborn insurance counsel. He put in the time and the work to bring both parties closer together and managed to close the gap at the very end with some creative thinking and outside of the box accounting. The entire time he maintained an air of professionalism tempered with a firmness and dedication to the settlement that kept pushing both sides. I’ve already signed up with him for another mediation and look forward to more of the same.”


    “Chris White is a very thorough and patient mediator. His background in civil litigation combined with his extensive trial experience allows Chris to quickly take command of the issues and facts and get the parties focused on the benefits of settlement.  Chris is very smart and detailed, and has the skills needed to help attorneys and their clients evaluate the risks and benefits of further litigation.  In my 27 plus years of practice, I have mediated before many mediators and would put Chris at the top of the list of those mediators.  Chris is an excellent mediator and I would not hesitate to recommend him.”


    “I met Chris through the pro-temp process in Orange County. The parties had previously participated in mediation without success. Despite resistance through the date of the MSC, the parties remained at an impasse. Though we were not able to get it done, Chris went out of his way to make himself available after the MSC up until the point of resolution the week of trial.
    I am a career Plaintiffs attorney and Chris is a career Defense guy. Nevertheless, In my experiences with him, Chris has only brought with him the skill and logical processing of a seasoned and award-winning practitioner, and his reputation speaks for itself. He has made an art out of carrying his trial practice background into the mediation room.
    I would highly recommend Chris for any parties involved in “high stakes” civil or complex litigation.”


    “Chris is absolutely fantastic! He brings a dynamic, enthusiastic energy to the table and strives to get the job done. He is an excellent communicator and is able to effectively navigate difficult conversations in order to arrive at a satisfactory solution for both parties. Highly recommend!”


    Chris was one of the most determined mediators that I have met. He was determined to get the case settled. Chris made an excellent personal connection with the parties and their representatives, which I believe went a long way toward helping us resolve our case. Chris continued to follow up (even on the weekends) in an effort to help us resolve our case, and ultimately, was successful in doing so.


    “I was very impressed with Chris’s abilities and determination as a mediator. Our matter took about 2 weeks to resolve after the initial mediation. Chris’s continued to keep the settlement dialogue going well after our mediation and was critical to helping the parties resolve the case.”


    “Chris mediated a large and important products liability case for us, my office representing the plaintiff. Chris is my model for tenacity. I had already given up any realistic hope of resolution. I can’t express how surprised and pleased I was that Chris was able to broker an amicable and fair settlement under very tough circumstances.”


    Chris was amazing. Tenacious and proactive with his follow up. We ended the first mediation with a gap. Chris followed up on his own, setting up a 2nd mediation at no extra charge, and managed to bridge the gap. I recommend him highly to anybody that needs a mediator in any of his practice areas.”


    “I thought Chris did a great job. I think he massaged the case correctly and read the room and read the personalities, and I think that was needed in this type of emotionally charged case.”


    “Chris had an incredibly compassionate demeanor with my severely injured client, which was really helpful in building some trust with my client. There were some very challenging personalities involved, but Chris worked with all of the parties over the course of several weeks – even after the mediation – and ultimately he was able to get the full case resolved.”


    “The genuine nature of White’s personality and approach goes a long way with litigants. He was able to really connect with our clients and our carrier representatives as someone who is speaking from experience and authority. From a carrier standpoint, all they do is work in volume, and I think he was able to really break down the claim and speak candidly with our client and our insurance carrier representative about the pros and cons. His thoughts and opinions carried more weight simply because of how he approached it and how he communicated it.”


    “Chris White is fair to both sides. Even though Chris had a lengthy career as a defense lawyer, I think he nonetheless has a big heart. But his defense perspective gives him a great ability to communicate with the defense lawyers and the insurance adjusters. And I think his defense perspective is actually very helpful.”