Neutral Profile



  • Retired U.S. District Judge
  • Available in Orange County, Nationwide
  • Available for Mediation, Arbitration, and Private Judging assignments


Following nearly 14 years of distinguished service on the bench for the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Southern Division, Honorable Andrew Guilford has retired and is now available as a mediator, arbitrator and private judge, including special master assignments, and case evaluator.

During his judicial tenure, Judge Guilford sat by designation on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and is one of only two Central District Judges to have been invited to sit at the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. He served as one of the few Patent Pilot Program judges in the Central District. As a federal judge, Guilford heard over a hundred trials, sometimes sitting without a jury, on matters including patent, trademark, copyright, defective products, securities, employment, civil rights, professional liability, class actions, MDL, and of course, criminal matters.

Before his appointment in 2006, Judge Guilford served as an arbitrator and Judge Pro Tem for the Orange County Superior Court, leveraging the experience he gained as a trial lawyer for more than 31 years. At Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton for his entire career as a lawyer, he tried complex commercial cases across a variety of industries, such as major league sports, medical devices, banking and finance, real property, telecommunications, and entertainment. At a young age, he was elected to the American College of Trial Lawyers.

Judge Guilford’s love for the community and passion for giving back is evidenced in his more than four decades and countless hours lecturing and authoring for law schools, religious entities, legal publications, bar associations, and judicial organizations both nationally and internationally. As a trial lawyer and judge, he has received many prestigious awards from various bar associations, including the Orange County Bar Association’s Franklin G. West Award—the organization’s highest honor, presented to outstanding attorneys and judges whose lifetime achievements have advanced justice and law.

Judge Guilford has earned a reputation for his compassionate, intellectual, fair, intuitive and hardworking demeanor, all qualities he brings to the private sector. One attorney commented: “Judge Guilford always has been prepared, committed and well respected. Following many years of private practice on complex matters and on the bench, he treated lawyers with respect and gave them the opportunity to represent their clients, while achieving justice. He was always actively engaged and personable, and he operated with supreme verve. These attributes certainly will make him highly in demand, as both a private judge and a mediator, and rightly so.”


  • Business/Contractual
  • Finance/Securities
  • Trademark/Copyright
  • Patents
  • Real Estate
  • Civil Rights
  • Professional Liability
  • Class Actions
  • Multidistrict Litigation

Experience Summary

Judge Guilford has been involved in a wide variety of cases as both a trial lawyer for 31 years and as a judge for almost 14 years. The following experience is from his background as lead attorney, trial judge, or settlement judge.

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Hobbies & Interests

Judge Guilford’s interests are varied and include traveling, writing, poetry, photography, theater, and sports, being a fan of UCLA, the Dodgers, Lakers, and Rams, and playing basketball and tennis. Time with his family is most valued, and he is proud of his grandson and two granddaughters.


"Judge Guilford is well known and respected for his legal acumen and willingness to commit his time, energy and skill to even the toughest, most complex cases. Judge Guilford solves problems and tackles emerging issues as demonstrated by his efforts to found an Intellectual Property focused Inn of Court and participation in the Central District’s patent pilot program. Judge Guilford is a dedicated volunteer to the legal community having led the Orange County Bar Association, Public Law Center, and the Association of Business Trial Lawyers. Judge Guilford has used his position to promote access to justice throughout California."
- Attorney in Orange County

"An important leader and mentor for the Orange County Bar for decades. He has great insights and perspectives from both sides of the bench that will make him a highly valued neutral."
- Attorney in Orange County

"It is exciting that Judge Guilford will be available as a neutral. With his work as a litigator handling complex civil matters before being appointed, combined with his experience on the federal bench, there are very few judges with Judge Guilford’s extensive background in the resolution of complex civil matters."
- Attorney in Fresno

"Judicate West is quite fortunate to have Judge Guilford join its team. He is the cream of the crop – one of the best minds around and impeccably fair and thoughtful. The judiciary’s loss is Judicate West’s gain."
- Attorney in Los Angeles

"Judge Guilford has a high level of knowledge and skill."
- Attorney on a Consumer Class Action Matter

"Judge Guilford was great at coming up with creative ideas to settle the case that we hadn't thought of. He was quick to understand the facts and the issues. He was terrific! "
- Attorney on a Consumer Class Action

"Judge Guilford had a long and distinguished career as a trial lawyer and continued to distinguish himself during his years on the bench. He has been a pillar of the legal community in Southern California for several decades and will continue to distinguish himself as a mediator and arbitrator at Judicate West."
- Attorney in Los Angeles

"Judge Guilford’s distinguished career was marked by intelligence, rationality, efficiency, and a focus on the human side of legal issues."
- Attorney in Orange County

Links and Articles

Experience Summary


• Lead trial attorney in numerous trials for national banks concerning financial matters.

• Major civil case for alleged securities fraud.


• Case involving a major league baseball player in assorted state and federal cases on contract claims and other matters.

• Contract disputes in the manufacture of toilets.

• Contract violations by a major oil company.

• Partnership dispute involving numerous claims between partners.


• Civil action to recover damages for alleged unconstitutional imprisonment.

• Trial judge in numerous civil cases alleging police misconduct under Section 1983.

• Major church seeking an injunction protecting rights under the Constitution and RLUIPA.


• Case concerning an employee’s claims of retaliation.

• Wage and hour class action relating to donning and doffing.


• Extensive jury trial over the name of a major league baseball team.

• Major telecommunications company in a wide variety of state and federal cases on intellectual property.


• Case of an artist alleging copyright infringement on creations by the artist.

• Trial by members of a rock band concerning alleged copyright infringement.


• Trial for alleged infringement of a patent concerning computer switches.

• Major medical instrument company claiming infringement of a patent involving capillary electrophoresis.

• Court trial for alleged infringement of a patent concerning spa technology.

• Trial for alleged infringement of a patent concerning window blinds.

• Trial for alleged infringement of a patent concerning cement.


• Trial for a major medical instrument company over a federal trademark.

• An extensive trial concerning alleged trademark violations concerning sportswear attire

• Trial alleging trademark infringement in the beauty products industry.

• Major injunctive hearing concerning trade secrets allegedly stolen by a pharmaceutical company.

• Case of an artist alleging copyright infringement on creations by the artist.

• Trial by members of a rock band concerning alleged copyright infringement.


• Probate dispute over a famous Shelby Cobra race car.


• Trial concerning the legal description of real property.

• Trial concerning a real property sales contract.



• Defamation case against a radio personality.


• Case alleging a defective automobile.


• Wrongful death case involving a United States postal vehicle.

Legal Career

  • Mediator, Arbitrator, Private Judge, Judicate West (Present)
  • United States District Judge, Central District of California, Southern Division (2006-2020)
  • Partner & former Associate, Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton handling complex commercial litigation with an emphasis on patents, trademarks, finance including securities, banking, real estate, contracts, unfair competition, defamation, civil rights, partnerships, professional liability and class actions (1975-2006)

Education & Professional Affiliations

  • J.D. University of California, Los Angeles; Editor for the UCLA Law Review (1975)
  • A.B. University of California, Los Angeles, summa cum laude, Regent Scholar, Phi Beta Kappa (1972)
  • Dean’s Advisory Council, University of California, Irvine, School of Law (Present)
  • Board of Visitors, Chapman University School of Law (Present)
  • Board of Directors, Federal Bar Association (2001-2020)
  • 9th Circuit Jury Instructions Committee (2018-2020)
  • Judicial Conference Committee on Codes of Conduct (2011-2017)
  • President & Co-Founder, Howard T. Markey Intellectual Property American Inn of Court (2013-2015)
  • State Bar Commission on Access to Justice (2008-2013)
  • Adjunct Professor, UC Irvine School of Law (2013)
  • President, Public Law Center (2004-2006)
  • California Supreme Court Advisory Task Force on Multijurisdictional Practice (2001-2003)
  • President & Co-Founder, Association of Business Trial Lawyers (ABTL) of Orange County (2000-2001)
  • President, District Judges Association (2017-2019)
  • President, State Bar of California (1999-2000)
  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers (1992)
  • President, Orange County Bar Association (OCBA) (1991)
  • Chair, Orange County Bar Association Delegation to the Conference of Delegate
  • Chair, Orange County Bar Association Business Litigation Section

Achievements & Awards

  • Speaker, International Symposium on Judicial Enforcement of Intellectual Property, Beijing, China (January 2020)
  • Speaker, Best Practices in IP Litigation, Berkeley – Tsinghua Transnational IP Litigation Conference, Berkeley, CA (October 2019)
  • Speaker, Best Practices in Patent Litigation, The Sedona Conference, Philadelphia, PA (March 2019)
  • Recipient, Professionalism Award, American Inns of Court (2018)
  • Recipient, Distinguished Public Service Award, Los Angeles Intellectual Property Law Association (LAIPLA) (2016)
  • Recipient, Judicial Excellence Award, Orange County Asian American Bar Association (2014)
  • Named 5 times by the Daily Journal, "California’s Top 100 Attorneys"
  • Selected as a “Southern California Super Lawyer (2004-2006)
  • Selected as one of 50 “Best Lawyers in Orange County”
  • Selected as one of “Best Lawyers in America”
  • Recipient, Franklin G. West Award, Orange County Bar Association (2003)
  • Recipient, Jurisprudence Award, Anti-Defamation League (2002)
  • Recipient, Distinguished Judge Award, Orange County Intellectual Property Law Association
  • Recipient, Judge Alicemarie H. Stotler Award, Orange County Federal Bar Association
  • Recipient, Judge of the Year Award, Orange County Hispanic Bar Association
  • Recipient, J. Reuben Clark Award, J. Reuben Clark Society
  • Recipient, Bernard E. Witkin Amicus Curiae Award, Judicial Council
  • Named Business Litigation Trial Lawyer of the Year, Orange County Trial Lawyers Association
  • Honored by UCI School of Law as a “True Founder of the School of Law”
  • Contributing Editor, Civil Procedure, The Rutter Group
  • Judge Guilford has written articles appearing in many places, including the UCLA Law Review, the Pennsylvania Law Review, the FIU Law Review, the Daily Journal, the California Bar Journal, and the Journal of the Litigation Section.
  • A popular speaker, he has been asked to speak on many topics in many places from China to New York. His long list of hundreds of programs goes back to a 1978 CEB program on Civil Litigation, followed by a 1982 program on the leverage of negations, and a 1984 CEB program on negotiating civil settlements.

Legal Experience

  • Business/Contractual
  • Finance/Securities
  • Trademark/Copyright
  • Patents
  • Real Estate
  • Civil Rights
  • Professional Liability
  • Class Actions
  • Multidistrict Litigation

Recent Representative Cases