Judge Minto retired from the Los Angeles Superior Court in March of 2014, after more than 27 years of service. His most recent assignment included presiding over the unlimited jurisdiction civil department in Pomona where he handled almost every case type from the initial filing through trial. Such matters included medical malpractice, personal injury, business/commercial, construction, real estate, insurance and subrogation, professional negligence and product liability. During his time on the bench, he conducted over 400 jury trials, countless court trials and heard thousands of law and motion matters of all types. Despite the demands of his busy courtroom, Judge Minto would always make the time to conduct settlement conferences. One attorney commented, "Judge Minto worked very hard to settle our case and I am looking forward to working with him as a private mediator." Prior to his appointment, he was a partner at his own law firm with a focus on real estate, construction, family law and personal injury. Judge Minto was also an associate at a large firm in Los Angeles, working primarily on insurance, construction and antitrust cases. His background, having represented both plaintiffs and defendants, in addition to his judicial experience, allows him to easily identify the strengths and weaknesses in almost any dispute. His valuable perspective is instrumental when helping the parties overcome the roadblocks to settlement. He is best known for his strong work ethic, infectious personality and is a true gentleman. He noted, "In over 27 years as a trial court judge, I saw so many cases go to trial that could have and should have been resolved. In many of those cases, the parties were disappointed, even shocked, with the results. I'm excited to now be able to help parties and their counsel avoid the risks, expense, and delays of going to trial. My goal in each case is to bring closure to all sides."
Judge Minto hobbies include jogging, boating, camping, construction and remodeling as well as spending time with his kids and grandchildren.
"Judge Minto was phenomenal in all aspects. I particularly appreciated the great care he took in explaining his perspective of the case and its complex particular issues to my clients. I highly recommend him as a mediator."
- Attorney on a product liability dispute
"Judge Minto is a phenomenal mediator. I will certainly bring my next case
to him. Overall, I was very happy with this experience."
- Attorney, Los Angeles County, CA
"He came up with creative solutions. He never gave up. Judge Minto is a miracle worker!"
- Attorney on a premises liability dispute
"I really liked Judge Minto and he was a great mediator for our case."
- Attorney, Huntington Beach, CA
"Excellent demeanor and effort."
- Attorney on an Employment Breach of Contract dispute
"Judge Minto understood the dynamic in place and worked to deal with it, eventually resolving the case."
- Attorney on a Personal Injury Auto Dispute
"Judge Minto was patient and goal oriented and impressed upon the parties the significance and importance of reaching resolution during the session. This was extremely beneficial and encouraged our client to continue with the process that day, as opposed to pushing for a second session and risking the momentum achieved thus far at the mediation. He was also creative in his proposal of a mediator’s bracket and ultimately a mediator’s proposal. The timing and manner of these proposals were helpful in that the parties had several opportunities to propose alternative offers and brackets before introduction of the mediator’s bracket and proposal. Judge Minto also did an excellent job of keeping the parties focused on the numbers, as opposed to discussions of highly emotional and disputed facts."
- Attorney on a Business Contractual Fraud Dispute
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge (2000-2014)
Los Angeles Municipal Court, Citrus (1986-2000)
Partner, Mattier Annigian & Minto (1979-1986)
Associate, Adams Duque & Hazeltine (1977-1979)
Education & Professional Affiliations
J.D., UCLA Law School (1977)
B.A., University of California, Irvine (1974)
Pepperdine University School of Law, Straus Institute, Mediating the Litigated Case (January 2014)
Member, California Judges Association (1987-2014)
Member, ABTL, Los Angeles Chapter
Member, Los Angeles County Bar Association
Achievements & Awards
Trial Judge of the Year Award, Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (2010).
Speaking engagements include: Annual Seminar and Roundtable for the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel (ASCDC), CLE functions for CAALA and CAOIE, including both of their annual seminars.
Mediated settlement of breach of contract claim that arose when a restaurant chain found dangerous bacteria in ingredients purchased from a supplier.
Mediated settlement of breach of contract and negligence claims that arose when a security system twice failed to provide adequate warning to prevent a jewelry store from being burglarized.
Mediated settlement of fraud, concealment and misrepresentation claims against a car manufacturer that arose when the manufacturer sold a vehicle to Plaintiff buyer knowing and hiding the fact that the vehicle had inherent engine problems that could not be remedied.
Employment Case relating to private jet leasing industry. Pre-Lit mandatory mediation under the employment contract. Sexual harassment, retaliation, constructive termination, and whistle-blower allegations. Matter settled in full, pre-litigation, pre-discovery, with confidentiality and anti-disparagement provisions.
Wage and Hour
Restaurant employee alleged he was not paid for overtime and was not given breaks or lunch time.
Whistleblower Wrongful Term
This case represented an unusual, pre-litigation matter between a major insurance company and provider of radiology services, addressing alleged improprieties in billing and coding of MRI radiology services. In a marathon mediation, both sides we able to address the important risks and benefits of the anticipated litigation if the matter was not settled, and come to terms which, for both sides, was far better than two to three years of expensive, time-consuming and high stakes litigation.
Mediated settlement of violation of whistleblower act and FEHA claims that arose when plaintiff was terminated after she complained of accounting errors.
Car salesman filed suit against his employer for failure to pay commissions and was then terminated.
Mediated settlement of claims against insurance companies for failure to defend when Plaintiff faced copyright and patent infringement suit.
Mediated claims of property damage and lost rent that arose when a plumber repaired a leak that subsequently continued to leak and caused damage to the property.
Mediated settlement of negligence and loss of consortium claims that arose when a man suffered 3rd degree burns from acupuncture.
Mediated claims against health provider that arose when a boy had a growing lesion on his face and a treatment given by doctors resulted in him losing vision in one eye.
Breach Of Contract
Mediated settlement of claims that arose when a seller of a commercial property entered into an undisclosed option and lease agreement with a 3rd party while the property was in escrow creating a burden on plaintiff's property without benefit.
Mediated settlement of claims that arose when defendants, believing they had remedied any code violations, sold property to plaintiff in "as is" condition, which plaintiff remodeled and sold.
Mediated settlement of claims that arose when plaintiff and defendant agreed to purchase a residence as joint tenants, but then could not reach agreement on the use and sale of the property.
Mediated settlement of claims that arose when a nephew agreed to invest in his aunt's condominium to refinance the mortgage and allow her to continue residing there, but then tried to evict her when she fell behind on paying the property taxes.
Mediated settlement of negligence claims against parents of a minor who threw a party while his parents were gone and at the party Plaintiff was assaulted and stabbed.
Arbitrated claims that arose when defendant's dog's leash became wrapped around plaintiff's legs, causing her to fall and suffer injuries.
Mediated settlement of claims that arose when a small child was "punished" at school by sitting in time out all day and then left in the classroom alone at night.
Mediated settlement of claims that arose when plaintiff's dog was on a leash in her front yard, defendant's dogs were off leash and attacked Plaintiff's dog on plaintiff's property and bit Plaintiff while she tried to rescue her dog.
Mediated settlement of claims that arose when a truck driver stopped at a convenience store and tripped and fell on a doorway mat.
Mediated settlement of claims that arose when Plaintiff broke her elbow when she tripped over an unseen backpack in a darkened walkway that she had to walk through as she picked up her grandchildren from school after hours.
Mediated settlement of claims against a mall and city government entity when a patron of the mall tripped and fell breaking her back.
Mediated settlement of claims that arose when, on a rainy day, a patron of a market slipped and fell upon entering.
Mediated settlement of claims against a city and a restaurant, when a diner exited the restaurant and stepped into a hole breaking her ankle necessitating surgery to heal.
Mediated settlement of a claim against a restaurant when a patron slipped on a lemon wedge and fell causing injuries.
Mediated settlement of claims against a hospital when a visitor slipped and fell in the parking lot causing injuries to her right hip, leg and elbow.
PI Assault and Battery
Mediated settlement of negligent security and assault and battery claims that arose when a man observed a group of visitors "hanging out and making noise" and when he asked them to leave he was attacked and injured.
Mediated settlement of assault and battery claims that arose when defendant allegedly punched and hit his mistress causing her injuries.
Mediated settlement of claims that arose when defendants sold a stock chaser to plaintiff that was not safe for the use for which it was sold.
Mediated settlement of claims that arose when Defendant drunk driver collided with Plaintiff's vehicle and fled the scene.
Mediated settlement of Underinsured motorist claims that arose when plaintiff was involved in a multiple car collision on the freeway.
Mediated settlement of claims that arose from a collision on the freeway involving two tractor-trailer trucks and a car.
Mediated settlement of claims that arose when a car's brakes failed causing a collision with another automobile.
Mediated settlement of claims that arose when a passenger on an uninsured motorcycle ran into an automobile.
Mediated settlement of uninsured motorist claims that arose when Plaintiff's vehicle was rear-ended by a hit and run driver.
Arbitrated claims that arose when a tuck towing a boat made wide right turn in front of plaintiff's vehicle causing them to collide with a 3rd party's parked vehicle.
Arbitrated value of damages with admitted liability for claims that arose when Plaintiff's car stopped for a pedestrian and defendant's vehicle rear-ended Plaintiff's car.
Following mediation the parties were almost $4 million apart. As trial approached, Judge Minto was able to make successive proposals that significantly closed the gap. He finally settled the case with a Mediator's Proposal.
PI Sexual Molestation
Mediated settlement of claims against the parents of a teenager who sexually molested multiple children.
Mediated settlement claims of premises liability when a movie editor fell off a deck at a residence during production of a movie.
Mediated settlement of claims against a city that arose when a teenager tripped and fell on a city sidewalk causing her injuries to her knee that has necessitated two surgeries to aid healing.
Mediated settlement of claims that arose when a security guard attempted to escort a party of drunken individuals to their apartment and they injured each other fighting.
Mediated settlement of claims that arose when a patron of a country club slipped and fell on stairs that had been coated to protect the stairs, but had become slippery from the morning dew.
Mediated settlement of claims that arose when a tenant was hanging her laundry on the clothes lines of the common area of a quadriplex that had unleveled ground.
Mediated settlement of premises liability claims that arose when one bar patron was assaulted by a second drunken patron.
Mediated settlement of a claim that a tenant had stumbled when walking down stairs when a piece of the stair gave way under her foot.
Tough liability and damages case involving potential liability of Landlord for possibly intoxicated tenant's fall from third story window.
Mediated settlement of negligence and products liability claims against a gym and a gym equipment manufacturer when the exercise machine broke while plaintiff was using it causing her injuries.
Mediated settlement of wrongful death claim that arose from a motorcycle passenger with an ill-fitting helmet being thrown off the back of a motorcycle after the motorcycle crashed into the back of a car while being driven in excess of 90 miles per hour.
Mediated settlement of claims that arose when a woman slowed her vehicle due to freeway traffic and was rear-ended by a speeding semi-truck.
Marathon negotiation between two wrongful death claimants for death of their mother struck in crosswalk and Confidential City and Driver with low five-figures in available insurance. Matter ended in the evening with a confidential settlement well above the available insurance.
Multi-party personal injury case involving two deaths and multiple serious injuries, two of which were minors, over seven figures in ERISA medical liens, felony criminal charges pending, and extremely limited insurance. Settled globally after over 10 hours of mediation.
Wrongful death with very unusual causation issues, involving three Plaintiffs and eight different Defendants, several insurance companies, and several self-insured defendants. Highly complex, and resolved post-mediation with global Mediator Proposal that all accepted.