HON. CESAR SARMIENTO, RET.

  • Available in Los Angeles, All of California
  • Mediation Only

Introduction

Hon. Cesar Sarmiento (Ret.) is a distinguished former Settlement Judge of the Los Angeles County Superior Court. During his 26 year tenure, he led hundreds of successful settlement conferences in cases across a broad span of practice areas such as general business commercial disputes, employment, malpractice and personal injury. While on the bench, Judge Sarmiento implemented the first Santa Monica Court personal injury Civil Referee Assisted Settlement Hearing (CRASH) program where he personally participated in 10+ personal injury related settlement conferences per week.

As a mediator, Judge Sarmiento is noted for his dogged determination and follow-up when a case does not settle on the day of mediation. He prides himself on being extremely diligent in his preparation for every matter he handles. He is also well known for his organization and skills in handling complex and high-stake matters, for his thoughtful even handed approach and uncanny ability to break impasse with even the most staunchly opposing viewpoints. Many attorneys regard him as "professional, thoughtful and decisive."

Specialties

Hobbies & Interests

Judge Sarmiento is an avid surfer and in his spare time plays the guitar in a jazz band.

Testimonials

Judge Sarmiento's bench experience and communication skills contributed greatly to completing our mediation successfully.
- Attorney on a Personal Injury Auto Dispute

Judge Sarmiento is extremely effective at quickly understanding and reducing complex facts + legal issues to basic terms. He’s also very efficient in isolating settlement issues and coming up w/ creative ways to resolve them.
- Attorney on a complex and highly emotional business contractual fraud dispute

I had several very positive experiences with Judge Sarmiento when he was on the bench. I am pleased to see that those skills translated well to the mediator position!
- Attorney on a product liability dispute

Judge Sarmiento was very effective in getting the parties to address the issues and exchange multiple offers.
- Attorney on a legally complex, general negligence dispute

Experience Summary

Legal Career

  • Mediator, Arbitrator (2014-Present)
  • Settlement Judge, Los Angeles County Superior Court
  • Organized and managed the first Santa Monica court personal injury Civil Referee Assisted
  • Settlement Hearing (CRASH) program
  • Judge, Los Angeles County Superior Court (1993-2014)
  • Judge, Los Angeles County Municipal Court (1988-1993)
  • Deputy District Attorney, Los Angeles County (1982-1988)
  • Deputy Public Defender, Los Angeles County (1981-1982)

Education & Professional Affiliations

  • J.D., UC Davis School of Law
  • B.A., California State University, Northridge
  • Distinguished Jurist Award, Philippine American Bar Association (2015)
  • Member, Santa Monica Bar Association (2015-Present)

Legal Experience

  • Business/Commercial
  • Employment
  • Construction Defects
  • Personal Injury
  • Real Estate
  • Entertainment
  • Sports
  • Family Law
  • Probate
  • Malpractice

Representative Case Information

Recent Representative Cases

Business/Commercial

Banking/Finance

  • Indemnification cause of action for misrepresentations, mistakes, and omissions in dispute between Mortgage originator and Bank over the sale of mortgage.

Complex Commercial

  • Multi-million dollar dispute between investment banking firms over right to commissions from sale of distribution rights for international beverage company
  • Lawsuit regarding fraudulent transfer of property involving millions of dollars, complicated by simultaneous litigations in other states and countries
  • Partnership dissolution lawsuit of major law firm involving rights to profits from pharmaceutical litigation
  • Action against school district for unfairly advertising and charging for adult basic and secondary education classes

Contractual

  • Contract dispute between major sports franchise and former Head Coach of the organization
  • Breach of contract dispute between movie camera designer/manufacturer and Japanese distributor
  • Dispute between consumers and auto manufacturer regarding defective outboard engines
  • Matter between consumer and luxury car dealership regarding sale of defective vehicle
  • Dispute between general contractor and bank over construction loan on a condominium project
  • Dispute between major Hollywood actor and investors over a new casino/hotel operation in Beirut, Lebanon
  • Breach of Warranty and Breach of Contract in Sale of Manufactured Housing Unit
  • Dispute among members of LLC over Commercial Real Estate investment

Fraud/Misrepresentation

  • Business dispute breach of contract along with allegations of fraud by both sides. The business did billing of insurance companies for Dentists.
  • Plaintiff suing Defendant for fraud and for stealing his money. Defendant was a money manager/investment consultant and agreed to manage Plaintiff's money.

Construction

Construction Breach Of Contract

  • Condominium owner suing her Home Owners Association for repair to common and private areas of condo complex.

Construction Defects

  • Disputes involving commercial, residential, and condominium projects involving all trades
  • Dispute regarding 10,000 square foot home in Beverly Hills between owner and general Contractor and related cross complaints
  • Lawsuit involving four-unit condominium project between builder and general contractor over delays and defects
  • Dispute between general contractor and subcontractor hired to do excavation, shoring, and concrete work on condominium project
  • Matter between dentist and architect over planning, design, and construction of dental office
  • Indemnification action by general contractor against subcontractors arising from construction on Beverly Hills mansion
  • Matter between dentist and architect over planning, design, and construction of dental office
  • Lawsuit involving comedy club suing contractor over work performed to building

Employment

Breach of Contract

  • Employment dispute involving Private Attorney General Act (PAGA) against national fast food franchise
  • Mediated breach of employment contract dispute with investment banking firm and employee regarding equity interest in the company
  • Mediated breach of duty of loyalty and theft of trade secrets case between Mortgage Company and its President

Discrimination

  • Handled countless employment cases involving both small businesses and large national corporations involving discrimination based on gender, race religion and disability, sexual harassment, retaliation, wage and hour, overtime, misclassification and pregnancy disputes
  • Dispute involving breach of employment contract and unlawful termination of executive of major movie industry special effects company
  • Mediated a pre-filing disability discrimination with failure to accommodate matter between a credit card company and employee
  • Mediated disability discrimination, failure to accommodate, retaliation and wage and hour dispute involving an international airline company
  • Employment discrimination case against a fast casual restaurant chain. Plaintiff alleged that the restaurant terminated her because she was pregnant.

Hostile Environment

  • Matter arising from employee alleging sexual harassment claims against major metropolitan county office

Sexual Harassment

  • Employment wage and hour case, sexual assault
  • Sexual harassment case arising out of a dentist's office. Additional claims of discrimination based upon gender made by multiple employees.

Wage and Hour

  • Employment case. Issues: 1) independent contractor vs employee status and 2) commissions owed.
  • Handled countless employment cases involving both small businesses and large national corporations involving discrimination based on gender, race religion and disability, sexual harassment, retaliation, wage and hour, overtime, misclassification and pregnancy disputes
  • Numerous wage and hour, overtime claims, meal and rest period actions against national fast food franchises and retail chain stores

Wrongful Termination

  • Claim against national retailer resulting in multi-million dollar settlement
  • Numerous actions against national fast food franchises and retail chain stores Dispute involving unlawful termination of executive of major movie industry special effects Company
  • Failure to accommodate and wrongful termination claim against national retailer resulting in multimillion dollar settlement
  • Mediated dispute involving wrongful termination based on pregnancy and disability against insurance company employer
  • Employment dispute involving Private Attorney General Act (PAGA) against national fast food franchise
  • The Plaintiff was a caregiver for the decedent. He sued the Trust that employed him for overtime wages and penalties.

Entertainment

Entertainment Issues

  • Breach of contract dispute between movie camera designer/manufacturer and Japanese distributor
  • Dispute between major Hollywood actor and investors over a new casino/hotel operation in Beirut, Lebanon
  • Dispute involving unlawful termination of executive of major movie industry special effects company
  • Mediation of case involving NBA franchise and head coach regarding breach of employment contract dispute over salary owed after termination
  • Dispute between agent and television sitcom actor regarding commissions owed Several cases involving musicians and actors against their agent or management over commission disputes
  • Partnership dissolution dispute involving a talent agency
  • Dispute among producers of Sports Documentary over credits and profits distribution

Insurance

Coverage

  • Negligence and conversion causes of action arising from the theft of a trailer from a vehicle storage business.

Subrogation

  • Workers Compensation carrier suing defendant for recovery of funds paid in workers comp action. Plaintiff suing for general damages.
  • Insurance subrogation action.Insurance company sued manufacturers and retailer for selling an allegedly defective remote control car battery. The insured's battery exploded while charging resulting in property damage from fire.

Probate

Probate

  • Probate dispute among siblings over what property was part of Trust assets.

Professional Malpractice

Medical Malpractice

  • Medical malpractice case against 2 doctors. The plaintiff's wife died on the operating table during a surgery to remove a mass in the neck.
  • Medical Malpractice case arising out of a donor nephrectomy
  • Medical malpractice case against doctors for over prescribing iron treatment to Plaintiff. Plaintiff was self represented.

Real Estate

Breach Of Contract

  • Complicated HOA case involving HOA, Management Company, Foreclosure Co., individual HOA board members and residents. Settlement involved refiling with recorders' office lien assessment documents.
  • Home seller refused to pay sales commission to broker on the sale of a house.

Home Owners Association

  • Dispute between homeowners and the Home Owners Association over the location of a bus stop.

Real Property

  • Disputes between homeowners regarding ocean view obstruction in upscale suburban neighborhood
  • Fence line dispute between apartment building owners in major metropolitan city
  • Adjacent neighbor dispute arising from property owner allegedly dumping construction debris into backyard resulting in landslide hazards
  • Tenant dispute against Homeowners Association (HOA) involving 100+ condominium complexes over construction and repairs
  • Dispute between downhill homeowners against uphill homeowner when mud slide flooded their homes
  • Numerous HOA suits against condominium owners for unauthorized construction
  • HOA disputes with tenants renting units for short-term vacations
  • Lawsuit to have foreign country judgment recognized in California arising from dispute related to real estate transaction
  • Numerous cases involving easement disputes

Tort

General Negligence

  • A natural gas provider alleged a cause of action for inverse condemnation against an electricity supply company and a City. The gas provider alleged that the electricity supply company's power surge caused damage to City's water pipe which caused 6-figures worth of damage.

Personal Injury

  • Organized and managed the first Santa Monica court personal injury CRASH program
  • Countless lawsuits involving automobile accidents, premises liability, slip and fall, medical malpractice, legal malpractice, and wrongful death
  • Numerous disputes for injuries sustained by passengers on metropolitan transportation authority buses
  • Wrongful death claim against major metropolitan city when elderly man tripped and fell in airport parking structure
  • Dispute against large coastal municipality when individual was injured after wave swept her off a breakwater structure
  • Medical malpractice matter against doctor and hospital for death of elderly patient Lawsuit against nightclub resulting from fight involving club bouncers against patrons
  • Dispute arising from head trauma injury resulting from individual falling from motorized two-wheeled personal transport vehicle
  • Dispute against major metropolitan city for improper roadway design
  • Disputes involving toxic mold complaints
  • Mediated high-speed freeway accident case involving multiple vehicles and injuries including a wrongful death claim
  • Mediated premises liability case where a woman fell through an improperly filled construction ditch while running through a college campus
  • Mediated serious injury claim involving an employee on a college campus Mediated premises liability matter on private college campus where stage collapsed on an assembly attendee
  • Mediated numerous injury matters occurring in parking lot and parking structures

PI Auto

  • Bad faith insurance arising out of a personal injury auto/pedestrian accident.
  • Car accident case involving high profile political/celebrity personality.
  • First party insurance case arising out of a car on bike accident. Defendant driver was underinsured.
  • Motor scooter accident involving broken tibia and fibula and disputed TBI.

Premises Liability

  • Laborer injured on construction site. Along with the usual issues involved in personal injury cases, this case involved complications relating to the Worker's Compensation lien.

Product Liability

  • Breach of contract involving Hardwood Floor manufacturer.

Downtown Los Angeles

601 S. Figueroa
Ste 4000
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Phone: 213.223.1113
Fax      : 213.223.1114

Los Angeles Mediation

West Los Angeles

11601 Wilshire Blvd
Ste 2040
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Phone: 310.442.2100
Fax      : 310.442.2125

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402 W. Broadway
Ste 2400
San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: 619.814.1966
Fax      : 619.814.1967

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1851 East First Street
Ste 1600
Santa Ana, CA 92705
Phone: 714.834.1340
Fax      : 714.834.1344

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100 Pine Street
Ste 1950
San Francisco, CA 94111
Phone: 415.266.1242
Fax      : 415.266.1243

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Sacramento

980 9th Street
Suite 2200
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916.394.8490
Fax      : 916.394.8495

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