Judge Velasquez retired in 2011, after 23 years of service for the Orange County Superior Court and currently serves as a mediator, arbitrator and private judge. During his tenure on the bench he sat in almost every department including the Appellate Department. However, his primary assignments were on the civil and complex civil panels. One of his most challenging and fulfilling assignments was as a judge on the Court's Complex Civil Panel, where he served for seven years starting in May, 2004. For four years of that term he served as the Supervising Judge. While sitting on the Court's Complex Civil Panel, he had the task of managing an average case
load of 250 complex actions including dozens of complex business disputes, and over 100 class actions and construction defect actions alike. His case load included several mass tort actions involving national and international product liability/pharmaceutical claims, as well as a train crash - each such case numbering 125 to 250 plaintiffs.
Judge Velasquez loves to mediate and is proud that he personally participated in helping the parties settle scores of these actions including several "inventory" settlements as a way of managing the mass torts. Lawyers assigned to his court in these cases would soon become accustomed to the judge's "Sweeps Weeks" where he cleared his regular calendar to accommodate back-to-back settlement conferences for 1 to 2 weeks at a time on a single case. One attorney said, "It's unfortunate that he is leaving the bench, but I will definitely use him as a mediator or arbitrator. He's fair, a genuinely nice guy and you can tell how much he cares." Many others have concurred labeling him as "nice", "a true gentleman" and "fair to all parties".
- Class Actions
- All Types of Personal Injury Matters including Wrongful Death
- Insurance Bad Faith
- Product Liability including Pharmaceuticals
- Professional Malpractice
- Real Property
In his spare time Judge Velasquez enjoys studying World War II aircraft/model building, power walking, hiking and has a life goal of visiting every National Park in the U.S.
- Neutral, Judicate West (2011-Present)
- Judge, Orange County Superior Court (1990-2011)
- Judge, Municipal Court, South Orange County Judicial District (1988-1990)
- Criminal Prosecutor, Orange County District Attorney’s Office (1986-1988)
- Criminal Prosecutor, Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office (1981-1986)
- Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (1978-1981)
- J.D. Loyola Law School, Los Angeles (1978)
- B.A. California State University, Los Angeles (1973)
- ABTL Orange County Chapter, Board of Directors (2011); Member since 2006
- Hispanic Bar Association, Member (2000-Present)
- California Judges Association, Member (1988-2011)
- Orange County Bar Association, Member (1988 - Present)
- Honored by the Orange County Chapter of the Hispanic Bar Association as the "Jurist of the Year" (2011)
- He has collaborated on an article for the Orange County Lawyer Magazine entitled "The Watchdog Role of the Court-Determination of fairness of proposed class action settlements." (September 2007)
- Selected as Trial Judge of the Year by the Orange County chapter of ABOTA (2003)
- During the 600-hour scheduled maintenance/inspection, technicians forgot to properly secure the cowling over the engine of this private corporate jet. Employees of the owner of the jet participated in the work. In a transcontinental flight to California, cowling assembly caught wind resulting in the loss of a major portion of the cowling and part of fuselage. Very ambiguous circumstantial evidence to prove the employee, or the private mechanic was responsible.
- Customer sues bank over banking errors resulting in business losses, and Elder Abuse.
Breach of Privacy
- Wrongful termination and breach of contract to grant plaintiff right of first refusal to purchase family-owned car dealership. The dispute was highly emotional between the family members.
- Fuel supplier (plaintiff) claimed citrus grower failed to pay for fuel used to operate wind turbines. Grower claimed the plaintiff failed to deliver fuel on time as agreed. As result frost destroyed six figures worth of grower's crop.
- Large international pharmaceutical company misappropriated model's image without compensation. (Civil Code section 3344.) Seven figure settlement due largely to company's net profit attributable to the use of the image.
- In a binding arbitration matter, parties to a real estate partnership sought dissolution of the partnership, an accounting, and damages for alleged breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, breach of contract, and the cost to repair alleged defective work to remodel a luxury home on 6 acres with an ocean view. The original business plan was to purchase the property with an existing home, conduct an extensive remodel, and immediately sell the project. The relationship between the parties deteriorated before the project could be completed.
- Misappropriation of trade secrets case. Thousands of documents. Very acrimonious relationship between family members who were the owners of a very successful IP firm.
- Plaintiff was General Counsel for a very successful IP firm who agreed to take as his fee a percentage of the proceeds from the sale of the corporation's patents. Plaintiff claims he was not paid for the sale of certain patents. Plaintiff was admitted to practice law in another state, and in a foreign country, but not in California. Defendant alleged the plaintiff was not eligible to be paid for sales f patents occurring during the time plaintiff was not licensed to practice law in California.
- A bank made a loan secured by real property, and paid off the second. Unknown to first bank, the next day, another bank made also made a loan to same debtor. The first bank recorded its DOT first. The second bank never sought a subordination agreement from the first bank. Debtor defaulted on the first DOT and was foreclosed upon. The second bank seeks equitable subrogation.
- Complex action alleging trade disparagement, and unfair competition under state and federal laws, and tortious interference with contractual relations. Plaintiff alleged the defendant was guilty of impugning the plaintiff's services ("slamming") through offshore boiler room telephone banks, and then undercutting the plaintiff's prices.
Consumer Class Action
- Class action, potentially involving members in the thousands, arising under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (47 USCA Section 227, et seq. ("TCPA"). Main issue was whether the members of the class expressly consented to be called by the creditor in the course of attempting to collect payment for service.
- Six consolidate actions in which the plaintiffs alleged Securities fraud, and breach of fiduciary duty when the defendants breached their representation to invest on behalf of the plaintiffs in only low risk foreign mortgages. Plaintiffs also assert the defendants were not properly registered with the SEC.
- Alleged construction defects in the construction of a multi-million dollar hilltop mansion - everything from the basement to the attic.
- Real estate sales agreement allegedly breached when seller failed to perform escrow requirements Seller claimed the parties never agreed on the price of the property. Mediator helped the parties re-negotiate the sale for "win/win" result.
- Mediated and settled a real property sales transaction breach, leading to specific performance action. Helped parties re-negotiate deal for a seven-figure settlement.
- Arbitration for dissolution of partnership wherein each partner accused the other of breach of fiduciary duty arising out of failure to reimburse the partnership for personal expenses paid by the business.
- Action under the Consumer Legal Remedies Act, and Civil Code section 1632 (requirement to provide foreign language translation of consumer sales agreement). The defendant failed to disclose defect and misrepresented condition of vehicle, and guided the plaintiff through English version of contract without Spanish translation. Car dealer instructed the plaintiff to acknowledge his receipt of certain documents he never received.
- Securities fraud action wherein the plaintiff alleged she intended to buy the stock in one company, and instead was given stock in another corporation. The first corporation never existed. Plaintiff settled for the amount of her investment minus obligations she owed to the second corporation.
- Home Owners Association sues landscape contractor for failing to keep up the appearance of the vegetation around the property. HOA alleges landscaper understaffed the project, cut back watering drastically to slow down growth of vegetation in order to cut costs, leading to stress in species of trees which blighted and all had to be cut down. Among issues was whether trees died as result of the drought, or the intentional under watering. Case settled in mediation.
- Action under the California Legal Remedies Act seeking restitution for breach of contract by failing to disclose prior collision damage; and violation of Civil Code 1632. Partial issues:Is lender entitled to pre-filing notice from the consumer; must all documents be translated to Spanish; are attorneys' fees limited by the Holder Rule.
- A business under the Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses Act contracted with an executive services consulting firm for the services of a CEO for the business. The CEO operated as an independent contractor. Issue was whether the oral agreement required the business to pay only for the services of the CEO or whether it provided for reimbursement of consulting costs in addition. The CEO had hired a family member for consulting services. Case settled in mediation.
- In an arbitration, the claimant alleged he purchased a used vehicle from an auto dealer which violated the Consumers Legal Remedies Act (Civil Code §§1750, et seq.), the Unfair Competition Law (Bus. & Prof. Code §§17200 et seq.), and negligently misrepresented the vehicle as never having been in an accident. The claimant alleged the dealer had knowledge the vehicle actually had been in a collision and suffered major damage to its frame. The claimant had sued both the dealer and the financing company. The interesting twist in the case came when the finance company sought to disqualify the claimant's attorney on grounds the claimant’s attorney once represented another finance company which has since merged with the respondent finance company. The current finance company had taken over the other finance company. The respondent finance company proved the claimant's attorney had a conflict of interest because he was privy to confidential matters when representing the other finance company in a case involving the same issues as in the present lawsuit.
- Neutral was appointed discovery referee and deposition officer in highly emotional intra-family dispute between adult child and parents. Plaintiff alleges his parents forged several deeds transferring to themselves all or a portion of his interest in the properties. Most properties valued in "7 figures."
- In mediation, the plaintiff alleged it entered a contract titled a non-exclusive sales representation agreement which contained an at-will termination provision. Plaintiff contends it was required to pay a franchise fee, making the contract a franchise agreement under the California Franchise Relations Act, requiring termination only for good cause. Defendant terminated contract without identifying cause. Issues: Whether the plaintiff could prove its marketing costs were actually a form of franchise fee, and whether future lost profits could be proved by this startup company.
- In this mediation, a dentist sought damages from a consultant who promised to design, construct, and equip her new office. The Dr. sued the consultant for negligence and breach of contract. The Dr. alleged the construction, and the equipment were defective. Matter settled during post-mediation efforts.
- In arbitration, the plaintiff alleged it entered into a contract to sell a portion of its stream of income produced from leases of several communication towers located on the plaintiff's property. Plaintiff alleged it was entitled to receive its share of the lease revenue whether or not all leases were current or all leases were active. Defendant contended the opposite - that plaintiff was only entitled to share in the lease revenue if all leases were active and current on the rent. The case turned on the interpretation of complex contractual terms. Resolved through arbitration.
- In mediation, plaintiff, a food manufacturer, alleged breach of freight forwarding contract when two expensive pieces of its equipment arrived damaged at an overseas destination. Freight forwarding company denied it actually transported the equipment, and contended it only arranges for transportation by third-parties. Matter settled in mediation.
- In this mediation, the plaintiff alleged the defendant breached its lease of medical equipment. The defense contended the lease was really a financing agreement which deceptively treated hidden interest payments as rent under the true lease/economic reality test. By the end of the renewed lease period, the lessee would have paid 2 to 3 times the fair market value of the equipment. Case settled.
- In this mediation, plaintiffs in class action claim they were charged excessive fees for towing and impounding of their vehicles pursuant to Vehicle Code section 22658(i).
- The parties are dealers in the wholesale trade of complex electrical equipment. Plaintiff alleged the defendant sold its licensed/proprietary merchandise without first obtaining rights to the license. At the time of sale, the defendant had represented to the plaintiff it could give the plaintiff a "manufacturer's warranty." Turns out the seller did not have rights to the license but offered to provide an "equivalent " warranty once the truth came out. As a result, the plaintiff could not provide a manufacturer's warranty to its customer. The merchandise was defective and the plaintiff agreed to rescind the sale to its customer. Plaintiff sued the defendant for breach of contract, recession, fraud, and damage to its relationship with the manufacturer. Case settled in mediation.
- Case involves a real state investment group's dispute with its management company over the handling of over 110 residential properties.
- Alleged fraud in the inducement to purchase the assets of an interstate trucking business.
- As part of the sale of a tax services business, the purchaser was given the opportunity to exercise due diligence to verify whether the value of the represented book of business was accurate. The seller was also obligated to work diligently to market the business for one year post-sale. The buyer walked away from the business after only four months.
- Franchise dispute over franchiser's alleged failure to provide advertising and technology support. Alleged misdirection of phone calls to other franchisees for marketing purposes. Case settled, but alleged post-settlement breach of agreement lead to breakdown of transition of business ownership from franchise to franchisor.
- After franchise ended, franchisor alleged franchisee continued to use franchise marks and branding. Franchisee alleged franchisor failed to provide the support required under the franchise agreement. Confidential settlement.
- Real estate/secured transaction leading to claim of unfair debt collection/improper credit reporting case. The debtor defaulted on mortgage/deed of trust and then arranged to sell property to third-party investor for cash deal, and the buyer picks up the payments of the existing Mortgage. Lender approved the sale, but the mortgage was never assumed. Years later, lender's assignee starts to report to IRS (form 1098) that seller was paying interest (but he wasn't) leading to 5 figure tax lien. Seller claims mortgage holder ruined his credit and led to large tax payment.
Construction Breach Of Contract
- Contractor's complaint for non-payment for construction of residence lead to cross-complaint for disgorgement of amounts paid by owner due to failure of contractor to be properly licensed and for defects in construction.
- Multi-million dollar home suffers water intrusion after remodel. Number of parties (fifteen subcontractors, general contractor, and homeowner) added to complexity.
- Plaintiff alleged a host of construction defects suffered by its shopping mall, delay costs, and loss of rent well into the 8-figures. The case was over three years old by the time it was assigned of the mediator by the court pursuant to CCP Section 639. The initial challenge of the mediator was to salvage the prospects for settlement because the relationship between the plaintiff and the defendant had become toxic.
- In this general reference, complex construction defect case involving 11 parties, the owners of two luxury homes sued the developer/general contractor for a variety of structural defects and land failure. The developer/general contractor in turn sued its subcontractors.
Breach of Contract
- In this arbitration, a community college district sought declaratory relief of its obligation to pay on behalf of the retired employee of the district a life insurance policy for life as part of this employee's compensation package. In addition to the issue of contract formation and interpretation, the case also concerned the validity of the contract under the California Brown Act, Government Code sections 54950, et seq.
- Action by restaurant workers for damages for not providing meal and rest breaks, and failure to pay overtime pay, providing an inaccurate pay check stub, and waiting time penalties.
- FEHA wrongful termination, and disability discrimination suit where key issues included whether the employee notified the employer of his need for accommodation at the work site.
- Three-hundred member wage and hour class action alleging employer's failure to provide meal and rest breaks. Delivery drivers alleged that, although the dispatcher authorized lunch breaks, lunch was not authorized until after the fifth hour of work. Case settled for mid six-figures.
Wage and Hour
- Class of about 890 drivers sued for reimbursement of business expenses, mainly mileage, and failure to pay minimum wage when the drivers were on duty but waiting for an assignment ("down time").
- Over 4,000 newspaper delivery drivers alleged they were employees, rather than independent contractors, and demanded reimbursement of business expenses, meal and rest pay, and statutory penalties, among other claims.
- In mediation, several truck drivers alleged they were mis-classified as independent contractors instead of employees. Unusual about case is that the putative employer required the drivers to purchase their trucks through dealer and lender, and required insurance selected by the putative employer. Truck registered to driver. Loan was guaranteed by putative employer. If the driver missed payments, the putative employer could keep the loans current. Otherwise, trucks had all indecia of belonging to the putative employer.
- Wage and hour claim where the employee reported extensive and widespread history of Labor Code violations by the employer including failure to pay OT, time off the clock, meal and rest violations, failure to reimburse business expenses, failure to provide accurate check stubs, and more. Employer did not denied his conduct but claimed the plaintiff was an independent contractor.
Wage and Hour Class Action
- Wage and hour class action mediation wherein the class demanded compensation for meal and rest breaks, overtime, and reimbursement of business expenses for uniforms and cell phone use. Plaintiff alleged he and class members were threatened with deportation. Problem: the defendant is a small family-run restaurant. Case resolved as individual settlement.
- Wage and hour class action against finance institution seeking damages for failure to provide meal and rest breaks, PAGA penalties, and restitution under the UCL for the class of nonexempt underwriters. Case settled in seven figures for class exceeding 600 employees.
Whistleblower Wrongful Term
- A licensed engineer employed by a water treatment facility believes he has uncovered an illegal scheme to spike the wages of unqualified, unlicensed employees right before their estimated retirement dates to establish higher base retirement payments. The whistleblower reports his theory and is fired within one month of when he reports the scheme.
- Action over interest in car dealership where the plaintiff claimed fraud in the inducement to enter into buy-out agreement. The defendant claimed the buy-out agreement was a valid accord and satisfaction of the dispute.
- Wrongful termination, and disability discrimination suit arising from the alleged failure by the employer to engage in the interactive process in an attempt to find a reasonable accommodation to permit the employee to maintain his job.
- In wrongful termination/discrimination case, the plaintiff employee was denied employer provided medical aid after he was injured on the job. Employer offered to pay the employee's medical bills under the table to avoid workers compensation filing. Termination followed after months of harassment. Problem for employee was lack of corroboration of his version of events. Case settled in mediation.
- In wrongful termination arbitration, the claimant sued for bonus she earned but was not paid, and for damages for wrongful termination. Bonus issue depended on interpretation of oral and written terms of the bonus agreement. Claimant also contended she was fired for demanding her bonus.
- In mediation, 61-year-old employee, an internal auditor, alleges wrongful termination as whistle-blower and age discrimination. Employee claims his supervisor pressured him not to submit the results of an internal investigation critical of the company which was required to be disclosed to the foreign equivalent of federal SEC. The employee filed his report anyway, and was terminated the following day. He was replaced by a young person. Settled in mediation.
- In arbitration, the employee alleged the employer wrongfully denied her wages, in the form of a bonus, and then wrongfully terminated her employment because she complained about it in violation of Labor Code sec. 1102.5.
- In this arbitration, former employee alleged that top level corporate officer made repeated sexually inappropriate remarks, and touched her legs, and breasts. Employer also asked employee to testify falsely against another employee in hearing where employer contested the second employee's unemployment benefits. The day after the employee complained on behalf of all employees about employer's failure to provide meal and rest breaks, she was fired. Employer operated as integrated enterprise among 7 separate commonly owned corporations, none of which separately had 50 or more employees.
- A surgeon from another state answered a job announcement on the internet for a position as a surgeon in a subspecialty in California, reached an agreement, and moved here. When he arrived, he was told for the first time the written offer was revoked because the surgeon had allegedly lied about negative information in his background. Instead, the surgeon was offered a junior position at a greatly reduced pay. As it turned out, the "head hunter" used by the employer to recruit doctors made a mistake about the surgeon's background. To complicate the case, the surgeon felt coerced to sign the second contract for the lesser position.
- The employer claimed the employee could not perform the essential functions of her employment because she had taken two earlier medical leaves, and was currently on her third leave. Employer speculated there would be more requests for leave even though the employee's doctor had given the employee a definite return date in the near future.
- Plaintiff alleged the insurance company insuring his business systematically seeks to withhold policy benefits from its insureds.
- Appointed by the court as discovery referee in a complex civil matter, the neutral is overseeing the discovery in a consolidated/coordinated matter which is 17 cases in one spread out over two counties, concerning allegations of breach of fiduciary duties by trustee of large family trust (valued in the "9-figures") and related entities, and related probate issues.
- Inter-sibling dispute over decedent's real property claimed to have been acquired prior to the decedent's death through fraud and undue influence by one of the siblings. Extreme ill will between the one sibling and the others.
- The beneficiaries of a family trust sued the Trustee, a sibling, for fraud and self-dealing. The salient time period of the events started 29 years before the case was filed, and required the examination of scores of financial transactions.
- Wrongful death action arising out of alleged failure to provide dialysis leading to cardiac arrest. The decedent had long history of heart disease. Major issues concerned elements of standard of care, and whether alleged negligence caused the death.
- In an arbitration, the surviving family members alleged the treating hospital told the 76-year-old decedent dialysis was unavailable to her because the hospital did not staff for that procedure over weekends. The deceased was suffering end stage renal failure and required dialysis every third day. On the fourth day of hospitalization without dialysis, the deceased began the day showing elevated blood markers for renal failure, but was not given dialysis until late afternoon. The procedure became complicated when a clot developed in the tube leading to the dialysis machine. The decedent suffered cardiac arrest before the dialysis could be completed.
Professional Malpractice Legal
- Extremely wealthy family accuses attorney and trustee of the family trust of fraud, breach of fiduciary duty by overcharging his fees and self-dealing.
- Legal malpractice case involving allegations of injury caused by mold exposure to four plaintiffs in the "case within the case." Layered over that were allegations of breach of fiduciary duty based on conversion and other intentional torts.
- In arbitration on claim of wrongful eviction, homeowner sought to modify his mortgage. One department of the lender denied application for modification, but agreed to process request for short sale. In another one of lender's department, the foreclosure process continued even though the homeowner was told by bank that foreclosure would be stayed pending short sale. Homeowner even found able buyer to purchase the property at price greater than loan balance.
Breach Of Contract
- Prospective buyers of real estate learn only after escrow is opened that the seller, broker, and initial escrow company are allegedly owned by the same person. Buyers also claim seller allegedly failed to disclose architectural defects in the property. Buyers assert seller committed fraud and breached its fiduciary duty. Settled in mediation.
- In this mediation, the plaintiffs alleged the defendant violated the Homeowner Bill of Rights Act, Civil Code sections 2923.6 (dual tacking), and Civil Code section 2924.10 (lender's duty to keep homeowner informed). Plaintiffs alleged the lender failed to timely process plaintiffs' application for loan modification, while still proceeding with the foreclosure process; lender failed to comply with duty to advise borrowers of missing documents needed to process loan modification and deadlines to comply; and failed to advise of borrowers' right to appeal lender's denial of modification. Lender's notes reflected borrowers actually qualified for loan modification, but were not advised until after foreclosure sale.
- Arbitration involving demand by a prospective buyer for specific performance of purchase agreement of single-family home. The seller claims her broker (non-party) intentionally misled her about cancellation provisions in the contract. No grounds for cancellation were listed in the agreement. HELD: The broker did not commit fraud, Therefore, no grounds to cancel the contract.
- Dispute concerns interpretation of contingency clause in real estate purchase agreement. Could equitable considerations govern over express contingencies in the contract.
Home Owners Association
- Plaintiff seeks his attorneys' fees and expert costs incurred when the Home Owners Association unilaterally declared it intended to demolish a portion of the plaintiff's residential unit to fix a leak. When the plaintiff learned of the decision, he was forced to hire an attorney and several experts to investigate the HOA's concerns. The leak was never found.
- Action by individual home owner for damages against the Home Owners Association for water/moisture intruding into his residence through the slab from beneath his unit.
- Title dispute to real property where the deeds are at odds with oral promises to transfer interests in the property.
- A large national bank foreclosed upon the wrong property - wrong not only in the sense it was not the security for the particular loan, but also, the property was security for a loan by another bank.
- Judge Velasquez was appointed discovery referee in a complex probate, and trust dispute, involving 12 different entities and beneficiaries of an extremely large family trust. Seventeen attorneys battled over whether the trustee breached his fiduciary duty in transactions going back several decades. Complex issues of attorney-client privilege, and third-party financial privacy, and the management of voluminous documents.
- Settled a dispute in which the plaintiff had been in default on her mortgage. She contended the defendant was a disreputable “foreclosure specialist” which “guaranteed” it could obtain a loan modification of the plaintiff’s home loan and stave off the foreclosure sale. Plaintiff further alleged the defendant violated state rules regulating the mortgage assistance industry. The loan was never modified, and plaintiff’s home was sold in foreclosure. The defendant denied it “guaranteed” its services. The documents in the case were ambiguous, but the defendant did offer a “money back guarantee.” Key to settling the case was the fact I spent the time to make a settlement proposal supported by a several page assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the respective cases as viewed by a neutral third party.
- Mediated an alleged wrongful foreclosure case, wherein the main issue was the scope of damages available to the borrower under the Homeowner Bill of Rights Act.
Assault and Battery
- Time-to-time homeless person, plaintiff is suspected of petty theft by store manager who orders plaintiff's detention out in parking lot until police arrive. Contested fact whether the plaintiff initiated use of force or was tackled without provocation. Plaintiff was taken and held in store break room, where second incident occurred resulting in plaintiff being roughly pushed against wall, and breaking three of his ribs.
- Head-on collision between a freight train and a commuter train injuring 120 passengers. Crash resulted in many seriously injured, and three fatalities. PTSD was common among the injured.
- Dog bit the plaintiff's leg at the calf while the plaintiff was taking her daily walk. The dog's bite punctured the plaintiff's skin and left a small, permanent scar and loss of feeling to the skin around the wound.
- Five-year old girl lost the flesh around left nostril when bitten on the nose by the neighbor's dog. After initial surgery, girl will likely need at least three more reconstructive surgeries. Case settled in mid-range of six figures.
- In a highly emotional mediation, plaintiffs alleged a cemetery mishandled human remains by agreeing to exhume a body for reburial in another section of the cemetery. A close relative of the deceased had purchased the grave site for the deceased at the time of his death, but the deceased's spouse had selected another grave site several months after the deceased passed away. Spouse claimed she has a statutory right to exhume and dispose of the body. The relative asserted her property and contractual rights and expectations that the cemetery would respect her interests and at least resort to court intervention before exhuming the body.
- 30-year-old, pregnant female tripped and fell at fast food restaurant landing hard on her knee. 2 hours later she suddenly starts vaginal bleeding. At ER as result of ultrasound, no fetus was found in her uterine, but doctor can't rule out an ectopic pregnancy. Plaintiff has history of ectopic pregnancies and miscarriages. Case settled in mediation.
- While a minor, the plaintiff attended a rock climbing excursion with a youth group. She fell off the simulated cliff and suffered a seriously broken ankle. The plaintiff alleged the youth group failed to properly supervise the event. The youth group asserted secondary assumption of the risk. Case settled in mediation.
- In this mediation, plaintiff was a tourist on a novelty sea craft made to look like a submersible boat. She slipped and fell while descending a ships ladder. Threshold issue was whether the state law of California for common carriers, or Maritime Law governed the boat owner's duty of care. Case settled in mediation.
- Tie-down winch breaks off truck trailer, smashes through windshield of second vehicle and hits the other motorist in the face.
- Auto accident at an intersection resulting in major property damage to the vehicles, and soft tissue injury to the plaintiff. The challenge for the plaintiff was determining which injury was caused by the collision and which was caused by his advanced, pre-existing Multiple Sclerosis.
- Product liability/personal injury. Plaintiff alleged she was injured during a medical procedure when the tip of the endoscopic device being used broke off inside her pancreas. Out of 30,000 such devices manufactured, the product failed less than .010% of the time. Main issue was whether the device was negligently designed or manufactured. Significant 6-figure award.
- Major multi-auto traffic collision resulting in permissive-use cause of action against corporate owner of a truck led to significant 6-figure settlement.
PI Sexual Assault
- Two boys under the age of six accuse their teenage babysitter of sexual molestation. Extremely sensitive issues when dealing with all parties.
- Apportionment action by six claimants arising out of a double-fatality car accident where there were inadequate policy limits to cover the loses.
- In a national and international pharmaceutical products liability case, liability hinged on the resolution of a federal preemption issue of "first impression." The lawsuit was framed as both a class action (seeking damages for breach of warranty), and as a consolidated action (seeking personal injury damages) for over 70 individual injury cases, most of which involved catastrophic injury, including blindness and loss of eyes.
- As a court appointed discovery referee, referee was called upon to resolve very contentious complex discovery disputes involving numerous parties, voluminous documents and over 12 motions in complex medical malpractice, elder abuse discovery, wrongful death action.