HON. MITCHEL R. GOLDBERG, RET.

  • Retired Federal Bankruptcy Judge
  • Available in Orange County, All of California, Nationwide
  • Mediation Only

Introduction

After 20 years of service, Judge Goldberg retired from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, 9th Circuit, Central District of California, where he presided over and mediated all types of bankruptcy and non bankruptcy related issues including but not limited to class actions involving multiple insurance coverage issues, complex commercial matters involving real estate, banking/lending, title insurance, collateralized debt obligations, securities, patent and copyright issues. During his time on the bench, Judge Goldberg earned a reputation with both the bench and the bar as the "go-to" guy for mediation of all types of problem disputes mediating many hundreds of cases for all other 21 Judges in the Central District. After his retirement in 2008, Judge Goldberg utilized his people skills exploring new avenues of service such as hospice care, teaching and working with children. All the while his passion for mediation remained front and center so much so that it led to him to teaching an advanced course in mediation skills at the famed Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine Law School . He found it so invigorating that he ultimately decided to continue teaching and became an adjunct professor and to further serve the community as a private mediator with Judicate West. Judge Goldberg has been a featured speaker about bankruptcy, transportation, real estate and family law, plus mediation and effective communication skills. He was a panel speaker at the International Conference of Judges sponsored by World Bank and Pepperdine University at which over 40 nations were present, and he was recently one of four Professors/ judicial mediators to introduce mediation skills to lawyers and judges in the Republic of Uganda. Many of the attorneys who have worked with Judge Goldberg over the years have commented that although their experience with him as a mediator was initially through the bankruptcy court, his skills are obvious to all and translate well into all other areas of civil litigation. One noted, "He is simply an excellent mediator." Today, having been a private mediator of hundreds of cases for several years, he is best known for being "well prepared," thorough, fair and respectful" and most of all for being a "gifted storyteller in highly emotional cases."

Specialties

Hobbies & Interests

Interests include travel, golf, working as a Hospice volunteer, teaching and children's story teller

Testimonials

I wanted to thank Judge Goldberg for his superb handling of the mediation yesterday. I was singularly impressed! His professionalism and humanity are exemplary.
- Attorney, Orange County, California

Judge Goldberg has an outstanding temperament for a mediator. He is a great study and tireless in working toward solution.
- Attorney on a business/contractual dispute

The mediation Judge Goldberg handled for our client reached a successful conclusion. The settlement was approved. Some clients are more difficult than others - and Judge Goldberg handled our with ease. I look forward to working with him again in the future.
- Attorney, Orange County, California

He saw problems clearly, wad prepared, did not act like a judge, understood the human dynamics, + pushed when necessary.
- Attorney on a business/contractual dispute

Experience Summary

Legal Career

  • Private mediator with Judicate West 2009-present.
  • Adjunct Professor Straus Institute for Alternative Dispute Resolution Pepperdine Law School 2009-present
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Central Dist. of Calif. 1988-2008
  • Private Attorney 1970-1988

Education & Professional Affiliations

  • Advanced mediation certificate Pepperdine Law- Straus Institute For Dispute Resolution 2009
  • J.D. University of Colorado 1968
  • B.A. University of Colorado 1965
  • Bd. Of Trustees Temple Beth Tikvah (TBT) 1992-present
  • Inland Empire BK Forum 1988-2010
  • President TBT 1989-1991
  • Bd. Of Directors United Way Orange County 1975-1981
  • Bd. Of Directors/President Jewish Family Services OC 1971-1976

Achievements & Awards

  • Guest Speaker Central Dist Bd of Judges 2012
  • Natl Moot court team and best oral argument Rocky Mt. Region 1967
  • Articles Editor U of Colorado Law Review 1966-68

Legal Experience

  • Insolvency related matters from plan confirmation in complex matters to litigation of issues relating to Fraudulent Transfer; preferences and claims disputes
  • Real Estate disputes
  • Lender Liability
  • Professional liability
  • Contract disputes
  • Business termination

Representative Case Information

Recent Representative Cases

Business/Commercial

Banking/Finance

  • Complex title insurance liability case with a seven-figure base exposure plus potential bad faith issues but with some good defense. Used a small third party bond to bring the settlement to over seven-figures.

Complex Commercial

  • Co-owner disputes re stock devaluation due to losses of a professional sports team

Consumer Class Action

  • Analyzing the economic effect of a putative class action case where available funds versus scope of damages are not in sync so case has to be analyzed from an economic and business perspective as a driving force.

Contractual

  • Contract dispute re medical equipment leasing and financing
  • St. Ct. business dispute with bank asserting a check kiting scheme with in multiple auto dealerships, and the owners suing for defamation
  • Lender liability re financing representations on loans to a ocean front B&B
  • Vehicle flooring dispute and the financing related thereto. To generate funds to finance a structured liquidation
  • Initiated discussions to resolve pre litigation contract disputes re power plant reconditioning issue involved over $200 million at issue
  • Mediated and resolved complex plan structure to deal with a 25 million dollar lease rejection claim.
  • Complex and emotional dispute by an artist who was defrauded by prior owner of dealership. Residual corporate art was in dispute with new plan agent and settlement included swaps of art at a seven-figure amount for some cash and reduction of both admin and general unsecured claims in excess of that sum.
  • This unusual family business dispute which has gone on since 2012 with litigation from 2014 was unique as it was a primary dispute between father and son so many emotional and financial issues and interests had to be dealt with. Settlement included engaging an expert for the mediator to help define value (which both sides accepted for the mediation) and this allowed for a decent frame of a settlement.
  • Large judgement against a city would have forced it into a Ch. 9 BK without settlement. Extensive multi-day negotiations to resolve multi faced intergovernmental processes and restricted income distribution and to devise sharing of third party litigation plan as well as a structured 20 plus year payout.
  • Seller and broker liability and collectability issues which resulted in payment by seller to buyer of a six-figure amount over time and payment by Broker of a five-figure amount.
  • This was a very complex negotiation trying to solve both legal, factual, economic, and political considerations in addition to creating terms and conditions that would make it both feasible and durable. The settlement has now been fine tuned and will go to the respective government entities for public presentation and approval.

Fraud/Misrepresentation

  • Business dispute over value/ loss of value in marketing a "genre" website

Insolvency

  • Contractor- Workman's Comp insurer dispute on alleged mis-rating hundreds of employees to gain millions in benefits
  • Lawsuit with FDIC successor re alleged lender liability for failure to fully fund a $20 million construction project.
  • Complex lease dispute between a municipal agency; tenant; and underlying lender
  • Fraudulent transfer claim against a "to big to fail" entity re a major real estate project settled for $18 million
  • Mediated dispute between duel owners of a cemetery on a buy out and its evaluation including endowment funds
  • Mediated whether a substantial attorney retainer was earned or secured or had to be turned over to the BK estate
  • Complex real property option for ownership of Beverly Hills Property
  • Mediate BK plan issues and bank financing terms to get to a consensual plan
  • Complex case on issues regarding money with two loans; two title insurance companies; lender issues and hostility; and a borrower-debtor in bankruptcy. Created a settlement that includes selling a house with equity but contributing added cash to create added equity cushion to live on for 59 year old single woman.
  • Mediation re post judgment collection of a discrimination judgment that would have put the defendant company into insolvency if not settled
  • One piece of a complex 30 million purchase of property and litigation rights. Negotiation reflects the creativity and merger of legal, factual and business realities when a public agency is involved.
  • Utilized a lot of creativity to bring all parties, including non participating parties together for potential global settlement.

Securities Class Action

  • "Innocent" fraudulent transfer claims all 6 or 7 figure issues relating to an alleged Ponzi style scheme affecting hundreds of people

Employment

Labor Code

  • WARN act labor dispute and allowance of their claims in bankruptcy plan

Wage & Hour Class Action

  • Labor law case with Piercing the veil issues to determine range of collectability in a BK. Many complexities including multi plaintiff groups; and a need for forensic accounting review and payment stretch out along with adequate security. Three full day sessions to get to a wrap-up.

Environmental

Environmental Issues

  • While on the bench, he had a trial on water rights law which involved local water districts and even competing private riparian water rights as well as the private sector dealing with inter government disputes and water district issue and avoiding BK.

Insurance

Ins. Class Action

  • Multi party class action suit with 13 CGL and E&O Carriers over coverage issues in a 60,000 class action member group for "negligent misrepresentation" to time share buyers. Settled for $15 million

Professional Malpractice

Professional Malpractice Legal

  • Professional malpractice case

Real Estate

Breach Of Contract

  • Complex issues regarding 1031 and escrow documentation and how things may have failed. Worked with title insurers as well as counsel for plaintiff who was involved and is the son of the plaintiffs which made things more interesting.

Home Owners Association

  • HOA dispute re property easements

Tort

PI Auto

  • A personal injury underinsured motorist case with both economic and emotional issues leading to a creative settlement above policy limits.

Premises Liability

  • Mediated a complex 10 year litigation over responsibility for hazardous waste removal costs Settled with a structured payout in 8 figures

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

Mediators Los Angeles

San Diego

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

San Diego Mediation

Santa Ana

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

Orange County Mediation

San Francisco

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

San Francisco Mediation

Sacramento

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

Sacramento Mediation