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HON. NORMAN P. TARLE, RET.

  • Based in Los Angeles, available in All of California
  • Available for Mediation, Arbitration, and Private Judging assignments

Introduction

For over 36 years, Judge Tarle served as a Municipal Court and Superior Court Commissioner, as well as a Superior Court Judge in Los Angeles County. Since 2004, Judge Tarle presided over civil direct calendar and trial courts in the West Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, and Santa Monica Courthouses. During this time, he handled hundreds of jury and bench trials involving personal injury, professional malpractice both medical and legal, breach of contract, real property, warranty of habitability, and landlord/tenant cases. In addition to his civil assignments, he also sat in criminal courts for half his career, presiding over nearly every type of criminal case imaginable, from drug possession to murder. Many of these cases, such as sexual assault in schools, assault and murder by government employees, and DUI collisions, have had their counterparts in civil lawsuits.

While a Deputy City Attorney for the City of Los Angeles, he was one of the first to be assigned to the housing enforcement unit, which exposed him to slum housing and severe habitability cases. He also served in the Agency Prosecution Unit which involved sweatshop operations, wage and hour pay violations, business tax, and restaurant health and safety issues. Judge Tarle is particularly passionate about resolving these types of disputes from his “boots on the ground” work and experiencing the impact in our communities and government.

He very much enjoys giving back to his judicial colleagues and the legal community. For decades, he has been involved with the Young Lawyers and Barristers sections of several bar associations, new judges’ orientation through the Judicial Council, and moot courts in law schools. As a trial judge, he is known as an even-tempered, fair, and reasonable judge and treats everyone with respect and kindness.

Practice Areas

Experience Summary

Judge Tarle has been involved in a wide variety of cases during his more than 40 years of combined legal experience, serving as a Municipal Court and Superior Court Commissioner, Superior Court Judge, and Deputy City Attorney in Los Angeles County.

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Hobbies & Interests

Judge Tarle enjoys bike riding, spinning, hiking, and reading fiction.

Testimonials

"The mediation was a wonderful experience, and we truly appreciated your assistance, patience, and level of care that you demonstrated for the case and most importantly, for our client. "
- Trial Attorney at a Widely-Recognized Personal Injury Firm in Los Angeles

"I very much enjoyed your mediation style as you genuinely listened to and understood my clients’ case. Thank you for taking time before the mediation to discuss case points with me and to clarify any questions and concerns you had. I appreciated your feedback and insight, especially given your extensive judicial experience, as that allowed me to hone in on what you believed were to be both the pros and cons in my client’s case. I believe our settlement was due to your constructive communication, especially in how you posed effective questions so that the parties pause, reflect, and reassess the case (including all its flaws and strong points) in its entirety. My favorite part of the mediation was when you asked what I was trying to communicate with one of my counter demands. You looked beyond just the numbers and really into what the case was about for both sides. Not only that, but you remained optimistic and determined throughout the entire process, which created a much more pleasant and motivating environment to work within. Thank you for successfully reading the room to allow for a resolution and (as I always prefer) guarantee a result for my clients."
- Attorney on a Personal Injury Auto Matter

"Working with Judge Tarle in mediation was probably the single most productive and satisfying mediation experience of my legal career. I was so impressed and now understand my colleague’s recommendations to seek him out. My client, is extremely satisfied with yesterday’s mediation, given the circumstances and we believe he was the DETERMINATIVE factor. I hope to work on many mediations with him in the future. "
- Attorney on a Real Estate Breach of Contract case

"Thank you for all your hard work in helping to get this case resolved. You were authoritative without being pushy, and I found your calm style and patient approach extremely beneficial to the success of the mediation; I would not hesitate to use your services again!"
- Top Personal Injury Attorney

"Judge Tarle was one of the most effective mediators I have had the privilege of working with on any matter. "
- Senior Counsel at a Prestigious Los Angeles-Based Law Firm

"I really appreciate your help on this. You have gone above and beyond in assisting with this case. I have told my colleagues about using you for mediation in the future."
- Senior Attorney of a Top Insurance Defense Firm

"It was a pleasure working with you during the mediation. You were efficient, reasonable, and most importantly, effective in getting the deal done. I wish all my cases were that easy to settle. "
- Attorney at a Nationally Ranked, Statewide California Law Firm

"Judge Tarle effectively managed this four plaintiff, two co-defendant case remotely in less than 3 hours. Very pleased. "
- Attorney on a Personal Injury case

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Links and Articles

Experience Summary

BREACH OF CONTRACT


• Complaint of alleged fraud. Breach of contract for failure to pay for services rendered costs incurred, and unpaid attorney's fees.


• Breach of contract regarding home improvement. Complaint alleged contractor took an unlawful deposit. The deposit wasn't returned and the plaintiff alleged the contractor never intended to return monies.


• High-end property rented in Bel Air. The defendant wanted to do $1 million in renovations as he was a wealthy businessman who needed to use the home for fundraisers.



EMPLOYMENT


• Wrongful termination of a teacher of 30 years. The students were failing in her class and she was warned to improve their scores.



LEMON LAW


•Multiple cases where individuals have sued for used-car purchases.


•Tried and resolved many cases involving warranty law violations under Song-Beverly, and California Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA).


•Disputes involving cascades of small repairs on different items rather than a single problem that doesn’t get fixed correctly.



MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE


• Plaintiff's claimed that decedent died as a result of negligence upon undergoing abdominoplasty.


•Negligent medical care. Plaintiff alleged defendant was negligent in performing hysterectomy and that said surgery resulted in injury and damage to her ureter.


• Medical negligence: acupuncture. Plaintiff went into the defendant's massage shop, was upsold, and tried acupuncture for the first time. Plaintiff alleged puncture of her right lung by an acupuncture needle inserted through her back - later rushed to ER with a 70% collapsed lung.


• Alleged dental malpractice and fraud. Defendant placed dental implant into plaintiff's sinuses causing facial pain and headaches.


• Plaintiff alleged wrongful death; medical malpractice. The decedent underwent bilateral patella tendon surgery and died 28 days after the operation due to negligent care.



PERSONAL INJURY


•Personal injury and loss of income as a result of a slip and fall at a big box store.


• Automobile and bicycle collision at a 4-way intersection. Plaintiff was riding bicycle claims injury due to accident.


• Plaintiff claimed damages due to injuries caused when the defendant's tractor-trailer collided with the back of the plaintiff's pickup truck.


• Motor vehicle accident where the plaintiff was driving and was hit by defendant's limousine trying to cross 7 lanes and sustained injuries to spine and neck.


• Motor vehicle accident where the plaintiff was rear-ended by Defendant and suffered injuries.


• Motor vehicle accident where plaintiff's car collided with a cab.


• Motor vehicle accident between a car turning left and an oncoming bicycle, resulting in mild Traumatic Brain Injury.


•Experienced driver hit a bicyclist who was riding on the sidewalk.


• Plaitnfif was riding on a bus and let go when the bus driver took off.


•While using the bathroom at work, the plaintiff, a stylist, and perfumer, was sprayed through a hole in the shared wall of premises with toxic pesticide chemicals by Terminex and claimed loss of smell and taste.


•Plaintiff was a one-legged man who fell downstairs at a property. He insisted on being taken care of on the 2nd floor. He broke the handrail on the way up, leaned on it on the way down, and fell.


•Man dropped his cell phone while on the tram at an amusement park. The front spieler on the tram instructed him not to get off. Tram moving at 5 MPH. The back spoiler on the tram also said not to get off in Spanish instructing that they would stop the tram. The man hopped off, hit his head on the pavement, and died.



REAL PROPERTY


•Jury trial of nonpayment of rent.


•Month to month tenant failed to pay rent.


•Mortgage Foreclosure Eviction Jury Trial. Plaintiff tried to re-fi and lost the house to foreclosure.


•Plaintiff purchased a commercial building as an investment after inheriting her grandfather's property. After purchasing the building she sued the seller claiming that measurements for determining square footage were applied incorrectly and she overpaid for the building.


•Nuisance Eviction. The defendant was allegedly drunk and stumbling around the apartment building walking his dog with a gun holstered in the back of his sweat pants. Tenants called the police and the building was evacuated. It took 45 minutes for the defendant to respond to Sheriff's loudspeaker (chopper deployed) and surrender. The sheriff's then found 70 guns in the apartment. The defendant had a gun dealer license and bought most of his guns from a gun dealer.



UNLAWFUL DETAINER AND HABITABILITY


•Handled over a hundred jury and bench trials, as well as settlement conferences regarding unlawful detainers; Most of those Unlawful Detainer cases involved Habitability.


•Volunteered to be the master calendar judge for Unlawful Detainer cases, handling hundreds of Unlawful Detainer and Habitability cases.


• As a Los Angeles Deputy County Attorney, investigated and prosecuted slum housing as one of the first to work in their Housing Unit, and understands the Unlawful Detainer /Habitability cases from both perspectives.


Legal Career

  • Full-time Neutral, Judicate West (Present)
  • Judge, Los Angeles Superior Court (April 2001-April 2021)
  • Commissioner, Los Angeles Superior Court (1994-2001)
  • Commissioner, Los Angeles Municipal Court (1985-1994)
  • Deputy City Attorney, City of Los Angeles (1979-1985)
  • Staff Attorney, Municipal Courts Planning and Research Unit (1976-1979)

Education & Professional Affiliations

  • Joint J.D./M.B.A., University of California, Los Angeles (1976)
  • B.A., City College of New York (1972)
  • Advanced Mediation Workshop, Boston Law Collaborative, LLC (2021)
  • Straus Institute, Pepperdine School of Law, “Mediating the Litigated Case” (2020)
  • National Judicial College, Reno, Nevada, Civil Mediation (2017)
  • Santa Monica Bar Association, Member
  • California Judges Association, Member
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association, Member

Achievements & Awards

  • Judge of the Year Award, Los Angeles County Criminal Courts Bar Association (2005)
  • “The Art Of Judging” The Advocate Magazine (July 2019)
  • “Order Out of Chaos: The Court in 2069” Gavel to Gavel, The LA Superior Court Magazine (Fall 2019)
  • Judges Must Guard Against Their Own PTSD, co-authored with Judge Barbara Kronlund

Legal Experience

  • Business/Contractual
  • Construction Defect
  • Personal injury
  • Professional Negligence
  • Real Property including Landlord Tenant

Representative Case Information

Recent Representative Cases

Business/Commercial

Contractual

  • Intricate fee dispute. The attorney wants an amount in the 7-figure range. Claimant suing for declaratory relief asking that fees be reduced or eliminated. The case emanates from an LA Superior Court case and a bankruptcy case. Numerous attorneys had represented the claimant and many are engaged with the claimant in a fee dispute. Settlement of the State Court case is contingent on the resolution of the fee dispute.
  • A business dispute between a travel agent and a cruise line. The cruise line terminated the contract with the agent who lost a great deal of money. The cruise line complained of abusive language and rude behavior with the cruise line employees, as well as disparagement of the cruise line on the agent's blog.

Construction

Construction Breach Of Contract

  • A contractor with a license to pour concrete allegedly partially constructed a pool which requires a different licensing category.

Employment

Breach of Contract

  • In an Employment dispute after termination, Plaintiff alleged that he failed to receive override commissions and an ownership interest that were due based on his contract. The case involved the confluence of employment law, title insurance process, contract law, and competing valuations of the company and its stock.
  • Case wherein a CEO was fired in a title insurance company and included failure to pay shares and override bonus payments.

Real Estate

Breach Of Contract

  • A commercial lease existed between the defendant and the city. The city wanted to redevelop the property and gave the defendant a 60-day notice as required by the lease. The negotiations were prompted by a lawsuit that demanded back rent, liquidated damages, and attorney's fees.

Neighbor Dispute

  • Property line dispute. Developer cut down shrubs/trees that each side claims were on their property.
  • A fence with the neighbor was not on the property but a few inches over, due to the position of trees and other property features. The dispute was as to moving the fence or paying for a license and not moving the fence and involved great animosity between neighbors.

Tort

Personal Injury

  • A building inspector was hit by a 50-pound form. The form was to be used for pouring concrete and it was left standing without being secured. A breeze caused it to fall over and hit the plaintiff who had her back to the item. Plaintiff had a spinal fusion and claimed a need for long-term care.
  • Plaintiff trips on a moving handicap ramp trying to board a public bus.
  • Trip and fall case with a broken heel in a condominium complex on a construction site. Major contractors in this case have no insurance coverage. One contractor may file for bankruptcy.

PI Auto

  • Significant collision. The insurance arbitrator disagreed with the police traffic report as to fault. The crash caused vehicles to careen into 2 other vehicles that were stopped. Plaintiff claims constant pain.
  • Failure to yield left turn crash. Liability contested and degree of injury contested. Plaintiff will need future back surgery.
  • Defendant making a left turn collides nearly head-on with the plaintiff. Plaintiff has had a history of back and neck trouble with a lot of pain caused by a previous collision and falls.
  • Auto collision at an intersection with the traffic signal not working due to a power outage.
  • Auto collision where defendant turned unexpectedly in front of the plaintiff.
  • Rear-end crash with the plaintiff as a passenger. Defendant hits the plaintiff's vehicle while attempting to make a lane change.
  • Flight attendant injury in an airport shuttle collision. Workers Comp lien complicates settlement.
  • Plaintiff made a left turn and was T-Boned by the speeding defendant.
  • Rear end accident with soft tissue injuries. Defense estimates speed at impact was very slow, but the frame of the plaintiff's car is bent.
  • Rear-end case with Uninsured Motorist. This was 3rd case by the same plaintiff with the same carrier for UM.
  • A car on the freeway was hit by the first car in a rear-ender, then another car hit the first car which hit the plaintiffs' car. The issue was that two cars' drivers and their carriers' were defendants. Four people in the plaintiffs' car sued. Each plaintiff had been in prior multiple accidents. The case involved out-of-state medicals and out-of-state plaintiffs and California plaintiffs.
  • A ride-share services driver was rear-ended with passengers in the vehicle. The motorist was uninsured.
  • A golf cart flips as the plaintiff is using it. The contract with the country club included a liability waiver and indemnification clause that the plaintiff signed. This complicated the negotiations as both sides demanded payment. Plaintiff, due to his severe injuries and Defense, due to the indemnification clause.
  • A case involving a left turn by an uber driver with a severe foot injury on UIM. Questionable liability.

Policy Distribution

  • Distribution of Insurance policy proceeds.
  • Four claimants in a head-on collision. The arbitrator was asked to determine an equitable distribution of the insurance proceeds where there were insufficient funds to make the claimants whole.

Premises Liability

  • Plaintiff tripped in a pothole in a parking lot. A major portion of injury is due to having had a recent double mastectomy. Bleeding and fluid needed to be drained. Pain but little med cost. Delayed use of chemotherapy due to fall.
  • Plaintiff interfered with home depot employees, in an effort to help, as they were loading a truck with lumber. Plaintiff's hand was severely injured, but liability was questionable. Plaintiff began with a demand in the six-figure range and the case settled in the five-figure range.
  • Plaintiff slips on water in the garden area in front of a warning sign at a large home improvement retailer. Liability is questionable. Little injury, although knee has constant pain.
  • Plaintiff was hit in the head by a falling metal drain at a large home improvement retailer store with a claim of brain injury.
  • The pregnant plaintiff slips on liquid next to a trash bin. Defendant has a warning sign placed but failed to follow their clean-up protocol.
  • A young child flipped a table in a restaurant, crushed his finger, and required 3 surgeries and a skin graft. Both sides had major problems giving ground and neither thought the case would settle until the very end.
  • A plaintiff, who has had dozens of surgeries, slips on sand in a store. The issue is unwinding damage from prior events with current harm.
  • A wooden board falls on the plaintiff's toe and fractures his bone at the knuckle causing a permanent injury that freezes the joint.
  • An elderly plaintiff was hit by falling plywood in a store. The injury causes pain in the lower back and leg.
  • A young mother slips on wet paint in a parking lot falling on her toddler child.
  • A couple was at an appliance store when a metal sign falls on the plaintiff's wrist as he opens a refrigerator. The couple had newborn twins shortly after and hired a nighttime nurse to care for the kids since the caregiver could not pick up both children with an injured wrist.
  • A toddler was playing with an appliance dolly while his parents shopped for a refrigerator. The dolly fell and gashed his forehead.
  • Plaintiff moves aside as a forklift comes her way and trips on the wet floor in a wholesale food market.