HON. PATRICIA SCHNEGG, RET.

  • Retired Superior Court Judge
  • Available in Los Angeles, Orange County, Southern California
  • Available for Mediation, Arbitration, and Private Judging assignments

Introduction

After 15 years of distinguished service for the Los Angeles Superior Court, Judge Schnegg retired in 2014 and is available to serve as a mediator, arbitrator and private judge. During her last 2 1/2 years on the bench, she sat in a dedicated settlement department in Santa Monica where she mediated over 2,000 cases involving almost every type of civil dispute. During this time, she also mediated in the Court's CRASH Personal Injury, Business and Employment Programs.

Prior to becoming a judge, she represented plaintiffs and defendants for over 23 years in a general civil litigation firm. While in practice she was involved with many bar associations and was President of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles (WLALA). As a judge she remained active in these bar groups and more while serving on many court committees.

Judge Schnegg is praised for her dedication to settling cases. She is known for her unwavering work ethic, often suggesting to the parties to come back for another session of mediation on her personal time whether it is at night or over the weekend. One attorney said, "I have settled several cases with Judge Schnegg and each time she has been very enjoyable to work with, sharp with the legal issues and reasonable and warm with me and my clients."

Specialties

Hobbies & Interests

Judge Schnegg is an Aviation aficionado. She has logged over 700 navigator hours in Cessna 172 RG and P210 model planes. While serving as Vice President of the Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) she oversaw the revamping of airport concessions and renovation of airport facilities, supervised ligation (Airlines vs. LAWA) over the increase landing fees and oversaw the construction of the new Ontario Airport. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Dr. William Oppenheim and her daughter Jennifer.

Testimonials

This was a complicated matter as it involved 2 cases arising from an industrial accident. She had a good understanding of the 1) crop loss 2) personal injury claim and 3) insurance issues.
- Attorney on an environmental personal injury dispute

She got our bottom line and pushed for it. This can hamstring flexibility.
- Attorney on an employment discrimination dispute

She picks up on issues quickly and had thoroughly reviewed the submissions and had a solid understanding at the outset, all of which was very helpful.
- Attorney on a Toxic Tort Dispute

Very direct and effective. An immediate asset in resolving my client’s case.
- Attorney on a personal injury auto dispute

Experience Summary

Legal Career

  • Judge, Los Angeles County Superior Court (2000-15)
  • Settlement Judge, Santa Monica Superior Court (2013-15)
  • CRASH Personal Injury, Business & Employment Settlement Program (2013-14)
  • CRASH Business Settlement Program (2014)
  • CRASH Employment Settlement Program (2014)
  • Supervising Judge of the Northwest District & Criminal Division (2008-12)
  • Chair of the Grand Jury Committee (2011-13)
  • Chair of the Criminal Court & Court Services Committee (2011-13)
  • Member of the Operations & Personnel & Budget Committee (2011-13)
  • Member Court Contraction Committee/Criminal Court Contraction Plan (2011-12)
  • Member of the Judicial Council Crim. Advisory Committee (2011-13)
  • Member of the Executive Committee (2008-13)
  • Chair of the Trial Jurors Committee (2006-11)
  • Presided over Teen Court at Venice High School (2005-15)
  • Member, California Judge's Assn. Board of Directors (2009-11)
  • Knapp, Marsh, Jones & Doran (1977-00)

Education & Professional Affiliations

  • J.D., Loyola University of Los Angeles: St. Thomas More Honor Society, Dean's List All Semesters, Treasurer of the Student Bar Association (1977)
  • B.A., Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles: Summa Cum Laude, President, Student Body Judicial Council, Member, Gryphon's Circle Campus Service Organization, Recipient, University President's Citation at Graduation, Member, Alpha Sigma nu Honor Society (1974)
  • Former President, Los Angeles County Bar Association (1999)
  • Member, Board of Directors, Public Counsel (1996-00)
  • Vice President, Board of Airport Commissioners (1993-00)
  • Former President, Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles & Women Lawyers Public Action Grant Committee
  • Former President, Women Lawyers Public Action Grant Committee
  • Member, Los Angeles Superior Court (LASC) Ad Hoc Committee on Informal Compliant Policy
  • Board of Governors, California Women Lawyers (1990-91)
  • Board of Directors, National Conference of Women's Bar Associations (1987-90)
  • Member, Standing Committee on Legal Assistants, American Bar Association (1985-88)
  • Membership Committee, Business Trial Lawyers Association (1992-93)
  • Faculty Member, National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA) Southern California Deposition Program, Los Angeles
  • Loyola Marymount University, Alumni Board of Directors & Member, Board of Regents (1996-11)
  • Ramona Convent, Member Board of Trustees (1994-08)
  • Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law, Board of Directors (1994-95)
  • Downtown Women's Center, Board of Directors (1993-96)
  • Ramona Convent Alumnae of the Year & Alumnae Association, Director (1980-82)
  • Lecturer, Judge's Guide to Difficult Attorneys, Center for Judiciary Education and Research (CJER)
  • Lecturer, Bail & Arraignments, Judicial College
  • Lecturer, Jury Issues, Los Angeles Superior Court (LASC)

Achievements & Awards

  • Judge Schnegg was acknowledged as the Judge of the Year by the Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA) Criminal Justice Section in 2012
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA), Criminal Justice Section, Judge of The Year (2012)
  • The Mexican American Bar Association (MABA) awarded her Judge of the Year Benjamin Aranda III Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011
  • Loyola Law School Alumnae Association, Advancement of Women Award (2002)
  • Loyola Law School Distinguished Alumnae of the Year Award in (2001)
  • Recipient of the American Board of Trial Advocates Award (1977)

Legal Experience

  • Personal Injury
  • Wrongful Death
  • Employment
  • Business Contractual
  • Homeowners Association
  • Probate

Representative Case Information

Recent Representative Cases

Business/Commercial

Contractual

  • Contract dispute over interpretation of the term "Net Profits" in connection with a made for TV movie.
  • Successfully mediated a case involving alleged violations of the California's Immigration Consultant Act (Bus. & Profession Code Section 22440 et seq.)
  • Case involves a business dispute between members of an LLC. The company is dissolving and the members who contributed capital contend that the members who contributed services in exchange for their interest are not entitled to a distribution of cash upon final distribution.

Fraud/Misrepresentation

  • Contract dispute and fraud action in connection with collectibles consigned to an auction house.

Construction

Constr. Defect/Real Property

  • Action for damages to a residential property as a result of uphill slope failure.

Construction Defects

  • Dispute over alleged defective construction of residential swimming pool.
  • Dispute between homeowner and contractor over the alleged defective remodeling
  • Construction contract dispute between homeowner and contractor alleging negligent construction and improper handling of toxic materials.

Employment

Discrimination

  • Employment dispute alleging pregnancy discrimination.
  • Employment dispute alleging discrimination based upon disability and failure to engage in the interactive.

Hostile Environment

  • Employment dispute alleging sexual harassment and retaliatory termination.
  • Employment dispute alleging sexual harassment of wait staff workers.
  • Successfully mediated a sexual harassment, hostile work environment, and wrongful termination case involving allegations of lewd photos and sexual language in the workplace.

Labor Code

  • Employment dispute for alleged failure to accommodate an employee injured on the job.

Wage and Hour

  • Wage and hour dispute brought by the State of California against religious institution.
  • Employee claimed he was denied meal and rest breaks and was unlawfully terminated for demanding the same. Employer's defense was that employee was conducting personal business relating to an outside company he owned with his spouse and elected to conduct that business during his meal and rest breaks.

Wrongful Termination

  • Plaintiff worked as a manager in a high end restaurant. Plaintiff claims that his termination for violating the company's sexual harassment policy was a pretext and that he was terminated because of his age and physical disability in the interactive process.

Insurance

Coverage

  • Insurance dispute over coverage for automobile accident resulting in significant personal injuries to bystander.

Probate

Estates/Trusts

  • Trust and estate contest alleging lack of testamentary capacity, fraud and duress, and undue influence.
  • Trust and estate contest between siblings alleging elder abuse of deceased mother and undue influence.

Professional Malpractice

Medical Mal Dental

  • Dental malpractice involving a minor and allegations of the unnecessary use of force during a dental procedure.
  • Dental malpractice case with allegations suggesting elder abuse. Plaintiff, in her eighties, claimed that the dentist talked her into veneers which were unnecessary especially for a woman of her age. Dentist countered that she requested veneers and that many older patients, concerned with their appearance ask for such work to be done.

Professional Malpractice Legal

  • Legal malpractice involving the purchase of real property.
  • Legal malpractice involving the handling of the distribution of property in a marital dissolution proceeding

Real Estate

Buy/Sell

  • Real estate fraud involving forged deeds of trust.
  • Fraud and misrepresentation in the sale of residential property. Seller had flipped the property and acted as the contractor on the remodel. Allegations of defective workmanship and misrepresentation.

Home Owners Association

  • HOA dispute involving a claim by one owner against another based upon the noise transmitted from the unit above to the unit below. Dispute involves interpretation of CC&R provisions on installation of hardwood floors.
  • HOA dispute involving placement of security windows alleged to be in violation of the CC&Rs.
  • Action by homeowner against HOA and individual directors seeking damages for water intrusion, costs of repair, loss of use and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
  • Mediated and settled a dispute between the owner ND HOA over water intrusion. The source of he water intrusion was hotly disputed with apportionment between water damage originating in the common areas and damage originating in the unit. Claim for attorneys and punitive damages.

Neighbor Dispute

  • Neighbor dispute involving property line boundary.
  • Neighbor dispute involving trespass, unlawful surveillance and destruction of mature trees.

Real Property

  • Unlawful detainer action involving a commercial property relating to the validity of an Estoppel Certificate.

Transaction

  • Real estate dispute about the enforceability of a real estate purchase agreement for a commercial property.

Warranty of Habitability

  • Habitability case alleging mold, bed bugs and vermin infestation.
  • Habitability action for vermin infestation, bed bugs, and mold brought by 37 plaintiffs against the landlord.
  • 50 plaintiff habitability case with allegations of mold resulting in physical injuries, water intrusion, and vermin infestation. Property in REAP. Dynamic between plaintiffs along with length of tenancies added to the challenges in resolving this case.

Tort

Catastrophic Injury

  • Personal injury action for injuries sustained by a disabled person due to property owner's alleged failure to comply with the American with Disabilities Act.
  • Personal injury action involving a pedestrian and vehicle resulting in massive injuries to pedestrian.

Discrimination

  • This federal lawsuit involved claims of familial discrimination, ADA violations, and failure to maintain the units in a habitable condition. One of the primary issues concerned whether the posted Rules and Regulations discriminated against families with children.
  • Disabled tenant with government subsidized housing alleged he was discriminated against because of his national origin. Also alleged landlord refused to allow his two service dogs to live on premises due to their breed and size (both Rottweilers weighed in excess of 75 pounds).

Personal Injury

  • Alleged sexual assault of employee by a customer.
  • Personal injury action for negligence resulting from a boat explosion resulting in significant burns to a minor.
  • Plaintiff complained that her psychiatrist engaged in inappropriate conduct of a sexual nature. Defendant doctor denied all allegations contending that plaintiff had a history of sexual fantasies. Case settled in mediation.
  • Sexual battery case between two underage high school students. Plaintiff alleged she was plied with alcohol and assaulted while she was drunk. Defendant alleges that plaintiff was the sexual aggressor and requested he bring the alcohol on the "date." Settlement involved counselling session and letter of apology with no admission of liability.
  • Allegations of years of sexual assault by teacher against a special needs student. Student had a five year delayed recollection of the events. Authorities declined to file charges against the teacher.

PI Assault and Battery

  • Alleged bullying of high school student by peers - claim of assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
  • Sexual assault case with an admission that the conduct complained of had occurred. The primary issue was consent. Prior criminal trial ended in a hung jury.

PI Auto

  • Personal injury action involving multiple vehicle collision with significant injuries.

Premises Liability

  • Personal injury action for damages resulting from an elevator accident.
  • Premises liability action for personal injuries sustained by hotel patron due to alleged failure to provide adequate security.
  • Alleged defective chair which collapsed causing back and neck injuries to plaintiff.
  • Trip and fall over alleged decorative rock encroaching on public sidewalk. Allegations of negligence per se and invasion of privacy.
  • Personal injury action involving significant issues. Large workers compensation lien with employer negligence claims. Further complicating settlement were contractual indemnification issues between the land owner, franchiser, and franchisee creating insurance coverage problems.
  • Incident involved a chair thrown from a balcony at a public school landing on the head of a student. Stunt sustained lacerations and claims of TBI. Liability denied and extent of TBI questioned.

Wrongful Death

  • The decedent was killed in the cause and scope of his employment by a 3rd party commercial vehicle. The defense tendered the policy of $4 million to be distributed to his descendants, 4 adult children from his first marriage, 1 child from his second marriage, his 3rd wife and the workers compensation carrier (subrogation). This matter was successfully mediated among the diverse and conflicted parties.
  • Wrongful death case involving a collision on a freeway where the decedents crashed into a big rig truck parked on the side of the highway in a gravel area adjacent to the highway. Truck did not have any hazard lights. The decedent driver found to have levels of meth in his system.

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