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HON. VICTOR E. BIANCHINI, RET.

  • Retired Federal Magistrate Judge
  • Based in San Diego, available in All of California
  • Available for Mediation, Arbitration, and Private Judging assignments

Introduction

Judge Bianchini was appointed a Federal Magistrate Judge for The Southern District of California in 1974. After 8 1/2 years of service, he was appointed to the State Court Bench. He retired from the Superior Court in San Diego to pursue his passion for mediation as a full-time neutral in 2002. He was later recruited by the Federal Courts in New York as a settlement judge for complex civil litigation and prisoner civil rights matters. During his tenure on both the state and federal benches, Judge Bianchini mediated more than 3,500 cases ranging from simple to multi-issue complex matters. Among his settlements are many multi-million-dollar verdicts in complex cases ranging from patent cases to class actions.

His experience on the bench with varying court rules, instructions, and jury verdicts have been assets to him in the private sector. Judge Bianchini is known to be an advocate for the settlement process while using a warm and caring approach. Many clients praise him for not giving up and truly exploring every avenue for possible settlement. One client said, "he is a wonderful person, knowledgable, and an effective mediator."

Practice Areas

Hobbies & Interests

Judge Bianchini and his wife travel frequently. He has two daughters from a previous marriage - one is in federal government law enforcement, and his oldest daughter resides in the San Francisco area where she works as an executive producer for Microsoft, having lived in New Zealand where she was a Digital Producer for the New Zealand and Hollywood movie industry. His youngest daughter is an associate in an international employment law firm. Judge Bianchini enjoys volunteer work and is involved in many foundations including the San Diego County Bar Association as a director. He is currently the Chairman of the Flying Leatherneck Historical Foundation. He is extensively involved in the sport of Sabre Fencing and was ranked 6th in the World in 2011, and was the U.S. National Champion in Veteran's Sabre Fencing - 2012 to 2013. He is a two-time Gold Medalist, a Silver Medalist, and a Bronze Medalist in Team competition at the World Veterans Fencing Championships. Judge Bianchini has an extensive aviation background. In addition to his assignment with the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing in Vietnam as a helicopter crewmember, he is a commercial, single and multi-engine instrument rated pilot, and a rated captain in the Cessna Citation (C-500) twin engine business jet. He is also a rated commercial helicopter pilot and a long-term owner of a Beechcraft Bonanza. In his spare time, Judge Bianchini enjoys teaching, playing tennis, golf, playing the piano, and tinkering with his vintage BMW motorcycle with a sidecar.

Testimonials

"Judge Bianchini has a keen grasp of the issues and has "seen about everything!" My client was impressed by the efforts and insight offered by the judge. He is a keeper! "
- Attorney on a Personal Injury case

"Judge Bianchini did an excellent job establishing a relationship with our client, building trust, and explaining the reasons why settlement was our client’s best option."
- Attorney on an Employment/Discrimination Dispute

"Judge Bianchini was great."
- Attorney on a Professional Malpractice case

"Judge Bianchini settled one that I really didn't expect to settle. He absolutely gave me the feeling he wanted to know the case in and out and to discuss what I expected to be impediments to settlement."
- Attorney on a Personal Injury case

"Judge Bianchini is a skilled jurist and it is an honor to work with him on my cases. I have utmost respect for him and he has carried the same thoughtfulness from the bench to mediation."
- Attorney on a business/contractual dispute

"Our case was a complex medical malpractice birth injury case. Judge Bianchini was prepared, deliberate and incisive. While the case did not settle at the hearing, it is doubtful it would have settled but for his considerable efforts. Long after the hearing concluded, he continued to work on this case. His professional assistance is much appreciated."
- Attorney on a Medical Malpractice Dispute

"Very helpful in proposing creative solutions. Very good with the client."
- Attorney on a Civil Rights Dispute

"Judge Bianchini understood the case and seemed prepared. He gave a good faith effort."
- Attorney on an Estate Law Probate case

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Experience Summary

Legal Career

  • 2007-2011 US Magistrate Judge North & Western Districts of New York
  • U.S. Magistrate Judge, Western District of New York (part-time) (2002-2007)
  • Full-Time Mediator, Arbitrator and Private Judge, Judicate West, (2002-2007)
  • Superior Court Judge, San Diego (1998-2002), County-wide Settlement Judge and IC Overflow Trial Judge
  • Municipal Court Judge, El Cajon, California (1982-1998), Presiding Judge (1993, 1997 & 1998)
  • U.S. Magistrate, Southern District of California (1974-1982)
  • Military General Courts-Martial Judge, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve (1984-1987)
  • Administrative Law Judge, Agricultural Labor Relations Board (1979)
  • U.S. Commissioner, Southern District of California (1968-1969)
  • Professor, National University/Thomas Jefferson School of Law (1976-2002)
  • Law Offices of Victor E. Bianchini, General Practice (1968-1974)
  • Associate Professor, San Diego State University, (1968-1974)
  • US Marine Corps Reserve, Colonel (1959-1991), Vietnam Combat Service (1965-1966)
  • Law Clerk to Chief Judge James M. Carter, Southern District of California (1963-1964)

Education & Professional Affiliations

  • JD – University of San Diego
  • BA – Political Science, San Diego State University (1960)
  • Certificate in Alternative Dispute Resolution, National Judicial College (2001); Extensive formal mediation training, Pepperdine University
  • Senior Fulbright Scholar to Country of Eritrea, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Consultant to Minister of Justice (2002)
  • Associate Professor, Legal Advisor, International Student Advisor, San Diego State University (1960)
  • Naval Justice School (1970)
  • San Diego County Bar Association, Chair Ethics Committee (1973)
  • Military Judges’ School, University of Virginia, (1983)
  • Chairperson, Criminal Justice, Law & Public Administration Dept., National University, Lead Faculty, 1978, 1986-1989.
  • National University Faculty Senate, Member (1997)
  • Faculty and Faculty Council National Judicial College, Member (1994-1998)
  • Traveled to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan consulting to educate judges and to establish mediation programs in court and with governmental agencies for the National Judicial College (1998)
  • San Diego County Law Library Board of Trustees, President (1993, 1995)
  • San Diego County Law Library Foundation Board of Trustees, President (1993-1995)
  • Federal Judicial Center Mediation Skills Program for U.S. Magistrate Judges (2003, 2012)
  • Pepperdine Mediation Seminars, Standard & Advanced (1998, 2000, 2012)
  • Certificate in Judicial Development and Alternative Dispute Resolution, National Judicial College (1998-2000)
  • Marine Corps Recruit Depot Museum Historical Society, President (2007-2009)
  • Marine Corps Reserve Officers Association, San Diego Chapter, President (2001)
  • San Diego County Bar Association Board of Directors, Vice President, Treasurer, Director (1978-1980)
  • University of San Diego School of Law, Chairman, Board of Visitors (1977), Member, (1975-1978).
  • San Diego Lawyer Magazine Editorial Board (2004-Present)

Achievements & Awards

  • Consumer Attorneys of San Diego Judge of the Year (2007)
  • President’s Award for Teaching Excellence in Evidence, Consumer Attorneys of San Diego (1992)
  • “Volunteer of the Year,” Mt. Carmel High School, Poway School District (2006)
  • “Trial Judge of the Year” Awarded by the San Diego Trial Lawyers Association (1992)
  • “President’s Award,” awarded by the San Diego Trial Lawyers Association for educational contributions as Lecturer in CLE Subjects (1991)
  • “Special Recognition Award” by San Diego Trial Lawyers Association for educational contributions as Lecturer in CLE Subjects (1988)
  • Special Award for Educational Contributions, San Diego Trial Lawyers Association
  • “Legal Professional of the Year,” Foothills Bar Association (“Big Footie” (as in “Foothills” Award of the Foothills Bar Association, East County Lawyers) (2001)
  • Family Law Judge of the Year awarded by Foothills Bar Association & El Cajon Superior Court (2002)
  • "Outstanding Professor" award, National University (1979)
  • "Legion of Merit" for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service, United States Marine Corps for service during "Desert Shield/Desert Storm," while in Washington, D.C. (1991)
  • "Bronze Star" with Combat "V" for meritorious achievement in connection with operations against an opposing armed force in Vietnam, United States Marine Corps (1965-1966)
  • "Air Medals" (3) for meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flights involving conflict with an opposing armed force in combat in Vietnam, United States Marine Corps (1965-1966)
  • He is a rated Captain in the Cessna Citation C-500, two engine business jet.
  • He is a Commercial Helicopter rated pilot

Legal Experience

  • Business/Commercial
  • Insurance Coverage/Bad Faith
  • Products Liability
  • Medical/Legal Malpractice
  • Civil Rights
  • Family Law
  • Mortgage/Foreclosure
  • Employment & Class Action Suits
  • Intellectual Property
  • Securities
  • Shareholder Suits
  • ERISA
  • Highly Sensitive and/or Catastrophic Personal Injury
  • Americans with Disability Act (ADA)
  • Homeowners Association Disputes
  • Jones Act/Maritime
  • Aviation
  • Franchise
  • Professional Liability
  • Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA)
  • Family Law (Property and associated issues only)

Representative Case Information

Recent Representative Cases

Business/Commercial

Contractual

  • Mediated settlement of claims that arose when a medical company financed the purchase of equipment and allegedly failed to make payments.
  • Mediated settlement of claims that arose when a business partnership dissolved, leading to one party harassing the other.
  • Mediated settlement of malpractice claims against an accounting firm for failing to catch that personnel were embezzling from the non-profit corporation.
  • Mediated settlement of claims that arose when a contractor was hired to remediate damage from flooding in a residence, but was not paid because his crew and subcontractors caused additional damage necessitating a new contractor be hired.

Fraud/Misrepresentation

  • Mediated settlement of claims where employer alleged that a delivery person embezzled the employer's assets, and where the delivery person had filed a wage and hour claim with the DLSE alleging employer's failure to pay overtime.

Employment

Family Leave Act

  • Mediated settlement of a wrongful termination case involving violations of CFLA and FEHA.

Wage and Hour

  • Mediated settlement of claims that arose when a security guard was not paid for overtime or travel time, payments made were late, and the employer failed to provide him with access to his personnel records.

Whistleblower Wrongful Term

  • Mediated settlement of claims that arose when a university professor reported problems with the work of another professor and was ostracized and publicly criticized for reporting the problem.
  • Mediated settlement of case involving alleged employment discrimination, sex discrimination, age discrimination, assault and battery. Employee alleged retaliation after raising a whistleblower complaint regarding compensation to employees during their COVID-19 pandemic-related absences.

Federal

Breach of Contract

  • Mediated settlement of claims that arose when a businessman hired two people to distribute merchandise in the United States and the two allegedly took the merchandise and resold it in various ways, keeping all profits.

Employment Issues

  • Mediated settlement of employment action filed in federal district court. Employees of a large corporation alleged that they experienced harassment, racial discrimination, and retaliation for reporting ethical violations.

Environmental

  • Mediated settlement of a Clean Water Act case involving allegations of contaminated runoff by a concrete manufacturing company. In addition to the six-figure settlement amount, the Defendant company agreed to remediation at four sites, plus a voluntary inclusion of an additional seven sites in the preamble of the Consent Decree.

Govt. Admin and Agency

  • Mediated settlement of federal civil rights claims that arose when a man was allegedly harassed by a police officer on multiple occasions for pretextual reasons.
  • Mediated settlement of federal civil rights claims and pendant state law claims that arose when police officer arrived at a premises and allegedly ordered the owner to accompany him in a search of the premises without a warrant.
  • Mediated settlement of a federal prisoner civil rights case with claims of violation of 42 U.S.C. Section 1983, deliberate indifference, negligence, and punitive damages. This was a case of prisoner-on-prisoner violence resulting in the plaintiff being put in an irreversible vegetative state.

Trademark Issues

  • Mediated trademark and trade dress infringement case involving unauthorized use of trade names developed by international athlete.

Probate

Estates/Trusts

  • Settled a probate dispute between surviving brother and sister on the division of real property.
  • Mediated creative settlement of a probate case with a portion of the 5-figure settlement to be paid immediately, and the remainder deed of trust to be payable only upon death or sale.
  • Mediated settlement of case involving the non-monetary surrender of rights to trustee status and share in the estate.

Professional Malpractice

Medical Malpractice

  • Mediated settlement of claims that arose when medications were mailed to plaintiff allegedly without sufficient care to ensure they were kept at the appropriate temperature and delivered timely, causing significant health problems to Plaintiff.

Professional Malpractice Legal

  • Mediated settlement of claims that arose when a client alleged that the actual work billed by the defendant attorney was unethically overpriced and overbilled.

Real Estate

Real Property

  • Mediated settlement of claims that arose when a recorded deed of trust was overlooked and went unpaid when the property sold.

Tort

Personal Injury

  • Mediated settlement of claims that arose when a loader ran over a construction worker's foot.
  • Mediated settlement of claims that arose when a patron of a grocery store slipped and fell on water in the produce section.
  • Mediated settlement of claims that arose when a dog sitter was attacked by a dog she was taking care of and suffered extensive injuries.
  • Mediated settlement of claims that arose when a patron at a bar was beaten by security personnel, severely injuring the plaintiff. Claims included negligence, assault, battery, false imprisonment, and negligent hiring/retention of security personnel.
  • Mediated settlement of personal injury case involving two elderly plaintiffs with lasting injuries after a head-on collision. Defendants disputed the cause, nature, and extent of the plaintiffs' injuries because plaintiffs had pre-existing conditions.
  • Mediated settlement of case involving a Slip and Fall in a grocery store with issues of improper monitoring.

PI Assault and Battery

  • Mediated settlement of claims that arose when an intoxicated patron was punched in the face by a security guard.

PI Auto

  • Mediated settlement of claims that arose when a driver failed to yield to a bicyclist crossing in a crosswalk who subsequently fell to avoid collision and was injured.
  • Mediated settlement of claims that arose when a driver drove into an intersection on a red light and was hit by Plaintiff's vehicle.
  • Mediated settlement of claims that arose when a dune buggy rolled over causing injuries to all passengers, but driver's liability was contested due to assumption of the risk.
  • Arbitrated the value of Plaintiff's injuries when her vehicle was struck by Defendant's vehicle that had sped out of a parking area.
  • Mediated settlement of case arising from an auto accident. When fleeing the CHP in a high-speed chase, the defendant allegedly injured a 16 year-old star student. Student's alleged injuries included PTSD.
  • Mediated a wrongful death case arising out of a collision between an automobile and a pedestrian. The decedent was 91 years old and had been walking across the street in the middle of the block.

Premises Liability

  • Mediated settlement of personal injury claims arising from the collapse of a bench in a handicapped shower. The plaintiff also sought damages and attorneys' fees under the ADA.

Product Liability

  • Mediated settlement, under strict confidentiality, of personal injury claims arising from use of an allegedly-defective personal care product. Case involved allegations of design defects, failures to warn, unfair competition/false advertising, and violations of the CLRA.