Hon. Victor B. Kenton (Ret.) was appointed a Federal Magistrate Judge for the Central District of California in 2001, where he retired July 2015. He is now available as an arbitrator, mediator, private judge and discovery special master. Prior to his judicial service, Judge Kenton was an attorney in both private and public practice, where he tried over 150 civil and criminal bench and jury trials to conclusion. As a Magistrate Judge, he presided over numerous trials and mediated over 500 cases, in areas including intellectual property, ERISA, ADA, IDEA and FAPE (education), civil rights, employment, wage and hour disputes, pharmaceuticals, complex business disputes, class actions, and commercial litigation.
Judge Kenton has a reputation for his ability to engender trust from both attorneys and parties. Attorneys who appeared before Judge Kenton found him to be patient, sharp and effective. One attorney who mediated cases in his court commented that "He understood the complex facts of the case, and was able to distill the important issues and work through them - ultimately leading to resolution." A partner at a law firm said, "Judge Kenton's integrity, humility and sense of humor will make him an exceptional mediator. His experience on the bench and deep understanding of law speaks for itself, as an arbitrator. He will be an excellent choice for any party."
He read the briefs, spoke to each side AT LENGTH before the mediation, asked for fact checking, and was candid at the mediation. His comments were
thoughtful and considered. One of my pet peeves about bad mediators is the failure to be attentive to parties’ concerns, and the need to repeat
everything each time the mediator walks into the room. Judge Kenton has a strong interest in getting cases heard, but is thoughtful and
listens/processes what the parties tell him.
- Attorney on an ERISA matter
Best mediation I've attended in a long while. He was a pleasure to work with.
- Attorney on a Business Partnership Dispute
Just wanted to express to you how pleased I have been with your hard work on the cases we have been able to work on so far. I hope our 100% streak continues.
- Attorney on an Employment/Discrimination matter
By taking the matter as seriously as he did, and being committed to helping parties resolve dispute.
- Attorney on a business contractual fraud dispute
Federal Magistrate Judge, Central District of California (2001 - 2015)
Law Office of Victor B. Kenton, practicing Civil and Criminal Litigation, Business, Employment, Personal Injury, Commercial and Real Property (1982 -1996)
Law Office of Arthur J. Crowley, practicing Business and Family Law (1974 -1978)
Federal Public Defender, Los Angeles, Supervising Trial and Habeas Attorney: (1978 - 1982 and 1996 - 2001)
Education & Professional Affiliations
Pepperdine Law School, Strauss Institute, Mediation "Boot Camp" (July 2015)
University of California, Los Angeles, JD (1974)
University of Connecticut, BA with Honors (1969)
Author/thought leader: "Ten Tips for Settling Your Case Before a Federal Magistrate Judge." (Daily Journal, 2015)
Speaker: LACBA and California Society of Certified Public Accountants Forensic Services Sections Steering
Committee (CalCPA) (June 2015)
Adjunct professor: Pepperdine Law School (2009-2010)
Educator: Trial Skills at the National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA) (2007-2009)
Panel member: CLE programs for electronic discovery, ERISA, wage and hour cases, the amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and settlement techniques
Board member: Los Angeles Chapter of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers (ABTL) (2007-2010)
Board member: Paul Michel Intellectual Property Inn of Court (2013)
Hobbies & Interests
In his spare time he enjoys traveling, swimming, hiking, scuba diving and underwater photography.
Mediated and settled a federal injunctive class action under "slack fill" statutes.
Complex disability case involving qualification for extended benefits.
Mediated a real estate dispute involving a home health care business, using real estate forms for the sale of the business had asserted material representations in the contract.
Employment termination and emotional distress claims, regarding a high level manager of a startup company
A shareholder dispute in a family owned company involving accounting disputes, interpretation and validity of a buy/sell agreement. Looming court deadlines, prospect of appointment of a provisional director.
Employment wage and hour case, brought by 6 former employees, alleging a range of claims, including meal and rest break violations, overtime, etc. Because of
the variety of claims, and that not all claims applied to each employee, it was delicate to fashion a settlement acceptable to all claimants.
Age discrimination lawsuit, settled prior to mandatory arbitration.
Empl. Class Action
Employment class action involving issue of classification of truck drivers as independent contractors or employees.
ERISA disability case of disabling back pain. Involved intensive review of medical records, and sensitive negotiation with the Plaintiff concerning subjective pain and the application of applicable law on this topic.
ERISA case involving application of reasonably necessary care standard for plan participant with long term eating disorder. This required an understanding of treatment guidelines under APA.
Mediated dispute involving ERISA disability and the analysis of the risk of future harm from continued employment.
Wage and Hour
Employment termination cases for 4 related plaintiffs, alleging related claims for discrimination, failure to provide rest, etc. breaks, failure to pay overtime, and other claims.
Wage and hour case, alleging usual claims, focusing on the exempt/non-exempt classification, plus racially based claims, although not alleged under FEHA, but as negligence and negligent supervision, which may not have been cognizable as pled.
Employment case in which the dispute centered on exempt/non exempt status of former employee. Allegations also made of personal injury damages based on alleged misconduct of employer in the workplace.
ERISA case involving mental disorder, interpretation of policy language concerning extent of coverage.
Insurance coverage case involving first party claim for damage to commercial property based on third party contractor's negligence which allowed rain
damage to occur on the property. Issue was whether policy exclusions/limitations applied as well as a conflicting state and federal case precedent.
A patent case involving a design for an exhaust manifold and a com device. The mediation occurred prior to the Markman hearing on one of the designs. Issues of patent validity and infringement.
Copyright and trademark infringement of software. Case settled pre-litigation
Case involving sales of counterfeit merchandise through a fulfillment service. Allegations of copyright and trademark primary and secondary infringement.
Trademark infringement involving infringement of a fanciful mark in a consumer product. Settled as a percentage of statutory damages.
Professional Malpractice Legal
A complex legal malpractice case stemming from a pharmaceutical patent and trademark arbitration. Mediating this case required that I have mastery over the IP
issues in the underlying arbitration and an understanding of the duty of care owed by attorneys in IP matters. Many moving parts led to a 13-hour mediation which resulted in
a mutually requested mediator's proposal that was ultimately accepted by both sides.
Breach Of Contract
Mediated a residential borrower who sued the lender for asserted errors in a refinancing application. Successfully resolved with a very favorable long term refinance package.
Mediated a dispute between a homeowner and a renter on a high end summer residential rental concerning asserted misrepresentations in the listing followed by asserted serious plumbing and other issues.
Arbitrated a matter concerning a residential lease in which the landlord asserted that the lessee violated the lease by allowing the landscaping to seriously deteriorate.
Mediated a sale of a residential property held up by a bank lien of questionable validity which needed to be resolved ultimately by a quiet title action to allow the sale to proceed.
Real Estate Land Use
Mediated a complex case involving a commercial property which involved the Superfund regarding toxic waste on the site.
Mediated complex international case involving a bitter family dispute concerning 3 Beverly Hills residential properties held by various family trusts
Pre-filing putative class action founded on CLRA statute, involving a consumer product alleged to have been misrepresented. Settled the dispute based on class action model for common fund (attorneys fees allocation) or lode star method.