Hon. Victor B. Kenton (Ret.) was appointed a Federal Magistrate Judge for the Central District of California in 2001, where he retired July 2015. 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. 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.
Judge Kenton has a passion for helping parties resolve disputes and has a reputation for his ability to engender trust from both attorneys and parties. He prides himself in being thoroughly prepared in advance of the mediation to ensure the parties get the most out of their session. If a case does not settle, Judge Kenton is known for remaining engaged and for his continuous follow-up efforts. One attorney on a complex business dispute commented, "Judge Kenton's insights, tenacity, and ability to think 'outside the box' are not only most formidable, but the reason our matter resolved. We could not have reached a resolution without him."
In his spare time he enjoys traveling, swimming, hiking, scuba diving and underwater photography.
Judge Kenton gets a 5/5 on everything. He was terrific! I would ask for him again in a second.
- Attorney on a Business/Contractual Dispute
Thank you for your work earlier today. I feel the parties made significant and important progress. I appreciated your open and frank communication with us today.
- Attorney on a Business/Contractual 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
Best mediation I've attended in a long while. He was a pleasure to work with.
- Attorney on a Business Partnership Dispute
I want to thank you again for your persistent work to resolve the case.
- Attorney on a Business/Contractual Dispute
I truly appreciated Judge Kenton's assistance in this matter and look forward to working with him again.
- Attorney on an Employment Wrongful Termination Dispute
After our 1 day mediation with Judge Kenton did not produce a result, he remained engaged with the attorneys on both sides. Through a series of telephonic calls, emails, and text messages, he worked each side until a mutual agreement was finally achieved. Having practiced law for 30 years, and personally handling and resolving over 500 private and public works disputes during that time frame, Judge Kenton's insights, tenacity, and ability to think "outside the box" are not only most formidable, but the reason our matter resolved. We could not have reached a resolution without him. He is a consummate professional and you are all lucky to have him.
- Attorney on a Business/Contractual Dispute
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
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)
Achievements & Awards
Panelist, "Arbitrating in 2016: New Cases, Rules, Challenges & Opportunities," Judicate West: California State Bar Approved MCLE Provider (January 2016)
Speaker, "Perspectives on Effective Mediation," Judicate West - California State Bar Approved MCLE Provider (March 2016)
Speaker, "Ethical Considerations in Mediation: Locating the Path to Help You Maneuver the Minefield," Judicate West - California State Bar Approved MCLE Provider (October 2016)
Panelist, "Best Defense is the Best Offense," California Lawyer, Patent Disputes Forum South (October 2016)
Moderator, "Gender Discrimination and Harassment in the Legal Profession: The Role of the Court in Addressing and Enforcing Civility and Non-Discrimination," Federal Bar Association, Los Angeles Chapter (2018)
Complex dispute: employer of a products manufacturing company sued 4 former key employees, alleging that they stole the employer's confidential information to set up their own competing company. The first mediation ended with a 7-figure demand, and an offer of 5-figures. The mediator suggested a discovery plan to bring the case to a stage where mediation would be productive. Three months later, at a second session, the case settled in mediation.
Consumer Class Action
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
Case involving sale of a home care business and franchise. Disputes centered on adequacy of disclosures by seller as these affected the value of the business.
Legal malpractice case stemming from post settlement representation of client, failure to appear for hearing to enforce settlement and resulting appeal from unfavorable trial court ruling.
Commercial real estate investment. Plaintiff claimed to be a general partner, but there was no written agreement. Defendant asserted plaintiff only was a limited investor. Defendant put up all of the capital.
Clothing manufacturer sued major retailer for breach of contract based on buyer's refusal to accept large shipment of goods, as non-conforming, and based on late delivery. In addition, unfair competition, and 17200 claims. Case settled after extensive negotiations and detailed factual review of issues pertaining to asserted non conformance of goods, and late delivery.
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.
Disability Access Discrimination
ERISA case involving subjective pain from chronic migraine headaches; claimant put back on claim pending review of additional treatment records, plus all attorneys fees paid to date.
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.
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.
An employment case, in which plaintiff alleged the employer interfered with his FMLA rights and unlawfully terminated him for attempting to fully exercise those rights. The employer contended that plaintiff was terminated for violating specific rules governing employees not being permitted to create their own retail transactions.
Employment case of an automotive dealer service manager, terminated for alleged unauthorized off the clock time, and other claims against him. He filed suit for wrongful termination, unpaid OT, and related wage claims. Case settled based on allocation of amounts claimed for various wage violations.
Wage and Hour Class Action
Employment class action involving issue of classification of truck drivers as independent contractors or employees.
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.
Wage and hour and wrongful termination case of a car salesperson. Case involved detailed review of wage and related issues (meal and rest breaks) and alleged retaliatory termination. Case was settled before a scheduled mandatory arbitration.
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.
Case involving interpretation of insurance contract language regarding coverage for water intrusion damage, turning on definitions of contract terms which have received different treatment in state and federal cases.
A copyright infringement case involving textile patterns. Good defenses of invalidity of the registration and statute of limitations issues. Case was vigorously litigated by knowledgeable IP attorneys.
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.
Patent infringement and trade secret misappropriation case. Issues of alleged invalidity were involved in the litigation. Complex technology. Settlement was complicated by a pending IPR and new claims which were recently granted by the PTO.
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.
Trademark case involving infringement allegations as to name of business, logo, and trade dress. Case settled on basis of name change and payment of damages based on lost profits.
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
Construction worker was injured on the job; his foot fell into a concealed hole. Liability contested as to who might have been responsible. Liability was apportioned among the parties, including the safety inspection company.
Plaintiff slipped off the steps of a livery vehicle, alleging he fell into a ditch and sustained serious knee injuries which will require knee replacement. The principal dispute concerned liability, and causation.
Plaintiff was seriously injured in a fall in her apartment while navigating the stairs. Likely that stairs and railing were not ADA compliant or within current code. Negotiations centered on extent of emotional distress, effect on elderly Plaintiff's lifestyle, and likely future medical expenses.
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.
Wrongful death case: jail suicide. The case was settled on the verge of a retrial. The primary issue was the liability of the jailer to monitor detainee or to take preventive steps.