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Chief Justice Malcolm M. Lucas (Ret.)

T: 213-620-1133
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Chief Justice Malcolm M. Lucas (Ret.) joined JAMS in 1996 upon his retirement as Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court. Chief Justice Lucas' distinguished legal career spans more than four decades, from his Long Beach civil law practice to the Los Angeles Superior Court, federal court, and, finally, to his service as 26th Chief Justice of California where he presided over one of the world's largest judicial systems.

During his tenure, the California Supreme Court issued landmark decisions on reapportionment, insurance law and employment law, among other issues. Widely heralded for bringing order and efficiency to the entire judicial system and restoring confidence in and respect for the Supreme Court, he was responsible for numerous administrative reforms in the high court's internal operations that have improved procedures and streamlined the decision-making process.

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • Successfully mediated and arbitrated numerous cases involving a wide variety of legal issues including complex multi-party disputes involving business, insurance, intellectual property, employment and personal injury matters

Representative Matters

Significant Lucas Court decisions include:
  • Moradi-Shalal v. Fireman's Fund Ins. Companies (1988) 46 Cal.3d 287 (limiting an insurer's tort liability to third parties for bad faith refusal to settle claim with insured)
  • Foley v. Interactive Data Corp. (1988) 47 Cal.3d 654 (defining the limits of tort liability for wrongful termination of employment)
  • Garvey v. State Farm Fire & Casualty (1989) 48 Cal.3d 395 (developed analysis for determining causation under homeowner's insurance policies)
  • Walnut Creek Manor v. Fair Employment & Housing Com. (1991) 54 Cal.3d 245 (restricting power of state Fair Employment and Housing Commission to award punitive and emotional distress damages for discrimination)
  • Moncharsh v. Heily & Blase (1992) 3 Cal.4th 1 (defining the limits of judicial review of arbitration decisions)
  • Neary v. Regents of University of California (1992) 3 Cal.4th 273 (upholding stipulated reversal of judgment to effectuate settlement following appeal)
  • Montrose v. Admiral Ins. Co. (1995) 10 Cal.4th 645 (defining coverage under liability insurance policy where damage is continuous and extends over successive policy periods)

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • Distinguished Service Award, National Center for State Courts, 1995
  • Herbert Harley Award, American Judicature Society, for work toward reducing trial court delay and gender bias in California Courts, 1990
  • Immediate past Chairman, Board of Directors of the State Justice Institute
  • Member, Board of Directors of the Conference of Chief Justices; (former Chair of its Professionalism and Lawyer Competency and Delay Reduction committees, and member of its State-Federal Relations and Nominations committees)
  • Lectured and participated in United States Information Agency-sponsored judicial education tours in South America, the American Law Seminar for the Conseil d'Etat, Paris and the Patent Litigation Seminar in Beijing, China

Background and Education

  • Chief Justice, Supreme Court of the State of California, 1987-1996
  • Associate Justice, California Supreme Court, 1984-1987
  • U.S. District Court Judge, Central District of California, 1971-1984
  • Judge, Superior Court Los Angeles County, 1967-1971
  • Private practice, Lucas, Deukmejian & Lucas, specializing in civil litigation
  • J.D., University of Southern California Law Center, 1953
  • B.A., University of Southern California, 1950