Hon. Carl J. West (Ret.)

T: 213-620-1133
F:213-620-0100
  • Print
  • PDF
  • Add to Packet
  • View Packet

Hon. Carl J. West (Ret.) joined JAMS following eighteen years on the bench, spending the most recent ten years as a judge with the Los Angeles County Superior Court’s complex litigation panel. The complex litigation program, distinguished by its early judicial involvement and hands-on case management, promotes early identification of issues and focused discovery to permit significant issues to be resolved and to encourage settlement. Judge West held hundreds of settlement conferences for disputes that spanned the legal spectrum, often working closely with parties to bring them together and foster resolution of even the most complex and difficult cases.

Judge West is highly regarded as a tech-savvy and hands-on innovator in complex case management, e-discovery, and civil procedure and is a frequent speaker and lecturer on these topics.

ADR Experience and Qualifications

Disputes Judge West presided over and worked to settle have included the following issues, among others:

  • Business/commercial
  • Environmental mass torts
  • Insurance coverage 
  • Intellectual property
  • Labor and employment
  • Negligence
  • Product liability
  • Professional malpractice 
  • Trade secret

Representative Matters

  • Antitrust 
    • Antitrust dispute involving major hospitals, healthcare organizations, and hospital advocacy group
  • Business/Commercial
    • Class action claims filed on behalf of consumers alleging false advertising
    • Fraudulent business practices claims prosecuted under Unfair Competition law that led to adoption of Proposition 64 in California and major changes in manner in which such claims are prosecuted
  • Class Action/Mass Tort
    • Pharmaceutical claims on behalf of several thousand plaintiffs 
    • Insurance litigation involving major carrier facing more than 9,000 residential and commercial property claims following 1994 Los Angeles earthquake
    • Class action claims against major manufacturers of consumer electronics
    • Unfair claims and sales practices class actions involving the life insurance industry
    • Employment-related class actions filed against major healthcare organizations and chain business in the retail and restaurant industries
    • Class action claims involving consumer, employment, and securities claims
  • Construction Defect
    • Construction defect disputes involving commercial and residential developments
  • Employment
    • Disputes involving wage and hour, misclassification, discrimination, and harassment claims
    • Class actions involving wage and hour and working condition/hostile environment claims
  • Entertainment
    • Industry-wide wage and hour class action
    • Class actions involving claims that thousands of members from three major Hollywood guilds did not receive royalties from foreign distribution of films and television
  • Environmental 
    • Dispute involving more than 3,000 plaintiffs and contaminated groundwater in heavily populated Southern California region
    • Environmental insurance coverage involving major oil company over losses at more than 3,000 sites nationwide over period of more than 40 years during which more than 75 insurance companies issued primary and excess coverage
    • Experience with Environmental Protection Agency regulation of groundwater contamination sites, conducting numerous settlement conferences involving EPA regulations
    • Experienced handling groundwater, soil, and environmental contamination claims, including mass tort injury claims, property damage claims, insurance coverage claims involving environmental liabilities, and condemnation proceedings involving contamination issues
    • Groundwater contamination claims involving more than 1,500 plaintiffs in two Los Angeles County cities
    • Significant experience with Proposition 65:
      • Claims arising from coke barns and facilities at Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles
      • Claims involving manufacturing entities
      • Disputes involving multiple consumer products, including food and cosmetics industries
      • Handled second-hand smoke Prop 65 coordination proceedings
  • Insurance
    • Consolidated coverage litigation involving primary and excess coverage for environmental contamination claims relating to manufacturing and distribution company’s products
    • Coverage for asbestos bodily injury claims against major asbestos manufacturer over 50-year period
    • Experience handling class actions involving claims against insurance companies arising from alleged misrepresentations and/or misconduct in connection with individual, group, and commercial insurance coverage
    • Oversaw as judge numerous insurance coverage cases involving reinsurance issues, as well as primary and excess insurance coverage for property and bodily injury claims
  • Intellectual Property 
    • Trade secret litigation involving major video game producers 
    • Trade secret dispute between major institutional investment advisory firm and its chief executive officer
  • Multi-Jurisdiction Litigation
    • International dispute involving annual sale of more than $2 billion in consumer food products in mainland China, with related litigation in Hong Kong, California, the Canary Islands, and the Arbitration Tribunals of the Chamber of Commerce of Stockholm
    • Multi-jurisdiction coverage litigation involving companies domiciled in different states
  • Real Estate
    • Experience resolving disputes involving commercial and residential transactions, land use and zoning issues, and environmental-related claims
  • Securities
    • Presided as trial judge over securities litigation involving major public pension fund’s investment losses surrounding merger of two major media companies 
    • Securities litigation arising out of mortgage crisis involving major financial institution and investment banks 
    • Shareholder derivative dispute involving major entertainment companies
  • Special Master/Discovery Referee
    • Pre-dispute resolution of e-discovery issues in complex case through early intervention
    • Resolution of cost-shifting disputes concerning electronically stored information (ESI)
    • Negotiation of appropriate protective and preservation orders to facilitate production of ESI
    • Negotiation of appropriate search parameters and technologies for use in individual cases

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • Recognized as one of California's Top Rising Star Neutrals, Daily Journal, 2012
  • Member, Sedona Conference Advisory Board, 2003-present
  • Executive Committee, Litigation Section, Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • Board Member, Association of Business Trial Lawyers-Los Angeles
  • Board Member, Pasadena Bar Association
  • Board Member, Polytechnic School, Pasadena, CA
  • Board Member, Wellness Community-Foothills
  • Board Member, Pasadena Rotary Club
  • Speaker and lecturer on complex case management, e-discovery, and civil case procedure at numerous conferences, including the Sedona Conference, the ABA Litigation and Insurance section annual retreat, and the State Bar of California’s Antitrust and Unfair Competition seminar

Background and Education

  • Judge, Los Angeles County Superior Court, 1996-2011
  • Judge, Los Angeles County Municipal Court, 1994-1996
  • Partner, Hahn & Hahn, 1980-1994 
  • Associate, Severson Werson Burke & Melchior, 1978-1980
  • J.D., Loyola Law School, 1977
  • B.A., Occidental College, 1973