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Hon. Marla O. Anderson

Hon. Marla O. Anderson (Ret.)

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Upcoming Events
General Biography
Practice Areas
Business Commercial
Employment Law
Estate Probate Trusts
Family Law
Governmental & Public Agency
Health Care
Personal Injury
Professional Liability
Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities
Background and Education
Hon. Marla O. Anderson (Ret.) joins JAMS after almost 30 years as a judge. Judge Anderson brings her collective leadership skills as a court, judicial education and judicial branch leader. While on the Monterey County Superior Court, she presided over each of the court’s calendars and served as presiding judge. She also served as faculty as well as dean of the Witkin Judicial College of California. For 10 years, she served on the Judicial Council of California, the policymaking body of California’s court system. In addition to serving on its various committees, she served as chair of the Litigation Management Committee, which oversees litigation and claims against the trial and appellate courts, the Judicial Council and employees of those bodies that seek recovery of $100,000 or more or raise important policy issues. Judge Anderson also chaired the Legislation Committee, where she was instrumental in helping to pass key judicial reforms in California. Prior to the bench, Judge Anderson began her legal career as an associate attorney with Sacramento law firm Weintraub, Genshlea, Hardy, Erich & Brown. She subsequently joined the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office, where she tried many cases as a deputy district attorney prior to appointment to the bench. Judge Anderson is collaborative and insightful when mediating. She has “the unique ability to take difficult issues, break them down into manageable components and then facilitate a candid and intelligent discussion about solutions.” She is “adept at drilling down on what matters and closing the gap between opposing interests.” She is known in the legal community as through, well prepared, fair and impartial. The following case types were handled by Judge Anderson as a jurist.

Representative Matters

  • Business Commercial
      • Handled several disputes involving breach of contract, business dissolution, business divorce, shareholder and board of director disputes
  • Employment Law
      • Multiple cases involving alleged wrongful termination
      • Multiple cases involving claims of discrimination, harassment and retaliation based on age, gender, race and sexual orientation, as well as claims alleging violation of California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA)
      • Actions challenging wage statement violations, meal and rest break policies and practices, failure to pay overtime, various alleged wage and hour violations, and application of Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) penalties
  • Estate Probate Trusts
      • Numerous contested estates, wills and trust matters involving contentious disputes between beneficiaries
      • Claims of alleged undue influence and lack of capacity in the preparation of wills and trusts
      • Actions involving complicated accounting, tracing and valuation issues regarding trusts
      • Actions involving contested conservatorship and limited conservatorships
      • Actions involving alleged breach of duty by trustee
  • Family Law
      • Handled multiple complex dissolutions involving characterization of property, high-profile individuals, business goodwill and asset valuations
      • Complex dissolutions involving award of spousal and child support
      • Numerous complex child custody cases involving high conflict parties and special needs
      • Successfully handled numerous family law settlement conferences
      • Cases involving tracing and reimbursement claims regarding separate and community property
  • Governmental & Public Agency
      • Multiple writs of mandate involving final administrative orders and decisions of municipalities, state agencies and other governmental agencies
      • Several writs of mandate challenging approval of projects in violation of California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) involving general plans for development projects, road-widening projects and school-construction projects
  • Health Care
      • Handled payor-provider disputes
      • Disputes regarding adequacy of insurance payments to provider based on contract agreement
  • Insurance
      • Multiple coverage disputes, including allegations of bad faith claims
  • Personal Injury
      • Numerous cases involving injuries, catastrophic injuries or death arising out of vehicle accidents, including buses, motorcycles, trucks, bicycles and automobiles
      • Multiple personal injury cases involving premises liability, roadway design and medical care
      • Numerous cases involving uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) claims
  • Professional Liability
      • Handled several cases involving allegations of professional negligence, including medical and legal malpractice claims

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Member, California Judges Association, 1995–2024
  • Member, National Association of Women Judges, 1995–2024
  • Member, Judicial Council Section, California Association of Black Lawyers, 2010–2024
  • Member, Association of African American California Judicial Officers, 2019–2024
  • Member, Monterey County Bar Association
  • B.E. Witkin Judicial College of California
    • Faculty Member, 1997–2024
    • Assistant Dean, 2011–2012
    • Dean, 2013–2014
  • Member, Trial Court Presiding Judges Advisory Committee and Executive Committee, 2014–2015
  • Appointed Member, California Judicial Council, 2014–2024
    • Chair, Litigation Committee, 2023, 2024
    • Chair, Legislation Committee, 2019–2024

Selected Awards and Honors

  • California Legislature Assembly Commendation of Service Resolution No. 347, 2024
  • Judicial Excellence Award, Charles Houston Bar Association, 2016
  • Champion of Justice Award, California Association of Black Lawyers, 2016
  • Lady Justice Award for Lifetime Achievement, Monterey County Women’s Lawyers Association, 2015
  • Alumnus of the Year Award, La Sierra University, 2011

Background and Education

  • Monterey County Superior Court, 2002–2024
    • Unlimited Civil Trial Calendar, Complex Civil and Civil Writs, 2018–2024
    • Member, Court Executive Committee, 2015–2016
    • Presiding Judge, 2013–2015
    • Assistant Presiding Judge, 2012–2013 
    • Presiding Judge, Family Law Department, 2006–2009
  • Appellate Panel Judge, San Benito County Superior Court, 2008
  • Judge, Monterey County Municipal Court, 1995–2002
  • Deputy District Attorney, Monterey County District Attorney’s Office, 1987–1995
  • Associate Attorney; Weintraub, Genshlea, Hardy, Erich & Brown; 1986–1987
  • J.D., University of California, Davis School of Law (King Hall), 1986
  • M.A., Communication Management, University of Southern California, 1983
  • B.A., Mass Communication, Loma Linda University, 198


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