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Rex Heeseman

Hon. Rex Heeseman (Ret.)

Case Manager
Julie Ware
T: 213-253-9721
F: 213-620-0100
555 W. 5th St., 32nd Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90013


Judge Rex Heeseman (Ret.) is an established ADR professional, who also led a distinguished career as a litigator and a judge. Prior to his appointment to the Los Angeles Superior Court in 2005, for more than three decades he represented numerous clients in a wide variety of civil litigation matters. Until his retirement from the Court in 2014, he presided at 93 jury trials, adjudicated in excess of 100 bench trials, and ruled on countless motions. His judicial experience gives him a unique perspective on likely judicial attitudes and rulings, as well as jury verdicts. He is attuned to the vicissitudes of litigation.

Judge Heeseman actively manages the resolution of complex matters.  He is regarded as a quick study and known to have a direct, evaluative style. Judge Heeseman brings an academic, judicial and practical perspective to the resolution of matters. His insights often make a difference in overcoming obstacles to settlement.

Judge Heeseman co-authors a leading insurance treatise, was for thirteen years an adjunct professor of law, and has been for over thirty years a legal commentator and MCLE speaker.  He chaired the Court’s ADR operations and served as a Mandatory Settlement Conference Judge. He has attended Pepperdine School of Law, “Mediating the Litigated Case” and other seminars.

Representative Matters


  • JAMS arbitrations, often with an award, with respect to:
    • earn-out distribution transfer of intellectual property
    • real estate partnership, which remodeled and sold residences
    • construction defect claims regarding, for instance, a 450+ multi-use development and a $6 million home
    • claim against surety regarding seven buildings on military base
    • purchase of partner’s share of insurance brokerage business
    • insurer’s multi-million dollar claim against third-party administrator (TPA)
    • various personal injury claims
    • wage-and-hour controversies
    • law firm demands for sizeable unpaid invoices, and related counterclaims
    • legal malpractice claims by, for instance, a well-known entertainment company and a large transportation business
    • start-up dispute between founder and terminated CEO
  • As an attorney, service on tripartite panels involving foreign reinsurer’s funding of motion pictures, sales of toys, and claims for insurance coverage
  • Adjudication of 100 plus bench trials as a judge
  • Rulings on motions to compel arbitration and to enforce arbitration award


  • Dissolution of firms, partnerships, joint ventures and/or LLCs
  • Improper transfers of money or schemes to defraud
  • Agreements to start or to share a business
  • Business interruption claims
  • Misuse or taking of corporate assets
  • Mergers and acquisitions including claims by or against directors and officers
  • Sales activities by agents or brokers
  • Tortious interference with economic relationship/business advantage

Construction Defect

  • Current arbitration regarding $6 million residence in Corona del Mar
  • Current arbitration regarding large multi-use project
  • Arbitrated and ruled upon construction of seven buildings on military base
  • Arbitrated and ruled upon 450 plus development near ocean
  • Arbitrated and ruled upon renovation of Laguna Beach residence
  • Supervision of Right to Repair procedures
  • Upgrades to private residences 
  • Damages related to thermal pressure relief valve 
  • Wood changes to gym floor 
  • Modification of various school buildings 
  • Conversion of buildings into lofts 
  • Shear wall effects on multi-million-dollar residence 
  • Water intrusion at high end residences
  • Bench trial converting property to restaurant including impact of delays
  • Coverage counsel involving numerous high-end condominiums and home


  • Supervision of and judicial participation in CRASH I, II and III
  • Statutory violations (e.g., FEHA)
  • Wage and hour and related class allegations
  • Failures to accommodate
  • "Whistleblower"
  • Retaliation
  • Disparate treatment
  • Sexual harassment
  • Discrimination due to age, disability, gender, or race
  • Pregnancy claims
  • Awards of attorney fees and costs
  • Employment disputes with related insurance topics

Health Care

  • Hospital seeking reimbursement for its care of another’s policyholder
  • Responsibility for payment of policyholder’s medical claims
  • Computerized system for adjudication of pharmacy services
  • Insurer’s challenges regarding analysis of medical provider services
  • Mediation between dentists regarding buyout agreement
  • Arbitration for doctor’s claims regarding value of business at retirement


  • Bad faith litigation and genuine dispute assertions
  • Extra-contractual damages, including “multiplier” challenges
  • “Top off the policy” contentions
  • Property, life, health, disability, and fidelity insurance
  • General liability, CGL, D&O, and E&O coverage
  • Auto, UM, and UIM matters
  • Contribution and/or other claims between insurers
  • Subrogation lawsuits
  • Allocation among primary, excess, and umbrella insurers
  • Surplus lines disputes
  • Duty to defend controversies, including stipulated judgments
  • Topics related to Cumis counsel, including appropriate fee arrangements
  • Health insurers’ misleading advertisements
  • Broker malpractice
  • Agent and agency improper sales
  • Coverage for extensive petroleum leaks
  • Vanishing premium policies and other annuities

Personal Injury/Torts

  • Children’s multi-million dollar claims due to father’s fraud
  • Personal injuries at home of well-known actress
  • Premises liability
  • Medical and legal malpractice
  • Civil rights violations, including excessive force
  • Failure to properly train personnel, resulting in sexual abuse
  • Tire separation, resulting in deaths and major injuries
  • Extent of fall, burn and brain injuries
  • Breach of fiduciary duty, defamation, and libel allegations
  • Slip-and-falls
  • Various tort claims, with related insurance disputes

Real Property

  • Partnership regarding purchasing and upgrading of high-end residences
  • Dispute with surety relating to construction on military base
  • Extensive water damage due to city’s negligence
  • Fraudulent sales, often involving broker misfeasance
  • Foreclosure and mortgage lawsuits
  • Partition of real estate
  • Beachfront dispute regarding rebuilding of residence
  • Inverse condemnation due to electrical lines 
  • Improper removal of or failure to trim trees
  • Real property disputes, with related insurance issues

Special Master / Referee / Neutral Analysis

  • Special Master for fee recommendation after finding of "prevailing party"
  • Evaluation of corporate advancement of attorney fees for principal shareholder's "defensive" activities
  • Monitoring of depositions in contentious personal injury litigation
  • Referee appointment by Superior Court to address various discovery matters (e.g., document productions) related to various litigation
  • Analysis of religions defendant’s arguments in lawsuit
  • Mock Judge in preparation for Ninth Circuit oral argument
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers in America and as a Super Lawyer of Southern California
  • Attorney-Member, State of California’s Judicial Council
  • Adjunct Professor of Law, Loyola Law School, 2002-2015
  • Lecturer, UCLA Law School, 2002
  • Member, Ninth Circuit’s Advisory Committee
  • President, Chancery Club of Los Angeles  
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association
    • Chair, Judicial Appointments Committee
    • Chair, Litigation Section
  • "Natural Progression," ADR Profile, Daily Journal, January 8, 2016


  • Co-author, “Insurance Litigation,” The Rutter Group’s California Practice Guide
  • Author, "Do You Know If Insurance Covers Employment Claims?Daily Journal, July 15, 2015
  • Legal Columnist, Los Angeles Daily Journal
    • “Business Torts”
    • “Punitive Damages”
    • “Insurance Law”
  • “Good Faith Duties and Tort Remedies in Lender Liability,” 15 W. St. Rev. 617
  • “The Special Relationship Requirement for Bad Faith,” Los Angeles Lawyer

Speaking Engagements

  • California Center for Judicial Education and Research (CJER)
    • “Insurance” (4 times)
  • The Rutter Group
    • “Insurance Litigation Update” (annually, since 1991)
    • “Anatomy of an Insurance Policy” (5 times)
    • “Critical Coverage Topics” (4 times)
    • “Shernoff Bad Faith Seminar” (5 times)
  • California Judges Association/The Rutter Group
    • “Coverage for Employment Matters”
    • “Coverage for Torts”
  • Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA)
    • “Trial of Bad Faith Case”
    • “Premises Liability”
    • “Government Tort Liability”
  • "Insurance" at California Center for Judicial Education and Research (CJER)
  • West Coast Casualty (WCC) Seminar
    • “Use of Experts"
    • "WRAP Policies"
    • “Working Smarter Not Harder”
    • “Coverage for CD Litigation”
  • MC and CLM Seminar
    • “Judicial Perspective on CD Litigation”
    • "Impact of CC&Rs"
  • ABA Litigation Section
    • “Trial of a Lending Practices Case”
    • “Appellate Analysis of Emerging Business Torts”
  • Justice Pro Tem, Second District Court of Appeal (Division 3) (2013)
  • Adjunct Professor of Law, Loyola Law School, 2002-2015
  • Lecturer, UCLA Law School, 2002
  • Attorney-Member, State of California’s Judicial Council
  • Member, Ninth Circuit’s Advisory Committee
  • President, Chancery Club of Los Angeles  
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association
    • Chair, Judicial Appointments Committee
    • Chair, Litigation Section
  • "Natural Progression," ADR Profile, Los Angeles Daily Journal
  • BA, Claremont McKenna College, and LLB, Stanford Law School



Practice Areas

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