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Peter Lichtman

Hon. Peter D. Lichtman (Ret.)

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Matthew Levington
T: 213-253-9796
F: 213-620-0100
555 W. 5th St. , 32nd Floor , Los Angeles , CA 90013

Hon. Peter D. Lichtman (Ret.) has had a diverse 35-year legal and judicial career, most recently as head of the Los Angeles County Superior Court’s Mandatory Settlement Program. He is also one of the founders of the Superior Court’s Complex Civil Litigation program, and has twice served as the program’s supervising judge. Judge Lichtman brings a unique perspective toward resolving disputes. Counsel regard him as tenacious, innovative, and dedicated to making sure matters are resolved expeditiously and respectfully toward the parties. He is widely respected for his settlement skills, his approach to cases, and his intelligence and fair mindedness.

Judge Lichtman speaks Portuguese fluently and currently serves as a member of the Brazilian Consulate’s Conselho de Cidadão and the Brazilian California Chamber of Commerce.

Please request or click to download Judge Lichtman's biography and introduction letter in Portuguese.

ADR Experience and Qualifications 

  • As supervising judge of the Los Angeles County Superior Court’s mandatory settlement program, Judge Lichtman resolved a string of high-profile cases, including some of the nation's largest damages suits
  • Led or managed the resolution of more than $1.5 billion in disputed matters throughout his career 
  • Skilled mediator and settlement judge with extensive experience in complex multi-party construction defect, insurance, environmental, securities, real estate, catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, and employment cases, including wage and hour class action matters
  • Possesses substantial experience in the area of damage allocations and has been responsible for allocations in cases involving clergy abuse and the 2008 Metrolink train collision
  • Authored and lectured extensively in California and throughout the United States on topics including settlements, mediation confidentiality, mass torts, complex litigation, case management, and class action certifications and settlements

Representative Matters

  • Business/Commercial
    • Successfully achieved multi-million-dollar settlement in cases involving wildfire in Malibu by and among the insurance carriers and various electrical and telecom utility parties
    • Reached $22 million settlement in dispute between resort management company and county over alleged breach of lease agreement
    • Settled dispute between construction company and municipality over public works contract and prompt pay statute for $10.3 million
    • Settlement judge for $400 million settlement of securities dispute between media conglomerate defendant and plaintiffs that included major university system and pension program
  • Class Action/Mass Torts
    • Presided as settlement judge in $125 million settlement of class action accusing several banks of defaulting on lump-sum payments to structured settlement payees
    • Presided over $100 million settlement in sexual abuse lawsuit involving religious organization
    • Resolved class action dispute for $53 million, ending fraud claims between investors and high-end travel and excursion company
  • Construction Defect
    • Presided over $12.1 million settlement between synagogue and construction company accused of deficiencies in recreational and educational facilities built on synagogue’s campus
    • Settled construction defect dispute for $8.1 million in case involving single-family homes
  • Employment
    • Class action settlement for $8.2 million in case involving former employees of fast-food restaurant chain who sued company for alleged labor law violations
  • Family Law
    • Handled high profile divorce and custody cases
  • Insurance
    • Achieved multiple settlements totaling more than $37 million in related cases involving insurance payments over environmental contamination
    • Reached $11 million settlement in environmental insurance coverage case between petrochemical company and insurance carrier
    • Reached settlements worth more than $40 million in cases filed against insurance carriers for allegedly mishandling claims following major earthquake 
    • Resolved class action involving dispute over insurance company’s allegedly deceptive disability and term life insurance policies with $92 million settlement
    • Resolved environmental claims coverage dispute between manufacturing plant and insurance carriers for $62 million
    • Settled coverage dispute for $26 million between insulation company and insurance carriers
    • Worked with out-of-state judge to settle related insurance disputes involving manufacturing company and carriers
  • Professional Liability
    • Presided over and settled numerous medical and legal malpractice actions
  • Real Estate
  • Recognized as one of California's Top Rising Star Neutrals, Daily Journal, 2012
  • Alfred J. McCourtney Memorial Trial Judge of the Year Award, Consumer Attorneys of Los Angeles, 2003
  • Member, Association of Business Trial Lawyers’ Board of Governors, 2008-2010
  • Member, Los Angeles County Bar, Litigation Section Executive Committee, 2008-2010
  • Member, Los Angeles County Superior Court BAJI Committee, 1998-2000
  • Member, Los Angeles County Superior Court Rules Committee, 1998-2000
  • Member, Los Angeles County Superior Court Executive Committee
  • Member Brazilian Consulate’s Conselho de Cidadão and the Brazilian California Chamber of Commerce
  • "American Perspectives on the Mediation Concept," (in Portuguese) (in English) An interview with Peter Lichtman By Andrea Maia
  • Co-Author, “Getting your class settlement approved,” The Advocate Magazine, Journal of Consumer Attorneys Association for Southern California, Jan. 2011
  • Author, “The leadership role of the judge,” The Advocate Magazine, Journal of Consumer Attorneys Association for Southern California, Oct. 2005
  • Author, “The Complex Litigation Program of the Los Angeles Superior Court: Where is it now? Where is it headed?” LA Litigator, Sept. 2003
  • Author, “Practice Tips: Enforcing settlement agreements,” Los Angeles Lawyer, 1986
  • Author, “Anatomy of a discovery motion,” The Rutter Group, 1984
  • Author, “The new discovery rules,” Los Angeles Lawyer, May 1982
  • Co-author, “California pre-trial civil procedure,” LexisNexis, Oct. 2003
  • Co-author, “California Civil Discovery,” LexisNexis, Oct. 2003
  • Contributing editor, “California practice guide: Civil procedure before trial,” The Rutter Group, 1983
  • Advisory member, Judicial Council’s Civil and Small Claims Advisory Committee for Contributions to Deskbook on the Management of Complex Civil Litigation, Nov. 2004 Updates, Release No. 5 only
  • Judge, Los Angeles County Superior Court, 1997-2011 (Supervising Judge, LASC Mandatory Settlement Program, 2010-2011; Justice Pro Tem, Division 8, 2nd District California Court of Appeal, 2010; Supervising Judge, Complex Civil Litigation, 2009-2010 and 2002-2003; Assistant Supervising Judge, Complex Civil Litigation, 2000; Pilot Project Judge, Complex Litigation Program, 2000; Fast Track Civil Calendar Judge, 1997-2000
  • Municipal Court Judge, Los Angeles Municipal Court, 1993-1997
  • Partner, Lichtman & Bruning, specializing in business/commercial and insurance defense litigation , 1979-1993
  • Associate, Rasch & Golob, specializing in business/commercial litigation, 1978
  • Associate, Lasky & Battaglia, practicing general civil litigation, 1977
  • J.D., Southwestern Law School
  • B.A., cum laude in International Relations, University of Southern California

Counsel Comments

    “He is an expert at becoming an expert”
    - Phil Baker, past president of the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel (2007) and American Board of Trial Advocates (2010)

    "Those harmed by the Metrolink collision are indebted to Judge Peter D. Lichtman for his extraordinary service in resolving the damage allocations in this case”
    - Prominent Los Angeles trial attorney

News

Events

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Specialties

  • Business/Commercial
  • Class Action/Mass Tort
  • Construction
  • Construction Defect
  • Employment
  • Energy/Utility
  • Entertainment and Sports
  • Family Law
  • Health Care
  • Insurance
  • Intellectual Property
  • International
  • Personal Injury/Torts
  • Pharmaceuticals/Mass Tort
  • Professional Liability
  • Real Property
  • Special Master/ Discovery Referee
Available nationwide

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