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Linda Miller

Hon. Linda L. Miller (Ret.)

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Case Manager
Denise Mitchell
T: 714-937-8229
F: 714-939-8710
500 N. State College Blvd., 14th Floor, Orange, CA 92868

Biography

Hon. Linda L. Miller (Ret.) joined JAMS after more than 30 years as a judge in Orange County, California.  She spent 16 years handling a family law direct calendar and served for two years on a Superior Court appellate panel. In addition to family law, Judge Miller handled business and commercial disputes, torts, collection matters and real property title and possession cases. As an assigned judge in the Civil Departments of the Riverside County Superior Court, she conducted in excess of 1,200 settlement conferences, with a very high rate of resolution.

Judge Miller has a wealth of experience with complex financial matters related to family law.  Her family law experience, in both trials and resolution, ranges from business and realty valuation, reimbursements, custody disputes, income findings for support, to fees and domestic abuse.  Judge Miller established the first Children’s Chambers in Orange County, where children can be safely cared for while parents take care of court business. It subsequently became a model for courts all over the state.

Judge Miller has a well-earned reputation among colleagues and attorneys for her credibility, consistency, preparation and ability to quickly grasp complex issues and resolve even the most tumultuous disputes.  As a mediator, Judge Miller uses persistence and perseverance to creatively help the parties craft their own solutions.  As an arbitrator, her strong analytical and case management skills allow the process to flow seamlessly.

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • Certified Family Law Specialist
  • Handled in excess of 1200 Civil settlement conferences in Riverside Superior Court
  • Extensive judicial trial and settlement conference experience involving a wide range of civil and family law matters
  • Enlisted by colleagues to help resolve their most difficult cases
  • Received training from Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University School of Law

Representative Matters

Family Law 

Custody and Time Share

  • In-state, national and international move-away cases
  • Custody matters involving multiple psychological evaluations with greatly divergent opinions regarding both the parents and children, as well as cases without the benefit of a professional evaluation
  • Cases involving multiple parents and grandparents
  • Cases involving same-sex parents
  • Cases where a parent has taken a child without permission and hidden the child. After the return of the child, resolving what was in those children’s best interests
  • Cases involving children and/or parents with mental health or substance abuse issues
  • Multiple cases involving Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) and Hague issues from at least 10 different states and countries, including Mexico, Egypt, Denmark and Greece

Property Characterization, Division and Valuation

  • Property division matters involving tracing separate and community interest over a long-term marriages complicated by alleged breaches of fiduciary duty and nondisclosure
  • Valuations of businesses analyzed from both Pereira and Van Camp approaches, including landscaping, computer products, CPA practice, law practice and other professions, as well as investment business
  • Support and property division where one party had an interest in a family-owned business that was gifted to the party and that provided for their very high lifestyle where other party continued to claim an interest therein; issues also involved significant debt owed to the family and claims of manipulation of value and income
  • Cases involving the value and division of split-dollar life insurance policies and those involving community and separate contributions to 401(k)s, IRAs, deferred compensation and other retirement benefits, both public and private
  • Multiple pieces of real property purchased before, during and after separation to be traced, characterized and valued for division; determination of the value and reasonable rental value thereof for Watts and Epstein and FC 2640 reimbursements
  • Division of personal injury awards, student loans and stock options (both for property division and support determinations)

Support Issues

  • Multiple-year arrearage claims that required complex tracing, with parties able to provide only some documentation
  • Determination of the marital standard of living in the first instance and, in those cases where no findings were made, as part of a judgment
  • Spousal support rulings after long- and short-term marriages and those post-judgment proceedings where an increase, decrease or termination was sought
  • Pendente lite spousal support hearing that involved an opulent lifestyle and unlimited spending
  • Cases involving high-income earners and deviation from guideline for child support
  • Cases involving the many aspects of adult dependent child support

Other Family Law Issues

  • Determining the validity of a premarital agreement
  • Long cause nullity trial of an 18-month marriage where one party claimed fraud in the inducement and both claimed domestic violence; case was complicated by language and immigration issues, as well as a lack of access to funds
  • Determining subject matter and personal jurisdiction at the outset of the case
  • Hearings on the recusal motion by one party’s attorney against the other’s attorney
  • Many hearings involving determinations of need-based fees and costs, as well as sanctions under FC 271, disclosure and breach of fiduciary duty statutes
  • Extensive training and experience hearing and evaluating claims of domestic abuse of all kinds, with sensitivity to the issues and the parties; cases involved both claimed abuse within families, by and against spouses and children, and those involving dating relationships (teens and adults)

Civil Settlement Experience

Torts

  • Auto accidents involving multiple vehicles and substantial injuries where liability both was and was not contested
  • Slip-and-fall cases in commercial businesses, in parking lots and on private property
  • Medical malpractice (hospital, pharmacy and doctors), including injuries to patients from medical and dental procedures, including breast implants, misplaced surgical items and infections, as well as claims against a pharmacy and doctors for overprescribing
  • Emotional abuse arising from alleged desecration of cemetery plots
  • Fraud, defamation and intentional torts

Real Property

  • Contractual disputes involving both written arm’s-length transactions and those involving family members with oral agreements and differing expectations
  • Landlord-tenant cases involving home and apartment dwellers and those involving commercial property (with issues of complicated leases and construction promises), both for trial and settlement
  • Homeowners’ association issues, including breach of covenants and fee disputes

Employment

  • Wage and hour claims, including California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and Labor Board appeals
  • Wrongful termination cases involving public entities and private businesses, including discriminatory practices and sexual harassment

Business/Commercial

  • Business investments and partnership dissolution with claims of fraud and breach of fiduciary duty
  • Collection matters (trial and settlement)
  • Member, William P. Gray Legion Lex American Inn of Court, 2018–present
  • Member, Judicial Advisory Board and Peer Court Advisory Committee, Constitutional Rights Foundation Orange County, 2001–present
  • Mock Trial Judge of the Year, Constitutional Rights Foundation Orange County, 2010–2011
  • Judge of the Year, Constitutional Rights Foundation Orange County, 2009
  • Outstanding Contribution to Family Law Award, Family Law Section, Orange County Bar Association, 2009
  • J.E.T. Rutter Award for Judicial Excellence, Family Law Section, Orange County Bar Association, 2010
  • State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization Award for Outstanding Service as a Certified Family Law Specialist and as a Judge of the Superior Court, 2008
  • Member, Board of Trustees, Orange County Public Law Library, 1996–2008; President, 1999–2001
  • Member, Executive Board, California Judges Association, 1990–1993; Secretary-Treasurer, 1992–1993
  • Founder, Children’s Chambers, Orange County
  • Taught at a variety of programs for the California Center for Judicial Education and Research on civil law and procedure and family law and procedure
  • Assigned Judge; Orange County, San Diego and Riverside (handling trials, hearings and over 1,200 settlement conferences); 2015–2018
  • Judge, Appellate Division, Orange County Superior Court, 2005–2007
  • Judge, Orange County Superior Court, 1998–2015; Member, Executive Committee, 2010–2014
  • Judge, Municipal Court, North Orange County Judicial District, 1983–1998; Presiding Judge, 1989–1990
  • Admitted to the Supreme Court of the United States, 1989
  • Partner, Farrell and Miller, 1981–1983
  • Associate/Partner, Sonenshine and Armstrong; Law Offices of Sheila Prell Sonenshine; and Gordon, Weinberg, Sonenshine and Zipser; 1977–1981
  • Certified Family Law Specialist, 1980 (recertified in 2019)
  • Associate, Pizer and Michaelson, 1976–1977
  • Deputy, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, 1974–1976
  • J.D., cum laude, University of San Diego School of Law, 1973
  • B.A., With Honors, University of California, Berkeley, 1970

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Practice Areas

  • Business & Commercial Law
  • Employment Law
  • Family Law
  • Personal Injury/Torts
  • Real Property
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