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Louis Marlin

Louis M. Marlin, Esq.

Case Manager
Tricia Lunceford
T: 714-937-8251
F: 714-939-8710
5 Park Plaza, Suite 400, Irvine, CA 92614


Louis M. Marlin, Esq. is a full-time neutral with JAMS who brings over 40 years of significant trial and litigation experience in his background as both plaintiff and defense counsel. He specializes in resolving a wide variety of disputes, and is especially adept at handling large, complex cases, including matters involving class actions, PAGA claims and mass tort, employment and discrimination claims (both individual and multi-party), and substantial personal injury issues. Mr. Marlin also is experienced at using early mediation to resolve intra-corporate and inter-corporate disputes without the necessity of litigation, a unique practice area developed by him.

Mr. Marlin is keenly aware of respecting both counsel and litigants in his mediation practice.  He focuses on effective use of time, actively seeking to avoid wasted and non-productive time by working at the very commencement of the mediation to focus both sides on the issues which need to be resolved.  Mr. Marlin prepares prior to every mediation by reading all submissions carefully and conducting pre-mediation calls if requested by a party to obtain a fuller understanding of the case. In connection with labor and employment cases, Mr. Marlin has developed a program entitled Avoid The Brief, which permits counsel to effectively and efficiently set forth their case without the necessity of writing a formal brief.  Mr. Marlin is also rigorous in his follow up and will continue to communicate with the parties if necessary long after the mediation session has ended.

As an arbitrator, Mr. Marlin takes a managerial approach and ensures the process is convenient for the parties while also formal enough so that all sides feel they have had an opportunity to have their position fully presented and considered. He makes scheduling and related deadline decisions in a cooperative manner that assists in lessening the stress normally attached to litigated proceedings, and bases his decisions on a thorough understanding of the facts and application of the law.

A former litigator with more than four decades of experience, Mr. Marlin was a general practitioner for several years before concentrating primarily on defense work.  In the last 13 years of his practice, he focused his attention on representation of plaintiffs. For over 40 years, his practice focused on class actions, complex multi-party tort litigation, employment disputes, catastrophic injury cases, and complex business disputes. 

Mr. Marlin was considered among the top class action/complex litigation attorneys in California, and regularly applies that insight and experience to his practice as a neutral in all areas from single plaintiff matters to all types of multi-party litigation.

Mr. Marlin is proud to be a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.

Representative Matters

  • Appellate
    • Argued numerous appellate matters, including matters before the California Supreme Court, various California Courts of Appeal, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
    • Mr. Marlin is available to provide a pre-filing review of appellate briefs, as well as pre-hearing consideration of oral arguments
  • Business/Commercial
    • Intra and Inter-Corporate Dispute Resolution
        • In terms of intra-corporate disputes, Mr. Marlin has conducted mediation sessions involving key corporate officers/employees who are at odds over personal differences, business disagreements, management styles, and/or philosophical differences. This has occurred at different ownership, supervisory and managerial levels of an organization, including team leaders, middle management, administration, leadership, board of directors, and other constituencies and other stakeholders.
        • In connection with inter-corporate disputes, Mr. Marlin has conducted mediation sessions involving companies at odds with each other who are seeking to resolve disagreements prior to litigation and restore their established business relationship.
    • Mediated a dispute between two competing family groups, both claiming ownership of a large privately held corporation.
    • Mediated actions involving alleged violations of the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FRCA), the California Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act (CCRAA) and the California Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act (ICRAA)
    • Mediated dispute between beverage company and its bottler, and its ingredient supplier, regarding tainted non-carbonated drinks
    • Mediated dispute between general manager of an auto dealership and the owner regarding contractual compensation
    • Mediated disputes over dissolution of medical practice
    • Mediated a dispute regarding outside sales agents contractual compensation
  • Class Action/PAGA/Mass Tort 
    • Regularly mediates complex class actions involving a wide variety of industries
    • Numerous employment class action mediations alleging:
        • claims regarding failure to properly calculate and pay overtime compensation
        • claims regarding failure to provide meal and rest breaks, etc.
        • claims involving allegations of improper "rounding" of time punch entries
        • claims combined with PAGA claims
        • claims on behalf of independent contractor truck drivers
        • claims of misclassification of employees in numerous industries
        • class claims involving security guards
        • claims regarding meal and rest break violations
        • claims regarding the classification of individuals as independent contractors, including the application of new Labor Code § 228.6 provisions
        • claims involving allegations of wage statement errors in violation of Labor Code section 226
    • Numerous actions involving the Private Attorney General Act (PAGA)
    • Mediated class actions involving claims of violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)
    • Mediated class actions involving the alleged violation of the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, the California Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act, and the California Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act
    • Served as lead counsel at trial, appellate, and California Supreme Court
  • Construction/Product Liability
    • Mediated claim involving builder and drywall sub-contractor over adequacy of sub-contractor’s work
    • Mediated claim involving substantial damage to residence due to water damage.  Claim involved issues of claim of negligence (by plumber), and product liability (by manufacturer of water heater)
    • Mediated insurance claim regarding damage done by leaking dishwasher
    • Actively arbitrating an action between a condominium homeowners association and the project builder
  • Employment 
    • Discrimination – mediated numerous discrimination claims, including:
        • pregnancy discrimination
        • sexual orientation discrimination
        • racial discrimination
        • disability discrimination
        • failure to accommodate persons with disability
    • Mediated numerous wage and hour class actions, including:
        • allegations that employees were not compensated for time during security checks upon exiting facilities for meals and at end of shifts
        • allegations of improper rounding of time entries of hourly workers
        • allegations of failures to provide legally compliant meal and rest breaks
        • allegations that employers failed to pay for uncompensated "off the clock” work
        • allegations of misclassification of employees in numerous different industries
        • complaints that employers failed to include non-discretionary bonuses in overtime rate calculations
        • claims that employers failed to reimburse employees for necessary business expenses
    • Mediated numerous stand alone PAGA cases, as well as PAGA claims combined with class allegations
    • Presided over arbitrations concerning claims of discrimination in employment, including:
        • racial discrimination
        • gender discrimination
        • disability discrimination
        • age discrimination
    • Mass Layoff Litigation involving claims that employer violated California and federal WARN Acts
    • Mediated claim by Fire Academy applicant who was prohibited from attending the Academy, after being accepted, due to being diabetic
    • Mediated claims of failure to compensate employees for training time
    • Mediated claims involving wrongful termination (including constructive termination) in violation of public policy
    • Mediated claims involving allegations of failure to reimburse employees for necessary business expenses
    • Mediated claims of misclassification by intrastate truck drivers
    • Mediated claims of constructive wrongful termination based upon an allegation of failure to accommodate under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA)
    • Mediated claims of failure to properly compensate for overtime work by failing to consider non-discretionary bonuses in hourly compensation rate
  • Health Care Law 
    • Mediated a series of disputes between large health care provider and insurance carrier which avoided the necessity of numerous arbitrations
    • Mediated dispute between physicians as to ownership of practice assets, and potential dissolution of practice (mediation resulted in the physicians continuing to work together)
  • Insurance 
    • Mediated water damage claim resulting from dishwasher drain tube eaten by rodents
    • Mediated claim for insurance subrogation resulting from severe water damage to residence
  • Personal Injury/Tort 
    • Mediated dispute involving rear-end collision between retail company truck and personal vehicle that burst into flames. Matter involved substantial loss of consortium claim and questions concerning validity of sub rosa video of plaintiff
    • Mediated several claims for personal injuries of individuals shot by police in different events
    • Served as counsel on dozens of personal injury matters ranging from minor injuries to wrongful death, including:
        • Court appointed “liaison counsel” in numerous matters involving large number of parties and counsel
        • Action against student-abroad program for wrongful death of several students in auto accident
        • Catastrophic personal injury action involving manufacturing machinery severing worker’s arm
        • Claim by ballet dancer that he was beaten by staff at state mental institution
        • Claim by high school student that she had sexual relations with teacher and that school, although aware of relationship, took no action to protect her
        • Complex psychological malpractice tort action against group of psychologists operating residential program
        • Pedestrian’s claim of having been struck by rental truck and rendered paraplegic
        • Personal injury claim concerning design of child’s stroller and its use on escalator
        • Rear-end auto accident resulting in plaintiff’s loss of hearing
        • Several proposed class actions against large university system for mishandling of human remains.  Lead counsel in trial court and appellate court proceedings.
        • Teenager’s sexual assault claim against treating physician
        • Wrongful death claim for family of man hit by speeding fire response vehicle
        • Wrongful death of motorcycle driver

    • Mediated dispute between beverage company and its bottler, and its ingredient supplier, regarding tainted non-carbonated drinks

    • Mediated dispute between general manager of an auto dealership and the owner regarding contractual compensation

    • Dispute regarding outside agents contractual compensation

  • Honors
    • Fellow, College of Labor and Employment Lawyers
    • Rated as “Super Lawyer" (attorney 2007-2015, mediator 2016-2017)
    • Listed in “Top Attorneys of Southern California” by Los Angeles Magazine, class actions, complex litigation, and mass torts, 2007-2015
    • Listed in “Top Attorneys in Orange County“ by Orange Coast Magazine, 2010-2015
    • Listed as “Top Attorney in Orange County” by the Orange County Register newspaper
    • Listed as National Trial Lawyers’ “Top 100 Lawyer in California,” 2013-2015
    • Listed in Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, 1991-2015
    • AV rated over 25 years
  • Memberships
    • Orange County Bar Association
    • Los Angeles County Bar Association
    • Federal Bar Association
    • American Bar Association
    • Association of Business Trial Attorneys
  • Professional Activities
    • Speaker on multiple topics, including:
      • Ethics in Mediation
      • Resolving PAGA Cases in Mediation (Orange County Bar Assoc. Labor & Employment Seminar)
      • Elimination of Bias in Mediation
      • Presentation of Wage and Hour case in mediation
  • ADR Profile
  • Founding Partner, Marlin & Saltzman, 1984-2015
  • Law Offices of Louis M. Marlin, 1973-1984
  • Associate, Sonenshine & Armstrong, 1972-1973
  • J.D., University of California, Hastings College of the Law
  • B.A., University of California, Irvine

Counsel Comments

    • “Lou Marlin is a fantastic mediator.  He is respected by both plaintiffs and defendants because of his experience as a defense attorney and a successful plaintiff’s attorney. I strongly recommend him for class action mediations. He does not give up; he pursues the parties weeks after the mediation 'til the case is resolved.”
    • “Mr. Marlin is very knowledgeable about labor and employment law, and his ability to bring the parties together is truly impressive. His impressive combination of persistence, patience and understanding of personal dynamics has provided us with positive results. He is top-notch.”

      -Southern California labor & employment attorneys

    • “Having practiced at the highest levels as both a defense and plaintiffs' lawyer, Lou understands the concept of serving as a true neutral.  He has a singular focus, which is to settle your case.  It helps that he's a quick study, can build rapport with the clients in a matter of minutes, and can relate to almost anyone on almost any topic.  When necessary he will get into the weeds, but generally he will guide the parties through the most important issues in order to close the deal on the day of the mediation.”
      – Los Angeles Attorney
    • “Mr. Marlin communicates well with both sides of a dispute and he gets to the heart of the case quickly. He somehow manages to settle a case in half the time of most mediators, with results that each side can live with. He demonstrates the right combination of legal knowledge and people skills.”
      – Orange County Attorney




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