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Hon. Carlos R. Moreno
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Hon. Carlos R. Moreno (Ret.)

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Upcoming Events
General Biography
Practice Areas
Business Commercial
Civil Rights
Employment Law
Entertainment & Sports
Environmental Law
Federal Law
Health Care
Intellectual Property
Real Property
Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities
Background and Education

Hon. Carlos R. Moreno (Ret.) joins JAMS after a distinguished 25-year career on the judiciary, including ten years on the California Supreme Court. During his tenure, Justice Moreno authored over 140 majority opinions on a wide range of precedent setting cases, including significant opinions implicating LGBT rights, arbitration, and insurance policy coverage. Previously, he served fifteen years as a trial judge in state and federal courts presiding over hundreds of trials covering the full spectrum of criminal and civil litigation. Most recently, Justice Moreno served as United States Ambassador to Belize where he made great strides in advancing citizen security within Belize and the region, focusing on citizen protection, economic development, and governance. Justice Moreno has also been appointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti to the Los Angeles Police Commission's Advisory Committee on Building Trust and Equity. This committee is tasked with conducting a comprehensive review of the LAPD's policies and procedures and delivering recommendations for reform.

Justice Moreno is a first-generation Mexican-American and fluent Spanish speaker. He was the third Latino to serve on the Supreme Court of California. Justice Moreno has been honored with numerous accolades for his work on and off the Bench, recognizing his commitment to equality and justice, his pioneering accomplishments as a Mexican-American, and his work in child advocacy. He has served on numerous community-based organization boards.

Download Justice Moreno's General Biography in Spanish

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • Served as United States Ambassador to Belize working to improve citizen security for Belize and the region, emphasizing citizen protection, economic development, and good governance
  • Ten years on the California Supreme Court authoring over 140 majority opinions on a wide range of precedent-setting civil and criminal cases, including death penalty appeals, and the author of significant opinions implicating LGBT rights, arbitration, and insurance policy coverage. Participated in at least 1000 oral arguments before the Court
  • Fifteen years as a trial judge in state and federal courts presiding over 100's of trials involving the full panoply of criminal and civil litigation
  • Four years as a prosecutor with the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office, including dozens of trials and assignment to consumer protection section
  • Ten years in private practice with business law firms

Representative Matters

  • Appellate
      • Neutral Evaluator on several matters before the California Supreme Court including foundation for expert witness testimony, redevelopment legislation, charter schools, and water district resource allocations among other issues, including petitions for review, moot court, construction contract interpretation and preparation for oral argument
  • Arbitration
      • Panel arbitrator in multi-state tobacco settlement claims
      • Author of several decisions on arbitration including arbitrability and unconscionability doctrines
      • Arbitrated family partnership dispute over distribution of business operations and real property assets related to produce industry
      • Arbitrated discovery dispute over possession of key business and employment documents related to potential criminal investigation
      • Handled dispositive motion on class arbitration eligibility in employment agreement
      • Mediated wage and hour claims re: de minimus time duties imposed by large board and care operators
  • Business Commercial
      • Author of majority opinion in Korea Supply re: remedy of restitution in unfair competition cases
      • Arbitrated multi-million dollar dispute over fraudulent representations by seller on the purchase value of ongoing business
      • Presided over lengthy federal trial concerning breach of prospective defense contract to build fighter jets and enforceability of oral representations made in bid process
      • Author of In re Tobacco II (retroactivity of “injury in fact” statutory provision)
  • Civil Rights
      • Commission member investigating execessive use of force by sheriff deputies in county jails
      • Author and majority member of numerous decisions on LGBT rights including same-sex adoptions, domestic partner rights, in vitro fertilization and child custody rights, and same-sex marriage
      • Presided over numerous federal excessive force and wrongful arrest claims against local municipalities
  • Construction
      • Mediated school construction claims alleging conflict of interest in construction management contracts
  • Education
      • Mediated challenges to use of standardized tests in admissions decisions by major public university
  • Employment Law
      • Neutral Evaluator in case concerning minority faculty allegations of discrimination in hiring and promotions at major public university
      • Handled matters involving issues of discrimination based on race, age, gender, disability, medical condition, religion, sexual origin, national origin
      • Handled sexual harassment and retaliation claims
      • Mediated large wage and hour judgment on appeal against major agricultural union
      • Issued injunction over claims of unfair labor practices in jewelry industry
      • Handled CERCLA and CEQA claims re  soil contamination of World War II disposal site
      • Mediated large wage and hour judgment on appeal against major agricultural union
      • Issued injunction over claims of unfair labor practices in jewelry industry
  • Entertainment & Sports
      • Presided over commercial disputes involving copyright, trademark, and contract claims
      • Presided over claim of misappropriation of popular musical soundtrack
      • Presided over claim by Argentinean film maker for misappropriation of storyboard line for movie regarding underground civilization
      • Presided over claims by film maker regarding misappropriation of storyboard line in a movie re: sophisticated mental patient
      • Presided over alleged misappropriation of children's book characters and mis en scene
      • Presided over royalty proceeds dispute among disbanded musical group
      • Issued injunction on breach of contract claims re: misleading advertising by franchisee
      • Presided over claims of misappropriation of noted composer and musician by tribute concert promoter
  • Environmental Law
      • Handled CERCLA and CEQA claims re  soil contamination of World War II disposal site
      • Handled claims re protection of threatened and endangered species at dam construction site
      • Author of majority opinion re forest protection of Headlands purchase by State of California
  • Government Investigations
    • Chaired Special Committee investigating allegations of health services sexual misconduct at major public university
      • Independent investigation of racial slurs and misconduct at entertainment talent agency
      • Awarded Daily Journal Clay Award as lead investigator in alleged interference with state audit by public university
  • Insurance
      • Author of majority opinion in McKinnon and other coverage cases discussing “reasonable expectations of the insured”
      • Author of coverage cases concerning mixed concurrent causation, successor liability, bad faith insurance claims, Brandt fees, policy interpretation, and lost policies
  • Intellectual Property
      • Neutral evaluator in matters concerning patent standards, infringements, and trademarks
      • Trial judge in patent infringement and patent invalidity claims, trade secrets, trademark, and copyright violations
      • Presided over complex Walker Process patent infringement  claims involving monopolization of market for electronic automotive  accessories
      • Presided over patent infringement claims for industrial scrubbers
      • Presided over patent design claims of infringement of protective wear suits in tech industry
  • Real Property
      • Mediated prescriptive easement claim over adjoining real property
      • Arbitrated property dispute concerning conflict of interest by managing partner in large partnership development project

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS. 

  • Board of Directors for LEAP (Legal Education Access Pipeline, Inc.)
  • Los Angeles Police Commission's Advisory Committee on Building Trust and Equity, 2020
  • Alumni Fellow of Yale's Board of Trustees, 2020
  • LACBA “Trailblazer Award” (2018)
  • Constitutional Rights Foundation Award for Community Service (2017)
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, Mexican American Bar Association Foundation, 2011
  • Cesar E. Chavez Legacy Award, 2011
  • Lambda Legal Liberty Award, 2011
  • Diversity Award, State Bar Council on Access & Fairness, 2011
  • Esperanza Award, California Latino Caucus, 2011
  • Equality & Justice Award, Equality California, 2010
  • Yale University Medal, 2010
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, Hispanic National Bar Association, 2009
  • Legal Services for Children Advocacy Award, 2007
  • Justice Roger J. Traynor Appellate Justice of the Year, Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles, 2002
  • Yale University – For God, For Country and For Yale Award, 2002
  • Member, California Judges Association, Present
  • President, Yale Club of Southern California, 1997-1999
  • Board of Governors, Association of Yale Alumni, 1991-1994
  • Board of Visitors, Stanford Law School, 1988-1991
  • President, Mexican American Bar Association, 1982

Background and Education

  • United States Ambassador to Belize, 2014-2017
  • Of Counsel, Irell & Manella LLP, 2011-2013
  • Associate Justice, California Supreme Court, 2001-2011
  • United States District Judge, Central District of California, 1998-2001
  • Judge of the Superior Court, County of Los Angeles, 1993-1998
  • Judge of the Municipal Court, Compton Judicial District, 1986-1993
  • Kelley, Drye & Warren, 1979-1986
  • Deputy City Attorney, Los Angeles City Attorney, 1975-1979
  • J.D., Stanford Law School, 1975
  • B.A., Political Science, Yale University, 1970


This page is for general information purposes.  JAMS makes no representations or warranties regarding its accuracy or completeness.  Interested persons should conduct their own research regarding information on this website before deciding to use JAMS, including investigation and research of JAMS neutrals. See More

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