Alexander S. Polsky, FCIArb

T: 714-939-1300
F: 714-939-8710
Governmental/Public Agency
Mr. Polsky has served as a deputy district attorney. In this role, he has been involved in assessing issues relating to "in policy" actions by police officers, and claims of excessive force, as well as civil enforcement actions. As a mediator, arbitrator, or special master, Mr. Polsky has participated in the resolution of a significant number of claims against municipalities including code enforcement, excessive force, inverse condemnation, roadway design, as well as employment law related issues and medical negligence at governmental hospitals.

Representative Matters

  • Claim of improper withholding of charge-backs in multi-million dollar school refurbishment contract. Fixed price contract tendered with contractor (plaintiff) assuming the prime contractor and municipality would approve a subsequently delivered specification, which involved a product change. Municipality withheld approval mid-project and prime contractor terminated the subcontractor. Municipality withheld charge-backs approaching $5 mm on total project with about $250 k apportioned to the alarm system. (Settlement with partial release of charge-backs allocated between prime and sub contractors)
  • Claims by 22 commercial properties against municipal flood control district for inverse condemnation, business interruption and vibration damage occurring over three-year storm drain project. (Partial settlement followed by arbitration of remaining issues)
  • Claims by homeowner against state agency for inverse condemnation, business interruption and vibration damage occurring during highway project. Homeowner took extensive video documentation and diaries of intrusive nature of project.
  • Claims by homeowners against municipality alleging inverse condemnation and damage from vibration and noise secondary to a sewer project. Claimants were seeking damages to rebuild, repay attorney fees and punitive damages. (Settlement $197,500)
  • Governmental liability for curve slope resulting in wrongful death in solo vehicle spinout.
  • Governmental liability for roadway drainage.
  • Inverse condemnation. Landslide took home and contents within one hour of first notice. Municipal flood control issue. (Settlement pre-suit for $425 k)
  • Municipal and event liability for quadriplegia sustained during Iron Man Triathlon accident. (Settlement $3.78 mm)
  • Municipal code enforcement action to abate commercial nuisance in connection with nightclub.
  • Municipal code enforcement to determine if massage parlor violated certain local zoning laws
  • Police shooting case where non-lethal force device, shotgun deployed beanbags, failed to open resulting in death of unarmed assailant. (Settlement $235 k)
  • Police shooting of 15-year-old group home runaway with history of criminal activity. Plaintiff was shot multiple times at close range as she sat in drivers seat of van that she had backed up into an undercover officer's vehicle. Injuries included partial paralysis. (Settlement $2.5 mm)
  • Suit against government benefits plan administrator and school district by 31-year employee arising out of failure to cover costs associated with emergency medical treatment secondary to a heart attack. As a result of the failure to pay, a claim was presented to plaintiff for $40 k in medical costs. (Settled with payment of medical bills and attorney fees)
  • Claim against government employee benefit plan (insurer) for refusal to pay hospital charges for repair of detached retina. Plan contended that prior authorization is not a guarantee of coverage and where, as here, the charges and treatment do not meet standards set by review board, they will not be paid. Plaintiff alleged bad faith and failure to pay for treatment to a life threatening condition. (Settled with payment of benefits plus attorney fees)
  • Claim against hospital, physician and County alleging negligent delivery and neonatal care, including failure to account for group B strep infection in mother, resulting in a birth asphyxia and brain damage. (Settled $1.1 mm)
  • Claim arising from care of plaintiff at local hospital for failure to timely treat for a diagnosed myocardial infarction. Due to insurance issues, the regional hospital transferred plaintiff to a County hospital following initial treatment for ventricular fibrillation. At the regional hospital plaintiff was treated, given a stress test, and discharged. Within 24 hours she suffered a massive infarct, encephalopathy and brain damage. (Settlement $1.6 mm)
  • Claim by operator of group home against Regional Center for over regulation, discrimination, and violation of the Lanerman Act. Asserts a policy disfavoring placement in small group homes for developmentally disabled. (Action plan implemented to relocate home to another administrative zone, payment of $950 k)
  • Claim filed by 24-year-old plaintiff against County hospital and County for care following admission for abdominal complaints. Plaintiff, an acute alcoholic, developed pancreatitis. He was admitted and began withdrawal symptoms. During withdrawal he suffered a complete cardio pulmonary arrest. Primary caregivers prior to the arrest were all interns. Resuscitation was delayed as plaintiff had been placed in a supine position, under restraints and unattended. He sustained anoxic encephalopathy and brain damage. (Settlement $1.65 mm)
  • Defamation by owner of competing taxi business asserting that competitor did not possess proper licensing and had issued fraudulent insurance certificates. Actions in an effort to win a contract for transport services at a regional airport. Representations made by competitor and by his insurance agent. Significant loss of revenue claims in addition to punitive damages. (Settled at mediation)
  • General contractor action against unified school district for breach of contract, work and labor costs, and delay damages in connection with three reconstruction projects. Contract amount at issues exceed $3.5 mm. (Settlement of $500,000 plus agreement not to deem contractor unreliable and unresponsive as that term relates to government contracting)
  • Municipal liability for failed rehabilitation of home in LAX noise abatement zone
  • Numerous claims against municipalities including code enforcement, excessive force, inverse condemnation, roadway design, as well as employment law related issues and medical negligence at government hospitals
  • Public entity breach of contract in connection with multi-year retention of plaintiff to apply for and obtain education grants for school district. Issue of whether payment scheme violated grant restriction guidelines. (Settled)
  • Public entity liability in connection with multi-year retention of consulting firm utilized to apply for and administer grants

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • Recognized as a Best Lawyer, Alternative Dispute Resolution category, Best Lawyers in America, 2008-2018
  • Recognized as a SuperLawyer, Alternative Dispute Resolution category, SuperLawyers, 2006-2016
  • Recognized as a Top Master, Daily Journal
  • Recognized with AV Preeminent Status as a Top Rated Lawyer in Alternative Dispute Resolution, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Recognized as a Top California Neutral, Daily Journal, 2006-2010, 2012
  • Speaker, "What Real Estate Attorneys Can Learn From Mediators—And Vice Versa," Tokyo Annual Conference of the International Bar Association, 2014
  • Panelist, U.S. District Court for the Central District of California Mediation Panel
  • Successfully completed "Accelerated Route to Fellowship International Arbitration Program with Award Writing Examination, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, North American Branch, 2014
  • Fellow, International Academy of Mediators
  • Adjunct Professor of Law, University of Southern California School of Law and Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University School of Law
  • Lecturer (partial list): California Bar Association, American Bar Association, Association of Southern and Northern California Defense Counsel; Consumer Attorneys of California, Los Angeles and Orange County; Los Angeles, Orange County and San Francisco Bar Associations; Pepperdine University Law School; Building Industry Association
  • Past Director: Orange County Bar Association, Orange County Trial Lawyer's Association, Southern California Adjuster's Association
  • Past Chairperson, Orange County Bar Association Committee on ADR
  • Delegate, State Bar of California, Conference of Delegates
  • National Institute of Forensic Studies, Professional Advisory Board
  • Publications on ADR and Attorney Fee Disputes for State and Local Bar Associations, firms, trade associations, and newspapers. Author: "A System for Cost Effective Management of Construction Defect and Complex Litigation." Author: "ADR, Why Does it Work?" Author: "Use of the Special Master in Complex Litigation." Author: "Use of Risk Based Facilitative Dispute Resolution."
  • Mr. Polsky is a sought after negotiation skills trainer and has lectured throughout the United States. He is an adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Southern California, where he teaches a course he designed on ADR and negotiation, and at the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University School of Law, where he teaches courses in the LLM program. He is available to provide training in negotiation and mediation skill development to corporations and professional organizations.
  • Pro bono activities include Dispute Resolution Services (DRS) Board of Directors; Los Angeles/Long Beach Legal Aid Grand Cru Board of Directors; Public Law Center of Orange County Board of Directors; Los Angeles County Bar Association volunteer mediation program volunteer

    Comprehensive Overview

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