Hon. Elizabeth Allen White (Ret.) retired as a judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court in July 2020 after serving 23 years on the court. Judge White was assigned to serve as a justice pro tem of the California Court of Appeal, 2nd District in 2004 and again in 2020. Her judicial career started in the then Los Angeles Municipal Court in 1997, and she was elevated in 2000 upon unification. Previously, she was a trial attorney representing both plaintiffs and defendants in employment and general business litigation.
Judge White presided in Department 48, an independent civil calendar court at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles. She served as chair of the Judicial Education Seminars Civil Law Subcommittee from 2016 through her retirement in 2020. As such, she chaired a committee that developed judicial education for all civil judges in the County of Los Angeles. Prior to that, she chaired the Civil Law Education Committee for the Judicial Council’s Judicial Education and Research Department. She has been a frequent lecturer for judicial education throughout California and served as adjunct faculty at USC’s Gould School of Law’s LL.M. program, where she taught Constitutional Law and Professional Responsibility. She also served as adjunct faculty at Loyola Law School, where she taught Civil Discovery, and she was an instructor for UCLA Extension’s Paralegal Training Program. Judge White received her undergraduate degree from UCLA and obtained her J.D. from Loyola Law School in 1981.
Judge White is the immediate past President of the National Association of Women Judges (NAWJ), an organization dedicated to promoting diversity on the bench, fostering collegiality and providing quality education for judges. Her leadership roles within this impactful organization have also included serving as president elect, vice president of districts, chair of NAWJ’s 2019 Conference in Los Angeles, and chair of District 14 encompassing both California and Nevada.
Judge White has lived in France and is fluent in both French and Spanish.
ADR Experience and Qualifications
- 23 years of experience as a judge on the Los Angeles Superior Court
- Appellate experience as justice pro tem of the California Court of Appeal, 2nd District
- Former chair of the Judicial Education Seminars Civil Law Subcommittee, developing judicial education for all civil judges in the County of Los Angeles
- Former chair of the Civil Law Education Committee for the Judicial Council’s Judicial Education and Research Department
- Frequent lecturer on a variety of civil litigation topics, including civil procedure, case management, experts, evidence, real estate, employment, voir dire, attorneys’ fees, privacy and privileges, arbitration and mediation
- Judge White served on a 3-member panel to supervise the election redistricting process and make recommendations to the Santa Barbara City Council
- Defendant was alleged to have used his bank credentials to convince defendant to take out a loan with defendant’s business partner, forcing plaintiff’s business to be sold under duress, and then fraudulently demanding a fee to broker the sale.
- A utility company was sued for damage to a commercial building due to contamination from PCBs resulting from a transformer explosion that allegedly damaged a collection of broadcast recordings.
- A multi-million-dollar consumer protection action by the district attorney alleged overcharging of customers at checkout.
- In one of the largest jury verdicts stemming from a hospital peer review hearing, plaintiff anesthesiologist prevailed on her claim of denial of hospital privileges resulting from the alleged improper return of a single ampule of Demerol.
- Claims relating to a $1-million reward for the capture of a fugitive were dismissed based upon the court’s finding that the defendant county had a right to honor the decisions of a three-judge panel to determine who should receive their $100,000 portion of the reward money.
- The onetime mistress of a political figure sued for breach of a nondisclosure agreement arising out of the failure to pay amounts due under the agreement after the terms of the agreement were disclosed to the press.
- Civil Rights
- A union steward alleged civil rights violations arising from a claimed fraudulent election and violation of the Brown Act.
- Major public works contractor sued for substantial damages for breach of contract relating to the construction of a freeway overpass and freeway widening.
- Plaintiff sued for negligent and substandard work performed by a remodeling contractor who allegedly failed to comply with the applicable building codes and failed to obtain permits.
- Contractor prevailed in an action by the City of Los Angeles to recover damages for repairs to a bridge at the Port of Los Angeles. The court determined that the cross-complaint filed by the city was a SLAPP and dismissed the cross-complaint.
- Eminent Domain/Inverse Condemnation
- Plaintiff sued for inverse condemnation, claiming damage to their real property resulting from improper excavation of adjoining land for construction of a freeway. The jury awarded plaintiff the requested damages.
- Eminent domain was utilized to expand California Interstate 5 and take portions of plaintiff’s property. Plaintiff sued, claiming the amount offered was insufficient.
- Employment Law
- Employer sued employees for theft, and employees cross-complained for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Employer committed numerous discovery violations, and the complaint was dismissed and default obtained on the cross-complaint. The case proceeded by default before a jury with a significant verdict rendered. Several actions related to attorneys’ fees followed.
- Plaintiff, a former police officer who was allegedly denied promotion because her husband worked in the same bureau, sued for sex discrimination.
- A Black firefighter sued for race discrimination alleging he was harassed and forced to resign.
- Plaintiff, an administrator at a law firm, sued for sex discrimination/harassment.
- Teacher sued a school district for race/age discrimination.
- A male Muslim nurse sued a rehabilitation facility for race/religious discrimination.
- Plaintiff, who had testified in favor of another employee in a race discrimination/wrongful termination case against the Regents of the University of California, sued for retaliation. The case resulted in a settlement.
- Plaintiff sued a local police department alleging religious discrimination and harassment. The case settled on the eve of trial.
- An employee of an R&B singer sued the singer for sexual harassment and overtime violations. The matter was resolved before trial.
- Plaintiff, a veteran police captain, alleged she was retaliated against when she claimed crime statistics were reported inaccurately. The action was resolved by summary judgment.
- Served as an arbitrator in an arbitration hearing venued in Puerto Rico and conducted in Spanish
- Entertainment & Sports
- Plaintiff actress alleged breach of contract and battery against director and studio of major television series.
- A concert promotion company sued its former law firm for declaratory relief based upon the law firm’s claim that it had an ownership interest in the company.
- Plaintiff, heir to the royalties generated from a revered television series, sued plaintiff’s father’s manager for fraud and declaratory relief.
- Plaintiff, a major law firm, sued a toy manufacturer for attorneys’ fees incurred in litigation over the rights to a doll. Defendant filed a cross-complaint for malpractice. The entire action settled.
- Plaintiff alleged a major network stole her idea for a show and misappropriated trade secrets. The case was dismissed on a pre-trial motion.
- Plaintiffs, actors in a major TV series, were allowed to proceed to trial on a claim that they were owed royalties from the sale of merchandise relating to the show. The action subsequently settled.
- A celebrity sued, claiming that a production company breached its obligation to feature celebrity in commercials relating to climate change. The case was dismissed on a pre-trial motion.
- An action by the manager of a well-known R&B singer alleging breach of contract and assault was bifurcated. The contractual claims were ordered to arbitration and the assault claims ordered to trial.
- An actor and a talent agency claimed they were owed more than $1.4 million in commissions. The action was settled.
- Higher Education & Title IX
- Clergy sexual abuse case.
- Suit by a minor alleging sexual abuse by a high school teacher.
- Petitions for Writ of Mandate arising out of Title IX investigations by universities.
- A complaint by a student against a major university alleging unfair practices in a Title IX investigation
- Handled emergency relief application relating to sexual harassment in a secondary school
- Multiple insurers were alleged to be liable to pay for the costs of remediation of two apartment buildings that were damaged by flooding from rain during a period between removal and replacement of the roofs on the buildings. The case was bifurcated to determine the amount owing to the remediation company. After the jury returned its findings on damages, the insurers proceeded to litigate who was liable for the damages.
- A bad faith action was filed against an insurance company for underestimating the amount of damage to a residence and refusing to pay for the claimed actual loss. The case was settled.
- Personal Injury/Torts
- Plaintiff, parents of a student who was allegedly seduced and kidnapped, sued a private high school and the school’s athletic director for sexual abuse. The Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office was ordered to turn over part of the police investigative file related to the allegations. The case was ultimately resolved.
- A complaint by the father of a renowned actress against the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Department disputed the conclusions of an autopsy that found that the actress had died of pneumonia and anemia. Plaintiff wanted biological samples from his daughter's body tested by an independent lab to determine whether poisons, toxins or heavy metals played a role in the 32-year-old's untimely death. When plaintiff’s attorney failed to follow up on the initial claims and failed to appear in court, the action was dismissed.
- Plaintiffs, parents of a child who drowned in a stream at a condominium complex, sued the developer and homeowners’ association for wrongful death.
- Plaintiff sued defendant trucking company for negligence when the truck owned by defendant skipped the curb, resulting in plaintiff’s leg being amputated. The jury awarded substantial damages.
- Plaintiffs, parents of a 25-year-old psychiatric patient, sued the psychiatric facility and the pharmaceutical company who manufactured the drug that decedent was administered, for wrongful death as a result of their son’s suicide. The action was resolved by summary judgment.
- Plaintiff alleged intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, public disclosure of private facts, breach of duty of confidentiality and unauthorized disclosure of medical information after photos were posted on the internet of her being treated. The case was resolved.
- In a wrongful death action alleging strict liability against a helicopter manufacturer, parents of the decedent alleged that the accident that killed their son was due to a manufacturing defect.
- Plaintiff alleged that he was sexually abused by his youth minister while attending youth group activities at his church. The case was settled for a substantial amount.
- Plaintiffs sued a police officer who had been criminally convicted for the murder of their daughter. The police officer was not identified as the murderer until DNA evidence was released. The parents didn’t discover the identity of the murderer until the DNA evidence was released, thus tolling the statute of limitations. The court awarded significant damages.
- Professional Liability
- Plaintiff alleged that defendant doctor negligently performed a surgical procedure, resulting in her becoming incontinent.
- Plaintiff alleged that he sustained brain damage due to the failure to timely diagnose encephalitis.
- Plaintiff alleged accounting malpractice against a Big Eight accounting firm, claiming that tax advice resulted in an audit and assessment of additional taxes and penalties.
- Plaintiff alleged dental malpractice claiming a failed procedure resulted in facial deformity.
- Plaintiff, a music promoter, claimed its law firm committed legal malpractice by breaching its fiduciary duty to plaintiff by failing to disclose a conflict of interest.
- Plaintiff, a purchaser of a residence, claimed that the real estate broker failed to disclose a conflict of interest in representing multiple parties to the sale.
- Plaintiff, the purchaser of a high-end residence, claimed that the real estate broker committed malpractice by failing to disclose major known defects in the residence.
- Real Estate & Real Property
- Plaintiff alleged fraud and wrongful foreclosure against a financial institution relating to a downtown commercial building. The action was resolved by summary judgment.
- A partition action was filed relating to a large parcel of land that plaintiff sought to sell to a developer. A family member objected. A receiver was appointed, and the property was subsequently ordered partitioned.
- Plaintiff, limited partner and co-owner of a commercial property in Hollywood, sought to partition the property and an accounting of the lease income. A full settlement was achieved.
- Parties disputed the square footage listed in a commercial lease. The action was resolved by summary judgment.
- Plaintiff alleged breach of contract for the alleged failure to pay a commission from the sale of real property.
- Plaintiff sought to quiet title to a residential property alleging a fraudulent deed.
Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities
Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS.
Awards and Honors
- Recognition Award (for service as 2019 Conference chair), National Association of Women Judges, 2019
- Daniel Brenner Memorial Award (for distinguished service to the community), Los Angeles Superior Court, 2018
- Professional Achievement Award, UCLA Extension, 2012
- Distinguished Instructor Award, UCLA Extension, 2007
- Honoree, “Women Who Make a Difference,” UCLA Alumni Las Doňas (The Givers), 2004
Memberships and Affiliations
- Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine University School of Law
- Mediation Training, California Judicial Education and Research, Judicial Council of California
- Member, Los Angeles County Bar Association, 1982–2023
- Committee Member, Civil Litigation Walk-Through Program, 2013 – 2019
- Life Member, National Association of Women Judges, 1997 – 2023
- President, October 2021 – October 2022
- President Elect, October 2020 – October 2021
- Vice President of Districts, 2020
- District Director, District 14 (California and Nevada), 2018 – 2019
- Chair, Annual National Conference, 2019
- Member, Women Lawyers of Los Angeles, 1982 – 2023
- Board of Directors 1995 – 1996
Teaching and Speaking Engagements
- Adjunct Faculty, USC Gould School of Law, LL.M. Program and Summer Law and English Program, 2012 – 2015
- Adjunct Faculty; Civil Discovery; Loyola Law School, Los Angeles; Fall 2002, Fall 2003, Fall 2004, Fall 2005
- Instructor, Paralegal Training Program, UCLA Extension, 1998 – present
- California Judicial Education and Research
- Instructor, 2002 – 2007
- Governing Committee Chair, Annual Statewide Conference, 2005
- Chair, Civil Law Education Committee, 2004 – 2005
- Member, Civil Law Education Committee, 2002 – 2005
- Instructor, Judges College, 1999 – 2003
- Seminar Leader, Judges College, 2001
- Faculty, Civil Discovery, 2001
- Los Angeles Superior Court Judicial Education Seminars
- Chair, Civil Law Education Committee, 2015 – 2019
- Faculty, 2006–2013, 2015 – 2019
- Panelist, The Rutter Group, 2004 – 2015, 2019
- Experts, May 2019
- Basic Training for Litigators: Civil Procedure, 2004 – 2015
- SLAPP Actions, June 2009, June 2012
- Privileges, CJA/Rutter Group Education Conference, January 2005
- Author, California Paralegal Manual: Civil Procedure Before Trial, The Rutter Group
- Co-Author, California Paralegal Manual: Civil Trials and Evidence, The Rutter Group
- Co-Author, California Paralegal Manual: Corporations, The Rutter Group
- Co-Author, California Paralegal Manual: Personal Injury, The Rutter Group
- Co-Author, “With All Due Respect,” Advocate, July 2019
- Author, “Voir Dire,” Advocate, July 2018
- Author, “Thoughts on Teaching the Constitution,” Advocate, August 2013
- Author, “Court-Sponsored Alternative Dispute Resolution: Perception v. Reality,” Los Angeles Daily Journal, August 19, 2010
Background and Education
- Judge, Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles, 1997–2020
- Justice Pro Tem, California Court of Appeal, 2nd District, February – March 2004 and March – June 2020
- Judge, Los Angeles Municipal Court, 1997–2000
- Partner; Valensi, Rose & Magaram PLC; 1994–1997
- Attorney, Hart & Hart PLC, 1988—1994
- Partner, 1990–1994
- Associate, 1988–1990
- Attorney, Law Office of Elizabeth Allen White, 1982–1988
- J.D., Loyola Law School, 1981
- B.A., University of California, Los Angeles, 1977
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