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Torts/Personal Injury,
Law Practice

Jul. 9, 2024

Retired LA judge joins law firm as litigation chief

"I ultimately decided that I wanted to be in the trenches, helping to litigate cases, as opposed to mediating or arbitrating cases, which is more of a judicial function," Judge Michael P. Linfield said.

Michael P. Linfield

Retired Judge Michael P. Linfield, who sat on the Los Angeles County Superior Court for more than 20 years, has returned to private practice as the new litigation director of Dordick Law Corporation.

"I wanted to get back into litigation," Linfield said in a phone call following the announcement of his new position. "Prior to being a judge, I was a litigator. I had my own firm, and I was looking forward to getting back into litigation. The idea of being director of litigation was very appealing."

Linfield said he was considering multiple post-retirement pathways, including alternative dispute resolution, when he spoke with firm owner and managing attorney, Gary A. Dordick, about taking on the position.

"I accepted the position at the Dordick Law Corporation, because this is probably the premier or one of the premier plaintiffs' law firms in the city, if not the state," he said.

Dordick said in a phone call that he had specifically sought retired judges to fill the position because they "bring with them unique skills which involve both practice as a lawyer as well as a perspective of law from the bench."

"In our law practice, we do a lot of litigation, and we do a lot of jury trials, and I thought it would really be an asset for the law firm to hire a judge that has experience both as a plaintiff lawyer and as a judge to guide my lawyers on how to do a better job, how to more effectively represent our clients," Dordick said.

"I placed an ad in The Daily Journal indicating that we were looking for a new director of litigation, and we wanted somebody with both judicial experience and litigation practice experience," he continued. "After months of interviews I selected Judge Linfield because I think he's the best candidate for our particular law firm. He has plaintiff experience as a lawyer, he did some of the kinds of cases we do as a practicing lawyer, and he has 20 years' experience as a judge, so I thought he was just a perfect choice for us."

Dordick said he was attracted to Linfield as a candidate not by any particular decision he made as a judge, but by his philosophy on practicing law.

"Judge Linfield, as a child, marched with Martin Luther King," Dordick said. "As a professional he worked for the labor unions with the leader Cesar Chavez. As a plaintiff lawyer, he represented individuals and fought for them that had been discriminated against or unfairly terminated from employment. And so, I felt that his philosophy and his views mirrored those of myself and my law firm, and I thought he would just make a great fit."

Linfield said he saw the position as an opportunity to return to the type of private practice he had worked in for 12 years before becoming a judge.

"I ultimately decided that I wanted to be in the trenches, helping to litigate cases, as opposed to mediating or arbitrating cases, which is more of a judicial function," he said.

Linfield was impressed by recent Dordick victories, including a $2.3 billion verdict in Riverside and a $900 million verdict in Los Angeles, both sexual abuse cases.

"Certainly [Dordick] is one of the premier attorneys on the plaintiff's side, so working with him was appealing to me," Linfield said, likening his new position to that of chief of staff in a presidential administration. "If Gary were president of the United States, I'd be his chief of staff. Obviously, he's not president, but his forte is in trying cases, and I want to be able to free him up to be able to try as many of the cases as he can.


Skyler Romero

Daily Journal Staff Writer

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