Hon. Rita “Sunny” Miller

Mediator  •  Arbitrator  •  Referee

Judge, Los Angeles Superior Court, Retired

Legal Malpractice, Fee Disputes


  • Woman tripped and fell on an open and obvious misalignment on public sidewalk fracturing patella and requiring two surgeries and an eventual knee replacement.  Her attorneys failed to file suit in time for the statute of limitations.  She sued for professional negligence.  Comparative fault of the plaintiff was a substantial issue in determining potential recovery, as she fell after seeing the misalignment.

  • Dispute as to whether former attorney for Company A was permitted to testify in court as “Person Most Knowledgeable” for Company B over protest of Company A on matter that arguably did not involve information obtained during representation of Company A and was not directly adverse to its interests.

  • Where law firm representing real estate developer made a mistake and real estate market thereafter became unstable, developer sued law firm but law firm claimed its mistake was not the cause of the real estate developer’s damages.

  • Dispute as to whether attorney representing Client D in litigation had disqualifying past relationship with Client D’s litigation adversary, causing him to be disqualified.

  • Dispute as to whether attorney in family law matter met standard of care in representation of plaintiff.

  • Dispute as to whether attorney preparing will and trust met standard of care in representation of plaintiff’s decedent.

  • Dispute as to whether expert witness who had initially discussed a case with Attorney C could testify for the other side in the same litigation, because Attorney C had not given the witness any information about the case and the discussion had consisted of only a few sentences.

  • Where CEO of healthcare business absconded with embezzled funds, the bank whose funds were stolen sued the company’s attorneys claiming they aided and abetted the absconding CEO.

  • Dispute between law firm E and law firm F where law firm E hired law firm F to do work for it but allegedly overcharged for the work and put a lien on the ultimate recovery.

  • Dispute among lawyers over fee-splitting agreement.

  • Dispute between lawyer and an individual client where the lawyer had omitted to obtain a retainer agreement from the individual client and the issue was whether the lawyer could recover the amount agreed upon or only on a quantum meruit basis.

  • Dispute between lawyer and individual client as to fees where client claimed lawyer had churned the file and performed below the standard of care.