Neutral Profile



  • Retired U.S. District Court Judge for the Central District of California
  • Based in Orange County, available Nationwide
  • Available for Mediation, Arbitration, and Private Judging assignments


Following nearly 14 years of distinguished service on the bench for the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Southern Division, Honorable Andrew Guilford has retired and is now available as a mediator, arbitrator and private judge, including special master assignments, and case evaluator.

During his judicial tenure, Judge Guilford sat by designation on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and is one of only two Central District Judges to have been invited to sit at the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. He served as one of the few Patent Pilot Program judges in the Central District. As a federal judge, Guilford heard over a hundred trials, sometimes sitting without a jury, on matters including patent, trademark, copyright, defective products, securities, employment, civil rights, professional liability, class actions, MDL, and of course, criminal matters.

Before his appointment in 2006, Judge Guilford served as an arbitrator and Judge Pro Tem for the Orange County Superior Court, leveraging the experience he gained as a trial lawyer for more than 31 years. At Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton for his entire career as a lawyer, he tried complex commercial cases across a variety of industries, such as major league sports, medical devices, banking and finance, real property, telecommunications, and entertainment. At a young age, he was elected to the American College of Trial Lawyers.

Judge Guilford’s love for the community and passion for giving back is evidenced in his more than four decades and countless hours lecturing and authoring for law schools, religious entities, legal publications, bar associations, and judicial organizations both nationally and internationally. As a trial lawyer and judge, he has received many prestigious awards from various bar associations, including the Orange County Bar Association’s Franklin G. West Award—the organization’s highest honor, presented to outstanding attorneys and judges whose lifetime achievements have advanced justice and law.

Judge Guilford has earned a reputation for his compassionate, intellectual, fair, intuitive and hardworking demeanor, all qualities he brings to the private sector. One attorney commented: “Judge Guilford always has been prepared, committed and well respected. Following many years of private practice on complex matters and on the bench, he treated lawyers with respect and gave them the opportunity to represent their clients, while achieving justice. He was always actively engaged and personable, and he operated with supreme verve. These attributes certainly will make him highly in demand, as both a private judge and a mediator, and rightly so.”

Practice Areas

Experience Summary

Judge Guilford has been involved in a wide variety of cases as both a trial lawyer for 31 years and as a judge for almost 14 years. The following experience is from his background as lead attorney, trial judge, or settlement judge.

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Hobbies & Interests

Judge Guilford’s interests are varied and include traveling, writing, poetry, photography, theater, and sports, being a fan of UCLA, the Dodgers, Lakers, and Rams, and playing basketball and tennis. Time with his family is most valued, and he is proud of his grandson and two granddaughters.


"Judge Guilford is well known and respected for his legal acumen and willingness to commit his time, energy and skill to even the toughest, most complex cases. Judge Guilford solves problems and tackles emerging issues as demonstrated by his efforts to found an Intellectual Property focused Inn of Court and participation in the Central District’s patent pilot program. Judge Guilford is a dedicated volunteer to the legal community having led the Orange County Bar Association, Public Law Center, and the Association of Business Trial Lawyers. Judge Guilford has used his position to promote access to justice throughout California."
- Attorney in Orange County

"Judge Guilford was great at coming up with creative ideas to settle the case that we hadn't thought of. He was quick to understand the facts and the issues. He was terrific! "
- Attorney on a Consumer Class Action

"The mediator worked diligently and efforted to give us a resolution that did finally occur. He did see the issues between the parties that needed to be overcome."
- Intellectual Property Attorney

"Judge Guilford has an excellent demeanor for mediations. He quickly got up to speed on the issues and was effective in sorting out the roadblocks to settlement. Although the case did not settle, I would recommend him to colleagues for complicated business litigation and IP matters."
- Attorney on an IP Trademark Matter

"Judge Guilford was prepared, professional, and persistent. I will not hesitate to use his services again."
- Attorney on an IP Patent case

"An important leader and mentor for the Orange County Bar for decades. He has great insights and perspectives from both sides of the bench that will make him a highly valued neutral."
- Attorney in Orange County

"I thought Judge Guilford was terrific. I would use him again."
- Attorney on a Malicious Prosecution case

"Judge Guilford's manner was excellent. We have a very sensitive mediation with a young woman who alleged she had been sexually assaulted by her employer. She was terrified to be in the same building as her former employer and Judge Guilford not only made sure to keep them apart but was patient, kind, and understanding while still providing an insight into what she faced going forward. He is incredibly bright and did an excellent job to move the parties toward resolution. Without reservation, he is one of the finest mediators I have had in 30 years of practice. "
- Attorney on a Sexual Assault case

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Links and Articles

Experience Summary


• Lead trial attorney in numerous trials for national banks concerning financial matters.

• Major civil case for alleged securities fraud.


• Case involving a major league baseball player in assorted state and federal cases on contract claims and other matters.

• Contract disputes in the manufacture of toilets.

• Contract violations by a major oil company.

• Partnership dispute involving numerous claims between partners.


• Civil action to recover damages for alleged unconstitutional imprisonment.

• Trial judge in numerous civil cases alleging police misconduct under Section 1983.

• Major church seeking an injunction protecting rights under the Constitution and RLUIPA.


• Case concerning an employee’s claims of retaliation.

• Wage and hour class action relating to donning and doffing.


• Extensive jury trial over the name of a major league baseball team.

• Major telecommunications company in a wide variety of state and federal cases on intellectual property.


• Case of an artist alleging copyright infringement on creations by the artist.

• Trial by members of a rock band concerning alleged copyright infringement.


• Trial for alleged infringement of a patent concerning computer switches.

• Major medical instrument company claiming infringement of a patent involving capillary electrophoresis.

• Court trial for alleged infringement of a patent concerning spa technology.

• Trial for alleged infringement of a patent concerning window blinds.

• Trial for alleged infringement of a patent concerning cement.


• Trial for a major medical instrument company over a federal trademark.

• An extensive trial concerning alleged trademark violations concerning sportswear attire

• Trial alleging trademark infringement in the beauty products industry.

• Major injunctive hearing concerning trade secrets allegedly stolen by a pharmaceutical company.

• Case of an artist alleging copyright infringement on creations by the artist.

• Trial by members of a rock band concerning alleged copyright infringement.


• Probate dispute over a famous Shelby Cobra race car.


• Trial concerning the legal description of real property.

• Trial concerning a real property sales contract.



• Defamation case against a radio personality.


• Case alleging a defective automobile.


• Wrongful death case involving a United States postal vehicle.

Legal Career

  • Mediator, Arbitrator, Private Judge, Judicate West (2020-Present)
  • United States District Judge, Central District of California, Southern Division (2006-2020)
  • Partner & former Associate, Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton handling complex commercial litigation with an emphasis on patents, trademarks, finance including securities, banking, real estate, contracts, unfair competition, defamation, civil rights, partnerships, professional liability and class actions (1975-2006)

Education & Professional Affiliations

  • J.D. University of California, Los Angeles; Editor for the UCLA Law Review (1975)
  • A.B. University of California, Los Angeles, summa cum laude, Regent Scholar, Phi Beta Kappa (1972)
  • University of California, Irvine, School of Law, Dean’s Advisory Council (Present)
  • Chapman University School of Law, Board of Visitors (Present)
  • Federal Bar Association, Board of Directors (2001-2020)
  • 9th Circuit Jury Instructions Committee (2018-2020)
  • Judicial Conference Committee on Codes of Conduct (2011-2017)
  • Howard T. Markey Intellectual Property American Inn of Court, President & Co-Founder (2013-2015)
  • State Bar Commission on Access to Justice (2008-2013)
  • UC Irvine School of Law, Adjunct Professor (2013)
  • Public Law Center, President (2004-2006)
  • California Supreme Court Advisory Task Force on Multijurisdictional Practice (2001-2003)
  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers (ABTL) of Orange County, President & Co-Founder (2000-2001)
  • District Judges Association, President (2017-2019)
  • State Bar of California, President (1999-2000)
  • American College of Trial Lawyers, Fellow (1992)
  • Orange County Bar Association, President (OCBA) (1991)
  • Orange County Bar Association Delegation to the Conference of Delegate, Chair
  • Orange County Bar Association Business Litigation Section,Chair

Achievements & Awards

  • Speaker, International Symposium on Judicial Enforcement of Intellectual Property, Beijing, China (January 2020)
  • Speaker, Best Practices in IP Litigation, Berkeley – Tsinghua Transnational IP Litigation Conference, Berkeley, CA (October 2019)
  • Speaker, Best Practices in Patent Litigation, The Sedona Conference, Philadelphia, PA (March 2019)
  • Recipient, Professionalism Award, American Inns of Court (2018)
  • Recipient, Distinguished Public Service Award, Los Angeles Intellectual Property Law Association (LAIPLA) (2016)
  • Recipient, Judicial Excellence Award, Orange County Asian American Bar Association (2014)
  • Named 5 times by the Daily Journal, "California’s Top 100 Attorneys"
  • Selected as a “Southern California Super Lawyer (2004-2006)
  • Selected as one of 50 “Best Lawyers in Orange County”
  • Selected as one of “Best Lawyers in America”
  • Recipient, Franklin G. West Award, Orange County Bar Association (2003)
  • Recipient, Jurisprudence Award, Anti-Defamation League (2002)
  • Recipient, Distinguished Judge Award, Orange County Intellectual Property Law Association
  • Recipient, Judge Alicemarie H. Stotler Award, Orange County Federal Bar Association
  • Recipient, Judge of the Year Award, Orange County Hispanic Bar Association
  • Recipient, J. Reuben Clark Award, J. Reuben Clark Society
  • Recipient, Bernard E. Witkin Amicus Curiae Award, Judicial Council
  • Named Business Litigation Trial Lawyer of the Year, Orange County Trial Lawyers Association
  • Honored by UCI School of Law as a “True Founder of the School of Law”
  • Contributing Editor, Civil Procedure, The Rutter Group
  • Judge Guilford has written articles appearing in many places, including the UCLA Law Review, the Pennsylvania Law Review, the FIU Law Review, the Daily Journal, the California Bar Journal, and the Journal of the Litigation Section.
  • A popular speaker, he has been asked to speak on many topics in many places from China to New York. His long list of hundreds of programs goes back to a 1978 CEB program on Civil Litigation, followed by a 1982 program on the leverage of negations, and a 1984 CEB program on negotiating civil settlements.

Legal Experience

  • Business/Contractual
  • Finance/Securities
  • Trademark/Copyright
  • Patents
  • Real Estate
  • Civil Rights
  • Professional Liability
  • Class Actions
  • Multidistrict Litigation
  • Employment

Representative Case Information

Recent Representative Cases



  • Mediated ADA/Unruh Act case.


  • Mediated a financial class action.

Complex Commercial

  • Mediated complicated dispute concerning mortgage brokers.

Consumer Class Action

  • Mediated settlement of a national class over mislabeling of cider.
  • Significant class action on bank finance policies. Plaintiff claimed amount involved was in the high 9-figures.
  • Mediated a class action for an alleged auto defect.
  • Mediated TCPA class action.
  • Mediated TCPA Class Action involving real estate brokers.
  • Served as Special Master reviewing approval of a major class action.
  • Ruled on numerous motions in a large class action.
  • Mediated a major class action involving car financing.
  • Settled class action involving auto financing. There were numerous details and calculations to be handled. Various statutes were involved.
  • Approved major class action settlement. Complicated statutory interpretation was involved. Class action rules were applied.
  • Mediated claim for false labeling. "All natural" is involved. Class and individual settlements were presented.
  • Mediated consumer class action. Internet usage was the focus. Relevant to COVID issues.


  • Dispute over a multi-million escrow account on sale of a business.
  • Mediated dispute involving Internet contract.
  • Mediated case concerning questioned shipment to China.
  • Mediated dispute over the purchase of a shopping center.
  • Mediated claims against a departing employee.
  • Mediated trademark case in bakery industry.
  • Successfully mediated a trade secrets case with a departing contractor.
  • Mediated dispute over an oil-related contract in Vietnam.
  • Settled a very complicated and highly emotional family dispute involving numerous factors including probate and contract. The issues extended over decades.
  • Mediated settlement of a lease and construction obligations. COVID issues were involved.
  • An arbitrated matter involving damage allocations. Admiralty issues were involved. Numerous claimants were involved.
  • Mediated a case arising from COVID complications. COVID-related legal issues were involved. Research involved very recent case law.


  • Mediated business dispute involving alleged professional malpractice.
  • Mediated dispute concerning sale. Matter involved high-end art. Issues included valuation and authentication.


Cannabis Industry

  • Mediated extensive dispute concerning cannabis industry.


Disability Discrimination

  • Mediated a case involving an employment termination. Plaintiff alleged it was due to discrimination based on disability. Workers' Compensation issues were also involved.

Wage and Hour

  • Arbitrated wage and hour dispute.

Wage and Hour Class Action

  • Mediated Class Action in Wage and Hour case.
  • Mediated Class Action involving the airline industry, under the California Wage and Hour law.

Govt./Public Agency


  • Mediated dispute over COVID-19 threat in prisons.



  • Mediated a contractual indemnification insurance case.
  • Resolved multi-party dispute over a fire.
  • Mediated extensive dispute over insurance coverage. Many carriers involved. Numerous coverage issues involved.


  • Arbitrated Insurance Subrogation case.

Intellectual Property

IP Copyright

  • Mediated copyright dispute.
  • Settled copyright case. Trial coming up in CACD Federal Court. Multiple sessions needed.

IP Patent

  • Mediated extensive patent dispute involving Asia companies.
  • Mediated a patent dispute over designs.
  • Mediated a patent dispute. Issues included infringement, invalidity, and damages.
  • Acted as Special Master for patent case. Assignments include 12(b)(6) motions and scheduling. Issues ihncluded Aiice 101 motions.
  • Mediated dispute involving drug patent. Issues included bundling. Minimum royalties were a central focus.
  • Arbitrated a large dispute about computer technology. The matter involved a three judge panel. Clients were international.
  • Served as Special Master in a patent case. Handled many issues of the case. Orders included a 101 dismissal motion and claim construction.
  • Mediated a patent case jointly. Issues included claim construction and Section 101 Alice issues at the Motion to Dismiss stage.
  • Mediated a case involving a high-tech patent dispute as one of two former judges working together to settle the case. Much follow-up work was required.
  • Mediated a design patent case involving Chinese manufacturers. The case is pending in the Central District of California.

IP Trademark

  • Mediated dispute about eye surgery technology.
  • Mediated trademark case. Pharma industry was involved. FDA was involved.
  • Mediated Trade Mark case pending in the Central District. English and Chinese clients involved.

Professional Malpractice

Professional Malpractice Legal

  • Mediated a legal malpractice case in which a conflict was asserted and the sale of a business was involved.

Real Estate

Breach Of Contract

  • Mediated major fraudulent conveyance issues.
  • Mediated dispute involving the purchase of a famous house.


  • Mediated dispute over home purchase.

Eminent Domain

  • Mediated a large real estate eminent domain dispute with the government.

Real Property

  • Mediated complicated dispute about noise abatement in Newport Beach.


Civil Rights

  • This challenging Section 1983 case involving a police shooting was resolved in three hours.
  • Mediated police misconduct case. Federal and state law was reviewed. Multiple plaintiffs and officers were involved.

Malicious Prosecution

  • Mediated claims of malicious prosecution. Numerous cases were involved. State and Federal law were implicated.

PI Auto

  • Mediated a vehicle vs. motorcycle incident. Plaintiff suffered burns requiring skin grafting, including claims of significant orthopedic injuries and TBI issues.
  • Mediated case about serious car/pedestrian accident.

PI Sexual Assault

  • Mediated sexual assault issues. Employment issues were involved. Confidentiality was required.

Wrongful Death

  • Mediated a Section 1983 case involving a fatal shooting by law enforcement officers. The case is pending in the Central District of California.