Neutral Profile




  • Retired Federal Magistrate Judge
  • Based in San Diego, available in All of California
  • Available for Mediation, Arbitration, and Private Judging assignments


Judge McCurine was appointed a Federal Magistrate Judge for The Southern District of California in 2004. After more than 10 years of service, he retired from the bench where he handled all types of civil matters, including, but not limited to, class actions (involving wage & hour issues), insurance matters, allegations of fraud and unfair business practices, complex commercial matters, catastrophic injuries, medical malpractice and patent, copyright and trademark issues. Prior to the bench he was a civil trial attorney representing plaintiffs and defendants for over 30 years. In both his civil practice and as a jurist he has mediated over 1700 cases. Judge McCurine is known to be a quick study, great listener and truly cares about people and of the belief that mediation can resolve any type of civil dispute; therefore, he works endlessly to get results. One attorney commented that "Judge McCurine's background of representing both sides makes him uniquely situated to serve as a mediator; he can easily see both sides of a case." Another attorney said, "He has a special ability to connect with everyone in the room and can highlight the favorable and, more importantly, the damaging aspects of a case with delicacy."

Practice Areas

Hobbies & Interests

Judge McCurine enjoys the theater and cinema, biblical studies and lecturing, loves a wide variety of music and is a confirmed readaholic.


"Judge McCurine's approach is insightful and effective. I appreciate everything he did and the humanity he brought to the process. "
- Attorney on a Civil Rights case

"Judge McCurine is by far the best I have worked with. His demeanor and approach were key to getting our case settled. Our client was quite impressed and we certainly thank the hard work put forth to resolve this case"
- Attorney on a highly emotional and sensitive IP Copyright matter

"Judge McCurine is a good listener, creative and thoughtful."
- Attorney on a Product Liability Dispute

"This is one of the best mediators I have ever used. He was smart, trustworthy, reliable, and able to bridge the gap."
- Attorney on a Personal Injury Auto Wrongful Death case

"Judge McCurine was able to effectively communicate with an extremely emotional party."
- Attorney on a Maritime Law Matter

"Judge McCurine is one of my favorites - he's smart, effective, personable and an all-around ideal mediator for all types of matters."
- Attorney on a Business Contractual case

"As always, Judge McCurine did a magnificent job getting the two sides to an agreement. He was also instrumental in reinforcing the message I was conveying to my client."
- Attorney on a Personal Injury case

"Judge McCurine is good at giving his opinions – some mediators are not tenacious and firm. Judge McCurine is."
- Attorney on a Fair Credit Reporting Act Matter

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Experience Summary

Legal Career

  • United States Magistrate Judge, Southern District of California (2004-2014)
  • Trial Lawyer and Partner, Solomon, Ward, Aguirre & Seidenwurm, General Civil Litigation (2000-2004)
  • Trial Lawyer and Partner, Gray, Cary, Ames & Frye, General Civil Litigation (1975-2000)

Education & Professional Affiliations

  • J.D. Harvard Law School (1972-1975)
  • Doctoral Candidate (Political Science) Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (1971-1972)
  • B.A. (Philosophy, Politics, and Economics) Oxford University, Rhodes Scholarship (1969-1971)
  • B.A. (Political Science) Dartmouth College (1965-1969)
  • Law Week Committee, San Diego County Bar Association, Vice-Chairperson (1979)
  • San Diego County Bar Association,Vice-Chairperson, Judiciary Committee (1980)
  • San Diego Urban League Board of Directors (1980)
  • San Diego Inn of Court Board of Directors (1980-1988), Vice-President (1983)
  • San Diego County Bar Association Board of Directors (1981), Secretary (1982)
  • San Diego Bar Foundation Board of Directors (1981-1983)
  • Earl B. Gilliam Bar Association of San Diego, Member (1981-Present)
  • Federal Magistrate Review Panel, Member (1985-1992)
  • CEB and Rutter Group Panels on Recent Developments in Torts and Product Liability, Member (1985-1993)
  • National Bar Association, Member (1985-Present)
  • District 9 Representative, State Bar of California Executive Committee (1988-1992)
  • The William B. Enright Inn of Court, Founder, Past President and Current Member (1990-2004)
  • Mayor's Blue Ribbon Advisory Committee, Member (2000-2001)
  • Ninth Circuit Pro Bono Program, Representative (2000-2007)

Achievements & Awards

  • Judge McCurine has been the recipient of many honors including the Earl B. Gilliam Bar Association Thurgood Marshall Award (1991) as well as being listed in the “The Best Trial Lawyers in America, 1999-2000” by the independent research firm of Woodward/White, Inc. (1999-2000) and named as one of the best trial lawyers in San Diego in San Diego Magazine (2001)

Legal Experience

  • Patents
  • Trademarks & Copyrights
  • Complex Business/Commercial
  • Class Action (including Wage & Hour)
  • Catastrophic Personal Injury
  • Product Liability
  • Insurance Coverage & Bad Faith
  • Professional Malpractice
  • Maritime & Jones Act
  • All Types of Employment Disputes
  • All Types of Real Estate Disputes

Representative Case Information

Recent Representative Cases



  • Receiver for dissolution of law partnership.
  • Wage and hour class action case with individual FEHA claims in a separate yet-to-be filed action.


  • Discovery dispute concerning anti-trust issues and intellectual property.


  • Private causes of action against credit card companies and credit reporting agencies, arising from identify theft.
  • Plaintiff complained that the defendant's cryptocurrency app negligently allowed a hacker access to his accounts, stealing his holdings.

Complex Commercial

  • Mediation of dispute between founders and family members of a medical supply company, a California Subchapter S Corporation. Company is still in business.
  • Mediated dispute between owners and shareholders of a global marketing and sales company, a Subchapter S corporation, involving claims of fraud and breaches of fiduciary duty.
  • Mediated dispute between founders and shareholders of closely held California Subchapter S corporation.


  • Commercial lessee sued lessor regarding dispute as to payment obligations for repairs.
  • Car buyer filed arbitration under the CLRA for allegedly defective used car.
  • Claimants sued under the Consumer Legal Remedies Act for a defective vehicle.
  • Dissolution of closely held partnership involving chemical manufacturing.
  • Dissolution of law partnership.
  • Validity of a non-compete/non-solicitation agreement between 2 significant companies.
  • Plaintiff alleged that he was fraudulently sold gold and silver at an inflated price and he was 65 and came under the Elder Abuse Act.
  • Interior designer claimed that the client did not pay her.
  • Virtual mediation of a contractor who claimed a city breached its contract.
  • Issue was whether majority shareholders manipulated a short-firm merger so as to leave minority shareholders with worthless stock.
  • Complex 3 party commerical transaction regarding allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty by member of LLC and slander of title involving large tract of developable land.
  • The parties retained me to conduct a factual injunction regarding compliance with a permanent injunction.
  • Mediated issue of whether the property owner is contractually obligated to sell commercial property.
  • Parties to a contract sue each other for damages over allegedly non-conforming, defective products.
  • Dissolution of a law partnership and related arbitration between departing partners and the founder.
  • Law partners sue the founder for breaches of fiduciary duty, fraud, and breach of contract
  • Dispute between the owner and general contractor on a construction contract to build a restaurant.
  • Mediated a three-party lawsuit involving investor rights.


  • Husband and wife investors sued broker-dealer and authorized agent for breaches of fiduciary duty, fraud and negligence.


Construction Breach Of Contract

  • Virtual mediation resulting in a settlement. A dispute between owner and contractor regarding extra work claims regarding the amount of fill required to be exported and the charges for that fill.



  • Discovery dispute in an employment case involving failure to accommodate and to engage in the interactive process.


  • Mediated case involving discharged employee's claim of termination based on race and national origin.
  • Mediated employment case in which high-level school official sues for racial discrimination.
  • A medical resident was terminated from a neurosurgery residency program.
  • The claimant asserted that the employer constructively terminated him and failed to engage in the interactive process (during Covid).
  • Asian woman contended that Asian employer was prejudiced against her because she was Chinese.

Hostile Environment

  • Mediated dispute involving female employee claiming gender discrimination, hostile work environment and failure to treat as a non-exempt employee.


  • Wage and Hour case with PAGA claims.
  • Employee leaves employment and claims PAGA violations and violations regarding meal and rest periods.


  • A public employee sues for gender discrimination.

Wage and Hour

  • Individual wage and hour and PAGA claim in construction industry.
  • Wage and hour case with PAGA claims concerning alleged violations of meal and rest breaks and failure to properly calculate overtime.
  • Virtual mediation involving claims of wage and hour violations and breaches of employment contract with stock options.
  • Employee complained of racial discrimination and harassment and failure to provide meal and rest breaks.
  • Complicated wage and hour class action with the Department of Labor participating in the mediation.

Wage and Hour Class Action

  • Mediated wage and hour class action involving 1000+ CA residence and a California corporation with Statewide presence.
  • Class action wage and hour with PAGA claims.
  • Class action wage and hour in addition to sexual harrassment in the workplace

Whistleblower Wrongful Term

  • Mediated case involving high performing female employee regarding allegations of termination based on gender discrimination and whistle blowing.

Wrongful Termination

  • Mediated many cases involving employee's claim of wrongful termination and back wages including, but not limited to, sales and marketing firms, software and IT companies, municipal matters and education.
  • Employee sued former employer for wrongful termination and wage and hour violations. Employer cross-complained against employee for conversion, misappropriation of trade secrets and bad faith for sabotaging jobs in his last month.
  • Mediated wrongful termination and wage and hour violations dispute. Cross complaint against employee for conversion, misappropriation of trade secrets, and bad faith.
  • Plaintiff threatens Qui Tam action and wrongful termination.
  • Virtual mediation involving a former IT specialist/assistant pastor who claims he was wrongfully terminated. Defense raised the ministerial privilege.
  • Church workers sue for wrongful termination and violation of wage and hour laws
  • Discovery referee in a complex multi-party case.
  • A case involving an employee that was terminated while out on sick leave.
  • An employment wrongful termination case involving cancel culture in which an employee was falsely accused of being a white supremacist.


Environmental Issues

  • Dealt with various cases which involved one or more of the following issues: (1) upriver rights vs downriver rights; (2) amount of cubic water feet allowed for an agricultural enterprise; (3) the right to build a dam or change the direction and force of water flow in order to irrigate agricultural areas.
  • Tenant was charged with subsurface contamination of PCE operating a dry cleaners in a strip mall.
  • Community citizens disagreed with the school district's plan to rebuild a new school

Family Law

Family Law Issues

  • Divorced husband and wife had post-divorce claims against each other. Wife's primary claim founded in tort and also alleged breach of marital settlement agreement

Govt./Public Agency


  • Police accused of excessive force


Bad Faith

  • Mediated dispute between insurer and insured over insurer's failure to pay for damage to crop and farm structures and implements arising from wildfire.
  • Mediated many cases which include alleged child molestation and disputes over insurance coverage for multiple industries.
  • Claim of bad faith for denial of coverage of cancer insurance policy.
  • First party coverage case involving recycler under the Bottle Bill, Cal. Pub. Res. Code § 14572(d)(1)

Property Damage

  • Dispute between 1st party property damage carrier and 3rd party liability carrier.


  • Subrogation case arising from a fire in a restaurant.

Intellectual Property

General IP

  • Plaintiff alleged Defendant failed to pay royalties under a Royalty Agreement in connection with drugs sold by a major pharmaceutical company

IP Copyright

  • Mediation of copyright infringement claim by national provider of malware and privacy protection software.
  • Misappropriation of software for commercial sale.
  • Claimant alleged multiple infringements of copyright and trade dress as well as breaches of contract. Respondent had counter-claim for breaches of fiduciary duty, fraud and failure to pay commercial invoice.
  • Vendor infringed copyright and trademarks.
  • Claims of infringement of copyright and trade dress and counter-claims of fraud and breach of contract involving home crafts.
  • Claim of copyright infringement and slander of title on certain entertainment audiovisual shows.
  • Virtual mediation involving musicians who claimed a music company stole their music and violated their copyright.

IP Patent

  • Mediation of claims of infringement of patents, trademarks and trade dress of international eyewear manufacturer claiming knock-off of design and marks.
  • Mediation of claims of infringement of design and utility patents and trade dress by national manufacturer of cell phone accessories claiming knocking off of patents and marks.

IP Trade Secrets

  • Former members of an LLC sue each other for breaches of contract and fiduciary duty in the operation of the LLC
  • Plaintiff accused Defendant of stealing it's trade secrets which included a customer list and the secrets of it's manufacturing process.

Professional Malpractice

Medical Malpractice

  • Mediated dispute between patient who sued physician for improper surgery resulting in lifelong medical problems.
  • Mediated case involving heirs' claim that hospital did not follow proper care instructions, thereby allegedly causing patient to die.
  • Medical malpractice: Physician prescribed a medication which allegedly interacted with over-the-counter cold and flu medication resulting in very severe injury.
  • Pharmacist sued for malpractice for allegedly failing to advise patient not to ingest alcohol while taking the medication.
  • Was pharmacy liable for failing to provide consultation on drug that had terrible side effects?

Professional Malpractice Legal

  • Mediated dispute between client and former law firm regarding allegations of malpractice involving patent issues.
  • Legal malpractice. Defendant was alleged to have failed to give proper advice in a wage and hour class action suit.
  • Legal malpractice. Plaintiff complained that defense counsel failed to designate a property liability/causation expert and so lost at trial.
  • Legal malpractice. Plaintiff complained that defense counsel failed to designate a property liability/causation expert and so lost at trial.
  • Legal malpractice. Attorney is charged with getting into business with a client in violation of Rules of Professional Conduct 3-300 and 3-310.

Real Estate

Breach Of Contract

  • Real estate investor believed she was defrauded in a real estate transaction and in a Partnership involving real estate.
  • Mediated a case regarding a landlord under a ground lease having the obligation to build a sewer line.

Home Owners Association

  • Mediated dispute between HOA and homeowner in which homeowner claimed the HOA had violated the governing rules.
  • Dispute between condo owner and HOA over the condo owner's alleged ownership of two parking spaces instead of one.
  • A case in which the homeowner believed the HOA board had violated the CC&Rs and should be personally liable for certain community repairs.


  • Mediated case involving 5+ tenants in apartment project claiming eviction based on racial prejudice.

Neighbor Dispute

  • Boundary dispute between neighbors.

Real Property

  • Property boundary dispute and destruction of trees.

Warranty of Habitability

  • Plaintiff alleged that he suffered a retaliatory eviction because he complained of mold in his apartment.


Business Torts

  • In a commercial arbitration, corporate Plaintiffs claim infringements of intellectual property rights, breaches of contract and common law fraud against a significant minority stakeholder in the Plaintiff LLC. The LLC had only 2 members: one based in California and the other in China. The intellectual property concerned the design, manufacture and sale of various high end commercial products in the crafts industry.
  • Complex commercial arbitration involving allegations of theft of proprietary information and fraud. Claimant (an American company) sued Respondent (a Chinese company) under a written arbitration agreement.
  • National and international company sued each other over the alleged theft and misuse of intellectual property.
  • Allegations of breaches of contract and theft of intellectual property between U.S. and Chinese companies.
  • Case involving Chinese and American companies in a joint venture. American company claimed theft of intellectual property by Chinese company. Each company also charged the other with multiple violations of their various agreements and with fraud.
  • Alleged theft of intellectual property between a Chinese company and a California company who were in a Joint Venture relationship.

Catastrophic Injury

  • Mediated air crash case involving 3 deaths and 2 catastrophic injuries.
  • A crewman was moving heavy metal plates at the direction of the deck officer. Although the ship was in ort, a swell caused the metal plates to fall on top of 2 workers, one of whom suffered a fractured hip. Plaintiff sued for unseaworthiness and for liability under the Jones Act.
  • Virtual mediation for a case where the Plaintiff was injured on a job site. He sued the general contractor and another subcontractor.

Civil Rights

  • Resolve issues of due process and equal protection involving police enforcement of a municipal statute
  • A case regarding an allegation of an unconstitutional blood draw by the police.


  • Commercial case involving trade libel, defamation, and unfair business practices between competitors in the same market.
  • Complex case involving claims of business libel and fraud. There is a companion federal case not involved in this action.
  • Complex business dispute with multiple discovery issues.
  • Plaintiff claims violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act for illegal restraint of trade by denying access to medical patients.
  • Virtual mediation involving defamation against neighbors.

Elder Abuse

  • Elder abuse case in which petitioner claimed defendant exercised undue influence over her elderly deceased father who gave some trust assets to defendant when he lacked mental competence to do so.
  • Whether daughter defrauded her mother in the sale of mother's home and whether daughter wrongfully tried to evict mother from new home purchased with proceeds from the sale of mother's home.

General Negligence

  • Plaintiff was over-detained in state prison.

Maritime Law

  • Mediated dispute involving seaman who was left in tank filled with toxic material.

Personal Injury

  • An electric saw fell from a height on the plaintiff's head. The plaintiff was wearing a hard hat. No negligence on part of the plaintiff.

PI Assault and Battery

  • Plaintiff was injured by school bully. Plaintiff said school district failed to prevent the bullying and negligently supervised students, allowing bullying to occur.
  • Plaintiffs were assaulted by a client of a large charitable organization, and one received multiple stab wounds.

PI Auto

  • Plaintiff was injured while riding a motorcycle offroad in a national forest. The defendant relied on the doctrine of primary assumption of risk.

PI Sexual Assault

  • Company sued for an alleged sexual assault by one of their drivers.
  • Sexual assault at the faciity of a 501(c)(3) California corporation.
  • ative American girl was sexually assaulted on tribal sponsored field trip. Tribal immunity was an issue.

PI Sexual Molestation

  • Female high school teacher allegedly sexually molested multiple high school boys.

Premises Liability

  • Parent complained that school district ignored its IEP, leading to significant injury in their child/student who has cerebral palsy.
  • Plaintiff suffered a traumatic brain injury after falling through a skylight of a commercial building. Plaintiff was an electrician onsite to do electrical work.
  • Multiple Defendants involved when Plaintiff suffered serious injuries involving a dangerous condition.

Wrongful Death

  • Mediated dispute brought against municipality and its police officers for administering choke hold allegedly resulting in death of 21 year old suspect.
  • Mediated dispute brought against municipality and its police officers for the wrongful fatal police shooting of 19 year old.
  • Municipal on-duty police officer fatally shot passenger in a stolen rental car. The driver of the rental car was fleeing police at high speeds through city streets and finally got trapped in a cul-de-sac. Decedent female knew the car was stolen and was a drug addict, although was not on drugs at time of incident.
  • Detainee died while under arrest instead of being hospitalized
  • A female prison inmate was murdered by her cellmate despite making requests for a bed change because of a threat of violence.
  • A case involving security guards at a school that restrain a man who dies 5 days later. The man was naked and high on PCP.