Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California

Mark K. Kitabayashi

Partner | Los Angeles, Bakersfield

More from Mark K. Kitabayashi


More from Mark K. Kitabayashi


More from Mark K. Kitabayashi

Tel: 213.929.1066
Fax: 213.929.1077
Vcard   | Bio


Mark K. Kitabayashi is the Managing Partner of Lozano Smith's Los Angeles office. He is a trial attorney with more than 30 years of litigation experience representing state and local agencies, predominantly in the areas of employment discrimination law, Constitutional disputes, local government issues, labor and employment, contracts, business, and construction matters. Mr. Kitabayashi also handles employment/personnel cases, including employee disciplinary hearings, grievances, EEOC/DFEH Complaints, and appeals. He has also engaged in hundreds of mediations and arbitrations, successfully resolving matters before they result in protracted and expensive litigation.

Presenter Experience

Mr. Kitabayashi has taught several seminars to attorneys and clients on the following topics: How to Take and Defend Depositions; How to Take and Defend Expert Depositions; Overview of Discovery Practices and Strategy in Civil Litigation; Preparing for and Handling Arbitrations; Proper Billing Practices for Attorneys; and Monitoring and Controlling Outside Counsel's Billing Practices.


Mr. Kitabayashi received his J.D. from the University of Southern California in 1986. He was admitted to the California State Bar that same year. He earned a B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1983.


He is admitted to practice before the U.S. Court of Appeals and the U.S. District Court, Eastern and Central Districts.

California Supreme Court Limits Employers' Ability to Classify Workers as Independent Contractors

By: Mark KitabayashiAlyse Pacheco-

May 2018 Number 20 In Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County (Apr. 30, 2018, No. S222732) ___ Cal.5th ___, the California Supreme Court adopted a new test for determining whether a worker should be considered an employee or an independent contractor for the purposes of wage orders adopted by California’s Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC). Under this new test—called the “ABC test”—a worker is presumed to be an employee unless ...

Hold On: Litigation Holds and Electronic Records

By: Mark KitabayashiMichael Linden-

You may have experienced the following situation working for a local public agency. You open your mail and you see a document entitled “Litigation Hold.” An attorney wants your employer to preserve records for discovery in a legal dispute, including emails and other electronic data. Initially, you have no idea where relevant emails and data might be kept, whether they are even being saved or what policies are in place regarding the retention of emails and other electronically s...

California Supreme Court Clarifies Use of Anti-SLAPP Motions

By: Mark Kitabayashi-

May 2017 Number 25 A new California Supreme Court ruling clarifies how litigants may use a tool intended to fight lawsuits filed to chill free speech. In Park v. Board of Trustees of the California State University (May 4, 2017, No. S229728) ___Cal.5th___ (Park), the Court clarified and simplified the analysis for determining whether a plaintiff's cause of action is one "arising from" constitutionally protected activity for purposes of a motion to strike a civil complaint on the basis tha...

California Supreme Court says Minors' Claims against Public Agencies Must Adhere to Government Claims Act Timelines

By: Mark KitabayashiAmanda Ruiz-

April 2017 Number 14 In J.M. v. Huntington Beach Union High School District (Mar. 6, 2017, No. S230510) ___ Cal.5th ___ 2017 [Cal. LEXIS 1609] < opinions/documents/S230510.PDF >, the California Supreme Court determined a high school football player was not entitled to court relief for his personal injury claim against a school district because he failed to strictly comply with the timelines spelled out in the California Government Claims Act (Act), often r...

California Supreme Court Provides Clarification on Application of Anti-SLAPP Provisions to Claims Involving both Protected and Non-Protected Speech

By: Mark Kitabayashi-

August 2016 Number 54 Resolving a statewide split in authority, the California Supreme Court has clarified the scope of California's anti-SLAPP provisions (Code Civ. Proc., § 425.16, et seq.), which prohibit efforts to chill free speech and access to the courts, and their application to causes of action arising from protected and unprotected activity, often called "mixed causes of action." In Baral v. Schnitt (August 1, 2016, No. S225090) __ Cal.4th __ <

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's Conciliation Efforts May Be Reviewed By Courts

By: Mark Kitabayashi-

May 2015 Number 29 By unanimous decision, the United States Supreme Court held that courts may now review whether the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) satisfactorily engaged in conciliation efforts with employers. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the EEOC must attempt to remedy an unlawful employment practice through a conciliation process before bringing a lawsuit for discrimination. Now, courts may review whether the EEOC has complied with its obligation to...

Without Evidence Of Discriminatory Bias, Employer's Business Reason For Termination Upheld

By: Mark KitabayashiSteve Ngo-

December 2012 Number 77 In Batarse v. Service Employees International Union, Local 1000 (2012) 209 Cal.App.4th 820, the court addressed whether an employee's offered evidence of retaliatory conduct was sufficient to overcome the employer's business reasons for termination in a suit alleging racial discrimination under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). The court of appeal ruled in favor of the employer and held that without evidence of discriminatory motive, the case d...

Administrative Hearing Officers May Rule On Pitchess Motions Concerning Relevant Police Officer Personnel Records

By: Mark Kitabayashi-

October 2012 Number 65 In the mid-1970s, the case of Pitchess v. Superior Court (1974) 11 Cal.3d 531, led to the enactment of a statute that provides, with limited exceptions, for the confidentiality of a correctional officer's personnel records unless a party can show good cause for disclosure through a motion (a.k.a., a Pitchess motion) to the court. In Riverside County Sheriff's Department v. Jan Stiglitz, et al. (Sept. 28, 2012) __Cal.App.4th__ (2012 WL 4466333), the court addressed t...

California Supreme Court Addresses Attorney Work Product Privilege for Witness Statements and Identities

By: Mark KitabayashiAnne Collins-

July 2012 Number 38 In Coito v. Superior Court of Stanislaus County (June 25, 2012) __ Cal.4th __ (2012 WL 2369186), the California Supreme Court reviewed the attorney work product privilege in the context of (1) recordings of witness interviews conducted by investigators employed by counsel, and (2) information concerning the identity of witnesses from whom counsel had obtained statements. The Court determined that recorded witness statements are entitled as a matter of law to at least q...

Lozano Smith Attorneys Defending City Of Los Angeles And LAPD Secure Favorable Verdict In Employment Case

By: Mark Kitabayashi-

April 2012 Number 18 In a recent employment case brought against the City of Los Angeles and Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), Lozano Smith attorneys Gregory Wedner and Mark Kitabayashi successfully defended the City and LAPD at trial, resulting in a much smaller finding of damages by the jury than the amount the plaintiff was seeking. In Leonard Avila v. City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Police Department, Commander Stuart Maislin, et al. (2012) Case No. CV 11-01326 SJO (FMO...

The Date Of A Public Entity's Denial Of Leave To Present A Late Claim Must Be Included In The Notice Of Denial

By: Mark Kitabayashi-

March 2012 Number 14 The Government Claims Act (Gov. Code, §§ 810 et seq.) generally requires a person seeking to bring a lawsuit against a public entity to first provide a written notice of his or her claim to the public entity no later than six months after the accrual (or discovery) of such a claim for injury to person or personal property. Other claims, such as breach of contract, must be presented no later than one year after the accrual or discovery. If a claim is not time...

Supreme Court Validates Negligent Hiring And Negligent Supervision Claims Against Public Employer

By: Mark Kitabayashi-

March 2012 Number 13 In C.A. v. William S. Hart Union High School District (March 8, 2012) ___ Cal.4th ___ (2012 WL745067), the California Supreme Court held that public entities may be held liable, under a theory of vicarious liability, for negligence in their hiring, retention or supervision of an employee they knew or should have known had a history of inappropriate sexual contact with minors. Further, the Court held that individual administrators and supervisors may also be held perso...

Court Invalidates Negligent Hiring And Negligent Supervision Claims Against Public Employers

By: Mark Kitabayashi-

Court Invalidates Negligent Hiring And Negligent Supervision Claims Against Public Employers...

California Supreme Court Holds That Stray Remarks May Be Considered In Employment Discrimination Cases

By: Mark Kitabayashi-

August 2010 Number 37 CLIENT NEWS BRIEF CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURT HOLDS THAT STRAY REMARKS MAY BE CONSIDERED IN EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION CASES The California Supreme Court recently held that an employee may introduce statements made by non-decision-makers, or statements made by decision-makers outside of the decisional process, as evidence to support a claim of discrimination against the employer. In Reid v. Google, Inc. (August 5, 2010) ___ Cal.App.4th ____, the Supreme Court held t...

Supreme Court Issues A Ruling Regarding The Statute Of Limitations For Claims Of Disparate Impact Discrimination In Employment

By: Mark Kitabayashi-

July 2010 Number 31 CLIENT NEWS BRIEF SUPREME COURT ISSUES A RULING REGARDING THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FOR CLAIMS OF DISPARATE IMPACT DISCRIMINATION IN EMPLOYMENT Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII”) bars employment actions that have a "disparate impact” on a protected group, such as African-Americans. The United States Supreme Court recently held that a plaintiff may assert a claim of disparate impact discrimination by filing a timely claim challenging the e...

  • Avila v. City of Los Angeles. Plaintiff police officer claimed he was subject to a Board of Rights proceeding and subsequently terminated in retaliation for testifying against the LAPD in a Fair Labor Standards Act wage and hour violations lawsuit filed against the City of Los Angeles. Despite facing counsel who had obtained over $4.5 million against the City in a very similar companion case tried the year before, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the individual defendant and against the City for only $50,000, or 1% of the demand.

  • Sequoia v. County of Fresno. The County sought to challenge a thirty year old injunction compelling it to expend approximately $21 million per year to provide health services to a segment of its population. The County's motion to dissolve the injunction was granted and the obligation extinguished.

  • Newman v. Stringfellow. At the time, the largest toxic tort personal injury case in U.S. history. Claim of personal injury and property damage by approximately 3000 plaintiffs due to claimed exposure to a "toxic soup" of materials that emanated from the Stringfellow waste facility. Plaintiffs' verdict against the client was less than $200,000.00.

  • Shiell v. County of L.A. Equal protection action claiming staff members of a non-profit, public benefit corporation were entitled to the same rights, salaries and benefits of County employees because they performed the same work. A dispositive motion was brought on 3 issues: 1) statute of limitations; 2) entitlement to civil service; and 3) entitlement to County retirement benefits. The motion was decided in the County's favor.

  • Hall v. County of L.A. Approximately 200 female attorneys of a non-profit, public benefit corporation brought a sex discrimination suit claiming they were not receiving the same salaries and benefits as male employees of the County, even though they were doing the same work. The County brought a dispositive motion on the grounds that plaintiffs were using improper male comparators and had not shown any indicia of discrimination. The motion was granted in the County's favor.

  • Ashford v. Visalia Unified School District. Plaintiff, on behalf of himself and a class of all similarly situated employees, sued the District and sought the payment of all alleged unpaid vacation benefits covering the entire period of the employees’ employment with the District, which dated back years. Following an extensive meet and confer process regarding the merits and viability of such claims, plaintiffs’ counsel voluntarily dismissed the lawsuit without receiving any relief, thereby extricating the District from the lawsuit in its early stages and saving the client substantial fees and costs.