Mark K. Kitabayashi is a Partner in Lozano Smith's Los Angeles office. He has been named as a 2011 Southern California Super Lawyer. Mr. Kitabayashi has more than 28 years of litigation experience, predominantly in the areas of employment law, local government issues, labor and employment, environmental, business, construction issues, and personal injury defense.
Mr. Kitabayashi has first and second chaired numerous jury and bench trials and handled hundreds of arbitrations and mediations. Recently, his practice has focused on employment issues, both litigation and certificated/classified disciplinary hearings, throughout the state.
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.
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...
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...
In J.M. v. Huntington Beach Union High School District (Mar. 6, 2017, No. S230510) ___ Cal.5th ___ 2017 [Cal. LEXIS 1609] < http://www.courts.ca.gov/ 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...
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 __ <http://www.courts.ca.gov/op...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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 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...
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...
CLIENT NEWS BRIEF
CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURT HOLDS THAT STRAY
REMARKS MAY BE CONSIDERED IN EMPLOYMENT
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...
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...