Fall 2014 • Issue 53, page 1

An Interview with Honorable Andrew Guilford U.S .District Judge

By Mosier, Robert*

Receivership News (RN) is pleased to have the opportunity to interview and debrief United States District Judge Andrew J. Guilford, who by all accounts is a super-achiever and academic powerhouse on and off the bench. Based on the stats that follow, if Judge Guilford were a professional athlete, he would be destined for a hall of fame. Judge Guilford has achieved an impressive list of accomplishments, the cumulative effect of which is nearly overwhelming. Fasten your seat belt. Here we go.

This story starts in Santa Monica where Judge Guilford was born and grew up. The first of many significant milestones occur in 1972 and 1975, when the Judge graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) as a double Bruin with an undergrad A.B. degree in economics and his J.D. three years later. But, Judge Guilford is anything but your typical graduate. As an undergrad, his accolades include Summa Cum Laude, Regents Scholar and Phi Beta Kappa, 1972. It gets better; while earning his J.D., he served as Associate Editor of the Law Review and worked as an extern to Justice Lester Roth and as a research assistant for Professor Jesse Dukeminier.

With this academic foundation (and quite a foundation it is), Judge Guilford began a 30 year law career at Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton as a trial lawyer. What stands out as his most interesting case as a trial lawyer? It occurred almost at the end of his lawyer career – the name change case where the Anaheim Angels desired to become The Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim. His advice: When writing a lease, choose your words carefully. The curse of Arte lingers!

During this stretch of his career, Judge Guilford continued to rack up measures of distinction including the following: In 1992, Guilford was elected as a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers. He was: (a) recognized several times by the Daily Journal as one of California's Top 100 Attorneys; (b) listed as one of 50 "Best Lawyers in Orange County"; (c) selected with 13 commercial litigators in Orange County to be listed in "Best Lawyers in America"; (d) selected as a "Southern California Super Lawyer" three times; (e) selected as a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation; (f) honored by the Orange County Trial Lawyers Association as Business Litigation Trial Lawyer of the Year; and (g) honored by the Orange County Bar Association with its Franklin G. West Award for lifetime achievement. This list goes on with awards and distinctions that would make anyone’s mother very proud.

Supporting these measures of distinction, Judge Guilford was, and is, quite active in local, state and federal Bar Associations. Here we go with another list: Judge Guilford served as President of the State Bar of California (1999-2000); President of the Orange County Bar Association (1991); Chair of its Business Litigation Section (1983) and Chair of its State Bar Conference Delegation (1986-1987); President of the Howard T. Markey Intellectual Property American Inn of Court (2013-present); a lawyer representative to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference (1990-1992, 1999-2001); and this list goes on.

A milestone in this distinguished career occurred in 2006, when President George W. Bush nominated then attorney Andy Guilford to the Federal Bench. That was eight years ago, and already Judge Guilford has been honored by the Orange County Asian American Bar Association with its Judicial Excellence Award. In 2011, at the request of the Chief Justice of the United States, he began serving on the Committee on Codes of Conduct of the Judicial Council of the United States. He has sat by designation with the Federal and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeal. He also sits in the judicial patent pilot program where a federal judge who receives a technical patent case can refer the case to the patent pilot program so that the matter can be decided with a jurist who has specific experience in the sometimes highly technical area of patent law.

What caused Judge Guilford to leave private practice and become a federal judge? The opportunity to serve. That brings us to our next subject. Judge Guilford has a strong commitment to community service. As a zealous advocate for volunteer legal services for indigents, he served as President of the Public Law Center from 2004 to 2006 and on the State Bar Commission on Access to Justice from 2008 to 2013. He was also on the Judicial Council’s Task Force on Self-Represented Litigants and was awarded his firm’s Pro Bono Attorney of the Year Award. He also received the State Bar President’s Pro Bono Service Award and the Poverty Law Center Outstanding Service Award. According to Judge Guilford, every practicing lawyer has a duty to give back to the legal community. The Judge has set a high standard of pro bono commitment.

What about the writing and speaking departments? It is what you might expect. Judge Guilford has written many articles on various topics concerning the justice system. He shares his years of legal experience by serving as an Adjunct Professor at the University of California at Irvine School of Law, as well as by teaching at continuing legal education programs on various topics such as intellectual property, trial tactics, ethics and professionalism, multijurisdictional practice, civil procedure, and legal writing. He is a Contributing Editor for The Rutter Group's Federal Civil Procedure Before Trial. His career list of publications and lectures total over 175. For those who are statistically motivated, that is an average of 4.5 per year over the past 39 years!

RN rests its case. Are you convinced of the Judge’s Superman status? But we have at least two more areas to cover before this interview can be concluded: (a) what is the Judge’s position on receivers; and (b) what about the Judge’s personal life? As is our tradition, RN likes to look beyond the professional profile – who is the individual who has been doing all of this?

As a lawyer, our Federal Judge worked regularly with receivers. He reports that California Code of Civil Procedure § 564 was his friend back in those days. His most unusual receiver case involved a very long term lease on a huge chunk of land in Orange County. The lease had a fixed monthly rent that had fallen way below market. The lease could be voided if a "receiver" was appointed, so when a manager was appointed, then lawyer Andy Guilford argued over the definition of "receiver." Around $50,000,000 was at stake because if the “manager” was a “receiver,” the below market lease could be voided.

Now, sitting Judge Guilford recognizes that receivers are agents of the court. He further recognizes the unique features of equitable relief involving receivers since they often seek equitable orders. Given his strong academic background, it is not surprising that Judge Guilford’s advice to lawyers is: Be mindful of the wording in an equitable order since violation of its terms could result in jail time for the defendant and his or her agents. Judge Guilford is careful in signing such orders. He also advises: Don't ignore plaintiff’s bonding requirements and amounts in seeking provisional relief because what a court gives in granting relief can be taken away by the plaintiff’s bond amount.

Now that we know his views on receivers, RN is pleased to focus on the personal life of Andy Guilford. He married Loreen Gogain in 1973 (while in law school). Judge Guilford’s statement about his wife of 41 years: Loreen runs things with the efficiency of a good receiver! He is the proud father of two grown daughters: Dr. Amanda Murray is a psychologist who is now focused on Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome; and Harvard Law graduate Colleen Zamm is a teacher in Mississippi. An effective litigator might argue – chips off the ole’ block?

Judge Guilford welcomes conversation about politics and history. For fun, he takes photos, travels, reads history, follows sports, and plays at softball, tennis and basketball. His hero is Winston Churchill, and he hopes someday to see Maury Wills elected to baseball's Hall of Fame. RN considered the title of Judge Hoops for this profile because of his persistence on the basketball court; for a “greybeard” he is pretty solid ball handler – if he challenges you to one-on-one on the basketball court, you should only bet with money you can afford to lose.

Who are Judge Guilford’s mentors? Father Peter Haynes and Father John Taylor. Judge Guilford is a life-long Episcopalian and dedicated to upholding the standards of this main-stay religion. He is a Lay Eucharistic Minister and Lector. He has been a vestry member, junior warden and Diocesan Delegate. It is RN’s view that this rounds out our super judge.

RN decided to dig a little deeper and even engage in some “espionage.” Secret sources close to RN revealed the following: Judge Guilford is a movie buff who rates each one he sees and keeps a running list of his yearly and all-time favorites. He loves music, especially the Rolling Stones, R&B, and Motown. He's a widely-read student of history and leadership. In addition to Churchill, he is well read about Martin Luther King, Jr. Judge Guilford has prepared his own greatest people list of the 20th century. In addition to hoops, Judge Guilford is an avid baseball fan – one source said, “with the mind of an expert and the heart of a child.” RN already knows about his campaign to get Maury Wills into the Hall of Fame, but what about his opposition to the infield fly rule? Judge Guilford reportedly enjoys debating public policy and current events with a wide range of colleagues and friends, in person and via e-mail.

RN concludes this write up with a single word: WOW! Judge Guilford, you are an inspiration to all of the “A” type personalities out there. Keep running!

*Robert P. Mosier is a Southern California receiver and trustee and principal of Mosier & Company, Inc., a firm that has specialized in managing and turning around troubled companies for more than 25 years.