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Advocacy at a Higher Level

Horvitz & Levy is a solutions-based firm focused on appellate success. We are distinguished by our commitment to responsive service and on-going innovation in the areas of civil appellate litigation, amicus curiae support, and trial strategy consultation.

Our firm history, honors and awards, and locations speak to our collaborative approach and commitment to serving clients as well as the outstanding legal resources we bring to bear.

Mitchell C. Tilner

Mitchell C. Tilner

Partner - Los Angeles Office

How Mitchell Helps Clients

Renowned for his proficiency in analyzing legal issues and handling complex, high-stakes appeals involving insurance coverage and bad faith, Mitch Tilner has briefed or supervised the briefing in more than 400 appeals and writ proceedings and has argued more than 100 appeals and writ proceedings in the state and federal appellate courts. He also consults with trial firms and other appellate firms on appellate strategy and briefing. In addition to insurance appeals, he has handled appeals for private entities and public agencies in the areas of business and contract disputes, employment law, water law, eminent domain, entertainment law, and punitive damages.

Mitch is a partner at the firm, where he has been practicing since 1988.  He has been a California State Bar Certified Appellate Specialist for more than 20 years.

Mitch frequently presents seminars to clients and professional groups on the appellate process, legal writing, and related subjects. Mitch began his professional career as an associate in the litigation department of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.

Representative Matters

Chino Basin Municipal Water District v. City of Chino (2024)
California Court of Appeal rejects challenge to longstanding operating practices of water rights entity.

County of Santa Clara v. Superior Court (2023) 
California Supreme Court holds emergency medical service providers may maintain reimbursement actions against publicly operated health care service plans.

Colonial Van & Storage v. Superior Court (2022)
California Court of Appeal grants Horvitz & Levy’s writ petition, holding that employer had no duty to protect its employee and her invitees from mass shooting inside the employee’s home.

Aghaian v. Minassian II (2021)
California Court of Appeal affirms $34.5 million judgment for Horvitz & Levy clients, holding that “law of the case” precluded defendant’s inconvenient forum motion.

Issakhani v. Shadow Glen HOA, Inc. (2021)
Court of Appeal affirms summary judgment for homeowners’ association, holding association had no duty to provide visitor with onsite parking so visitor would not need to park on street and encounter risk of injury while jaywalking.

Brown v. USA Taekwondo (2021)
California Supreme Court holds courts can use public policy to limit or eliminate a defendant’s duty, arising from a special relationship or otherwise, to protect the plaintiff from injuries caused by a third party, but courts may not rely on public policy to create such a duty.

Pinto v. Farmers Insurance Exchange (2021)
Court of Appeal holds that an insurer’s failure to accept a reasonable settlement demand is not per se unreasonable, disapproving a controversial CACI instruction suggesting a strict liability standard for bad faith failure to settle claims.

Medical Acquisition Co., Inc. v. Superior Court (2018)
Published California Court of Appeal opinion in eminent domain action upholding agency client’s position that trial court had discretion to require property owner to post an undertaking as a condition to withdrawing client’s deposit of probable amount of compensation.

ABM Facility Services, Inc. v. Jacobs Facilities, Inc. (2017)
Represented contractor on appeal in case involving unlicensed subcontractor’s multi-million-dollar claim for unpaid invoices and contractor’s $45 million cross-claim for disgorgement of fees paid; case settled after oral argument.

Olympic and Georgia Partners LLC v. Arch Specialty Ins. Co. (2016)
Successfully defended summary judgment for insurer client in dispute over coverage for cost of removing and replacing cracked stone flooring in high-rise condominium development.

Big 5 Sporting Goods Corp. v. Zurich American Ins. Co., et al. (2015)
Successfully defended summary judgment for insurer client in Ninth Circuit, which held insurer owed no duty to defend policy holder against consumer class actions.

Lewis Jorge Const. Management, Inc. v. Pomona Unified School Dist. (2004)
California Supreme Court upheld school district client’s position that damages for breach of construction contract could not include $3 million in claimed lost profits from prospective jobs contractor never won because of impaired bonding capacity suffered as a result of client’s termination of contract.

Kazi v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. (2001)
California Supreme Court held that a claim of interference with an easement right does not give rise to an insurer’s duty to defend under a policy covering damage to tangible property.

Waller v. Truck Ins. Exchange, Inc. (1995)
Oft-cited California Supreme Court opinion that affirmed Court of Appeal’s reversal of $50+ million judgment and upheld insurer client’s position that (1) it had no duty to defend insureds against suit alleging emotional distress flowing from economic losses, and (2) it did not impliedly waive coverage defenses by not mentioning them when claim was denied.


  • Columbia University
    LL.M., 1985
  • Loyola Law School of Los Angeles
    J.D., magna cum laude, 1980
  • Yale University
    B.A., 1975


  • Hon. Arthur L. Alarcon, U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit (1987-1988)

Bar Admissions

  • California
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California

Professional Associations