The Honorable Layne H. Melzer

Orange County Superior Court, Department C12


The Hon. Layne H. Melzer is a judge of the Superior Court of Orange County in California. He was appointed by former governor Jerry Brown on June 28, 2016, filling a vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Linda Lancet Miller.

Melzer earned a B.A. in philosophy from California State University, Northridge in 1984. He then received a J.D. from the University of California, Davis School of Law in 1987.

Melzer began his legal career in 1987. He joined Rutan & Tucker as an associate, eventually becoming a partner in 1994. While at Rutan & Tucker, Melzer specialized in litigation and trial work, primarily involving complex business disputes, class and mass actions, real estate litigation, internal partnership and corporate disputes, public agency-related litigation, and consumer claims.

Melzer was a resident of Trabuco Canyon at the time of his appointment to the Superior Court of Orange County. He has stated that he values civility and professional courtesies, that he is sympathetic to requests for trial continuances when all parties have legitimate reasons, and that he does not impose time limits on voir dire.

His father earned his living as a prizefighter. He was raised in the Lower East Side of Manhattan in New York City, where he was trained in boxing. His mother was a secretary.

Melzer is registered to vote as a Republican.

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