Vikki L. Vander Woude
Vikki is a partner at Umberg/Zipser, in Irvine, California, specializing in civil litigation, trials and alternative dispute resolution. Vikki has a broad and diverse professional background having worked in large and small law firms, as in-house counsel, and as a research attorney for the courts, which gives her a unique perspective and skill set that is of immeasurable benefit to clients. Vikki also founded and co-owns with her husband a small business in the pet industry. Vikki’s practice is focused on representing both plaintiffs and defendants in business, real estate, employment, and class action and other multi-party litigation, as well as assisting smaller and mid-sized businesses as an “outside in-house” counsel with management and oversight of litigation, legal expenses, discovery, proactive risk management and alternative dispute resolution.
Immediately prior to joining the firm, Vikki worked for five years for the Orange County Superior Court as a Senior Research Attorney in the Complex and Unlimited Civil Divisions, where she assisted numerous judicial officers with recommended rulings on civil law and motion matters, and conducted informal discovery and settlement conferences. In addition to acquiring broad knowledge of many substantive areas of the law, Vikki gained extensive experience and unique insight from the perspective of a trial court regarding civil procedure and evidence, effective trial skills and written and oral advocacy, discovery, strategies for case management and optimizing dispute resolution, and the importance of preparation, training, professionalism and integrity in the legal profession.
Vikki has conducted jury trials, court trials and arbitrations, and has taught trial advocacy and evidence for approximately 12 years. Prior to joining the court, Vikki practiced complex business litigation at several large law firms, including Morrison & Foerster LLP, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, and BakerHostetler. While at Morrison & Foerster, Vikki also served as a Professional Development Manager in charge of firm-wide litigation training and has since participated as a speaker with other attorneys and judges on topics related to best litigation practices. She also participated in the Trial Attorney Partnership program as a Deputy District Attorney with the Orange County District Attorney’s office. Vikki has handled a broad array of disputes involving real estate, corporate governance, contracts, fraud and tort liability, mass torts and claims under the UCL, business sales and acquisitions, corporate securities, employment, trade secret misappropriation and lender liability.
In addition to her law firm and court experience, Vikki spent several years as in-house counsel for a large corporation with multiple subsidiaries in the title insurance industry, and also assisted the chief executive of a real estate investment and development company in overseeing and handling a broad array of disputes as its “outside” in-house counsel. As a result, Vikki gained extensive experience assisting clients with managing litigation expenses and outside counsel, and advising companies and executives regarding pending and threatened disputes involving contracts and employment issues, and developing and implementing effective communication strategies to minimize risks of liability.
Vikki also uses her legal expertise to help develop high school students, having served for many years as the lead attorney coach for mock trial teams.
- Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, J.D., 1995
- Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, B.A., 1989
- State Bar of California
- United States District Court, Central and Southern Districts of California
- Commercial Litigation
- Employment Litigation
- Unfair Competition and False Advertising Litigation
- Class Actions
- Real Estate Litigation
- Financial Services Litigation
- Association of Business Trial Lawyers, Orange County; Member, Board of Governors; 2021 Annual Seminar Co-Chair.
- Constitutional Rights Foundation of Orange County; Member, Mock Trial Committee; Presider, Mock Trial Competition
- Founder and Former Lead Attorney Coach, Orange County School of the Arts Mock Trial Team, Former Lead Attorney Coach, Beckman High School and Pacific Coast High School Mock Trial Teams
- Orange County Bar Association; Member and Committee Member
- Former Co-Team Manager, So Cal Blues club soccer team
- Former Board Member/Secretary, Musical Theatre Academy of Orange County
- Former Board Member and Safety Officer, Tustin Eastern Little League
HONORS & AWARDS
- Recipient, Attorney Coach of the Year Award, Constitutional Rights Foundation, Orange County, 2012
- Recipient, State Bar’s Wiley W. Manuel Pro Bono Services Award, 2005 and 2010
- Recipient, Morrison & Foerster’s High Personal Service Award, 2003
- The TAP Program: Civil Litigators Can Benefit from Working Inside the Criminal Justice System, Association of Business Trial Lawyers, Orange County, Newsletter, Volume VII, No. 1 (Spring 2005).
- “Tips from the Bench for Managing Complex Civil Cases,” Orange County Bar Association, Labor & Employment Section, 2/15/18
- “Getting the Right Kind of Attention for Your Law and Motion Brief,” Association of Southern California Defense Counsel, 2/23/17