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Hon. H. Warren Knight (Ret.), Founder

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Hon. H. Warren Knight (Ret.)
JAMS Founder
Judge Knight photo Hon. H. Warren Knight (Ret.), the Founder of JAMS, passed away on November 15, 2012. From its small start in Santa Ana, California in 1979, JAMS has grown to 26 offices in the United States, London and Toronto, with affiliates in Italy, The Netherlands and Ireland.

After his retirement in 1999, Judge Knight remained active on the Board and involved in the leadership of the company, especially when it came to important efforts such as the JAMS Foundation. In 2009, the Foundation established the first Warren Knight Award, which was presented to the Bronx-based organization Effective Alternative in Reconciliation Services (EARS), along with a $25,000 grant, in recognition of the organization’s creative use of ADR to benefit the community.

Judge Knight was most proud of creating the JAMS Foundation, the largest provider of grants to nonprofits in the dispute resolution field, and the JAMS Society, in which JAMS associates perform thousands of hours of pro bono activity each year for numerous causes. He was the recipient of many awards, including the D’Alemberte-Raven Award from the ABA, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American College of Civil Trial Mediators and the Founders Award from the Association of Media and Entertainment Counsel.

Judge Knight’s distinguished judicial career included six years of service with the Orange County Superior Court and two years with the Orange County Municipal Court, South Judicial District. Prior to his appointment to the bench, he was in private practice with Portigal & Knight in Orange County for 12 years.

ADR Experience
  • Heard thousands of settlement conferences and developed an expertise in personal injury, medical malpractice, disability retirement, hospital staff hearings, dissolutions and complex civil litigation.
  • While on the Civil Jury Trial Panel, Judge Knight worked with three other judges to create Settlement Conference Week. He helped draft the rules and participated in that program for two years.
  • Law experience primarily consisted of a general insurance defense practice, with specialization in personal injury and insurance coverage issues.
  • Lectured extensively on ADR in the United States and Europe, traveled to China with the "People to People" delegation, published numerous articles and books on the subject, and written arbitration rules and clauses for use by businesses, insurance companies, and attorneys.
  • Appeared on "ABC Business News" and other network news broadcasts, and has been written about in the Wall Street Journal and other national print media and by many publications specific to the legal community.
Honors, Memberships, and Professional Affiliations
  • "Founders' Award," the Association of Media & Entertainment Counsel (AMEC), 2011
  • "D'Alemberte-Raven Award" for outstanding service in dispute resolution, American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Dispute Resolution, 2010
  • "Lifetime Achievement Award," American College of Civil Trial Mediators (ACCTM), 1997
  • "Trial Judge of the Year," Orange County Trial Lawyers Association, 1974 and 1978
  • Member, California Judges Association, 1971 to 2012
  • Honorary S.J.D., University of Virginia, Charlottesville, 1971
  • Former member, American, Virginia, West Virginia, and Orange County Bar Associations; Association of Southern California Defense Counsel; American Board of Trial Advocates
Background and Education
  • Chairman of the Board of Directors, JAMS, 1979-1999
  • Judge, Orange County Superior Court, 1973-1979
  • Judge, Orange County, Municipal Court, South Judicial District, 1971-1973
  • Private practice, Portigal & Knight, Orange County, 1959-1971
  • U.S. Marine Corps, 1955-1959
  • LL.B., University of Virginia Law School, Charlottesville, 1955
  • B.A., University of Virginia , Charlottesville, 1952