Hon. Edward A. Panelli (Ret.)

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Hon. Edward A. Panelli (Ret.) joined JAMS in 1994 upon retirement from the Supreme Court of California. At JAMS, Justice Panelli regularly handles high-profile, complex cases including business disputes, insurance coverage matters, class actions, multidistrict litigation, and employment matters, among others.  While on the bench, Justice Panelli handled hundreds of settlement conferences and mediations involving all areas of the law and wrote important decisions pertaining to insurance coverage and strict liability. During his twenty-two years on the bench, Justice Panelli was specially recognized as one of the best settlement judges in California and since joining JAMS he has continued to receive accolades as a top neutral.

Throughout the legal community, Justice Panelli is known for his ability to cut to the heart of complex matters and hone in on the deciding factors in the case. Justice Panelli is a highly efficient arbitrator and vastly qualified and experienced as a multiparty case mediator.    

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • Heard hundreds of settlement conferences and mediations
  • Successful resolution of many post-verdict cases
  • Successfully resolved hundreds of bad faith insurance cases involving all types of insurance coverage issues
  • Experience in mediations involving all types of cases including legal and medical malpractice cases, product liability, business litigation, insurance coverage, employment (termination, harassment, discrimination), and contract disputes
  • Extensive experience in resolution of class action litigation
  • Arbitration experience involving a variety of issues, including insurance coverage issues
  • Conducted mandatory settlement conferences for eight years while on the trial court
  • Taught settlement conference techniques at the Trial Judges College
  • Lectured extensively on the subject of settlement, mediation, and arbitration in the U.S., Italy, Egypt, Tunisia, and Israel
  • Has conducted numerous neutral evaluations

Representative Matters

  • Authored the Supreme Court opinions in Montrose I, Bank of the West, Horrace Mann, Mirkin v. Wasserman, Jolly v. Eli Lilly, Abbott Ford
  • Northridge earthquake cases, settled an earthquake lawsuit involving a major Hollywood studio
  • Holocaust litigation
  • Settled an intellectual property dispute between an American technology company and a foreign technology company
  • Arbitrated a dispute involving a high profile entertainer
  • Mediated a business dispute in Singapore involving a foreign bank and American manufacturer
  • Highest settlement to date is over $97 million dollars

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • Awarded the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award by the Santa Clara County Trial Lawyers Association
  • Recognized as a "Best Lawyer, Alternative Dispute Resolution Category," Best Lawyers in America, 2009, 2011-2015
  • Recognized as a "Top Master," Top California Neutrals List, Daily Journal, 2013
  • Recognized as a Top California Neutral, Daily Journal, 2003, 2007-2011 
  • Recognized as a "San Francisco Lawyer of the Year, Alternative Dispute Resolution Category," Best Lawyers in America, 2011  
  • Recognized as One of the 500 Leading Judges in America, Lawdragon Magazine, 2006
  • Recognized as One of the Bay Area's Top 10 Mediators, The Recorder, 2002
  • Justice Panelli is active in countless Italian-American and community service organizations. He has received numerous awards and citations for his efforts in legal education and his dedication to the enrichment of Italian-American culture and its contributions to western civilization.
  • Chair, Board of Trustees, Santa Clara University, 1984-2003; Vice Chair, Judicial Council of California, 1992-1994
  • Honorary Doctorate of Laws, Santa Clara University, Southwestern School of Law
  • "Staying Power," Daily Journal, ADR Profile, October 10, 2008

Background and Education

  • Associate Justice, Supreme Court of the State of California, 1985-1994
  • Presiding Justice, Sixth District Court of Appeal, 1984-1985
  • Associate Justice, First District Court of Appeal, 1983-1984
  • Judge, Santa Clara County Superior Court, 1972-1983 (Presiding Judge, 1980)
  • Private practice, partner at Pasquinelli & Panelli specializing in probate, personal injury, domestic relations and general business practice
  • J.D., cum laude, University of Santa Clara Law School (Recipient: Outstanding Law Graduate Award)
  • B.S., cum laude, University of Santa Clara