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Hon. John K. Trotter (Ret.)

T: 714-939-1300


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Hon. John K. Trotter (Ret.) joined JAMS in 1987 upon early retirement from the California Court of Appeal. Justice Trotter has gained a reputation as one of the nation's leading experts in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and has a thorough knowledge of all ADR hearing formats and procedures.

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • Successfully resolved in excess of 2,000 cases involving:
    • Bad Faith
    • Class Actions
    • Complex Business Disputes
    • Contract Disputes
    • Employment
    • Insurance Coverage
    • Mass Torts
    • Pharmaceuticals
    • Personal Injury
    • Professional Liability
    • Toxic Torts
  • Served as a Special Master in several Multi District Litigation Pharmaceutical matters including Zyprexa I, Zyprexa II, Baycol, Rezulin, Vioxx, and other complex cases in both Federal and State court
  • Authored many significant and far reaching opinions while on the Court of Appeal
  • Served on the Law and Motion, Settlement Conference, and Civil Trial Court calendars of the Orange County Superior Court
  • Specialized in civil litigation and tried in excess of 100 jury trials in State and Federal Court while in private practice

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • Most Influential Attorney in ADR, National Law Journal, 2011
  • Recognized as a Top Master, Daily Journal
  • Orange County Mediation Lawyer of the Year, Best Lawyers, 2012
  • Orange County ADR Lawyer of the Year, Best Lawyers, 2012 and 2015
  • Lifetime Achievement Award for his distinguished career as an attorney, judge, and major contributor to the advancement of ADR, Orange County Trial Lawyers Association, 2007
  • Recognized as a Best Lawyer, Alternative Dispute Resolution Category, Best Lawyers in America, 2006-2016
  • Recognized as a Top 50 California Neutral, Daily Journal, 2003, 2009, 2010, and 2012 
  • Recognized as a Top 40 California Neutral, Daily Journal, 2007 and 2008
  • Recognized as a Top 30 California Neutral, Daily Journal, 2006
  • Recognized as one of the “500 Leading Judges in America,” by Lawdragon Magazine, 2006
  • Recognized as one of California's "Most Sought After Mediators and Arbitrators," by the Daily Journal, November 2002
  • Recognized as one of the "Top 100 Lawyers in California," by the Daily Journal, September 2002
  • "Appellate Justice of the Year" Award, California Trial Lawyers Association
  • "Justice of the Year Award", Los Angeles Trial Lawyers Association
  • "Franklin G. West" Award, Lifetime Achievement Award, Orange County Bar Association
  • "Award of Appreciation", Mexican-American Bar Association
  • Founding President, Robert A. Banyard Inns of Court
  • Past President, Orange County Bar Association
  • Past President, American Board of Trial Advocates
  • Disciplinary Hearing Officer, California State Bar Association
  • Faculty Member: College of Trial Advocacy, National Institute of Trial Advocacy
  • Taught Negotiation and Mediation Techniques to judges, attorneys, and business people throughout California


Background and Education

  • Associate Justice Pro Tem, California State Supreme Court, 1983
  • Presiding Justice, California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division Three, 1982-1987
  • Associate Justice, California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division Two, March-December 1982
  • Judge, Orange County Superior Court, 1979
  • Private practice, 1961-1979
  • J.D., University of Southern California Law School, 1961