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Hon. Lorna A. Alksne

Hon. Lorna A. Alksne (Ret.)

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General Biography
Practice Areas
Business Commercial
Employment Law
Estate Probate Trusts
Family Law
Personal Injury
Real Property
Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities
Background and Education

Hon. Lorna A. Alksne (Ret.) has joined JAMS after over 20 years on the San Diego Superior Court. Judge Alksne served 10 years in the Family Law Division, where she presided over all areas of family law, and two years in the Civil Division, where she presided over all aspects of civil litigation. Prior to her retirement, from 2020 to 2022, Judge Alksne was the presiding judge of the San Diego Superior Court, which is the second-largest court in California, with 154 bench officers.

During her tenure on the bench, Judge Alksne presided over discovery disputes, evidentiary hearings, pretrial motions and jury trials, and she served as a settlement conference judge for hundreds of cases. In addition to her work on the bench, Judge Alksne was involved in the statewide administration of justice and served as chair of one of the Judicial Council’s advisory committees on calculating workload. 

Prior to taking the bench, Judge Alksne focused her practice on employment litigation, including in an in-house advisory capacity and as a litigator in a large law firm.

Judge Alksne has been recognized throughout her career with various awards, including most recently by the San Diego chapter of American Board of Trial Advocates for her exemplary service as presiding judge of the San Diego Superior Court during her two-year term. In addition, she has also been recognized by the San Diego Family Law Bar Association for her “Lifetime of Judicial Accomplishment and Dedication to Family Law” and by the Southern California chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers as Distinguished Judge of the Year, both in 2009. Judge Alksne was recognized by her alma mater, the University of San Diego School of Law, in 2013 with its Distinguished Alumni Award in recognition of her impressive career. 

Judge Alksne is active in bench bar organizations and is currently the president of the San Diego chapter of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers and the president of the J. Clifford Wallace Inn of Court. 

Based in the San Diego Resolution Center, Judge Alksne will serve as an arbitrator, mediator, special master/referee and judge pro tem handling family law, employment, medical malpractice, personal injury, business and commercial, and real property disputes. She is available for proceedings nationwide, both in person and virtually.

Representative Matters

  • Employment Law
      • Presided over wrongful termination matters, including racial and sex discrimination and retaliation, for the California Department of Corrections 
      • As a judge, handled various wage and hour cases, including a state-coordinated case
      • As an attorney, successfully defended against wrongful termination cases at summary judgment and trial for a public entity
      • As an attorney, completed independent sexual harassment investigations for a public entity
  • Estate Probate Trusts
      • As a judge, resolved a dispute between heirs
  • Family Law
      • Presided over several multi-day trials that included issues such as date of separation, validity of prenuptial agreement, community property, breach of fiduciary duty, use of the Van Camp or Pereira method, child custody, paternity, surrogacy and spousal support
      • Presided over settlement conferences on all issues in family law
      • As supervising family law judge, managed the privately compensated Temporary Judge Program
  • Personal Injury
      • As a judge, resolved multiple personal injury matters, including dog bites, slip-and-falls and automobile accidents
      • As a judge, handled a settlement conference in a case of negligence and negligence per se against a large San Diego hotel
      • Mass tort binding allocation case involving the allocation of insurance proceeds after bus rollover crash with forty-five claimants; analyzed each claimants’ injuries and allocated a percentage of the insurance proceeds to each claimant
  • Real Property
      • Presided and ultimately resolved a declaratory relief action regarding the sale of real property in Coronado, California
      • Presided over multiple-day trials regarding a homeowners’ dispute regarding the loss of use of quiet enjoyment, applicability and validity of HOA rules and fees in La Jolla, California
      • As a judge, resolved a declaratory relief action regarding view of Mission Bay
      • As a judge, presided over a settlement conference over trespass, conversion, and negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress regarding removal of trees

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities


  • Exemplary Service as a Presiding Judge, San Diego Chapter, American Board of Trial Advocates, 2022
  • Distinguished Alumni Award, University of San Diego School of Law, 2013
  • Lifetime of Judicial Accomplishment and Dedication to Family Law, San Diego Family Law Bar Association, 2009
  • Distinguished Judge of the Year, Southern California Chapter, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 2009
  • Judge of the Year, San Diego Certified Family Law Specialists, 2009

Memberships and Professional Activities

  • President, Association of Business Trial Lawyers, San Diego, 2022
  • President, J. Clifford Wallace Inn of Court, 2020–present
  • Member, San Diego County Bar Association, 1993–present
  • Member, California Judges Association, 2006–2021
  • Member, Lawyers Club of San Diego, 2006–present
  • Member, Judicial Council Committees
    • Member, Executive Committee, Futures Commission, 2015–2017
      • Vice-Chair, Family and Juvenile Subcommittee, 2015–2017
    • Member, Elkins Task Force, 2008–2010
    • Member, Elkins Implementation Task Force, 2011–2013
    • Member, Family Juvenile Advisory Committee, 2011–2013
    • Member, Accountability and Efficiency Advisory Committee, 2011–2013
    • Chair, Judicial Branch Workload Assessment Advisory Committee, 2009–2021
  • Faculty Member, California Judicial Education and Research and B.E. Witkin Judicial College, 2004–2018
  • Faculty, National Institute of Family Law Trial Advocacy, Houston, 2013

Background and Education

  • San Diego Superior Court, 2000–2022
    • Presiding Judge, 2020–2022
    • Assistant Presiding Judge, 2018–2019
    • Criminal Trials, 2015–2017
    • Civil Independent Calendar, 2012–2014
    • Family Law, 2002–2011
      • Supervising Judge, 2005–2011
    • Appellate Division, 2009–2011
    • Traffic/Small Claims, 2001–2002
    • Juvenile Court (pro tem dependency and delinquency), 2000–2001 
  • Associate; Paul, Plevin, Sullivan & Connaughton; 1997–1999
  • Associate, Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich, 1993–1997
  • J.D., University of San Diego School of Law, 1992
  • B.A., International Relations, Mills College, 1986


This page is for general information purposes.  JAMS makes no representations or warranties regarding its accuracy or completeness.  Interested persons should conduct their own research regarding information on this website before deciding to use JAMS, including investigation and research of JAMS neutrals. See More

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