Hon. H. Warren Knight, retired Orange County, CA Superior Court Judge and founder of JAMS, The Resolution Experts, passed away on Thursday, November 15, 2012 in Newport Beach, CA from complications from COPD. He was 83 years old.
Warren Knight was born in Charleston, West Virginia on October 16, 1929. He graduated from the University of Virginia in 1952 and University of Virginia School of Law in 1955. He joined the Marine Corps in 1955 and was stationed in California until his discharge four years later. He practiced law in Orange County until he was appointed to the Orange County Municipal Court, where he served from 1971-73. He served on the Orange County Superior Court from 1973-1979 and was named Trial Judge of the Year by the Orange County Trial Lawyers Association in 1974 and 1978. In recent years, he was the recipient of numerous other awards from the legal community, including the D’Alemberte-Raven Award from the American Bar Association, 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 experience in the courtroom, where civil cases could take as long as five years to get to trial, inspired him to leave the security of a judgeship in 1979 and open a one-man mediation practice in Santa Ana, CA. Thus was the beginning of the first JAMS office and Judge Knight’s extraordinary contributions to the field of alternative dispute resolution (ADR).
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