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Joseph Brisco

Hon. Joseph R. Brisco (Ret.)

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Case Manager
Karla Adams
T: 909-884-6684
F: 909-889-2162
3800 Concours St., Suite 320, Ontario, CA 91764

Hon. Joseph R. Brisco (Ret.) joined JAMS following 21 years as a judge with the San Bernardino County Superior Court. During that time, he served as Supervising Judge of the Civil Departments, Presiding Judge of the Appellate Division and, for several years, was assigned to hear all of the Writs of Mandate in the county. Most recently, he presided over the mandatory settlement conference department, serving as a settlement judge.

Prior to taking the bench, Judge Brisco spent 14 years as a civil litigator in San Diego, where he handled serious and catastrophic injury cases—involving deaths, brain injuries and amputations—arising from products liability, premises liability, and motor vehicle accidents. He also served on the San Diego County Arbitration Panel.

Judge Brisco has presided over hundreds of jury trials, bench trials and settlement conferences. He has extensive and diverse experience resolving disputes, including cases involving business/commercial, employment, medical malpractice, real estate, elder abuse, product liability, and personal injury issues, including boating accidents.

Judge Brisco has a reputation for being prompt and thoroughly prepared. He manages his cases efficiently, with a touch of levity and humor. He is regarded by counsel as firm but fair.

Representative Matters

  • Business/Commercial
    • Dispute between city and restaurant regarding zoning
    • Dispute between state regulators and multiple California milk producers 
    • Dispute involving fraud allegations against partners in egg ranch and trucking company
    • Numerous contract disputes between businesses and purveyors
    • Numerous contract disputes between contractors and subcontractors regarding highway improvements
    • Numerous disputes with major financial institutions arising from mortgage crisis
    • Shareholder derivative suit involving motel and restaurant corporation
    • Partnership dissolution disputes, including matters involving companies in ranching, trucking and restaurant industries
  • Real Property
    • Dispute between city and 260 mobile home owners regarding conversion to resident-owned subdivision
    • Several disputes between HOAs and their membership
    • Dispute between school district and adjacent property owner regarding road easement
    • Several disputes between private land owners over road easements
    • Dispute between homeowners regarding denial of access to common area riding trails
    • Numerous disputes regarding property boundaries
    • Personally handled 54 eminent domain cases filed by major utility company
  • Employment
    • Experience resolving employment disputes involving wage and hour, wrongful termination, discrimination, failure to accommodate and harassment issues
    • Please see Judge Brisco's employment biography for a comprehensive overview of his experience employment biography 
  • Professional Liability
    • Numerous cases against physicians and hospitals involving misdiagnosis of disease and negligently performed surgeries
  • Personal Injury/Torts
    • Extensive experience resolving wide array of personal injury disputes, including matters involving boating and railway accidents, medical malpractice issues and elder abuse claims
    • For a comprehensive overview of Judge Brisco’s experience, please visit his personal injury biography
  • Judge, San Bernardino County Superior Court, 1998–2015
    • Supervising Judge, Civil Departments, 2013–2015
    • Presiding Judge, Appellate Division, 2013
    • Appellate Division, 2011–2013
  • Judge, San Bernardino Municipal Court, 1995–1998
  • Managing Partner, Brisco & Wolfe, Del Mar, CA, 1992–1995
  • Associate, Tuverson & Hillyard, San Diego, CA, 1991–1992
  • Associate, Haasis, Pope & Correll, San Diego, CA, 1985–1990
  • Associate, Law Offices of John Ford, Santa Ana, CA, 1983–1985
  • Sole Practitioner, Escondido, CA 1981-1983
  • J.D., Western State University, College of Law, San Diego, CA
  • B.A., Political Science, San Diego State University

Counsel Comments

    • “Having appeared before Judge Brisco many times while he was on the bench, I had always found him to be well-prepared, educated on the topic at hand, patient, calm, inquisitive and respectful of a party’s position, whether he agreed or not with that position.  I thereafter had an occasion to work with Judge Brisco on a State of the Court lunch presentation, where he used that same skill set and demeanor to share important advances in the local courts.  So, it came as no surprise to me that as a mediator at JAMS, Judge Brisco brought those same expert skills into the boardroom, addressing the underlying legal issues and respective evidence rather than trying to divvy up the dollars and sense right away.  Judge Brisco was definitely giving of his time, remaining persistent on the day of mediation and in the days that followed.  Without exception, I would welcome using Judge Brisco as a mediator or arbitrator on any type of matter.”
      - Inland Empire Attorney
    • “He is that unique package of someone who is extremely bright, very compassionate, and a person who has a ton of patience. He is among the elite mediators – I would mediate every case with him if I could.”
      – Orange County Attorney
    • “I had the privilege and honor of trying a case before Judge Joe Brisco before he retired from the Bench and then had the privilege and honor of mediating a case with Judge Brisco at JAMS which resulted in a large seven figure settlement.  Judge Brisco was an excellent trial judge and is an excellent mediator.  I highly recommend him to all of my colleagues to use as a settlement judge. He will be fair and reasonable in his assessment of the case and resolute in achieving settlement. Judge Brisco is the “go-to” guy to settle your case, and your clients will respect him just as much as he treats them with respect and compassion while always being fair.”
      – Inland Empire Attorney

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