Jonathan Cannon

Hon. Jonathan H. Cannon (Ret.)

JAMS Mediator, Arbitrator, Referee/Special Master, Judge Pro Tem

Case Manager
Denise Mitchell
T: 714-937-8229
F: 714-939-8710
5 Park Plaza, Suite 400, Irvine, CA 92614


Hon. Jonathan H. Cannon (Ret.) is well regarded by both plaintiff and defense counsel as a knowledgeable and perceptive neutral. He is recognized for his talent at assessing cases, quickly sizing up the needs and wants of the parties, and effecting creative and equitable resolutions.  Judge Cannon serves as a mediator, arbitrator, special master, and is available as for temporary judge assignments for family law. 

A former accountant, Judge Cannon is also known among counsel for his strength in understanding and working through complex accounting and financial issues that can often arise during the course of resolving disputes in a wide variety of practice areas.  

Judge Cannon served on the bench in Orange County for two decades following his nine years of service in local politics, including seven as a mayor, while he was also working as a partner in private practice.

Representative Matters


  • Extensive experience resolving many types of business-related disputes, including breach of contract, collection, unfair business practice, and fraud matters 
  • Resolved numerous business and commercial matters with extensive accounting issues 


  • Settled numerous matters between contractors, subcontractors, developers, and purchasers involving many different construction defects including roofing defects, plastering defects, soil substance issues, grading, and mold in single-family and condo projects 
  • Successfully mediated construction defect disputes involving contractors and multi-subcontractors on custom private homes 
  • Mediated construction defect cases involving many individual homes in numerous different housing tracts 

Class Action 

  • As trial judge, mediated nationwide settlement involving approximately 400,000 policyholders and insurance company for using non-OEM parts in repairing automobiles after accidents 
  • Experience mediating wage and hour class actions 


  • Mediated labor case involving 14,000 employees, resulting in multi-million-dollar settlement 
  • Resolved disputes involving claims for wage and hour issues, pension benefits, exempt versus non-exempt status, and discrimination based on age, gender, and race 
  • Wrongful termination claim by loan officers in mortgage company alleging they were fired in retaliation for voicing complaints against manager, with company claiming “loan swapping” as reason for termination 

Family Law 

  • Settled divorce case involving multiple corporations, partnerships, and other assets valued in excess of $200 million 
  • Landmark ruling in marital dissolution proceeding where Cannon concluded that document signed by husband and bride's father was marriage certificate and not prenuptial agreement. Husband sought to introduce document written in foreign language that transferred couple's property to him, claiming it constituted prenuptial agreement 
  • Mediated several disputes involving visitation, custody, and determination of disposable income to determine child and spousal support 
  • Supervised Orange County Superior Court Family Law panel for four years 

Intellectual Property 

  • Presided over matter involving reverse engineering and shrink-wrap technology

Real Property/Real Estate 

  • Real estate dispute involving a destination brokerage and non-disclosure issues
  • Real estate matter involving issues of alleged negligence and fraud
  • Dispute between homeowners association and homeowner arising from alleged short-term renting of unit by homeowner, in violation of association's governing documents
    Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS. 

    • California Judges Association, 1987-present
    • Member, Los Angeles County Bar Association, Long Beach Bar Association, Orange County Trial Lawyers Association
    • Past President, Orange County Division of the California League of Cities

    ADR Profile

    • Judge, Superior Court, Orange County, 1989-2007
      • Supervising Judge, Family Law Court, four years
      • Member, Complex Civil Panel, five years
    • Judge, Municipal Court, West Orange County Judicial District, 1987-1989
    • Mayor, Garden Grove, 1980-1987
    • Vice Chairman, Garden Grove Redevelopment Agency, 1978-1987
    • City Councilman, City of Garden Grove, 1978-1980
    • Partner, Grisham & Cannon, Orange, CA, 1982-1987
    • Partner, Grisham, Vandenburg, Nott, Conway & Cannon, Long Beach, CA, 1975-1982
      • Associate, Grisham, Vandenburg, Nott & Conway, 1973-1975
    • Deputy City Prosecutor, Long Beach, CA, 1971-1973
    • J.D., Southwestern University School of Law, Los Angeles, CA

    Counsel Comments

      • “It was like a business partnership splitting up. He exhibited a real ability to get to some of the factual and legal issues pretty quickly. In pretty quick order, he was able to size up the real needs and desires [of the couple] maybe better than they were able to express.”



    Practice Areas

    • Accounting/Finance
    • Arbitration
    • Business/Commercial
    • Class Action/Mass Tort
    • Construction Defect
    • Employment
    • Environmental
    • Estates/Probate/Trusts
    • Family Law
    • Franchise
    • Governmental/Public Agency
    • Healthcare
    • Insurance
    • Intellectual Property
    • Personal Injury/Torts
    • Professional Liability
    • Real Property
    Available nationwide


    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