Luis Cardenas

Hon. Luis A. Cardenas (Ret.)

JAMS Mediator, Arbitrator and Referee/Special Master

Case Manager
Bianca Kelly
T: 714-937-8221
F: 714.939.8710
5 Park Plaza, Suite 400, Irvine, California 92614


Judge Cardenas has successfully mediated and arbitrated hundreds of personal injury cases since his retirement from the Orange County Superior Court bench, where he served for more than 20 years. He has extensive experience resolving a wide range of personal injury claims, as well as a deep understanding of the insurance and medical issues involved.

Judge Cardenas is able to focus on what matters most to plaintiff, defense and insurance counsel, as well as their clients. Paired with his extensive knowledge of the law, he is able to settle cases quickly and efficiently to allow all parties to move on with their lives and businesses.

Representative Matters

  • Conducted “mediation-days” for major insurance carriers, resolving high volume of cases in one-day programs
  • Experience mediating and arbitrating cases arising out of workplace accidents that did not fall within jurisdiction of workers' compensation
  • Mediated and arbitrated auto accident and related matters for major insurance carriers, including uninsured motorist cases, and questions regarding coverage and liability 
  • Mediated and arbitrated personal injury matters involving Prop 13 issues, comparative negligence analyses and matters involving allegations of bad faith 
  • Mediation involving individual claiming extensive brain injuries after crossing street at unmarked location and being hit in head by truck mirror 
  • Mediator and arbitrator for civil matters in which crime victims received injuries 
  • Mediator and arbitrator for personal injury matters arising from non-automobile incidents, such as those involving bicycles and boats. 
  • Mediator for dispute involving plaintiff rear-ended by garbage truck, with two sides disagreeing whether back pain caused by accident or degenerative disease 
  • Presided over arbitration of dispute involving slip-and-fall claim in restroom of Native American-owned casino 
  • Resolved negligence claims against school after plaintiffs’ child fell and broke arm on playground 
  • Resolved through mediation and arbitration matters involving defective products alleged to have caused injuries 
  • Resolved wrongful death mediation involving vehicle rollover during community college field trip regarding a disagreement over whether signed liability waiver granted school immunity in accident 
  • Served as arbitrator for dog-attack premises liability case 
  • Served as arbitrator on dispute involving pedestrian struck by vehicle that entered opposing traffic, leaving plaintiff with brain injuries, cognitive impairment and impaired verbal and visual memory 
  • Settled and arbitrated personal injury matters arising from medical treatment
  • Settled dispute involving issue of whether injuries occurred to plaintiff either from being hit by truck on freeway or during fall at home 
  • Settled slip-and-fall mediation involving mini-mart owned by major gas-station company
Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS. 

  • The only judge in Orange County to receive a commendation from the State Legislature upon his elevation to the bench
  • Recognized as “Judge of the Year” by the Orange County Women’s Bar Association and the West Court Bar Association
  • Winner of the Albert Schweitzer Award from the Orange County Grand Jury
  • Received recognition for his contributions to the law by Loyola Law School and the Mexican-American Bar Association of Orange County
  • Current member of the California State Bar
  • Prior member of the California Judge’s Association

ADR Profile

  • Judge, Superior Court, Orange County, 1980-1996
    • Presiding Judge, West Court Operations, 1985-1996
  • Judge, Municipal Court, North Orange County, 1976-1980
    • Assistant and Presiding Judge, 1978 and 1979
  • J.D., Loyola Law School at Los Angeles, 1968
  • B.A., University of California at Los Angeles, 1965

Counsel Comments

    • “This mediation was a wonderful experience. Judge Cardenas was very understanding and patient. I feel so relieved, knowing that there is an impartial 3rd party looking at these disputes.”

      - Party involved in series of mediations with Judge Cardenas




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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