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


During the past five years as a mediator and arbitrator, Judge Cardenas has earned a reputation for settling the vast majority of matters submitted for mediation and for granting awards in arbitrations that reflect a philosophy of fairness and in-depth knowledge of the law. He served on the Orange County Superior Court bench for over 20 years, presiding over numerous court and jury trials involving medical, dental, and legal malpractice issues.

As a bench officer, Judge Cardenas presided over medical, dental, and legal jury trials to verdict, including awards of seven figures, as well as judgments for the defense.

Judge Cardenas handled several elder abuse matters while a bench officer, involving issues of medical care. The California Supreme Court affirmed his trial court decision in People v. Heitzman, (1994) 9 Cal. 4th 189.

Representative Matters

Judge Cardenas has mediated and arbitrated numerous professional liability matters, including:

  • Allegations arising out of complications from anesthesia
  • Allegations of dental malpractice including root canals, crowns, implants, and TMJ related syndromes
  • Cases involving cosmetic surgery, such as breast implants, liposuction, and other beauty enhancing procedures
  • Claims alleging improper chiropractic care
  • Claims involving allegations of improperly prescribed medications and dosages
  • Disputes involving HMOs, large medical groups, and individual physicians, psychiatrists, and dentists
  • Legal malpractice disputes
  • Matters arising out of complications from surgery, such as allegations of using wrong surgical tools, intervention at improper site, failure to remove all foreign objects, and excessive scarring from incision closing
  • Matters involving erroneous lab results
  • Medical malpractice cases alleging improper diagnosis, sub-standard care treatment, and failure to monitor patient progress
  • Medical malpractice disputes involving bones, ligaments, joints, and tendons
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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