Candace Cooper

Hon. Candace Cooper (Ret.)

JAMS Mediator, Arbitrator, Referee/Special Master, Neutral Evaluator, Hearing Officer

Case Manager
Christina Lee
T: 213-253-9732
F: 213-620-0100
555 West 5th St., 32nd Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90013


Hon. Candace Cooper (Ret.) has nearly three decades of judicial experience and has earned a reputation as a highly accomplished judge with a common sense approach to resolving disputes. Justice Cooper brings an ideal temperament and a wealth of legal expertise in handling complex, often highly publicized cases.

She served for nine years on the California Court of Appeal, Second District, most recently as Presiding Justice of Division Eight from 2001-2008, and as a Superior and Municipal Court judge prior to that. Justice Cooper has also served on the Los Angeles Superior Court for 12 years, handling a variety of assignments, ranging from court management, civil master calendar and civil trials to felony criminal and death penalty trials to juvenile dependency and delinquency.

During her noteworthy career, Justice Cooper has also made tremendous contributions to the legal community through her dedicated involvement in educational and professional associations. She served as president of the California Judges Association from 1988-1989. She was the second African-American, as well as the second woman, to head the nearly 2,000-member voluntary professional association representing all judicial officers throughout the state from the California Supreme Court to the remaining Justice Courts.

Justice Cooper also served as a faculty member for the Continuing Judicial Studies Program, the Judicial College and the New Judges Orientation, teaching courses in evidence, jury selection, fairness and elimination of bias.

Representative Matters

  • Unconscionability
  • Required disclosures for binding arbitration agreements
  • Scope of arbitrator power
  • Action to enforce arbitration award
Attorney Fees
  • Award of experts witness fees against municipality
  • Award of attorney fees against board of homeowners association
  • Attorney fees under Intervenor Compensation Provisions
  • Determination of prevailing party
Attorney Malpractice
  • Companion malicious prosecution case
  • Construction Services Licensing Law
  • Construction defect
Commercial/Business Litigation
  • Contract interpretation
    • Course of performance
    • Implied-in-fact contracts
      • Ownership of employee inventions
  • Contract performance
    • Exclusive distribution rights
  • Misappropriation
  • Intellectual Property
Class Action Litigation
  • Class certification
Conflict of Laws
Discovery Disputes
  • Scope
    • Privacy
    • Trade secrets
    • Attorney-client privilege
    • Clergy-penitent privilege
  • Sealing and protective orders
Election Law
  • Compliance with Election Code
    • Ballot requirements
  • Initiative requirements
    • Revision vs. amendment of State Constitution
    • “Single Issue” limitation
  • FEHA
    • Wrongful termination/employment discrimination
    • Attorney fee awards
    • Expert fee awards
  • B&P 1700
  • Workers compensation
    • Unreasonable delay
  • Wage & Hour
Family Law
  • Professional goodwill as community asset
  • “In Kind” property division
Foreign Judgment
  • Uniform Foreign Money Judgments Recognition Act
    • Finality of foreign judgment
    • Public policy
  • Coverage
    • “Duty to defend”
    • Excess policy coverage
    • Subrogation
  • Liability
Intellectual Property
  • Unauthorized commercial appropriation of name, photo or likeness
  • Right of publicity/right of privacy
  • Copyright Act
  • Uniform Trade Secrets Act
  • Misappropriation of patents/trademarks
  • Licensing
  • Infringement
  • Agreement to disclose abstract idea
  • Good will
Medical Malpractice
  • Standard of care
  • Statute of limitations
  • Existence of duty
  • Assumption of risk
  • Creditor claim vs. will challenge
Product Liability
  • Design defect/manufacturing defect
  • Failure to warn
Real Property
  • Premises liability
    • Dangerous condition
  • Condominium association
    • Interpretation of CC&Rs
    • Liability of homeowners association board
  • Escrow
    • Misappropriation of trust assets by escrow agent officers and employees
  • Subdivision and Map Acts
  • Landlord-tenant
Statutes of Limitation
  • Delayed discovery
Water Law
  • Allocation of storage space in Central Basin water resource
Wrongful Death
  • Responsibility of amusement park as “common carrier”
Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS.

  • Honoree, National Bar Association Hall of Fame, 2015
  • Roger J. Traynor Memorial Award, Appellate Justice of the Year, Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles, 2003
  • Bernard S. Jefferson Judge of the Year Award, California Association of Black Lawyers, 2002
  • Crystal Heart Award, Loved Ones of Homicide Victims, 2000
  • Justice Joan Dempsey Klein Distinguished Judge Award, California Women Lawyers, 1997
  • Alumni Merit Award, University of Southern California, General Alumni Association, 1994
  • Outstanding Trial Jurist, Los Angeles County Bar Association, 1992-1993
  • Criminal Court Judge of the Year, Century City Bar Association, 1992
  • Silver Achievement Award, Los Angeles Y.W.C.A., 1991
  • Superior Court Judge of the Year, Los Angeles County Bar Association Criminal Justice Section, 1990
  • Ernestine Stalhut Award, Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, 1989
  • Board of Councilors, University of Southern California Law Center, 1997-present; Chair, 2001–2003; Vice-Chair, 1999-2000; General Alumni Association; Board of Directors, 1995
  • Judicial Council Select Committee on Judicial Retirement, 1993
  • The State Bar of California: Commission on the Future of the Legal Profession and the State Bar, 1992-1995
  • Judicial Council Advisory Committee on Racial and Ethnic Bias in the Courts, 1991-1997
  • Judicial Council Advisory Committee on Private Judges, 1989-1990
  • ABA Advisory Committee for "Understanding the Courts" Videotape Project, 1988-1990
  • President, California Judges Association, 1988-1989; Executive Committee, 1987-1988; Chairperson, Annual Meetings Seminar Committee, 1986
  • Municipal Court Judges Association, Planning & Research Advisory Committee, 1984-1987; Marshal's Committee, 1982
  • Board Member, LAC/USC Institutional Review Board, 1981-1988
  • Life Member, National Bar Association, 1980-present
  • Member, Los Angeles County Bar Association, 1974-present
  • Panelist, California State Bar Association Annual Meeting, 1998, 2008
  • Lecturer, Los Angeles County Bar Association, 2004
  • Lecturer, Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles, 2003
  • Lecturer, California Statewide Conference on Race and Ethnic Bias in the Court, 2002
  • Lecturer, Judicial College, 1981, 1982, 1987, 2002 (Bernard Witkin Lecture)
  • Faculty, Continuing Judicial Studies Program (CJSP) 1982, 1984, 1986, 1998
  • Lecturer, Continuing Education of the Bar, 1992, 1994, 1996
  • Lecturer, Center for Judicial Education and Research (CJER), 1981-1982
  • Received comprehensive training in JAMS in-house Entertainment Law workshops including, but not limited to:
    • “Net Profits and New Media: The Future of Entertainment Litigation”
    • "Legal Issues and Developments in Video Game Law"

ADR Profiles

  • Presiding Justice, California Court of Appeal, Second District, Division Eight, 2001-2008
  • Associate Justice, California Court of Appeal, Second District, Division Two, 1999-2001
  • Judge, Los Angeles County Superior Court, 1987-1998
  • Judge, Los Angeles Municipal Court, 1980-1987
  • Associate, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, 1974-1980
  • Summer Associate, O’Melveny & Myers, 1972
  • Law Clerk, Occidental Petroleum Oil Company, 1971
  • J.D., University of Southern California, Gould School of Law, 1973
  • B.A., University of Southern California, 1970

Counsel Comments

    • “I just have the highest, highest praise for her... she has an ideal judicial temperament.” 
    • “She is extraordinarily professional and very competent and knowledgeable.”
    • "She is very smart and grasps complex issues quickly. She also has an impressive memory and ability to recall which results in very efficient and timely rulings. She requires that the attorneys know their case, their theories and how the discovery/evidence sought and adduced fits within those theories from very early in the case. She also focuses on the practical — particularly when dealing with production of voluminous evidence — which requires independent and creative problem solving in the context of discovery production."
    • "Justice Cooper is excellent. She was very instrumental in getting this case settled after the mediation…I will definitely use her again.”
    • "What most impressed me was that she followed up a couple times on her own and acted as a telephone mediator… that's something no other mediator has done, and I've been doing this for a while."
    • "She's a good listener and works hard to understand the positions that various sides have…"
    • “I just have the highest regards for Justice Cooper and I know that she was recommended by our lead attorney to be used on an upcoming case…”
    • "She does not tend to cut people off, she does not pre-judge. By nature, she's a collaborator, as opposed to an advocate."
    • “She was able to express difficult and sensitive issues in a delicate and compassionate way, but she also has steel in her spine. She has a very good sense for when she needs to be blunt."
    • “Cooper flawlessly walks the line between tactful and tenacious…” 



Practice Areas

  • Appellate
  • Arbitration
  • Business/Commercial
  • Construction Defect
  • Cybersecurity & Privacy
  • Employment
  • Entertainment and Sports
  • Environmental
  • Family Law
  • Health Care
  • Higher Education & Title IX
  • Insurance
  • Intellectual Property
  • Professional Liability
  • Real Property
Available nationwide


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