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

Candace Cooper is available to conduct cases virtually. JAMS is equipped to provide virtual ADR services on a variety of online platforms, including Zoom, Microsoft Teams, WebEx, and more.


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. Justice Cooper has been described as an ideal neutral for employment cases because of her patient style, her excellent listening skills, and ability to work well in highly emotionally charged cases.

Since joining JAMS Justice Cooper has handled numerous Employment Arbitrations, Mediations and Special Master matters. The cases include, but are not limited to:

Representative Matters

  • Numerous cases that involved the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (PAGA) and/or Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) 
  • Matters involving disability and race discrimination, family medical leave violations and failure to make reasonable accommodations 
  • Breach of contract claims for failure to pay a severance benefit 
  • Class action wage and hour claims regarding meal and rest breaks, wage statements, and unfair business practices 
  • Claims by individuals against corporations for unlawful deductions from commissions, unreimbursed business expenses, failure to provide accurate itemized wage statements, and unfair business practices 
  • Heard many cases involving wage and hour, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and wrongful termination 
  • Matters related to violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), gender discrimination, intentional infliction of emotional distress, retaliation, and wrongful termination 
  • “Whistle blower” claims related to negligent supervision and wrongful termination 
  • Disputes involving disability discrimination and wrongful termination 
  • Claims by parent company against subsidiary for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and breach of loyalty 
  • Matter related to female employee alleging gender discrimination and retaliation at a male-dominated company 
  • Claim alleging wrongful termination for retaliation for actions made by the union 
  • Heard matters related to appellants requesting personal information regarding Writers’ Guild members for purpose of class action lawsuit against studio, networks, production companies, and talent agencies asserting age discrimination 
  • Cases involving suit for FEHA Attorneys 
  • Petitions for reconsideration of decision by Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board 
  • Summary judgments on ADA claims involving employers who failed to replace motorized scooter for long-term warehouse employee after original scooter was damaged beyond repair 
  • Worker’s compensation penalty claims for late payments of temporary and permanent disability
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


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