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


As a former justice of the California Court of Appeal and nearly three decades as a member of the judiciary, Justice Cooper has handled virtually every type of case, including real estate matters.

She brings an ideal temperament and a wealth of legal expertise in handling complex, often highly publicized cases. Justice Cooper 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, civil trials, to felony criminal and death penalty trials to juvenile dependency and delinquency.

Representative Matters

  • In class action alleging unconstitutional takings of property [interest and other accruals on unclaimed property held pursuant to the California Unclaimed Property Law], plaintiff was not entitled to interest earned on property during the holding period because title to property was legitimately vested in the state during that period.
  • Arbitration regarding commercial loan for financing the purchase of a 300 unit apartment complex
  • Misstatement of material fact made in relation to a property, including the value of and the amount of funds expended to improve the property
  • Condominium Law
    • Liability of Homeowners Association for dangerous condition due to faulty construction
    • Personal liability of homeowners association board of directors for negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of CC&R’s
    • Validity of CC&R’s 
  • Escrow Issues
    • Compliance with terms of escrow
    • Liability
  • Title Issues
    • Validity of transfer of deed
  • Subdivision/Map Act/Zoning cases
    • Validity of approval of zoning variances
    • Compliance
  • Boundary and lot-line disputes
  • California Coastal Commission
  • Environmental Impact Reports
  • California Environmental Quality Act [CEQA]
  • Adverse Possession
  • Easements – Prescriptive, equitable
  • Landlord-Tenant
  • Premises Liability
    • Equestrian Facility
    • Amusement Park
    • Restaurant/ ADA Compliance
  • Eminent Domain
  • Contract Interpretation
    • Contract for sale of property
    • Lease
  • Water Law
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

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