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Hon. Ben Davidian  (Ret.)

Hon. Ben Davidian (Ret.)

General Biography
Practice Areas
Construction Defect
Employment Law
Government/Public Agency
Health Care
Personal Injury
Professional Liability
Real Estate & Real Property
Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities
Background and Education

Hon. Ben Davidian (Ret.) is a full-time JAMS neutral, with decades of experience as an attorney, government official and judge in the Sacramento County Superior Court. Judge Davidian was appointed to the Superior Court in 2009 and served over 12 years, including his most recent assignment of almost seven years as the supervising civil settlement conference judge. His work on the court clearly demonstrated his integrity, fairness and professionalism.

While on the bench, Judge Davidian personally presided over more than 150 jury trials, and as supervising judge of the court’s civil settlement center, he personally performed thousands of voluntary and mandatory settlement conferences. He also managed thousands more mandatory settlement conferences performed by judges pro tem. Throughout his time on the bench, Judge Davidian was known for his tenacious efforts to resolve cases. His conscientious, personable, diligent and evenhanded administration of justice allowed for creative and successful settlements. He is known for his personal touch, use of humor when appropriate and his concern for all litigators and litigants in his efforts to effectuate a settlement. In his more than 40 years in the legal profession, Judge Davidian has amassed broad experience in a wide variety of practice areas, including business/commercial, construction defect, employment, government/public agency, health care, insurance, personal injury, professional liability, elder abuse, landlord/tenant, PAGA cases and real property/real estate matters.

When COVID-19 resulted in the temporary closure of the courts, Judge Davidian developed a voluntary settlement conference program using videoconferencing, primarily utilizing the Zoom platform. He has conducted almost 200 voluntary and mandatory settlement conferences using virtual or videoconferencing techniques.

Judge Davidian was honored to be named Judge of the Year by the Capitol City Trial Lawyers Association in 2017 and Judge of the Year by the Sacramento Valley Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) in 2018.

Judge Davidian has worked in both private law practice and government service. As a practitioner, Judge Davidian specialized his practice in the areas of political, election and campaign law; professional negligence; administrative law; government law; and business litigation.

Judge Davidian is a veteran of the United States Air Force, where he served as a flight-rated navigator, attaining the rank of captain. His service included a combat tour in Southeast Asia.

Representative Matters

  • Automotive/Lemon Law
      • Heard Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act (lemon law) actions, including attorneys’ fees claims
  • Business/Commercial
      • Heard cases involving lease disputes, maintenance agreements and dangerous living or working conditions
      • Presided over common carrier matters, including roadway accidents, disputes regarding improper delivery of goods or improper design/alleged improper installation or use of equipment
      • Heard cases involving heavy commercial trucking accidents and loading/unloading accidents
  • Construction Defect
      • Heard multi-million-dollar cases involving alleged construction defects in motels, hotels, California Highway Patrol substations and various government and non-government buildings
      • Presided over cases involving individual residential homes and subdivisions, as well as non-residential buildings and other business construction projects
      • Handled disputes between developers, general contractors, subcontractors and material suppliers
      • Heard matters involving allegations of poor engineering design or construction
      • Presided over matters involving remediation of water infiltration problems, mold, fungus, other toxic agents’ pollution or insect/animal infestations resulting from improper design, construction or maintenance, or from tenant negligence and misuse of the facilities
  • Employment Law
    • Wage and Hour
      • Heard cases alleging violations of California Labor Code wage and hour laws, including waiting time penalties, failure to pay overtime, failure to provide meal and rest breaks, minimum wage claims and failure to provide a safe work environment
      • Presided over illegal actual or constructive discharge cases and cases involving hostile work environments or failures to accommodate employees
      • Resolved workplace retaliation claims, improper classification actions and wrongful termination cases
      Employment Discrimination
      • Heard cases brought by employees alleging discrimination on the basis of race, age, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, political views and/or physical disability
  • Government/Public Agency
      • Presided over cases alleging violations of government building contracts, employment contracts and various intergovernmental disputes
      • Heard claims against various governmental entities and agencies arising from personal injuries suffered on government land or on government-maintained sidewalks, streets, parking lots, parks and various other properties, buildings and facilities
      • Handled matters brought by government entities against other government entities
  • Health Care
      • Heard cases involving senior care facilities, including cases with allegations of substandard treatment, elder physical and/or financial abuse
      • Presided over and litigated cases involving allegations of professional negligence, patient neglect and undue influence (including medical, nursing and/or financial negligence) in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, convalescent care homes and senior care facilities
      • Heard disputes regarding primary vs. excess insurance coverage between medical companies, insurance carriers and non-hospital care facilities
  • Insurance
      • Heard disputes regarding coverage, excess insurance issues and subrogation claims between insurance companies
      • Presided over disputes regarding coverage issues and damage claims
      • Heard bad faith cases against major insurance companies
      • Presided over cases involving denied or limiting coverage, indemnity and contribution issues, as well as Cumis issues
  • Personal Injury
      • Heard and litigated non-automotive personal injury cases ranging from minor injury matters with sprains, bruises and transient concussive trauma to severe and life-altering traumatic brain injuries, loss of limbs or death 
      • Presided over and litigated matters involving medical negligence or alleged defective design, manufacture or use of medical products or equipment
      • Heard motor vehicle accident cases, ranging from minor automotive impact cases to major damage accidents involving automobiles, motorcycles, bicycles, buses, light trucks, medium-weight delivery vehicles and heavy semi-trailer trucks; also, vehicle/pedestrian cases, multiple plaintiff cases v. common carriers, including commercial buses, including bus/pedestrian accidents, common carrier taxis and other non-traditional passenger-carrying vehicle cases
      • Presided over cases alleging improper road design, poor or improper directional signage and deteriorating or otherwise unsafe road surfaces.
      • Heard cases alleging asbestos-related injuries and wrongful death and cases involving various improper industrial asbestos applications
      • Heard multi-plaintiff public utility forest fire cases
      • Presided over libel/defamation matters
      • Presided over all manner of product liability cases
      • Heard premises liability matters, including cases involving dangerous conditions on public property
  • Professional Liability
      • Heard and litigated cases alleging medical, legal or dental professional negligence
      • Presided over and litigated medical negligence cases alleging failure to meet the applicable standard of care involving surgeries, various medical treatments of illnesses or injuries, and cases alleging improper chiropractic or holistic treatments
      • Practiced in the medical negligence area prior to becoming a judge in cases involving all aspects of medicine, including, among others, surgical, neurological, psychiatric, misdiagnosis of condition, nursing care and senior care scenarios
  • Real Estate & Real Property
      • Heard cases related to eminent domain and inverse condemnation actions, including CEQA actions
      • Presided over actions alleging private and government lease agreement disputes
      • Heard issues between homeowners and homeowners’ associations, including allegations of CC&R violations and personal injuries on HOA-controlled property
      • Presided over matters involving remediation of water infiltration problems, mold, fungus, other toxic agents’ pollution or insect/animal infestations resulting in personal injury, loss of enjoyment and actual or constructive eviction

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Licensed to practice law in the State of California since 1980, except from 2009 to August 2021 while a judge of the Superior Court for the State of California for the County of Sacramento
  • Member, California Judges Association, 2009–present
  • Member, Anthony M. Kennedy Inns of Court, 2010–2012

Selected Awards and Honors

  • Top Lawyer in Sacramento, Sacramento Magazine, 2023
  • Judge of the Year, Sacramento Valley Chapter, American Board of Trial Advocates, 2018
  • Judge of the Year, Capital City Trial Lawyers Association, 2017

Selected Lectures and Speaking Engagements

  • Faculty Lecturer, Pepperdine University, Caruso School of Law, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, “Mediating the Litigated Case,” Summer Program 2017, 2018 and 2019
  • Multiple lectures to the Sacramento County Bar Association regarding settlement techniques and preparation for settlement conferences before the Superior Court and elsewhere
  • Lectures to Area Defense Counsel of Northern California and to the National Business Institute regarding court procedures and mandatory/voluntary settlement conferences

Background and Education

  • Judge, Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Sacramento, 2009–2021
    • Supervising Judge, Sacramento Superior Court Civil Settlement Center, 2015–2021
    • Supervising Judge, Sacramento Night Court, 2010–2014
  • Sacramento Superior Court Committees
    • Executive Committee
    • Presiding Judge’s Civil Advisory Committee
    • New Courthouse Committee

Law Practice

  • Law Offices of Ben Davidian, 2005–2009
  • Partner; Sweeney, Davidian & Green LLP; 2004–2005
  • Partner; Bell, McAndrews, Hiltachk & Davidian LLP; 1999–2004
  • Wilke, Fleury, Hoffelt, Gould & Birney LLP, 1982–1999
    • Of Counsel, 1995–1999
    • Associate and Partner, 1982–1987
  • Associate; Bronson, Bronson & McKinnon; 1980–1982

Non-Judicial Government Service

  • Chairman, California Alcoholic Beverage Control Appeals Board, 1995–1999
  • Chairman, California Fair Political Practices Commission, 1991–1995
  • Western Regional Commissioner, U.S Department of Justice, U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service and U.S. Border Patrol, 1989–1991
  • Chairman, California Agricultural Labor Relations Board, 1987–1989


  • Pepperdine University, Caruso School of Law, Straus Institute for Despite Resolution, “Mediating the Litigated Case,” Summer Program 2016
  • Law Extern to Hon. Joseph T. Sneed, Judge of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals,1979
  • J.D., University of California, Hastings College of Law, 1980
    • Articles Editor, Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly, 1978–1980
  • B.S., magna cum laude, University of Utah, 1973


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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