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Hon. Robert Hight (Ret.)
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Hon. Robert Hight (Ret.)

General Biography
Practice Areas
Construction Defect
Family Law
Governmental/Public Agency
Personal Injury/Torts
Professional Liability
Real Property
Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities
Background and Education

Hon. Robert Hight (Ret.) joins JAMS following a distinguished career on the Sacramento County Superior Court bench. His work as the Presiding Judge exemplified his desire to provide access to justice that is fair, timely, and open to all. He is lauded for improving the courts’ administrative procedures and insuring that all civil trials during his tenure received their trial date. 

Judge Hight has work for the State of California for the majority of his legal career. He worked for 28 years at the State Lands Commission serving as Staff Counsel, Chief Counsel, and as Executive Officer. Prior to being appointed to the bench in 2003, he was the Director of the California Department of Fish and Game.

Drawing on his extensive state government experience, Judge Hight is the consummate deal-maker. Known for his laser-focus, creative problem solving skills, and keen ability to reach common ground with parties, Judge Hight is described by attorneys as imaginative, honest, and fair.

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • During his 13 years on the bench, he presided over and settled hundreds of cases in all areas of civil litigation including construction defect, energy, environmental, employment, business disputes, health care, real property, probate, legal and medical malpractice
  • Served the last six years on Sacramento County Superior Court bench as Supervising Civil Judge, Assistant Presiding Judge, and finally Presiding Judge
  • Served as a Family Law judge hearing thousands of cases and settling hundreds
  • Served in the Probate division and settled major cases involving disputes over heirs to estates valued in the millions
  • At JAMS, Judge Hight has handled a wide range of cases, including real property, employment, personal injury, elder abuse, eminent domain, family trust, medical and legal malpractice & elder abuse

Representative Matters

  • Business/Commercial
      • Mediated commercial contract disputes involving claims of theft of trade secrets, unfair competition and partnership disputes.
      • Presided over numerous complex business cases in the areas of accounting, valuation, and breach of contract, often including insurance coverage issues
  • Construction Defect
      • Presided over and mediated disputes relative to multiple single family homes, condominiums, and townhomes, construction defects between contractors, subs, owners, and insurance representatives
  • Elder Abuse
      • Mediated and resolved elder abuse cases, including complex matters involving multiple nursing homes and multiple doctors, and providers, each with their own insurance coverage. Claims include failure to diagnose, and failure to intervene in a timely manner in patient care
      • Successfully mediated nursing home standard of care with respect to the use of a Hoyer Lift
  • Employment
      • Presided over and mediated numerous employment cases.
      • Sexual harassment, hostile work environment, discrimination in the work place, retaliation and wrongful termination
      • Employment disputes among relatives in family owned businesses
  • Energy
      • Represented the State of California on numerous oil & gas lease negotiations and litigation
      • Represented the California State Lands Commission in State of California v. Standard Oil, an oil antitrust price-fixing case lasting over two decades
  • Environmental
      • Presided over settlement of Solano County Water Agency vs. State of California Department of Water Resources, a dispute over area of origin water rights
      • Key negotiator and represented the California Department of Fish & Game in the Colorado River Quantification Settlement Agreement, which resolved California’s water rights to the Colorado River
  • Family Law
      • Presided over and settled numerous high conflict family law cases, many with custody/move away issues and large asset matters, and multiple parties
  • Probate
      • Presided over and settled numerous cases involving medical and legal malpractice
      • Cases involving failure of doctors and hospital to correctly diagnose and treat emergency room patients
      • Issues dealing with the appropriate standard of care relative to patents diagnosed with heart disease
      • Cases dealing with the appropriate standard of care in surgeries, some of which were experimental
      • Issues of liability for the onset of tinnitus
  • Real Property
      • Heard, presided over, and coordinated 18 eminent domain cases brought by Sacramento Area Flood Control Association to reduce the risk of flooding along the Sacramento River
      • Mediated numerous eminent domain cases, including matters related to the California High Speed Rail project, Cal Trans, and the San Joaquin Regional Transit District

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS.

  • Recognized as a "Top Lawyer," Sacramento Magazine, 2022
  • Judge of the Year, Sacramento County Bar Association, 2015
  • Capital City Trial Lawyers Judge of the Year, 2011 and 2010

ADR Profile

Background and Education

  • Judge, Sacramento County Superior Court, 2003-2016
    • Presiding Judge, 2014-2015
    • Assistant Presiding Judge, 2012-2013
    • Four years as Supervising Civil Judge, 2010-2014
  • State Lands Commission
    • Executive Officer, 1994-1998
    • Chief Counsel, 1974-1994
  • Director of the Department of Fish and Game, 1999-2003
  • J.D., University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law, 1970
  • B.S., Pacific University, Forest Grove, Oregon


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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