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
- 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
- Presided over and mediated disputes relative to multiple single family homes, condominiums, and townhomes, construction defects between contractors, subs, owners, and insurance representatives
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Presided over and settled numerous high conflict family law cases, many with custody/move away issues and large asset matters, and multiple parties
- Presided over and settled trust and probate cases with numerous heirs and assets in the millions
- Mediated multi-million dollar probate case with multiple heirs where question of legitimacy of the heirs was at issue
Governmental/ Public Agency:
- Butte Fire Mediations: Successfully mediated numerous fire damage cases working with PG&E and individual homeowners and businesses to settle coverage compensation issues resulting from the fire
- Dispute between the State Lands Commission and a homeowners’ association regarding tideline boundary disputes in Southern California
- Heard, presided over, and settled numerous personal injury matters including automotive, bicycle, motorcycle, FELA railroad disputes, premises liability, uninsured motorists, and trucking accident cases
- Mediated liability, duty of care, and resulting damages for motorcycle and fire truck collision
- Successfully mediated standard of care for an acupuncturist, resulting in the death of a patient
- 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 Estate/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