Judith Ryan

Hon. Judith M. Ryan (Ret.)

JAMS Mediator, Arbitrator, Referee/Special Master, Neutral Evaluator

Case Manager
Laura Aguilar
T: 714-937-8256
F: 714-939-8710
5 Park Plaza, Suite 400, Irvine, CA 92614

Judith M. Ryan 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.


Judge Ryan has arbitrated and mediated numerous breach of contract cases arising out of specific construction contracts. The cases have involved a broad range of issues including negligent design and construction, disruption, change orders, delay damages, changed site conditions, cost overruns and insurance issues. Judge Ryan is familiar with the standard contract forms and has dealt with a wide variety of issues arising under the standard contract and specialized contracts.

In addition, Judge Ryan has arbitrated matters involving specific environmental and site clean-up issues.

Some representative construction cases are summarized below.

Representative Matters

  • Arbitration of breach of land development agreement (including claims of fraud and breach of fiduciary duty) arising out of development of mixed use commercial/residential project.
  • Arbitration of dispute arising out of major municipal sewer pipe installation after failure of sewer pipe.
  • Arbitration of dispute over construction project for federal government (contract in excess of $5M) where principal issue was claim for delay damages.
  • Arbitration of hillside grading case where sub-contractor sought compensation for change orders and delay damages in excess of $1.25M; also involved coverage and bonding issues.
  • Arbitration arising out of construction of medical laboratory clean room with issues specifically involving the installation of the HAV system and the entire electrical system; damages at issue in excess of $3 million.
  • Arbitration of a contract dispute between NASA’s oversight contractor and the contractor for the construction of a major NASA project which included construction of the large screen and projector in the space center. The dispute included issues as to whether the project was in conformance with all contract requirements and very specific governmental technical standards, negligent design, and delay issues. There were also major issues regarding contract overruns and change orders. There were damages at issues in excess of several million dollars.
  • Arbitration of breach of contract dispute arising out of large residential multi-tract development between developer and grading subcontractor; issues of differing site conditions, disruption and delay; claim for damages in excess of $6 million exclusive of costs and fees.
  • Arbitration of dispute between project developer and grading contractor on a hillside mass grading project; dispute included issues of performance under the contract regarding proper removal, change orders, and delay damages. Included issues of changed site conditions and bonding issues. Damages at issue were in excess of $5 million.
  • Arbitration of major tenant improvement dispute over the installation of luxury improvements; tenant alleged faulty installation and the installation of inferior products with damages at issue in excess of $8 million. (An example of one of the products was the installation of bird’s eye maple flooring.)
  • Arbitration of public works project which involved state highway; involved issues of proper surveying, boundary disputes, sewage installation, and issues of delay damages. Damages at issue were in excess of $3 million.
  • Determination of development dispute between two public entities over construction of major commercial project which included determination of rights and obligations pursuant to the applicable state environmental laws.
  • Determination of dispute between the state of California and private developer/landowner over recreational development which required determination of issues involving tidelands, entitlements and title.
  • Determination of responsibility/allocation for liability for toxic cleanup and liability for damages arising out of construction project on property previously utilized as car dealership.
Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS. 

  • Recognized as a Top 30 California Neutral, Daily Journal, 2006
  • National Association of Women Business Owners "Remarkable Woman Award" for professional involvement and contribution to the community, 2006
  • Recognized as a Top 50 California Neutral, Daily Journal, 2003
  • Loyola Law School, Orange County Distinguished Alumna of the Year, 2003
  • The Robert "Sam" Barnes Award, Orange County Bar Foundation, 1998
  • Marcus Kaufman Jurisprudence Award, Anti-Defamation League, 1994
  • Franklin G. West Award, Orange County Bar Association, 1992
  • Woman of Achievement in Law Award, Orange County YWCA, 1989
  • Recipient of numerous Letters of Recognition and Appreciation from various Bar Association Sections and Community Organizations including:
    • California Peace Officers Association
    • Orange County Bar Association Business Litigation Section
    • Orange County Bar Association Corporate Counsel Section
    • Orange County Trial Lawyers
    • Women in Leadership (WIL)
    • Young President's Organization (YPO)
    • National Legal Secretaries Association

ADR Profiles
  • Full time Mediator and Arbitrator, 1989-present
  • Judge, Orange County Superior Court, 1982-1989
  • Judge, Orange County Municipal Court, 1981-1982
  • Attorney, Santa Ana Police Department, Santa Ana, CA, 1977-1981
  • Corporate Counsel, Hunt Wesson Foods, Inc., Fullerton, CA, 1974-1977
  • Private law practice, Torrance and Redondo Beach, CA, 1972-1974
  • Research Attorney, Los Angeles County Superior Court Appellate Department, 1971-1972
  • ADR training includes Advanced Mediation Training, Pepperdine Univ. School of Law, Inst. for Dispute Resolution (1994) and Certification for Int'l Arbitration, Int'l Center for Arbitration (1994)
  • J.D., Loyola University, 1970
  • B.A., University of Southern California, 1966

Counsel Comments

    • "What stands out is her ability to be fair to both sides and extremely pleasant. She’s highly sought after and at the top of her game…”

      -Prominent OC Attorney




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