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 a reputation for successfully mediating and resolving complex employment matters. She has handled all types of cases, including wage and hour disputes, sexual harassment claims, and discrimination claims based on sexual orientation, race, gender, and national origin. Based on her background and experience as a litigator and instructor in the area, in addition to her dispute resolution experience, she is skilled at working with both sides in addressing and resolving highly charged and emotional issues.

As Corporate Counsel with Hunt Wesson Foods, Inc., she supervised all in-house investigations regarding employment matters, conducted training on employment law compliance, and oversaw all employment litigation. While serving as Deputy City Attorney/Police Advisor for the Santa Ana Police Department, she was responsible for employment litigation matters, including class actions. Judge Ryan taught Employment Discrimination Law as an adjunct professor for Western State University College of Law for four years and has lectured on the subject at various legal and civic organizations.

Judge Ryan has mediated and arbitrated hundreds of employment matters as a judge and arbitrator.

Representative Matters

  • Arbitration of harassment claims based upon sexual favoritism and unequal pay brought by 3 employees against president/ TV personality of national health food company
  • Arbitration of sexual harassment and age discrimination action brought pursuant to FEHA against major health care provider
  • Arbitration of sexual harassment, age discrimination and wrongful termination involving officer of national financial institution
  • Arbitration of wrongful termination claim with claims of medical disability discrimination
  • Mediated and arbitrated variety of cases involving claims of discrimination based upon sex and/or sexual orientation
  • Mediated and resolved pre-litigation wrongful termination/ defamation action by long term executive employee for nationwide adoption services agency; allegations also included claims for computer theft and misappropriation of trade secrets
  • Mediated resolution of harassment claim by plaintiff against her former employer with whom she also had long term relationship; included additional claims for retaliation and that she had contracted sexually transmitted disease during the relationship
  • Mediation of pregnancy discrimination claims by employees returning from pregnancy leave whose positions had been replaced
  • Mediation of wrongful termination claim brought by executive administrator whose position was eliminated when financial services company was acquired by international finance company
  • Successful mediation of sexual harassment claims brought by employees of television personality
  • Three-week arbitration involving claims of wrongful termination and wage and hour violations
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