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John Kennedy

Hon. John W. Kennedy, Jr. (Ret.)

Case Manager
Karla Adams
T: 213-253-9786
F: 213-620-0100
555 W. 5th St., 32nd Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90013


Judge Kennedy joined JAMS following a 20-year distinguished judicial career in several San Bernardino County courts. During his final six years on the Superior Court, he was responsible for managing and trying the court's longest and most complicated multiple-party civil matters handling settlement, law and motion, and trials of complex civil cases. At JAMS, he has presided over many arbitrations in a variety of areas.

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • Arbitrated a $140 million dispute regarding a gaming casino/hotel development
  • Arbitrated a dispute regarding the sale of an adult education university to a national educational company
  • Arbitrated a dispute regarding the development of a Hawaiian resort’s energy co-generation operations
  • Arbitrated a $40 million dispute regarding the development of a shopping center
  • Arbitrated a dispute between a Pacific Rim technology supplier and a domestic wholesaler

Representative Matters

  • Attorney fee disputes
  • Commercial landlord/tenant disputes
  • Computer industry dispute 
  • Construction defect
  • Employment/wrongful termination
  • Financing/credit agreement relating to an airline bankruptcy
  • Homeowner/homeowner association dispute regarding Northridge earthquake insurance process
  • Industry wide milk marketing and distribution dispute
  • Laboratory/hospital billing dispute
  • Lender liability
  • Medical malpractice
  • Personal injury
  • Physician/HMO billing dispute
  • Real estate
  • Sale of dental practice
  • Trade name ownership dispute
  • Chair, California Presiding Judges, 1999
  • Dean, California Judges' College, 1992-1994
  • Bernard Jefferson Award, California Judges' Association, 1993
  • Associate Dean, California Judges' College, 1990-1991
  • Publications include: Personality Type and Judicial Decision Making, ABA Judges' Journal, Volume 37, No.3; California Evidence, Attorneys' Briefcase (co-author)
  • "Accounting for Success," Daily Journal, ADR Profile, August 13, 2010
  • Taught numerous educational programs relating to decision-making skills to about 2,000 judges nationwide and to 400-500 attorneys at various organizations including The Rutter Group, Association of Business Trial Lawyers, Federal Judicial Center, National Judicial College, American Bar Association, California Center for Judicial Education and Research, California Judges Association, California State Bar Association, Pepperdine Law School and Stanford University
  • Justice Pro Tem, California Court of Appeal, 1984
  • Presiding Judge, San Bernardino County Courts, 1997-1999
  • Judge, San Bernardino County Superior Court, 1984-2000
  • Judge, California Municipal Court, 1980-1984
  • Private Practice, 1963-1964 and 1968-1977
  • Deputy District Attorney, San Bernardino County, 1964-1968 and 1978-1980
  • J.D., Stanford School of Law, 1963 (Law Review); B.A., Stanford University, 1961

Counsel Comments

    • "Judge Kennedy is tireless, patient, amiable, never loses his ability to remain warm and caring. He understands issues really well. He is good at reading people. Judge Kennedy goes to a lot of trouble bending over backwards to get a fair result. He is up-front and extremely intelligent. He's a quick study."

      - Attorney specializing in Complex Civil Litigation
    • "All of my experiences with Judge Kennedy have been positive. He is friendly and has the ability to suck you in. He has tremendous experience with the San Bernardino Court and community. Judge Kennedy has a frank way of telling the parties what they can expect."

      - Attorney specializing in Complex Personal Injury
    • "Judge Kennedy is a nice person; he treats lawyers with courtesy, patience, diplomacy and tact. He's smart, knows what the issues are and quickly recognizes the strengths and weaknesses of a case. He doesn't use a saw to cut the baby in half. Judge Kennedy has the courage to make a ruling without worrying about his next meal ticket. He's not worried about being politically correct. He is the first judge that walks on water without getting his feet wet."

      - Attorney specializing in Complex Personal Injury (Product Liability)
    • "Judge Kennedy is very bright and a quick study. He is well versed in employment law. He is a caring person and is not afraid to let it show. He is very effective in sensitive and emotional matters.  He allows sufficient time for everyone. He is a proactive neutral and he gets the job done."

      - Attorney specializing in Employment Disputes




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