John Kennedy

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

JAMS Mediator

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


As a JAMS neutral, Judge Kennedy has handled numerous employment disputes involving all classes of claims and the following classes of employees:

  • CEO of a computer software company
  • Regional Marketing Director
  • Chief County Administrative Officer
  • General Manager, General Sales Manager in the automotive industry
  • Human Relations Director for a hospital
  • Numerous govermental employees (including law enforcement supervisory personnel)
  • Various sales people
  • Physician terminated by a surgical center

The employment disputes Judge Kennedy has handled have covered a range of industries including disputes in the medical technology, automotive, manufacturing, and banking industries.

As a trial judge, Judge Kennedy handled numerous employment cases including wrongful termination and discrimination claims involving gender, race, and age. He was the trial judge in Rose v. General Dynamics in which the California Supreme Court ruled that in-house corporate counsel is entitled to the same employment protection as other types of employees.

Drawing upon his judicial experience, in particular his three and one-half years of service as a family law judge, Judge Kennedy excels in dealing with the sensitive and emotional human issues that arise in the employment context.

Representative Matters

  • Age Discrimination
  • Breach of Contract
  • Covenants Not to Compete and Trade Secrets
  • Disability and ADA Claims
  • FMLA
  • Gender Discrimination
  • Hostile Work Environment
  • Negligent Hiring
  • Race Discrimination
  • Religious Discrimination
  • Retaliation
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Sexual Orientation Discrimination
  • Whistle Blower Claims
  • Work-Place Injuries
  • Worker's Compensation
  • Wrongful Termination

  • Disputes arising from wrongful termination of a public school superintendent
  • Wage and hour claims related to group of thirteen auto mechanics
  • Matter arising from employer’s refusal to permit Muslim employee to participate in religious observance at workplace
  • Disputes related to refusal to promote law enforcement staff because they were not women or minorities
  • Multiple actions arising from sexual harassment of female employees by male supervisors
  • Matters related to racial discrimination by auto dealer
  • Wage and hour claims arising from automotive employees who were paid on piecework basis
  • Disputes arising from failure to accommodate employees who sustained on-the-job disabilities
  • Matters related to age discrimination claims by tenured school teachers
  • Disputes related to wrongful termination of hospital’s Human Resources director
  • Disputes arising from employees’ exposure to environmental toxins at workplace
  • Age discrimination claims defended as necessary due to reduction in force
  • Wrongful termination disputes related to at-will county administrative offices
  • Failure to accommodate disputes arising from disability affecting employees’ mobility after relocation of primary work site
  • Dispute related to failure to accommodate employee who was on leave for one year due to on-the-job injury
  • Whistleblower claims of in-house attorney terminated for reporting employer’s wage and hour violations to government agency
  • Retaliation claims for reporting various violations of employer’s policies to supervisor
  • Matters arising from wrongful termination of nun who was principal at Catholic school
Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS. 

  • 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




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