Hon. Melinda A. Johnson (Ret.)

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Hon. Melinda A. Johnson (Ret.) excels at bringing divergent points of view to a workable solution, as evidenced by her leadership in consolidating the Ventura Superior and Municipal Courts while Presiding Judge of the Superior Court in 1994-1995.

Judge Johnson, considered one of Ventura County’s top judges, is ranked as outstanding by the local bar association. She is widely recognized for her keen intelligence and meticulous preparation, and often has been described as a versatile, calm, compassionate, evenhanded and caring individual.

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • Presided over and settled a wide variety of cases including:
    • Commercial lease and contract trials
    • Complex civil litigation
    • Employment: FEHA, wrongful termination
    • Environmental: CEQA writs
    • Family law
    • Personal injury
    • Probate and Trusts
    • Property damage
    • Real estate: land use, property title
  • Tried Ventura County's first designated "complex" litigation, a toxic tort case involving over 140 plaintiffs and 40 defendants. Prepared case analysis materials which enabled the case to be settled

Representative Matters

  • Multi-million dollar family law case involving closely held businesses
  • CEQA municipal land use case involving housing development challenge for not being in compliance with city's general plan and environmental requirements
  • Complex toxic tort litigation involving a housing development allegedly built on toxic property; included in the complaint were the original owners of the property and the parties accused of dumping the toxic materials
  • Employment discrimination and harassment claim against a major corporation by its employees that resulted in the only punitive damage award not modified by the Court of Appeal for that year
  • Probate claim involving massive accounting of seven-year period of a living trust and claims of self-dealing by the trustee
  • Product liability claim against a major automobile maker involving fuel leaks into the passenger compartment of the vehicle

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • Judge of the Year Award, Ventura County Trial Lawyers, 1990
  • Public Safety Award, Knights of Columbus, 1988
  • Salute to Women Award, Ventura County Commission for Women, 1987
  • Member, Executive Committee of the Judicial Council, 1996-2000
  • Member, Executive Committee of the Coordinated Municipal and Superior Courts, 1995
  • Chairman, Court Consolidation Committee, 1993
  • Frequently requested speaker before a wide variety of organizations including judicial and bar association conferences
  • "Sixth-Sense Negotiator," ADR Profile, Daily Journal, March 18, 2011

Background and Education

  • Judge, Ventura Superior Court, December 1982-2002; (Presiding Judge, 1994-1995; Assistant Presiding Judge, 1992-1993)
  • Justice, District Court of Appeal (on assignment), March-April 1985
  • Judge, Ventura Municipal Court, February-December, 1982
  • Sole private practitioner, (emphasis in personal injury, wrongful death, domestic, probate proceedings), 1977-February 1982
  • Instructor in criminal law and evidence and juvenile law and procedure at Ventura Community College and the Ventura County Police and Sheriff's Academy, 1976-1979
  • Deputy District Attorney, Ventura County, 1972-1976
  • J.D., Order of the Coif, University of Southern California Law Center, 1972
  • University of California Hastings College of the Law
  • A.B., Stanford University, 1969

Disclaimer

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