Michael Ornstil

Michael G. Ornstil

JAMS Mediator

Case Manager
Lorena Harrell
T: 925-975-5707
F: 925-938-6732
1255 Treat Blvd., Suite 700, Walnut Creek, CA 94597

Michael G. Ornstil 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.


Michael G. Ornstil, a full time mediator and arbitrator since 1994, has mediated in excess of 4,000 cases in seven western states and arbitrated in excess of 400 cases, specializing in matters involving personal injury or wrongful death. He has conducted binding arbitrations since 1991 and has arbitrated cases for all local courts. Moreover, he serves as a Special Master in complex litigation.

Prior to joining JAMS, Mr. Ornstil’s 12-year litigation career at Sedgwick, Detert, Moran & Arnold included representation of both plaintiffs and defendants in a wide variety of matters, ranging from straightforward two-party personal injury disputes to complex multiparty claims. Mr. Ornstil’s balanced perspective, coupled with his extensive legal and dispute resolution experience, helps parties facilitate an amicable resolution to their disputes.

A representative list of companies involved in personal injury/wrongful death mediations and arbitrations with Michael Ornstil includes: Aetna, Albertson’s Stores, Amtrak, Allied Insurance Group, Allstate, Bechtel, BMW Motors, Calfarm, California State Automobile Association, Caltrans, Chubb, CIGNA, City Taxi, Daimler-Chrysler, Delta Airlines, DHL Express, City and County of San Francisco, City of Napa, Federal Express, Fireman’s Fund, Ford Motor Co., General Motors, Golden Eagle, The Hartford, Home Depot, Kaiser, K-Mart, Liberty Mutual, Matson Navigation, Maytag, PG & E, Port of Oakland, Safeco Insurance, Safeway Stores, State Farm Insurance, Sunbeam, Toyota, Travelers Insurance, Tutor-Saliba, University of California, USAA Insurance, Walgreens and Whole Foods.

Representative Matters

  • Air crash cases
  • Asbestos exposure cases
  • Automobile and trucking accidents cases
  • Construction site accident cases
  • Crane accident cases
  • Drowning cases
  • Electrocution cases
  • Explosion and fire cases
  • Medical malpractice cases
  • Medical product and device cases
  • Mold exposure cases
  • Pharmaceutical product cases
  • Product liability cases
  • Sports accidents (skiing, horseback riding, softball, etc.)
  • Toxic exposure cases
  • Trip and fall cases
  • Water slide accident cases
  • Wrongful death cases
Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS.

  • Distinguished Mediator of the Year Award, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, 2012
  • Recognized as Northern California Super Lawyer, ADR Category, 2010-2014
  • Recognized as a Top 40 California Neutral, Daily Journal, 2007
  • Mr. Ornstil serves or has served on a number of national mediation/arbitration panels including the NASD, EEOC, General Motors, Louisiana Pacific, and MCI panels
  • Lectured at Boalt, Hastings, USF, and Golden Gate University on the subject of mediation and ADR
  • Authored several articles on mediation and arbitration and has been interviewed on local, national, and foreign television and radio stations on the subject of ADR
  • "Whatever It Takes," ADR Profile, Daily Journal, March 18, 2016
  • Private practice, Sedgwick, Detert, Moran & Arnold, San Francisco, 1982-1994; Partner, Sedgwick, Detert, Moran & Arnold, San Francisco, 1987-1994
  • Extensive experience as a trial attorney in a variety of civil litigation cases including personal injury, product liability, chemical exposure/toxic torts, landlord/tenant, medical malpractice, construction, automobile, fire litigation and premises claims
  • Prior to entering law school, held various positions on the options trading floor of the Pacific Stock Exchange and developed expertise representing brokers and market makers in PSE and NASD hearings
  • J.D., Hastings College of Law, 1982; Editor, Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly, 1981-1982
  • B.S., cum laude, University of Miami (political science), 1978

Counsel Comments

    • “You did an excellent job in handling a very difficult case. I really appreciate the way you explored the potential avenues for exposure to our client and thought of creative ways to get the parties moving toward settlement. Ultimately, I believe this settlement was primarily due to your hard work and efforts.”

      -Partner, Civil Litigation Attorney



Practice Areas

  • Arbitration
  • Business/Commercial
  • Construction Defect
  • Employment
  • Environmental
  • Insurance
  • Personal Injury/Torts
  • Product Liability
  • Professional Liability
  • Securities
  • Special Master/Discovery Referee
Available nationwide


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

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