Judge Midlam brings to the construction defect table over 35 years of hand-on experience with virtually every phase of these matters. His historical perspective has helped him to assist in resolving hundreds of these cases utilizing mediation and settlement techniques. His prior experience as a trial lawyer, coverage counsel, and trial judge has provided him with an understanding of what works and doesn't work in the prosecution, defense, and resolution of these cases.
Judge Midlam began handling construction cases in the late 1960's. These involved first party claims under homeowner's insurance policies. They arose from damage to homes occurring as a result of earth movement. Hence, these matters became know as "dirt cases." In the early days, homeowner's policies with their "all risk" provisions were the primary target of claims in these matters.
As a lawyer for over 25 years, Judge Midlam handled the defense of developers, contractors, and subcontractors in construction defect litigation. He also prosecuted cases on behalf of plaintiffs. He was coverage counsel for a number of major insurance carriers and dealt with a wide variety of policy issues that these cases generated. He and his law firm handled a number of cases in the appellate courts which led to significant decisions (e.g., Maryland Casualty v. Reeder; Maryland Casualty v. Imperial Contraction, and Commercial Union v. Landmark).
As a sitting Superior Court judge, Judge Midlam handled all of the construction defect cases in San Diego County for 3 1/2 years before his retirement in 1995. During that period, while handling a caseload of approximately 200 construction defect cases per year, he tried 50 of them to verdict. He was involved in a number of appeals that have resulted in bright line decisions on the legal issues presented by these cases.
Since retirement and entry into the field of ADR with JAMS, Judge Midlam has continued to work in the construction defect arena as a mediator, special master, arbitrator, and discovery referee. As in private practice and on the bench, he has handled matters, which have provided guidelines for the various aspects of those cases involving allocation of settlement and concomitant rights to set off, as well as the overall authority of a mediator/special master.
- 2,600 Unit condominium project in Palm Springs with various alleged defects involving a builder/developer and over 100 subcontractors
- 270+ Unit condominium project with the major claims arising out of sulfate attack on concrete
- Dispute between the builder and architects and engineers regarding the re-construction of a major VA Hospital facility following the Northridge earthquakes
- Large contract dispute involving the construction of an addition to a hospital in Bakersfield
- Personal injury claims arising from a flesh-eating bacteria in a construction defect case