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Hon. Fred K. Morrison

Hon. Fred K. Morrison (Ret.)

Latest Insights
Upcoming Events
General Biography
Practice Areas
Administrative Law
Business Commercial
Civil Rights
Cybersecurity & Privacy
Employment Law
Estate Probate Trusts
Governmental & Public Agency
Health Care
Personal Injury
Professional Liability
Real Property
Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities
Background and Education

Hon. Fred K. Morrison (Ret.) joined JAMS in 2009 after serving nine years in the trial courts and over 14 years on the California Third District Court of Appeal. During his tenure on the appellate bench, Justice Morrison authored over 160 published opinions. Having served in both civil and criminal departments while on the trial bench, he has handled a diverse range of cases throughout his career.

As a JAMS neutral he has mediated, arbitrated, and served as a special master and discovery referee in cases involving the business of healthcare, government and police liability, employment disputes, eminent domain, and all manner of commercial litigation and professional malpractice cases.

Justice Morrison has taught a law school course in Arbitration Practice and Mediation and has presented about Effective Advocacy in ADR throughout Northern California and the Bay Area.

Attorneys praise Justice Morrison’s quick intelligence, good judgment, common sense, and humility.

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • Since joining JAMS over eight years ago, Justice Morrison serves as mediator, arbitrator, special master, and discovery referee on a wide variety of cases, effectively assisting parties in reaching resolution
  • Served 14 years on the California Third District Court of Appeal, prior to which he served as a trial court judge on the Sacramento Superior Court and Municipal Court for nine years
  • Justice Morrison  was a member of the Third District Court of Appeal Committee to establish the Appellate Mediation and Settlement Program

Representative Matters

  • Business Commercial
      • Trade secrets dispute involving theft of customer information other trade secrets and unfair competition
      • Class action matters involving credit card privacy statute and the entitlement to attorney fees under Code of Civil Procedure Section 1021.5 (private attorney general statute)
      • Class action case involving violations of the TCPA and the use of Automatic Telephone Dialing Systems
      • Breach of contract action between a Danish seller of agricultural products and the American company that purchased the products
      • Dispute over a lease option to buy a truck stop with significant issues involving terms of sale and business valuation methods
      • Trademark infringement and copyright suit involving a major jewelry manufacturer
      • Matter involving termination of a business partner and valuation of the business
      • Disputes involving investment fraud and breach of contract
      • Breach of contract action involving a dispute over the proper functioning of computer software
      • Dispute involving the breakup of a failed partnership involving a large commercial property development
      • Foreclosure on a construction loan and effect of general contractor’s completion guarantee
      • Termination of a law firm shareholder and valuation of partnership share
      • Contract dispute involving natural gas exploration
  • Civil Rights
      • Dispute regarding the amount of legal fees due after plaintiffs prevailed in a California Voting Rights Act class action case
      • Suit against a local police department for false arrest and defamation.
      • Case against a police department for excessive force in the use of a Tazer
      • Case involving the death of a hostage from police gunfire
  • Discovery Referee
      • Acted as a Discovery Referee in numerous complex cases involving assertion of privilege, use of privilege logs, electronically stored information and massive document requests
  • Employment Law
      • Numerous disputes involving allegations of sexual discrimination, hostile work environment, and constructive wrongful termination
      • Wage and hour cases
      • Wrongful termination case involving allegations of incompetence and insubordination
      • Sexual harassment and discrimination case involving an employment agency
      • Whistle blower claim involving alleged retaliation and wrongful discharge
      • Employee termination matter involving sexual harassment and hostile work environment issues
      • Conducted evidentiary hearing for federal court on factual issues in civil rights suit stemming from an allegation of wrongful termination
      • Matters involving USERRA
  • Estate Probate Trusts
      • In re Estate of Kievernagel (2008) 166 Cal. App. 4th 1024. Wrote first appellate opinion involving a dispute between the parents a deceased man and his wife over the disposal of sperm stored in a fertility clinic 
      • Action for undue influence in a family estate dispute involving the “disinheritance” of a deceased’s new friend
  • Health Care
      • Numerous hospital reimbursement cases involving alleged underpayments by insurance companies and over billing by hospitals
      • Declaratory relief dispute between major health care providers regarding contract interpretation
      • Dispute between a hospital and supplier of nuclear medicine equipment and technical assistance
      • Qui tam whistle blower case involving drug prices charged to government health care programs 
      • Disputes concerning out of contract reimbursement rates between health care providers and physician independent practice groups 
      • Disputes among members of a physician partnership
  • Personal Injury
      • Action arising from a work site injury involving issues of contractual indemnification and insurance coverage between multiple insurance companies
      • Matter in which plaintiff suffered severe allergic reaction to facial makeup, heard while case was on appeal
      • Environmental cleanup case with contractual indemnification and real property leasing issues
      • Action involving civil rights and personal injury liability arising out of an alleged trespass on a defense contractor facility
      • Allegations of elder abuse and wrongful death in a nursing home
      • Case involving multiple deaths caused by a fire in senior citizens’ residence facility
      • Uninsured motorist claim involving injuries and loss of self-employment income
  • Professional Malpractice
      • Legal malpractice case regarding alleged conflicts of interest and multiple representations
      • Legal malpractice dispute stemming from representation in the underlying vehicle accident matter
      • Medical malpractice action involving causation questions related to eye surgery
      • Medical malpractice case involving injuries suffered after a hip replacement
  • Real Property
      • Case involving damage to real property,  inverse condemnation, negligence, and insurance issues
      • Breach of contract case brought by a land owner and developer against a church
      • Matter involving environmental cleanup liability, contractual indemnification, and real property leasing issues
      • Dispute over the proper allocation of property tax revenues between county office of education and a school district
      • Action to rescind a land sale based on a mutual violation of the Subdivision Map Act
      • Action alleging unfair enforcement of CC&Rs by homeowners association
      • Served as a judge pro tem in a dispute over the ownership and inheritance of agricultural land

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS.

  • Ninth Circuit Trustee, Board of Trustees of the American Inns of Court, 2009-2013
  • Member, Third District Court of Appeal Committee to Establish Appellate Mediation and Settlement Program
  • Presiding Special Master, Commission on Judicial Performance Hearing, 2007
  • Member, Supreme Court Advisory Committee for Publication of Court of Appeal Opinions, 2005-2006
  • “Medical Malpractice Litigation: Policy, Procedures and Perspective,” John M. Mott Memorial Lecture, University of California, Davis Medical School, 2001
  • Speaker, programs on civil litigation and medical malpractice, University of California, Davis Medical School, 2001-present
  • Justice Pro Tem, California Supreme Court, 2002
  • Judge of the Year, Sacramento County Bar Association, 1997
  • Member, Governing Board, California Center for Judicial Education and Research, 1995-2000
  • Founding Member and Executive Committee Member, Anthony M. Kennedy Inn of Court, 1990 to present; (President, 1993-1997)
  • Member, Sacramento County Bar Association, 1978 – 1985; Bar Council, 1983-1985; Secretary-Treasurer, 1983; Vice-President, 1985
  • "From Military to Mediation," ADR Profile, Daily Journal, August 24, 2012

Background and Education

  • Justice, California Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District, 1994-2009
  • Judge, Sacramento Superior Court, 1989-1994
  • Municipal Court Judge, Sacramento, 1985-1989
  • Assistant U.S. Attorney, Sacramento, CA, 1982-1985
  • Professor, McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific, Sacramento, CA, 1975–1982; Adjunct Professor, 1982-1989
  • Second Lieutenant to Brigadier General and National Guard Special Assistant to the Judge Advocate General of the Army, California National Guard, 1975-1993
  • U.S. Army Judge Advocate General Corp., U.S. Army, 1971-1975
  • J.D., magna cum laude, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA, 1971
  • U.S. Army (tours in Korea and Vietnam), 1963-1975
  • B.S. (Psychology), Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, 1963


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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