Former JAMS neutral and retired Orange County Superior Court Judge Jack K. Mandel passed away on December 24, 2020.
After a decade as a successful trial lawyer, Judge Mandel was appointed to the Superior Court in 1981. He served as supervising judge of the civil law and bodily injury panels and as county settlement judge for family law during 19 years on the bench. He joined JAMS after his retirement in 2000, successfully mediating and arbitrating cases ranging from business and employment matters to family law.
Judge Mandel’s colleagues, friends and family would say he was best known for helping untold numbers of young people graduate from high school and attend college. Widely admired for mentoring students who became known as “The Judge’s Kids,” Judge Mandel began a stay-in-school program in Santa Ana, CA and paid for the high school library to remain open when it was threatened by budget cuts. He and his wife, Judy, cofounded the Nicholas Academic Centers with philanthropist Dr. Henry T. Nicholas, III, to continue his legacy of ensuring that every child realizes their potential.
Judge Mandel is survived by his wife, Judy, three sons and eight grandchildren. While the memory of his contributions to the law and charitable pursuits will live on, he will be greatly missed by everyone at JAMS.