Hon. Stephen J. Sundvold (Ret.)

T: 714-939-1300
F: 714-939-8710

Judge Sundvold is experienced in business/commercial matters encompassing a broad range of legal issues including accounting fraud, breach of contract, construction defect, and dissolution of partnerships. His background includes a distinguished 20-year tenure on the Orange County Superior Court, where he served on the Court’s High Impact Trial (HIT) team and over eight years on the Court’s Complex Civil Panel where he handled hundreds of complex matters.

Representative Matters
Judge Sundvold has successfully resolved many business/commercial disputes including the following representative matters.

  • Multi-million dollar case involving a dispute between a major health insurance provider and state hospital for emergency trauma care and reached a forward agreement to deal with future cost increases
  • Case involving a foreign import bank alleging improper bills of lading and accounting fraud
  • Case involving breach of contract for sale of restaurant claiming excessive damages
  • Multi-million dollar case involving a global dissolution of a professional partnership
  • Case involving the theft of corporate assets by senior employees
  • Dispute between four church organizations over ownership and control of church owned property after changes to the church’s affiliation 
  • Several Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) cases involving wheelchair access to commercial property
  • Cases involving commercial promissory notes for construction by operator of restaurant against competing owner
  • Commercial disputes over loans for construction and development of large international automobile import and transshipping facility

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • Recipient, Legend of an Era Award, West Coast Casualty Conference on Construction Defects, 2010
  • Member, California Judges Association, 1990-2010 (Executive Board, 2000-2003; Vice President, 2003)
  • Member, American Bar Association, 1973-1990
  • Member, Orange County Bar Association, 1985-2014
  • Member, American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), 2005-2014
  • Faculty, (Civil Procedure, Prop. 51), California Judicial College (CJER), Berkeley, 1992-1997
  • Speaker, conferences on complex legal and insurance coverage matters throughout the United States
  • "Still on Top of His Game," ADR Profile, Daily Journal, October 8, 2010

Background and Education

  • Judge, Superior Court, Orange County, 1998-2010
  • Judge, North Orange County Municipal Court, 1990-1998
  • Chief Attorney, Safeco Insurance Company, managing legal department, 1975-1990
  • Private law practice, Southern California, 1973-1975
  • Trial Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C., 1971-1973
  • J.D., magna cum laude, University of San Diego School of Law, 1971
  • B.A., Fullerton State College (now California State University), 1968


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