Stephen Sundvold

Hon. Stephen J. Sundvold (Ret.)

JAMS Mediator, Arbitrator, Referee/Special Master, Neutral Evaluator

Case Manager
Lisa Winch
T: 714-937-8219
F: 714-939-8710
5 Park Plaza, Suite 400, Irvine, CA 92614


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
  • Unlawful Detainer Action where Defendant, a medical marijuana dispensary, was operating without permits and Plaintiff alleged that the terms of the written lease require Defendant to vacate the premises
Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS. 

  • 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-current
  • 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
ADR Profiles
  • 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

Counsel Comments

    • “[We] could not have settled this matter without the assistance of Judge Sundvold, and his expertise and professionalism were greatly appreciated. We look forward to working with him again in the future.” 
    • “Judge Sundvold is consistently one of the best mediators I have used in my career.” 
    • “He’s a quick study, very courteous to the parties and has a refreshing sense of humor.” 
    • “He’s excellent in getting down to the essential issues and getting the case settled.”
    • “I was genuinely impressed with [Judge Sundvold’s] ingenuity and resourcefulness in choosing methods to keep the negotiations active and the parties engaged.” 

      - Comments from counsel




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