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

Stephen J. Sundvold is available to conduct cases virtually. JAMS is equipped to provide virtual ADR services on a variety of online platforms, including Zoom, Microsoft Teams, WebEx, and more.


Judge Sundvold has served on a wide variety of case assignments during his distinguished 20-year tenure on the Orange County Superior Court, including the Court’s High Impact Trial (HIT) team and over eight years on the Complex Civil Panel. Here he handled hundreds of construction defect matters involving contractors, subcontractors, developers, and purchasers.

While on the Superior Court, Judge Sundvold served as a mediator or participated in settlement conferences almost daily. Numerous trial days were saved and trips to the appellate courts avoided as a result of these efforts. He has earned a reputation for being a fair, hard working, tireless judge, skilled at managing a heavy caseload of complex matters and settling the difficult claims.

Representative Matters

Judge Sundvold has successfully settled many construction defect cases including the following representative matters.

  • Multi-million dollar 414-home construction defect case with three prior mediators and numerous conferences
  • Multi-million dollar construction defect claim of 30+ story two tower luxury condo project with numerous prior mediators
  • Multi-million dollar construction defect case involving 10 miles of public street improvements with cross claims for delay and unpaid work
  • $2.9 million construction defect case involving a single-family home with structural damage and construction defects
  • $1.5 million construction defect case involving a single-family home with failure of retaining wall systems
  • $2.5 million construction defect case involving four homes with soil slope failure and repairs
  • Dozens of multi-home (10-500) plaintiffs vs. developer and subcontractor generic construction defect, soils, water intrusion, and structural cases
  • Several multi-million dollar claims involving environmental upgrades of HVAC, mechanical, and lighting in several school districts offices and classrooms
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




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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