Hon. Stephen J. Sundvold (Ret.)

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

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

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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