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 brings 30 years of experience from his distinguished judicial career and private law practice. He devoted twenty years on the Orange County Superior Court, including serving on the Court’s High Impact Trial (HIT) team and the Complex Civil Panel. Here he oversaw many employment matters including discrimination, sexual harassment, wage-and-hour, and wrongful termination cases.

Judge Sundvold 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 including many involving emotionally charged issues.

Representative Matters
Judge Sundvold has successfully resolved numerous employment claims including the following representative matters.

  • Multi-million dollar wrongful termination case involving breach of employment contract of a private school principal
  • Wrongful termination case involving a 60-year-old sales manager with twenty years of service at the company
  • Numerous wage-and-hour class action cases for major restaurant chains involving exempt, non-exempt managers, hourly employees, overtime, and meal and rest breaks
  • Sexual harassment case involving a 32-year-old female with claims of harassment via emails and misconduct at company functions 
  • Claims after an appeal from state labor board for wage-and-hour dispute
  • Case involving breach of contract, failure to pay wages, and wrongful termination issues by manufacturing plant foreman who moved cross country and accepted a job offer from defendant
  • Wrongful termination/defamation case involving an executive officer of chamber of commerce after allegations of mismanagement and failure to perform terms of employment contract
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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