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


Throughout his career, first as an Orange County Superior Court judge and later a full-time neutral, Judge Sundvold has been highly regarded among counsel for his ability to settle cases. While on the court’s complex civil panel, he rarely tried cases because so many would be resolved in his near-daily settlement conferences.

Judge Sundvold brings that ability to JAMS when resolving personal injury cases, as well as a reputation for being fair-minded and respectful to all sides of a case. He enjoys the challenge of settling disputes, often going above and beyond parties’ expectations to ensure that their matters are resolved as timely and efficiently as possible.

Representative Matters

  • Bus-versus-bicycle death of 50-year-old male alleged to be out of marked crosswalk at time of accident
  • Case involving brain injury from alleged excessive force by police officer resulting in dispute over nature and extent of residual impairment
  • Dispute involving car-versus-train where design of railroad crossing was allegedly cause of accident resulting in severe facial injuries to 25-year-old female
  • Dispute involving minor plaintiff who lost leg after public transportation agency bus struck plaintiff
  • Mediated dispute involving personal injuries allegedly caused by exposure to toxic materials
  • Mediation between individual and city following university bus-versus-bicycle collision that led to plaintiff’s brain damage
  • Mediator on case involving assault and battery claims between two neighbors with serious injuries
  • Medical malpractice dispute involving minor’s burns allegedly caused by acid spilled during procedure. Matter included Dillon v. Legg claim from mother, who witnessed the procedure.
  • Multi-million-dollar claim against bicycle manufacturer for defects resulting in quadriplegic injury to 30-year-old
  • Multi-million-dollar bicycle accident claims alleging road design complications that resulted in 63-year-old man being rendered quadriplegic
  • Personal injury and premises liability case involving several elderly plaintiffs in retirement apartments alleging exposure to mold
  • Personal injury death case involving crane rollover on construction site
  • Premises liability matter involving individual’s trip-and-fall claims against city
  • Settled multiple disputes arising out of major train crash in Southern California
  • Uninsured motorist arbitration involving three-vehicle hit-and-run collision
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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