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Stephen Sundvold

Hon. Stephen J. Sundvold (Ret.)

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Case Manager
Lisa Winch
T: 714-937-8219
F: 714-939-8710
500 N. State College Blvd. , 14th Floor , Orange , CA 92868

Prior to joining JAMS, Judge Sundvold spent twenty years on the Orange County Superior Court, including serving on the Court’s High Impact Trial (HIT) team and the Complex Civil Panel. He has resolved a large number of commercial and real estate property disputes involving eminent domain, inverse condemnation, homeowner associations, and valuation disputes.

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 resolved real property matters including the following representative cases.

  • Real property and eminent domain case involving the taking of a gas station for street widening and public improvements
  • Real property and eminent domain case involving the taking of a strip mall by Cal Trans for highway improvements
  • Real property and inverse condemnation case involving the effect of alterations of adjoining state highway on adjacent businesses
  • Lot line dispute involving home improvements made more than twenty years prior
  • Case alleging improper notice of foreclosure
  • Negotiated resolution of 50-year ground lease for mobile home park
  • Fraud and misappropriations claim of joint ventures for purchase of land adjacent to Indian casino
  • Dispute between family members over ownership and control of large beach front mobile home park
  • Dispute over leasehold interest in land adjacent to flood control channel with repeating flooding of property
  • 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
  • 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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