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Hon. Timothy R. Volkmann

Hon. Timothy R. Volkmann (Ret.)

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General Biography
Practice Areas
Personal Injury
Estate Probate Trusts
Construction Defect
Employment Law
Real Property
Business Commercial
Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities
Background and Education

Hon. Timothy R. Volkmann brings over 43 years of legal experience to his JAMS practice, including 16 years as a judge on Santa Cruz County Superior Court. During his time on the bench, Judge Volkmann presided over 150 jury trials concerning, but not limited to, contract disputes, personal injury, intentional torts, property matters, professional negligence, insurance coverage and employment.

Judge Volkmann served as the presiding judge of the Santa Cruz County Superior Court from 2020 to 2023. During this time, he also served as the supervising judge in the Civil Court, presiding over all jury trials in the civil department for Santa Cruz County. He participated in Santa Cruz County’s Judicial Mediation Program, which allowed parties to mediate their matters with a sitting judge. Throughout his career, he has served as a mediator in approximately 2,000 cases, involving all types of civil litigation and probate disputes. Based upon his professional reputation, integrity and trial experience, Judge Volkmann was elected to the American Board of Trial Advocates in 2006 as an advocate.

During his 27 years in private practice, solely focused on civil litigation, Judge Volkmann tried 75 jury trials to verdict. These matters involved intellectual property, professional negligence, employment discrimination, sexual discrimination, wrongful termination, construction defect, premises liability, insurance coverage and negligence. During his career as an attorney, he represented plaintiffs, defendants and insurers.

Judge Volkmann brings extensive trial experience, both as an attorney and as a judge, to each mediation he handles. He engages with all counsel and parties with patience and respect.

Representative Matters

  • Personal Injury
      • As an attorney, tried dozens of cases to verdict involving every type of personal injury claim, concerning claims of catastrophic injury, paralysis, brain injury, psychological injury, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), orthopedic injury and neurologic injury
      • As an attorney, tried dozens of cases to verdict involving every type of tort, including wrongful death, sexual discrimination, sexual assault, intentional torts, claims for punitive damages, premises liability, government tort liability, police misconduct, battery by security companies and negligence
      • As judge, presided over several jury trials concerning personal injury matters involving wrongful death, catastrophic injury claims, PTSD, brain injuries, paralysis and neurologic/orthopedic claims
      • Successfully mediated hundreds of personal injury cases to settlement
      • Mediated UM/UIM matters involving all types of injury and property damage issues
  • Estate Probate Trusts
      • Served as a trial judge in over 50 probate matters involving evidentiary hearings concerning will and trust interpretation, undue influence, conservatorships and guardianship
      • Successfully mediated dozens of trusts and estates matters to settlement
      • Successfully mediated matters regarding accounting disputes, valuation claims, trustee malfeasance and allegations of elder abuse
  • Construction Defect
      • As an attorney, handled claims of construction defect involving school districts and private homeowners’ associations
      • As an attorney, represented developers, general contractors, architects, engineers and all manner of subcontractors in construction defect claims
      • Served as a special master in several construction defect cases involving all manner of construction defect claims, including architectural, subsidence, framing, plumbing, roofing, water intrusion, foundation and mold infiltration
      • Served as a discovery referee on matters involving fire claims, earthquake claims and catastrophic loss
  • Employment Law
      • As an attorney, tried several cases to verdict involving wrongful termination; employment discrimination; sexual, gender and pregnancy discrimination; and hostile work environment
      • As an attorney, represented both individual plaintiffs and defendants (corporations, CEOs and managers) in employment matters
      • As an attorney, represented businesses on ADA claims
      • As an attorney, handled trade secret case involving the creation of code
      • As an attorney, tried an intellectual property case concerning neuro-linguistic programming
      • Presided over whistleblower statute trial
      • Served as a trial judge in matters of wrongful termination, wage and hour claims, and Labor Code violations
      • Mediated and presided over FEHA cases concerning FedEx delivery drivers, farm workers and school employees, as well as all types of Labor Code violations
      • Successfully mediated several cases regarding all varieties of employment claims including, all manner of alleged discrimination, including race/cultural discrimination
      • Successfully mediated retaliation claims, constructive termination allegations, Equal Pay Act matters and harassment claims
  • Insurance
      • As an attorney, represented parties in insurance coverage claims and represented several insurance companies concerning coverage issues.
      • Mediated numerous matters involving insurance coverage disputes
  • Government/Public Entities/School
      • As an attorney, represented and tried cases for several school districts in personnel matters, personal injury claims, employment disputes and breach of contract cases
      • As an attorney, represented and tried cases involving law enforcement entities and police departments regarding police misconduct, excessive force and intentional tort
      • Served as a trial judge in several cases regarding claims against governmental agencies as to negligence and code interpretation
      • Served as a trial judge in writs of mandate, including alleged improper employment discipline, standards of care violations by law enforcement and CEQA claims
  • Real Property
      • As an attorney, represented plaintiffs and defendants in real property disputes of every type, including premises liability, negligence, landlord-tenant, easements and real estate
      • Served as a trial judge and a mediator on hundreds of real property disputes, including those involving CCRs, easement disputes of all types, wrongful foreclosure, unlawful detainer and inverse condemnation
  • Business Commercial
      • As an attorney, tried to verdict several business disputes concerning intellectual property, failure to perform and employer-employee matters
      • As an attorney, tried to verdict several breach of contract disputes involving small businesses, school districts, real estate brokers and property owners
      • Served as trial judge in a commercial lease dispute resulting from the impact of COVID-19
      • Presided over trials regarding business disputes and has successfully mediated dozens of such claims over his judicial career

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Member, Santa Cruz County Trial Lawyers Association, 2000–2008
  • Santa Cruz County Bar Association
    • Member, 1991–2008
    • President, 1992
  • Advocate, American Board of Trial Advocates, 2006

Selected Awards and Honors

  • Distinguished Lifetime Service Award, Santa Cruz County Trial Lawyers Association, 2016
  • California Super Lawyer, 2005–2008

Background and Education

  • Santa Cruz County Superior Court, 2008–2024
    • Presiding Judge, 2020–2023
    • Assistant Presiding Judge, 2018–2024
    • Executive Committee, 2018–2024
    • Civil Litigation Supervisor, 2020–2024
    • Appellate Panel, 2013–2021
      • Presiding Judge, 2015–2021
  • Partner; Burton, Volkmann & Schmal LLP; 1997–2008
  • Gassett, Perry & Frank, 1981–1997
    • Partner. 1986–1997
  • J.D., Santa Clara University School of Law, 1980
  • B.S., United of Wisconsin, Madison, 1976
  • United States Air Force Academy, 1972–1974


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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