Judge Lambden builds a rapport with the clients using his wit and intellect. He builds trust and confidence that he will do his utmost best to resolve the matter in an equitable and expeditious manner for all parties. He spends ample time listening to the clients to hear their concerns and get to know them. All this to further instill confidence that he will be using his skills to maximize any possible settlement yet cautioning the clients that it’s a give and take exercise.

Justice Lambden is one of the most versatile mediators in Northern California. He’s intelligent, evaluative, and brings a strong “judicial” perspective to mediation that many mediators today lack. Justice Lambden has regularly settled extremely difficult cases and tenaciously approaches each one. He’s always presented well prepared and enthusiastic in his approach. I recommend him without reservation.

Justice Lambden is dedicated to helping parties resolve their differences. He listened carefully and got to know the parties. He had absorbed all the legal and factual material in the mediation statements before we began. When the mediation reached a seemingly insurmountable impasse, he proposed a solution that brought the matter to a prompt resolution. Most important, our clients felt their views and grievances were heard and understood and came away loving him.

Judge Lambden is an adept mediator and arbitrator. He is affable, and relates well with the principals as well as the attorneys. I have found Judge Lambden’s considerable experience at both the trial court and appellate court levels to be a valuable asset. I highly recommend Judge Lambden to my clients as he focuses on understanding the case, on fundamental fairness, and on doing his best to get it right. If you are looking for a mediator who mindlessly beats up each party or for an arbitrator who always splits the baby, then you should look somewhere else.

I have had the pleasure of using Judge Lambden as mediator on two probate matters over the last year. He was professional, knowledgeable, and was able to assist us in resolving matters that I was concerned would not be settled. He was successful in making my clients feel that he heard and valued their feelings and opinions while remaining neutral. Judge Lambden also succeeded in reaffirming that the clients understood both the pros and cons of settlement and of going to trial or proceeding with litigation. He was helpful in working with the parties to craft practical solutions that were workable and addressed all the issues.

I have worked with Justice Lambden in 3 different appeals as a mock justice/consultant who advised and commented on appellate strategy, draft appellate briefs and mock oral arguments and he served as a mediator who helped the parties settle another matter after a verdict and before the case would have gone on to an appeal. He was extremely helpful in both roles. The combination of his consistently sound analysis and his effective communication style (clear but low key) works well in the high temperature environment of big money appeals and contentious mediations.

I have made use of Justice Lambden’s mediation services in the past. Justice Lambden displays the qualities my clients and I value in a mediator, namely attentiveness to the party’s story, assurance of neutrality, patience throughout the process, professionalism with a touch of levity, and a minimal but judicious use of his experience without breaking from his neutral role. He provides confidence in the process even if Parties are sometimes too far apart for the process to lead to a holistic resolution. I would willingly recommend to others, and personally make use of Justice Lambden’s mediation services for future matters.

Justice Lambden is at the top of our list as the mediator most likely to settle our hardest cases. He is especially skillful in the resolution of cross-border cases that involve complex issues and the potential for cultural factors that other mediators are unable to successfully bridge. Justice Lambden’s ability to gain the respect and trust of both lawyers and clients is extraordinary.

Justice Lambden was able to creatively find a path to settle part of a highly contentious and complex case that will pave the way for global settlement of remaining claims. No other path was available and partial settlement was difficult but advantageous to both parties. Where there is a will (and the right mediator!) there is a way

In my nearly 40 years of employment law litigation practice representing both employees and employers, I have represented clients in probably a couple of hundred mediations. Justice Lambden is at the very top of our list of recommended mediators for all of our cases. In the numerous mediations we have had with Justice Lambden he has helped us settle every case. Justice Lambden’s remarkable record of success is attributed to his wealth of experience, wisdom, insight and diligence which is instrumental in settling difficult employment cases.


Hon. James Lambden

California Court of Appeal, (Ret.)

First District, Division Two

​​Mediator • Arbitrator • Discovery Referee • Appellate Consultant

Justice James Lambden brings to his ADR practice nearly four decades of experience as a trial lawyer, trial court judge and Associate Justice of the California Court of Appeal.