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Steven M. Vartabedian

Steven M. Vartabedian

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Steve has been with Dowling Aaron’s ADR and Appellate Practice Groups since June 2010, following 29 years of judicial experience. Starting in 1981, he served at every level of California judicial system, adjudicating matters across the entire spectrum of types of actions. While the 180 published appellate opinions he authored demonstrate the breadth of matters he has handled, he has a particular depth of experience in cases alleging serious personal injury and product defect, including those involving claims of punitive damages. He also has a strong background in real estate and construction litigation, employment law, medical services contracts, probate matters, and agricultural disputes. As both a trial and appellate judge, he has assisted many parties in settling their disputes prior to adjudication.

Since 2010 as a dispute resolution neutral, Steve has regularly served as a mediator, arbitrator and referee. He has been particularly effective in mediating and resolving a high volume of challenging cases that have allowed the parties to avoid the costs and uncertainties of public trial.  For a complete resume and fee schedule, please click here.

Judicial Service

  • Associate Justice, California Court of Appeal, Fifth District, 1989-2010
  • Associate Justice by assignment, California Supreme Court, March 2005.
  • Judge, Fresno Superior Court, 1987-1989 (Presiding Judge, Criminal Division, 1988-1989)
  • Judge, Fresno Municipal Court, 1983-1987 (Presiding Judge, 1985-1987).
  • Judge, Sanger Justice Court, 1981-1983.

Representative Publications

  • Yarick v. Pacificare, (2009) 179 Cal.App.4th 1158. (Contractual structure of Medicare Advantage Program)
  • Baker Manock & Jensen v. Superior Court (2009) 175 Cal.App.4th 1414. (Probate attorney disqualification overruled)
  • UAS Management v. Mater Misericordiae Hospital (2008) 169 Cal.App.4th 357. (Anti trust: tying arrangement)
  • Johnson v. Ford Motor Co. (2005) 135 Cal.App.4th 137. (Lemon law case : punitive damages limited)
  • Horsford v. CSU Trustees (2005) 132 Cal.App.4th 359. (Employment discrimination, damages & attorney fees)