Hon. Stuart T. Waldrip, Ret.

  • Available in Orange County, Los Angeles, All of California

ADR Biography

Judge Waldrip began his legal career in the Trial Department of Rutan & Tucker, Orange Country's largest local-based firm. He left as a senior partner to become General Counsel for a health care company. Shortly thereafter, he opened his own small firm, the Law Offices of Stuart T. Waldrip, APC. There, he was a successful business and professional liability litigator for 16 years before being appointed to the Orange County Superior Court in 1996.

Before being appointed to the Court, Judge Waldrip served regularly for many years as a judge pro tempore, presiding over hundreds of settlement conferences and other judicial proceedings. During his career, he received many honors and awards, including being President of the Orange County Bar Association and receiving the Franklin G. West Award, its highest honor. In 1991 he was inducted as a Fellow of the prestigious American College of Trial Lawyers.

With over 45 years of experience as a successful litigator and jurist, Judge Waldrip has a reputation as an even-tempered, fair-minded, very capable jurist with a talent for bringing opposing sides together. His final assignment before retiring from the Court was as a member of the elite Complex Civil Litigation Panel, which he helped organize. He presided over complex construction, insurance, class action, condemnation, business, intellectual property and other large and difficult civil cases. Most of these cases were resolved by settlement with Judge Waldrip's help. Now, as one of the senior neutrals at Judicate West, he has a passion for helping others resolve their disputes with the patience, firmness, experience and understanding that make him the ideal neutral.

As one prominent litigator, now a judge, observed: "As a lawyer and a judge, Stu Waldrip was second to none in the respect he earned from his colleagues. . . . impeccable integrity, a keen intellect, a commanding presence, and a way with people that produces results." Another litigator and managing partner of a major law firm commented, after a successful mediation: "He couldn't have done a better job in a tough case, and I couldn't recommend him more highly."



I am impressed with Judge Waldrip's tenacity to put together a settlement for a difficult and complex case. I appreciate the effort he expended and look forward to working with him again.
- Attorney, Orange County, California

Judge Waldrip was polite, methodical, formal and followed the traditional methods of mediation. His stature helped successfully resolved the case.
- Attorney, Orange County, California

I would like to express my appreciation for Judge Waldrip's skill and professionalism as a mediator. He did an outstanding job at settling a complex and hotly litigated case headed for trial. I look forward to working with him again in the future.
- Attorney, Orange County, California

Judge Waldrip was committed and even available after the mediation had concluded, to assisting the parties with finalizing the settlement.
- Attorney, Newport Beach, California

Legal Career

  • Judge, Orange County Superior Court, General and Complex Civil (1996-2002)
  • Attorney, Law Offices of Stuart T. Waldrip, APC Business Litigation and Professional Liability, Orange County (1980-1996)
  • Attorney, Rutan & Tucker, Trial Department, Orange County (1967-1979)

Education & Professional Affiliations

  • J.D., University of Utah College of Law (1967)
  • B.A., Stanford University, Economics (1961) Minor Engineering
  • Adjunct Professor of Civil Trial Practice, BYU Law School (2006-2008)
  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers (1991-Present)
  • Member, Association of Business Trial Lawyers (1985-Present)
  • President, Orange County Bar Assoc. (1987); Treasurer (1985)
  • Executive Committee & Board of Directors, Orange Co. Bar Assoc. (1997-79; 1982-88)
  • Mission President, Guatemala Quetzaltenango Mission (2002-2005) and former Stake President and Bishop, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Achievements & Awards

  • Inaugural recipient, Lifetime Achievement Award, Constitutional Rights Foundation of Orange County (2002)
  • Franklin G. West Award, Orange County Bar Association (1996)
  • Outstanding Attorney Volunteer Award, Constitutional Rights Foundation of Orange Co. (1996)
  • Outstanding Lawyer Award, J. Reuben Clark Law Society of Orange County (1994)
  • Bill of Rights in Action Award, Constitutional Rights Foundation of Orange County (1993)
  • Community Service Award, Orange County Bar Foundation (1991)
  • Assistant Editor, Utah Law Review (1966-67)

Hobbies & Interests

Golf, Skiing, Fly Fishing, Scuba Diving
Speaks fluent Spanish and German

Legal Experience

  • Business/Contractual
  • Construction/Defect
  • Class Actions
  • Employment
  • Insurance
  • Intellectual Property
  • Personal Injury
  • Professional Liability
  • Product Liability
  • Real Estate
  • Referee - Discovery

Representative Case Information

Recent Representative Cases



  • Mediation of 7-figure dispute between public entity and large university hospital over contract issues and terms
  • Mediation in 7 sessions over 2 years of 8-firgure dispute between large software company and principals of acquired company over contract and technical issues

Complex Commercial

  • Mediation of 7-figure default on medical equipment loan-large bank vs. guarantors
  • Mediation of 8-figure default on loan for resort hotel with borrower and guarantor issues
  • Mediation of 7-figure dispute over development rights and obligations of large desert development project
  • Mediation of 12-party real estate concealment/failure to disclose dispute
  • Discovery Referee - Multi-million dollar dispute between manufacturers of highly technical equipment involving ESI of great magnitude

Consumer Class Action

  • Mediation of large nationwide class action against major food manufacturer regarding claims of false advertising
  • Mediation of multi-million dollar Open ARM Loan class action against home loan lender


Construction Defects

  • Multi-home mediation of dispute with developer and multiple subs over construction defect issues


Wrongful Termination

  • Mediation of employment discrimination case against fast food chain partially in Spanish
  • Mediation of 8-figure executive wrongful termination case over multiple sessions



  • Multi-session mediation of dispute between carrier and large residential developer over coverage and related issues


  • Arbitration of 8-figure dispute between carriers over respective duties to contribute to settlement of underlying product liability case
  • Arbitration of underlying 8-figure CNC injury claim to determine parties' respective responsibilities for settlement contributions

Intellectual Property

General IP

  • Mediation of 7-figure cross claims for IP theft and unfair competition between parties in tech field

IP Trade Secrets

  • Discovery Referee - Multi-million dollar dispute between two international drug manufacturers over trade secrets and related issues
  • Discovery Referee - Credit card processor vs. departing employees over trade secret electronic media issues

Professional Malpractice

Professional Malpractice Legal

  • Mediation of 7-figure malpractice claim by sports manufacturer against large law firm
  • Arbitration of 6-figure malpractice / attorney fees case between client and major law firm

Real Estate

Breach Of Contract

  • Mediation of dispute over lease rights and obligations between major grocery chain and shopping center

Real Property

  • Arbitration of series of 7 disputes between two developers of a mixed-use development in downtown area of large city


PI Auto

  • Mediation of serious motorcycle vs. auto personal injury case

Premises Liability

  • Mediation of 7-figure toxic mold case against large HVAC supplier and installer

Product Liability

  • Mediation of complex product defect case involving supply chain manufacturers
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