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Hon. John Leo Wagner, Ret.
Retired Federal Magistrate Judge
|Judge Wagner has 29 years’ experience in conducting ADR processes. In 1997, he left the Federal bench to become the Director of the Irell & Manella ADR Center, where he engaged in a full-time practice as a neutral. He previously served for 12 years as a U. S. Magistrate Judge in the Northern District of Oklahoma. He was appointed to this position at age 31, after trying many substantial cases to verdict as litigation partner with Kornfeld & Franklin. While on the Federal bench, he founded and administered a court-annexed mediation program and served as an ADR neutral, in addition to maintaining a full civil caseload. Judge Wagner has successfully conducted thousands of mediations and arbitrations. He is respected and requested for his extensive experience and skill in resolving multi-party, and extremely complex issues in cases involving intellectual property, construction defect, environmental and mass torts, as well as securities and consumer class actions. He has also earned a reputation for handling matters with a high emotional content including employment, civil rights, partnership dissolution plus all types of business, insurance and personal injury disputes. One client commented “Judge Wagner offers a unique combination of federal bench and private practice experience. With this experience and his calm and even handed disposition he earned everyone’s credibility.” Both plaintiff and defense concur Judge Wagner is knowledgeable, intelligent, creative, perceptive and works relentlessly to resolve disputes.
LEGAL CAREER & PRIOR EXPERIENCE
- ADR Neutral, Judicate West Alternative Dispute Resolution (2005-Present)
- ADR Neutral, Irell & Manella ADR Center, Irell & Manella LLP, Los Angeles (1998-05)
- U. S. Magistrate Judge, Northern District of Oklahoma, Tulsa (1985-97)
- Trial Lawyer and Litigation Partner, Kornfeld & Franklin, Oklahoma City (1980-85)
EDUCATION & PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS
- J.D., University of Oklahoma College of Law (1979)
- B.A., University of Oklahoma (1976)
- President, International Academy of Mediators
- Fellow, American College of Civil Trial Mediators
- CPR Institution for Dispute Resolution Mediation Advisory Committee
- CPR/Georgetown Commission on Ethics and Standards in ADR
- CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution Panel of Distinguished Neutrals
- Southern California Mediation Association
- ABA, Orange County Bar Association and Oklahoma Bar ADR Sections
- Former Adjunct Professor of Law, University of Tulsa College of Law
- Past President, Council Oak American Inn of Court, U. of Oklahoma College of Law Assoc.
- Former Director, Federal Magistrate Judges Association
- Judge Paul R. Michel Intellectual Property American Inn of Court (Founding Master)
ADR EXPERIENCE & SPECIALTIES
- Intellectual Property
- Class Action (including Wage & Hour)
- Qui Tam
- Complex Business/Commercial
- Insurance matters
- Professional Malpractice
- Toxic Torts
- High Stakes Personal Injury
- All types of Federal Court Cases
ACHIEVEMENTS & AWARDS
- Best Lawyers' 2016 Los Angeles "Lawyer of the Year."
- Daily Journal's Top Masters List, 2014
- Best Lawyers' 2014 Orange County Arbitration "Lawyer of the Year."
- Judge Wagner was named by Los Angeles Magazine as one of California's "Super Lawyers", 2007-2014, in the field of Alternative Dispute Resolution.
- Judge Wagner was also named as a "Best Lawyer" 2007-2014, in the field of Alternative Dispute Resolution.
- Judge Wagner has been acknowledged for his many achievements including, Los Angeles Superior Court Certificate of Appreciation for service as an attorney settlement officer (2004) and the Jack R. Givens Leadership Award by the Council Oak American Inn of Court (1997).
- Additionally, Judge Wagner was selected by the Los Angeles Daily Journal as a Top Neutral in California in 2008, 2009, 2010 & 2011. He was also selected to be included in the 2007 and 2008 edition of The Best Lawyers in America in the specialty of Alternative Dispute Resolution and selected as a Southern California Super Lawyer in the field of Alternative Dispute Resolution.
- Judge wagner was also honored with the Certificate of Appreciation for training mediators in State Court and City ADR program (1990) by the City of Tulsa as well as “Outstanding Federal Magistrate” by the Oklahoma Trial Lawyers Association (1987).
- Judge Wagner has participated on numerous panels and MCLE’s on ADR topics and various areas of law.
HOBBIES & INTERESTS
In his spare time, Judge Wagner enjoys backpacking, skiing, chess, and travel.