Judge Conway retired from the LA Superior Court's Norwalk Courthouse where he handled Law & Motion, Civil Trials, Probate, and Trust Litigation cases and successfully conducted hundreds of MSCs. In addition, he called and supervised the Probate Calendar for many years in the Southeast District of the LA Superior Court and tried a large number of contested Probate and Trust litigation cases involving almost every kind of issue found in such cases. He was the Supervising Judge for the Southeast District of the LA Superior Court on two different occasions, each time serving two to three-year terms. Judge Conway also served as a member of the Court's Executive, Personnel and Budget Committees.

Prior to his appointment to the bench, Judge Conway practiced law for 20 years, during which time he represented plaintiffs and insurance carriers in tort matters, litigated real property and business/contractual cases, and specialized in handling all types of probate and trust matters. Attorneys who have appeared before Judge Conway comment that he has an insightful approach, courteous demeanor, and wealth of experience. They agree that those qualities, combined with his excellent listening skills, will be instrumental in his successful transition to resolving cases in the private sector. Judge Conway works in the fields of mediation, arbitration and Court appointed Discovery Referee cases.

One attorney commented "I wouldn't have bet even $1 that the case would settle. Frankly, I thought he was a miracle worker." After working with Judge Conway in a mediation case where the liability and damages were in dispute, another attorney commented "He is a real straight shooter, he is concise and focused, yet has a warm and engaging personality. I felt comfortable right away sharing the weaknesses of my case, which ultimately led to a settlement."

Practice Areas
  • Business Contracts
  • Medical/Professional Malpractice
  • Personal Injury
  • Probate
  • Real Property Matters
Hobbies & Interests

In his free time, Judge Conway enjoys golf, traveling, working in his garden and going to USC football games.

Legal Career
  • Neutral, Judicate West (2007-Present)
  • Judge, Superior Court, State of California, County of Los Angeles (1987 -2007)
  • Judge, Long Beach Municipal Court (1986 - 1987)
  • Sat by assignment on the Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District (Division 4) (August through November,1993)
  • Supervising Judge, Southeast District of the Los Angeles Superior Court (1993-1995 and 2002-2003)
  • Former Member, Executive and Personnel and Budget Committee, Los Angeles Superior Court.
  • Partner, Vandenberg, Nott, Conway & Newell (formerly, Winston & Winston), areas of practice included general civil litigation, estate planning, probate and trust litigation, estate tax work and business contracts (1967-1986)
Education & Professional Affiliations
  • J.D. University of Southern California, Los Angeles (1966), member of Law Review
  • B.A., Political Science Occidental College, Los Angeles (1963)
  • Pepperdine University, School of Law - Straus Institute of Dispute Resolution, Mediation Training (2005)
  • California Judges Association, Member (Former Member, Ethics Committee)
  • Joseph Ball/Clarence Hunt Inns of Court, Member (Former Member, Executive Committee)
  • Long Beach Bar Association Scholarship Committee, Member
  • Taught probate and trust litigation practices at the California Judicial College to judges who were new to such an assignment.
Achievements & Awards
  • Judge Conway has been awarded “Judge of the Year” three times over the course of his career by organizations such as the Whittier Bar Association (2002) and the Southeast Bar Association (2003 & 1990).
  • He was also awarded “Outstanding Member” by the Long Beach Exchange Club and a Certificate of Appreciation from the Long Beach Heart Association.
Below is a sampling of the various matters Hon. Chris R. Conway, Ret. presided over on the bench, tried as an attorney, or handled as a neutral.


  • Mediated settlement of Religious Discrimination and wrongful termination case wherein the Plaintiff alleged that a public institution denied a certain position because of his religion, and also fired him from a different position for the same reason. The case settled for a six figure amount.
  • Mediated settlement of a case where the Plaintiff contended he was discriminated against concerning a work situation because of his race. The case settled for a significant amount.

Wrongful Termination

  • Case involved a suit by a school teacher against a school district for sexual harassment for failure to prevent students from saying 'bad things' and sexually inappropriate comments about the teacher on social media. Significant issues involved free speech rights of the students and conduct of the district.


  • Very complicated trust matter. Dispute among children of Trustor regarding successor trustee and dispositive provisions of trust. One of the original Trustors is still alive and is a primary beneficiary of the trust until her death. Trust then distributed to 3 children of Trustor. One of the children did not trust either of his two siblings. One of them was designated as successor trustee in trust. There were numerous issues regarding who got to live in which property, how much money each was to receive during Trustors life time, housing allowances each child was entitled to and many more issues. Case was settled at second session of mediation with lengthy settlement agreement.
  • This case involved a dispute between a proposed Conservatee's 3 adult children regarding the appointment of a Conservator and the handling of his financial and personal affairs. The case settled after extensive negotiations with 5 attorneys and one Pro Per.
  • This was a mediation regarding a pending case wherein a son of the decedent was challenging his sister, who was the Trustee of the parent's Trust. The son claimed his sister had mismanaged the Trust.


  • Mediated settlement of a dispute arising out of a trust agreement, and subsequent amendments thereto, concerning the competency of the Trustor, and issues of alleged breach of fiduciary duty and the disposition of personal property. The settlement involved the transfer of certain parcels of real property and cash to one of the parties, as well as very specific distributions of the decedent's personal property. The value of the estate was in excess of $1,000,000.
  • Mediated settlement of a dispute concerning the right, title and ownership of certain real property and the validity of a "Qualified Personal Residence Trust". The settlement set forth a procedure for the sale of the real property in question as well as distribution of the net proceeds resulting from the sale, and further provided for certain beneficiaries to be able to continue to live in the real property pending its' sale. The agreement also provided for the Trustee of the Trust to provide to the other beneficiaries an accounting.
  • Mediated the ultimate settlement of a very complicated and contentious estate with multiple beneficiaries and issues as to asset location, sale of estate assets, payment of debts and many more issues. The case ultimately settled after a second session.
  • Mediated dispute between heirs of the decedent including issues of who should inherit the decedent's estate as well as issues relating to whether one of the heirs had misappropriated trust assets. The case settled after many telephone calls over several months following the mediation.
  • Mediated the settlement of a large estate with issues of questioned validity of certain trust amendments stemming from changes to the trust agreement after the death of one of the Trustors.
  • Mediated the settlement of an estate with assets in both the United States and Canada. There were disputes over the ownership of many of the assets, including whether some of the assets belonged to a church of which the decedent was a member at the time of her death. A comprehensive settlement agreement was reached concerning the disposition of all of the decedent's assets, including those in Canada, and allocations for the payment of various taxes and fees, including those in Canada.
  • Multiple a multi-party case involving an annuity and life insurance policy as well as value of business following decedent's death. Decedent had not designated beneficiaries on either the annuity or life insurance policies. Issues as to surviving spouse's community property interest in a business the decedent owned at his death along with two other partners. Case settled at the mediation.
  • This was a complicated probate/trust matter involving distribution of remaining assets in a trust. All original trustees are deceased. Accounting had been filed by deceased trustee, with objections filed by Successor trustee. Large amount in dispute. Case was settled by written agreement of all heirs.
  • Dispute between two siblings on one side and one sibling on the other over distribution of fathers estate. Initially both sides did not move, however, after further negotiations and some comments from me, each side made significant moves and we were able to get the case settled. One sibling paid money back to the estate and in return got to keep certain other assets that she placed in her name.
  • This was a dispute between two sisters over the distribution of their mother's estate (trust). One of the sisters was the successor Trustee of their mother's trust and inappropriately spent trust assets, believing she had the right to do so. She spent trust funds belonging to her sister on assets only she received under the terms of the Trust. Unfortunately, the two sisters do not get along and have not for many years. Settled in mediation.

Medical Mal Dental

  • Dental malpractice case. Plaintiff sued his dentist for malpractice based on falling below the standard of care relative to dental implants. Many issues regarding LOE claim and problems with the implants leading to serious infection which caused additional surgeries. Plaintiff had issue with pre-existing medical conditions.

Medical Malpractice

  • Claims of Medical Malpractice against two different health care providers over issue of who was responsible for the alleged wrongful death of a patient concerning issues of alleged negligent care. The case settled with follow up after the session.
  • This was a medical malpractice case which was to be arbitrated and the parties agreed to mediate the case with me in advance. The case involved allegations that the Defendant Doctor was negligent in treating the Plaintiff's face with a laser and caused her future medical problems due to improper laser treatment.

Neighbor Dispute

  • Mediated settlement of a dispute between two homeowners with HOA involvement concerning issues relating to removal of landscaping that one homeowner contended was blocking the view from the property. The case was settled with an agreement between the two homeowners and the Association concerning the trees and planting in question.
  • Mediated a dispute between two adjacent property owners concerning plans for building, including issues surrounding precise location of property lines and city required set- backs, with a title company involved for one of the owners. The case settled with the title company paying one of the owners.

Real Property

  • Arbitrated many disputes between Buyers and Sellers concerning the sale and purchase of improved real property - single family and commercial.


  • This case involved allegations that each of the parties defamed the other by publishing comments in a "booklet," and via emails. The comments were very disparaging of the others, including accusing the others of dishonesty, murder, and infidelity. Neither side had any evidence of actual monetary loss or economic damages. The case settled by each side giving written apologies to the other side and sending copies of those apologies to everyone who had received the original comments. No money changed hands.

General Negligence

  • Case involved claims on behalf of a minor, who was a "special needs child" for failure to properly supervise the minor during "play time" resulting in the minor suffering injuries as a result of a fall. Case ultimately settled with follow up and a mediator's proposal.

Personal Injury

  • Mediated settlement of case wherein a construction worker was seriously injured when a roll of roofing paper fell from several stories. There were issues of comparative fault and a large Worker's Compensation lien which had to be resolved. The case settled after two mediation sessions for a significant six figure amount, with the worker's compensation carrier agreeing to substantially reduce their lien.
  • Mediated settlement of trip and fall accident against a City and adjacent homeowner when the Plaintiff tripped while jogging resulting in hip surgery. There were issues of comparative fault and notice. Both the adjacent homeowner and the City contributed to the settlement which was in six figures.

PI Auto

  • Mediated settlement on behalf of minor who was injured in an automobile accident and had two knee surgeries. Settlement was for a substantial six figure amount.
  • Mediated settlement of a case where a motorcyclist after falling to the pavement due to an initial accident was subsequently struck by a large eighteen wheel truck suffering major injuries. The defendant had two policies of liability insurance and a dispute arose between the carriers over who was responsible for paying for the Plaintiff's damages. The case settled when each carrier paid the full amount of their policies ($1,000,000 each for a total of $2,000,000).
  • Mediated settlement of auto accident case wherein there were major issues to the extent of the Plaintiff's injuries and her need for a second surgery, and a Worker's Compensation lien issue since the Plaintiff was within the course and scope of her employment when she was injured. The case ultimately settled for a mid six figure number.
  • The mediation was to determine how the proceeds from two insurance policies would be divided among 4 individuals who were injured in a 4 car automobile accident. The total sum available to divide was in the mid six-figure range. By the end of the mediation all parties had agreed upon a division of the insurance proceeds.
Judge Conway was so caring and really listened to my clients. In particular, this case was one that most mediators whould shy away from, but Judge Conway got it done. I hope to work with him in the future..
- Attorney, Los Angeles, California
Mr. Conway was kind, yet firm, and focused on the important issues.
- Attorney, Los Angeles, California
Very professional and knowledgeable; Very effective with a difficult plaintiff.
- Partner at a National Civil Litigation Firm
Mr. Conway effectively raised issues and worked with the parties to push resolution.
- Attorney, Irvine, California
This was a difficult family dispute and he handled the personalities well. I was impressed with his energy and commitment. Our case is complicated but he grasped the issues quickly.
- Attorney on a Probate Matters Case
Judge Conway was very prepared and that was helpful. Judge Conway also was able to break through barriers that were very difficult. That is what made the mediator successful.
- Attorney on a Medical Malpractice, Dental Case
[Judge Conway] is smart, engaged and effective.
- Attorney on an Estate Law Case
This mediation experience was terrific! Judge Conway has the legal expertise and the people skills to swiftly solve a dispute that has been lingering amongst family members for 6 months. The issue was resolved and settled without further conflict or litigation costs. Truly appreciate the professional and thoughtful session.
- Attorney on an Estate Law Probate Case
Hon. Chris R. Conway, Ret.
Based in Los Angeles | Available in All of California
Case Manager: Delmy Sanchez