Name


HON. CHRISTOPHER J. WARNER, RET.

  • Available in Inland Empire, Southern California
  • Available for Mediation, Arbitration, and Private Judging assignments

Introduction

Judge Warner's legal career spans more than 38 years. Following 19 years as a civil trial lawyer, he was appointed to the Bench in San Bernardino County by Gov. Pete Wilson. Warner served with distinction as a Superior Court Judge. He presided over several hundred jury trials involving all types of civil matters, including class actions, insurance bad faith cases (see Goodrich v Aetna), and all manner of tort, contract, employment and real estate cases. During his tenure on the bench, Judge Warner also held a number of supervisory positions with the Court, including Assistant Presiding Judge of the Appellate Department. In addition to his administrative responsibilities, Judge Warner conducted thousands of settlement conferences. He was highly regarded by both sides of the bar, and litigants, for his settlement and trial skills. The Judge was and is a frequent speaker at legal and educational functions, including "Bridging the Gap". While in law school Judge Warner was employed in the insurance claims field. He received national recognition in both property and casualty claims handling. He is known for his calm, personal demeanor and is considered by attorneys as one of the best judicial officers based upon his legal acumen, fairness and temperament. One attorney commented, "Judge Warner was the perfect choice for a difficult and complex mediation that was held shortly before trial. He mastered the facts, worked with difficult issues and found solutions where 99% of others might not. He is uniquely gifted, and his high integrity and energy made him perfect for the task."

In addition to his work with Judicate West, Judge Warner volunteers at the 4th district Court of Appeals as a mediator. He also volunteers his time at the Legal aid Society of San Bernardino, where he works with the indigent on the legal matters that confront them. Judge Warner has also served as a judge at an ABA sponsored law school mediation competition.

Specialties

Hobbies & Interests

The judge is an avid baseball fan, his favorite team being the Angels. He also plays golf, loves music, traveling, and road trips, and he is a "car guy".

Testimonials

Did an excellent job analyzing the jury appeal of plaintiff and her allegations.
- Attorney on a catastrophic assault & battery dispute

Judge Warner was knowledgeable, calm, and persistent.
- Attorney on a civil rights dispute

Judge Warner was a quick study and properly evaluated the case.
- Attorney on an insurance subrogation dispute

Judge Warner was the perfect choice for a difficult and complex mediation I had with the County shortly before a trial. He mastered the facts, worked with difficult issues and found solutions where 99% would not. He is uniquely gifted and his high integrity and energy made him perfect for the task.
- Prominent Attorney, Southern California

Understood the issues; sought out opposing counsel & party’s positions effectively.
- Attorney on an insurance subrogation dispute

Experience Summary

Legal Career

  • Superior Court Judge, San Bernardino County (1996-2010)
  • Adjunct Professor, California Southern Law School (Evidence) (1990-1991)
  • Principal, Managing Partner, Stanfield & Warner (1986-1996)
  • Attorney & Shareholder, MacLachlan, Burford & Arias (1977-1986)
  • Insurance Claim Representative, Supervisor, Manager, Maryland Casualty Co. (1969-1977)
  • Jig & Fixture Builder, Boeing Aircraft Company (737 & 747 startups) (1966-1969)

Education & Professional Affiliations

  • J.D., California Southern Law School (honors), Valedictorian (1977)
  • B.S.L., Citrus Belt Law School (1975)
  • A.A. Everett (WA) Community College (1968)
  • Member, ABOTA (1994-Present) Rank: Advocate
  • Member, Joseph B. Campbell Chapter, American Inns of Court (1990-2002, 2015-present)
  • Member, Association of Southern Defense Counsel (1977-1996), Board Member (1991-1993)
  • Member, San Bernardino County Bar Association (1977-1996; and presently)
  • Director, Legal Aid Society of San Bernardino (2013-Present)
  • Director, Volunteer Center of the Inland Empire (1988-2003)

Achievements & Awards

  • Insurance Institute of America, Property Claims Adjusting: Highest National Exam score (1972)
  • Insurance Institute of America, Casualty Claims Adjusting: Highest National Exam score (1973)
  • San Bernardino County Bar Association Kaufman-Campbell Award recipient (2005)
  • ABOTA, San Bernardino-Riverside Chapter President (2005)
  • ABOTA Trial Judge of the Year, San Bernardino-Riverside Chapter (2006)
  • Western San Bernardino County Bar Association Judge of the Year (2011)
  • San Bernardino County Bar Association Career Achievement Recognition (2011)
  • AV rating, Martindale-Hubbell

Legal Experience

  • Personal Injury
  • Professional Negligence
  • Employment
  • Government Tort Liability
  • Insurance Bad Faith and Contract Actions

Representative Case Information

Recent Representative Cases

Business/Commercial

Contractual

  • Agency failure to obtain proper insurance coverage relative to breach of contract litigation.
  • Business dispute involving breach of contract allegations. Issues included voidability of contract based upon suspension of corporate powers, and quantum meruit determination.

Employment

Wrongful Termination

  • Wrongful termination and employment discrimination by private educational entity.
  • Wrongful termination with sexual harassment and defamation alleged.
  • Plaintiff was disciplined for two work violations, and later terminated for alleged job abandonment when she did not return following expiration of an off work order related to her recently filed Workers Compensation Claim. Plaintiff alleged pretextual retaliatory termination, failure to provide reasonable accommodation and discrimination with punitive damages allegations. Settled confidentially.

Insurance

Subrogation

  • Extensive water damage to medical offices due to improper plumbing installation. Subrogation claims from 4 different insurers, including damage to laser equipment and business interruption claims exceeding seven figures. Settled for confidential amounts in a single session.

Professional Malpractice

Medical Mal Dental

  • Dental malpractice case involving endodontic and general dentistry. Reconstruction and plastic cosmetic surgery necessary.

Medical Malpractice

  • Medical malpractice claim involving vision loss.
  • Medical malpractice case involving cancer, with allegations of failure to properly process insurance in a timely fashion, resulting in delayed treatment.

Real Estate

Breach Of Contract

  • Dispute arising from agreement to acquire, improve and market residential real property. The agreement to arbitrate was also a subject of dispute. Resolution included dismissal of UD, Superior Court actions.
  • Real estate dispute regarding sale of vacant parcel for future planned development. Permitting issues with local agencies.

Home Owners Association

  • Real Property Boundary dispute, including quiet title, trespass, conversion, treble damages and elder abuse.

Landlord/Tenant

  • Breach of warranty of habitability and eviction.

Real Property

  • Injunctive relief and inverse condemnation action arising out of utility easements on leased real property.

Transaction

  • A neighbor brought claims against a shopping center for public and private nuisance, asserting noise, vibration, criminal, and transient activity among other things. Settlement included confidentiality and non-disparagement provisions, a CC 1542 waiver and an agreement to give written notice of any future perceived violations with 30 days to initiate cure.

Warranty of Habitability

  • Breach of warranty of habitability, filed after unlawful detainer judgment for defendant. Allegations of personal injury to three tenants from exposure to infestation by insects and rodents; Numerous code violations.

Tort

Civil Rights

  • Plaintiff was severely beaten by his cell mate following a verbal dispute. Injuries included subdural hematoma, multiple facial fractures, orbital fracture and dental damage. Federal civil rights action included Monell allegations and implicated the Prisoner Litigation Reform Act. The modest confidential settlement was partially structured to preclude impicunity upon release from prison. In addition, Plaintiff agreed to be bound by unilateral confidentiality requirements to protect him from being hounded by acquaintances.

General Negligence

  • Plaintiff ingested a foreign object in food prepared in Defendants restaurant. Emergency throat surgery removed the object. Multiple additional emergency room visits were required, due to continuing symptoms.

Personal Injury

  • Elder abuse and sexual battery at extended care facility.
  • Severe personal injuries to elders involving public entity emergency vehicle.

PI Auto

  • Single vehicle rollover accident resulting in brain damage and serious injuries, with Workers Compensation and agency issues.
  • Head on collision resulting in orthopedic injuries including patella fracture and severe bi-malleolar ankle fracture.
  • Uninsured motorist claim. 6 month pregnant claimant involved in 3 car collision, resulting in physical injury and severe emotional distress claims.
  • Disputed liability traffic collision at signal controlled intersection. Plaintiff turned left in front of the defendant. Orthopedic injuries to the elderly plaintiff which interfered with cancer treatments and caused deterioration in a formerly active life style.
  • Plaintiff, a hospitalist working in obstetrics suffered soft tissue injuries and a galeazzi fracture of the radius, with delayed union. As a cancer survivor, Plaintiffs cancer treatment, involving a scheduled major surgery, was delayed, resulting in an emotional distress component for non-economic damages.
  • Case slated for 2-day uninsured motorist arbitration. Motorcycle vs. auto, with liability questioned. Parties requested and stipulated to having the matter mediated, with arbitration to follow if settlement was not accomplished. Claims resolved, including potential bad faith exposure, after 4 hours of mediation. Injuries included fractures at 4 levels of lumbar spine, and a fractured clavicle.

Premises Liability

  • Premises liability incident with disputed responsibility for accident location. Serious injury to minor plaintiff.
  • Plaintiff, who is a minor, fell approximately 20-25 feet through a skylight adjacent to a running track on the roof of a sports club. Multiple fractures and internal injuries. Liability was contested. Resolved with structured settlement, which included a 5 year college fund.
  • Chemical burns on torso and legs of 2 year old at preschool.
  • Claim of Traumatic Brain Injury after a blow to the head of a junior high school student from a falling portion of a window covering in the gymnasium. Diagnostics negative, but minor reportedly complained of symptoms consistent with TBI. Four defendants/cross defendants involved in a modernization project disputed proportionate responsibility. Settled after extensive negotiations.

Product Liability

  • Product liability involving major manufacturer with serious injury and Workers Compensation issues.

Wrongful Death

  • Trucking accident involving multiple vehicles, resulting in personal injury and wrongful death
  • Medical malpractice wrongful death action against multiple individual and entity defendants.
  • Vehicular wrongful death involving dangerous condition of public property
  • Wrongful death involving dangerous condition of public property.
  • Commercial truck pulled from a stop sign and ran over an adult bicyclist who was not wearing a helmet, and was riding on the "wrong side" of the street. Cyclist died at the scene. Plaintiffs were adult siblings of decedent. Case settled in mediation for a mid-six figure amount.
  • Premises liability wrongful death. Decedent, a participant in a fishing derby, rented a boat from defendant, signing a broad release. He slipped and fell on his way to the boat, suffering a brain injury which left him confined to a care facility. There, he suffered internal abdominal injury as a result of medical negligence, and died of a massive and fatal cardiac event as he was in transit to surgery. A panoply of issues. Settled at mediation.
  • Alleged wrongful death and dependent elder abuse. Decedent was an adult male with psychiatric issues housed in a level 4 skilled nursing facility. Decedent was physically violent with fellow residents and staff. He expired after restraint by staff and law enforcement. Cause of death was disputed.

Downtown Los Angeles

601 S. Figueroa
Ste 4000
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Phone: 213.223.1113
Fax      : 213.223.1114

Los Angeles Mediation

West Los Angeles

11601 Wilshire Blvd
Ste 2040
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Phone: 310.442.2100
Fax      : 310.442.2125

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San Diego

402 W. Broadway
Ste 2400
San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: 619.814.1966
Fax      : 619.814.1967

San Diego Mediation

Santa Ana

1851 East First Street
Ste 1600
Santa Ana, CA 92705
Phone: 714.834.1340
Fax      : 714.834.1344

Orange County Mediation

San Francisco

100 Pine Street
Ste 1950
San Francisco, CA 94111
Phone: 415.266.1242
Fax      : 415.266.1243

San Francisco Mediation

Sacramento

980 9th Street
Suite 2200
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916.394.8490
Fax      : 916.394.8495

Sacramento Mediation