After serving on the Sacramento Superior Court bench for 18 years, In 2020, Judge Abbott retired and is available to serve as a Mediator, Arbitrator and Private Judge. During his tenure on the bench, he presided over civil and criminal jury trials, civil case management calendars, complex civil cases and law and motion. Judge Abbott has earned a reputation as a fair, intelligent and flexible judge and was awarded Judge of the Year by several organizations.
Before his judicial career, he was a trial attorney for over 25 years in a tort litigation practice emphasizing products liability, professional negligence, general personal injury and insurance bad faith. He was known as a respectful adversary trying dozens of cases and was admitted into the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) where he is still currently an active member.
Judge Abbott stated, “My goal as a professional neutral is to assist the parties to achieve settlement and resolve disputes with dignity, creativity and respect. Judges don’t settle cases, lawyers and litigants do.”
Judge Abbott has been a Rotarian for 30 years and is an advocate for literacy in public schools and serves on the advisory board of the Sacramento Chapter of Reading Partners a nonprofit that tutors children in reading and spelling. He also enjoys playing golf, bicycle riding, reading, traveling and crossword puzzles.
"Judge Abbott is a very effective neutral. He still asserts himself with the same authority and influence that he had while he was a judge."
- Attorney on a Business Contractual Fraud case
"While our case did not settle, that was not the mediator's fault. Judge Abbott listened carefully and offered helpful suggestions on how we might get the case to settlement in the future. He followed up afterward by telephone, to offer additional suggestions. It is very likely that we will bring this case back to Judge Abbott for further mediation once the parties have conducted some discovery."
- Attorney on a Business Contractual Case
"Judge Abbott did a great overall job."
- Attorney on a Premises Liability case
"Judge Abbott was a great trial judge, is both wise and honest, and call’s the balls and strikes as he sees them. He has been a consistent contributor to the Sacramento legal community and represents the level of excellence that most just aspire to.
- Sacramento Attorney
Breach of an incorporation agreement forming a company to enter a contract with a vast Internet-based retailer to deliver purchases to consumers.
Low eight-figure settlement of a suit arising from a Ponzi scheme. Plaintiffs were sophisticated investors duped by a Ponzi schemer, who obtained investments in a business that did not exist. The actual perpetrator was convicted of mail fraud and plaintiffs alleged the bank through which he conducted his fraudulent business was negligent in failing to recognize certain “red flags” indicating insolvency and was actually "complicit in furthering the fraudulent scheme."
Failure to timely diagnose, assess, and treat a malignant bladder lesion, resulting in a terminal diagnosis of a middle-aged woman. The settlement included the potential claim for wrongful death.
Medical malpractice alleging negligent placement of a spinal stimulator after an unsuccessful laminectomy/spinal fusion surgery.
Plaintiff was a passenger in his own vehicle, teaching the juvenile driver to do reckless maneuvers, resulting in a loss of control and side impact with a utility power pole located on a sidewalk. Plaintiff's theory was a dangerous condition of public property, claiming the pole was too close to the curb. The public entity asserted design immunity and negligence of the driver as the sole cause of injury. Injuries included traumatic brain injury, subdural hematoma, subarachnoid hemorrhage, with residual cognitive deficits and left hemiplegia. Demand was in the low seven-figure range; zero offer with a motion for summary judgment pending.
A dog bite injury to the plaintiff's right [major] hand, with residual degenerative changes to the medial metacarpal joint in the index finger. Plaintiff was the sole source of income for her family and worked on a commission-only basis. Keyboarding was a critical element of her job. Degenerative changes to the injured joint caused persistent pain with normal work activity. Liability was admitted. Settlement in the six-figure range was reached.
Trip and fall causing spinal and shoulder injuries and multiple surgeries. Future economic damages for income loss and medical expenses were not claimed. Workers' compensation complaint in intervention remains unresolved. The total settlement was in the mid-six-figure range.
Plaintiffs were severely injured in a construction electrocution incident, resulting in severe burns, and loss of limbs and digits. One plaintiff was deemed negligent in the occurrence of the incident. The primary contractor defendant tendered policy limits in the seven-figure range and the parties agreed to mediate the division of the settlement proceeds.
The plaintiff was struck while crossing a private road by a delivery van attempting to enter a two-lane through a roadway. Plaintiff suffered spinal injuries to her neck and low back resulting in two fusion surgeries and the probability of future fusion at adjacent levels.
Rear-end MVA with claimed past medical expenses and future expenses, including spinal surgery.
Much of the specials, including surgery, had been subject of liens. Total settlement, including loss of consortium, was in the seven-figure range.
Traumatic brain injury and multiple internal injuries/fractures to a teenage girl, resulting from a high-speed rear-end collision. The defendant driver was under the influence of marijuana and a benzodiazepine drug. Plaintiff's father was driving and suffered less severe injuries, which included a claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress.
Three-vehicle, rear-end collision involving heavy-duty trucks. Plaintiff claimed cervical and lumbar spinal injuries that required pain management care for the cervical and spinal fusion for the lumbar. Defendants admitted liability but contested the nature and extent of the injury and the need for future care, including surgery. The total settlement was in the six-figure range, inclusive of the workers' compensation lien.
A forklift operator collided with an automobile driven by the plaintiff, penetrating the driver's side door and inflicting blunt trauma to the plaintiff's left leg and left torso, resulting in residual loss of lung capacity and PTSD, with loss of consortium.
Two low-speed motor vehicle accidents almost 3 years apart, producing primarily spinal injuries in an HVAC installer with a vocational rehab assessment of "unemployable." The total award against both defendants was in the six-figure range, including spouse's claim for loss of consortium.
Rear-end motor vehicle collision resulting in permanent injury to the facet joints at two levels in claimant's lumbar spine. Damages were past and future medical care and non-economic; no income loss was claimed.
Rear-end collision between an uninsured SUV and flatbed truck towing a trailer filled with rocks weighing thousands of pounds. Low Delta-V, but significant energy absorbed by impact. Disputed injuries included cervical disk herniation and lumbar disk injury in a cement mason operating a successful contracting business. Uninsured motorist. Damages were determined to be in the mid-six-figure range.
Clear liability motor vehicle collision between a CHP patrol vehicle and plaintiff's car. Liability was admitted; plaintiffs' injuries and damages were disputed, including traumatic brain injury to one plaintiff.
Motorcycle vs. auto collision causing multiple fractures, and closed head injury resulting in multiple surgeries and extended rehabilitative care. Admitted liability with economic damages in the low-seven-figure range. Settlement in the mid-seven-figure range.
Dangerous condition of public property (a highway) involving design immunity defense, head-on collision, multiple fractures, and TBI and internal injury.
Slip and fall in a retail checkout area due to water on the floor. Plaintiff injured her hip, resulting in corrective arthroscopic repair of the joint and joint capsule. Liability was disputed.
The wrongful death of a young man was caused by the negligent discharge of a shotgun while the defendant and decedent were engaged in "horseplay" with the firearm. Plaintiff was the mother of the deceased. A mid-six-figure settlement was reached.
Wrongful death of a child on a theory of dangerous condition of public property.