Judge Velasquez retired in 2011, after 23 years of service for the Orange County Superior Court and currently serves as a mediator, arbitrator and private judge. During his tenure on the bench he sat in almost every department including the Appellate Department. However, his primary assignments were on the civil and complex civil panels. One of his most challenging and fulfilling assignments was as a judge on the Court's Complex Civil Panel, where he served for seven years starting in May, 2004. For four years of that term he served as the Supervising Judge. While sitting on the Court's Complex Civil Panel, he had the task of managing an average case
load of 250 complex actions including dozens of complex business disputes, and over 100 class actions and construction defect actions alike. His case load included several mass tort actions involving national and international product liability/pharmaceutical claims, as well as a train crash - each such case numbering 125 to 250 plaintiffs.
Judge Velasquez loves to mediate and is proud that he personally participated in helping the parties settle scores of these actions including several "inventory" settlements as a way of managing the mass torts. Lawyers assigned to his court in these cases would soon become accustomed to the judge's "Sweeps Weeks" where he cleared his regular calendar to accommodate back-to-back settlement conferences for 1 to 2 weeks at a time on a single case. One attorney said, "It's unfortunate that he is leaving the bench, but I will definitely use him as a mediator or arbitrator. He's fair, a genuinely nice guy and you can tell how much he cares." Many others have concurred labeling him as "nice", "a true gentleman" and "fair to all parties".
In his spare time Judge Velasquez enjoys studying World War II aircraft/model building, power walking, hiking and has a life goal of visiting every National Park in the U.S.
"Judge Velasquez's perseverance and effort in this difficult case was impressive. I hope to work with him again in the future."
- Attorney, Los Angeles County, California
"Judge Velasquez was very helpful in knowing the relevant legal theories and fostering settlement."
- Attorney on a Personal Injury Sexual Harassment Dispute
"Judge Velasquez did a very nice job in a very difficult situation. His assistance was greatly appreciated in settling the case."
- Attorney, Orange County, California
"I just wanted to thank you Judge Velasquez for all of his patience and hard work. He was instrumental in
helping us reach this agreement. I will be sure to recommend him to all of my colleagues in the future."
- Attorney, Tarzana, California
"Judge Velasquez had an immediate grasp of both the issues and temperament of my client’s opponent, and was able to use his skills to get the parties to consider potential solutions that earlier in the day seemed unlikely."
- Attorney on a Business/ Contractual Dispute
"Judge Velasquez kept an extremely volatile, emotional family business dispute under control. At one point it went nuclear and he still got it settled."
- Attorney on a complex breach of privacy dispute
"Judge Velasquez always gets to the heart of the dispute, and the “fulcrum” that is likely to get the parties to a settlement. He was, as always, great to work with."
- Attorney on a Commercial matter
"Judge Velasquez read all the material before hand, he was very knowledgeable and knew the law on the matter
and he was very patient, yet very firm."
- Attorney, Irvine, California
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