Denise Asher has been serving the legal community for over 35 years. During her career as an active trial lawyer, her dedication to her clients, strong work ethic
and talents in the courtroom led to numerous accolades. After seeing the tremendous benefit that alternative dispute resolution had on her trial practice,
she decided to "switch gears" and made the transition to full time mediation in 2008.
She specializes in resolving elder abuse, employment, professional malpractice, personal injury as well as products liability cases.
Denise has been able to take her background and experience to craft her own approach, recognizing that every party and every case is unique.
She is best known for her tenacity, professionalism and integrity. One attorney commented, "Denise handled an extremely difficult case for us,
she had an excellent grasp of the law, but more importantly what impressed me was her commitment to her word. She did everything possible to
settle the case and I look forward to using her again." Another attorney said, "the qualities that make a great mediator are primarily innate and cannot be acquired - a mediator either has it,
or they don't. After working with Denise, I will say without equivocation; she clearly has it."
Ms. Asher's experience, knowledge, and trustworthiness were essential to getting parties that were so far apart on numerous legal issues and on valuation of the
case. Court settlement conferences with a magistrate judge had been unsuccessful, but with Ms. Asher we reached a fair resolution that also included out-of-the-ordinary
injunctive relief that we believe is essential for my clients and other workers. We are grateful for her skill and tenacity.
- Attorney on an Employment/Discrimination Dispute
Denise explained the process to my clients so they understood the risks. Also, she listened to some additional information we had and was able to use that to move the parties past a sticking point.
- Attorney on an employment race discrimination dispute
Ms. Asher has "TnT"!! – Temperament and Tenacity! She was also fantastic with our clients.
- Attorney on a professional malpractice - legal dispute
Denise is smart and knowledgeable in medical/dental. Quick to get to the key issues and able to build consensus.
- Attorney on a medical malpractice/dental dispute
She was able to settle a case that others were not able to settle.
- Attorney on a wrongful death/negligence dispute
Denise Asher is the real deal. She managed to settle a very difficult case for me this morning. I'm very happy she is now with Judicate West.
- Attorney, Orange County, California
Just wanted to take a moment and thank you for an excellent job on Friday. Not only did [she] deftly handle tricky facts,
laws and personalities, but [she] did it with a unique blend of patience and energy that made the experience very
enjoyable. [She has] a gift for negotiation, and we appreciate [her] superb effort in getting this one done.
- Attorney on an elder abuse wrongful death dispute
Full-time Mediator (2008 to Present)
Partner, Strauss & Asher (1995 – 2007)
Judge Pro Tempore, San Diego Superior Court, Small Claims Division (2007 to Present)
Education & Professional Affiliations
J.D., Thomas Jefferson School of Law (Summa Cum Laude)
Mediation Skills Training, Pepperdine University, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution
Credentialing Program, National Conflict Resolution Center
San Diego Inn of Court, Past President, Board Member, and Workshop Leader
Master, American Inn of Court
Member, San Diego County Bar Association, Consumer Attorneys of San Diego, Lawyers Club of San Diego and California Women Lawyers
Achievements & Awards
AV Rated by Martindale Hubbell (2006 to Present)
Named to San Diego Super Lawyer List (2008 – 2014)
“Woman of Influence”, San Diego Daily Transcript (2013)
Named a “Top Attorney, San Diego County”, Daily Transcript (2007, 2009)
Trial Lawyer of the Year, Consumer Attorneys of California (2007)
Finalist, Consumer Attorney of the Year, Consumer Attorneys of California (2007)
Outstanding Trial Lawyer Awards, Consumer Attorneys of San Diego (2000, 2003, 2007)
Outstanding Alumnus of the Year, Thomas Jefferson School of Law (2004)
Pregnancy discrimination/wrongful termination claim by former marketing director of online lighting company
Employee with alcoholism claimed disability discrimination/failure to accommodate by his employer, a national alcohol distribution company
Consolidated federal lawsuits involving both individual W&H/FEHA/WTVPP claims, as well as PAGA claims on behalf of a large group of allegedly similarly-aggrieved employees of
various classes of workers. Cases resolved on both monetary terms and agreed changes to defendants' policies and practices.
Wage and Hour
Wage and hour/misclassification claim by employee who was terminated following paternity leave
Wage & hour/wrongful termination/retaliation claims by former resident manager of apartment complex. Plaintiff claimed misclassification as an independent contractor
resulting in failure to pay minimum wage, OT, M&R, and associated penalties. Case complicated by underlying, contentious divorce proceedings of property owners during relevant
claims periods, and subsequent management by LLC, with cross-complaints for indemnity/defense, allegations of breach of fiduciary duty, etc. High
emotions (betrayal, revenge, distrust) were major impediments and threatened resolution right up through getting the last signature on the settlement agreement.
Former director of security claimed sex discrimination/wrongful termination for refusal to participate in hospital's unwillingness to hire and promote women
Sexual harassment claim by property manager against employer for the actions of thrice-felony convicted maintenance man who employer acquired in a take-over
UIM/bad faith claim by young woman hit head-on by a drunk driver on the wrong side of the freeway
Multi-session mediation of claim against urologist for failure to warn of risks of severe pulmonary/renal problems with long-term use of targeted antibiotic
Claims against doctor/rehab facility for failure to initiate antibiotics pursuant to transfer order from acute facility following abdominal surgeries, leading to sepsis
Claims against doctor for failure to timely respond to severe adverse reaction to medication, followed by aspiration death in rehab facility
Plaintiff incarcerated/institutionalized after sexually assaulting girlfriend at gunpoint during psychotic break allegedly caused by medication prescribed by a nurse practitioner despite FDA warnings about use in mental health patients
Professional Malpractice Legal
Legal malpractice suit based on negligent handling of underlying medical malpractice action
Drowning death of a 5 year old at underinsured home of school mate's affluent parents
Claim by heirs of 94 year old dementia patient who died after suffering femur fracture during transfer
Severely disabled 18 year old cerebral palsy patient who suffered facial fractures when left unattended in his wheelchair on sloped sidewalk at school
Ventilator-dependent 64 year old wife/mother who died in uninsured, financially distressed facility after she was unhooked from ventilator to bathe her
Mentally astute 96 year old who developed decubitus ulcers; case settled for confidential sum, personal apology from owner, and development of policies and procedures to address issues
Negligent transfer caused femur fracture during admission to rehab facility following knee surgery
Multi-session mediation of sexual assault claim against security guard and luxury hotel by guest who claimed lack of consent due to intoxication, complicated by vicarious liability/extensive insurance coverage issues
Premises liability claim with causation issues involving plaintiff who suffered serious orthopedic injuries in fall exacerbated by pre-existing osteoporosis, resulting in numerous additional surgeries
Hotel guests assaulted by knife-wielding felon on a crime spree alleged negligent security precautions taken by hotel in response to prior criminal activity
Multi-defendant claim involving bicyclist hit by bus in construction zone
Farm laborers in a bus on their way to a job site struck on the freeway by tractor trailer
Tire tread separation/roll over of 15-passenger van with ejection of unbelted, intoxicated occupants
Electrician who suffered thumb amputation sued garage door manufacturer for design and manufacturing defects which allowed the door to "free fall" when disengaged from the opener