• Available in San Diego, Orange County, Southern California
  • Mediation Only


Denise Asher has been serving the legal community for over 35 years. Her dedication to her clients, strong work ethic, and talents in the courtroom led to numerous accolades during her time as a trial lawyer. Denise decided to “switch gears,” and made the transition to full time mediation in 2008 after seeing the tremendous benefit alternative dispute resolution offered those involved in the litigation process. Denise specializes in resolving employment, elder abuse, professional malpractice, and personal injury cases. She uses her background and experience to craft an approach to mediation which recognizes that every party and every case is unique. Denise is best known for her preparation, tenacity, professionalism, and integrity. One attorney recently commented, "Denise consistently demonstrates an unusual ability to resolve cases that have significant value; divergent viewpoints on key facts; and factors that would lead many mediators to conclude that the case cannot be resolved. She always gets the settlement achieved and does so with a grace and dignity that is very rare.” 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."


Hobbies & Interests

Denise enjoys spending time with her family, playing golf and traveling.




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

Ms. Asher has "TnT"!! – Temperament and Tenacity! She was also fantastic with our clients.
- Attorney on a professional malpractice - legal dispute

- Attorney on a Medical Malpractice Wrongful Death Matter

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

Ms. Asher took the time to have a comprehensive understanding of complex facts, and was able to use that knowledge to effectively distinguish strengths and weaknesses in the case.
- Attorney on a Premises Liability Matter

Very adept at being supportive vs. directive at correct time, with difficult clients. Denise was fantastic.
- Attorney on an Elder Abuse/Medical Malpractice Matter

She really understood the dynamics of the situation and was very good at moving the parties towards resolution.
- Attorney on a Product Liability Dispute

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

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Experience Summary

Legal Career

  • Full-time Mediator (2008 to Present)
  • Partner, Strauss & Asher (1995 – 2007)
  • Monaghan & Strauss (1986-1995)

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 Emeritus, and Workshop Leader
  • Member, San Diego County Bar Association, Lawyers Club of San Diego and California Women Lawyers

Achievements & Awards

  • AV Rated by Martindale Hubbell (2006 to Present)
  • “Woman of Influence”, San Diego Daily Transcript (2013)
  • 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)

Legal Experience

  • Elder Abuse & Neglect
  • Employment Law
  • Medical/Professional Malpractice
  • Personal Injury
  • Products Liability

Representative Case Information

Recent Representative Cases



  • 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.

Wrongful Termination

  • 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


Bad Faith

  • UIM/bad faith claim by young woman hit head-on by a drunk driver on the wrong side of the freeway

Professional Malpractice

Medical Malpractice

  • 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


Catastrophic Injury

  • Drowning death of a 5 year old at underinsured home of school mate's affluent parents

Elder Abuse

  • 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

General Negligence

  • Negligent transfer caused femur fracture during admission to rehab facility following knee surgery

Personal Injury

  • 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

PI Auto

  • 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
  • Settled a pre-litigation case involving competing claims of 4 personal injury plaintiffs and 7 property damage subrogation claims arising out of an 8-car chain reaction collision. The significant personal injury claims alone far exceeded the available $1M combined PI/PD policy limits.

Product Liability

  • 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

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

Mediators Los Angeles

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


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

Sacramento Mediation