Since October of 1998, Retired Superior Court Judge, Herbert B. Hoffman has utilized his experience as a judge and trial lawyer to build a very successful private dispute resolution practice serving as a mediator, arbitrator and private judge in a wide range of matters. Judge Hoffman has successfully mediated to resolution well over one hundred cases each year since his retirement. He has also handled many arbitrations in real estate, personal injury, professional liability, employment, medical malpractice, insurance coverage and bad faith plus business/commercial disputes including an international multi-million dollar case involving disputed royalties, before the International Court of Commerce in Paris. Judge Hoffman has also served as special master or discovery referee in numerous civil matters including the 'coordinated latex glove litigation' involving 50 separate cases pending in the San Diego Superior Court. He is well-known as a no-nonsense straight shooter and strong agent of reality. One prominent San Diego trial lawyer noted, "If the most important thing is truly to get your case settled, he's the go-to guy in this town." Many of our clients concur.
In his spare time, Judge Hoffman enjoys golfing, thoroughbred racing and dancing.
Each of my colleagues agreed that [he is] one of the most skilled mediators they have met. We appreciate the incredible effort.
- Attorney on an Employment Breach of Contract Dispute
I wanted to thank Judge Hoffman for his insight and persistence. My clients were very grateful for the sensitive and compassionate approach he demonstrated in mediating a very sensitive and compassionate matter.
- Attorney, Orange County, California
Judge Hoffman is always prepared and effective.
- Attorney on a fair credit reporting act dispute
I would like to take a moment to thank Judge Hoffman for all his hard work. The compassion he showed my clients left a lasting impression on all of us in the room. And his creativity and tenacity led to resolution in a very challenged case.
- Attorney, San Diego, California
I was very pleased with Judge Hoffman. He was very straightforward with my client and at the same time, sympathetic to her injury. I would not hesitate to use Judge Hoffman again.
- Attorney, Los Angeles, California
Full-Time Mediation, Arbitration and Private Judging Practice (1998-Present)
Judge, San Diego Superior Court (1985-98)
Senior Litigation Attorney, San Diego US Attorney’s Office (1980-85)
Adjunct Professor, University of San Diego Masters of Law Program (1979-86)
Litigating Attorney, Sachs, Greenbaum & Taylor in Washington D.C. (1973-74)
Assistant US Attorney, Washington D.C. (1969-73)
Education & Professional Affiliations
J.D., DePaul University School of Law (1967)
B.A., University of Iowa, Business Administration (1964)
Past President, San Diego County Judges Association (1994-95)
Member, California State Federal Judicial Council (1988-96)
Board Member Emeritis, American Business Trial Lawyers, San Diego Chapter
Master, William B. Enright American Inn of Court
Master, Clifford Wallace American Inn of Court
Achievements & Awards
While on special assignment with the Fourth District Court of Appeal in 1995, Judge Hoffman developed an innovative settlement program for pending appellate cases.
Additionally, he has lectured on trial techniques at the Attorney General Trial Advocacy School, University of San Diego-School of Law, the National Institute for Trial Advocacy and the National College of District Attorneys.
He has also lectured on settlement techniques at various California Judicial education programs and other organizations in the legal community.
Judge Hoffman was selected by the Daily Journal as one of California’s Top Neutral’s in 2009.
He has been the recipient of numerous awards including the highly coveted, John Marshall Litigation Award (1983) and other awards from the United States Department of Justice for his outstanding service as a trial attorney.
Employment including Sexual Harassment
Insurance Coverage/Bad Faith and all types of Personal Injury matters