HON. JOANNE B. O'DONNELL, RET.

  • Available in Southern California
  • Available for Mediation, Arbitration, and Private Judging assignments

Introduction

Judge O’Donnell brings more than 36 years of experience in civil law both as a litigator and as a judge. She retired from Los Angeles Superior Court after 23 years of service in various branches and departments. For over two decades, she has been active both as a participant and leader in the reconciliation processes sponsored by the LA Diocese of the Episcopal Church.

Her extensive trial judge experience will serve her well as her private judging practice focuses on arbitration and private judging assignments which includes serving as a special master and discovery referee in all types of personal injury, business and employment matters.

She says, “As a judge I took great satisfaction in helping civil litigants resolve their differences and move on with their lives. I look forward to using my trial experience and my commitment to justice and peacebuilding to help litigants reach satisfactory resolutions in the private sector.”

Specialties

  • Business/Contractual
  • Employment
  • Environmental (CEQA)
  • Personal Injury including Wrongful Death
  • Professional Negligence

Experience Summary

Judge O'Donnell oversaw a wide variety of cases as a superior court judge.

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Hobbies & Interests

Reconciliation, both faith-based and secular, has been her avocation for 20 years.












Experience Summary

BUSINESS/CONTRACTUAL

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Intentional interference with contract case involving sale of medical devices.


CLASS ACTION

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Case involved retailers requiring a customer to present identifying information where customer is returning item for credit card refund and whether California Civil Code Section 1747.08 prohibits it.


DEFAMATION

Slander action by casino executive against casino customer.


ELDER ABUSE

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Case involving whether claim of neglect under Elder Abuse Act depends on the existence of a caretaking or custodial relationship.


EMPLOYMENT

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Disability discrimination in employment under FEHA and California Family Rights Act.


INSURANCE

Whether an insurance policy's exclusion for injuries arising out of the use of an automobile precludes coverage for the deaths of two young children who were negligently left in a vehicle on a hot day by their foster mother.


INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY/IDEA THEFT

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Plaintiff's claim that defendant, a motion picture studio, stole his idea for film about panda hero.


MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE

Action by actress against plastic surgeon for negligent care of skin condition.


PERSONAL INJURY

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Action brought by tenant of apartment building against landlord for injuries suffered in building fire.


PREMISES LIABILITY

An appellate action involving dangerous use of public property and main issues involved the City's design.


WRONGFUL DEATH

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Whether an insurance policy's exclusion for injuries arising out of the use of an automobile precludes coverage for the deaths of two young children who were negligently left in a vehicle on a hot day by their foster mother.

Legal Career

  • Full-time ADR Neutral, Judicate West (Present)
  • California Judicial Council’s Assigned Judge Program (2016-2019)
  • Judge, Los Angeles Superior Court, Central District, Writs and Receivers (2013-2016)
  • Judge, California Court of Appeal, Second District, Div. 6 (on assignment by the Chief Justice) (2013-2014)
  • Judge, Dept. 37, Los Angeles Superior Court, Central District, Unlimited Jurisdiction Civil Trials (Independent Calendar)
  • Judge, Los Angeles Superior Court, Central District, family law trials (2001-2003)
  • Site Judge, Los Angeles Superior Court, West Los Angeles Court, limited jurisdiction civil trials (2000)
  • Judge, Los Angeles Superior Court, Metropolitan Branch Court (1999-2000)
  • Judge, Los Angeles Municipal Court, Hollywood Branch Court (1997-1999)
  • Assistant Supervising Judge, Metropolitan Branch Court, Los Angeles Municipal Court, Metropolitan Branch Court and Central Criminal Courts (1996-1997)
  • Associate, Loeb & Loeb, LLP (1992-1996) trial and appellate work arising under FEHA, general business/contracts, federal anti-discrimination laws, and ERISA
  • Associate, O’Melveny & Myers, LLP (1983-1992), general business, employment and labor practice

Education & Professional Affiliations

  • J.D., Loyola Law School, Magna Cum Laude (1983)
  • M.A., University of California, Los Angeles (1975)
  • B.A., University of California, Santa Barbara (1971)
  • University of California, Davis (1967-1969)
  • Member, California Judges Association (1996-Present) Executive Board member (2009-2012); Judicial Ethics Committee: Chair (2007-2008), Vice-Chair (2006-2007), Member (1997-2000, 2005 -2009) (Author/editor of numerous Formal Ethics Opinions); Public Information & Education Committee: Chair (2001-2002); Legislation Committee (2013-2015)

Achievements & Awards

  • “Hot Topics in Judicial Ethics,” The Bench, Winter (2008)
  • “The Role of Judicial Ethics in Judicial Independence,” Advocate, Journal of Consumer Attorneys for Southern California (2007)
  • “Judicial Ethics Issues of Interest to Litigators,” California Litigation (2007)
  • California Supreme Court Committee on Judicial Ethics Opinions (2009 - 2016)
  • LASC Alternate Dispute Resolution Committee, 2002 to 2005

Legal Experience

  • Business/Contractual
  • Employment
  • Environmental (CEQA)
  • Personal Injury including Wrongful Death
  • Professional Negligence

Recent Representative Cases


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

Sacramento

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

Sacramento Mediation