Judge Newman joins Judicate West following 14 years of distinguished service to the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California.

With over four decades of combined legal experience, he has conducted more than 1,500 settlement conferences from the bench and in private practice. During his appointment, he presided over a variety of civil matters, including civil rights, employment law, personal injury including wrongful death, medical negligence, and general business litigation in addition to serving as the Chief Magistrate Judge from 2021-2024. He previously spent six years with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Diego and 15 years with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California, serving the last five years as Chief of the Civil Litigation Affirmative Section.

Judge Newman comments on his approach to ADR, stating, “The key to mediation is persistence and optimism and the goal is always resolution. If the case can't be resolved that day, the mediation should at least be an informative session where the parties learn what the other side requires to settle the case. I always follow up if there is a glimmer of hope in getting the case resolved.”

Practice Areas
  • Business Litigation
  • Civil Rights
  • Employment
  • Environmental
  • False Claims Act/Qui Tam
  • Medical Negligence
  • Personal Injury including Wrongful Death
Hobbies & Interests

Judge Newman and his wife have traveled extensively, domestically and internationally (favorite places are too many to list! But would certainly include Kenya, Italy, Bahrain, Sydney, Ireland, Poland, and Hungary). He also enjoys watching movies and playing tennis and golf.

Legal Career
  • Full-time Neutral, Judicate West (2024-Present)
  • U.S. Magistrate Judge, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California, Sacramento (2010-2024); Chief Magistrate Judge, (2021-2024)
  • Mediator, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California, Voluntary Dispute Resolution Program (1995-2010)
  • Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California (1995-2010)-Defended a wide range of civil cases-Federal Tort Claims Act, employment, personal injury and wrongful death, medical malpractice, civil rights, environmental and land use and breach of contract; Chief of the Civil Litigation Affirmative Section (2005-2010)-Supervised cases involving civil rights, employment discrimination, breach of contract, False Claims Act/Qui Tam, environmental, asset forfeiture, civil fraud and enforcement
  • Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Diego (1990-1994)-Defended a wide range of civil cases
  • Associate Attorney, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher (1984-1990)-Handled general civil business and securities litigation, employment cases, and some bankruptcy matters
Education & Professional Affiliations
  • J.D., College of William & Mary (1981-1984)
  • B.S., Cornell University (1976-1980)
  • Magistrate Judge Executive Board; Chair (2023-2024); Vice Chair (2021-2023)
  • Ninth Circuit Pacific Islands Committee (2019-2024)
  • Ninth Circuit ADR Committee (2011-2017)
  • Federal Bar Association, Sacramento Chapter (1995-2024)
  • Eastern District Judicial Advisory Committee (1995-2006, 2021-2024)
  • Anthony M. Kennedy Inn of Court (1997-2000)
  • Federal Magistrate Judges Association (1995-2024)
  • Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference (1990-2024)
  • Louis M. Welch Inn of Court (1989-1991)
Achievements & Awards
  • Department of Justice Director’s Award for Largest Settlement in History of Forest Service (2009)
  • Special Commendations from U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (2007, 2010)
  • Special Commendations from U.S. Forest Service (2007, 2009)
  • San Diego City Council Commendation for outstanding service to the community (1995)
  • United States Marine Corp Special Commendation (1994)
  • Cornell University Outstanding Service Award (1994)
Below is a sampling of the various matters Hon. Kendall J. Newman, Ret. presided over on the bench, tried as an attorney, or handled as a neutral.

A.D.A.

  • Settled dozens of cases involving ADA and Unruh Act claims, accessibility, modifications, and damages

Banking/Finance

  • Settled multiple cases against banks involving failure to modify loan terms/defaults
  • Settled a case involving forged endorsements
  • Settled several cases involving credit reporting errors

Contractual

  • Litigated and settled numerous cases involving false claims act and qui tam issues, including insurance billing, compliance with federal regulations, and procurement fraud
  • Settled a case between FERC and a commercial institution involving manipulation of the energy market
  • Settled a case involving breach of dealer agreements involving agricultural equipment
  • Settled case under UCC involving forged endorsements
  • Litigated and resolved several matters involving the Controlled Substances Act and DEA drug record keeping and compliance issues, including the resolution of a nationwide case involving sales of non-prescription medicines used by people to make methamphetamine
  • Litigated and resolved a case involving misuse of Americorp grant funds
  • Settled a case against money managers and tax preparers for improper property exchanges made to an imposter
  • Settled a dispute involving clinical drug trials and a corresponding software system

Disability

  • Settled cases involving short and long-term disability claims

Labor Code

  • Settled a case of an employee versus a union, involving an unfair representation claim

PAGA

  • Settled several class action cases involving PAGA claims

Sexual Harassment

  • Settled an employment case against the federal bureau of prisons involving sexual harassment

Wage and Hour Class Action

  • Settled class action labor cases including housing, overtime, and meal breaks for dairy and migrant farm workers

Whistleblower Wrongful Term

  • Settled dozens of cases involving whistleblower claims

Wrongful Termination

  • Settled numerous employment cases including sexual harassment, hostile work environment, age discrimination, failure to accommodate, and wrongful termination

Civil Rights

  • Known as the go-to mediator for the Eastern District for civil rights cases, he handled thousands of civil rights cases on the bench, including police excessive force, confinement, and wrongful death
  • Settled a number of cases involving alleged violation of first amendment rights, including protestors pepper sprayed or shot with rubber bullets following george floyd incident.
  • Settled cases involving individuals’ rights to videotape officers.
  • Settled hundreds of prisoner cases involving conditions of confinement including medical care, excessive force, and failure to protect.

Class Actions

  • Settled issues involving prisoners’ mental health care in a state-wide class action
  • Settled class actions involving jail conditions, including helping develop and oversee consent decrees
  • Settled class actions involving homeless loss of property as well as cases involving developing housing alternatives, regulations, and rules to clear homeless encampments

Environmental

  • Settled a number of Clean Water Act cases including those involving sand mining, a scrap metal facility, and building materials
  • Settled and litigated a number of large cases involving causation and damages from wildfires
  • Settled a long-running individual's mining dispute versus the county

Bad Faith

  • Settled numerous cases involving insurance coverage including fire and water damage; jewelry theft in seven-figure range, disability benefits; auto accident coverage; business disputes; insured misrepresentations; conversion of bonds

IP Patent

  • Settled several cases involving alleged patent infringement or trademark theft

Probate

  • Successfully litigated and resolved a well-known probate case
  • Settled a family and bank dispute involving realty, personality, trust, and tax liabilities

Medical Malpractice

  • Settled and litigated dozens of cases involving allegations of medical malpractice involving: private providers; military and VA hospitals; county jails; and state and federal prisons. The issues have ranged from prenatal and delivery through terminal care, with almost every issue in-between
  • Litigated and settled Qui Tam and FCA cases including medical care and billing

Professional Malpractice Legal

  • Settled cases alleging legal malpractice, including a famous test pilot against his former lawyers

Eminent Domain

  • Successfully litigated and resolved cases involving condemnation of real property

Landlord/Tenant

  • Settled several commercial landlord/tenant disputes

Personal Injury

  • Settled a case involving a person being arrested and suffering signficant burns from being left on hot pavement

PI Auto

  • Litigated and settled dozens of cases involving personal injury cases, including auto accidents, slip and falls, bike accidents, off-road vehicles, and workplace injuries

Wrongful Death

  • Settled dozens of cases against law enforcement including shootings, choke holds, and high-speed chases
  • Settled a number of jail suicide cases
  • Settled failure to intervene cases
Judge Newman was absolutely fantastic at getting the job done. Most times mediators are hands-off and don't get invested, but he really took an interest in our case/in the other party and helped us all move forward.
- Attorney on an Employment Discrimination Case
Due to outside peculiarities, Judge Newman took a highly unorthodox approach in how to handle the negotiations in the mediation. This was absolutely the correct call. The matter settled quite quickly after this. His skill as a mediator was on full display that day.
- Attorney on a Civil Rights Case
Judge Newman combines thorough preparation with insight born of real courtroom experience, mixes in humor as a way of connecting with litigants and attorneys, and strives to bring warring factions to reach agreements. As with most good settlements, the individual adversaries are not always thrilled, but he finds a spot where they can agree to resolve their differences. Importantly, he does not simply split the difference and carry competing monetary amounts back and forth between rooms. I have always valued his ability to look at details and provide a fair analysis, from his judicial perspective, and help recalcitrant clients find a path to resolution.
- Partner at a Prominent Sacramento-Based Law Firm
I have had numerous settlement conferences with Judge Newman and nearly every case we have used him for has resolved, including very complicated matters. He has a unique ability to obtain the trust and respect of both the Plaintiff and Defendant. I am confident many of my cases that settled would not have resolved without Judge Newman’s magic touch.
- Shareholder at a Statewide Civil Litigation Firm
Judge Newman has the gravitas to resolve the most challenging of cases. He has an uncanny ability to size up the parties' interests, gain their confidence, and then works hard toward finding a resolution the parties can agree to without unnecessarily burdening the process with ego or attitude. He is Northern California's go-to mediator.
- Esteemed Civil Rights Trial Attorney
Hon. Kendall J. Newman, Ret.
Based in Northern California | Available Nationwide
Mediation Case Manager: Heather Reed
Arbitration/Private Judging Case Manager: Angela Lamarre