Judge Ronald Prager retired from the bench after completing 29 years of service. In his final 18 months on the bench,
he served as an assigned judge on the Court of Appeal in San Diego and authored seven published opinions in civil cases. Before that, he spent 22 years as a civil independent calendar
judge presiding over a broad spectrum of civil cases. Judge Prager became especially well known for handling complex matters, including the statewide
coordinated tobacco class actions and the natural gas antitrust cases. Also in this capacity, he managed the calendars of more than 1,000 cases,
including all law and motion matters and case management conferences.
Judge Prager's calendar included virtually every type of civil matter from routine personal injury cases to complex environmental and
construction defect cases. He is highly regarded for his lawyer-friendly, efficient case management skills. For example, during his
tenure and even in the most complex matters, Judge Prager was able to resolve most discovery disputes without formal briefing by
consent of the parties.
Judge Prager acted as settlement judge in hundreds of cases, including employment, catastrophic injury, business disputes, partnership
dissolutions, and discrimination cases. He routinely settled more than half of the cases in the early phases of trial, most of which
had previously been mediated.
Notable cases Judge Prager oversaw as a superior court judge
Served as statewide trial coordination judge for dozens of tobacco related class actions. Approved 26 billion dollar California Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) between big tobacco companies and State of California and other governmental entities. Served as trial judge in Marlboro Light cigarette class actions.
PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA V. R.J. RENOLDS TOBACCO COMPANY (RJR)
One of many enforcement actions brought by the California Attorney General under the MSA. Ruled that RJR violated the MSA prohibition against youth advertising.
IN RE NATURAL GAS ANTI-TRUST CASES I, II, III & IV
Served as trial coordination judge in class action pipeline cases alleging violation of California anti-trust laws by manipulation of California natural gas prices during the energy crises.. After several weeks of trial the case settled for over two billion dollars.
NORTH COAST WOMEN'S MEDICAL GROUP, INC. V. SUPERIOR COURT
Ruled that the Unruh Civil Rights Act prohibits physicians from withholding artificial insemination services to a Lesbian Patient.
BERNARDO V. PLANNED PARENTHOOD FEDERATION OF AMERICA
Granted anti-SLAPP motion against plaintiffs who were attempting to prevent Planned Parenthood from providing information that abortion was safe and requiring Planned Parenthood to inform patients that abortion increased the risk of breast cancer.
Mediator, Arbitrator, Private Judge (Present)
Assigned Judge, Court of Appeal (2015-2016)
Judge, Superior Court of San Diego (1989-2015)
Judge, El Cajon Municipal Court (1988-89)
California Deputy Attorney General, including last two years as Chief Attorney, Attorney General's Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Patient Abuse (1981-1988)
Enforcement Attorney, State of California Fair Political Practices Commission (1980-1981)
Legal Counsel, California Fair Political Practices Commission (1979-1980)
San Diego Deputy District Attorney (1970-1979)
Education & Professional Affiliations
Juris Doctor, University of Southern California School of Law (1969)
Bachelor of Arts, Pomona College, Claremont, California
Association of Business Trial Lawyers, executive committee, three multi-year terms.
Advisor Judge to State Bar of California Litigation section, 2004-2014
Master and member of the executive committee, Wallace Inn of Court, 2005-present
Achievements & Awards
Consumer Attorneys of San Diego, Judge of the Year (2016)
Presenter on trial procedure and practice at numerous seminars for lawyers sponsored by the American Bar Association, Association of Business Trial Lawyers, and various Inns of Court.
Co-author of Matthew Bender Practice Guide: California Trial and Post Trial Civil Procedure, Consultant to CEB publication: California Summary Judgment, 2013, 2014, 2015.
Hobbies & Interests
In his spare time, Judge Prager enjoys spending time with his family and especially playing with his grandchildren. He enjoys aerobic exercise while watching sports on television.