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
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.
"Judge Prager was one of our finest trial and settlement judges on the bench. He personally settled a high-stakes, complex case of mine that several
mediators failed to settle. He fairly takes into account both the plaintiff and defense positions. I would not hesitate to use him as a mediator in
any case at all."
- Prominent San Diego Trial Attorney
"The case settled on terms satisfactory to all parties at around 6:30 p.m. that evening. We are now closing the deal. It couldn’t and wouldn’t have happened without his Honor’s insight, skill, and gentle but firm persuasion."
- Attorney on a Business/Contractual Dispute
"He was very thorough with the facts & considerate of my client."
- Attorney on a Real Property Dispute
"This was my first experience with Judge Prager and it was a pleasure. He understood the legal principals and the weaknesses and strengths of the
parties' cases and used them to convince both sides to make significant concessions that neither had been willing to make during the course of the
litigation. His many years on the bench gives him an heir of authority and confidence that the clients (and lawyers) found charming, unbiased and profound. I am recommending to my colleagues that they use him whenever possible. I certainly will."
- Attorney on a Business/Contractual Dispute
"[Judge Prager] is patient and empathetic"
- Attorney on a Real Estate Neighbor Dispute Matter
"Judge Prager has a patience that creates immediate trust and fosters respect from everyone."
- Attorney on a Policy Distribution matter
"Judge Prager did a fantastic job of providing a practical view of how the case would be evaluated by a San Diego jury. He was bright, methodical and dedicated to achieving a resolution."
- Attorney on a personal injury auto dispute
"Judge Prager was great at boiling down the issues and explaining his impression of the case. This was particularly helpful given the highly emotional feelings of my client regarding this matter."
- Attorney on a construction breach of contract dispute
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.
One of many enforcement actions brought by the California Attorney General under the MSA. Ruled that RJR violated the MSA prohibition against youth advertising.
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.
Ruled that the Unruh Civil Rights Act prohibits physicians from withholding artificial insemination services to a Lesbian Patient.
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.
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