Neutral Profile

   Print


Name


HON. THIERRY PATRICK COLAW, RET.

  • Based in Orange County, available in All of California
  • Available for Mediation and Private Judging assignments

Introduction

In 2018, after 21 years of distinguished service for the Orange County Superior Court, Judge Colaw retired and currently serves as a mediator, arbitrator, and private judge. After 11 years on the General Civil Panel, Judge Colaw served for 9 years on the Complex Civil Panel, where he developed an unparalleled track record, presiding over a broad spectrum of challenging cases including employment class actions, construction defects, toxic torts, CEQA and other multi-party complex matters.

Judge Colaw is a long time active member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA)and Association of Business Trial Lawyers (ABTL). He is the proud recipient of many judicial honors including several “Judge of the Year” awards from various organizations. Prior to serving on the bench, Judge Colaw was in private practice for 20 years representing both plaintiffs and defendants in all types of civil litigation. Judge Colaw, a United States Navy veteran who served two tours of duty in Vietnam, is an alumnus of the Santa Clara University School of Law, and the University of California, Los Angeles.



Practice Areas

  • Business/Contractual
  • Construction Defect
  • Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith
  • Product Liability including Pharmaceutical
  • Professional Malpractice
  • All types of Personal Injury
  • General Maritime Law
  • Environmental/CEQA
  • Class Actions
  • Mass Tort

Hobbies & Interests

Judge Colaw is a sports enthusiast who yearly in autumn travels to college football meccas for big games with his brothers and sons. He especially loves all classical music, most jazz, some pop, enjoys photography, bicycling, the beach, cooking French cuisine with his spouse, and travel anywhere, although especially the USA and Europe.

Testimonials

"Understands trial and its pitfalls."
- Attorney on a premises liability dispute

"Judge Colaw did a truly remarkable job in getting our portion of the case settled against great odds."
- Attorney on a Personal Injury case

"He knew the law, the nuances of the evidentiary uses, and listened to the client and attorneys."
- Attorney on a premises liability dispute

"Good listener. Effective listener & communicator. No sugarcoating – appreciated that. Quite likable."
- Attorney on a real property dispute

"Judge Colaw is amazing. He reads all the materials provided and shows that he is invested in getting the case resolved. I would use Judge Colaw in every case if possible. "
- Attorney on a Civil Rights Discrimination case

"J. Colaw listens to the parties and takes what they say and applies it to the case. He brings years of invaluable insight and experience to the mediation process. He is also very good at thinking outside of the box in ways to try to resolve the case."
- Attorney on a personal injury slip & fall matter

"He is a very well respected judge in the civil litigation field. His opinions have great weight not just with clients but attorneys as well."
- - Attorney on a Complex Business Contractual Matter

"Judge Colaw was fantastic; it was one of the better mediation experiences I’ve had. We did not settle the case on the day of mediation, and he continued to work with and for us, and we resolve the case a week later. I will, and already have recommended Judge Colaw to others."
- Attorney on a Medical Malpractice Matter

Read More

Experience Summary

Legal Career

  • Judge, Superior Court, Orange County (1997-2018); Complex Civil Panel (2006-2010 and 2014-2017); General Civil Panel (1997-2005 and 2011-2013)
  • Partner, Hunt, Colaw & Adams, Civil Litigation (1993-1997)
  • Partner, Hunt & Colaw, Civil Litigation (1990-1992)
  • Partner, Hunt, Colaw & Roe, Civil Litigation (1985-1989)
  • Attorney, Vernon W. Hunt, Civil Litigation (1979-1984)
  • Attorney, Smith & Brissenden, Insurance Defense Litigation (1977-1979)

Education & Professional Affiliations

  • J.D., University of Santa Clara Law School (1977)
  • B. A., Cum Laude, University of California, Los Angeles (1974)
  • American Board of Trial Advocates, Member (ABOTA), (2001-Present)
  • ABOTA Orange County Chapter, President (2012), Board Member (2006-2014)
  • CAL-ABOTA, Board Member (2011-2013)
  • Assoc. of Business Trial Lawyers, Board or Judicial Advisory Board Member (ABTL); (2006-2018)
  • Robert J. Banyard Inn of Court, Member (1998-Present); President (2000)
  • Orange County Superior Court, Executive Committee (2006-2015)
  • California Judges Association, Board of Directors (CJA); (2007 – 2010)
  • Orange County Bar Association, Board of Directors (OCBA); (1982-1996)
  • California State Bar Committee on the Administration of Justice, Member (1989-1992)
  • Orange County Trial Lawyers Association, President (1989)
  • Orange County Barristers, President (1983)

Achievements & Awards

  • George Francis Judicial Civility Award Recipient, American Board of Trial Advocates (2015)
  • Judicial Excellence & Integrity Award, Orange County Trial Lawyers Association (2004)
  • Judge of the Year, Business Trial Lawyer Section of Orange County Bar Association (2003)
  • Judge of the Year, American Board of Trial Advocates (2000)
  • Judicial Civility Award, Robert J. Banyard Inn of Court (1999)
  • Jerrold Oliver Award, Orange County Trial Lawyers Association
  • Lecturer/panelist for American Board of Trial Advocates, The Rutter Group, CEB, California Judicial Education Research, Orange County Bar Association, Orange County Superior Court Temporary Judge Program

Legal Experience

  • Business/Contractual
  • Construction Defect
  • Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith
  • Product Liability including Pharmaceutical
  • Professional Malpractice
  • All types of Personal Injury
  • General Maritime Law
  • Environmental/CEQA
  • Class Actions
  • Mass Tort

Recent Representative Cases