Neutral Profile

   Print

HON. TIMOTHY M. CASSERLY, RET.

  • Based in San Diego, available in All of California
  • Available for Mediation, Arbitration, and Private Judging assignments

Introduction

With a combined 25 years of experience on the bench, Judge Casserly has presided over hundreds of civil trials and managed more than 1,000 matters. Appointed to the San Diego County bench in 1996, he oversaw criminal jury trials before becoming a criminal supervising judge, assigning cases for trial and settling hundreds of matters each month. In 2004, Judge Casserly was reassigned to the San Diego Superior Court Trial Department, handling civil trials and conducting weekly civil settlement conferences.

From 2010 until his retirement, he served on the Civil Independent Calendar Department, managing a high caseload, and conducting over 300 judicial settlement conferences nationwide. During his time on the bench, Judge Casserly served on the Center for Judicial Education and Research’s New Judge Orientation Faculty, helping new judges adjust to their roles and responsibilities. Prior to the bench, Judge Casserly also spent a combined 15 years as a deputy district attorney for Sacramento and San Diego counties.

Judge Casserly says, “During my time on the bench the job I enjoyed the most was conducting settlement conferences. I really became passionate about it. I’m looking forward to continuing to help people settle their cases in the private sector.”

Practice Areas

  • All types of Personal Injury including Wrongful Death
  • Business/Contractual
  • Employment
  • Insurance Coverage/Bad Faith
  • Medical Negligence
  • Probate
  • Real Property

Experience Summary

With over two decades on the bench, Judge Casserly brings a wealth of knowledge, experience, and insight to alternative dispute resolution. Throughout his 25 years as a Superior Court Judge in San Diego, he presided over hundreds of trials and managed thousands of civil cases, including breach of contract, business disputes, construction defect, employment, personal injury, and real property matters.

Read More

Hobbies & Interests

Judge Casserly enjoys playing tennis, golf, and horseback riding.

Testimonials

"Judge Casserly did a fantastic job. He has a way of cutting through all the noise and providing each side with the proper perspective from which to make an informed decision on resolution. "
- Attorney on an Employment Sexual Harassment case

"Casserly was great, clear, and empathetic."
- Attorney on a Personal Injury Auto case

"Judge Casserly was excellent and extremely helpful in helping the parties get the matters resolved."
- Attorney on a Real Property/Landlord Tenant case

"Judge Casserly did a fine job handling this tricky 'tree trespass/cutting case.' Got it resolved."
- Attorney on a Property Damage case

"Judge Casserly is patient, attentive, and hardworking. He gets right down to business and quickly positions the parties for an efficient resolution. I would put him at the top of my list of go-to mediators."
- Attorney on a Warranty of Habitability Matter

"Judge Casserly was patient, kind to my clients in a very emotional case, and creative. The parties were pretty far apart in their assessments, but he successfully bridged the gap. He is on our list of "first call" mediators."
- Attorney on an Elder Abuse Wrongful Death case

"Judge Casserly is an excellent mediator."
- Attorney on a General Negligence case

"Judge Casserly was professional, courteous, and tenacious in helping multiple parties settle a pair of related and contentious matters. We look forward to using him on several cases in the future. "
- Attorney on a Real Property/Landlord Tenant case

Read More

Links and Articles

Experience Summary

BREACH OF CONTRACT

Judge Casserly oversaw many breach of contract cases and trials while on the bench, including but not limited to:

• Plaintiff contractor contracted with the defendant homeowner to do a substantial house remodel. The work began and the defendant made numerous change orders and stopped paying, so the plaintiff stopped working on the project. The defendant hired others to complete the project. Plaintiff sued for breach of contract, and the defendant cross-complained for breach of contract and construction defect.

• Plaintiff bought a house from the defendant, and agreed to buy the property “as is.” After moving in the plaintiff discovered window leaks and sued, claiming failure to disclose, fraud, and construction defect.

• Defendant 1 bought a house, did some work on it, and then sold it to Defendant 2, who almost immediately resold the property because of a job transfer. Plaintiffs bought the property and found many problems that were not disclosed to them. They sued Defendant 1 for construction defect and Defendant 2 for failure to disclose.

• Plaintiff contracted with the defendant to buy 1500 avocado trees, and paid a non-refundable deposit. Defendant did not provide the trees on the agreed-upon delivery date, and months later the defendant agreed to deliver trees, but the trees he wanted to deliver were too small, so Plaintiff refused delivery. Defendant never delivered trees and the plaintiff sued for breach of contract.

• Plaintiff owned an industrial complex with large warehouse buildings and entered a commercial lease with the defendant who conducted cheerleading classes in the building. Because of Covid-19, the defendant could not operate the business, so the landlord deferred rent. The landlord then believed that the defendant was not being truthful about the status of the business and was operating as usual, demanded rent which was not paid, and sued to evict the defendant.

BUSINESS DISPUTES

Judge Casserly is well-versed in complex business disputes and oversaw a variety of these matters while on the bench. Of note, includes:

• Plaintiff and Defendant agreed to go into business together and formed a corporation with the company owned 50/50. The defendant froze the plaintiff out of the business, all the employees went with him. The defendant also possessed all the trucks and equipment of the business. The plaintiff took cash from the business.

CONSTRUCTION DEFECT

Judge Casserly understands the intricacies of construction defect, hearing cases such as:

• Plaintiff hired the defendant to be the general contractor on a very expensive home remodel. Defendant hired numerous subs to perform the work. After the work was completed, the plaintiff found many problems that required approximately $400,000 to repair. Plaintiff sued the defendant, and the defendant cross-complained against all of the subs.

EMPLOYMENT

Judge Casserly tried and settled a myriad of employment disputes including:

• Plaintiff was fired from his job as a bartender. The defendant claimed that he was fired for missing work and making crude and offensive comments to other employees. The plaintiff sued for wrongful termination claiming he was retaliated against because he had been making complaints about illegal activities by the employer.

• Plaintiff was the Administrative Assistant to the CEO of a company. She was an at-will employee. The company fired her claiming that she could not get along with other employees. Plaintiff sued for wrongful termination claiming she was fired because she complained that the company was not properly calculating her vacation time.

• Plaintiff and Defendant had a live-in relationship for many years. The plaintiff also worked for the defendant’s company and was categorized by the defendant as an independent contractor. The plaintiff broke up with the defendant and moved out of the condominium where they had been living together, sued the defendant claiming she had been misclassified as an independent contractor, and alleged numerous Labor Code violations. The defendant filed a cross-complaint claiming that the plaintiff stole property from him when she moved out.

PERSONAL INJURY

Judge Casserly handled many personal injury trials. Some examples of cases include:

• Plaintiff tripped over the sliding door track that was in the bedroom of a house she was renting. She did not immediately report the incident, but sued the landlord after she moved out of the house after many disputes with the landlord. The plaintiff claimed that the track was not to code and was dangerous.

• Plaintiff was standing on the sidewalk in line waiting to enter a venue. During the movement of the crowd, the plaintiff tripped in the well of a tree that was planted along the sidewalk and broke her leg. She had surgery, needed at least one more surgery, and the prognosis for a full recovery was not promising. The plaintiff sued the show venue, the neighboring business, and the city, claiming negligence and dangerous condition of public property. The defendants denied any liability.

• Plaintiff was involved in an admitted liability auto accident. At the time of the accident, neither party claimed any injury. Sometime after the accident, the plaintiff had a diabetes-related hospital stay and claimed this was caused by the stress of the accident. The defendant contested that the hospital stay had any relation to the accident.

• Plaintiff was involved in an admitted liability rear-end auto accident. She suffered a soft tissue injury. She also claimed to have suffered a torn rotator cuff and needed surgery for that. The defendant denied that the rotator cuff injury was caused by the accident.

• Plaintiff was punched in the face at a house party and suffered significant injuries. The plaintiff sued the property owner for negligence, and the person he claimed hit him for battery.

• Plaintiff claimed that she was hit by a car while she was walking through a parking lot. The defendant claimed that he had been driving slowly in the parking lot and that the plaintiff had walked into the side of his vehicle.

• Plaintiff was knocked down by a large dog breaking both of her wrists. Defendant denied that his dog was the one that knocked the plaintiff down.

• The plaintiff, a student, tripped and fell on the school’s playing field. She claimed she tripped on a gopher hole, and that the school district had been previously notified of the poor condition of the field, but had done nothing about it.

• Plaintiff was severely injured when she drove her vehicle through an intersection on a green light and collided with a city fire truck that was traveling through the intersection on a red light. The fire truck was on an emergency call and was going through the intersection with its red lights and siren on.

REAL PROPERTY

Judge Casserly regularly presided over real property cases, such as:

• Plaintiff wanted to replace the wood fences on either side of her property with a block wall. She could not get an agreement from either neighbor, even if she paid all the costs. HOA would not approve the request without agreement from the neighbors, so the plaintiff sued the neighbors and the HOA.

• Plaintiff bought a house and then began major renovation work on the yard. She wanted to install solar panels on the slope between her property and her upper neighbor’s property but discovered that the neighbor had made many improvements that encroached on the plaintiff’s property. In addition, the water district had a 20-foot easement between the two properties and demanded that the plaintiff remove the encroachments. Plaintiff sued to resolve the various equitable issues between the three parties.

Legal Career

  • Full-time Neutral, Judicate West (Present)
  • Judge, San Diego Superior Court (1996 -June 2021); North County Civil IndependentCalendar Department (2010-2021); North County Trial Department (2004-2010); North County Criminal Presiding Department (2000-2004); North County Criminal Trial Department (1998-2000); North County Municipal Court Criminal Trial Department (1996-1998)
  • Deputy District Attorney, San Diego County (1986-1996)
  • Deputy District Attorney, Sacramento County (1981-1986)

Education & Professional Affiliations

  • J.D., University of Southern California School of Law (1981)
  • B.A., California State University, Los Angeles (1978)
  • Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine Law, “Mediating the Litigated Case”
  • Todd Inn of Court, Member (2018-Present)
  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers, Member (ABTL) (2015-Present)
  • Lopardo Inn of Court, Member (2012 – Present)

Legal Experience

  • All types of Personal Injury including Wrongful Death
  • Business/Contractual
  • Employment
  • Insurance Coverage/Bad Faith
  • Medical Negligence
  • Probate
  • Real Property

Recent Representative Cases