Neutral Profile



  • Based in Orange County, available in All of California
  • Mediation Only


Since 2007, Gary has been a full-time neutral and has successfully mediated over 3,000 civil matters.

During his 25 years as a trial lawyer, Mr. Donovan represented both defendants and plaintiffs in all types of civil matters. Since the early 1990s, he served as a mediator, arbitrator, and Temporary Judge for both the Orange County Superior Court and Riverside County Superior Court. It was during that time he discovered his passion for meditating. Subsequently, to make a full-time ADR commitment, Mr. Donovan underwent intensive training from the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University.

As a mediator, he is a very effective communicator and is resourceful and persistent in striving to reach a resolution in each case. Those qualities are the reasons why he is often selected by both plaintiff and defense attorneys. One attorney commented, "Gary did a great job in bringing so many parties together on a mutually beneficial settlement. I look forward to working with him again in the future."

Practice Areas

  • Aviation
  • Products Liability
  • Premises Liability
  • Vehicle Liability
  • Employment
  • Real Property
  • Construction Defect
  • Homeowner’s Disputes
  • Business Contractual

Hobbies & Interests

Gary enjoys hockey, motorcycles, boats, skiing, drums, and airplanes.



"Very persistent and creatively broke an impasse between the parties."
- Attorney on an Elder Abuse/Medical Malpractice Matter

"Mr. Donovan is a very good mediator and works very hard at trying to resolve disputes/matters. In the mediations I have had with him, I have always been satisfied with his services."
- Attorney on a Personal Injury Dangerous Conditions Catastrophic case

"Gary Donovan is creative and tenacious. He didn't quit until we had a deal and provided an excellent follow-up post-mediation."
- Attorney, Los Angeles County, California

"I appreciate the difference that Gary made on this case. I am spreading the word in the office about our great experience with him and I look forward to working with him in the future."
- Attorney, Los Angeles County, California

"I wanted to express my thanks to Gary in getting this case settled. He's a great mediator and this showed in his work on this case. I will not hesitate to use his services to help my clients settle their cases in the future."
- Attorney, San Diego County, California

"I wanted to express my gratitude to Gary Donovan for his smooth handling of the mediation."
- Attorney, Orange County, California

"We are very pleased with Mr. Donovan. He made the mediation process very manageable and was able to get us to resolve the matter for a satisfactory amount. "
- Attorney on a Premises Liability case

"Gary is an outstanding mediator and deserves all the credit for getting this case settled. I am grateful for all the hard work and time put in on the case."
- Attorney, Newport Beach, California

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Experience Summary

Legal Career

  • Mediator, Judicate West (2007-Present)
  • Mediator, TLC Resolutions (2002-Present)
  • Mediator, Riverside County Bar Dispute Resolution Service (2001-2014)
  • Temporary Judge, Riverside County Superior Court (2001-2007)
  • Arbitrator and Temporary Judge, Orange County Superior Court (1992-2007)
  • Partner, Donovan & Draheim (1994-2007)
  • Partner, Donovan & Quilligan (1987-1994)
  • Associate, Wood, Ward & Garnett (1983-1987)
  • Associate, Thomas & Price (1981-1983)
  • Hill, Genson, Even, Crandall & Wade (1978-1981)

Education & Professional Affiliations

  • J. D., Southwestern University School of Law (1981)
  • B.A., Economics, Fordham University, Bronx, New York (1977)
  • Pepperdine University, School of Law - Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, “Mediating the Litigated Case” (2001)
  • Orange County Trial Lawyers Association (OCTLA), Affiliate Member (2008-Present)
  • Southern California Mediation Association, Member (2008-Present)
  • Consumer Attorneys of Los Angeles (CAALA) (2001-Present)
  • California Real Estate Broker (1998)
  • F.A.A. Licensed Private Pilot (1991)
  • Association of Southern California Defense Counsel (1988-Present)
  • Orange County and Riverside Bar Associations, Member

Achievements & Awards

  • Mr. Donovan has been an AV-rated attorney listed in the Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register since 1989.

Legal Experience

  • Aviation
  • Products Liability
  • Premises Liability
  • Vehicle Liability
  • Employment
  • Real Property
  • Construction Defect
  • Homeowner’s Disputes
  • Business Contractual

Recent Representative Cases