Neutral Profile

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HON. JUDY HERSHER, RET.

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

Introduction

With two decades of experience on the Sacramento County Superior Court bench, and advanced training in mediation, Judge Hersher has presided over hundreds of civil litigation matters, including business and corporate disputes, all types of employment matters including false claims, Qui Tam, and state actions, eminent domain, wrongful death, environmental, insurance, and civil rights. She is now available for mediation, arbitration, and private judging assignments, including neutral case, testimony and evidence evaluation.

Prior to becoming a judge, she was a litigation partner with Downey Brand LLP, and tried cases representing both sides in many facets of law. During this time, she participated in court ADR programs, including serving as Judge Pro Tem for the Sacramento County Superior Court settlement department and as an Early Neutral Evaluator for the U.S. District Court, Eastern District.

Over the course of her 37 years in law, Judge Hersher has earned a reputation for fairness and firmness with an unprecedented work ethic. She shares her mission as a private judge stating, “My goals are to provide a collaborative and collegial process through which disputes are resolved with engaged support, and all aspects of the process are founded in neutrality, integrity, respect, legal scholarship, and decisiveness.”

Practice Areas

  • Business, Corporation, Partnership Litigation
  • Civil Rights
  • Elder Abuse
  • Employment
  • Environmental
  • Personal Injury including child abuse and sexual assault
  • Professional Malpractice
  • Real Estate

ADR Highlights

  • Authored numerous publications including California Civil Jury Instruction Handbook for Thomson Reuters (2014- 2018) and Sacramento Lawyer Magazine articles such as "Settlement Demands in Excess of Available Insurance: Good or Bad Faith under CCP §998?" (September/October 2014)
  • Graduate, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, “Mediating the Litigated Case”, Pepperdine/Caruso School of Law, August 2022
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Experience Summary

The following is a sampling of the various cases Judge Hersher presided over as a Superior Court Judge.

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Hobbies & Interests

Throughout the decades, Judge Hersher continues to dedicate her time as an instructor, panelist, and author on a myriad of topics in civil law and proceedings in trial for colleges, law schools, bar groups, courts, and judges. She is also involved in many charitable organizations within the local community. In her spare time, she enjoys hikes, travel, and landscape design.

ADR Highlights

  • Authored numerous publications including California Civil Jury Instruction Handbook for Thomson Reuters (2014- 2018) and Sacramento Lawyer Magazine articles such as "Settlement Demands in Excess of Available Insurance: Good or Bad Faith under CCP §998?" (September/October 2014)
  • Graduate, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, “Mediating the Litigated Case”, Pepperdine/Caruso School of Law, August 2022
  • Consultant for CJER Online Courses, California Judges Benchbook (2012-2019)
  • Lecturer for California First Legislative-Judicial Summit, Curriculum Construction, Sacramento, CA (February 27, 2019)
  • Lecturer on E-Discovery, Georgetown Law Advanced eDiscovery Institute, Washington, D.C. (Fall, 2017)
  • Lecturer on Motions in Limine: What Can Really Be Accomplished? Sacramento County Bar (April 2017); CCTLA Presentation (September 2016), Sacramento County Superior Court Judges (September 2016)
  • Lecturer on Post-Howell: Trial Issues on Medical Damages, Sacramento County Superior Court Judges (July 2016)
  • Lecturer for CJER Advanced Civil Law Institute, Civil Jury Instructions; Special Verdicts; Civil Writs (2008, 2009, 2015)
  • Lecturer at B. E. Witkin Judicial College of California, Trial Management (2010-2012)
  • Lecturer for American Board of Trial Attorneys (ABOTA), Masters in Cross-Examination (2009)
  • Lecturer, CEB, Expert Witnesses and Civil Procedure During Trial

Links and Articles

Experience Summary

CALIFORNIA JURY INSTRUCTIONS AND RELATED LAW


• Member of the California Judicial Advisory Committee on Civil Jury Instructions


BUSINESS, CORPORATIONS, PARTNERSHIPS


•Breach of contract and law


•International disputes


•Fraud/Misrepresentation


•California Commercial Code/Uniform Commercial Code disputes


•Trade secret violations


•Partnership formation and dissolution


•Fiduciary and non-fiduciary governance breaches


•Mortgage fraud against various banks during recession


•Commercial sale and leases


•Unfair Business Practices


CIVIL RIGHTS


•Violations of state and federal statutes


•Prisoner rights and challenges


ELDER ABUSE


•Financial and physical abuse


•Skilled nursing home abuse and negligence


•Wrongful death


EMPLOYMENT


•Race Discrimination


•Age Discrimination


•Sexual Harassment and Discrimination


•Disability Discrimination, Failure to Accommodate


•Gender Discrimination


•Wrongful termination


•Wage and hour disputes


•Covid-related challenges based on protocol, layoff, and terminations


•Sex and Race Discrimination involving Fire and Law Enforcement


•False Claims, Qui Tam, State Actions including: False claim action brought by 200+ public entities against four national cellphone carriers; False claims act brought by the State of California; Challenges by nurses against the State of California for regulatory staffing ratios; Challenges by California teachers’ pension funds against the State of California for wrongful use/conversion of pension funds


ENVIRONMENTAL


•Injury to property/persons


•CEQA, groundwater, and soil contamination


•Insurance coverage disputes, successive policies, vertical and horizontal coverage


HEALTHCARE


•Medicare billing fraud against major hospital chain


•State action against health insurer for wrongful coding and billing


PERSONAL INJURY, NEGLIGENCE + TORT


•Assault and Battery


•Catastrophic injury, auto and otherwise


•Child sexual abuse trial for civil money damages


•Negligence


•Negligent care against childcare facility for sexual assault/abuse, wrongful hiring, and staff oversight


•Personal Injury


•Product Liability


•Wrongful Death


PROFESSIONAL MALPRACTICE


•Legal malpractice


•Medical malpractice/negligence against doctors, surgeons, nurses, catastrophic and otherwise


REAL ESTATE


•Breach of contract


•Buy/sale/lease agreements, business, and individual homeowners


•Eminent Doman including: Pre-condemnation; Active and Inverse Condemnation; Related theories of trespass, property damage


•Property Damages

Legal Career

  • Full Time Neutral, Judicate West (2021-Present)
  • Judge, Sacramento Superior Court (2000-2021); Served in civil, complex, law and motion, and writs
  • Litigation Partner, Downey, Brand, Seymour & Rohwer LLP (1984-2000); Areas of law included contracts, eminent domain, real estate, personal injury and employment discrimination.

Education & Professional Affiliations

  • Strauss Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine/Caruso School of Law, Mediating the Litigated Case: The Art of Facilitating Settlement (August 2022)
  • J.D. University of California, Davis Martin Luther King School of Law (1984 )
  • M.A. Fellowship, Georgetown University (1975)
  • B.A. State University of New York - Albany, New York, English, Magna Cum Laude (1972)
  • Sacramento County Grand Jury Advisor (Effective January 2020)
  • California Judicial Council Advisory Committee on Civil Jury Instructions (2012-2021)
  • California State Federal Judicial Council (2012-2021)
  • Leonard M. Friedman Bar Association, Founder, and Judicial Chair (2009-2015)
  • Judicial Master, Anthony M. Kennedy Inns of Court, Sacramento (2000-2013); Life Member (1991-Present)
  • California Judicial Council Advisory Committee on Access and Fairness (2005–2007)
  • Standing Committee on Gender, Race, Religious and Ethnic Fairness, United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit (1999–2000 )
  • California Women Lawyers, Member (1984-Present)

Achievements & Awards

  • Recognition for Founding and Success, Leonard M. Friedman Bar Association (2021)
  • Trial Judge of the Year, American Board of Trial Advocates, Sacramento Region (2017)
  • Trial Judge of the Year, Capital City Trial Lawyers Association (2015)
  • Trial Judge of the Year, Sacramento County Bar Association (2012)
  • Justice Frances Newell Carr Achievement Award for Advancing the Rights of Women and Children in the Law, Women Lawyers of Sacramento (2003)
  • Humanitarian of the Year, Sacramento County Bar Association (2000)
  • Bayard Rustin Award for Civil Rights, Creation, Sacramento Area Hate Crimes Task Force, Sacramento (1995)

Legal Experience

  • Business, Corporation, Partnership Litigation
  • Civil Rights
  • Elder Abuse
  • Employment
  • Environmental
  • Personal Injury including child abuse and sexual assault
  • Professional Malpractice
  • Real Estate

Recent Representative Cases