Hon. Paul A. Bacigalupo (Ret.)


Hon. Paul A. Bacigalupo, Ret. joined ADR Services, Inc. in 2024 after 22 years as a Judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court. In 2014, Judge Bacigalupo was assigned to the Van Nuys courthouse, where he conducted mandatory settlement conferences full-time for the last four years of his judicial career. He previously presided over an independent calendar civil and trial court and various criminal assignments. As a mediator, Judge Bacigalupo is characterized by his persistent curiosity to achieve resolution and his ability to ask the right questions at the right time. His reputation as an active, empathetic, and intense listener precedes him, and he is known to work tirelessly with the parties to develop creative pathways to settlement.

What further sets Judge Bacigalupo apart is his deep understanding of multicultural nuances and business and insurance decision-making processes that play a pivotal role in the settlement process. Having lived and worked in Europe, Asia and Mexico, and his familiarity with all the courts throughout California, Judge Bacigalupo has an unparalleled perspective of the diversity of litigants, attorneys, jury pools, insurance carriers, businesses, partnerships, government entities and injured parties. He is respected and sought after for his ability to accomplish resolution.

Judge Bacigalupo’s legal career spans both the public and private sectors. Prior to becoming a Judge of the Superior Court, he was a Judge of the California State Bar Court. During his legal career, he practiced public and private complex construction law, business litigation, employment law, insurance, product liability, personal injury, and immigration law in both state and federal courts. He was a founding attorney mediator and arbitrator of the JAMS/Endispute Los Angeles and Santa Monica offices in 1995.

Judge Bacigalupo’s dedication to judicial outreach and mentorship has left a profound and enduring mark on the legal community. He was elected as the 87th president of the California Judges Association (CJA) and founded its Judicial Fairness Coalition and is a former co-chair of the Judicial Branch Bench-Bar Coalition, a former member of the Judicial Council of California, a Special Master with the Commission on Judicial Performance (CJP), and a CJP mentor. He is frequently invited to speak to bar associations and organizations around the country about mentoring, judicial independence, and attorney well-being.


  • Business/Partnership
  • Personal Injury
  • Employment
  • Construction
  • Complex Toxic Tort
  • Sexual Assault & Abuse
  • Professional Negligence
  • Real Estate & Land Use
  • Entertainment
  • HOA Disputes
  • Health Care
  • Government Entities
  • Religious Institutions
  • Wrongful Death
  • Cannabis
  • Elder Abuse
  • Aviation & Aerospace
  • Technology/Social Media
  • Product Liability
  • Civil Rights


  • J.D., McGeorge School of Law, 1987
  • American University in China (Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong), 1985
  • B.S. Political Science, Santa Clara University, 1981
  • Gonzaga University in Florence, Italy, 1979-1980


Van Nuys Courthouse, Northwest District, 2014-2024

  • Dedicated Mandatory Settlement Conferences, 2019-2024
  • Assistant Supervising Judge, 2020-2022
  • Unlimited Civil and Trial Court, 2014-2019

Compton Courthouse, South Central District, 2003-2014

  • Criminal Assignment: Long cause felony trials, felony and misdemeanor calendar and trial matters, preliminary hearings, arraignment and early disposition court, drug court and traffic court.
  • Civil Assignment: Conducted mandatory settlement conferences.

State Bar Court, 2000-2002

  • Appointed as a hearing judge to the State Bar Court of California. Sat on assignment on the Review Department. Founding Supervisor of the State Bar Court’s Southern California Alternative Discipline Program, the nation’s first comprehensive program for attorney substance abuse and mental health.

Los Angeles Superior Court Leadership

  • Los Angeles Judicial Mentor Program, Founding Co-Chair, 2020-2023
  • Los Angeles Judges Election Protection Committee, Founding Member of Board of Directors, 2018-2022
  • Facilities Committee, Member, 2018-2024
  • Outreach and Access and Fairness Committees, Member and Faculty, 2003-2024
  • Teen Court Judge, San Fernando, Compton, and Jordan Downs High School, 2003-2017
  • Countywide Court-Clergy Conference, Chair of Justice for All, 2016
  • Executive Committee, Elected Member, 2008-2009


Law Office of Paul A. Bacigalupo; Castle and Associates; Meyers, Bianchi, McConnell; Law Office of Fredrick Wentzel (in-house counsel for Hartford Insurance Group), 1990-2000

  • Practiced public and private construction law, handling complex litigation and claims involving structures such as courthouses, prisons, universities, airports, roads, bridges, hospitals, high-rise buildings, apartment buildings, and homes. Practice areas included contract negotiation, delay claims, bid protests, insurance disputes, professional liability, construction defects and accidents, bond and indemnity disputes, employment, and product liability. Represented a wide array of clients including international and national general contractors and joint ventures, manufacturers, subcontractors, construction managers, architects, engineers, owners, and public agencies.

JAMS/Endispute, 1995-1997

  • Founding attorney mediator and arbitrator in the Los Angeles and Santa Monica offices. Member of its specialized construction and employment panels.

Howard Hom and Associates, Los Angeles, 1988-1990

  • Practiced immigration law, handling cases involving investor visas, temporary and student visas, citizenship, and deportation for various clients such as families, employers, professionals, and religious workers. Represented Asian clients in both the United States District Court and United States Immigration Court.

United States Immigration Court, 1987-1988

  • Judicial Clerk for the Executive Office of Immigration Review, U.S. Department of Justice. Drafted judicial decisions and legal memorandums. Conducted legal research on issues surrounding removal, exclusion, asylum, citizenship, fraud, and crimes of moral turpitude.

Riquelme and Associates, Mexico City, 1987

  • Law Clerk at the Mexico City office of a leading international law firm assisting with drafting contracts and joint venture agreements for international business transactions and cross-border issues.

Prosperity United Law Firm, Taipei, Taiwan, 1985

  • Law Clerk at an international law and accountancy firm, reviewing business contracts and agreements between Taiwanese and foreign countries.


  • Judicial Council of California, Member and Liaison to Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, 2018-2019
  • Judicial Council Rules and Projects Committee, Member, 2018-2019
  • Commission on Judicial Performance, Special Master and Southern California Mentor, 2015-Present
  • Judicial Branch Access, Ethics and Fairness Curriculum Committee, Former Chair and Member, 2010-2018
  • Judicial Branch Fairness Committee, Member, 2004-2010


California Judicial Mentor Program, 2021-Present

  • Founding Chair. A partnership between the executive and judicial branches dedicated to increasing broad diversity, inclusivity and excellence in the judiciary.


Appointed member of the Advanced Judicial Studies Institute, Advanced Judicial College Workgroup, Qualifying Ethics 6 and 7 Workgroup, and Judicial College faculty. Educational programs include:

  • Building Resilient Leaders, 2019
  • Mindfulness: How To Be a Calmer Judge, 2018
  • Becoming a Resilient Judicial Officer, 2018-Present
  • Trauma in the Courtroom, 2017-2018
  • The Excellence of Judicial Decision-Making, 2015


  • California Judges Association, 87th President, Board Member, and Member, 2000-Present
  • Italian American Lawyers Association, Member of the Board of Governors, 2022-Present
  • Bench Bar Coalition, Elected Co-Chair (2020-2022), Executive Committee, Member, 2019-Present
  • California Latino Judges Association, Member, 2005 – Present
  • National Implicit Bias Network, Member, 2018-Present
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association, Member, Volunteer Mediator and Arbitrator, 1988 – 2000


  • Every 15 Minutes, Participant and Speaker, 2016-2017
  • Mock Trial, Constitutional Rights Foundation, Southwestern Law School Trial Advocacy Program, Participant and Judge, 2008-2015
  • Para Los Ninos Charter Elementary School, Member of the Advisory Board, 2004-2010
  • Sacramento Neighborhood Mediation Center, Founding Member of the Board of Directors, 1986-1987


  • California Lawyers Association; Los Angeles County Bar Association; Defense Research Institute – Asbestos Medical Seminar.


  • Advocate, Journal of Consumer Attorneys Associations for Southern California; Plaintiff, Magazine for Northern California Plaintiffs’ Attorneys; Association of Business Trial Lawyers The Report.


  • San Fernando Valley Bar Association, Judge of the Year, 2017
  • Mexican American Bar Association PAC, Judicial Excellence Award, 2017

Representative Cases


  • An office building owner near a publicly-owned airport sues the airport and one of its tenants alleging public and private nuisance, noncompliance of federal, state and local rules and regulations regarding noise, vibration, movements of air, fumes and odors.
  • The owner of a private aircraft transportation business claims loss of business and opportunity because a repair facility damaged one of its jets. The defendant claimed the loss of business alleged was inflated.

Cannabis Disputes

  • Contractual dispute between a rural cultivator and distributor regarding product cultivation and delivery of product.
  • Disputes between cannabis investors and retailers regarding profit distribution and sales.
  • Dispute between cannabis manufacturers and shareholders about record keeping and accounting.
  • Disputes between cannabis commercial tenants and landlords over claims of illegal use of leased premises.
  • Dispute about the distribution of profit between shareholders of a cannabis manufacturing business regarding use of patented equipment in the production process. The minority shareholder claimed breach of fiduciary obligations, self-dealing and misappropriation. The majority shareholders denied liability.

    Complex Toxic Tort

    • Three adult children bring a survival wrongful death asbestos action against 14 defendants located throughout the United States on behalf of their father who died of mesothelioma. The defendants disputed causation and liability.
    • Plaintiff and his wife contend the plaintiff developed lung cancer because of his use of asbestos-cement pipe and the use of carborundum blades for cutting asbestos cement pipe over an eleven-year period. The defendants denied liability.
    • Three adult children bring a survival wrongful death action on a claim that their 88-year-old mother was exposed to asbestos from one of eight different brands of cosmetic talcum powder some of which were used daily over the decedent’s lifetime. Causes of action included negligence, strict liability, false representation, fraudulent misrepresentation and concealment, conspiracy and punitive damages. The defendants denied causation and liability.
    • Plaintiffs were married for 57 years. The wife was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma. She was a lifetime talc user. Her husband was employed by several aerospace and trucking companies and worked around asbestos-containing brake dust. It was alleged that the husband for over 30 years brought home dusty work clothes and his wife did all the laundry. Plaintiffs also alleged that the wife was exposed to asbestos in joint compound used in their home. The 17 defendants, located across the United States, denied causation and liability.

    Commercial Contract

    • Numerous cases involving disputes between general contractors performing work for homeowners, office building owners, and homeowner associations.
    • Disputes between developers, builders, architects, lenders and purchasers of luxury homes in urban, coastal and rural areas.
    • Several cases with investor disputes over restaurants (Thai, Mexican, American café), a commercial bakery, and nursing home facilities. Purchase-sale agreements, financing obligations, management and operation agreements were in dispute.
    • Several cases involving allegations of fraud and embezzlement surrounding breach of contract between homeowners and interior designers. One case had concurrent felony criminal charges against the defendant arising out of their relationship with the homeowner. This case included addressing a restitution stipulation with the Attorney General’s Office, criminal defense counsel and the civil lawyers.
    • A dental patient sued her dentist for breach of contract stemming from three dental implants that were surgically placed that she claims failed. The dentist denied that he agreed to pay another dentist to repair the original work.
    • Bad faith lawsuit by a homeowner against their property insurer because of real and personal property damage sustained in the Woolsey fire. Allegations that the homeowner was underpaid on the claim, the investigation was delayed and not thorough, and professional negligence against the insurance agent. The insurer denied all those claims.
    • Action for breach of contract and conversion by a health care company against a pharmaceutical company. Dispute over clinical trials on pharmaceutical products and services performed.
    • Dispute by a physician and his medical offices against the vendor of medical billing software. Counter claims by the vendor against the designer of the software.

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    Construction Disputes

    • Numerous cases involving homeowners suing their general contractors, architects, landscapers, pool installers, soil engineers, home interior designers for breach of contract.
    • Breach of contract case between the owner, general contractor, engineers, inspectors and subcontractor involving the development and construction of a national grocery store, and the testing and removal of contaminated soil. The owner/developer denied any breach of contract and counterclaimed for construction delay costs.
    • Several cases between homeowners, general contractors, subcontractors and vendors pertaining to breach of contract claims and defective and faulty work including windows, roof, solar panels, hardwood floors, plumbing, driveways, patios, pools, walls.
    • A subcontractor on five public works projects sued the same general contractor for violation of prompt payment laws, statutory penalty due and wrongful withholding of money due.
    • Homeowners sue a construction company and its owner for not providing a proper home improvement contract, not providing change orders, hiring unlicensed subcontractors, failing to pay subcontractors in full and converted sums, abandoning the project, and defective work. Defendants denied all claims.

      Employment, Harassment, Discrimination, Wage and Hour

      • An executive claimed the owner of a closed corporation discriminated against him. The employee also alleged insurance fraud resulting in an intervention by the State of California. The defendant denied all allegations.
      • An executive in a start-up business alleging discrimination sues the investors for money claimed owed.
      • A male sales executive alleged sexual harassment against the female owner of a private company saying he was required to share a hotel room with the owner while on an out-of-town trip.
      • Numerous cases involving claims of wage and hour violations - unpaid overtime, unpaid meal period, unpaid rest period, unpaid vacation.
      • Several cases involving claims of harassment and discrimination in public sector agencies.

        Entertainment, Media, and Sports

        • Dispute between an investor and production company over financing and distribution of 13 scripted and produced films. The defendant claimed they performed all their contractual obligations.
        • Dispute between record producer and singer over recording rights and distribution.
        • A music label sued a music producer for breach of an agreement to engineer, record and produce sound recordings and failure to perform the services of a label contract. The defendant denied the allegations.

        Homeowners Association and Landlord-Tenant Disputes

        • Dozens of commercial breach of contract disputes between owners and tenants including national retailers, businesses, fitness centers, massage spa, medical, dental and law offices, a theatre, nonprofits, and restaurants arising out of nonpayment of rent that accrued during COVID-related restrictions.
        • Innumerable cases between landlords and property management companies against tenants alleging failure to pay rent, surrender possession of property, nuisance including illegal activities such as committing theft, drug use, unauthorized possession of pets, excessive noise and smoke, illegal parking, destruction of property, unauthorized occupants and guests, threatening behavior. Often tenants claim uninhabitable conditions pertaining to lack of heat, proper plumbing and electricity, broken windows, doors and appliances, safety issues, rodent and vermin infestation, bed bugs, discrimination, harassment and retaliation.
        • Individuals who had service contracts with an HOA sued the HOA and individual board members alleging money had and received, and tortious interference with management agreements, hacking email accounts and misappropriation. Participants in the mediations involved current and past board members, HOA counsel, insurance counsel, and HOA bankruptcy and reorganization counsel.
        • Numerous cases brought by homeowners’ associations against homeowners arising out of claims of nuisance, non-payment of dues or assessments. Often these cases include counterclaims by the homeowner against the HOA. Mediation participants include HOA board members, HOA private counsel, insurance counsel and adjusters, plaintiffs and their counsel.
        • Several cases brought by a HOA member or HOA board member alleging the HOA board failed to comply with statutory governance requirements. Issues include recordkeeping, fine assessment, irregular board voting and notice.
        • Several cases brought by HOA members against their HOAs claiming failure to maintain common areas resulting in water and other forms of property damage to the plaintiffs’ property.

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        Partnership, Shareholder, Investor and Intra-Family Disputes

        • Brothers disputed the distribution of multimillion-dollar assets of family privately-owned businesses in New York and Los Angeles. Claims of misappropriation, fraud and mismanagement. Over the years, they and their entities have been adverse to one another in at least 12 lawsuits.
        • Siblings and other family members disputed the management, ownership, and governance of their financial and contractual relationships in shopping centers in Southern California. The legacy properties with eight-figure loans were locked in property management disputes.
        • Numerous cases involving investors disputing terms of oral agreements to fund Limited Liability Corporations and partnerships to finance and purchase real estate or businesses.
        • An ex-wife and ex-husband and a minority shareholder were owners of a commercial property that generated income. Claims of breach of fiduciary duties, dissolution of the ownership corporation, removal of directors, failing to maintain and provide corporate books and records, mismanagement, fraud and abuse.
        • Consolidated cases involving numerous investors, some of whom are related, and their numerous Limited Liability Corporations concerning the financing, acquisition, development and management of commercial real property in Texas and San Bernardino, and land for multi-family dwellings throughout Los Angeles. Litigation includes the receiver, lenders, investors, property managers and claims for involuntary dissolution, partition, breach of contract, fraud, breach of fiduciary obligations, indemnification.
        • An independent insurance brokerage firm sold its assets to another independent insurance brokerage firm with a national footprint. A dispute arose whether certain performance metrics were achieved. Allegations which were denied include fraudulent inducement, and breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing.

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        Personal Injury and Elder Abuse

        • A steel worker fell 25 feet down an elevator shaft on a construction jobsite. Parties include the injured plaintiff, owners and their multiple entities, general contractor, subcontractors, insurance brokers and agencies, and insurers.
        • Several cases by residents in private and nonprofit nursing home facilities alleging negligence and elder abuse.
        • Numerous auto collision cases and some with multiple vehicles or trucks ranging from minor to serious injuries, and disputes over liability and damages.
        • Several dog bites cases, including minor plaintiffs, against dog owners, landlords, property management companies, and non-profit animal rescue organizations.
        • A plaintiff was bitten by a giraffe as he was trying to rope the animal that was walking down a rural road. The giraffe left its contained area because a gate was open. Plaintiff claimed a back injury and loss of earnings.
        • Several slip and fall cases against retailers, property managers, landlords, public agencies, and homeowners alleging premises liability and dangerous and defective conditions and disputed damages claimed.
        • Plaintiff alleged personal injury and elder abuse sustained in a traffic accident while being transported in a medical transportation vehicle to a senior facility. Her husband claimed loss of consortium.

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        Product Liability

        • A privately held subsidiary of a publicly traded parent company and another party are sued in a wrongful death action arising out of the death of an individual using a ventilator machine. Causes of action for strict liability, design defect, negligent design, manufacture, and sale, negligence – failure to recall/retrofit, warn, survival action, breach of implied warranty of fitness and merchantability.
        • A minor sustained injuries while jumping on a trampoline at a trampoline park venue, suing the venue and the trampoline product manufacturer. The defendants denied that the product was dangerous or defective and that a guardian of the minor signed a written waiver of liability.

        Professional Negligence and Fee Disputes

        • Fee dispute based on an attorney’s services in a complex tax matter. Defendants - related family members - had cross claims based on joint and several liability. At the same time, the defendants had separate actions related to their inheritance of and distribution of multimillion-dollar businesses throughout Southern California.
        • Several cases against real estate agencies and their brokers alleging failure to disclose defects such as water related property damage or nearby nuisances like odor. Defendants said the purchasers were on notice of any alleged claims.
        • A dog owner sued a pet hospital claiming the hospital negligently performed neuter surgery on the dog. The hospital denied the allegations.
        • Several cases by attorneys to recover unpaid invoices. The former clients allege overbilling.
        • Several cases by certified public accountants to recover unpaid invoices related to being retained for marital dissolution forensic services and litigation support, including expert testimony. The former clients claim overbilling and faulty work product.

          Real Property, Real Estate, and Land Use Disputes

          • Numerous cases involving disputes pertaining to roads and access, water, soil, structures, trees, odor, encroachment, trespass, adverse possession in urban and rural areas. These cases typically involve insurance coverage issues and sometimes architects, general contractors, real estate agents and brokers and municipal building and safety departments.
          • Numerous disputes between neighbors in rural and urban areas over Covenant, Conditions and Restrictions violations.
          • Commercial tenants in Koreatown sued high-rise owner for breach of contract regarding a restaurant lease. The parties were childhood friends.
          • Several cases between banks, lenders, mortgage companies suing homeowners for breach of mortgage payments and homeowners suing the same for breach of federal and state loan modification rules.
          • Numerous partitions, quiet title and disputed claims of ownership actions between interrelated family members, investors and heirs over real property. Many of the cases involved one of the family members living in the house.

            Religious Institutions and Non-Profit Disputes

            • Dispute between a synagogue and a religious school regarding security and access to the properties. The mediation involved the participation of board members and school representatives.
            • One of the co-founders of a nonprofit sues the nonprofit regarding the terms of a multi-million-dollar gift. Allegations of misappropriation, defamation and breach of agreement were addressed.
            • Several cases involving neighbors and a homeowner association claiming zoning violations due to the use of property for improper religious purposes.

            Sexual Assault, Abuse, and Molestation

            • An adult daughter sued her father for sexual assault, abuse and molestation when she was a minor. The defendant denied all the allegations.
            • A social media influencer and their related companies are sued by former employees who alleged sexual assault.
            • The guardians of minor children sued a school district alleging negligent supervision of an employee claiming sexual abuse and molestation against children aged 9 and 13. The subject employee is incarcerated in state prison. The defendant denied the allegations.
            • The parents of a minor child sue a school district alleging sexual abuse and assault claiming the school district transferred its employee to another school while the district knew or should have known about the teacher’s inappropriate sexual tendencies. The defendant denied the allegations.

            Technology and Social Media

            • A case involved a Limited Liability Company, partially owned and managed by another entity that acquired technology and intellectual property that was assigned to another company dealing with personalized targeted online advertising and web pages. Patented technology for data processing systems using unique algorithms were owned by other entities. Security agreements, UCC filings, equity investments, and promissory notes were utilized. Patent and bankruptcy litigation ensued in jurisdictions throughout the United States. Fraud and alter ego were asserted in California to pierce the corporate veil while the laws of a sister state were claimed to govern a foreign Limited Liability Company.
            • A dental patient posted allegations of sexual assault against a dentist on social media. The allegations were denied.
            • A plastic surgeon performed a brachioplasty on the defendant who was a patient. Thereafter, the patient posted on the doctor’s Yelp web page a claim that the doctor fondled her breasts and nipple area. The doctor denied the allegations and sued for libel and malice.
            • A business claimed a former executive misappropriated its online technology to start-up a new and competing business. The allegations and damages were denied.

            Wrongful Death

            • Three adult family members on behalf of their deceased mother who died because of a house fire sued a product manufacturer. Disputed issues regarding causation and source of ignition.
            • Parents sued the owner of a detox home on behalf of their daughter who died at the facility. Defendants denied liability.
            • A law enforcement agency and a national ride sharing company were sued by the parents of a passenger in a vehicle who was fatally injured in an accident when the passenger was struck by the law enforcement vehicle on the freeway. Issues included negligence, comparative fault and governmental immunity.
            • Several cases involving family members on behalf of deceased family members suing nursing home facilities for negligence and elder care abuse. The defendants denied that their conduct fell below the standard of care.
            • The estate of an individual sued a residential treatment facility claiming the facility did not properly manage the decedent’s psychiatric evaluation, assessment and cessation plan from drug use. The defendants denied they were negligent in the care, treatment and management of the decedent or events that occurred leading to their death.


              “I just wanted to thank you Judge Bacigalupo once again for all your efforts in getting this case resolved.  He is a great settlement judge!!”

              “I want to thank Judge Bacigalupo for his tireless effort in what was a very challenging case with a long history and some interesting dynamics. He went totally above and beyond and I can’t thank him enough.”

              “I want to thank Judge Bacigalupo from the bottom of my heart.  He has gone above and beyond settling my cases.”