Hon. Alfred G. Chiantelli (Ret.)


A jurist with the rare combination of incredible intelligence and progressive people skills, Judge Chiantelli has impressed counsel and colleagues alike during his twenty-year judicial career. Businesslike and professional, he worked hard on every case to read the supporting material so he could fully grasp each issue in matters before him. This proficiency was quite evident as he deftly handled the all-consuming administrative duties of a Presiding Judge. Judge Chiantelli is most admired however for his remarkable ability to work with people. His style, charisma, and communication skills enable him to connect with litigants and excel as a settlement judge, a role for which he is universally well-regarded.

As a bench officer, Judge Chiantelli heard and resolved thousands of matters. As a Presiding Judge, he developed extensive case management and trial experience in numerous areas of complex litigation, including, antitrust, asbestos, business law, class actions, commercial and residential property, construction defects, contracts, defamation, discrimination and harassment, employment, fraud (commercial and consumer), insurance coverage and bad faith, Jones Act, labor, landlord-tenant, malpractice, partnership dissolution, product liability, personal injury, shareholder derivative suits, toxic torts, and will contests.

Judicial Offices

  • 2001 – 2002 Complex civil trial litigation; Coordinator of asbestos litigation (1989–2002)
  • Jan – Aug 2001 Pro Tem Appellate Court Justice, District One, Division Four 1999 – 2000 First Presiding Judge of the Unified Superior Court (elected twice by peers)
  • 1993 – 1999 Civil trial court
  • 1991 – 1992 Criminal Division Master Calendar Court Judge
  • 1989 – 1991 Criminal Felony Trial Court
  • 1988 – 1989 Asst. Presiding Judge of the Superior court Appellate Department
  • 1987 Juvenile Division Judge
  • 1985 – 1987 Criminal Division Court Trials

Pre-Judicial Legal Experience

    Advanced from trial attorney to Assistant Chief District Attorney (tried 126 jury trials)
  • 1967 – 1970 General Civil and Criminal Practice

Honors and Awards

  • 2009 – 2011 Top 50 Neutral in California by the Daily Journal (leading legal newspaper in CA)
  • 2008 Top 40 Neutral in California by the Daily Journal (leading legal newspaper in CA)
  • 2007 Top 40 Neutral in California by the Daily Journal (leading legal newspaper in CA)
  • 2006 Mediator of the Year, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association
  • 2006 Top 30 Neutral in California by the Daily Journal (leading legal newspaper in CA)
  • Former Association of Business Trial Lawyers, member of the Board of Governors (Northern) Present California Judges Association, member
  • 2001 Judge of the Year, Bar Association of San Francisco Barristers
  • 2000 Consumer Attorneys of California Outstanding Judicial Achievement of the Year
  • 1995 Trial Judge of the Year, San Francisco Trial Lawyer’s Association
  • 1994 Marvin E. Lewis Award, San Francisco Law School, Most Inspirational Instructor, graduating class 1994
  • 1989, 1990 Golden Apple Award, San Francisco Law School
  • 1991, 2000 (first year law student’s award for outstanding instructor – won award 4 times)
  • 1983 Champion of the People, San Francisco District Attorneys’ Office (awarded by peers in District Attorney’s Office)


  • Lincoln University Law School
    • Juris Doctor, 1967
  • University of San Francisco
    • Bachelor of Arts, 1961

Teaching and Other Professional Activities

  • 2010 Mediation Lecture with Algerian Representatives
  • May 2008 Speaker at the Low Ball & Lynch conference of insurance adjusters and attorneys re: “Mediation Tactics”
  • March 2008 California Judges Association Retired Judges Conference speaker on “Mediations”
  • 2007 Association of Defense Counsel of Northern California together with the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association panelist – “College of Hard Knocks: Trial Tactics”
  • 2007 Farmers Insurance conference speaker re: Settlement Tactics
  • 2006 – 2010 Lecturer, University of San Francisco – “Mediation and Settlements”
  • 2002 American Conference Institute, Asbestos Litigation, panelist, San Francisco and New York 1999 – 2002
  • Hosted separate delegations of judges and lawyers in case management and mediation discussions, Institute For the Study and Development of Legal Systems: Bangladesh, Brazil, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Malaysia, Morocco and Pakistan.
    • Panelist, 11/99 – Case Management and Mediation, Amman, Jordan
    • Panelist, 9/98 – Egyptian Legal Study Group, Cairo, Egypt
    • Panelist, 9/02 – Case Management and Mediation, Sao Paulo and Brasilia, Brazil
  • 2000 Mealy’s Asbestos Conference, asbestos panelist, Chicago, Illinois
  • 1989 – 2001 San Francisco Law School, Substantive Criminal Law, Professor
  • 1997 The Barrister’s Club, Pre-trial and Trial Practice Tips, lecturer
  • 1996 The Rutter Group, panelist, Trial Practice in S.F. Superior Court
  • 1990 Litigation Section, The State Bar of California, panelist, “Ethical Issues in Trial Practice.”
  • 1989 San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association Lecturer, “Common Evidentiary Issues in Civil Trials.”

Selected Published Opinions

  • Pro Tem Appellate Court Justice, District One, Division Four.
    • Concord Communities v. Concord (2001) 91 Cal.App.4th 1407 (vacation of Rental Boards’ decision on what a fair return on mobile home parks would be)
    • People v. Zangari (2002) 89 Cal.App.4th 1436 (meaning of “intent to permanently deprive” approved by California Supreme Court and ordered published in People v. Avery (2602) 27 Cal.4th 49.
  • Civil Trial Court
    • Volkswagen of America, Inc. v. Superior Court (2001) 91 Cal.App.4th 1407 (creation of a master pleading system for complaints in complex litigation not preempted by California Rules of Court)
    • Gibbs v. American Airlines (1999) 74 Cal.App.4th 1 (emotional distress claim tied to California Family Rights Act)
    • Guiterrez v. Cassiar Mining Corp. (1998) 64 Cal.App.4th 148 (medical monitoring damages and exclusion of non-disclosed witnesses)
    • Norman I. Krug Real Estate Investments Inc. v. Prasker (1993) 22 Cal.App.4th 1814 (action by real estate investment company against brokerage agency and broker, no stipulated reversal allowed for fraudulent broker)
  • Criminal Felony Trial
    • People v. Lyons (1992) 10 Cal.App.4th 857 (kidnapping, forcible oral copulation, former testimony, 1291 Evidence Code and competency)
    • People v. Cliff St. Joseph (1990) 226 Cal.App.3d 289 (first degree murder perpetrated by torture during devil worship and human sacrifice)
    • People v. Morgan (1989) 207 Cal.App.3d 384 (racial murder and assault, martial privilege not applicable to determination of probable cause to arrest)
  • As lawyer in civil cases:
    • Keithley v. Civil Service Board (1970) 11 Cal 3d 443 (coerced resignation tantamount to unlawful discharge)

Representative Cases

Personal Injury

  • Admitted liability, defendant crashed into rear end of parked car on shoulder of road. The plaintiff was lucky and there was no structural damage, but aggravation of preexisting degeneration. Questionable forced retirement as a result of the accident.


“Judge Chiantelli always delivers a positive outcome. He is quick to understand facts of cases, dynamics, and potential impasses. His negotiations skills are outstanding– non plus ultra. And, he is a delight to have as a mediator.”

“Judge Chiantelli was excellent as usual and brought us to where we needed to be rather quickly and efficiently.”

“I would give Judge Chiantelli five stars plus. He is an outstanding mediator, always at the top of our list.”

“Judge Chiantelli is an excellent mediator.”

“We just mediated a big brain injury case with Judge Chiantelli. He still is outstanding after all these years! I cannot say enough good things about him. We didn’t settle, but it had nothing to do with Judge Chiantelli. He is sharp as a tack, immediately understands all the issues and is a pleasure to deal with. Too bad all mediators aren’t exactly like him!!! He has settled several of my most difficult cases over the years. I wouldn’t be surprised if he still finds a way to settle this one.”

“Judge Chiantelli is a superb mediator.”

Judge Chiantelli is the best- he exceeded my expectations about what could be accomplished in this case. We got a great settlement.”


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