The Honorable Francisco F. Firmat brings a wealth of experience in helping parties settle their differences at mediation. His 27-year courtroom experience includes long-term assignments in civil, family law and complex litigation panels, with hundreds of jury trials and thousands of bench trials. He has completed over 6,000 settlement conferences or mediations. He is fluent in Spanish and before his judicial career was an attorney and a court-certified Spanish interpreter.
Driven by faith and service, Judge Firmat is a natural peacemaker with exceptional mediation skills. In addition to his lengthy judicial experience, Judge Firmat has received training in mediation through Pepperdine’s Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution in 1996, 2005 and 2008, and has attended further programs since his retirement from the bench in 2013.
Hon. Francisco Firmat has been honored by numerous legal and community organizations. In recognition of his extensive efforts to improve the family law court experience for the Orange County community, Judge Firmat was awarded the 2008 Benjamin Aranda III Access to Justice Award co-sponsored by the State Bar of California, Judicial Council of California and the California Judges Association.
On January 17, 2013, Hon. Francisco Firmat received the Orange County Bar Association’s Franklin G. West Award; the OCBA’s highest honor. For a glimpse into the character, values and judicial philosophy of this jurist, please click here to see the video of the introduction and acceptance remarks from the award ceremony.
“Judge Firmat is not only a fantastic mediator, he is a true gentleman and a pleasure to work with. ADR is lucky to have him.”
“We enjoyed working with Judge Firmat and the office staff was great.”
“Judge Firmat had clearly read both sides’ confidential mediation briefs and understood the legal arguments. He spent the first few minutes summarizing each side’s arguments and pointing out strengths and weaknesses. I am convinced the few moments spent doing this really helped settle the case. The two hour conference saved my client tens of thousands of dollars.”
“Judge Firmat worked his magic and was able to get this settled with a highly emotional plaintiff.”
“Judge Firmat is the only reason this matter was able to be resolved. He is an exceptional mediator/judge.”
“Judge Firmat did an excellent job and facilitated settlement in a case I would not have imagined would settle. Very professional.”