Available Statewide – No Traveling Fee

Robert L. Friedenberg, Esq., is a full-time mediator, arbitrator and discovery referee. Bob has 38 years of legal experience and 33 years of mediation and arbitration experience, the last 18 of which have been exclusively as a Mediator, Arbitrator, Discovery Referee, Special Master. He has handled over 2,000 cases through his years of experience, with a wide range of subject matters and case sizes. His cases have ranged from large, multi-party construction cases (public and private) with claims exceeding $10 million, down to smaller value cases in a wide variety of civil matters. Bob’s early experience as a secondary school teacher and coach before beginning his legal career has helped him succeed both as a trial lawyer and mediator working with regular people in a down-to-earth way.

Bob began his legal career in 1983, practicing all types of civil litigation in state and federal courts. While working in private law firms in the Bay Area and San Diego, he acquired significant experience handling numerous bench and jury trials in general civil and business litigation, including: construction claims and defect litigation (representing plaintiff associations, individual homeowners, developer/general contractors, and a wide variety of subcontractors); personal injury (plaintiff and defense); product liability; insurance; premises liability; professional E&O; real estate; employment; civil rights; and municipal liability defense.

In 2000, Bob opened his own independent mediation firm, Friedenberg Mediation, to focus exclusively on alternative dispute resolution. He subsequently joined ADR Services, Inc. in 2018. Bob is certified by the National Conflict Resolution Center and the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, and has served as a San Diego County Superior Court Judge Pro Tem since 1997.


  • Construction
    • Residential and Commercial Construction Defect and Claims
    • Mechanic’s Liens and Bonded Stop Notice Matters
    • Subrogation/Contribution Claims
    • Pre-Litigation SB800 Claims
  • Real Estate
    • Habitability Claims
    • Transaction Disputes
    • Title Insurance Coverage and Title Defect Claims
    • Non-Disclosure Claims
    • Agent and Broker Liability
    • Commercial and Large Residential Landlord/Tenant
    • Premises Liability
  • Real Property
    • Tree Disputes
    • Boundary Line Disputes
    • Easements
    • Inverse Condemnation
  • Professional Liability of All Types
    • E&O Claims
    • Architects and Engineers
  • Employment
    • Hostile Work Environment
    • Discrimination Claims
    • Sexual Harassment
    • Wrongful Termination
    • Wage & Hour
  • Insurance
    • Coverage and Bad Faith
    • Insurer v. Insurer Disputes
    • Subrogation/Contribution
  • Business and Commercial Disputes
    • Contractual Disputes
    • Unfair Competition
    • Trade Secrets/Intellectual Property
  • Product Liability
    • Defective Products
    • Failure to Warn
  • Personal Injury
    • Auto
    • Premises Liability
    • Catastrophic Injury and Wrongful Death
  • Homeowner Association Disputes
  • Civil Rights – 1983 Claims
  • Fair Debt Collection Practices Act


2018 – Present   ADR Services, Inc.
2000 – 2018   Friedenberg Mediation; Law Offices of Robert L. Friedenberg
1983 – 2000   Private law firms in Oakland (1983-1985) and San Diego (1985-2000) handling civil matters for both plaintiffs and defendants
1993 – 1998   University of San Diego, School of Law, Paralegal Program, Instructor


1983   UCLA School of Law, J.D.
1978   UC Berkeley, B.A. in History and Secondary Teaching Credential


  • National Conflict Resolution Center
  • Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University
  • ABTL San Diego Presenter: “Mediation in a Remote Environment”

Representative Cases


  • Claim against bank mortgage lending department for excessive calling and harassment, and damaged credit, with claims for punitive damages
  • Class action against car dealer/finance company for misrepresentation of terms in auto purchase agreements
  • Claim by defaulting homeowner against hard money lender for illegal loan and verbal harassment


  • Contractor sued HOA for unpaid remainder of contract. HOA claimed work defective/incomplete. HOA also named another subcontractor as a responsible party.
  • Dispute between family members over right to control family business involving breach of fiduciary duty and unfair competition claims


  • Section 1983 claim against police officer and department after search warrant ruled mmisleading improper, and defense of qualified immunity
  • Excessive force claims against police


  • Exterior remodeling contract in San Diego. Contractor paid but homeowner had major problems with the work. Homeowner learned later about issues with contractor's license status during the construction, leading to a claim of 100% disgorgement of all money paid to contractor.
  • Significant remodel of Manhattan Beach home built in 1932 with zero contracts, and no permits. Dispute over whether owner told contractor not to pull permits. Contractor had payment action against owner. Owner had action against contractor for cost to get permits and possibly make changes, plus lost rental income during work. Ultimately settled just owner's action against contractor; contractor left with his own payment claim to pursue.
  • Large lien/bond claim by drywall subcontractor against owner, with cross-claim by owner back against subcontractor for cost of completing/correcting work. Case involved large mixed-use project in West Los Angeles.
  • Paving contractor hired to replace asphalt walks in greenbelt areas of large condominium complex in Manteca. HOA had issues with work. Ended up in large dispute sent to arbitration. Contractor sued for unpaid amounts; HOA cross-complained for repair costs. Subcontractor of paving contractor, not part of arbitration, appeared and also settled its claim for unpaid amounts.
  • Contract dispute between grading contractor and Homeowner's Association and property management company. Contractor claims owed money; HOA claimed work incorrect and had to hire new company to fix and then complete work.
  • Homeowner in home flipping TV show sued architect, general contractor and subcontractors for defects and delay.
  • Luxury single-family residence owners claim against remodeling contractor, subcontractor and designer, after making own repairs, for damages, delay, loss of use for charitable functions, with significant insurance coverage issues
  • Large 154-home single-family defect claim in Nevada involving significant soil and corrosion issues
  • Significant remodel of single family residence with claim by homeowners against architect, general contractor and subcontractors, with active participation in case and surreptitious investigation by homeowners
  • Claims by former MLB players against remodeling contractor for defects and payment disputes
  • Homeowner claim against contractors performing major remodel for defective work leading to slab leaks and ruined wood flooring
  • Indemnity action by general contractor against subcontractor on large commercial project where underlying claim settled early leaving claims for indemnity and defense cost reimbursement
  • Subcontractor suing General Contractor no non-payment with cross-complaint for incomplete work and delay
  • General contractor claim against demolition contractor for damage to existing commercial units during large-scale removal
  • Assigned collection claim against owner with cross-complaint by owner for construction defects and against collection agency run by disbarred attorney
  • Payment claim by prime contractor and specialty subcontractors against City on public works project
  • HOA claims against builder and subcontractors
  • High-rise condominium claim against builder and City for defects and inverse condemnation
  • Bonded stop notice claims by contractor against bank
  • General contractor claim against subcontractors based on delay and damage from failure to protect work
  • Claim for product liability by plumbing contractor against manufacturer of defective pipe
  • Disputes between general contractor and subcontractor for payment with defense of defective work
  • Defective construction claim on remodeling project; cross-claim between general contractor and subcontractor including claim against insurance carrier
  • Action by general contractor against owner for unpaid invoices and fraud
  • Defective tile claim in major remodel in luxury high rise condo complex
  • Action by owner/builder against unlicensed subcontractor and intervening insurance carrier for defective construction leading to inability to market home
  • Claim by general contractor against owner for failure to pay with CSLB claim in response
  • General contractor claim against boring contractor for damage on freeway due to alleged defective boring wall
  • Claim by remodeling contractor against homeowner for failure to pay, followed by counterclaim against builder for negligence in construction and fraudulent billing, leading to involvement by numerous subcontractors and insurance carriers

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  • Restaurant leased space for 10 years but abandoned immediately claiming fraudulent inducement.
  • Claim by property management company against HVAC service company responding to claim by HVAC company for fees
  • Trademark, contract and conversion dispute between recording company and composer of “beats” used in rap music
  • Breach of contract and negligent infliction of emotional distress claim against large low-cost cremation society for wrongly disposing of remains
  • Class action by families of decedents alleging moving graves to make extra space for more burials
  • Numerous Lemon Law claims against manufacturers/dealers for automobile claims
  • Interior design and home staging company claim against seller for failing to pay and failing to return furniture and artwork used in staging home for sale

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  • Claims by three plaintiffs for wage and hour violations, including rate of pay, breaks, wage statements, minimum wage, plus claims by two of wrongful termination, harassment, racial discrimination. Building owner sued ex-wife for essentially equitable indemnity.
  • Wage and hour class action by truck drivers for meal breaks
  • Wrongful termination claim by female employee against employer claiming manager had been sexually harassing her. Both main participants of Middle Eastern descent
  • Hostile work environment claim by director of major hospital nursing units against management and contracted doctors
  • Pregnancy discrimination claim by attorney against law firm for reducing responsibility while attorney was pregnant and failure to rehire after childbirth
  • Individual claims for age discrimination and wrongful termination
  • Individual claims of race discrimination and harassment and violation of California Family Rights Act.
  • Unlawful termination and retaliation claim for taking protected medical leave of absence
  • Harassment claim by Japanese server at Chinese restaurant
  • Wrongful termination/sexual orientation discrimination by Japanese tour bus driver

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  • HOA claim against builder for common area defects including garage slab cracking, landscaping defects, and deck failures
  • HOA Board election dispute in large, high-rise condominium project
  • Homeowner sued HOA Board for negligence and failure to warn after plumbing failure
  • Unit owner sued HOA for large tree in common area crashing into unit
  • HOA sued unit owner for short-term rental of unit in violation of CC&R’s
  • Action by HOA against pool contractor for defective decking

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  • Subrogation case by carrier who paid for destroyed tow truck that slammed into back of disabled 18-wheeler that had stopped with lights out on I-5 in mountains near Castaic close to midnight.
  • Life insurance dispute. Couple got life policies - much more on lower earnings, younger spouse, thus higher earning husband. Failed to disclose health conditions. Husband died. Wife now contends she thought larger policy was on husband. Company denies and threatens rescission.
  • Insurer claim against contractor after premium audit
  • Bank that took over construction project claim against carrier for defaulted general contractor
  • Insurer subrogation claim against distributor of luxury autos to recover amounts paid its insured after car caught on fire
  • Claim by equipment supplier against equipment lessors and bonding company, including claim against license
  • Subrogation claims by property insurance carriers against contractors and manufacturers after leaks leading to significant property damage
  • Rescission action by large D&O insurer against corporate claimants
  • Claim by surviving spouse of business executive who committed suicide against insurance agent for changing policy and thus eliminating incontestability period which would have allowed for benefits to be paid
  • Equitable contribution claims between carriers over additional insured defense fees and costs
  • Equitable subrogation claims by additional insured carrier against subcontractors on construction defect claims
  • Declaratory Relief action between carriers over duty to defend

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  • New condo unit purchasers claim against builder for square footage discrepancy
  • Landlord’s claim against tenant for breach of lease with counterclaim for habitability for damages from mold
  • Bedbug claim against landlord by multiple tenants
  • Home purchases sued home flipper for failure to disclose and concealment of mold conditions
  • Claim by new condo unit owners against developer for square footage discrepancy
  • Suit by buyers of large single-family home against seller, broker and agents for square footage discrepancy in listing, claiming fraud and negligence

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  • Car owner with loaner was pulled over by police who had been told car was stolen. Black man ordered out of car at gunpoint being told he could be shot for failure to comply. One year from day George Floyd was killed by police. Cuffed and put in car. Told police car was loaner. Once called dealership he was released. Also, had loaner due to numerous problems with 2021 Kia Sorento they had purchased from the dealership.
  • Truck vs. Pedestrian accident in East L.A. Broken ankle, cervical spine and left leg injuries.
  • Large truck vs. small truck collision with significant property damage, personal injuries and lost income
  • Auto vs. pedestrian collision with multiple fractures
  • Rear-end collision by drunk driver who attempted to drive away, then caught and arrested. Serious low back soft tissue injuries. Settled with punitive damage claim pending
  • Claim by gardeners against homeowner for serious dog bites
  • Owner of dog killed by other dog claim against homeowner
  • Wrongful death and negligent entrustment claims arising out of multi-vehicle auto accident
  • Personal injury claim by customer in market injured by pallets on forklift driven by beer deliveryman
  • Claim by pedestrian against city and property owner based on dangerous condition of sidewalk and adjoining property
  • Slip and fall claim against medical office building for allegedly slippery walkways after courtyard watering
  • Premises liability claim against restaurant for failure to clean spills in restroom
  • Slip and fall over protruding outdoor tables at public seating area of restaurant, leading to fractured knee, and claims of product defect
  • Action against dog owner whose dog was unleashed in parking lot and jumped on 83-year old leading to broken femur
  • Claim by comatose child, through parents, who rented home with small fish pond in year that child fell into. Action against homeowner and real estate agents, for dangerous condition

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  • Claim by school district against manufacturer for defective pipe leading to property damage
  • PEX-pipe claim by multiple homeowners against contractors and manufacturers
  • Corroded copper pipe claim by multiple homeowners against developer and manufacturers
  • Failure to warn/product labeling claims involving national chemical solvent company, including issues of federal preemption
  • Product claim against manufacturers of bicycle helmet and resin used in straps after helmet failed during fall, leading to TBI


    • Claim by buyers against agent and broker for breach of fiduciary duty in recommending property that failed to meet buyer’s specific requirements
    • Claim by defaulting seller against commercial real estate brokerage and agent acting as dual agents
    • Accounting malpractice/fraud action against large national accounting firm, as part of securities class action
    • Commission disputes between competing brokers, and between brokers and agents
    • Legal malpractice action based on underlying single family home construction defect claim, involving claims against structural and soils engineers.


      • Waiting for final confirmation by Plaintiffs of settlement with defendant neighbor and cross-defendant neighbor. Plaintiff homeowner had roots going through retaining/boundary wall allegedly from neighbor's palm tree. Neighbor sued other neighbor blaming that neighbor's creeping fig tree roots for the damage.
      • Neighbor dispute. One neighbor suing other over tree roots allegedly damaging property
      • Claim for specific performance by man who believed he had purchased property and spent multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars on down payment, back taxes, ongoing expenses, and performed some unpermitted improvements. Seller denied they ever had anything beyond Letter of Intent.
      • HOA common area claim against developer for improper tree selection
      • Claim by downhill property owner against uphill property owner for allegedly poisoning trees blocking view
      • Easement claim for access to rear property
      • Property line dispute involving agricultural property and illegal marijuana farm
      • Habitability bedbug cases against large apartment owners
      • Commercial lease disputes between owners and large tenants, some involving bankruptcy issues

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      “This was not a big case monetarily. It involved a home purchase from first time home buyers. Thus, it was emotional for both the buyers and the seller, an individual. Bob did a 10+ job in keeping the parties talking and moving. He worked really hard to get this case settled, even going well past the initially agreed upon ½ day. I really appreciated Bob’s efforts, even though at the time, I was not appreciating his thoughts about my client’s side of the case. That is when a mediator really earns respect and admiration. Moreover, Bob worked with the 3 parties to get the settlement reduced to writing. Thank you again.”

      “Bob Friedenberg did a very good job with a difficult set of facts and clients. He was very professional, and kept the dialogue going. He saw it through until the end, and made sure that the parties signed their prepared agreement. He did a fantastic job. I would recommend using him again.”