Alternative Dispute Resolution
Judge Alan M. Simpson (Ret.) served over 20 years on the Fresno County Superior Court, including:
. Presiding Judge of The Superior Court of California, County of Fresno (2018-2019)
. Presiding/Supervising Judge of the Unlimited Civil Division of the Fresno Superior Court (2008-2012; 2019-2020)
. Presiding/Supervising Judge of the Criminal Departments of the Fresno Superior Court (2001-2004)
Judge Simpson has extensive trial experience, having presided over more than 125 unlimited civil jury trials, more than 75 court trials, and numerous criminal jury trials. As a settlement conference judge, he has conducted over 250 civil settlement conferences with a high rate of success, frequently leading to resolution well in advance of trial.
Judge Simpson was a deputy district attorney (1986-1989) and later was a partner in a Fresno law firm specializing in general civil litigation (1989-2000). He is a graduate of San Joaquin College of Law (1983) and California State University, Fresno (1977).
While he was a practicing attorney, Judge Simpson represented both plaintiffs and defendants and tried several types of cases to verdict, including but not limited to, personal injury, wrongful death, employment disputes, business litigation, professional negligence, medical malpractice, products liability and defamation. In addition, he tried and settled suits involving bad faith, real property and land use, wills, trusts and on occasion, family law and conservatorship disputes.
Personal Statement and Observations:
As an attorney and later as a judge, I really enjoyed trying cases because I like people. However, some of the most interesting, challenging and satisfying aspects of my legal career have involved working with parties and counsel to resolve cases without the necessity of trial.
At the right moment, it can be very helpful to involve a fair-minded, patient – but direct – neutral in the evaluation of any dispute. An experienced neutral can usually provide each party with an accurate assessment of the relative strengths and weaknesses of their respective positions and of the positions of the others involved. Such discussions inevitably lead to the consideration of the potential outcome of motions and various other aspects of trial and a judicial perspective of the outcome can often assist the parties in evaluating their respective settlement positions. A good, but only partially successful, mediation can still help to eliminate certain issues, while prioritizing the importance of others. Even if settlement is not initially reached, it may occur before a verdict is read, judgment is pronounced, or appeal of an unexpected adverse result must be filed.