Jim Chodzko

Prior to becoming a full time neutral in 2000, Mr. Chodzko spent 23 years as a civil litigator. His practice was devoted to representation of entities and individuals involved in, but not limited to insurance coverage, legal malpractice, serious personal injury, wrongful death, products liability, business, construction defect, design professional and environmental claims throughout his legal career. Mr. Chodzko has gained extensive trial experience representing property owners, developers, design professionals, subcontractors, insiders and insurers. He is well recognized for his knowledge and expertise in matters involving insurance coverage issues. He has also served as an arbitrator on business disputes, legal malpractice claims, contract disputes and construction claims. One attorney noted, "To go along with his great demeanor and overall sense of fairness, he is extremely professional, knowledgeable, and grasps the issues quickly." Many attorneys concur about his great demeanor and overall sense of fairness.


Superior Court Ordered Civil Mediations:
  • Civil Limited: $150 per hour for each of the first two hours and $500 per hour thereafter.
  • Civil Unlimited: $250 per hour for each of the first two hours and $500 per hour thereafter. 
All Other: $500 per hour
$225 non-refundable administrative fee. 

Legal Career & Prior Experience: 

  • Arbitrator for American Arbitration Association, Large, Complex Case Panel, Commercial and Construction panel (2000-present)
  • Of Counsel at Duckor, Spradling, Metzger, Wynne (2011 – present)
  • Higgs, Fletcher & Mack (1999-2000)
  • Special Master and Mediator for Civil Disputes pending in California, Nevada and Arizona (1985-present)
  • Partner at McInnis, Fitzgerald, Rees & Sharkey (1984-1999; Managing Partner for 2 years)
  • Private Law Practice representing prominent real estate developers, including The Irvine Company, The Fieldstone Companies, California Pacific Homes and Shapell Development Company (1984-1996)
  • McInnis, Fitzgerald, Rees & Sharkey (1980-1999)

Education & Professional Affiliations: 

  • J.D. California Western School of Law (1977)
  • B.A. Political Science and History, Whittier College (1972)
  • Mediation Training, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution and Mediating the Litigated Case (Pepperdine University School of Law)
  • Member, American Board of Trial Advocates (1992)
  • Prolific author and lecturer for the Continuing Education of the State Bar of California, The National Institute of Trial Advocacy, The San Diego and American Inns of Court
  • Adjunct Professor of Law, Civil Litigation and Trial Practice, University of San Diego
  • Many additional teaching and lecturing activities with universities, bar associations and Continuing Education of the Bar, author of numerous published writings

ADR Experience & Specialties: 

  • Personal Injury
  • Wrongful Death
  • Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith
  • Product Liability
  • Construction Defect
  • Design Professional and Environmental Claims

Achievements & Awards: 

  • Appeared in trial for Woodward, Clyde and Associates in the Landmark Supreme Court decision in Tech Built v. Woodward (1983) 38 Cal. 3d 488
  • Received an AV Pre-Eminent Peer Rating of 5

Recent Articles: 

  • Published in Landmark Opinion, Markborough California, Inc. v. Superior Court (1992) 227 Cal. App. 3d 705; Pacific v. A.A. Baxter (1986) 176 Cal. App. 3d 577
  • Pinnacle Case: The Decision vs. The Reality, May 2014

To schedule a mediation please contact Case Manager Kathy Purcell at
619-238-7282 or kpurcell@westcoastresolution.com