Robert J.

Robert J. Sunderland has been actively litigating cases since 1997 and mediating disputes since 2003. His law practice focuses on transaction and litigation issues relating to real property, construction and business disputes throughout the State of California.  A sought-after mediator, Mr. Sunderland assists parties in reaching resolution, mediating cases throughout Southern California and, more recently, across the nation through online dispute resolution.  Mr. Sunderland specializes in Real Estate, Construction Defect, Business and Homeowner/HOA disputes.


Mr. Sunderland’s hourly rate is $375. His rates for ½, ¾ and full-day sessions are as follows:
  • ½ Day: 5 hour minimum (includes 1 hour review of Briefs/Exhibits, pre-mediation call(s) with counsel and 4 hours of session time): $1,875
  • ¾ Day: 7.5 hour minimum (includes 1.5 hour review of Briefs/Exhibits, pre-mediation call(s) with counsel and 6 hours of session time): $2,812.50
  • Full Day: 10 hour minimum (includes 2 hours review of Briefs/Exhibits, pre-mediation call(s)with Counsel, and 8 hours of single-day session time): $3,750
  • Travel Time (for out of office Mediations): No Charge in San Diego, Orange & Riverside Counties. Travel time billed at ½ hourly rate, plus costs for all other areas.
  • WCRG Admin. Fee: $225 non-refundable administrative fee per party

Legal Career & Prior Experience: 

Prior to attending law school, Mr. Sunderland enjoyed a successful career as a General Contractor, responsible for the construction of custom residential homes in the greater Los Angeles area.  He has been a licensed General Contractor with an active license since 1990.  

Upon graduation from law school, Mr. Sunderland worked for an independent energy development corporation as an Executive Vice President and General Counsel in the San Francisco area.  Mr. Sunderland was responsible for negotiating power sales contracts with foreign governments and overseeing of numerous U.S. Department of Energy projects. 

Since transitioning from the corporate world in 1998, Mr. Sunderland has focused his legal work on the defense of Real Estate Brokers, Agents, General Contractors and business professionals throughout California.  He has defended in excess of 3,000 Real Estate Licensees in Superior Court and is very involved in the provision of Risk Management services, specifically assisting numerous insurance carriers, Broker, Agents and Associations.     

Mr. Sunderland has also served as an Expert Witness, advising in Developer liability and Construction Defect litigation.  Given Mr. Sunderland’s practical “hands on” experience with all construction sub-trades, he is recognized for his forensic skills and ability to quickly identify key defect issues which frequently arise in the real property context.  Mr. Sunderland’s expert scope ranges from forensic analysis to trial testimony.   

Education & Professional Affiliations: 

  • B.S. in Economics from Pepperdine University
  • J.D. from Southwestern University School of Law
  • Mediation Training, National Conflict Resolution Center
  • Licensed to practice law in California since 1997, Mr. Sunderland is admitted and qualified to practice in state and multiple federal districts in California courts.


This mediator gets the big picture.  He understands the law, litigation process, damages, emotion and is very creative.  He is fiercely committed to the process.
--Vince G., Party in Los Angeles
We shared a very difficult set of facts.  Counsel did not get along and emotions were high.  Robert patiently listened and worked tirelessly.  We did not settle at mediation but due to Robert’s consistent follow up and deft action, we settled after the mediation with a terrific result for all concerned.  I will be back for sure!
--John C., Attorney in San Diego
Starting with the pre mediation call and throughout the mediation session, my client and I enjoyed a thoroughly prepared and committed mediator.  Mr. Sunderland did a great job before and throughout the session resulting in settlement of a difficult matter.
--Diane B., Attorney in Palm Springs
I have mediated with Mr. Sunderland 3 times and will continue – need I say more?
--Rick H., Party in San Diego
In 30 plus years of practice, this is one of the hardest working mediators I have used.  He finds the way to reach the parties and to resolve issues.
--Bob M., Attorney in Orange County
He draws from a broad background that transcends the norms.  He saw what others, including me, missed before mediation resulting in settlement.
--Jeff N., Attorney in Oakland

Hobbies & Interests: 

Racecar driving, international travel, spending time with his three children and two Greyhound rescues.

To schedule a mediation, please contact Case Manager Kathy Purcell at 619-238-7282 or or email Robert at