Hon. Don Armento
Commissioner Armento has served the legal community as an attorney and judicial officer with passion and dignity for over 30 years. After nearly ten years on the bench, he retired from San Diego Superior Court in January 2018 and is now available to serve as mediator and private judge. As a judge, he presided over a wide variety of civil and criminal matters, including real property, contract, personal injury, business and commercial actions. During his tenure on the bench, he was highly regarded for having a fair, balanced and pragmatic courtroom demeanor.
Prior to serving on the bench, Comm. Armento was very active as a trial attorney, representing parties in wrongful death, personal injury, real property, insurance, contract, and employment actions. He also was active in the San Diego community, serving as a coach, mentor, arbitrator, settlement officer and Judge Pro Tem.
He has extensive experience in dealing with veterans and veterans issues, having served in the Marine Corps Reserve for 28 years in various roles, including as a judge advocate. He is passionate about helping service members and veterans better understand the justice system.
While on the bench, Comm. Armento was appointed to several leadership positions with prominent statewide committees, including the Civil Litigation and Restraining Order committees. He has also been extensively involved with the American Inns of Court, having served as a Judicial Master with his Inn since 2009.
Commissioner Armento is passionate about helping parties resolve their disputes in an expeditious, professional, dignified manner, whenever possible.
LEGAL CAREER & PRIOR EXPERIENCE:
Judicial Officer – San Diego Superior Court, San Diego, California, 2009 – 2018; Hear and adjudicate civil and criminal actions inc. personal injury, contract, employment law, unlawful detainer, landlord-tenant and real property matters; Conduct arraignments and trials; manage court staff and busy calendars.
Litigation Counsel – California Dept. of Transportation, San Diego, California, 2006- 2009; Represent State of California in litigation matters, inc. wrongful death, personal injury, eminent Domain, inverse condemnation, contract, employment law and real property actions.
Corporate & Litigation Counsel – Richardson, Bambrick, Cermak & Fair, San Diego, California, 1995 – 2006; Litigated a wide variety of civil actions in state and Federal courts; represented Automobile Club of Southern California and its members in Personal injury, property disputes & actions; Experience in litigating, arbitrating, mediating cases to successful conclusion; Successfully handled several appellate cases.
Staff Judge Advocate – I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, California and Camp Babylon, Iraq, 2001-2003;
Served as the legal adviser to Commanding General of I MEF during Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom; mobilized for active duty in November 2001, completed service in November 2003; deployed to Iraq during summer 2003; drafted rules of engagement; handled operational law issues and problems; advised commander on numerous sensitive investigations; experienced in military justice, FOIA and administrative law issues
Litigation Attorney – Neil, Dymott, Perkins, Brown & Frank, San Diego, California, 1987-1994; civil litigation involving medical malpractice defense, products liability, personal injury, breach of contract, real property disputes and inverse condemnation actions; Experienced in all phases of civil discovery, arbitrations, mediations and trials.
Judge Advocate – U.S. Marine Corps, Camp Pendleton, California, 1983-1986; Served as defense counsel, trial counsel and deputy staff judge advocate, handling courts-martial, administrative discharge proceedings and military justice matters; helped implement urinalysis testing for all active duty service members;
Active in Marine Corps Reserve since 1986, serving as judge Advocate at numerous commands.
Member, State Bar of California, 1986 – Present
Member, San Diego County Bar Association, 1987 – Present
Colonel, United States Marine Corps Reserve (Ret.)
Admitted to practice in Wisconsin, U.S. District Courts, Central and Southern California, U.S. Court of Military Appeals
EDUCATION & PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS:
Bachelor of Arts, Hamilton College, Clinton, New York
Major in Government, June 1978
Juris Doctorate, Marquette University Law School
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, May 1982
Master of Business Administration, National University
San Diego, California, June 2015