James F. Pokorny, Esq.

James PokornyJames F. Pokorny, Esq.

Contact James’ Case Manager: Veronica Montenegro
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Jim Pokorny has been a licensed California attorney for over 45 years, handling literally thousands of cases, both civil as well as criminal, in state as well as federal courts. Many of these cases were tried to juries. The cases that did not result in jury trials often were resolved with the intervention of professional neutrals. By using alternate dispute resolution, the process saved his clients time, money, and much aggravation.

Jim decided to make the transition from legal advocate to mediator in 2014 and began his mediation training at Pepperdine Law School. He became a full-time neutral in 2017 and since then has mediated cases throughout Southern California, both in person and using virtual platforms. Conducting scores of mediations only reinforced Jim’s belief that there is no “one size fits all” approach to resolving disputes. In every case, the parties are unique, their legal claims are nuanced, and their interests underlying their legal claims are deeply personal. Jim diligently studies and evaluates all of these critical factors in order to help parties build a customized pathway to resolution.


Hourly rate: $550 per hour
$300 non-refundable administrative fee per party

Superior Court Ordered Civil Mediations:

  • Civil Limited: $150 per hour for each of the first two hours and $550 per hour thereafter.
  • Civil Unlimited: $250 per hour for each of the first two hours and $550 per hour thereafter.


  • Aviation and air crash litigation
  • Business and commercial contracts
  • Insurance coverage
  • Partnership dissolution
  • Personal injury
  • Products liability


Bar Admissions

  • California, 1977


  • University of California, San Diego, B.A.1970
  • University of California, Hastings College of the Law, J.D.1975
  • Pepperdine University, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, 2014

California State Bar

  • California Young Lawyers’ Association, Former Vice President
  • California State Bar Board of Governors, Former Member
  • Law Practice Management Section, Past Chair, Executive Committee

Bar Association Affiliations

  • San Diego County Bar Association, ongoing member from 1977 to present
  • San Diego County Bar Association, Aviation Law Section, Co-Founder and Past Chair
  • San Diego County Bar Association, Bar Dinner Committee Past Chair 1980-1984
  • San Diego County Bar Association, Attorney Client Fee Arbitration Panelist, 2017-2022
  • Consumer Attorneys of San Diego, past board member
  • San Diego Defense Lawyers, past member
  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers, current member
  • Lawyer’s Club of San Diego, Former Member
  • San Diego Criminal Defense Bar Association, Former Member
  • San Diego Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Club, Former Member
  • Lawyer-Pilots Bar Association, Past President
  • San Diego Inn of Court, Past President

Court Designations

  • San Diego Municipal Court, Past Judge Pro Tempore
  • San Diego Superior Court, Civil Mediation Panelist, 2017-present

Other Professional Affiliations

  • Legal Commentator, KUSI Television, 1995-2000
  • Airplane Owners and Pilots Association, former legal services panelist
  • FAA Licensed Commercial Pilot with over 3,000 hours of flight time


Member, United States Registry of Who’s Who Among Outstanding Americans, 1994

Finalist, San Diego County “Top Attorneys,” The Daily Transcript, 2009

Super Lawyers, San Diego Magazine (2010 to present)


“Mr. Pokorny was extremely professional and well versed in the subject matter. He was a fair and impartial neutral who treated all parties with courtesy and respect. It was obvious that he took the time to review the voluminous pre-mediation briefs. He was intimately familiar with the case, showing that he spent a substantial period of time doing research, something my client and I greatly appreciated. I would not hesitate to use him again nor would I hesitate to recommend his services to other counsel.”
– Steven L. Graff, Steven L. Graff, Inc., Temecula, CA.

“Mr. Pokorny did a wonderful job. Although it was a difficult case, Mr. Pokorny is a magnificent mediator. He had an excellent grasp of the facts and knew the relevant law. Due to his excellent skills, all parties involved understood the situation. We were very pleased with Mr. Pokorny and will use his services again for any future mediations in California.”
– William Harger, William G. Harger & Associates, PLLC, Richmond, TX.

“Working with Mr. Pokorny was an absolute pleasure. I appreciated his effectiveness and determination in resolving our case. Jim’s exceptional patience was a valuable skill during our mediation. His abilities to listen attentively, communicate effectively, and maintain a calm professionalism are what make him such a strong mediator. I am grateful for his expertise.” 
– Genevieve M. Sauter, Esq., Noonan Lance Boyer & Banach, LLP, San Diego, CA. 

“Jim has a way with people that is special and unique. You either have it or you don’t. The ability to listen and communicate in a manner that facilitates negotiations between parties is the key to resolving disputes, plain and simple.”
– Plaintiff’s counsel, employment litigation matter.

“Jim has been a professional problem solver for over forty years. Those of us in the legal profession have watched his career as an attorney and are now excited about the shift of his practice from representing litigants to acting as a neutral party who utilizes innovative dispute resolution strategies to resolve problems.”
– Defense counsel, partnership dissolution matter.

“Litigation is a dreaded process which can be costly, cumbersome, and unpredictable in its outcome. More people are taking advantage of alternate dispute resolution as a less expensive and more effective means of bringing about fair resolutions of problems. Jim has the tools to facilitate such resolution.”
– Defense counsel, landlord-tenant litigation matter.

“Jim is personable and well liked in the legal profession. He has been involved in thousands of legal matters and knows first hand about the toll that litigation can take on people. His goal is to take that toll out of the equation and to facilitate negotiations in moving the parties to a fair, speedy and economical resolution.”
– Plaintiff’s counsel in breach of contract matter.

“Jim was tenacious in pursuing a settlement in a complex insurance coverage case.  The opposing parties were particularly adversarial, rendering them unable to reach an agreement during the initial mediation session, which lasted late into the night.  He could have just walked away after the first day. We were all battle-torn and nobody wanted to talk to each other, but he made us get on the phone with him and continue the mediation until we settled.”
– Defense counsel in insurance coverage litigation matter.

“Jim’s services were needed in a fairly convoluted dispute over insurance premiums related to multiple construction projects.  There are mediators that are just punching the clock, mediators that are involved but can’t grasp the situation, and mediators who are really committed to conducting a mediation successfully.  And he was certainly in the last category.”
– Plaintiff’s counsel in insurance coverage litigation matter.


“The Law and Mr. Finnegan”, Consulting Editor, State Bar of California, September, 1991

“California Practice Guide: Law Practice Management”, Consulting Editor, The Rutter Group, November, 1992

“The Real Truth About Air Crash Litigation”, Dicta Magazine, San Diego County Bar Association, June & July, 1993

Ready to Get Started?

For more information please contact Veronica Montenegro