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Steven M. Vartabedian

Mediation Attorney at Fresno, CA

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About Steven

Learn Steven’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Mediation
    As a recently retired appellate justice who served nearly 21 years on the Court of Appeal and more than 8 years as a trial judge, I have handled hundreds of case settlements and have had great success in my brief time of doing mediations (since June 1, 2010). I am also available to serve as an arbitrator or referee.

  2. Arbitration

  3. Appeals

After 29 years of judicial service, 21 of those years as a justice on the Court of Appeal, Steve has returned to private practice specialiizing in presiding over mediation, arbitration and referee/special master proceedings.  Additionally, he is available for appelllate advising.

The more than 180 cases that he has authored and published in the California Appellate Reports demonstrate the breadth of his experience.  He has a particular depth of experience in cases alleging serious personal injury and product defect including claims of punitive damages.    He also has considerable bodies of work in real estate and construction matters, probate, employment law, medical service contract litigation, and agricultural disputes. 

The following published cases are represesentative of the cases he has authored:

Yarick v. Pacificare (2009) 179 1158.

Baker Manock & Jensen v. Sup. Ct. (2009) 175 1414.

UAS Mgmt. v. Mater Misericordiae Hosp. (2008) 169 357.

Johnson v. Ford Motor Co. (2005) 135 137.

Horsford v. CSU Trustees (2005) 132 359.

Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn. v. City of Fresno (2005) 127 Cal. 914. 

Sweat v. Big Time Auto Racing (2004) 117 1301.

Romo v. Ford Motor Co. (2003) 113 738 and (2002) 99 738.

Maples v. Kern Assessment Appeals Bd. (2002) 103 172.

Thompson v. Tracor Flight Systems (2001) 86 . 4th 1156.      

Licensed for 47 years
State CA
Status Active
Acquired 1975
Updated 12/06/2022

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

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Similar lawyers nearby

Dowling Aaron Incorporated
8080 N. Palm Ave., Suite 300
Fresno, CA, 93711-5797
Steven M. Vartabedian
8080 N Palm Ave 3rd Fl
Fresno, CA, 93711
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  • Hourly Rates $ 400-450 per hour
Payment methods


AVVO RATING 8.8 (Excellent)

Work Experience

  • Of Counsel
  • Dowling Aaron & Keeler
  • 2010 - Present
  • Justice
  • Court of Appeal
  • 1989 - 2010
  • Judge
  • Fresno County Superior Court
  • 1987 - 1989
  • Presiding Judge
  • Fresno Municipal Court
  • 1983 - 1987
  • Judge
  • Sanger Justice Court
  • 1981 - 1983
  • Attorney
  • Vartabedian & Poochigian
  • 1976 - 1983
View all work experience


  • Santa Clara University School of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1975
  • California State University, Fresno
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 1972

Legal Cases

  • Ameeruddin,etc,, et al. v. Guarantee Financial Real Estate, etc.,
  • Case Settled.


  • Association of Conflict Resolution
  • 2010 - Present
  • State Bar of California
  • 1975 - Present
  • Fresno County Bar Association
  • 1975 - Present
  • California Judges Association
  • 1981 - 1992
  • American Bar Association
  • 1976 - 1983
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Outstanding Trustee
  • Armenian Community School Fresno
  • 2004
  • Outstanding Contribution to Education
  • Sanger Unified School District
  • 1983
  • Magna Cum Laude Honors
  • Santa Clara University School of Law
  • 1975


  • Pacific Law Journal
  • Enhancing Sentences with Prior Convictions
  • 1992
  • Judges Journal
  • Dismissal & Pre-arraignment Delay
  • 1987
  • Judges Journal
  • Striking a Delicate Balance in Sex Abuse Cases
  • 1985

Speaking Engagements

  • Law Day--Stanislaus County
  • Law Day--50 Years and Beyond
  • 2010
  • La Raza Attorneys Annual Banquet
  • Remembering Judge Mario Olmos
  • 2010
  • Consumer Lawyers/CCTLA Seminar
  • Collateral Source Rule
  • 2010
  • California Appellate Institute
  • Appellate Legacy Presentation
  • 2010
  • Swearing-in of New Attorneys
  • The Importance of Balance
  • 2009
  • Continuing Education: Appellate Practice
  • Effective Appellate Argument
  • 2009
  • Kern County Continuing Education
  • Effective Writ Practice
  • 2006
  • California Bar Admission Ceremony
  • New Attorneys
  • 2003
  • Bridging trhe Gap
  • Advice for New Attorneys
  • 2001
  • Biennial Assembly of AEUNA
  • "From Generation to Generation"
  • 1996
  • State Bar Program: Knowing Your Appeal
  • Appellate Practice
  • 1995
  • Victim's Rights in California (At UOP-McGeorge)
  • Legal Rights of Victims
  • 1992
View all speaking engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (6)
Given (2)
Endorse Steven
Mediation Attorney | Mar 03
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I endorse this lawyer. He is a great mediator and got a very tough case resolved for me and my client."
Mediation Attorney | May 14
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I endorse this lawyer. We hired Justice Garabedian (Ret.) on a mediation in one of my biggest caes. He delivered a very methodical and fair result."
Mediation Attorney | Aug 05
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I endorse this lawyer's work. I had the pleasure of representing a party in Justice Vartabedian's first mediation after retiring from the bench. The matter settled on fair terms thanks to his effective, hard work. His authoritative, thoughtful and personable approach helped bring the parties to a reasonable resolution. I will certainly call on him for future mediations."
Mediation Attorney | Jul 01
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I endorse this lawyer's work. Justice Vartabedian brings his intellect and skill from the Appellate Court to the mediation table. Justice locked in on the key issues in the dispute from the outset, was able to explain to the lawyers and clients the risks and weaknesses of their respective cases and worked very hard to help the parties resolve their differences and settle the case."
Appeals Attorney | Jun 29
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer's work. Judge Vartabedian is a retired Justice who served on the Fifth District Court of Appeal. He was an honest, thoughtful judge and will be a fine practitioner"
Appeals Attorney | Jun 28
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Justice Vartabedian has an outstanding record on the Court of Appeals giving him an edge as an Appellate specialist, and in mediations involving sophisticated legal issues."
View more endorsements
Fresno Mediation Lawyer Steven M. Vartabedian
Steven M. Vartabedian
Mediation Attorney
Fresno, CA
Licensed for 47 years