California Western -- James F. Stiven
James StivenJames F. Stiven

Distinguished Jurist
U.S. Magistrate Judge for the
Southern District of California (ret.)

J.D. B.B.A. University of California, Los Angeles

Courses Taught: Alternative Dispute Resolution,  Pretrial Practice

Judge James Stiven was born and raised in Illinois and came west to attend college at UCLA. He received a degree in Business Administration in 1962 and served as Student Body President his senior year. After graduation, Stiven served four years as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, with a tour of duty in Vietnam. He graduated from UCLA Law School in 1969, having served as Senior Editor of the UCLA LAW REVIEW. Stiven joined the law firm of Gray Cary Ames & Frye that year and practiced as a trial lawyer for that firm (and its successors, now DLA Piper) for nearly 27 years, specializing in products liability, securities and commercial litigation.

During his years of practice, Stiven was elected to the American Board of Trial Advocates and as a Master of the American Inns of Court. He also served twelve years in the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association, chairing the Section of Individual Rights in 1995. In early 1996 Stiven was appointed U.S. Magistrate Judge for the Southern District of California, where he served until his retirement in late 2005. While on the bench, he remained active in the Inns of  Court, the Association of Business Trial Lawyers and the Ninth Circuit Executive Committee. Stiven served as a Trustee of California Western School of Law from 1992 until being appointed as Distinguished Jurist in 2005. 

Selected Publications

  • El juicio de un caso civil en el sistema judicial estadounidense: como funciona en realidad, 7 Derecho Mayor 181 (2008).

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