Judge Diane Ritchie and the Power of Mediation to Resolve Conflicts

In the state of California, 95% of civil cases never make it to the courtroom. Instead of settling things in court, both sides will make their case to a certified mediator, a professional whose job it is to guide both sides to a solution that they are both comfortable with. A good settlement is one where both parties are listened to, understood, and satisfied with the results. Through mediation, this is a far stronger possibility than in the court room. This is because the remedies in court are limited and justice through the arbitration of a judge can be subjective by nature. That is why mediation a popular action to settle disputes between parties in the state of California.

Judge Diane Ritchie is a licensed mediator who has completed 40 hours of mediation training with Steven Rosenberg Mediations, another 40 hours of training at the Santa Clara County Office of Human Relations, and more recently another 40 hours of training with Ron Kelly Mediations. She has worked as a mediator in California since 2005, including handling mediations for the Department of Fair Employment and Housing and settling all types of civil cases for the Santa Clara Superior Court.

Judge Diane Ritchie graduated with her Bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley and later earned her Juris Doctorate from Golden Gate University School of Law in San Francisco.

What Makes Judge Diane Ritchie an Excellent Mediator?

There are many facets of an excellent mediator that are agreed upon by experts in the space. For example, a mediator must be logical, credible, and have adaptability in order to handle mediations to the best of their ability. A mediator should also be an unbiased party able to see things from both sides’ point of view in order to help reach a conclusion that suits both parties, and must have the patience to delicately handle proceedings in a way that guides both parties in the mediation towards the goal of a peaceful (and mutually beneficial) settlement.

Judge Diane has a long history of experience as an attorney who has worked on both sides of the aisle in a variety of civil cases including representing employees and small employers. Her experience in labor and employment law includes cases involving a myriad of situations such as union negotiations, sexual harassment claims, wrongful termination, wage and pay, and more. Not only does the diversity and credibility of her legal experiences accentuate her mediation acumen, but also has a profound effect on Judge Diane Ritchie’s ability to be empathic while performing her job duties. She has worked with and for individuals of all walks of life and is an expert at seeing things from other’s perspectives while approaching situations head on to reach a dispute’s conclusion.

Before becoming a judge, Diane Ritchie has worked as a Deputy District Attorney with the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office. Diane Ritchie also ran her own private employment law firm, Diane Ritchie and Associates, until January 2008. She has experience as a professor and has taught a class on employment law at California State University-East Bay College of Business to the next generation of aspiring professionals.  As a Judge on the Superior Court of California County of Santa Clara, she presided over thousands of criminal and civil cases over the course of her career. Notably, not a single one of her judgements or convictions has ever been overturned on appeal.

As a mediator, Judge Diane Ritchie brings her decades of experience as an attorney and a judge to the negotiation table. She can help parties reach a fair and reasonable resolution through active discussion and sometimes a little creativity, a testament to her patience and adaptability as a mediator. Judge Diane Ritchie believes that mediation is a fantastic tool where the possibilities for a solution are endless. She maintains that mediation leaves more power in control of those settling a dispute, leading to both parties being able to hear each other out to in a manner that is more conducive to seeing positive results than alternative options. In this blog, we will explore her work as well as current themes and news regarding mediation in California. This blog will also expound upon the topic of mediation and ways that an individual can become successful in the profession.


judge diane ritchie at CA supreme court building