Justice Stephen J. Kane’s extensive experience as a retired judge is what sets him apart from other Central Valley arbitrators, mediators, and referees. Justice Kane’s most notable achievements include:

• Magna Cum Laude graduate of the University of Notre Dame—B.A. in Economics
• Law Degree awarded in 1976 from Hastings College of the Law, where he served as Chair of the Moot Court Board from 1975-1976
• He joined the largest Fresno civil litigation law firm in 1976. Specialized in trial work and civil litigation, including tort (professional liability, employment law, public entity liability, personal injury, and wrongful death) and business litigation (construction defect, real estate, contract, and crop loss disputes).
• Active in Fresno County Young Lawyer’s Association, serving as President in 1982 and serving on the Fresno County Bar Association Board of Directors from 1978 to 1983
• Active member of the Fresno County Bar Association, serving on the Board of Directors from 1982 to 1984
• Started the Fresno County High School Mock Trial Program in 1982 and continued serving as attorney coach and mock trial judge for over 30 years
• Received the State Bar President’s Pro Bono Service Award in 1985
• American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) member beginning in 1985
• Appointed by Governor Wilson to the Fresno Superior Court in January 1992, and served for 14 years. During this tenure, Justice Kane presided over felony sentencing, civil and criminal law motion, managed criminal, civil, family law, and juvenile law trials, and also served on the Superior Court Appellate Department.
• Elected as the first Presiding Judge of the Fresno Consolidated County Courts in 1996 and 1997. During this time, Justice Kane also served on the Judicial Council’s Presiding Judges Advisory Committee
• Performed as a full-time civil law and motion judge for the Fresno courts from 1999 to 2002
• Served on the Judicial Council’s Advisory Commission on Civil Jury Instructions from 2003 to 2009
• Active member of the San Joaquin Valley Association of Business Trial Lawyers, serving on their Board of Governors from 2001 to 2006, and acting as Secretary from 2004 to 2006.
• Became the first Supervising Judge of the Fresno Court’s new Civil Division in 2003 and 2004. Justice Kane additionally served several years on Fresno County’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Oversight Committee.
• Elevated to the Court of Appeal, Fifth Appellate District, by Governor Schwarzenegger in June of 2006, where he served 11 years
• Chair of the Bench, Bar, Media Steering Committee in 2006 and 2007
• Received the Fresno County Young Lawyers’ Blaine Pettitt Mentor Award in 2010
• Cofounded the Court of Appeal’s Mediation Program in 2011, the only program in the State where justices personally perform the mediations. Justice Kane continued to mediate cases and administer this program until his retirement in 2017
• Awarded the Hastings College of the Law Alumnus of the Year Award (Fresno) in 2014

Justice Kane is proud of his service as a lawyer, trial judge, and appellate justice in Fresno, where he lectured, participated and moderated on many educational panels. His teaching has covered a wide range of topics that include Civil Jury Instructions, Trial Practice, Summary Judgments, Expert Witnesses, Writs, and Appellate Practice.

Trust Justice Kane’s experience to bring success to your case. Contact him at 559-666-0853 to schedule an appointment to discuss your litigation needs.



    • Juris Doctor, 1976
    • Chair, Moot Court Board 1975-1976



    • B.A., Economics, Magna Cum Laude, 1973

    • Member San Joaquin Valley Association of Trial Lawyers (ABTL)

    • Arbitrator Panel Member, American Arbitration Association


    • California


    • Fresno County Superior Court Judge 1992-2006

    • Court of Appeal Fifth Appellate District 2006-2017