Hon. Kenneth K. So (Ret.)​


VCard Download

“In today’s world, litigation is extremely expensive, uncertain, and often delayed. I offer an honest assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of a case so the lawyers and their clients can make fully informed decisions. It’s important for litigants to know what will happen when a case is tried, and I am able to provide some perspective on how that occurs. Resolving a case has great benefits for all parties. If parties can get together to talk seriously about the issues, cases will resolve.”

Case Administrator

Practice Areas

  • Business and Commercial Contracts
  • Civil Rights
  • Employment
  • Environmental and CEQA
  • Personal Injury
  • Professional Liability
  • Real Estate


  • J.D., UC College of Law, San Francisco
  • A.B., cum laude, Harvard University 


A former Presiding Judge of the Superior Court of California, County of San Diego, with over fifteen years of experience conducting civil settlements for the courts, Hon. Kenneth K. So (Ret.) is bringing his history of insightful, sound decision-making and conciliatory spirit to Signature Resolution’s neutral panel. His experience as a trial judge and trial attorney will assist litigants in the evaluation of their cases. He sees resolution as an opportunity to bring a sense of certainty to the often straining and uncertain nature of disputes. Judge So’s thoughtful, direct approach to mediation is appreciated by parties who seek to be heard and understood while avoiding the risks of trial.  

Judge So began his judicial career in San Diego in 1994. Elected by his colleagues, he has served his Court as the San Diego County Assistant Presiding Judge and Presiding Judge from 2007 to 2009. Through his experiences as a trial attorney and settlement judge, Judge So’s practice areas have spanned business and commercial contracts, civil rights, employment, personal injury, professional liability, real estate, and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).  

Appointed by the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, Judge So served on the California Judicial Council from 2008 to 2019. There, he gained an intimate understanding of the common difficulties lawyers and litigants encounter throughout the state in finding access to justice. Beginning in 2009, Judge So was appointed by the California Supreme Court to the Committee on Judicial Ethics Opinions to provide judicial ethics advisory opinions and advice to judicial officers and candidates for judicial office. He has consistently demonstrated sound judgment and understanding of the ethical intricacies at play when working with disputing parties.  

Above all, Judge So’s experience has shown that it is usually in the best interest of all parties to aim for resolution. As a trial judge and attorney, he is familiar with the highs and lows of litigation and recognizes the pressures parties are under, both financially and emotionally. It is his belief that most litigants simply want their cases resolved, and his aim as a mediator is to help the parties come to a fair solution.  


  • Judge, Superior Court of California, County of San Diego (1998–2023)
  • Member, Judicial Council of California (2008–2019)  
  • Judge, Municipal Court of California, San Diego Judicial District (1994–1998)  
  • Chief Deputy City Attorney, City Attorney’s Office, Legislative and Public Affairs Division, San Diego, California (1991–1994)  
  • Deputy City Attorney, City Attorney’s Office, Litigation Division, San Diego, California (1980–1991) 
  • Assistant United States Attorney, Office of the United States Attorney, Eastern District of Michigan, Flint, Michigan (1979)  
  • Deputy City Attorney, City Attorney’s Office, Criminal Division, San Diego, California (1977–1979)  

Professional Achievements and Memberships

  • Member, Judicial Council of California (2008–2019) 
    • Presiding Judge/Court Executive Officer, Rules and Roles Analysis Working Group (2009–2020) 
    • Chair, Policy Coordination and Liaison Committee (2012–2020) 
    • Member, Executive and Planning Committee of the Judicial Council of California (2008–2012) 
    • Member, Trial Court Budget Working Group (2008–2012) 
    • Member and Chair, Trial Court Presiding Judges Advisory Committee (TCPJAC) to the Judicial Council of California (chair 2008–2009; member 2007–2008) 
    • Member, Supreme Court Committee on Judicial Ethics Opinions (2009-2023) ​​
  • Member, California Judges Association, Judicial Ethics Committee (1998–1999) 
  • Member, Bench-Bar Coalition Executive Committee 
  • Master, American Inns of Court, J. Clifford Wallace Inn