Hon. Zaven V. Sinanian (Ret.)

Mediator | Arbitrator

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“As a judge, my commitment to fair mediation was unwavering. I take pride in my ability to creatively resolve disputes, from business contracts to personal injury cases. I aim to create meaningful dialogue through active listening and human connection, which fosters trust and understanding between all parties.”

Case Administrator

Practice Areas

  • Business and Commercial Contracts
  • Class Action
  • Employment
  • Entertainment
  • Government & Public Sector Disputes
  • Insurance
  • Personal Injury
  • Product Liability
  • Professional Liability
  • Real Estate


  • Strauss Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine Law School
  • J.D., Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology​
  • M.A., American University, School of International Service​
  • B.A., Northern Illinois University ​


The Honorable Zaven V. Sinanian (Ret.) brings over 30 years of legal experience to Signature Resolution. His background as a superior court judge assigned to the mandatory settlement conference program and independent calendar civil courtroom has positioned him to be a balanced and insightful facilitator and decision maker. 

Judge Sinanian prides himself on fair and impartial mediation and creatively facilitating resolution to business and commercial contracts, personal injury, employment, professional liability, real estate, and insurance disputes. His approach to mediation is simple, with a focus on active listening, and meaningful dialogue between the parties. While an understanding of legal issues is important, Judge Sinanian prioritizes the power of human connections. 

Over the last five years, Judge Sinanian served as the managing judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court Mandatory Settlement Conference Program. In this role, he oversaw a diverse range of civil cases, managing intake forms from lawyers, assigning cases, facilitating last-minute cases, and promoting the benefits of the program to the legal community. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he played a vital role in implementing remote capabilities, enhancing access and convenience for litigants. Judge Sinanian’s dedication to fostering relationships between attorneys and judges led to successful transitions from in-person mediations to remote mediations. 

Before his involvement with the Los Angeles Superior Court’s Mandatory Settlement Conference Program, Judge Sinanian presided over jury and bench trials. Prior to his appointment to the superior court, he served 13 years as a deputy attorney general within the Office of the Attorney General, California Department of Justice. He also took a sabbatical to help establish Armenia’s Foreign Ministry and served as the minister’s counselor, attending diplomatic conferences and providing expertise in international treaties and constitutional rights. 

Judge Sinanian is committed to education and mentorship. His passion for teaching is evident through his participation in panel discussions as well as events focusing on career advancement, and the general practice of law. In recent years, he has also organized brown bag lunches for the LA County Bar Association to help educate lawyers on how to prepare their cases when ordered to the Los Angeles Superior Court Mandatory Settlement Conference Program. 

With a wealth of experience, Judge Sinanian has presided over a multitude of cases, attributing his notable achievements and effective mediation style to his thoughtful and tactful approach that empowers parties to reach their own decisions and seek a fair resolution of their disputes. 

His extensive history across practice areas includes: 


  • Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
    • Judge (2002-2023)
    • Managing Judge, Los Angeles Superior Court Judicial Mandatory Settlement Conference Program (2018-2023)
      • Judicial Mandatory Settlement Conference Program (2012- 2023)
      • Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division 1, July – November 2020 (Justice Pro Tem)
      • Independent Calendar Civil Courtroom, Stanley Mosk Courthouse (2009-2012)
      • Limited Jurisdiction Civil Courtroom, Stanley Mosk Courthouse (2008)
      • General Trial Court- Criminal, Civil, and Family trials, Glendale/Burbank Courthouses (2003-2007)
      • Criminal Calendar and Preliminary Hearing Courtroom, West Covina Courthouse (2002-2003)


  • Office of the Attorney General, California Department of Justice, Los Angeles, CA
    • Supervising Deputy Attorney General (2002)
    • Deputy Attorney General (1989-2002)
      • Division of Civil Law, Licensing Section (1996-2002)
        • Represented licensing boards, bureaus and commissions in both administrative and trial court proceedings to deny, revoke or suspend licenses in cases brought against state-licensed professionals.
        • Practice focused on all phases of administrative hearings, writs of mandate and related civil litigation
      • Division of Criminal Law, Appeals, Writs and Trials (1990-1996)
        • Represented the State of California in felony appeals in state appellate court and in writs of habeas corpus in federal and state courts.
        • Assignment included conducting evidentiary hearings and prosecuting criminal actions in cases where the local prosecuting agency was disqualified.
        • LA District Attorney Exchange Program: Conducted preliminary hearings as special prosecutor assigned to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, Feb. 1994.
        • TAP Program: Conducted misdemeanor jury trials as special prosecutor assigned to the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, March 1990.
      • Division of Criminal Law, Correctional Law Section (1989-1990)
        • Represented the Department of Corrections, Board of Prison Terms, Youth Authority and the Department of Mental Health in cases relating to policies, practices or conditions of confinement and in civil rights actions brought by or on behalf of state inmates.


  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Armenia
    • Counselor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia (1992)
      • Special advisor on international treaties/organizations and human rights.
      • Participated in several diplomatic conferences held at the UN and the Organization for Security and
        Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Geneva, Vienna and the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, including a
        conference on the drafting of a treaty on dispute resolution among European states.

Professional Achievements and Memberships

  • Chair, Alternative Dispute Resolution/Arbitration Committee, Los Angeles Superior Court (2019-2023)
  • Member, Bench and Bar Committee, Los Angeles Superior Court, 2017-2023 Member, Commissioner Selection Committee, Los Angeles Superior Court (2020-2021)
  • Member, Executive Committee, California Judges Association (2008-2011)
  • Member, Advisory Committee on Access and Fairness, appointed by Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald George to the Judicial Council (2006-2009)
  • Vice Chair, Judicial Education Seminars Civil Education Committee, Los Angeles Superior Court (2009)
  • Member, North Central District (Burbank/Glendale) Representative to the Los Angeles Superior Court Executive Committee (2005-2007)
  • Site Supervising Judge, Burbank Courthouse (2007)
  • Member, Los Angeles Superior Court Outreach Committee, Civil and Small Claims Committee, Access/Fairness



  • Los Angeles Superior Court Presiding Judge’s Leadership Award in appreciation for outstanding leadership on the Diversity and Inclusion Workgroup (2021)
  • CAALA Recognition Award, Founding Justice Partner, Resolve LA Program (2021)
  • Certificate of Recognition for Outstanding and Invaluable Service to the Community, Congressman Adam B. Schiff (2015)
  • Judge of the Year, Armenian Bar Association (2015)
  • Judicial Education Seminar Distinguished Service as Faculty, Civil Law Seminar, Los Angeles Superior Court (2011-2012)
  • Certificate of Extraordinary Service to the Los Angeles Superior Court (2009)
  • Certificate of Recognition as Armenian American Civic Leader, California Assembly member Paul Krekorian (2008)



  • Los Angeles County Bar Association, Litigation Section, Member of the Executive Board (2008-2011)
  • Armenian Bar Association (1989-2002)
    • Board of Governors Chair (2002)
    • Member, Board of Governors (1992-1998, 2001-2002)
    • Pro Bono Committee Chair (1989-1992)



  • “The Los Angeles Mandatory Settlement Program in the time of the pandemic” Association of Business Trial Lawyers (ABTL) Newsletter, Fall 2020.
  • “An introduction to the Los Angeles Superior Court Mandatory Settlement Conference Program” Advocate Magazine, Co-authored with Judge Abraham Khan: July 2019.
  • “An introduction to the Los Angeles Superior Court Mandatory Settlement Conference Program” Verdict Magazine, Co-authored with Judge Abraham Khan: v. 3, 2019.



  • Judicial Education Seminar, Los Angeles Superior Court, (various)
  • Judicial Council of California, Center for Judicial Education and Research, Statewide Webinar on Remote Settlement Conferences (2020)
  • CAALA Las Vegas, Mediation/Negotiation Skills (2019)
  • LACBA Brown Bag lunches on Best Practices to prepare for a Settlement Conference/Mediation (2018, 2019, 2022)
  • Panelist and lecturer at local universities and law schools: UCLA, USC Institute of Armenian Studies, Southwestern Law School, Loyola Law School (2003-2023)


Judge Sinanian is fluent in Armenian and Greek.