Robert J. Sunderland


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"Embarking on this journey with Signature Resolution is an exciting milestone for me. I eagerly anticipate leveraging my skills and experiences to foster fair and effective dispute resolution. With a commitment to managing a substantial volume of cases, I look forward to playing a pivotal role in the ongoing growth and success of the firm."

Case Administrator

Practice Areas

  • Business and Commercial Contracts
  • Construction
  • Elder Abuse
  • HOA Disputes
  • Landlord/Tenant
  • Real Estate


  • J.D., Southwestern University School of Law
  • B.S., Pepperdine University


With over 30 years of real estate experience, Robert J. Sunderland brings a wealth of experience to his role at Signature Resolution. His multifaceted background as a general contractor, attorney, and mediator positions him as a seasoned professional in the field.

Sunderland attended Pepperdine University, where he pursued a Bachelor of Science in Economics. Alongside his coursework, he raced open-wheel Formula Vee and Formula Ford race cars on the East and West Coast of the United States and in Europe throughout his college years, earning a series of trophies and records. While not directly related to his academic endeavors, his approach to racing laid an unconventional foundation for his later career. These early accomplishments were built upon careful preparation, commitment, communication, teamwork and tactical decision-making that have consistently remained, providing the hallmark of his professional success.

Upon graduating in 1986, Sunderland embarked on a successful career as a general contractor, specializing in custom residential home construction throughout the greater Los Angeles area. His responsibilities encompassed project contract management, which eventually drove him to pursue a legal education at Southwestern University School of Law. He obtained his JD and was admitted to the California Bar in 1997. Despite this shift in career focus, Sunderland has maintained his general contracting license for 33 years, providing him with a unique and comprehensive perspective into real estate contracting and finance, which helps to inform his legal practice.

Following his admission to the Bar, he assumed the role of Executive Vice President and General Counsel at Trans Pacific Geothermal Corporation, an independent energy development company, located in Oakland, California. In this capacity, he negotiated power sales contracts with foreign governments and oversaw numerous U.S. Department of Energy projects, which helped him continue to grow his financial background.

In 2000, he founded Ginder & Sunderland, which is now Sunderland | McCutchan. Serving as the firm’s managing partner, with offices in San Diego and Healdsburg, California. He specializes in real estate law, defending real estate agents, mortgage, escrow and appraisal professionals, as well as general contractors and subcontractors throughout dispute resolution stages, encompassing mediation, arbitration and trial throughout the State of California. He’s championed over 3,000 real estate licensees in Superior Court and is well known for risk management services for insurance carriers, brokers, agents and associations. In his later practice, Sunderland has also championed plaintiffs in similar matters. Alongside his law practice, Sunderland has mediated real estate disputes since 2003 and more recently, through West Coast Resolution Group, a division of the National Conflict Resolution Center.

Sunderland has also served as an expert witness, providing guidance in developer and construction defect litigation. With his extensive hands-on experience in all construction sub-trades, he is recognized for his forensic expertise and ability to swiftly identify crucial defect issues common in real property cases, covering everything from forensic analysis to providing trial testimony.

Sunderland’s success as a mediator stems from his unwavering commitment to diligent work and quick thinking. He proactively addresses potential obstacles during pre-mediation calls. Drawing from his diverse background and experiences as a participant, he approaches real estate mediation with a balance of evaluative insight, sensitivity, and a unique perspective.

Sunderland looks forward to handling a higher volume of cases, as a full-time neutral, playing a role in the firm’s continued growth and success, and assisting individuals through mediation as part of Signature Resolution’s well-established panel.


  • Mediator, San Diego Superior Court Panel (2023)
  • Special Master, California Superior Court Matters (2023)
  • Mediator, West Coast Resolution Group (2021-2023)
  • Mediator, San Diego Association of Realtors (2016-2023)
  • Partner, Sunderland | McCutchan, LLP (2004-present)
  • Mediator, Riverside County First Friday Voluntary Settlement Conference Panel (2003-Present)
  • Partner, Ginder, Sunderland & Carlson (2000-2004)
  • Partner, Ginder & Sunderland (1999-2000)
  • General Counsel, Trans Pacific Geothermal Corporation (1997-1999)
  • Executive Vice President, Trans Pacific Geothermal Corporation (1995-1997)
  • General Contractor, Robert J. Sunderland, General Contractor & West One Development (1990-Present)

Professional Achievements and Memberships

  • Chairperson of Mediation Committee, San Diego Association of Realtor (2021-2023)
  • Mediation Committee Member, San Diego Association of Realtors (2016-2023)
  • Member, San Diego Association of Realtors (2014-Present)
  • Member of Risk Management Committee, San Diego Association of Realtors (2012-Present)
  • Member of Risk Reduction Committee, North San Diego Association of Realtors (2011-2023)
  • Member, Real Property and Litigation sections of the California State Bar (2010-Present)
  • Expert Witness, Real Estate Broker Standard of Care (2008-2021)
  • Member, California Association of Realtors Legal Forum (2003-Present)
  • Expert Witness, Construction Defect (1995-2021)