Patrick J. O'Hara

Studies have shown that ten times as many legal disputes are settled through creative dispute resolution rather than by trial. Strategic dispute resolution can resolve conflicts effectively and creatively using processes selected specifically to resolve a particular dispute.

My promise is to use my twenty-six years of judicial experience and my extensive professional training as a mediator to work with the parties and fairly resolve their dispute.

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After twenty-six years as a trial court judge and sought after settlement judge, I have a strong belief that in most cases, parties are best served by entering into reasonable settlements of disputes. I will work with the parties, treating everyone with fairness and respect, and aid the parties in reaching a fair and creative agreement.

I have conducted hundreds of civil trials. In each of those cases, I have carefully listened to the litigants, researched any disputed points of law, and done my absolute best to reach a just conclusion.

You may expect me to use all of my experience and training while conducting your arbitration hearing, and you may expect that any decision will be thoughtful, with a clear written explanation of my reasoning.

Judge Patrick J. O’Hara (Ret.)is a twenty-seven year veteran of the Tulare County courts. He has been a sought-after settlement judge who has developed a reputation for fair and efficient resolution of civil cases.

  • Judge O’Hara was elected Presiding Judge by his peers on multiple occasions, including being elected Presiding Judge for consecutive terms during the consolidation of the Superior and Municipal courts.
  • Judge O’Hara has extensive experience in hearing and settling cases in all phases of civil litigation, including medical malpractice, products liability, water rights, business disputes, wrongful termination, insurance bad faith and probate.
  • Judge O’Hara has a strong belief in the value of mediation and will work diligently with the parties to reach a fair resolution of legal disputes.
  • His broad knowledge of the court system will serve as an invaluable aid in assisting parties in resolving disputes.
  • In addition to his extensive experience in helping parties reach amicable resolutions in court, Judge O’Hara has completed mediation training through the Strauss Institute at Pepperdine University, Fresno Pacific University, and California Judicial Research and Education.
  • Mediated over 300 broad-ranging matters, including business and commercial disputes, employment, labor and wage and hour, elder abuse, partnership dissolutions, personal injury, products liability, professional malpractice, real property, sexual abuse and probate and trust matters.

Judicial, Arbitration and Mediation Experience

2012-present Retired Judge, Mediator, Arbitrator, Discovery Referee

1992-2011 Judge of the Tulare County Superior Court

1985-1992 Judge of the Visalia Municipal Court

Other Professional Experience

1982-1985 Assistant District Attorney; Office of the Tulare County District Attorney

1979-1982 Chief Trial Deputy; Office of the Tulare County District Attorney

1977-1979 Deputy District Attorney; Office of the Tulare County District Attorney

1976-1977 Hearing Officer with State of California, Board of Parole Hearings


1976 Graduated University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law; Member of the California State Bar Association; State Bar Number 72138


Mediations and Arbitrations$400/hr
Mediations or arbitrations involving
four or more law firms or extraordinary cases
No fee for travel to Fresno or Bakersfield
(minimum hearing duration - three hours)
Travel fee beyond Fresno and Bakersfield
(minimum hearing duration - three hours)

An overtime rate (to be agreed upon) applies to evening or weekend appointments. A seven-hour minimum applies to full-day appointments.

A late cancellation fee applies ($600 for half-day hearings; $1200 for full-day hearings) unless I receive notice at least three full business days before the hearing date. (Weekends and national holidays are not "business days.")

No travel fee applies to hearings in Los Angeles scheduled on Mondays or Fridays (minimum hearing duration - four hours).

Patrick J. O'Hara

300 North Willis Street
Visalia, CA 93291

(559) 429-4570 Office
(559) 799-8920 Mobile
(559) 429-4575 Fax