Laurence K. Sawyer served as a Judge of the Sonoma County Superior Court from 1985 to 2005. As a Judge, he managed and settled numerous complex, multiparty civil law suits. He was also involved in running the Case Management Conference Calendar for a number of years and participated in the installment of the Sonoma County pilot ADR program in 2000. He served as Presiding Judge in 1991 and from 1998-2000 and Supervising Judge of the Civil Division on several occasions. He was also instrumental in establishing the Direct Calendar system for civil cases and served as probate Judge from 2000-2005.
After retiring from the Bench in 2005, Judge Sawyer served as a mediator and arbitrator with JAMS for 10 years. In that capacity, he served as arbitrator and successfully mediated a variety of civil cases including contract/business, construction, employment, probate/trusts, insurance coverage, personal injury/property damage, professional liability and real estate matters.
Judge Sawyer graduated from Whittier College with a BA degree in 1964, graduated from Hastings Law School with a JD degree in 1967, served as a Captain in the US Army Judge Advocate General Corps from 1968-1972, and practiced as a civil litigator in Sonoma County from 1972-1985, before being appointed to the Bench in Sonoma County.
His honors include Career of Distinction Award, Sonoma County Bar Association 2012, and ADR Judge of the year award 1998. He is a lifetime member of the Board of Directors of the American Cancer Society, Emeritus Director of the Santa Rosa Symphony Association, and Master of the Bench in the Richard Sangster Inns of Court. He has participated in numerous mediation and arbitration training programs, including the Strauss Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University.