Hon. John M. Pacheco (Ret.)


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"I'm excited to join Signature Resolution and begin this new chapter in my career. My years as a judge in San Bernardino and my work in civil law have shown me the importance of listening to all parties and fairness in resolving disputes. I look forward to applying these principles and innovative problem-solving in mediation and arbitration to help parties achieve thoughtful solutions. It's a privilege to continue making a positive impact in people's lives through this new role."

Case Administrator

Practice Areas

  • Business and Commercial Contracts
  • Civil Law
  • Complex Litigation
  • Elder Abuse
  • Employment
  • Family Law
  • Lemon Law​
  • Mass Tort
  • Product Liability
  • Professional Malpractice
  • Real Estate
  • Sexual Assault Claims
  • Third-Party Liability​


  • B.A., Azusa Pacific University
  • J.D., Western State University College of Law


With over four decades of experience in civil and family law, Hon. John M. Pacheco (Ret.) brings a wealth of expertise to Signature Resolution’s elite panel of neutrals.

In his role at Signature Resolution, Judge Pacheco is committed not just to resolving disputes but also making a positive impact on people’s lives. Central to his approach is the recognition that a thorough understanding of each party’s objectives is key to successful resolutions. Considering mediation as pivotal in shaping the legal landscape, he strives to positively impact people’s lives by facilitating a prompt, equitable, and satisfactory resolution.

Viewing his transition into mediation and arbitration as the next chapter in his judicial career, Judge Pacheco emphasizes the importance of innovative problem-solving. He believes that truly understanding litigants’ needs is key to determining the most appropriate course of action in any case.

Judge Pacheco embarked on his legal journey in 1984 with a passion for advocating for those in need. Growing up in the Inland Empire, he witnessed firsthand the challenges individuals face within the legal system.

After internships under the Chino City Attorney’s law office of Gutierrez and Bidart, Riverside Superior Court’s  Hon. David Hennigan (Ret.), and the family law office of Gassner and Gassner, Judge Pacheco’s interest in courtroom work led him to accept a permanent position and eventual partnership with Rose, Klein & Marias. His 11-year tenure in civil, personal injury, third-party liability, and serious and willful misconduct workers compensation cases prepared him for his next position with the law office of Florentino Garza and Eloise Gomez Reyes in 1994. The following year, the Garza, Garza and Pacheco litigation firm was created, focusing on trial work and general civil litigation. Judge Pacheco found fulfillment in helping those who had suffered losses or needed help defending against frivolous claims. After moving to civil law, he maintained his empathetic approach while serving the citizens of San Bernardino and Riverside County.

The Supreme Court case of McKown v. Walmart marked a turning point in Judge Pacheco’s career. In front of a panel of seven justices, Judge Pacheco assisted in the final arguments that would not only prevail on his client’s behalf but also open a new avenue for him to pursue his passion for advocacy. While judgeship was not a career move he initially considered, he was encouraged by the then-presiding judge to consider it after being impressed by Judge Pacheco’s trial skills and passionate sense of fairness. Opening himself to the idea of a career change, Judge Pacheco concluded that judgeship would offer him an even greater opportunity to make the world a better place. A year and a half later, the Governor appointed him to the Superior Court of San Bernardino County.

As a judge, his legal philosophy remained the same as it did through his career as an attorney. With the unwavering belief that legal professionals need to care about their clients and cases equally and independently of each other, Judge Pacheco’s approach was simple: everyone deserves the chance to be heard and no rulings should be made without explicit explanation. Rewarded for his incredible dedication, several Bar Associations named Judge Pacheco the Judicial Officer of the Year. ​​

Throughout his inspiring career, Judge Pacheco has been active in several community service organizations, including the California Latino Judges Association, the Advisory Committee of the California State Bar Association, and the court’s Council for Access and Fairness, and acted as chair of the San Bernardino Court’s Community Outreach Committee and co-chair of the Elimination of Bias Committee.


  • Judge, Superior Court of San Bernardino County (2001-2024) 
  • Partner, Garza, Garza & Pacheco (1995-2001) 
  • Attorney, Garza and Reyes (1994-1995) 
  • Partner, Rose, Klein and Marias (1993-1994)
  • Associate, Rose, Klein and Marias (1985-1993)
  • Clerk/Intern, Certified Family Law Specialist Gassner and Gassner (1980-1981)
  • Clerk/ Intern, Hon. David Hennigan, Riverside Superior Court (1979-1980)
  • Clerk/Intern, City Attorney of Chino (1979-1980)

Professional Achievements and Memberships

  • William W. Bedsworth Trial Judge of the Year, Cal/Hawaii ABOTA (2023)   
  • Chapter of the Year Award, San Bernardino/Riverside ABOTA (2022)
  • Kaufman Campbell Judicial Officer of the Year, San Bernardino Bar Association (2021)
  • Access to Justice Award, San Bernardino Legal Aid Society (2019)
  • Hall of Fame Award, Western State University College of Law (2018)
  • Justice Award, Inland Empire Latino Lawyers Association (2017)
  • Judicial Officer of the Year, Western San Bernardino County Bar Association (2017)
  • Trial Judge of the Year, ABOTA San Bernardino/Riverside (2017)
  • Trial Judge of the Year (Alfred J. McCourtney), Consumer Attorneys of Los Angeles (2017)
  • Douglas E. Weather Judicial Official of the Year, San Bernardino/Riverside ABOTA (2013) 
  • Member, Council for Access and Fairness (2008-2014) 
  • Member, Advisory Committee of the California State Bar (2008-2013) 
  • Hall of Fame recipient, Azusa Pacific University (2005)
  • Member, California Latino Judges Association (2002-Present) 
  • Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year, Inland Empire Latino Judges Association (1998) 
  • Board of Governor’s Pro Bono Service Award, State of California (1994)
  • Wiley W. Manuel Award for Pro Bono Services, Inland Empire Latino Lawyers Association (1993-1998)


  • Fluent in Spanish