• ADR Neutrals


    The Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Division maintains a panel of ALJs who have been trained, and who have served, as ADR neutrals. These ALJs have completed a 40-hour program at the CPUC, the National Judicial College (NJC), or other providers. Many ALJs have received supplemental training at the NJC, Harvard Law School, University of Southern California, U.S. District Court, and programs. ALJs also receive periodic short-training courses throughout the year. The current ADR panel is made up of the following ALJs.

    Clicking the name of each ALJ will reveal their bio:

    • Peter Allen

      Peter V. Allen is an Administrative Law Judge (Judge) at the California Public Utilities Commission (Commission).  He was previously a Judge from 2001 to 2007.  Then, in 2016, he returned to being a Judge, after working as an advisory attorney in the Commission's Legal Division and as Deputy Director of the Commission's Safety and Enforcement Division.

      Judge Allen has presided over numerous energy and environmental proceedings at the Commission, including initial implementation of the renewables portfolio standard and allocation of energy crisis electricity contract costs.  Judge Allen has mediated energy, water, and rail safety proceedings.  Judge Allen has also spoken at conferences on energy and environmental issues and taught Utility Regulatory Adjudication at the National Judicial College.  In addition to his experiences at the Commission, Judge Allen also worked as an attorney for two major law firms, the City of San Diego, and The Utility Reform Network, and has litigated major energy and telecommunications proceedings before the Commission.

      Judge Allen has received extensive in-house training in mediation at the Commission. He has a B.A. in American Studies from University of California Santa Cruz, and a J.D. cum laude from the University of San Diego School of Law.

    • Karl Bemesderfer

      Karl J. Bemesderfer is an Administrative Law Judge (Judge) at the California Public Utilities Commission (Commission).  He joined the Commission as a Judge in 2002 after practicing law in Illinois and California for 30 years.  

      Judge Bemesderfer has presided over numerous telecommunications, transportation, water and oil pipeline matters at the Commission.  Judge Bemesderfer has mediated disputes between customers and water utilities, customers and electric utilities, disputes between certificated telecommunications carriers and disputes between municipalities and gas and electric utilities.

      Prior to joining the Commission, Judge Bemesderfer served as in-house counsel to several major corporations, as a partner in a San Francisco law firm, an arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association and a receiver of large commercial properties.  Judge Bemesderfer brings all of those experiences and insight to the cases he presides over, facilitates and mediates.

      Judge Bemesderfer received arbitration training from the American Arbitration Association. Judge Bemesderfer received his B.A. from The University of Chicago and J.D. from the Harvard Law School.

    • Anthony Colbert

      W. Anthony Colbert is an Assistant Chief Administrative Law Judge (Judge) at the California Public Utilities Commission (Commission).  He joined the Commission as a Judge in September 2010 and has been an Assistant Chief Judge since 2018.  Assistant Chief Colbert currently oversees the Administrative Law Judges Division's (ALJ) Adjudicatory, Transportation and Public Purpose Program proceedings, the Docket Office and the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Program.  Assistant Chief Judge Colbert was the Coordinator for the ALJ Division's Intern/Externship program from 2011 to 2016.  Assistant Chief Judge Colbert is a certified mediator and has conducted mediations at the Commission since 2011.

      Prior to his service with the Commission, Assistant Chief Judge Colbert was a Senior Counsel and Hearing Officer at the California Department of Corporations (now Department of Business Oversight).  There, he presided over a variety of high-profile hearings including Google's acquisition of YouTube and the dissolution of the Pacific Stock Exchange as well as hearings approving acquisitions by Apple, Cisco and Yahoo.

      Assistant Chief Judge Colbert received his J.D. from the University of Virginia, School of Law, and did his undergraduate work at the University of California, Santa Barbara and the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.

      Assistant Chief Judge Colbert has been a panelist/presenter for various continuing education courses, the State Bar convention and at the Conference of California Public Utility Counsel Convention, as well as, a speaker on Fairness Hearings and California Securities Law before the Santa Clara Bar Association, San Francisco Bar Association, and Los Angeles Bar Association. The California Business Law Practitioner published an article by Judge Colbert on Fairness Hearings in its spring 2010 edition. He has served as an expert witness in Criminal, Civil and Administrative Hearings.  Judge Colbert is married with two children. He is currently a mentor at the De Anza High School Law Academy and a past mentor at the Balboa High School Law Academy.

    • Michelle Cooke

      Michelle Cooke is an Assistant Chief Administrative Law Judge (Judge) at the California Public Utilities Commission (Commission). She began her career at the Commission as an analyst assigned to energy issues in 1990, served as Commissioner Henry M. Duque's advisor on Energy and Transportation matters. She became a Judge in 1999. Between 2006 and 2016, she served in various management capacities at the Commission, during which she served as an Assistant Chief Judge, Interim Director of the Consumer Protection and Safety Division, and as Deputy Executive Director of the Commission's internal operations (Human Resources, Information Technology, Budget, and Procurement).  She returned to serve as a Judge in 2016, and then took on ALJ Division management responsibilities again in 2018.

      Judge Cooke has presided over proceedings involving revenue requirements, rate designs, energy policy, and transmission siting at the Commission.

      Judge Cooke is a natural and skilled facilitator.  Judge Cooke has successfully mediated and facilitated parties in both complex multi-party and simpler two-party disputes to mutually beneficial resolutions.  During her years at the Commission, Judge Cooke has gained unique and invaluable insight which she effectively uses when she mediates or facilitates a matter before her.  This insight is based on her experiences working in various capacities and divisions within the Commission, including her work as analyst, advisor, Judge, manager, or budget advocate for every subject area the Commission regulates, as well as her experience running internal operations and working with people. 

      Judge Cooke has received extensive in-house training in mediation at the Commission. Judge Cooke has a B.A. in Mathematical Economics from Pomona College, a Certificate of Business Administration from Berkeley Extension, and has attended several National Judicial College trainings.

    • Charles Ferguson

      Charles Ferguson is an Administrative Law Judge (Judge) at the California Public Utilities Commission (Commission).  He joined the Commission as a Judge in 2018 after an illustrious 40+ years of private legal practice. 

      Before joining the Commission in 2018, Judge Ferguson represented energy companies from across the US and around the world in the oil, gas, pipeline and electric sectors in both federal and state courts and regulatory agencies as a private attorney. Judge Ferguson also co-founded an energy dispute mediation firm of which he was president. 

      Judge Ferguson is the chairman of the Energy Bar Association's ADR Committee and a member of the ADR panels for the US District Courts for the Central and Northern Districts of California. 

      Judge Ferguson has received extensive training as an arbitrator, mediator and early neutral evaluator from the American Arbitration Association, FINRA and federal courts. He is an honors graduate of Amherst College and received his law degree from the University of California at Berkeley School of Law.

    • Julie Fitch

      Julie Fitch is an Administrative Law Judge (Judge) at the California Public Utilities Commission (Commission).  She joined the Commission in 2000 and became a Judge in 2011.

      Between 2000 and 2011, she served in numerous positions at the Commission, including Energy Division Director, Policy and Planning Division Director, Chief of Staff to a Commissioner, lead energy advisor to a Commissioner, and lead regulatory analyst.  Judge Fitch brings all of those experiences and insights to her cases and to mediation and facilitation.

      As a Judge, she has primarily presided over energy policy cases. She has participated in and served as a mediator in several multi-party negotiations, including for qualifying facilities, net metering tariffs, and other renewable energy issues. Her technical expertise includes clean energy areas, including renewables, energy efficiency, distributed generation, demand response, and storage policy. She is also familiar with transmission and distribution planning issues.

      Judge Fitch has received her mediation certificate and training from Hastings School of Law. Judge Fitch holds a B.A. in International Affairs from George Washington University and an M.A. in Russian and East European Studies from Harvard University.

    • Jessica Hecht

      Jessica Hecht is an Assistant Chief Administrative Law Judge (Judge) at the California Public Utilities Commission (Commission).  She joined the Commission as an analyst in 2001, became a Judge in 2007, and has served as an Assistant Chief since January 2018. 

      Judge Hecht has presided over cases involving a diverse set of issues, including energy, telecommunications, and water rates and policy.  Judge Hecht has also served temporary rotations as a policy advisor to two Commissioners, Michel Florio and Catherine Sandoval, during which she focused on energy and telecommunications policy and rates.  

      Judge Hecht has been a certified mediator for more than ten years, since receiving her mediation certificate from the Hastings School of Law in 2008.  She has mediated and facilitated parties to successful and mutually agreeable settlements in both complex multi-party and simpler two-party disputes, including as a volunteer mediator for small claims court cases with San Francisco Superior Court.   In addition to her mediation certification, Judge Hecht has experience and advanced training in mediation, conflict coaching, facilitation, and structuring and conducting collaborative processes involving multiple stakeholders and complex issues.

      Judge Hecht has a B.A. in History from the University of California at Berkeley, and a Masters degree in Public Affairs and Policy Analysis from the LaFollette School of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin - Madison.

    • Jason Jungreis

      Jason Jungreis is an Administrative Law Judge (Judge) at the California Public Utilities Commission (Commission).  Prior to joining the Commission, he practiced law in California for 25 years, both in complex litigation and as transactional counsel. 

      Judge Jungreis's practice focused on cleantech, construction, real estate, insurance and surety, and environmental law.  He first-chaired numerous trials, engaged in more than 100 mediations and arbitrations, and resolved complicated multi-party litigation.  He has a strong knowledge-base and analytical skills in a variety of technological fields.

      Judge Jungreis has also served as a Judge Pro Tem for 18 years with the San Francisco Superior Court, and have served as both a bench judge and a settlement judge for hundreds of cases.  His facilitation, mediation, and arbitration skills are shaped through having participated in such as plaintiff's counsel, defense counsel, and neutral, and both with individual and institutional clients.  His experience provides insights and skills in understanding the legal, technical, and motivational positions of each party.

      Judge Jungreis received his J.D. from Hastings College of the Law and his B.A. from Occidental College.  He is certificated in mediation, and has trained at the National Judicial College.

    • Kimberly Kim

      Kimberly H. Kim is an Administrative Law Judge (Judge) at the California Public Utilities Commission (Commission). She joined the Commission in 2008 as a Judge.  Since 2015, Judge Kim has also been serving as the Commission's Docket Office Advisor Judge.  In addition, since 2017, she also took on the additional role of the Commission's Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Program Coordinator.

      Since joining the Commission, Judge Kim's formal proceeding docket has focused on energy and transit safety proceedings, but her docket typically comprises the most complex proceedings in all industry areas within the Commission's jurisdiction including water, oil pipeline, gas and telecommunications proceedings. 

      Judge Kim is a true believer in the benefits of the ADR processes and techniques.  Judge Kim's success record as a mediator is unparalleled.  As a mediator/neutral and the ADR Program Coordinator, she is committed to serving the public and the Commission by providing only the exceptional ADR services to the participants.  As with her formal proceeding docket, her mediation work focuses on complex, multi-party and sensitive cases, including multi-pronged general rate cases, atypically challenging complaint cases, and other legally and dynamically challenging disputes which have been in litigation and/or appeal for decades.   

      Judge Kim began her legal career in the San Francisco Public Defenders' Office.  She since has worked as in-house counsel, both in private and public sectors, but the majority of her professional legal experience has been in administrative and civil litigation as well as appellate work which spanned more than two decades. The specific subject areas of her litigation and appellate experience have been in, inter alia, the following legal subject areas: environmental, land use, transportation, social service and employment. Judge Kim brings all of those experiences and insight to the cases she presides over, facilitates and mediates.

      Judge Kim has received her mediation certificate and training from State Bar of California, National Judicial College and Hastings School of Law. She received her J.D. from Hasting College of the Law and B.A. from University of California, Santa Barbara.

    • Katherine MacDonald

      Katherine Kwan MacDonald is an Administrative Law Judge (Judge) at the California Public Utilities Commission (Commission). She joined the Commission in 2009 as a Judge. Her case assignments as a Judge have focused on telecommunications and energy matters.

      Prior to joining the Commission, Judge MacDonald was a hearing officer at the Board of Equalization hearing appeals of California income and business tax matters. She also served as tax advisor to elected Board Member Johan Klehs from 2000-2002. Between 1996 and 1999, Judge MacDonald practiced general civil litigation with a focus in professional liability defense, employment, and landlord tenant matters. Judge MacDonald brings all of those experiences and insight to the cases she presides over, facilitates and mediates.

      Judge MacDonald has received her mediation certificate and training from State Bar of California, National Judicial College and Hastings School of Law. Judge MacDonald obtained a B.A. from the University of California at Los Angeles, a J.D. from Whittier Law School, and an LLM in Taxation from Golden Gate.

    • Pat Tsen

      S. Pat Tsen is an Assistant Chief Administrative Law Judge (Judge) at the California Public Utilities Commission (Commission). She joined the Commission in 2013 as a Judge and has been an Assistant Chief Judge since June, 2018. 

      Since joining the Commission, Judge Tsen has presided over matters in energy, communications, water, and transportation sectors.  In ratesetting proceedings, she ensures that regulated utilities provide safe and reliable service to their customers at reasonable rates; in rulemaking proceedings, she assists Commissioners in reaching public policy decisions related to California's utilities as well as implementation of congressionally passed statutes.  Judge Tsen has successfully mediated multi-party cases including general rate cases, investigations and complaint cases at the Commission.

      Before joining the Commission, Judge Tsen worked as a Corporations Counsel at the Department of Corporations (now Department of Business Oversight).  She reviewed securities transactions and represented the Department in fairness hearings on proposed mergers/acquisitions involving Sony, Facebook, Instagram, and the New York Stock Exchange.  She worked on implementation of the Dodd-Frank act and other securities regulations in California.  Judge Tsen sat on the Corporation Finance Section of the North Americans Securities Administrators Association.

      Judge Tsen received her mediation training and certificate from Hastings School of Law and the National Judicial College.  She received her J.D. from the University of the Pacific- McGeorge School of Law and her B.S. from U.C. Berkeley. 

    • Eric Wildgrube

      Eric Wildgrube has served as an Administrative Law Judge (Judge) with the California Public Utilities Commission (Commission) since 2015. He primarily has been assigned energy ratesetting proceedings.  Prior to his appointment with the Commission, Judge Wildgrube served as a Judge with the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board for over five years and as a Judge for the launch of the Affordable Care Act for nearly a year.

      Judge Wildgrube is a graduate of The American University in Washington, D.C., and Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, CA. Before becoming a Judge, he was engaged in private practice as a trial lawyer on a diverse range of matters. Prior to mediating at the Commission, he received mediation training and has served as a mediator with Community Boards in San Francisco and the San Francisco Superior Court.


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