Michael E. Ponder

Judge Mike Ponder has been a mediator and arbitrator with Perry Dampf since he retired as the Parish Attorney for East Baton Rouge Parish in September of 2005. Juge Ponder also served as a City Court Judge and District Court Judge. He has conducted nearly 900 mediations since 1993 and was appointed arbitrator for settlement of a nationwide major class action lawsuit.



Judge Ponder received advanced mediation and arbitration training from the Alternative Dispute Resolution Administration specifically in Stipulation Analysis and Claim File Preparation and Analysis. His broad experience as an attorney and judge makes him an ideal choice when choosing a neutral for mediations, arbitrations and special master services.

Judge Ponder was appointed to join a Special Master Panel, wherein distribution of millions of dollars to hundreds of claimants was compiled. He was also a member of Arbitration Forums from 1993-1995. Additionally, he was the director of the First Circuit Court of Appeal Mediation Program from 2006-2008.

Prior to serving as Parish Attorney, Judge Ponder was elected to be a Baton Rouge City Judge from 1978-1980 and then a 19th Judicial District Court Judge from 1980-1992. Louisiana District Courts have general jurisdiction and he presided over all types of criminal and civil cases. After retiring from District Court, he served as the Parish Attorney for East Baton Rouge Parish from 1992-2005. This office handled all civil matters for the Parish, including litigation, property acquisitions, labor relations, lobby efforts (local, state, and federal governments), tax enforcement and dispute resolution.

Moreover, Judge Ponder served as legal advisor to three different Baton Rouge Mayors and the twelve members of Parish Council. He also served as Special Counsel to the Louisiana State Attorney General and as an Assistant District Attorney for East Baton Rouge Parish.

Admitted to practice law in Louisiana in 1973, Judge Ponder has over fifty years of legal experience. He is also admitted to the United States District Courts for the Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts of Louisiana, as well as the United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit. He is a member of the Louisiana State Bar Association, American Bar Association, Federal Bar Association, City Attorneys Association, Louisiana Judges Association, and a former member of Academy of Court-Appointed Neutrals.


“Thanks for all of your help last week in getting the "W" case settled at mediation. It was a hard fought case.”

“[T]hank you for all of your hard work and effort in order to bring this one to a conclusion. I know it was not an easy task but thanks for your diligence and ‘keeping hope alive’.”

“Mike did a great job in a difficult case.”

"That was some excellent mediating. I think the parties were actually pleased with the result, or at worst, happily relieved. It’s always a pleasure seeing you and working with you."

Louisiana State Bar AssociationLouisiana City Attorneys Association Federal Bar Association American Bar Association