Read Ambler

Hon. Read Ambler (Ret.)

JAMS Mediator, Arbitrator and Referee/Special Master

Case Manager
Josephine Care
T: 408-346-0737
F: 408-295-5267
160 W. Santa Clara St., Suite 1600, San Jose, CA 95113

Read Ambler is available to conduct cases virtually. JAMS is equipped to provide virtual ADR services on a variety of online platforms, including Zoom, Microsoft Teams, WebEx, and more.


As a full-time JAMS neutral since March 2000, Judge Ambler has successfully resolved a wide array of business and commercial cases as a mediator, arbitrator, private judge, discovery referee, or special master. He enjoys the diversity of his practice, which ranges from small business matters to cases involving competing Fortune 500 companies. He takes special satisfaction in bringing closure to often long-standing and deep-seated business and commercial disputes. Judge Ambler has been consistently recognized by San Jose Magazine as one of the top mediators in Silicon Valley.

Representative Matters

  • Breach of contract, fraud, and specific performance disputes involving the purchase and sale of large apartment complexes in Sacramento and Oakland, California
  • Claim by partner in major national law firm for alleged tortious interference with $1 million referral fee contract
  • Claims by distributors of specialty water against manufacturer for breach of exclusivity provisions
  • Claims by limited partner against general partners for fraud and breach of fiduciary duties involving massive losses in April 2000 NASDAQ plunge
  • Competing rescission and specific performance claims involving pre-IPO shares in startup used to purchase single-family dwelling
  • Contractual dispute between two Fortune 500 companies
  • Contractual dispute between two major national telecommunications companies
  • Dispute between a patent attorney and his client, a scientist and inventor who owns the patents for several products and components necessary to the transmission of audio and video signals
  • Dispute between contract manufacturer and corporate designer of end-to-end broadband wireless local loop system comprised of a base station and consumer premises equipment and other third party equipment to provide high quality voice and high speed broadband data services
  • Dispute between DNA microarray technology company and a provider of commercial DNA microarray scanners
  • Dispute over lode star attorneys fees arising from Alameda County Rees-Levering Act class action
  • Disputes between buyer and seller of large commercial trucking company
  • Franchise dispute between franchiser and operator of 13 playschools in New York City and Washington, D.C.
  • Misappropriation of trade secret, breach of contract, and related claims arising from license of French company by California corporation to use proprietary technology to provide wafer backgrinding and polishing services to silicon wafer manufacturers located in Europe
  • Trade secret claims by alleged inventor of highly successful patented coronary stent technology
  • Wrongful termination and fraud claims arising out of discharge of 49% shareholder by 51% shareholder in large national trade show exhibit company
  • Wrongful termination claim by bank president against investment bank he helped found
Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS.

  • Recognized as a "Top Neutral," Daily Journal Top California Neutrals List, 2013
  • Sedona Conference: E-Discovery Dispute Resolution Program for Special Masters & Mediators, January 2010
  • Recipient, official Resolution and Commendation, and the Certificate of Appreciation; both awarded by the County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors, 2009
  • President's Advisory Council, Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, 2001-present
  • Professional Advisory Council, Learning Disabilities Association of California (LDA-CA), 2000-2002
  • ADR Profile: "As Neutral, Ex-Judge Relishes Human Contact," Daily Journal (Verdicts & Settlements), July 25, 2008
  • ADR Profile: "Long Tall Texan, Making a Difference," Daily Journal (Verdicts & Settlements), January 4th, 2002
  • Child Abuse Council of Santa Clara County, 1998-2000
  • California Legislature Resolution of Commendation, 2000
  • Law Foundation of Silicon Valley Founders Award, 1999
  • Legal Advocates for Children and Youth (LACY) Honors Award, 1998
  • California Judicial Council Court Technology Advisory Committee, 1997-1999
  • California Volunteers in Parole, Inc. Founders Award, 1995
  • Judge of the Year, Santa Clara County Trial Lawyers, 1991
  • Governing Committee, California Center for Judicial Education and Research (CJER), 1984-1986
  • Board of Trustees, Good Samaritan Hospital, 1976-1978
  • President, Santa Clara County Bar Association (SCCBA), 1977
  • President, Barristers Club of Santa Clara County, 1973
  • Outstanding Law Student Award, Santa Clara County Bar Association, 1968
  • President, Stanford Legal Aid Society, 1967-1968
  • United States Navy (LT (USNR) (R)), 1961-1965
  • President, Dartmouth Rowing Club, 1960-1961
  • Co-Captain, Dartmouth Heavyweight Crew, 1960
  • U.S. Olympic Trials (Rowing), 1960
  • Judge, Santa Clara County Superior Court, 1980-2000
  • Partner, Nichols & Ambler, 1975-1980
  • Shareholder, MacLeod, Fuller, Muir & Godwin, 1973-1975
  • Santa Clara County Public Defenders Office, 1970-1973
  • Morgan, Beauzay & Hammer, 1969-1970
  • LL.B., Stanford School of Law, 1968
  • B.A., Dartmouth College, 1961

Counsel Comments

    • "Judge Ambler maintained a perfect balance of being personable and friendly while also remaining detached and objective. His interest and curiosity for a difficult subject inspired me to work harder. All parties benefited from this approach. I would do it again tomorrow."

      - Bay Area Attorney




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