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


Judge Ambler has been a full-time neutral with JAMS since 2000, and has resolved a large number of commercial and residential real property disputes as mediator, arbitrator, or private judge.  He has a mediated and arbitrated numerous commercial and residential real estate matters, including:  lease disputes, breach of contract, failure to disclose, purchase and sales disputes, and brokerage or mortgage fraud claims.  He is particularly skilled at working through the interpersonal disputes which often underlie real estate disputes, particularly between partners, family members, or long-time neighbors.

Representative Matters

  • Tried a case pursuant to a stipulated general reference involving allegations of tax fraud in the sale of numerous luxury Ritz-Carlton condominiums (some as fractional or “time share” units) at the historic R.C. Chronicle building in the heart of San Francisco
  • Plaintiff sued to enforce a residential purchase agreement through a short sale that valued the property at a fraction of its worth, via a fraudulent approval by a rogue bank employee allegedly acting in concert with a realtor and a loan broker
  • Case involving disputed successive five-year options to large commercial lease
  • Numerous commercial and residential purchase and sale, lease, construction defect, and easement disputes
  • $1.5M manager’s interest claim arising from sale of large Palo Alto, California commercial property
  • Action for rescission based upon the seller's failure to disclose testing in neighborhood homes by the EPA for toxic vapors emanating from soil and groundwater contamination
  • Actions in two counties for quiet title and declaratory relief re: ownership of the 15,500 acres comprising several contiguous ranches near San Luis Reservoir
  • Breach of contract, fraud, and specific performance claims brought by buyers against sellers of large commercial property on the river in downtown Napa, California 
  • Breach of contract, fraud, and specific performance disputes involving the purchase and sale of large apartment complexes in Sacramento and Oakland, California
  • Dispute between partners in commercial development project in Capitola, California 
  • Disputes between buyer and seller of large commercial property in Sacramento, California 
  • Easement dispute between adjoining luxury homeowners
  • Eminent domain case involving nine coordinated actions relating to the construction of the new Benicia-Martinez Bridge across Carquinez Strait
  • Failure to disclose claims against seller and realtor involving lot size discrepancy, defective construction, and mold
  • Fraud and defective construction claims against unlicensed contractor
  • Fraud claims against seller of leaking, moldy $5 million ‘castle’
  • Palo Alto flood cases involving multiple plaintiffs, defendants, and lawsuits
  • Partition and waste claims in probate court among disputing beneficiaries concerning apartment building in San Francisco, California 
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




This page is for general information purposes.  JAMS makes no representations or warranties regarding its accuracy or completeness.  Interested persons should conduct their own research regarding information on this website before deciding to use JAMS, including investigation and research of JAMS neutrals. See More

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