Hon. Read Ambler (Ret.)

T: 408-288-2240
F: 408-295-5267
Special Master/Discovery Referee
Judge Ambler, a full-time neutral since 2000, is frequently stipulated by parties and appointed by state judges to serve as a CCP Section 638 general referee, discovery referee, and by federal judges to serve as a FRCivP Rule 53 special master in intellectual property, licensing, business, employment, real estate, probate, and healthcare disputes.  Judge Ambler is respected for his legal knowledge, fairness, accessibility and technology savviness.  He is efficient and effective at supervising discovery (including eDiscovery), trying cases as a private judge, and accomplishing settlements.  He is a member of the national Academy of Court-Appointed Special Masters.

Special Master/Discovery Referee, Representative Matters

  • United States District Court, Northern District of California San Jose Division (Special Master):  Brocade Communications Systems, Inc., a Delaware corporation, and Foundry Networks, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company vs. A10 Networks, Inc., a California corporation, Lee Chen, an individual; RajkumarJalan, an individual; Ron Szeto, an individual; David Cheung, an individual; Liang Han, an individual; and Steven Hwang, an individual (Case No. 10-CV-03428 LHK)
  • Superior Court of California, County of San Francisco (CCP 638 General Referee):  East West Bank, a federally chartered commercial bank vs. Mandarich Developments, a California corporation, Gary L. Mandarich aka Gary Mandarich aka G.L. Mandarich aka G. Mandarich, an individual (Case No. CGC 11-510108)
  • Superior Court of California, County of San Francisco (CCP 638 General Referee):  Mechanics Bank vs. Tri-Valley Vineyards, LLC (Case No. CGC 11-513226)
  • Superior Court of California, County of Sacramento (CCP 638 General Referee):  Hydrox Properties XII, LLC, a California limited liability company vs. Kobra Properties, a California general partnership; AbolghassemAlizadeh, aka A. Alizadeh; KobraAlizadeh, aka K. Alizadeh; Stoneview Office, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company, Kobra Restaurant Properties, LLC, a California limited liability company (Case No. 34-2008-00020015-CU-MC-GDS)
  • Superior Court of California, County of San Francisco (CCP 638 General Referee):  Wells Fargo Bank, National Association, a national banking association vs. Frank J. Gomes Dairy, a California limited partnership; Albert Xavier, as Trustee of the Frank J. Gomes Irrevocable Family Trust Dated April 9, 2003 (Case No. CGC-13-528410)
  • San Francisco County Superior Court (CCP 638 General Referee):  Del Grande, Kevan, et al., vs. R.C. Chronicle Building, L.P., et al. (CPF 09-509429)
  • Federal (Special Master):  Eap/Wyckoff, et al., vs. USA/Sperl, et al. (C-07-3600 SI and C-07-2301 SI)
  • San Mateo County Superior Court (CCP 638 Discovery Referee):  Actuate Corporation vs. Oracle USA, Inc. (CIV 481387)
  • Federal (Special Master):  In Re: eBay Seller Antitrust Litigation (07CV01882JF RS)
  • Alameda County Superior Court (CCP 638 Discovery Referee):  Partridge, Dina, et al., vs. Hott Wings, Inc., et al. (RG 09454660)
  • Santa Clara County Superior Court (CCP 638 General Referee):  Heritage Bank of Commerce vs. Del Biaggio, William Del J. (1-08-CV-113746)
  • Sacramento County Superior Court (CCP 638 General Referee):  Mechanics Bank, etc., vs. Kobra Properties, etc., et al. (34-2008-00020015)
  • Alameda Superior Court (CCP § 638 Discovery Referee):  Oz Optics, Inc., et al. v. Oplink Communications, et al. (01-034488)
  • City of San Jose (Administrative Hearing Officer):  In re Application of Frederick S. Wyle, as Chapter 11 Trustee of Garden City, Inc., for Hardship Extension Pursuant to Chapter 16.20 of the San Jose Municipal Code
  • City of San Jose (Administrative Hearing Officer):  In re Application of Sutter's Place, Inc., dba Bay 101 et al. for Hardship Extension Pursuant to Chapter 16.20 of the San Jose Municipal Code
  • Federal (Special Master):  Affymetrix, Inc. v. Synteni, Inc. and Incyte Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (C-99-21164 JF)
  • Federal (Special Master):  Hynix Semiconductor, Inc. v. Rambus, Inc. (C 00-20905 RMW)
  • Napa Superior Court (CCP § 638 Private Judge):  Solomon Tsai and Napa River Hotel Group LLC v. Napa River, LLC, et al. (26-11726)
  • San Francisco County Superior Court (CCP § 639 Private Judge):  Victa v. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. (301998)
  • San Mateo County Superior Court (CCP § 638 Discovery Referee):  Marriage of Word (062042) (Financial issues in substantial family law matter)
  • Santa Clara County Superior Court (CCP § 638 Discovery Referee):  Acropolis Systems, Inc. v. Synergistic Computer Solutions, Inc., et al. (CV787968)
  • Santa Clara County Superior Court (CCP § 638 Discovery Referee):  Cheryl J. v. Summerwood Investments, et al. (CV771301)
  • Santa Clara County Superior Court (CCP § 638 Discovery Referee):  Lochard v. Stanford University, et al. (CV777668)
  • Santa Clara County Superior Court (CCP § 638 Discovery Referee):  Synopsys, Inc. v. Nassda Corporation, et al. (CV787950)
  • Santa Clara County Superior Court (CCP § 638 Private Judge):  In re Irrevocable Trust of Edmund A. Mirassou et al. (I-01-PR-150254) (Petition to remove and surcharge trustee of substantial family trust)
  • Santa Clara County Superior Court (CCP § 638 Private Judge):  In re Matter of Levinson (100-CP009505) (custody dispute between natural mother and her partner, the adoptive mother)
  • Santa Clara County Superior Court (CCP § 638 Private Judge):  Raymond A. Miller v. Augustino Carcione, Sr. et al. (CV 794669)
  • Santa Clara County Superior Court (CCP § 639 Discovery Referee):  AEI v. Google (104 CV 020368)
  • Santa Clara County Superior Court (CCP § 638 Private Judge):  Marriage of Blatt (1-01-FL-101964) (Pereira-Van Camp issues)
  • Sonoma County Superior Court (CCP § 638 Discovery Referee):  Optical Coating Laboratory, Inc. v. Cierra Photonics, Inc. (225419)

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • 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

Background and Education

  • 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

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