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John Bates

John B. Bates, Jr., Esq.

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Case Manager
Julie McCool
T: 415-774-2612
F: 415-982-5287
Two Embarcadero Center , Suite 1500 , San Francisco , CA 94111
Formerly a partner at Cooley, Godward specializing in intellectual property litigation, John B. Bates, Jr., Esq. has been mediating full time since 1991. He has successfully mediated several thousand cases in 30 states on a wide range of issues and is particularly skilled in resolving complex, multiparty disputes. Many of these matters involved various facets of intellectual property, including trade secrets, trademark, trade libel, copyright, and patent issues, not only among competitors, but in the employment context as well. He splits his time between his family residences in Northern California and Hawaii.

Representative Mediations

  • Copyright infringement case involving Fortune 500 company settled on confidential monetary terms
  • License dispute between Fortune 500 companies resolved, terms confidential
  • Patent infringement case with million-dollar settlement
  • Software performance and misappropriation of trade secrets case with million-dollar settlement
  • Dispute between venture partners settled confidentially
  • Dispute on royalties for license of intellectual property settled on confidential basis
  • Misappropriation of trade secrets case settled on confidential monetary terms and consent decree
  • Multi-party, multi-jurisdictional dispute concerning departure of employees to competitor from Fortune 500 company settled on confidential basis
  • Dispute involving software licensing, resolving with a multimillion dollar settlement 
  • Recognized as an “ADR Champion”, National Law Journal, 2016
  • Recognized as a leading practitioner, Alternative Dispute Resolution Category, Who's Who Legal: California, 2014-2017
  • Past Vice-Chair of the ADR Committee of the American Bar Association Section of Natural Resources, Energy, and Environmental Law
  • Member of, speaker, and writer for the American Bar Association, American Law Institute, American Trial Lawyers Association, Consumer Attorneys of California, and the Defense Research Institute
  • Member of and speaker for the Association of Business Trial Lawyers Association and Tort, Trial, and Insurance Practice Section of the American Bar Association
  • Member of the American Health Lawyer Association
  • Recognized as a Northern California Super Lawyer, ADR Category, 2010-2012
  • Among many articles are:
    • "Mediation: An Effective Way to Connect With Your Clients," ABTL Report, Vol. 17 (Summer 2008) and also in the American Bar Association’s The Brief, Vol. 38, No. 3 (Spring 2009)
    • "For Emergency Disputes, Mediation is Cure," Law 360 (2008)
    • "Using ADR to Resolve Superfund and Related Environmental Disputes," California ADR Practice Guide (November 1994)
    • "Getting the Most from Mediation," California Litigation, Vol. 7 (Spring 1994)
    • "Using Mediation to Win for Your Client," The Practical Lawyer (1992)

ADR Profiles

  • Co-founder, Bates Edwards Group in 1991 that subsequently merged with Endispute and then with JAMS in 1994
  • Litigation Partner, Cooley, Godward, San Francisco, 1974-1991
  • J.D., cum laude, University of Santa Clara School of Law, 1974
  • B.A., with honors, University of California, Berkeley, 1970

Counsel Comments

    • “John is that rare person who has a unique ability to read people, read situations, and establish trust. He uses his lock picker’s touch to achieve settlements that both sides see as win-win. He’s the best.”
    • “[John Bates has a] calm demeanor, deep understanding of issues, and patience.”
    • “John is an impressive, incisive, experienced and astute mediator who quickly commands the legal, factual and other dynamics of a dispute, accurately assesses how to help the parties appreciate their respective risks and then facilitates reasonable compromises and agreements.”
    • “John is outstanding, brought us together, eased tensions.”
    • “I would not hesitate to use John Bates to mediate my most complex class action cases. He is the godfather of mediation.”
    • “I have represented both plaintiffs and defendants in mediations conducted by John Bates…It is a ‘level playing field’ no matter who you represent and he brings a unique approach and method of analysis to resolving each and every case, that inevitably benefits both sides in the dispute.”
    • “John brings to mediations a great deal of experience, a patient and determined approach, and a sensibility to the parties that fosters resolution of disputes.”
    • “[John Bates] quickly grasped the parties’ positions and was able to identify strengths and weaknesses.”
    • “[John Bates is] hard-working and tireless with follow-up.”
    • “What has made [John Bates] successful, and a ‘go to person’, in my experience, is his credibility with defendants and their carriers, along with his ability to reassure a terribly injured plaintiff, or a surviving spouse or parent, that he understands the magnitude of their loss within the context of trying to reach a monetary compromise in situations where, on some level, no amount of compensation is adequate. This special ability allows him to calm the fear and dispel the anger which often interfere with a successful outcome.”
    • “[John Bates] focuses on the task at hand: determining how a settlement can be achieved. This goal orientation enables him to negotiate a broad variety of cases.”

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