Joseph Biafore

Hon. Joseph F. Biafore, Jr. (Ret.)

JAMS Mediator, Arbitrator and Referee/Special Master

Case Manager
Jacquelynne Garcia
T: 408-346-0735
F: 408-295-5267
160 W. Santa Clara St., Suite 1600, San Jose, CA 95113


Judge Biafore joined the JAMS special panel of highly experienced neutrals following nearly four decades of distinguished service with the Santa Clara County trial courts and as a trial attorney in private practice. He is accomplished at effectively handling a wide variety of cases and highly respected for his fairness and ability to focus on the important issues in a case. He has presided over complex civil cases involving a multitude of practice areas including construction matters.

As a trial judge, arbitrator, mediator, or special master/referee, Judge Biafore has resolved matters including the following.

Representative Matters

  • Arbitrated and issued award in a construction defect dispute between glazier subcontractor versus general contractor on a public improvement project on a county building; claims involving delay, breach of contract, and failure to pay
  • Arbitrated to award a construction defect claim involving electrical subcontractor and general contractor over monies due under contract; cross-claim of defective workmanship and damages
  • Effectively resolved multiple unit construction defect cases involving all trades and phases of construction
  • Mediated and resolved a case concerning the defective design and construction of a large parking lot at an industrial center
  • Mediated and resolved a construction defect matter involving a shopping center versus various subcontractors
  • Mediated and resolved a dispute between a city and a county over the construction of a proposed public building
  • Mediated and resolved various issues of adverse possession between private owners
  • Mediated and settled a class action involving construction and heating defects
  • Mediated and settled a dispute by and between owners, contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers, construction managers, and design professionals involving construction defects in large apartment complex
  • Mediated and settled a public entity sued for design defect in highway
  • Mediated and settled an inverse condemnation involving improper drainage and collapse of an adjoining hillside
  • Resolved numerous cases regarding municipal law, zoning, and building code violations
  • Resolved several disputes concerning commercial buildings - landlord/tenant disputes involving breach of lease, breach of contract for sale, and tenant improvement and build-out claims
  • Resolved several insurance coverage issues with respect to property damage in commercial buildings
  • Settled a construction defect dispute between a homeowner and a plumbing contractor and alleged defects in plumbing of a single family dwelling
  • Settled a dispute between a government entity and private property owner involving appropriate evaluation and eminent domain proceedings
  • Settled and resolved a number of cases involving residential and commercial leases, evaluations, and damages for breach
  • Settled numerous construction cases, including commercial, condominium, and single family residence defect cases
  • Successfully mediated a construction defect case involving alleged excessive repair costs in restoring a historic home in Northern California
  • Successfully mediated matters involving condominium and maintenance association liability issues
  • Successfully resolved a dispute between a drywall subcontractor and the general contractor over scope of work, sequencing of trades, and quality of work relating to a large hotel project
  • Successfully settled a variety of mechanics liens and stop notice claims
Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS.

  • Member, California and Utah State Bar Associations
  • Board member, South Valley Community Theater, 2012 – present
  • Member, California Judges Association, 1977 – present
  • Appointed Special Master by Chief Justice of California Supreme Court in matter before the Commission on judicial performance
  • CALJIC West’s Committee on California Criminal Jury Instructions, 2004 – present
  • Recipient of Santa Clara County Trial Lawyers Association Lifetime Achievement Award, 2004
  • Board of Trustees, Santa Clara County Law Library, 1997-2002
  • Administrative Office of the Courts Task Force for Trial Court Funding, 1995-1996
  • Judicial Council Trial Court Presiding Judge Standing Committee, 1995-1996
  • Executive Board, California Judges Association, 1997-2000; (Vice President, 2000)
  • Board of Directors, California Judges Foundation, 1987-1990
  • President, Gilroy-Morgan Hill Bar Association, 1972-1973
  • Board of Trustees, United Way of Santa Clara County
  • Taught educational programs for judges at California Center for Judicial Education & Research and California Judges’ Association
  • Judge, Santa Clara County Superior Court, 1983-2003
    • Presiding Judge, 1995-1996
    • First Superior Court Judge in Santa Clara County to serve a 2 year term as Presiding Judge
  • Santa Clara County Superior Court Civil Supervising Judge, Case Manager 2002 – 2003
  • Judge, Santa Clara County Municipal Court, 1977-1983
    • Presiding Judge, 1981-1982
  • Presiding Judge, Gilroy-Morgan Hill Justice Court, 1974-1977
  • Partner, Jacobs & Biafore, Gilroy, CA, 1966-1974
  • Private Practice, Cotro-Manes & Cotro-Manes, Salt Lake City, UT, 1964-1965
  • Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine University, School of Law
  • J.D., J.R. Quinney College of Law, University of Utah, 1964
  • B.A., Business and Industrial Management, San Jose State University, 1960



Practice Areas

Available nationwide


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