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 real estate and real property 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 matter involving a multi-unit condominium in central California over alleged breach of contract; total award in excess of two million dollars
  • Arbitrated to award a real estate dispute between buyer and seller over zoning issues
  • Heard to award a case involving a homeowner and homeowner’s association regarding subsidence, alleged failure of maintenance, and resulting property damage
  • Heard to award a dispute between property owners in which a building that was constructed impeded sight lines in violation of city building code
  • Mediated and resolved a dispute between an owner and tenant whereby the tenant was charged with destruction of trees in an attempt to enhance view
  • Mediated and resolved a real property conflict involving a technology corporation in a dispute over space in a shopping center
  • Mediated and settled a dispute between a city and a bank that was forced to relocate due to the city’s condemnation of property; settled in excess of three million dollars
  • Mediated and settled a real property dispute involving the sale of a multiple density residential complex
  • Successfully mediated a matter involving an easement in a mountain region by adjoining land owners
  • Successfully mediated an eminent domain dispute between the city and a commercial business over moving costs, relocation fees, and assistance in finding new locations for operations
  • Successfully resolved a breach of contract dispute regarding the residential purchase of a multimillion dollar home
  • Successfully resolved a commercial property disagreement between a broker and sales agent over payment of real estate commissions
  • Successfully settled an eminent domain case related to several pieces of real property owned by multiple homeowners that was condemned by the city
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


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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