Wayne Brazil

Hon. Wayne D. Brazil (Ret.)

JAMS Arbitrator and Referee/Special Master

Case Manager
Aimee Hwang
T: 415-774-2607
F: 415-982-5287
Two Embarcadero Center, Suite 1500, San Francisco, CA 94111

Wayne D. Brazil is available to conduct cases virtually. JAMS is equipped to provide virtual ADR services on a variety of online platforms, including Zoom, Microsoft Teams, WebEx, and more.


Judge Brazil’s comprehensive qualifications to serve as an arbitrator are rooted in his 25 years of service as a Magistrate Judge in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California and his extensive experience evaluating and revising rules of procedure and evidence at the highest national levels.

As a magistrate judge in the Northern District, Judge Brazil presided over countless cases from inception through trial. In every case, he worked closely with counsel to tailor a case development plan that would position the parties, with maximum efficiency, either to negotiate settlement or proceed to trial. None of his trial dispositions was successfully appealed. During his years on the bench, Judge Brazil also published numerous ground-breaking opinions.

Perhaps the most unique source of Judge Brazil’s qualifications as an arbitrator is his extensive service on national and state-wide committees charged with responsibility to critically assess and improve rules of procedure, discovery, and evidence. He served on the Judicial Conference’s Civil Rules Committee, a body to which he was reappointed twice by the Chief Justice of the United States. He also served as the voting-liaison between the Civil Rules Committee and the Judicial Conference’s Committee on the Rules of Evidence.

Just as in all of this law reform work, one of Judge Brazil’s principal goals as an arbitrator is to help the parties strike a sensible balance between case value and litigation transaction costs. In particular, he tries to assure prompt access to evidence that matters while helping counsel avoid excursions into evidentiary cul-de-sacs.

Through his wide-ranging experience, Judge Brazil also has developed a sophisticated appreciation for how fragile the fact-finding process can be – and, therefore, how important it is for a trier of fact to examine all the relevant evidence with care and objective discipline before beginning to draw any inferences.

Representative Matters Arbitrated Through Hearing/Award

  • Dispute between physicians formerly in same practice group; issues included rights under contracts with several hospitals, conversion, equitable distribution of income.
  • Dispute between medical practice group and national provider of full package of support (facilities, equipment, staff, billing and collections); allegations included breaches of MSAs and shareholder agreements, unfair competition, abuse of trade secrets, and self-serving manipulation of accounting techniques.
  • Dispute between shareholders and purchasers of significant interest in environmental services corporation.
  • Sanctions against attorney for pressing vapid claims and defenses.
  • Dispute over entitlement to commercial finder’s fee.
  • Contract dispute arising out of agreement to provide expert analysis.
  • Dispute between former employee and employer over compensation, benefits, timely payment of wages upon severance with company.
  • Personal injury claim against entertainment company.

Other Representative Matters

  • Numerous cases involving employment disputes – discrimination, wrongful termination, breach of contract, failure to pay overtime wages, failure to provide meal and rest breaks, failure to include all required information on periodic pay stubs.
  • Unfair competition; breach of covenant not to compete; abuse of trade secrets; breach of contract in sale of business; fraud.
  • Breach of contract for professional services; malpractice.

Books, Articles, and Chapters in Treatises

  • Shaking Decision Trees for Risks and Rewards (with Majorie Aaron), 22 ABA Dispute Resolution Magazine 12, Fall 2015
  • Early Neutral Evaluation: A Guide For Neutrals, Advocates, and ADR Program Designers, Dispute Resolution Section, ABA, 2012
  • Effective Approaches to Settlement: A Handbook for Lawyers and Judges, published by Prentice Hall Law and Business, 1988
  • Settling Civil Suits: Litigators' Views About Appropriate Roles and Effective Techniques for Federal Judges, ABA Press, 1985
  • Managing Complex Litigation: A Practical Guide to the Use of Special Masters (with Geoffrey C. Hazard and Paul R. Rice), American Bar Foundation, 1983
  • Thoughts About Impasse for Mediators in Court Programs, 15 Disp. Res. Mag. 11, Winter 2009
  • ENE or Mediation? When Might ENE Deliver More Value? 14 Disp. Res. Mag. 10, Fall 2007
  • Professionalism and Misguided Negotiating in The Negotiator’s Fieldbook; The Desk Reference for the Experienced Negotiator, ed. by Andrea Kupfer Schneider and Christopher Honeyman, ABA, 2006
Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS.

  • Recognized as a Top California Neutral "Rising Star," Daily Journal, 2012
  • Recipient of Prestigious D’Alemberte-Raven Award from the Dispute Resolution Section of the ABA, 2009
  • The Mediation Society of Northern California: Annual Award for “Outstanding Contribution in the Field of Alternative Dispute Resolution,” 2007
  • California Dispute Resolution Council: Donald Weckstein Award for “Outstanding Contribution to the Profession of ADR Neutrals,” 2007
  • American College of Civil Trial Mediators (national association headquartered in Florida): award for “Outstanding Achievement in the Advancement of Alternative Dispute Resolution,” 2005
  • "Using Mind Over Matter," ADR Profile, Daily Journal, September 14, 2012
  • D'Alemberte-Raven Award, American Bar Association Secton of Dispute Resolution, 2009
  • Member, American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution
  • Law Professor (“Professor from Practice”), Berkeley Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, full-time 2009-2011; part-time 2011-2014
  • United States Magistrate Judge, United States District Court, Northern District of California, June 1984-October 2009
  • Professor of Law, Hastings College of the Law, University of California, San Francisco, California, Courses: Civil Procedure and Civil Rights, 1980-1984
  • Associate Professor of Law, University of Missouri, Columbia, Federal Courts, Civil Procedure, Professional Responsibility, 1978-1980
  • Farella, Braun & Martel, Litigation Associate, San Francisco, California, 1975-1977
  • J.D., University of California, Berkeley Law (formerly Boalt Hall School of Law), Order of the Coif, 1975
  • Ph.D. in American Political and Cultural History, Modern European and American Intellectual History, Harvard University, 1975
  • M.A. in American History, Harvard University, Woodrow Wilson Fellow, 1967
  • B.A., Stanford University, Graduated with Great Distinction, Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Award, Phi Beta Kappa, 1966

Counsel Comments

    • "Thank you [Judge Brazil] for your excellent work in getting us across the finish line yesterday. We sincerely appreciate all of your efforts getting us to a successful resolution for our clients. Your contributions and efforts were critical to us breaking the previous logjam that we found ourselves in."

      -Energy Technology Litigation Partner
    • “Few people have the range of vision, the attention to detail, the energy for new tasks, the depth of experience, or the passion for the enterprise of dispute resolution that Wayne Brazil so generously shares with the world.”

      – Former Chair of the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution
    • “[Judge Brazil] add[s] the depth and luster of unparalleled experience, and tremendous insight into how the law can and should work to illuminate and resolve disputes….”

      – Named Partner at Premier Firm
    • “I have observed with great pleasure over the years [Judge Brazil’s] tireless work on the bench, the unique and powerful commitment [he] gave to the bench on the record, off the record at settlement conferences, and the zest that [he] breathed into the Northern District ADR program.”

      – Partner at Regional Firm
    • “[Judge Brazil’s] intellectual and analytical thinking, which [he] shared throughout the process, helped us to validate what we saw as the strengths and weaknesses of our case and move us towards settlement. I honestly believe that without [Judge Brazil’s] assistance, the case would not have settled.”
    • “I have the utmost respect for [Judge Brazil’s] skills as a mediator as well as [his] obvious great intellect. [He] was prepared coming into the mediation and while it went on, did a superb job of focusing my side in the right places. The rapport of mutual respect [he] created with both [parties] contributed greatly to being able to get this matter resolved… [His] dogged pursuit of a settlement is one of the major things that allowed us to get over the finish… I really hope I have another opportunity very soon to have [Judge Brazil] involved in another matter.”
    • “I am so appreciative for the gift of the mediation…Two decades of tension dissolved as [Judge Brazil] first touched them and then let them find their way. For the first time everyone became single-mindedly focused on the common purpose. I could not have imagined that what I had worked toward for nearly 3 years would come together in a morning. I am truly grateful.” 
    • “Thank[s] for all of your help in getting me through one of the most difficult years of my life. You have restored my faith in justice.”
    • "As far as mediators go, on a scale of one to ten, [Judge Brazil] is an eleven."




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