William Cahill

Hon. William J. Cahill (Ret.)

JAMS Mediator, Arbitrator and Referee/Special Master

Case Manager
Scott Schreiber
T: 415-774-2615
F: 415-982-5287
Two Embarcadero Center, Suite 1500, San Francisco, CA 94111

William J. Cahill 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.


Hon. William Cahill (Ret.) has been a full time neutral since 2000 and currently conducts mediations and arbitrations throughout the United States. In the insurance area he mediated and arbitrated numerous complex coverage disputes including disputes concerning carrier contribution, subrogation disputes, inter-carrier disputes, coverage and policy interpretation cases, Directors and Officers Liability Insurance issues, asbestos coverage and numerous alleged bad faith actions. He also works in the areas of class actions, complex commercial disputes, personal injury and employment and encounters coverage questions in all of these cases.

Prior to becoming a full time neutral, Judge Cahill spent nearly ten years as a judge in San Francisco County Superior Court where he was the law and motion judge, a trial judge presiding over bench and jury trials and numerous settlement conferences. Prior to that, he was a partner and a trial lawyer at a top law firm where he practiced commercial and coverage issues relating to design professionals, owners, contractors and subcontractors liability.

Judge Cahill is a reputable neutral with a growing practice throughout the country. He has been consistently recognized as one of the top neutrals in the Bay Area as well as California by various surveys and legal publications. Judge Cahill relates to all participants in a case and enjoys the challenge of difficult assignments. Clients and lawyers report that he quickly grasps complex facts and law and they appreciate his creative settlement ideas that lead to closure.

Representative Matters 

  • Arbitrated large insurance case arising out of hurricane Katrina between insurance companies and hospitals, involving choice of law between Pennsylvania and Louisiana law and a disputed number of occurrences regarding multiple deaths at various hospitals during the flooding
  • Mediated a large breach of fiduciary duty case between several school and college districts and their insurance broker over allegations of broker malpractice in placing coverage with various carriers
  • Mediation of a dispute regarding hundreds of millions of dollars of possible coverage for nationwide asbestos litigation
  • Mediated cases alleging bad faith failure to resolve actions arising from complex litigation involving construction defects and toxic torts
  • Mediated a series of coverage disputes between law firms and their legal malpractice insurance carriers
  • Mediated coverage case related to environmental contamination at three sites in different states
  • Mediated inter-carrier dispute regarding contribution for defense costs of an underlying construction defect case
  • Mediated case involving alleged mishandling of numerous workers compensation claims and cross-complaint for unpaid premiums
  • Mediated fidelity bond coverage disputes between insurer and insured resulting from over $3M worth of embezzlement from employee of a leading technology company
  • Mediated numerous coverage disputes related to Directors and Officers Liability Insurance
  • Mediated Employment Practices Liability coverage dispute seeking recovery of defense costs pursuant to settlement of an employment class action
  • Mediated multi-million dollar coverage case in London between a carrier and its French insured
Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS.

  • Included on "National Mediators" list, Chambers USA America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, 2017-2022
  • Recognized as a Top California Neutral, Daily Journal, 2004, 2005, 2009-2013
  • Recognized as a Northern California Super Lawyer, ADR Category, San Francisco Magazine, 2004, 2006-2014
  • Recognized as one of the three Best Neutrals in the Bay Area, through an open survey of attorneys, The Recorder, 2007, 2008, and 2009
  • Recognized as one of the “500 Leading Judges in America,” by Lawdragon Magazine, 2006
  • Recognized as one of the Bay Area's Top 10 Mediators and Top 10 Arbitrators, The Recorder, 2002
  • Chosen as the top judge on the San Francisco Superior Court in a poll published in the San Francisco Examiner; Judge Cahill's settlement skills were noted in the December 14, 1998 article
  • Trial Judge of the Year, San Francisco, 1992
  • Lecturer, international, national, and local speaking engagements including topics related to class actions, mediation, employment, arbitration, insurance, construction, ethics, law and motion practice, expert witnesses, and clause drafting, among others
  • Former Member, Chief Justice Ronald George's Committee to revise the California Civil Jury Instructions
  • Judicial Officer, San Francisco Bar Association Bench Bar Media Committee, 1991-2000
  • Former Member, Board of Directors, Association of Business Trial Lawyers, 1996-1998; (In 1994, Judge Cahill was chosen by the ABTL to be an instructor on settlements to both the United States District Court, Northern California and the San Francisco Superior Court benches.)
  • Member, Litigation Section, Bar Association of San Francisco, 2000-present
  • "Reading the Room," ADR Profile, Daily Journal, October 16, 2015
  • Judge, San Francisco County Superior Court, 1991-2000
  • Partner, Bronson, Bronson & McKinnon, 1986-1991
  • J.D., Hastings College of Law, 1979
  • B.S., University of California at Berkeley, 1976

Counsel Comments

    • "As a mediator, Judge Cahill is prepared, diligent, perceptive, and persistent. He devotes his full attention to understanding the dispute, the dynamics of the parties and their counsel, and to reaching a resolution.” 
    • “Judge Cahill is an excellent arbitrator. He can handle matters that are extremely complex and he prepares very thoughtful and careful statements of decision.”




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