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Linda DeBene

Linda DeBene, Esq.

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Case Manager
Cindy Cravalho
T: 925-975-5738
F: 925-938-6732
1255 Treat Blvd. , Suite 700 , Walnut Creek , CA 94597

Linda DeBene, Esq. has litigated and/or resolved complex disputes in a wide variety of  business and commercial areas, including  banking, trade secrets, intellectual property, corporate and partnership dissolutions, commercial real estate and construction since 1978. Her extensive experience and strong management skills, combined with her business and financial acumen make her particularly efficient in settling complex, multi-party disputes.

Representative Matters


  • Mediated and litigated disputes over purchase of various types of businesses including restaurants, delicatessen, dry cleaner, and auto dealerships.


  • Mediated to settlement claim against bank and its in-house lending broker for fraud and breach of fiduciary duty. In-house lending broker, on her own, made loan to borrowers of bank when proposed bank second loan could not be ready in time for closing.
  • Mediated to settlement claim by account holder against bank and credit reporting agency (2007, San Francisco) that erroneous credit reporting and delay of bank correcting same caused physical illness in remission to develop into health effects requiring full medical treatment for lifetime.
  • Mediated to settlement disputes involving improper handling (lost) safe deposit box, check fraud, wrongful conversion of account funds by refusal to transfer at customer direction.
  • Litigated to settlement liability of fiscally sound guarantor for corporate debt when all other guarantors fiscally unable to honor default. Case involving complicated legal issues over waiver of jury trial rights in light of allegations of bank fraud at time of inception of guaranty.

Competition/Trade Secrets/Intellectual Property:

  • Discovery and settlement referee on Marin and San Francisco Superior Court appointments: settled these two theft of trade secrets case. Served as discovery referee in intellectual property trade secrets case (Contra Costa Superior).
  • Mediated and settled matters involving theft of customers, theft of customer lists, converted funds, dispute over ownership rights in patented product, non-compete agreements, and copyright infringement involving architectural plan use by time share developer.

Partnerships and Corporations:

  • Arbitrated partnership dissolution matter involving law partners. Mediated to settlement various partnership dissolution and breach of agreement claims, and partnership accounting issues
  • Mediated and arbitrated numerous business disputes between partners, limited partners, and corporate shareholders.
  • Advised and advocated on behalf of scores of corporate and partnership participants from formation, to day-to-day business transactions, employment issues, lending decisions, dissolutions, and civil and criminal litigation since 1978

Professional E&O/Negligence Claims:

  • Mediated to settlement professional negligence claims involving attorneys, doctor, accountant, mortgage brokers, appraisal services, architect, design professionals, and engineers.
  • Mediated resolutions in matters involving developer vs. security guard company for alleged avoidable property damages, school district vs. workers compensation administration firm, against funeral company, and involving mortgage broker and appraisal services firms
  • Member, Academy of Court-Appointed Masters, 2008 - present; Board of Directors and Membership Chair, 2011 - present, (
  • Accredited at The Sedona Conference: E-Discovery Dispute Resolution Program for Special Masters & Mediators, January 2010
  • Admitted to Practice California, 1977; Florida, 1971 (inactive); U.S. Supreme Court, 1978
  • Real Estate Broker, California, 1987 - present
  • Appellate Mediator for the First District Court of Appeals; Third District Court of Appeals; and Northern District, California – Federal ADR Mediator Program
  • Completed over 340 hours of ADR training in a variety of areas including special master, e-discovery, mediation, arbitration, negotiation skills, and specific practice areas
  • Recipient of inaugural "Service to the Judiciary" award, Contra Costa County Bar Association, 1999
  • Frequent Lecturer: JAMS presentations, Contra Costa County Bar Association's ADR Committee and Real Estate Section; State Bar Real Estate Retreat
  • Author of various subprime, real estate and ADR-related articles
  • JAMS Neutral, 2005 to present
  • Private Practice, Real Estate , Construction, and Commercial Transaction and Litigation, 1978 - 2005
  • Felony and Appellate Prosecuting Attorney, State of Florida, County of Broward, 1972 - 1977
  • Associate, Private Firm, 1971 - 1972
  • J.D., Stetson College of Law, St. Petersburg, FL, 1971
  • B.A., Stetson University, DeLand, FL, 1968

Counsel Comments

    • "Linda DeBene's abilities are superlative, with the legal expertise, interpersonal skills, organization and determination to bring the most complex cases to resolution." 

      - prominent Bay Area Plaintiff’s Counsel
    • “Linda DeBene is one of the most thoughtful, hardworking mediators in the business… [She] engages the parties, discusses the strengths/weaknesses of the case and creates conditions that foster settlements. In every case, I have come away either with a settlement or a far better appreciation of my case.”

      - prominent East Bay Partner 




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