Linda DeBene, Esq.

T: 925-938-5060
F: 925-938-6732

Linda DeBene, Esq. has devoted the majority of her 40-year legal career to the advancement of mediation and arbitration as alternatives to litigation.   She has successfully resolved  cases involving a wide range of emotionally charged employment issues, including: sexual harassment, whistle blowing; hostile work environment and retaliation, race, age, gender, sexual orientation, and pregnancy discrimination; embezzlement; defamation; ERISA claims; and constructive and wrongful terminations.

Representative Matters

Employee Embezzlement:

  • Mediated to settlement employer claim for embezzled funds. Husband of employee cross-complained against employer and accounting audit consultant for defamation and extortion


  • Mediated to settlement employment claim based on racial harassment
  • Mediated to settlement claim for employment discrimination, sexual harassment, and retaliation

Illegal Contract Modification/Age Discrimination:

  • Litigated to settlement (before suit filed) Labor Commission wage claims relating to illegal contract manipulation (retroactive changes) forced upon employee by employer as a guise to obscure age discrimination in the reduction of commissions to older real estate professionals

Miscellaneous Employer/Employee Litigation:

  • Mediated various ERISA claims to settlement
  • Mediated claim for money due employer by employee on a loan guarantee
  • Mediated claim by employee of railroad for work injuries due to faulty hydraulic brakes on tool cart
  • Mediated claim by employee for false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress following accusation of theft by employer against employee

Title VII:

  • Mediated to settlement failure to promote claim with original demand over $3 million

Trade Secret/Customer List Theft -- Employer/Former Employee:

  • Mediated dispute over claims of theft of customers

Unpaid Wages/Benefits:

  • Mediated to settlement employment dispute over entitlement to severance package from hospital district
  • Mediated to settlement claims over unpaid employment wages

Wrongful Termination:

  • Mediated cases grounded in claims of wrongful termination involving retaliatory termination, whistle blowing, ADA issues, public policy issues, and simple wrongful firings
  • Mediated wrongful termination matters involving, in many instances, defamation claims
  • Mediated case involving wrongful termination from local Rotary Club
  • Arbitrated to judgment claim of wrongful termination based on pregnancy firing
  • Employer claimed poor attendance at job, bad attitude toward the business and employees, and poor work performance. Evidence showed complaining witness had tried to get herself fired to go on unemployment prior to telling employer of pregnancy
  • As party advocate litigated bi-coastal constructive termination case against large technology company
  • As party advocate arbitrated to favorable judgment gender discrimination firing of female CPA
  • As party advocate litigated through settlement fraudulent promises and pregnancy termination claims against medical group

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • 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

Background and Education

  • 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


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