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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 over 35 years experience in the construction field, working with developers, general contractors, subcontractors, and architects and other design professionals.  As a transactional advocate, litigator, and ADR neutral,  Linda brings significant jobsite knowledge, contract development and negotiation skills, and extensive experience with AIA contracts and related documentation, to her ADR practice.

As in-house counsel to construction industry clients, Ms. DeBene served as a “project negotiator” on multi-unit attached and detached projects dealing with all aspects of contract drafting, insurance coverage, collections, workouts, mechanics liens, stop notices, and delay claims, in addition to prosecuting and defending clients’ claims.  Since 1986, Ms. DeBene has been selected or appointed as a Special Master, Discovery Referee, or judge pro-tem in numerous construction related disputes.     

Representative Matters

Commercial Properties:

  • Mediated stop notice billing disputes
  • Mediated to settlement condominium and apartment building non-payment claims
  • Mediated to settlement commercial office building construction claims
  • Mediated developer claims vs. design professionals for delay in hotel project
  • Mediated to settlement commercial illegal contract termination claim

Construction Industry E&O Claims:

  • Mediated to settlement professional negligence claims vs. architects; civil, soils, and structural engineers; and other construction industry design parties
  • Mediated to settlement $5 million cost overrun claim against architect for delay and professional negligence in connection with asserted $10 million budgeted contract for construction
  • Mediated to settlement $2.7+ million claim against civil engineering firm and surveyor for negligence in design and staking of 160-unit apartment development
  • Mediated to settlement developer claims vs. civil engineer; developer claims vs. independent contractor performing faulty customer service work and over-billing; developer claims vs. design professionals and installers over failed roadway; engineer vs. developer collection claims
  • Mediated to settlement fee claim of civil engineer/land surveyor against various public agencies over development of petrochemical railroad transfer terminal
  • Mediated to settlement E&O claim by City against multi-disciplined professional design firm on recreational public works project

Multiple Unit and Multi-Story Buildings:

  • Mediated to settlement 116-unit apartment building infrastructure dispute for delay damages and faulty workmanship
  • Mediated to settlement various HOA claims against developers and subs for common area defects

Project Development Negotiations:

  • As mediator, negotiated to settlement disputes involving development of various commercial properties, including reimbursement by one developer to another for road improvements, contract disputes between property sellers and developers on land acquisitions

Public Construction:

  • Mediated  general contractor extra work claim disputed matters involving regional railroad commission project
  • Mediated public school construction delay claim; mediated to settlement public school collection and stop notice claims
  • Arbitrated dispute between school district and general contractor over faulty work
  • Mediated to settlement infrastructure suite by city against design and engineering firm for work related to a sports complex
  • Mediated public school performance bond claim
  • Mediated/litigated to settlement water utility case vs. multiple developers over copper contaminated water
  • Mediated to settlement water utility cases for delay damages, defective materials, equipment failures
  • Mediated to settlement delay damage collection case re: Hetch Hetchy Dam
  • Mediated to settlement dispute between property developers, state, city and county agencies over adverse possession, easement and monetary claims on historic property site
  • Mediated to settlement claim for rejection of extra work change orders on city sewer rehabilitation project

Settlement Special Master:

  • Handled to settlement dispute over construction of commercial truck stop/truck wash facility
  • 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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