Lynn Duryee

Hon. Lynn Duryee (Ret.)

JAMS Mediator, Arbitrator and Referee/Special Master

Case Manager
Amy Thornton
T: 415-774-2686
F: 415-982-5287
Two Embarcadero Center, Suite 1500, San Francisco, CA 94111


Judge Duryee has specialized in settling thorny legal disputes throughout her career, first as a trial court judge for 21 years, and now at JAMS as a full-time Neutral. She is known for her practical, personal, and get-it-done approach to settlement. Her deep experience in the law as well as her dedication to resolving disputes make her an excellent choice as a neutral. 

As a Superior Court judge in Marin County, California, Judge Duryee resolved thousands of commercial, contract, and negligence cases. During her tenure as the supervising family law judge, she settled hundreds of high-conflict, high emotion cases and eliminated 100% of the court’s backlog by instituting settlement programs where trained attorneys and therapists assisted the court in settlement conferences. 

Outside of her duties at court, Judge Duryee has taught hundreds of courses to judges throughout California in all aspects of trial, evidence, ethics, and dispute resolution. She served as Dean of the B.E. Witkin Judicial College. Along with attorney Matt White, she co-wrote Mastering Mediation: 50 Essential Tools for the Advanced Practitioner(ThompsonReuters, 2012). Currently, she teaches Civil Procedure as a Visiting Professor at University of San Francisco School of Law. 

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • Served 21 years as a trial court judge where she presided over and settled thousands of civil cases of all types
  • Elected by her colleagues as Presiding Judge of the Marin County Superior Court
  • Under Judge Duryee’s leadership as a Supervising Judge, eliminated the court’s backlog in the civil, family, and criminal divisions
  • At JAMS, Judge Duryee has handled a wide range of real property, employment, personal injury, construction, business, family trust, sexual assault, and professional negligence cases, and has been extremely effective in helping parties achieve resolution

Representative Matters


  • Commercial contract disputes involving claims for failure to pay, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, theft of trade secrets, unfair competition, exercise of stock option rights, failure to pay commissions
  • Partnership dissolution and accounting claims
  • Purchase and sale of professional practices, restaurants, wine business


  • Extensive experience settling construction defect cases, including condos, HOA claims, single family dwelling, and commercial spaces
  • Settled multiple claims between generals and subs, generals and owners, and claims involving design professionals 
  • Experienced in reading plans, specs, contracts, scope of repairs, change orders, CC&R’s, warranties, and expert reports
  • Has presided over, tried, and arbitrated disputes between contractors, subs, and owners
  • Judge Duryee’s father was a Builder and Designer of residential and commercial properties. She grew up with construction every day


  • Extensive experience with cases for wage and hour, meal break, misclassification, Labor Code violations, and PAGA
  • Wrongful termination, discrimination in the work place, pregnancy discrimination, sexual harassment, hostile work environment
  • Disability, failure to accommodate, age discrimination
  • Employment disputes between and among family members in family business
  • Employment disputes involving public entities

Family and Estate Law

  • Extensive experience with settling cases between family members, including spouses, domestic partners, adult siblings, and claims arising out of family trusts and probate
  • Division of family properties


  • Presided over and settled multiple cases involving coverage, Stearman claims, Cumis issues, and subrogation matters

Personal Injury/Torts

  • Settled, presided over, and tried hundreds of cases involving injuries and wrongful death auto, pedestrian, bike, truck, and motorcycle accidents
  • Successfully mediated claims for premises liability, including slip and fall, mold exposure, hazards
  • Extensive experience with sexual assault claims
  • Investment fraud

Professional Liability

  • Managed, presided over, and settled hundreds of claims for professional negligence including medical, legal, dental, architectural and other design professionals

Real Property

  • Extensive experience resolving commercial and residential unlawful detainer cases, breach of warranty, violation of local rent control ordinances, and HOA issues with short term rentals
  • Extensive experience with mandatory pre-filing mediation of claims involving disclosure issues in real property purchase and sales
  • Settled multiple claims between neighbors involving easements, parking, landscaping, encroachments, views, privacy, noise, and harassment
  • Quiet title claims between family members or other co-owners
Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS.

  • "Turning the Page," ADR Profile, Daily Journal, May 5, 2015
  • "John J. Meeham Mentor of the Year," University of San Francisco, 2014
  • “Judge of the Year,” Marin Consumer Attorneys, 2013
  • Marin County Women Lawyers Award for Outstanding Leadership and Dedication, 2008
  • “Bernard Jefferson Award for Distinguished Service in Judicial Education,” California Judges Association, 2002
  • Member, “Statewide Task Force For Impartiality of the Courts,” 2007-2009
  • Editor, “The California Bench,” 1998-2004
  • Judge, Superior Court, County of Marin, 1998-2014
    • Presiding Judge, 2006-2007
    • Supervising Civil Judge for 11 years between 1999-2013, (Supervising Family Law Judge, 2005-2006; Supervising Criminal Judge, 2007-2008)
  • Judge, Municipal Court, County of Marin, 1993-1998 (Presiding Judge, 1995)
  • Private civil practice, Marin County, 1979-1993
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor, Hastings College of the Law, 1983-1991
  • Instructor, Hastings College of the Law, 1980-1983
  • J.D., University of San Francisco School of Law, 1979
  • B.A., English, High Honors, University of California, Berkeley, 1976
  • Se habla español
  • On parle francais

Counsel Comments

    • [Judge Duryee] handled this matter with class, intelligence and sensitivity. She was extraordinary and I do not believe any other person would have been able to achieve this result.

      - CA Attorney
    • "Dynamic, discerning and dedicated! Judge Duryee is masterful in her ability to quickly hone in on critical legal, emotional, and financial issues. Her tenacity and creativity foster a collaborative and effective problem-solving environment that is unmatched."

      - Partner, National Law Firm
    • "Judge Duryee was an extremely effective settlement judge, and now she is an equally effective mediator. She listens to the parties, genuinely wants to help settle the case, and shares her observations and experience in a constructive way."

      - Partner, Bay Area Law Firm
    • "[Judge Duryee] has an innate ability to identify and connect with just about anybody."

      - Partner at San Francisco Bay Area Law Firm
    • “I smugly thought that this case was not one for mediation… Lynn Duryee had other ideas. She worked the phones; she worked the email. Anything and everything to get us talking…She prodded. She questioned…She simply did not quit. She even called when she was on vacation! She maintained that this was a mediation case and worthy of settlement. She calmly bore through my stubbornness and of course, in the end, she was right. We settled. Her honesty was key… She is extraordinary and tenacious! In short, Lynn Duryee is a rock star.”
    • “[Judge Duryee] was extremely kind, understanding and persuasive to all parties”
    • "Dynamic, discerning and dedicated! Judge Duryee is masterful in her ability to quickly hone in on critical legal, emotional, and financial issues. Her tenacity and creativity foster a collaborative and effective problem-solving environment that is unmatched."
    • “Judge Duryee was exceptional. She made the plaintiff feel comfortable with the process and gained the trust of the plaintiff at the outset. She asked the plaintiff questions about her life, profession, passions, etc. which made the plaintiff feel like a whole person instead of a complainant. Judge Duryee masterfully used a number of tools to encourage settlement and put the parties within range of settlement. She knew when and how to assert her own opinions and recommendations. She brought the best out of the defense attorney…a brilliantly executed mediation.”
    • "[Judge Duryee] has an innate ability to identify and connect with just about anybody.”
    • “No matter what kind of case I have mediated with Judge Duryee, from malicious prosecution actions, employment law defense cases, to plaintiff auto cases, to business matters, she always finds a way to bring the parties together and achieve settlement. Judge Duryee recently settled a very complicated multi party construction defects case that had been mediated two prior times…Judge Duryee achieved settlement in one day!”
    • “Judge Duryee did an excellent job of winning the parties trust and helping all concerned see that settlement was a good option.”



Practice Areas

  • Arbitration
  • Business/ Commercial
  • Construction Defect
  • Employment
  • Family Law
  • Insurance
  • Personal Injury/Torts
  • Professional Liability
  • Real Property
  • Special Master/Discovery Referee
Available nationwide


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