John Flaherty

Hon. John A. Flaherty (Ret.)

JAMS Mediator, Arbitrator and Referee/Special Master

Case Manager
Jacquelynne Garcia
T: 408-346-0735
F: 408-295-5267
160 W. Santa Clara St., Suite 1600, San Jose, CA 95113

John A. Flaherty 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.


Since joining JAMS in 1998, Hon. John A. Flaherty (Ret.) has arbitrated hundreds of cases.  He is known for his fair hearings, and well-reasoned awards.  Prior to being a full time neutral at JAMS, Judge Flaherty gained experience handling a wide variety of complex civil cases during more than two decades on the Santa Clara County Superior Court.

Judge Flaherty’s arbitration experience includes professional liability cases, employment cases, business disputes in the high tech industry as well as the finance industry and real estate disputes. 

Representative Matters

  • Tripartite arbitration regarding real estate lending dispute between real estate developer and lender
  • Arbitration involving accounting between joint venture partners
  • Arbitration involving dissolution of partnerships and distribution of assets to limited partners
  • Arbitration involving attorney fee dispute between real estate investor and law firm
  • Arbitration dispute between CEO of three entities that did business internationally and owner of holding company that controlled the entities
  • Arbitrated workplace discrimination based on race, worker’s comp injury and retaliation for violation of public policy against large multi-state based defendant
  • Arbitrated dispute between partner and firm involving allocation of law firm distributions
  • High-tech products manufacturer vs. distributor contract disputes (International Chamber of Commerce)
  • Land valuation for ground lease of major shopping center
  • Law firm partnership dissolutions
  • Telephone rate dispute involving state and federal legal issues
  • A case involving Chief Technology Officer/Vice President of a high tech company who allegedly breached an employment contract
  • A multi-million dollar bankruptcy claim by trustee of defrauded high tech company against its former auditor
  • A real estate valuation dispute between a large uni-trust and a beneficiary
  • Commercial real estate dispute between partners in a professional building
  • Corporate dissolution of a major real estate securities firm
  • Dissolution of a securities firm involving valuation of securities and employment issues
  • Matters between buyers and sellers of real property
  • Tripartite arbitration dispute between international bank and a multi-millionaire family over a loan agreement
Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS.

  • Silicon Valley Campaign for Legal Services, Board Member, 1999-2009
  • Selected as One of the Top Ten Mediators in Silicon Valley, San Jose Magazine, 2002
  • Trial Judge of the Year, Santa Clara County, 1987
  • Member, California Judges Association
  • Member, Santa Clara County Bar Association
  • Member, President's Advisory Council, Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, 2001-present
  • Chair, Trial Court Coordination Advisory Committee to the Judicial Council, 1993-1998
  • Chair, Judicial Council Committee on Arbitration in the early 1980's
  • Lectured at Stanford Law School and the University of Santa Clara Law School on mediation, arbitration, and civil procedure; and for the CEB on real estate, probate, and business litigation issues
  • "The Power of Silence," ADR Profile, Daily Journal, February 19, 2016
  • Judge of the Superior Court of Santa Clara County, 1977-1998
    (Presiding Judge, 1986; Supervisor of the Civil Division, 1997)
  • Founding partner, Berliner, Cohen & Flaherty, now Berliner Cohen
  • J.D., University of California, Berkeley School of Law (formerly Boalt Hall School of Law), 1963
  • B.A., Stanford University, 1960

Counsel Comments

    • "On behalf of myself and my client, we thank [Judge Flaherty] for [his] invaluable assistance in settling our very complex and difficult cases. All previous attempts to settle had failed. [His] intelligent analysis of the numerous legal and financial issues and relentless pursuit of a workable solution made all the difference."

      - Bay Area Attorney




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