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


Judge Flaherty has been a full time neutral at JAMS since 1998, handling hundreds of business disputes as a mediator, arbitrator and as a court appointed referee.  Prior to joining JAMS, he served over 20 years on the Santa Clara County Superior Court.  Judge Flaherty’s extensive legal experience gives him the business acumen and legal knowledge needed to adeptly resolve business disputes.  Judge Flaherty’s experience in business cases includes contractual disputes, joint ventures, partnership dissolutions, and shareholder disputes.

Business/Commercial Dispute Resolution Experience

  • Business/commercial transactions
  • Class action disputes
  • Contractual disputes
  • Joint ventures
  • Partnership dissolutions
  • Purchase and sale agreements
  • Shareholder disputes
  • Transaction disputes

Representative Matters

  • Tripartite arbitration matter regarding real estate lending dispute between real estate developer and lender
  • Mediated real estate construction dispute between contractor and developer of medical offices
  • 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
  • Discovery Referee on dispute between condo owners and condo developer involving interstate real property sales
  • Mediated dispute between lender and scrap metal dealer involving value of lien on scrap metals
  • Mediated dispute between buyers and sellers of liquor store involving claim of using trade name and unfair business practices
  • Mediated and resolved a case involving a pharmaceutical manufacturer and a pharmaceuticals distributor
  • Mediated and resolved a dispute between a business owner and a bank regarding embezzlement and theft
  • Mediated and settled a case between partners of a trucking company concerning the rights to a warehouse and dock access
  • Successfully mediated an international case between investors and creditors involving an Asian subsidiary of a high tech company
  • Successfully resolved commercial landlord/tenant dispute over rent owed
  • Successfully settled several dissolutions of partnerships and buyouts between business partners
  • Successfully mediated complex intellectual property dispute over the confidential coding and algorithms for software that provides an automated valuation model for real estate appraisals; the case involved complex issues of patent infringement and theft of trade secrets
  • Successfully resolved breach of contract and fiduciary duty disputes related to real estate loans arising from the financial crisis and recession
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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