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.


Hon. John A. Flaherty (Ret.) served over 20 years on the Santa Clara County Superior Court. At JAMS he has served as a Special Master/Discovery Referee on a variety of cases. 

Resolution Expertise
  • Business/Commercial
  • Employment (discrimination, harassment, and wrongful termination)
  • Estate/Probate
  • Intellectual Property
  • Personal Injury

Representative Matters

  • Business and Real Property: Dispute between developer and nationwide brokerage company over commercial real estate development project; dispute involving major entertainment venue and city over parking rights and issues related to parking structure
  • Intellectual Property and Trade Secrets: Disputes involving medical blood testing technology; molecular analytical technology; trade secrets regarding electronic design automation; alleged theft of the source code for a business software application; intellectual property advertising rights involving major search engine
  • Probate/Will Contest: Dispute involving multimillion dollar ranch land; court referee in probate dispute over real property; court referee in matters involving the dissolution of marriage
  • Products Liability: Automobile crash worthiness case
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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