Kenneth Gack

Kenneth D. Gack, Esq.

JAMS Mediator, Arbitrator and Referee/Special Master

Case Manager
Aimee Hwang
T: 415-774-2607
F: 415-982-5287
Two Embarcadero Center, Suite 1500, San Francisco, CA 94111


Kenneth D. Gack, Esq. has been a full time neutral with JAMS since 1996 and has handled thousands of matters.  Prior to joining JAMS, Ken had a private ADR practice for several years, and before that, he founded and was managing partner of a law firm where he handled a variety of cases including business litigation, construction, agribusiness, real property and personal injury matters. 

As an arbitrator, mediator, judge pro tem and special master/discovery referee, Ken is lauded by clients for his thorough preparation, quick grasp complex facts, and his ability to relate to all parties.  Ken has a keen ability to grasp and resolve underlying insurance coverage, liability and indemnity issues that arise in business, professional liability, healthcare and personal injury cases.

Clients are continually impressed by Ken’s ability to exercise the utmost persistence and candor to help parties find realistic resolutions to their disputes.   

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • Successfully mediated thousands of cases in a variety of civil litigation settings, including medical malpractice, employment, business disputes, real property, healthcare, and agribusiness
  • Arbitrator in over 300 matters
  • Distinguished Mediator of the Year Award from San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association in 2004
  • Frequent speaker on efficient and effective alternative dispute resolution

Representative Matters


  • Frequently serve as arbitrator and mediator in disputes between wineries and business partners including vineyard owners, vineyard maintenance, distributors, and marketing agencies
  • Mediated case involving allegations relating to row crop production, failure to achieve anticipated production, and 'best farming practices' issues


  • Mediated a FACTA (Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act) case regarding credit card expiration dates being displayed on customer receipts at a group of pizza restaurants in Sacramento Area
  • Arbitrator in a case involving alleged breach of manufacturing and packaging agreement by a food distribution company
  • Arbitrator in a dispute over the acquisition of machinery via an online auction
  • Successfully mediated contract and defamation dispute involving a sports minor league team and a city
  • Mediated case involving a dispute that arose after a contractual buyout of a business
  • Mediated breach of fiduciary duty case arising after a dissolution of a Limited Liability Partnership among accountants
  • Arbitration of a suitability action against a securities broker and the registered representative
  • Mediated and arbitrated numerous attorney fee disputes, both between attorneys and firms, and between clients and attorneys


  • Multiple single family dwelling, condo, and townhome construction defect, SB800, and related matters with individual and HOA plaintiffs
  • Mediated breach of contract, consequential and delay damages by general residential contractor against subcontractor for alleged failure to meet critical path deadlines
  • Mediator and special master of construction defect claims arising from water intrusion in 32 single family dwellings, with alleged failures of stucco, flashing and window systems


  • Mediator and arbitrator for numerous employment discrimination cases, including gender, race and age discrimination
  • Mediator and arbitrator for numerous wrongful termination matters, including whistleblower actions
  • Mediation of wage and hour claims, including classification, meal and break claims, with penalty claims
  • Handled action for failure to accommodate disability in violation of FEHA by employee against public entity


  • Mediated case involving a fire abatement recovery action by State against Railroad operator
  • Mediation of contractual dispute over wind turbines and government regulation/impossibility defense


  • Mediation of indemnity/contribution action by skilled care facility against nursing registry for alleged failure to provide competent staffing, seeking recovery of settlement funds paid in wrongful death action
  • Mediation of multiple cases involving employee and former employee actions against hospitals and health care organizations, including workplace harassment, stark and compliance issues

Personal Injury

  • Extensive experience in all types of PI/BI claims
  • Mediated case involving burn injuries of high school welding class student allegedly arising from failure of teacher to enforce safety standards
  • Mediated case involving bodily injury and premises liability against city, county, state, and district public entities
  • Mediated case involving insurance and indemnity issues relating to a leg amputation arising from fall off of a fork lift
  • Mediated multiple cases involving allegations of elder abuse and wrongful death of patients resulting from care provider abuse
  • Mediated case with claims of female citizens against a public entity, Sheriff’s Department and patrol officer for unlawful strip searches
  • Mediated cases involving sexual molestation and accompanying insurance coverage issues

Product Liability

  • Mediated product liability action against manufacturer and café operator for alleged electrocution from lack of proper grounding and GFI circuit
  • Special Master in product liability case involving subrogation claims by manufacturer of heating units against manufacturer of components for losses incurred from fires
  • Mediated medical product liability case involving allegations of surgical stapler failure
  • In medical malpractice, personal injury and healthcare cases, handled many issues of product liability related to defective medical devices and products
  • Product liability matter involving claimed injuries arising out of the alleged failure of an artificial hip

Professional Liability

  • Mediated hundreds of medical malpractice cases involving failure to diagnose, wrongful death and other claims
  • Mediated medical malpractice case involving failure to diagnose and treat strep B infection in a homeless man, with resultant multiple amputations
  • Mediated medical malpractice case involving failure to diagnose and provide emergency response to hypoxic event of drug rehabilitation patient with resultant irreversible brain injury
  • Mediated case involving accounting errors in a real estate transaction
  • Mediated sensitive medical malpractice case against a doctor with additional charges of sexual assault

Real Property

  • Trial judge for action to interpret and apply common area maintenance and improvement obligations among appurtenant commercial property owners
  • Handled bad faith action by homeowners policy insured for alleged delay in investigation, evaluation and appraisal, with resultant damages of mold and aggravated remediation costs
Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS.

  • Honoree, Careers of Distinction Award, Sonoma County Bar Association, 2019 
  • Board Member, SEE International, 2014
  • Recognized as a "Top Neutral," Daily Journal Top California Neutrals List, 2013
  • Recognized as a ADR Northern California Super Lawyer, San Francisco Magazine, 2006-2013
  • Distinguished Mediator of the Year Award, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, 2004
  • President and Board Member, Legal Aid of Sonoma County, 2010-2012
  • Member, Association of Business Trial Lawyers
  • Member, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association
  • Frequently requested lecturer on ADR and civil litigation
  • Member, American Healthcare Lawyers Association ADR Panel
  • ADR training includes the Advanced Mediation Training Program at the Pepperdine University Institute for Dispute Resolution, the National Association of Securities Dealers and California State Bar ADR Roundtables
  • "Gack's Got the Knack for Settlement," ADR Profile, Daily Journal, August 10, 2012
  • JAMS, 1996-present
  • Private practice emphasizing alternative dispute resolution services, 1994-1996
  • Founding and managing partner, James, Gack, Bernheim and Hicks, Santa Rosa, 1982-1994
  • Judge pro tem, Sonoma County Superior Court, 1983-present
  • J.D., Pepperdine University, 1976
  • B.A., Anthropology, Cal. State University, Dominguez Hills, 1973

Counsel Comments

    • "I look forward to future mediations with Ken in other cases as he has been one of the most effective mediators I have been lucky enough to associate with."

      -Attorney, Sacramento Area Firm
    • “Ken has exceptional skills.  He was very prepared, focused and listened to the attorneys and clients.  Not a minute was wasted…he managed to weave through the many layers of controversy. He deserves a medal for settling this case.”
    • "Mr. Gack is always prepared, always knowledgeable, and always cuts to the core of the relevant issues.  Use him once and you will use him again."

      - Prominent Bay Area Litigator
    • “Extraordinary mediation skills in terms of technical knowledge, ability to moderate all involved, [and a] sophisticated manner of guiding discussion. Ken Gack is one of the best in the state.”
    • “Ken Gack is one of the best mediators in the business. Very effective and well-prepared. Kept working the case even after the mediation concluded.”
    • “Patience, wisdom, [and] ability to read different personalities. [Ken] was excellent.”
    • “Thanks again for working so so hard to get this case settled. It’s a testament to your reputation that you continue to put in 110% effort on the cases. I know after all these years it must be hard to stay focused and engaged the way you do…that’s why you are the go to guy at the head of the pack in Northern California.”
    • “Ken was awesome. His patience and ability to understand the motivations in [multiple] rooms and how to nudge and to understand when parties were at their limit.”
    • “Thanks again for a very strenuous effort on your behalf in resolving this very difficult case. It’s always great working with you.”
    • “[Ken has the] ability to tell it like it is to all the parties when they were wrong. He followed up and settled the matter soon thereafter.”
    • “Ken, you are a class act…You have an excellent skill set…I really appreciated your time and expertise.”
    • “[Ken has] superior knowledge of issues regarding medical malpractice.”
    • “[He is] highly skilled at mediation. Especially valuable for post-mediation follow-up. Ken is one of the best.”
    • “Ken is very excellent at moving the parties to the center.”



Practice Areas

  • Agribusiness
  • Arbitration
  • Business/Commercial
  • Construction
  • Employment
  • Environmental
  • Health Care
  • Personal Injury/Torts
  • Professional Liability
  • Real Property
  • Securities
  • Special Master/Discovery Referee
Available nationwide


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