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 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.


Kenneth D. Gack, Esq. has been a full time neutral with JAMS since 1996 and has mediated and arbitrated extensively in employment matters. He is lauded by clients for his thorough preparation, quick grasp of complex facts, appreciation of the shifting burdens of proof in employment matters, and his ability to relate to all parties involved in sensitive employment disputes. Ken’s employment experience includes wrongful termination; ethnic, sexual, age and sexual orientation harassment; whistleblower claims; executive compensation issues (including vesting of option rights); and wage and hour claims.

Representative Matters

  • Arbitration of breach of executive bonus compensation and severance package on grounds of pretext against entity engaging in merger/change of control discussions
  • Wrongful termination and whistleblower claims against former employer and related entity; claimant alleges retaliation for asserting rights to recovery for wage and hour violations
  • Former employee alleges failure to accommodate claims against public entity; medical condition permitting continued employment with adjustment to work obligations
  • Claims of failure to accommodate and wrongful termination by ex-employee following drug rehabilitation; defense of fiduciary obligations owed by employer to third parties and potential exposure for improper access and distribution of sensitive financial data, possible identity theft
  • Racial discrimination/adverse employment claims by minority police officer against department; demotion from high profile drug enforcement team in pretextual retaliation for gun possession charge for violations of state and Federal gun restrictions
  • Former student alleges harassment, discrimination and failure to afford equal opportunity against school district and instructor for refusal to permit females on high school wrestling team; allegation of Title IX violations
  • Claims of sexual harassment and adverse employment action by nurse against hospital and physician; alleged adverse employment action in scheduling and opportunity against facility, and harassment against physician
  • CEO of winery claims wrongful termination of written term employment agreement against owner for reporting wage and hour violations; defense of failure to perform duties as winery executive
  • Complex employment and real estate fraud action among bank employee, real estate brokers, notary, lender and loan broker arising out of falsification of loan and title documents
  • Case in which a minority teacher alleged wrongful termination for alleged racial discrimination against a private day school
  • Various wage and hour claims against agricultural, health care and manufacturing employers; break time, lunch time, mandatory postings, duties re data collection and rules compliance
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.”




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