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, including a great deal of personal injury and tort matters.  In tort cases, Ken is lauded by clients for his ability to relate to all parties and quickly grasp complex facts.  Ken’s vast amount of experience with healthcare matters, including medical malpractice cases, gives him the technical background needed to understand complex medical issues in personal injury and tort cases.  His many years as a mediator gives him the understanding of the unique sensitivities involved in tort cases.  Whether the parties are individuals, a group of individuals or corporations, Ken has a deep understanding of the insurance issues and considerations that are key to resolving injury and tort matters.

Representative Matters

  • Personal Injury
    • Extensive experience in all types of personal injury claims
    • Burn injuries of high school welding class student allegedly arising from failure of teacher to enforce safety standards
    • Bodily injury and premises liability against city, county, state, and district public entities
    • Injuries at public venues involving allegations of faulty design
    • Insurance and indemnity issues relating to a leg amputation arising from fall off of a fork lift
    • Multiple cases involving allegations of elder abuse and wrongful death of patients at residential care and skilled nursing facilities
    • Claims of female citizens against a public entity, Sheriff’s Department and patrol officer for unlawful strip searches
    • Injuries at public transit stops, on public transportation, and allegedly inflicted by faulty public transportation operators
    • Injuries allegedly inflicted by pets
    • Injuries to babies and mothers resulting from childbirth and related medical malpractice allegations
    • Successfully mediated wrongful death case involving electrocution resulting from alleged faulty light grounding
    • Cases involving sexual molestation and accompanying insurance coverage issues
  • Product Liability
    • Product liability action against manufacturer and café operator for alleged electrocution from lack of proper grounding and GFI circuit
    • Discovery referee/special master in action alleging defective electrical component parts resulting in product recall and bankruptcy of the end product manufacturer
    • Medical product liability case involving allegations of surgical stapler failure during gastric bypass
    • Design and manufacturing defect claims in mechanical heart valve replacement, with defense of physician malpractice
    • Allegations of defective design and failure to ward for obstetrical tape used in vaginal sling surgical procedures
    • Claims arising from disintegration of router bit; defense of unforeseeable misuse and abuse in product application
    • Crush injuries arising from collision between worker and forklift operated by subcontractor employee; claims of design defect in lack of lockout/braking device
    • Beverage product liability with allegations of consequential and reputational damages to commercial winery arising from design and manufacturing defect in glycol mixture and cooling tanks
    • Manufacturing defects resulting in bottling defects that result in product recall; loss of market allocation, covering damages for replacement product; issues of speculative damage claims for startup product
    • Loss of product due to chlorine exposure and refrigeration failure; cross-claims against manufacturer for alleged product design defect of cooling coil 
    • Defective design and manufacture of windows for exclusive residence; failure of vacuum seal resulting in moisture and fogging in windows requiring replacement with resulting collateral damages to structure, stucco and loss of use claims
    • Defective design and installation of backflow preventer for sewage system; loss of rental income and sale opportunity; defense of misuse and abuse of system components
    • Claims of defective design of supplemental restraint systems (seatbelt fasteners, airbags)
    • Product liability dispute alleging defective design of a trailer and poor manufacturing and maintenance practices, leading to the collapse of the trailer, resulting in leg injuries requiring amputation
    • Case involving allegations of defective medical product design/manufacture, including contamination during production of components 
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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