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Catherine Gallagher

Hon. Catherine A. Gallagher (Ret.)

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Case Manager
Josephine Care
T: 408-346-0737
F: 408-295-5267
160 W. Santa Clara St. , Suite 1600 , San Jose , CA 95113

Hon. Catherine A. Gallagher (Ret.) is a full time neutral at JAMS with broad experience in employment law matters. She has handled cases involving discrimination, harassment, wage and hour issues, covenants not to compete and whistleblower claims. Judge Gallagher is praised for her intelligence and ability to find agreeable resolutions in difficult employment disputes.  In mediations, she is able to identify complex interpersonal dynamics between the parties and develop solutions to these problems.  Her knowledge of legal issues and financial data also helps parties develop a better understanding of their cases and reach resolution.  In arbitration matters, she has the ability to effectively narrow the issues involved and efficiently manage the entire process. 

Before joining JAMS, Judge Gallagher served on the Santa Clara County Superior Court for over 25 years, including two years as the Presiding Judge. Before her appointment to the Bench, she worked in the Division of Enforcement at the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.  She has also taught at the University of Santa Clara.

Representative Matters

  • Settled a case involving a teacher’s claim of discrimination and retaliation based on her physical disability against a school for emotionally disturbed children
  • Handled the resolution of an age discrimination case involving a high tech company 
  • Successfully resolved a matter involving trade secrets that included a claim involving a breach of fiduciary duty and counterclaims of unpaid wages
  • Handling multi-party cases in cases involving discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and wrongful termination
  • Mediated other complex employment cases with multiple employees and very sensitive issues including sexual harassment 
  • Former employee claimed employment discrimination due to miscarriage and pregnancy related issues against Swiss pharmaceutical company doing business in the United States
  • Wrongful termination case involving hostile, sexually charged workplace in traditionally male dominated industry
  • Woman of Influence, Silicon Valley Business Journal, 2014
  • Trial Judge of the Year, Santa Clara County Trial Lawyers Association, 2008
  • Michael Patiky Miller Luminary Award, Silicon Valley Bar Association, 2007
  • Honoree, Saint Thomas More Society, 2007
  • Honoree, Women Lawyer Committee of the Santa Clara Bar Association, 2006
  • Lecturer, University of Santa Clara, Trial Practice Techniques, 2007
  • Professor, University of Santa Clara, Paralegal Institute, Securities Regulation, 1984-1991
  • Bar Examination Grader, State Bar of California, San Francisco, California, 1978-1979
  • Member, California Judges Association, 1984 to present (Executive Board member, 2003-2006)
  • Board Member, Sentencing Alternate Program, 1984-2004 (former President and officer)
  • Board of Directors, National Association of Alcohol and Drug Dependency, 1986-1991
  • Board Representative from the District Attorney’s Office, WOMA (The Women’s Alliance to prevent Domestic Violence), 1979-1983
  • Member, National Association of Women Judges; Lifetime member of California Women Lawyers; Santa Clara Bar Association
  • "Committed to Closing," ADR Profile, Daily Journal, July 29, 2011
  • Judge, Superior Court, County of Santa Clara, 1989-2009
    • Presiding Judge, 2007-2008
    • Assistant Presiding Judge, 2005-2006
  • Judge, Municipal Court, County of Santa Clara, 1984-1989
  • Deputy District Attorney, County of Santa Clara, 1979-1984
  • Special Assistant United States Attorney, United States Attorney’s Office, San Francisco, California 1979-1981 
  • Staff Attorney, Securities and Exchange Commission, Division of Enforcement, Washington D.C. (1975-1977) and San Francisco, California (1977-1979)
  • Law clerk, Honorable Joseph M.F. Ryan, Jr. Superior Court of the District of Columbia, Washington, D.C. (1974-1975) 
  • J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, 1974
  • B.A., St. Mary’s College, Notre Dame, 1971

Counsel Comments

    • “Judge Gallagher establishes instant rapport and total respect.”

      - Bay Area attorney
    • “I couldn’t have asked for a more balanced, thoughtful, and productive mediation process than the one we had with Judge Gallagher. She strikes just the right balance and we achieved a fair result.”

      - Bay Area attorney
    • “[Judge Gallagher] was sufficiently neutral, yet not afraid to voice opinions about select issues; [she] worked very hard and had respect for all.”
    • “[Judge Gallagher] was on top of the issues, pleasant, respectful, persuasive and effective.”
    • “[Judge Gallagher’s] scholarly knowledge of relevant statutory and case law combined with her practical day to day knowledge of the workings of the court and of the judicial process makes her a most reliable and trustworthy advocate for resolution. [She] treats parties with the highest respect while teaching them the rocky road of litigation with style, grace and a most convincing charm.”
    • “I was not optimistic that the parties would settle anything at all. [Judge Gallagher] gave us the tough advice - and new way of considering our case - that we needed.”
    • “[Judge Gallagher] has always been good, effective and a hard worker - it is amazing how [she] has improved, even when I thought [she] was already great - [she] is one of the best mediators JAMS has - [she] is very good at pushing the parties and that is the key.”
    • “Without [Judge Gallagher’s] intelligence and perseverance, I don’t know that the settlement would have been reached.”
    • “[Judge Gallagher] was very efficient, to the point and had the knowledge to settle the case. [She] did an excellent job.”
    • “[Judge Gallagher] was prepared and attentive. We could not have asked for a mediator more intent in achieving a settlement-which was accomplished.”

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