Hon. Catherine A. Gallagher (Ret.)

T: 408-288-2240
F: 408-295-5267

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. 

Read counsel comments about Judge Gallagher’s skills and style as a neutral.

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

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • 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

Background and Education

  • 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


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