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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 with JAMS and frequently mediates personal injury disputes. Prior to becoming a neutral, she spent 25 years as a trial court judge in Santa Clara County, including two years as the Presiding Judge, and handled law and motion matters, trials, settlement conferences, and case management conferences in all types of disputes, including personal injury matters. Her diverse experience has provided her great insight to the resolution of complex, contentious, and highly emotional matters. Her personal manner, calm demeanor, and positive approach to resolution allow her to successfully deal with the emotional factors which commonly create obstacles to settlement.

Representative Matters

  • Mediated various highly sensitive Domestic Violence civil cases including violations of restraining orders, as well as physical and psychological abuse cases

  • Handled numerous design defect cases and work place hazards at construction sites involving falling off a ladder, bodily injury to pedestrians near building site and faulty manufacturer of construction products

  • Resolved a number of dog bite cases including facial scares to young children and permanent injury to limbs

  • Resolved a police officer shooting case alleging use of excessive force resulting in paralysis to young man

  • Settled multiple elder abuse cases involving physical, psychological and financial abuse of the elderly 

  • Resolved cases regarding negligent supervision of children at day care centers and highly emotional cases involving sexual abuse of children and developmentally delayed adults

  • Resolved case involving exposure to toxic chemicals in uterus resulting  in birth defects

  • Handled wide variety of automobile accidents including injuries to pedestrians, persons of all ages from child to the elderly, individuals with pre existing conditions and cases with severe, permanent injuries

  • Resolved several cases involving black mold, mildew and property damage

  • 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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