Hon. Catherine A. Gallagher (Ret.)

T: 408-288-2240
F: 408-295-5267
Personal Injury/Torts

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.

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


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

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


This page is for general information purposes.  JAMS makes no representations or warranties regarding its accuracy or completeness.  Interested persons should conduct their own research regarding information on this website before deciding to use JAMS, including investigation and research of JAMS neutrals. See More

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