David Garcia

Hon. David A. Garcia (Ret.)

JAMS Mediator, Arbitrator, Referee/Special Master, Hearing Officer

Case Manager
Lily Kaufman
T: 415-774-2656
F: 415-982-5287
2 Embarcadero Center, Suite 1500, San Francisco, CA 94111


Hon. David A. Garcia (Ret.), who has served 20 distinguished years on San Francisco’s municipal and superior courts, is recognized as one of the best law and motion judges in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is well known for his energy, intelligence, and thoughtful decision-making. As a law and motion judge in the San Francisco Superior Court for seven years, Judge Garcia resolved thousands of pretrial motions including pleading and summary judgment matters.

In addition to civil, family law, and criminal matters, Judge Garcia presided over numerous settlement hearings involving employment, real estate, business/commercial, insurance contract, civil rights, landlord tenant, personal injury, products liability, medical malpractice, and legal malpractice with the vast majority of cases settling. Judge Garcia is fluent in Spanish. Please click here to download the Spanish version of this document.

Representative Matters

  • Dowhal v. SmithKline Beecham Consumer Healthcare (2002) 100 Cal. App. 4th 8, rev. granted, 10-23-02, No. S109306 - interaction of Proposition 65 with Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act
  • Nike v. Kasky (2003) 589 U.S. - Consumer speech and unfair business practices
  • Flannery v. Prentice, 85 Cal. Rptr. 2d 95, 79 Fair Empl. Prac. Cas. (BNA) 1313, 1999 Daily Journal D.A.R. 4851 (Cal. App. 1 Dist., May 21, 1999) (NO. A083668) - attorney fees in employment cases
  • Braun v. Chronicle Publishing Co., 52 Cal. App.4th 1036, 61 Cal. Rptr.2d 58, 115 Ed. Law Rep. 989, 25 Media L. Rep. (Cal. App. 1 Dist., Feb 18, 1997) - privileged communications in official proceedings
  • Successfully mediated a family business partner matter involving a trademark dispute
  • Mediated and resolved a dispute involving a consignment issued between an artist and an art gallery
  • Successfully settled a case concerning alleged wrongful expulsion from a university
  • Mediated and settled a California Lemon Law case involving the repossession of a vehicle
  • Successfully resolved a dispute between a unified school district and a charter school over the terms of the charter
  • Mediated and resolved a matter wherein a developer allegedly constructed a defective single family home
  • Successfully mediated an international dispute between a U.S. franchiser and a Mexican company
  • Mediated and settled a case between a department store and a patron for alleged wrongful arrest and imprisonment over alleged shoplifting
  • Successfully resolved an alleged wrongful imprisonment matter involving shoplifting
  • Mediated numerous multi-party products liability and personal injury cases
  • Successfully resolved a vast array of employment cases, including wage and hour claims brought under the Private Attorney General Act (PAGA) 
  • Mediated and settled several real estate and landlord-tenant disputes
Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS.

  • Author of various publications about litigation and ADR in a variety of practice areas, including real estate, employment and commercial litigation, including Rutter Group Landlord Tenant Practice Guide
  • Founder and Board Member, Alta Vista Elementary School, San Francisco, 2009-present
  • Member, California Judges Association, 1983-present
  • Member, San Francisco Conservation Corps, 1987-2000
  • Member: Planning Committee, CJER, Civil Proceedings Bench-Book Project; Planning Committee, CJA Annual Conference, 1990
  • Mayoral appointee, San Francisco Employment and Training Council, 1978-1982
  • "Scholarly Approach," Daily Journal, ADR Profile, October 31, 2014
    • Judge, San Francisco Superior Court, 1990-2003
    • Judge, San Francisco Municipal Court, 1983-1990
    • General Counsel/Executive and Legal Affairs Secretary, California Fair Employment and Housing Commission, 1978-1982
    • Partner, Private Practice, San Francisco, 1974-1977
    • Managing Attorney/Staff Counsel, Neighborhood Legal Assistance Foundation, Mission Law Office, San Francisco, 1971-1973 and 1973-1974
    • Professor of Law, University of San Francisco School of Law, 1974-1983
    • LL.M., Yale Law School, 1971
    • J.D., University of San Francisco School of Law, 1970
    • B.A., University of San Francisco, 1967

    Counsel Comments

      • "... He'd be able to very quickly size up cases put in front of him and give the litigants a real sense of what the value of their case is."

        -Chair of Litigation Group at a Multi-Regional Law Firm



    Practice Areas

    • Arbitration
    • Business/Commercial
    • Civil Rights
    • Construction
    • Employment
    • Estates/Probate/Trusts
    • Higher Education & Title IX
    • Insurance
    • Personal Injury/Torts
    • Professional Liability
    • Real Property
    • Special Master/Discovery Referee
    Available nationwide


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