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Paul E. Garrison, Esq.

Paul E. Garrison, Esq.

General Biography
Practice Areas
Business Commercial
Estate Probate Trusts
Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities
Background and Education

Paul E. Garrison, Esq. joins JAMS as a skilled neutral with legal and managerial experience that is both broad and deep. Paul brings a balanced perspective to challenging disputes due to his experience handling complex problems in sophisticated business settings throughout his career. As a senior executive and attorney for large companies for 18 years, Mr. Garrison offers frank case analysis and customizes the ADR process to fit unique needs.

In 2008, Mr. Garrison established his own law firm, Law Offices of Paul Garrison, focusing primarily on Alternative Dispute Resolution. Paul has helped parties negotiate settlements both multi-million dollar commercial and employment disputes. Paul believes that the parties are better served when the ADR process is customized and implemented in a manner that helps both parties. He knows how to tailor the ADR process to meet today's business needs and has firsthand knowledge of the benefits to both parties when disputes are resolved early, efficiently and without costly litigation.

Prior to starting his firm as a neutral service provider, Paul served as the Director of Legal & Regulatory Affairs for AAA Northern California, Neveda and Utah. AAA is a renowned insurance provider and travel services provider. In this capacity, he was responsible for managing the legal department's litigation and operations. Following this post, Paul served as the General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Transfield Services' domestic operations. Transfield Services was a global concern providing asset management services in the energy and construction industries. There, he was responsible for managing all of the legal and regulatory affairs of the company.

Previously, Mr. Garrison was employed for Wells Fargo for almost 12 years in both legal and management positions. His initial position was Associate Counsel handling employment matters. He was then promoted to Senior Counsel where he managed litigation (including class actions) and provided advice and counsel to Human Resource Managers and senior business executives. 

After serving as legal counsel, Paul was promoted to the rank of senior executive as the Vice President and Manager of Corporate Employee Relations. He oversaw four dynamic business units: Employee Relations, Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity, Background Investigations and Community Support. As the Employee Relations Manager, Paul supervised a team of 20 experienced HR practitioners whose role was to develop and interpret employment policies and practices and to resolve employee grievances in the 155,000-employee enterprise. As the Employee Relations Manager, he jointly represented the interests of the employees and the company.

Before joining Wells Fargo, Mr. Garrison was in private practice in San Francisco where he was an attorney devoted to employment and labor law at both Littler Mendelson and Steinhart & Falconer (DLAPiper).

Representative Matters

  • Business Commercial
      • Served as Mediator in contract dispute between high-end homeowner and artist about custom art designed for resident
      • Served as Early Neutral Evaulator  for U.S. District Court for Northern CA in dispute between manufacturer and distributor regarding federal breach of contract claims alleging product manufacturing, supply and sales issues
  • Employment
      • Arbitrated numerous labor disputes and collective bargaining matters, as both individual and Chief panel member, across multiple industries nationwide that involved both discipline and contract interpretation grievances
      • Arbitrated interest arbitration matter involving interpretation of collective bargaining agreement between Firefighters Union and City
      • Arbitrated question whether wrongful discharge violated collective bargaining agreement in transportation industry
      • Mediated to settlement numerous employment litigation cases, including class actions and multi-plaintiff matters, across industries for small, medium and large corporations and entities
      • Mediated to settlement wage and hour class action in financial services industry
      • Mediated to settlement sexual harassment/sex discrimination action in hospitality industry
      • Mediated to settlement race discrimination/sexual orientation claim in tech industry
      • Served as Early Neutral Evaluation for wrongful termination case in aviation industry in federal court 
      • Served as Trainer on litigation avoidance topics regarding discrimination, harassment, wage and hour claims for major corporations and universities
      • Served as Expert Witness in employment cases filed in superior court
      • Served as Expert Witness in harassment case filed in superior court
      • Served as Fact-finder in higher education for universities
      • Served as a Fact-finder in race discrimination matter for large public university
  • Estate Probate Trusts
      • Mediated to settlement estate dispute involving 4 siblings regarding inherited real property 

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Active participant and leader in local, state and national bar associations:
    • Alameda County Bar Association
    • American Bar Association
    • American Corporate Counsel
    • Bar Association of San Francisco
      • Chair, Insurance Section
    • California Association of Black Lawyers
      • General Counsel
    • Charles Houston Bar Association
      • General Counsel
    • Member, National Bar Association
      • Alternative Dispute Resolution Section (Board of Governors)
      • Labor & Employment Section
    • Member, State Bar of California
      • Labor & Employment Section
      • Insurance Section

Selected Lectures

  • "The Electronic Curtain: Data Privacy Law," American Corporate Counsel Association, October 2005
  • "Consequences of Identity Theft," National Bar Association, Government Attorneys August 2005
  • "Are English-Only Policies a 'No-Go'?" National Industry Liaison Group, August 2002
  • "Effectively Responding to State and Federal Agency Inquiries, Investigations, Audits, and Inspections", Council on Education in Management, 1999
  • "How to Select and Retain Top Employees," Institute of Business Law, November 1996
  • "Conducting Workplace Investigations," National Employment Lawyers' Council Conference Panelist, May 1996
  • "Can Considering Race Make Equality A Reality?" School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University, October 1995
  • "Developing Effective Hiring and Retention Efforts in a Politically Correct Business Culture," Institute of Business Law, October 1995

Selected Certifications and ADR Panels

  • Certified Arbitrator, American Arbitration Association
  • Licensed Attorney, State Bar of California
  • Mediation Certificate, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service,
  • Early Neutral Case Evaluator Certificate, United States District Court of the Northern California,
  • Mediator, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • Civil Service Hearing Officer, East Bay Municipal Utility District
  • Labor Arbitration Panel, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co. and International Machinists Aerospace Workers
  • Labor Arbitration Panel, Local 71, State of Alaska and Public Employees
  • Arbitration Panel, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)
  • Mediation and Arbitration Panel, Bar Association of San Francisco
  • Mediation and Arbitration Panel, Superior Court of California, County of San Francisco
  • Mediation and Arbitration Panel, Superior Court of California, County of Alameda
  • Mediation and Arbitration Panel, Superior Court of California, County of Contra Costa

Background and Education


  • Senior Director, Employee and Labor Relations, California State University, San Jose, 2016-2019
  • Law Offices of Paul E. Garrison, Esq., 2008-2023
  • Early Neutral Evaluator and Mediator, Untied States District Court of the Northern District of California, DATE
  • General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Transfield Services Americas, Resources & Energy, 2011-2015
  • Directory of Legal & Regulatory Affairs and Assistant Corporate Secretary, California Sate Automobile Association (AAA Northern California, Neveda and Utah), 2006-2008
    • In this role, Mr. Garrison was responsible for managing litigation, commercial transactions, people, and operations for the Legal Department in an enterprise of 7,000 employees. In this capacity, he settled multi-plaintiff and class action litigation involving both commercial and employment disputes
  • Vice President and Manager of Compliance, Merchant Payment Solutions, 2004-2006
    • In this capacity, Mr. Garrison was responsible for ensuring that the business was in compliance with applicable legal and regulatory requirements, bank policies and procedures
  • Wells Fargo, 1995-2006
    • Associate Counsel,1995-1997
    • Senior Counsel, 1997-1999
    • Vice President and Manager of Corporate Employee Relations, 1999-2004
    • Vice President and Manager of Corporate Compliance, 2004-2006
  • Associate Attorney, Steinhart & Flaconer (DLA Piper), 1993-1995
  • Associate Attorney, Littler Mendelson, 1991-1993
  • Human Resources Manager, Macys, New York, 1986-1988


  • J.D., Vanderbilt School of Law, 1991
    • Awarded Douglas Bell Memorial Prize, unanimous recognition by Law School faculty of student who most demonstrated leadership, ethics and service
  • B.S., Cornell University, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, 1986


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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