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Howard Herman

Howard A. Herman


Case Manager
John Peterson
T: 415-774-2609
F: 415-982-5287
Two Embarcadero Center, Suite 1500, San Francisco, CA 94111

Biography

Available to conduct virtual/remote mediations, arbitrations and other ADR proceedings on a variety of online platforms, including Zoom.

Howard Herman
has worked as a mediator and as a developer of ADR programs since 1985. He has mediated several thousand disputes covering a wide range of case types. He specializes in matters involving high emotion and complex power dynamics.

Mr. Herman’s clients extol his intelligence, fairness, integrity, patience and sensitivity. They characterize him as thoughtful, imaginative, earnest and relentless in his pursuit of practical solutions. Mr. Herman is a process expert who takes pride in customizing his approach to each case in response to the needs of the participants.

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • Mr. Herman has mediated several thousand disputes since 1985; case types include employment, business/commercial, ADA access, civil rights, copyright, trademark and environmental.
  • For more than 23 years, Mr. Herman led the highly regarded ADR program of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco. He began his ADR career in the earliest experiments with appellate mediation at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. He then served as the first director of ADR programs at the Superior Court in Contra Costa County before moving to the Northern District.
  • Mr. Herman is a recognized leader in the development of the ADR field. He has taught basic and advanced mediation skills to thousands of mediators, lawyers, law students and judges throughout the United States and around the world. He served as chair of the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution from 2015 to 2016. He was the inaugural recipient of the Robert F. Peckham Award for Excellence in ADR presented by the Ninth Judicial Circuit in 2002 and received that award again in 2019. In 2011, he was co-recipient of the Mediation Society of San Francisco’s annual Award for Outstanding Contribution in the Field of Mediation. In 2013, he was the inaugural recipient of the Exceptional Service Award presented by UC Hastings College of the Law's Center for Negotiation and Dispute Resolution, where he has taught ADR courses since 1996.

Representative Matters

Business/Commercial

  • Mediated numerous cases alleging improper mortgage foreclosure by major lenders
  • Mediated numerous matters alleging violations of Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
  • Mediated numerous cases alleging violations of Fair Credit Reporting Act
  • Mediated bad faith failure to pay on fire insurance policy
  • Mediated contract dispute between major retailer and commercial landlord
  • Mediated dispute between municipalities and federal government concerning Medicare reimbursements
  • Mediated disputes between gas station owners and oil companies under Petroleum Marketing Practices Act
  • Mediated dispute between bail bondsman and insurance carrier over claim denial
  • Mediated numerous cases involving cable television piracy

Civil Rights

  • Mediated human trafficking claim by seamen against fishing vessel owner
  • Mediated educational discrimination action against community college district
  • Mediated housing discrimination actions against homeowners’ associations
  • Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Mediated hundreds of clams under Title 2 and Title 3 concerning architectural barriers, hearing impairment, vision impairment, service animals, voting rights and website access brought by individuals and by major disability rights organizations against all variety of defendants, including:
    • National retailers
    • Small-business owners
    • Concert venues
    • Ride-sharing companies
    • International hotel chains
    • National restaurant chains
    • Hospitals and nursing homes
    • Government entities

Employment

  • Mediated numerous employment discrimination cases, including claims of gender, race age and disability discrimination
  • Mediated numerous wrongful discharge matters
  • Mediated numerous wage and hour claims against both small and large businesses

Environmental

  • Mediated dispute brought by Native American tribes involving claims of failure by state and federal government to mitigate environmental effects of highway construction
  • Mediated dispute brought by public interest groups alleging failure to comply with provisions of the Wilderness Act
  • Mediated dispute alleging failure to mitigate harm from fishing practices under Endangered Species Act

ERISA

  • Mediated claims of failure to make contributions to pension trust funds
  • Mediated claims of denial of long-term disability benefits

Intellectual Property

  • Mediated copyright dispute involving motion capture technology
  • Mediated trademark disputes involving international clothing manufacture

Personal Injury

  • Mediated wrongful death action against Veteran’s Administration hospital
  • Mediated numerous slip-and-fall cases against national retailers
  • Mediated case involving extensive injuries due to alleged negligence of municipality

Awards and Profiles

  • Robert F. Peckham Award for Excellence in Alternative Dispute Resolution, Ninth Judicial Circuit, 2019
  • Exceptional Service Award, UC Hastings College of the Law, Center for Negotiation and Dispute Resolution, 2013
  • Outstanding Contribution in the Field of Mediation, Mediation Society of San Francisco, 2011
  • Robert F. Peckham Award for Excellence in Alternative Dispute Resolution, Ninth Judicial Circuit, 2002
  • “Facilitating Better Outcomes,” UC Hastings Law, Spring 2011
  • “Settling Around the Circuit,” The Recorder, 1989

ADR Activities and Affiliations

  • Member, American Bar Association, Section of Dispute Resolution, 2006–present
    • Section Chair, 2015–2016
    • Section Executive Committee, 2011–2017
    • Member, Section Council, 2010–2011
    • Co-Chair, Court Committee, 2009–2011
    • Annual Conference Co-Chair, 2010; Program Co-Chair, 2009
    • Member, Quality of Mediation Task Force, 2006–2009
    • Member, Standing Committee on Dispute Resolution Research, 2006–present
  • Member, Board of Directors, Foundation for Sustainable Rule of Law Initiatives, 2014–present
  • Member, San Francisco Planning Committee, Global Pound Conference, 2016–2017
  • Member, Mediation Society of San Francisco
  • Member, Dispute Resolution Section, Bar Association of San Francisco
  • Member, ADR Committee, California State Bar, 1998–2001
  • Member, ADR Subcommittee Working Group on Ethical Standards for Mediators in Court-Connected Mediation Programs, California Judicial Council, 1999–2002
  • Member, Budget Commission Subcommittee on ADR, California Trial Court, 1995–1996

ADR Training and Presentations

ADR Training Program Design and Service as Lead Trainer

  • Basic Mediation Training
    • United States District Court, Northern District of California (2001, 2006, 2011, 2015, 2019)
    • United States District Court, Central District of California (2011–2014)
    • Pacific Islands Courts, Saipan, CNMI (2018)
    • Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference (for judges) (2017, 2019)
    • State and Federal Courts, Guam (2011, 2015)
    • Courts of the Republic of the Marshall Islands (2008)
    • Judicial and Legal Training Institute, Malaysia (2007)
    • Institute for the Study and Development of Legal Systems, New Delhi and Mumbai, India (2005)
    • UC Hastings College of the Law (2003–2005, 2009–2010)
    • United States District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania (2000)
  • Basic Early Neutral Evaluation Training
    • United States District Court, Northern District of California (2005, 2008, 2011, 2015, 2019)
    • Los Angeles County Superior Court (2006)
    • Stanislaus County Superior Court (2006)
    • Fresno County Superior Court (2008)
  • Advanced Mediation Practice Program
    • Facilitation of five ongoing mediator peer groups (2004–2020)
  • Specialized ADA Access Mediation Training:
    • United States District Court, Northern District of California (2019–2020)
  • Effective Representation in Mediation Training:
    • UC Hastings College of the Law (2007–2014, 2019–present)
    • California State Attorney General (2010, 2018)
    • Bucerius Law School, Hamburg, Germany (2012)
    • Federal Practice Program, San Francisco (1998)
  • Advanced Mediation Trainings
    • Foundation for Sustainable Rule of Law Initiatives, Bangalore, India (2015)
    • United States District Court, District of Idaho, in conjunction with University of Idaho School of Law, separate programs for lawyers and judges (2011)
    • Bucerius Law School, Hamburg, Germany (2003, 2005, 2008)
    • Europa-Universitat Viadrina, Berlin, Germany (2008)
    • United States District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania (2000)
  • Settlement Conference Skills Training
    • San Francisco Superior Court (2012)
  • Negotiation Training
    • UC Hastings College of the Law (1996–2002)
    • ABA Section of Dispute Resolution, Negotiation Institute (2015–2016)
    • Republic of the Marshall Islands (2008)
  • ADR Program Design: Envisioning, Designing and Implementing Court ADR
    • UC Hastings College of the Law, specialized program for international judges and court administrators (2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2017, 2018)

Selected ADR Presentations

Mr. Herman has made numerous ADR presentations at events sponsored by, among others, the U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Judicial Center, the American Bar Association, the State Bar of California, numerous courts and local bar associations, the Association of Corporate Counsel and multiple law schools and universities on topics including the following:

  • Practicum on the Nature and Practice of Civil Discourse (for symposium led by Justice Anthony M. Kennedy in conjunction with the Federal Judicial Center, Sacramento, 2017)
  • The End Game: Brackets, Ranges, Mediator Proposals and Other Mediator Tools
  • Preventing Impasse Through Effective Communication
  • Impasse Breaking Through Negotiation Techniques
  • Using Caucus to Maximum Advantage
  • Toward a Vision of Productive Joint Opening Sessions
  • Skillful Use of Joint Sessions and Caucus
  • Effective Use of ADR in IP and Business Disputes
  • Handling Righteous Indignation: Tools for Mediators and Advocates
  • Addressing Overconfidence and Other Cognitive Traps
  • Approaches to Conflict and Negotiating Styles
  • Difficult Conversations: Making Conflict Productive
  • Defining the Problem in Mediation
  • Effective Representation in Mediation
  • Reflective Mediation Practice
  • Ethical Standards for Mediation Practice
  • ADR Research and Scholarship With a Real-World Focus
  • The Power Paradox
  • Reports on the ABA Task Forces on Improving Mediation Quality and Research on Mediator Techniques
  • Avoiding the Pitfalls of Routinization
  • ADR Program, United States District Court, San Francisco, 1997–2020
    • Director, 2005–2020
    • Program Counsel, 1997–2005
  • Director, ADR Program, Contra Costa Superior Court, Martinez, 1993–1997
  • Attorney, Kindel & Anderson, San Francisco, 1989–1992
  • Pre-Briefing Settlement Conference Attorney, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, San Francisco, 1985–1989
  • Attorney, Graham & James, San Francisco, 1983–1985
  • J.D., University of California, Hastings College of the Law, 1983
    • Executive Board, Hastings Law Journal
    • Hastings Public Interest Law Program
    • Thurston Honor Society
  • A.B., With High Honors, Sociology, University of California, Berkeley, 1979

Counsel Comments

    • “[Mr. Herman] is excellent: earnest, thoughtful, imaginative, relentless.”
    • “Mr. Herman is an excellent mediator. In the course of a short mediation, Mr. Herman deftly made both plaintiff and defendants feel as though their concerns were appreciated, and soberly discussed the risks and benefits of various settlement options. Without his skill and guidance, it’s unlikely the parties would have achieved settlement. Both I and my clients would recommend him for the resolution of any dispute.”
    • “I want to personally thank [Mr. Herman] for [his] hard work and sophisticated efforts assisting the parties in resolving this case. I was greatly impressed by [him].”
    • “[Mr. Herman’s] efforts went far beyond any expectations we would have had for a mediator’s responsibilities. We are truly grateful [for]…the opportunity to have [had him] as our mediator.”
    •  “Prior to trial, we had numerous settlement conferences among the parties themselves…All these efforts came to naught. If I had been a betting man, I would have bet 100 to 1 [that] Howard Herman could not have settled the litigation, but he did! He’s a terrific negotiator, smart lawyer and a very pleasant person as well.”
    • “Mr. Herman stuck with it hour after hour, cornering first one and then another of the parties and/or counsel, ironing out the problems and getting to the heart of the obstacles.”
    • “[Mr. Herman] is the finest mediator it has ever been my privilege to meet...I particularly value [his] perspective about being an ethical negotiator.”

News

Events

Practice Areas

  • Business & Commercial
  • Civil Rights
  • Employment Law
  • Environmental Law
  • Insurance
  • Intellectual Property
  • Personal Injury/Torts
Available nationwide

Disclaimer

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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