James Warren

Hon. James L. Warren (Ret.)

JAMS Mediator, Arbitrator and Referee/Special Master

Case Manager
Terri Benson
T: 415-774-2653
F: 415-982-5287
Two Embarcadero Center, Suite 1500, San Francisco, CA 94111


Hon. James L. Warren (Ret.) has over 35 years experience working on complex civil litigation matters.  As a judge on the San Francisco Superior Court, Judge Warren presided over many of San Francisco’s most high profile cases.  As an arbitrator at JAMS, Judge Warren arbitrates high-stakes cases in the areas of employment, environmental, intellectual property, insurance, professional malpractice, real estate, and business commercial.  Frequently selected as an arbitrator in complex disputes, Judge Warren is known for his ability to maintain case momentum, manage discovery, keep costs under control, and draft insightful and well reasoned awards.

Representative Matters

  • Arbitrated case involving millions of dollars in damages flowing from misuse of public land for private purposes
  • Nationwide wage and hour class action involving alleged misclassification of employees, rest breaks, meal breaks, and overtime disputes
  • Bad faith and breach of insurance contract case involving failure to defend and indemnify; breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing; damages; determination of attorneys’ fees and costs
  • Contract dispute involving ownership of intellectual property rights in electronic games; contract interpretation; cross licensing; determination of attorneys’ fees and costs
  • Breach of contract dispute between telecommunications companies involving ownership of bandwidth; transmission resale rights; damages
  • Licensing dispute involving computer chip fabrication technology; cross licensing; ownership of intellectual property; mergers and acquisitions; determination of attorneys’ fees and costs
  • Legal malpractice claim involving copyright ownership in sculptural works; damages; attorneys’ fees and costs
  • Chair of three arbitrator panel in case involving acquisition by major Silicon Valley company of smaller start-up with patent portfolio; claimants sought damages in excess of $70 million
  • Chair of three arbitrator panel in two companion international cases involving creation, sale and licensing of patented ocular devices; claimant sought damages in excess of $60 million
  • Chair of three arbitrator panel in case involving lending issues in connection with the construction of a new office building in San Francisco; claimant asserted over $15 million in damages
  • Chair of Panel in statewide dispute involving broker vs. agent issues under California insurance regulations; class issues, typically, representative claims, and damages; settled prior to arbitration hearing
  • Chair of Panel in contract interpretation dispute between two major public agencies over water transfer agreement
Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS.

  • Recipient, Champion of Justice Award, Bar Association of San Francisco, 2006
  • Recipient, The Barristers Choice Award (Judge of the Year), The Barristers Club of the Bar Association of San Francisco, 2006
  • Recipient, Award For Outstanding Service to the Legal Community, Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom, 2005
  • Judicial Advisor, Executive Committee, Litigation Section of the California Bar Association
  • Professor, Mediation, University of San Francisco Law School
  • Member, San Francisco Superior Court's Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee
  • Member, California Judicial Council Task Force on Complex Civil Litigation
  • Member, California Judicial Counsel Continuing Education Committee
  • Member, California Judges Association; Faculty Member, Judges College and New Judge Orientation Program
  • Judicial Fellow, Association of Trial Lawyers of America
  • Lifetime Member, Fellows of the American Bar Foundation
  • Member, American Bar and California Bar Associations
  • Member and Officer, Edward J. McFetridge American Inn of Court
  • Admitted to practice: U.S. Supreme Court; Court of Appeals for Second, Fifth, Ninth, and Federal Circuits; all District Courts for California and New York; Northern District of Texas; all State Courts in California and New York
  • "Effective Law and Motion Practice," ABTL Reporter, Fall/Winter 2012
  • Co-author with Judge Ann Kough (Ret.), "Judicial Reference, A Forgotten Tool," The Recorder, October 7, 2013

ADR Profiles

  • Judge, San Francisco County Superior Court, 1994-2006 (Law & Motion Department, 2003-2006)
  • Senior Counsel, Pacific Bell, 1993-1994
  • Partner, Pillsbury Winthrop (formerly Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro), 1980-1993 (Associate, 1975-1980)
  • Associate, Clifford Chance (formerly Rogers & Wells), 1973-1975
  • J.D., Hofstra University School of Law, 1973; Recipient of University's First Most Distinguished Alumnus Award, 1983
  • B.A., University of California, Berkeley, 1966

Counsel Comments

    • “Judge Warren is a top choice for private arbitration or mediation. I will choose him for any kind of case, particularly complicated ones.”

      - Founding Partner of a premier litigation specialty firm in San Francisco




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