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 been a full-time neutral since 2006, and has mediated and arbitrated hundreds of matters.  He has extensive experience with business and commercial cases, including breach of contract matters, licensing disputes, financial disputes, and disputes arising from mergers and acquisitions.  His strong intellect and ability to quickly grasp facts, combined with his ability to allow all parties to be heard, leads to fair and efficient resolution in complex business matters.

Prior to becoming a neutral, Judge Warren was involved in many complex and high profile cases as a San Francisco Superior Court judge, and he was also Senior Counsel for Pacific Bell in San Francisco, where he was primarily responsible for large and complex commercial litigation.  He also practiced for nearly twenty years with Pillsbury Winthrop (formerly Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro), where he specialized in antitrust and large commercial cases.

Representative Matters

  • Mediated $750 million dispute between international consortium of lenders from the United States, England and Germany, in case involving failure of major commercial construction project in the wake of the 2008 commercial meltdown
  • Mediated cases involving government agency’s efforts to obtain damages from officers and directors of failed commercial banks for unsound banking practices; significant insurance coverage and liability issues
  • Mediated case brought by government agency against insurance provider for alleged overcharges for emergency services at trauma hospitals
  • Mediated a dispute arising from the non-competition provisions in an acquisition agreement
  • Mediated shareholder suit where investor alleged his ownership share was misrepresented
  • Mediated numerous disputes where the FDIC alleged breaches of fiduciary duty against banks
  • Mediated numerous disputes against banks related to appearance of ATM statements
  • Mediated a contract dispute between a retail establishment and its waste management provider
  • Mediated a $750 million financial dispute related to loans and investments used to develop a group of shopping malls that subsequently failed
  • Mediated a financial dispute involving allegations that a brokerage house failed to execute sales
  • Franchise Tax Board’s interpretation of Federal Tax Reform Act of 1968 and the California Bank and Corporation Tax Fairness (etc.) Act of 1987
  • 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 case involving lending issues in connection with the construction of a new office building in San Francisco; claimant asserted over $15 million in damages
  • Arbitrated case brought by individual securities broker against major national brokerage house involving forfeiture of retirement benefits following acceptance of employment by competing house; award led to multi-million dollar nationwide class action that settled on basis of award
  • Arbitrated international contract dispute alleging patent infringement and breach of patent licensing agreements
  • Arbitrated numerous professional fee disputes
  • Arbitrated a contract dispute between a telecommunications company and a company providing outsourced services
  • Arbitrated complex attorneys’ fees case following settlement of nationwide class action dealing with securities fraud
  • Neutral evaluator in case brought by minority shareholders challenging corporate acquisition; plaintiffs sought damages in excess of $400 million; issues involved insider trading, pricing, business valuation, antitrust considerations, disclosures and government investigations
  • Neutral evaluator in pre-litigation case involving cancellation of long term contract for the provision of telecommunications services based on asserted breach; the case raised serious causation and liability issues; plaintiff sought over $10 million in damages
  • Special Master appointed by Court to process application for attorneys’ fees claimed to be in excess of $10 million
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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