Hon. James L. Warren (Ret.)

T: 415-982-5267
F: 415-982-5287
Special Master/Discovery Referee/Neutral Evaluator

Hon. James L. Warren (Ret.) is adept at acting as special master, discovery referee and CCP §§ 638 and 639 reference.  He also specializes in acting as a neutral evaluator for individual clients and for professional evaluation service firms, such as jury consultants.  He has managed a myriad of Discovery Referee matters.  As a San Francisco Superior Court Judge, he developed a reputation for his diligence, tenacity, problem solving abilities, fairness, and his kind, yet firm manner.  His work is widely respected, and his Court Reference protocol has set precedents.

 

Representative Matters

  • Special Master For All Purposes in consolidated construction defect class action cases involving multi-unit residential buildings in San Francisco; plaintiffs sought in excess of $87 million in damages
  • Special Master appointed by Court to process application for attorneys’ fees claimed to be in excess of $10 million
  • Served as Court appointed Special Master to determine prevailing party, reasonable attorneys’ fees, and costs in multi-million dollar insurance matter
  • Discovery Referee in eight consolidated cases involving allegations of racial and sexual harassment and discrimination
  • Discovery Referee in class action case involving the calculation of commissions based on sales of computer hardware and peripherals; the class sought damages in excess of $60 million
  • Discovery Referee in case involving interrelationship of private and quasi-public providers of utility products; plaintiffs sought damages in excess of $250 million
  • Discovery Referee in class action involving repossession and sale of automotive vehicles following default on loans offered by bank and other commercial lending institutions; plaintiff class sought damages claimed to be between $50 million and $200 million
  • Served as Discovery Referee in a dispute involving the acquisition of property for the development of a business and residential complex; the case involved allegations of misappropriation of trade secrets, and claims of unfair competition; Judge Warren’s discovery protocol developed for this case has subsequently been used by several Superior Court judges in California
  • Served as Discovery Referee in an e-discovery dispute related to production of stored computer data; the special appointment involved the identification of searchable databases, recovery of metadata, and international production of documents
  • Served as Discovery Referee in dispute involving the construction of a multi-unit residential complex in the San Joaquin Valley
  • Served as Discovery Referee in litigation involving insurance industry with allegations relating to theft of trade secrets, poaching of key personnel and their confidential information, and claims of unfair competition
  • Served as Court appointed Referee for all purposes in a major class action construction defect dispute that included allegations of fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and failure to disclose potential toxic pollution
  • Served as Judicial Referee in dispute between producer and non-profit intellectual property holder concerning a musical production contract, breach of lease, fiduciary duty, good faith and fair dealing, interference with prospective business advantage, and allegations of libel and slander
  • Neutral evaluator in insurance coverage matters following Hurricane Katrina; potential exposure exceeded $17 billion; issues involved coverage, excess lines, exclusions, contract interpretation, co-insurance agreements, and damages
  • 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
  • Served on several occasions as Neutral Evaluator for professional organizations working with third party clients seeking independent judicial response to evidentiary and trial presentations
  • Served on multiple occasions as Neutral Evaluator for clients seeking independent judicial reaction to motion presentation and oral argument

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • 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
  • ADR Profile, "Neutral by Nature," Daily Journal, May 13, 2011
  • "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

Background and Education

  • 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

Disclaimer

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