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John Williams

John R. (Jack) Williams

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Case Manager
Lindsay Andersen
T: 408-346-0732
F: 408-295-5267
160 W. Santa Clara St. , Suite 1600 , San Jose , CA 95113

For more than 50 years, John R. (Jack) Williams has handled, discovered, negotiated, resolved and taught civil litigation as a trial lawyer, as a mandatory settlement conference pro tempore, as an adjunct professor of law and as a private neutral mediator in the Bay Area.

Since becoming a full-time mediator in 1999, Mr. Williams has successfully mediated thousands of cases. He mediates cases of all subject matters, including personal injury, priest and sexual abuse, wrongful death, employment, high-tech and intellectual property, real estate, construction defect, insurance and bad faith and cases with deep complexity involving multiple parties. 

Prior to becoming a neutral, Mr. Williams specialized in insurance defense litigation for 30 years, and he tried to completion more than 200 jury cases during his career as a litigator and the founding partner of three law firms.

Apart from his unrivaled trial experience and success as a mediator, Mr. Williams is noted for being fair, extremely knowledgeable about the law and its nuances, personable, funny and likable, tenacious regarding follow-up and exceptionally prepared.

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • Full-time mediator since 1999, with a high success rate
  • Hundreds of hours of specialized mediation training, including at Harvard and Pepperdine law schools
  • Mandatory settlement conference judge pro tempore for Santa Clara County Superior Court from the institution of its pro tem program in 1974 to the present
  • Private settlement judge selected by attorneys for resolution of lawsuits before mandatory settlement conference, 1985 to the present
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution Panel, approved mediator, Santa Clara County Bar Association, San Francisco County Bar Association
  • Victim Offender Mediation Program, approved mediator for Santa Clara County Juvenile Probation Department
  • Thousands of varied cases since 1965 in settlement conferences, arbitrations and mediations as an advocate for clients

Representative Matters
Mr. Williams mediates cases of all subject matters, including major tort cases resulting in personal injury and wrongful death, as well as cases based in product liability, premises liability and negligence. Associated with those, he mediates insurance bad faith, insurance excess disputes and catastrophe fire subrogation recovery. He has resolved many cases in employment litigation, including race, gender and age discrimination and wrongful termination, as well as unusual mediation of priest and clergy abuse, elder abuse, sexual harassment and molestation.

Legal Teaching Experience

  • Adjunct professor of law, University of Santa Clara Law School
    Trial practice, 1970–1988
    California discovery and trial preparation, 1988–present
    Negotiation and mediation, 1997–present
  • Lecturer, Pepperdine University School of Law, Dispute Resolution Institute, “Mediating The Litigated Case,” 2000
  • University of California, Santa Cruz, Extension, Alternative Dispute Resolution in the Litigation Process
  • California Continuing Education of the Bar, numerous legal seminars with prepared written materials, including but not limited to such subjects as creating and implementing a discovery plan, preparation for and taking depositions, use and abuse of interrogatories, effective use of trial evidence, proving and evaluating damages, experts in litigation, ethical use of discovery, how to effectively arbitrate cases, the last l00 days before trial, negotiating personal injury cases and preparing for mediation
  • Hastings College of Trial Advocacy, lecturer; University of Santa Clara Civil Trial Skills Workshop, summer program; Santa Clara County Trial Advocacy College, Board of Governors, lecturer; numerous seminars and programs for Association of Defense Counsel, California Trial Lawyers Association, state and local bar associations, Practicing Law Institute and University of Santa Clara Law School

ADR Training and Certification

  • Harvard Law School Negotiation Program, 1999
  • Pepperdine University School of Law, Dispute Resolution Program, 1997
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution Certification Program, University of California Santa Cruz, 1995
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution: Commercial Mediation, sponsored by Santa Clara County Bar Association
  • Mediation Means to Solutions, University of California Santa Cruz, 1995
  • California Association of Defense Counsel, ADR Certification Seminar, Golden Gate University, 1994
  • How to Mediate Intellectual Property Cases, presented by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) of Geneva, Switzerland, 1999
  • Over 50 hours of negotiation training courses in the last five years from the University of California Extension, National Law Center of Washington, D.C., Pepperdine University School of Law, California Continuing Education of the Bar, Karrass Negotiation Program, etc.

ADR Professional Memberships

  • International Association of Insurance Counsel, Pre-Suit Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee
  • Federation of Insurance and Corporate Counsel, Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee
  • Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution, Member
  • Northern California Mediation Association, Board of Directors, former member
  • California Dispute Resolution Council, member
  • Williams & Williams Mediation; San Jose, CA; 1999–2017
  • Williams, Pinelli & Cullen, LLP; San Jose, CA; 1996–1999
  • Williams, Romanski, Polverari & Skelton; San Jose, CA; 1980–1996
  • Hession, Creedon, Hamlin, Kelly, Hanson & Williams; San Jose, CA; 1974–1980
  • Popelka, Allard, Williams, et al.; San Jose, CA; 1966–1974
  • University of Santa Clara Law School, Juris Doctor, 1965
  • University of Wales, Rotary International Fellowship in Law, 1962
  • University of Iowa, Bachelors of Arts, History, with Honors, 1960

Counsel Comments

    • “I cannot speak highly enough for [Jack’s] knowledge of the mediation process, his fairness, his neutral temperament, and his ability to grasp key issues. He gains the confidence of the parties, as well as the carrier representative. He keeps the parties loose and has a keen insight into problem areas…In my mind, he is the very best…”
    • “Jack is the hardest working mediator we have ever used. He just never gives up, and will not accept the fact that the case cannot be settled. If the case does not settle at the scheduled mediation session, he follows up by phone until he gets resolution. …Jack continues to be relentless in pursuit of the settlement.”
    • “Jack’s approach…is part of his success. He takes a lot of time at the beginning, as well as throughout the mediation, to make the plaintiff feel comfortable with him and with the format of the mediation. Jack again spends time with the plaintiff at the end of the mediation so that the plaintiff feels that the settlement was reached fairly.”
    • “Over a period of three decades, Jack has gained a valuable knowledge of the amount of money that will settle a case. This means that Jack is always ready to argue the defendant’s exposure to those representatives and defense attorneys and home office personnel, and he always seems to get their ear.”
    • “I know that everyone who has employed Jack’s services as a mediator will agree with me that he is the best they have used…what I really like about the whole process is that the defense attorneys call me the next day to tell me how much they enjoyed having Jack as the mediator, and how pleased they are with the fairness of the result that was obtained.”
    • “… I can state without reservation that [Jack’s] legal and mediation skills, coupled with [his] tenacious, yet, gracious temperament, was the primary contributor to the settlement of this litigation. I am certain that [Jack’s] extensive experience and reputation as a litigator gave [his] efforts a level of credibility very few mediators bring to the table. [Jack’s] candor and objectivity, as well as skill in utilizing the ADR process, are of the highest level. …” 

      - Los Angeles Defense Attorney
    • “[Jack’s] hard work and insight into the law and procedure, as well as into settlement negotiations, was a major factor in bringing this case to an out-of-court resolution…[Jack] made it possible for the parties to spend time reflecting on their case and their respective positions without feeling pressured or hurried.”
    • “[Jack’s] hard work and insight into the law and procedure, as well as into settlement negotiations…made it possible for the parties to spend time reflecting on their case and their respective positions without feeling pressured. We appreciate your good work.”

      - Los Angeles Defense Attorney
    • “...[Jack’s] superior knowledge of the subject matter and negotiating skill were substantial factors in bringing about this settlement. The mediation was a positive experience for my client, who became involved in a settlement process which, in another forum, might well have been perceived by her as threatening or too detached. For me, the mediation was stimulating and presented an opportunity to gain a new perspective about the specific issues of my case as well as the settlement process in general. For nearly seventeen years I have represented plaintiffs in civil proceedings, generally shunning mediation as an option. I now recognize the value of a skilled and dedicated mediator in helping willing parties achieve a satisfactory result...I will surely refer my colleagues to you for mediation.”

      - San Jose Plaintiff Attorney


    Practice Areas

    • Employment
    • Insurance
    • Personal Injury/Torts
    • Professional Liability
    Available nationwide


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