Ken Kawaichi

Hon. Ken M. Kawaichi (Ret.)

JAMS Mediator, Arbitrator and Referee/Special Master

Case Manager
Lorena Harrell
T: 925-975-5707
F: 925-938-6732
1255 Treat Blvd., Suite 700, Walnut Creek, CA 94597

Ken M. Kawaichi is available to conduct cases virtually. JAMS is equipped to provide virtual ADR services on a variety of online platforms, including Zoom, Microsoft Teams, WebEx, and more.


Hon. Ken M. Kawaichi (Ret.), a 28-year veteran of Alameda County’s municipal and superior courts, has developed a reputation for encouraging settlement discussions throughout the pre-trial and trial process.

Bankruptcy Resolution Experience

  • Had twelve year’s experience managing mass tort litigation, including hundreds of multi-party civil disputes as well as 28 year’s experience with all types of civil cases, such as asbestos claims, railroad hearing loss claims, complex business and torts, labor and employment issues, construction disputes, discrimination charges, personal injury suits, unlawful detainer and other landlord-tenant disputes, collection and financial disputes, claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act, banking disputes, commercial disputes, consumer claims, contract disputes, criminal matters, family law, disputes involving schools, colleges and universities, estate claims, health care claims, defamation, state and local government claims, products liability, professional negligence cases, real property disputes, and national and international commercial disputes
  • Trained in, used and taught various dispute resolution techniques, including mandatory and voluntary court settlement conferences, grouped or consolidated case settlement conferences, early disposition programs, trial day disposition programs, mini-trials, supervised negotiations, court trials and arbitrations, mediation, summary trials, mass action settlements, class action settlements, phased settlement conferences and others
  • Assignments in Municipal and Superior Court bench have included jury and non-jury trials, case management, civil settlement department, criminal trials, criminal master calendar, family law, juvenile law, law and motion, management of asbestos claims, management of railroad hearing loss claims, family support calendar, mental health calendar, Early Disposition Program, and the appellate department. Also chaired or was a member of the Access, Education, Criminal, Civil, Probation, Jury and Grand Jury, Family Law, Indigent Defendant Committees, as well as other ad hoc committees

Representative Cases Tried or Settled by Judge Kawaichi 

  • Settled dispute involving default on payment in a joint venture
  • Mediated a breach of contract case involving a Central California Bank Loan in default
  • Settled breach of contract case involving a partnership and dissolution of LLC
  • Arbitrated matter involving past due funds on contract sale of franchise
  • Neutral on US Bankruptcy case out of the Northern District of Texas involving Asbestos and other Mass Tort cases; Application of TDP values to claims, Dispute between family members, Dispute regarding fees and costs, Application of factors set forth in Independent Review, Sufficiency of medical information, Sufficiency of exposure information
Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS.

  • Benjamin Aranda III Access to Justice Award, 2003
  • Judge of the Year Award, Alameda-Contra Costa Trial Lawyers Association, 1989
  • Member, California Judges' Association; Past President, California Asian/Pacific Judges' Association
  • Member, California Judicial Council Committees: Civil Forms; Civil and Small Claims; Task Force on Complex Litigation; Task Force on Race and Ethnic Bias; Chair, Access and Fairness; Chair, CJER Fairness Planning
  • Member, University of California, Berkeley, Community Advisory Board
  • Member, American Bar and Alameda County Bar Associations; American and California Trial Lawyers' Associations
  • Chair Elect, National Judicial College Faculty Council
  • Founder, Asian Law Caucus
  • Judge, Alameda Superior Court, 1980-2003
  • Judge, Oakland-Piedmont-Emeryville Municipal Court, 1975-1980
  • Partner, Yonemura, Yasaki & Kawaichi, Oakland, CA, 1969-1975
  • Assistant Professor, University of California, Berkeley, 1970-1973
  • Associate, Yonemura & Yasaki, Oakland, CA, 1966-1969
  • Faculty, CJER Judges' College, National Judicial College, CEB, NITA, PLI, Judicial courses in China, Russia, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Micronesia, California, Nevada, Utah, Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Washington, and Hawaii
  • LL.B., University of California, Berkeley School of Law (formerly Boalt Hall School of Law), 1966
  • A.B., Pomona College, Claremont, CA, 1963

Counsel Comments

    • "I found him to be extremely well prepared, highly efficient and well organized. He was respectful of parties and their clients and yet in good control of the progress."

      - San Francisco Attorney



Practice Areas

  • Arbitration
  • Banking
  • Bankruptcy
  • Business/Commercial
  • Class Action/Mass Tort
  • Construction Defect
  • Education/Schools
  • Employment
  • Environmental
  • Estates/Probate/Trusts
  • Family Law
  • Governmental/Public Agency
  • Healthcare
  • Higher Education & Title IX
  • Personal Injury/Torts
  • Professional Liability
  • Real Property
Available nationwide


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