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James Kleinberg

Hon. James P. Kleinberg (Ret.)

Case Manager
Lisa Midel
T: 408-346-0733
F: 408-295-5267
160 W. Santa Clara St., Suite 1600, San Jose, CA 95113


Hon. James P. Kleinberg (Ret.) joins JAMS following over 11 years as a California Superior Court Judge sitting in Santa Clara County and over 34 years as a federal prosecutor and private lawyer devoted to complex civil litigation. 

As a lawyer, Judge Kleinberg’s extensive litigation practice included numerous complex cases involving commercial disputes, class actions, securities, antitrust and trade regulation, and intellectual property issues in state and federal courts throughout the nation, as well as Canada, Europe, and Asia. These cases included the representation of high technology companies, accounting firms, agencies of foreign governments, outside directors in securities litigation, sports teams and leagues, and individuals in SEC investigations.  His private practice also included domestic and international arbitration within these practice areas.  

Judge Kleinberg continued his work on complex civil cases while on the bench, acting as settlement judge in dozens of cases. His most recent judicial experience was as one of 18 Superior Court judges in California managing the Complex Civil Litigation Program. Prior to that assignment he was supervising judge of the court’s civil division, as well as presiding over jury and court trials and discovery issues. On the Superior Court he served as an Executive Committee member and chair of the Technology Services Committee. As a lawyer he was one of the founders of the Early Neutral Evaluation program for the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California. That Federal Court has recently appointed Judge Kleinberg to be its first Co-Ombudsperson.

Judge Kleinberg was recently honored with several additional awards.  He was named the 2014 “Judge of the Year” by the Santa Clara County Trial Lawyers Association, and he received the 2013 “Outstanding Jurist” award from the Santa Clara County Bar Association.

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • Acted as settlement judge in numerous complex cases in the Santa Clara County Superior Court
  • Over 33 years of private practice experience in complex civil litigation, including cases in state, federal, and appeals courts
  • Early Neutral Evaluator, United States District Court, Northern District, California
  • Experience acting an as arbitrator and teaching arbitration skills
  • Instructor in mediation techniques for Santa Clara County Superior Court

Representative Matters

  • Appeared in Superior Courts throughout California, and state and federal courts in Texas, Minnesota, Georgia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Virginia
  • Argued appeals in the First and Sixth Districts, California Court of Appeal, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • Argued before the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C.
  • Handled matters in the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Canada, Germany, and Italy

Antitrust – as lawyer

  • As trial lawyer with the U.S. Department of Justice, handled federal grand jury proceedings in Utah
  • Imperial Bank v. Comdata, United States District Court Northern District, California
  • Industry-wide cases involving workers’ compensation insurance with alleged price-fixing, federal court in Minnesotarepresented four carriers to obtain summary judgment against other insurers for share of settlement payments

Business/Commercial – as Judge

  • Hewlett Packard Company v. Oracle Corporation (2013) – contract dispute on appeal re: SLAPP issues
  • Optimal Markets v. Salant – 6th DCA  (2013) – Affirmed order that denied sanctions arising out of arbitration (award also confirmed)
  • Depalma v. Jeans – 6th DCA (2011) – Affirmed grant of summary judgment in favor of brokers in real estate transaction
  • Walewski v. Williams – 6th DCA (2009) – Affirmed decision regarding award of attorneys’ fees pursuant to contract
  • Garlock v. Stanley – 6th DCA (2009) – Affirmed decision regarding damages for failure to improve building
  • California Housing v. KPMG (Peat Marwick), Santa Clara County Superior Court
  • Vondjidis v. Hewlett Packard Company – 6th DCA (2014) Affirmed denial of class certification motion
  • Nan Pao vSybase

Class Action

  • Avidor v. Sutter’s Place – 6th DCA (2013) – Affirmed decision (at close of Plaintiff’s case) in class action; found San Jose card room not in violation of law by withholding portion of gratuities received by dealers to be distributed to other employees
  • Fireside Bank Cases – 6th DCA (2010) – Affirmed decision dismissing class actions against lender

Product Liability

  • People of State of California v. Atlantic Richfield, (“lead paint litigation”) – (2013-2014) – Court trial finding in favor of Plaintiffs presently on appeal to the 6th DCA


  • Onkvisit v. California State University – 6th DCA (2012) – Affirmed grant of summary judgment for Defendant in case by professor who claimed illegal demotion because he was a whistleblower
  • Reinhard v. Home Depot – 6th DCA (2010) – Affirmed decision granting summary judgment in disability/discrimination case
  • Spielbauer v. County of Santa Clara – California Supreme Court (2007) – Affirming underlying decision regarding denying writ of mandate re: termination of employment
  • Valderrama v. Santa Clara County Personnel Board – 6th DCA (2009) – Affirmed decision regarding termination of airport employee


  • Represented major European insurance companies in disputes over pre-World War II Policies; participated in global settlements and dismissals of actions
  • Dollinger DeAnza Associates v. Chicago Title – 6th DCA (2011) – Affirmed decision granting summary judgment title insurance policy did not provide coverage

Intellectual Property

  • Network Caching v. Akamai Technologies, United States District Court, Northern District, California (internet technology)
  • Business Objects v. Cognos Corporation, United States District Court, Northern District, California (database software – patent)
  • v. Barnes & Noble, United States District Court, Western District, Washington (business methods – patent)
  • Hartford House v. Microsoft Corporation, Santa Clara County Superior Court (junk mail filters on the internet)
  • Nufert v. Metabolex Corporation, Alameda County Superior Court (trade secrets – biotechnology)
  • TMP Interactive, ( and Excite@Home (mediation and arbitration regarding internet sites)
  • and AOL (advice regarding internet sites)
  • Insyst, Ltd. V. Applied Materials, Inc. – 6th DCA (2012) – Affirmed decision granting summary judgment for Defendant in trade secrets case

Securities – as lawyer

  • Merrill Lynch Brokerage NASD Arbitrations
  • In re Hybrid Securities Class Action Litigation, United States District Court, Northern District, California (represented former director)
  • Oakland Raiders v. National Football League, Santa Clara County Superior Court (derivative claims re: corporation management – summary judgment granted – affirmed on appeal)
  • Pensoft v. EO and AT&T, Santa Clara County Superior Court (corporation acquisition – settled after four weeks of jury trial)
  • Leyte-Vidal v. Semel – 6th DCA (2013) -- Shareholder derivative action vs. officers and directors of Yahoo! Dismissal pursuant to Delaware law pursuant to demand futility doctrine affirmed
  • Kelley v. Rambus – 6th DCA (2012) – Affirmed decision in securities fraud case that claims were barred by res judicata (dismissal of parallel federal court action)
  • Itel Corporation – USDC, N.D. CA – representation of outside directors in securities class action
  • Honors
    • Vice Chair, Policy Subcommittee, American Bar Association International Litigation Committee, 2018-2019
    • Appointed Co-Ombudsperson for U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, 2014
    • Named “Judge of the Year,” Santa Clara County Trial Lawyers Association, 2014
    • Awarded, “Outstanding Jurist,” Santa Clara County Bar Association, 2013
    • Member and Advisor, Executive Committee, Litigation Section, State Bar of California, 2000-2012
    • Listed, “Best Lawyers in America: Business Litigation,” Silicon Valley and San Francisco, CA, 1987-2002
    • Award of Merit, Bar Association of San Francisco, 1976
  • ADR Profile
  • Judge, Superior Court of California, Santa Clara County, 2002-2014
  • Partner, McCutchen, Doyle, Brown & Enersen (now Bingham McCutchen), 1983-2002
  • Associate and Partner (and managing partner), Petty, Andrews, Tufts & Jackson (later Jackson, Tufts, Cole & Black), 1969-1983
  • Trial Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division, 1967-1968
  • J.D., University of Michigan, 1967
  • B.A., University of Pittsburgh, 1964



Practice Areas

  • Antitrust
  • Arbitration
  • Business/Commercial
  • Class Action/Mass Tort
  • Employment
  • Financial Markets
  • Insurance
  • Intellectual Property
  • International
  • Securities
Available nationwide


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