Jack Komar

Hon. Jack Komar (Ret.)

JAMS Mediator, Arbitrator and Referee/Special Master

Case Manager
Josephine Care
T: 408-346-0737
F: 408-295-5267
160 W. Santa Clara St., Suite 1600, San Jose, CA 95113


Hon. Jack Komar (Ret.) has an in-depth understanding of the complexities of environmental cases. He has honed his extensive experience settling and managing complex cases over 24 years of service on the Santa Clara County Superior Court and now as a JAMS neutral . His breadth of experience encompasses issues such as toxic waste, crop disputes, groundwater allocation, contamination, and other water rights issues. Additionally, Judge Komar is adept at navigating the delicate relationship with regards to environmental matters between government entities, private citizens, Native American tribes, and commercial owners.

As the sole Complex Litigation Judge for eight years, Judge Komar has heard and decided many complex issues of fact and law. As a neutral, he has handled some of the most intricate and challenging environmental cases. He is highly regarded by counsel for his objectivity, fairness, and efficiency in managing difficult matters.

Representative Matters

  • Groundwater allocation disputes; crop duties; return flows; coordinated any class action appellate affirmance of findings of overdraft and prescription claims, adverse possession, multi-party cases involving water producers, farmers, other land owners, and municipalities, state agencies, and federal government
  • California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA): Environmental impact report, litigation with writs of mandate/prohibition
  • Clean Water Rights Act contract dispute between metro water district of southern California and Indian tribes regarding water rights and rate charges; interpretation of water agreement contract between city of Los Angeles and Inyo County for water rights
  • Toxic Waste matters: public and private nuisance cases resulting from tank leakage which caused ground contamination of adjacent property, toxic contamination of soil allegedly causing prenatal injury and mental defects from birth, and injury to unborn child caused by contaminants in soil at place of employment
  • Matter involving the water pumping rights of Los Angeles in Owens Valley
  • California Aquifer Groundwater Rights cases: adjudicated case involving thousands of acres of land and thousands of land owners, along with public and private water companies who produce water for residential and commercial use, large farmers and ranch owners, and municipalities, water districts, and counties, as well as the federal government; issues included pleading issues, jurisdictional issues, overdraft, safe yield, prescription, reasonable and beneficial use of water, and quiet title
  • Acted as a CCP 638/639 referee in a matter brought by a timber company against the state of California regarding the consequences of a land swap of an old growth forests for a working forest; alleged breach of contract and misrepresentation
Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS.

  • Member, California Judicial Council, 2002-2005
    • Chair, Litigation Management Committee supervising all litigation in California involving courts and court judicial and other personnel, 2004 and 2005
    • Vice Chair, Executive and Planning Committee, 2003-2005
    • Member, Science and the Law Steering Committee, 2006
  • Past President and immediate past Chairman of the Board of Directors, National Conference of Metropolitan Courts
  • Charter member, American Inn of Court (William Ingram Chapter) (Since 1985)
  • Member, American Bar Association, the National Conference of Metropolitan Courts, the California Judges Association, and the Santa Clara County Bar Association
  • Taught Judicial and Continuing Education Courses as lawyer and judge
  • Judge, Superior Court, Santa Clara County, CA, 1985-2009
    • Presiding Judge, 1999-2000
    • Assistant Presiding Judge, 1997-1998
  • Private Practice, San Jose, CA, 1969-1985
  • Professor of Law, contract law, Lincoln University Law School, 1970-1984
  • Deputy District Attorney, Santa Clara County, 1966-1969
  • Trial Attorney, U.S. Dept. of Justice, Washington, D.C., 1965-1966
  • J.D., (Order of the Coif), University of California Hastings College of the Law, 1965; Thurston Society; Hastings Law Journal Staff
  • B.A., San Jose State University, 1962
  • United States Navy, 1954-1958 Honorable Discharge



Practice Areas

Available nationwide


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