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Tamara Lange

Tamara Lange

General Biography
Practice Areas
Civil Rights/Constitutional Law
Class Actions/Mass Torts
Education Law
Employment/Labor Relations
Environmental Law
False Claims Act
Family Law
Health Care/Health Systems
Intellectual Property
Native American/Indian Law
Personal Injury/Torts
Product Liability
Real Property
Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities
Background and Education

Tamara Lange, former ADR director for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, has mediated and evaluated hundreds of cases across a wide range of subject matter areas. Her integrity, discernment and intellectual engagement make her a go-to neutral for complex legal issues and emotionally fraught dynamics.

Counsel say Ms. Lange is “calm, smart, effective, and respectful, and appropriately exercise[s] control.” They appreciate her “patience, empathy, warmth, candor, and professionalism,” and praise her as “an excellent mediator, one of the best.” She is known for her thorough preparation and skillful listening.

As an advocate, Ms. Lange handled commercial, patent, copyright, insurance coverage, environmental, entertainment and class-action cases at a global law firm in San Francisco and a litigation boutique in Los Angeles. She went on to lead and collaborate in cutting-edge constitutional, civil rights, employment, disability, detention conditions and education-related litigation for the national ACLU LGBTQ & HIV Project and the National Center for Youth Law. As a lead deputy of the Office of the County Counsel of Santa Clara County and as a solo practitioner, she focused on health care litigation, policy and regulatory compliance, and collaborated on cases and advocacy involving employment, business, local government, consumer protection and constitutional law.

Ms. Lange graduated with honors from Cornell University and Berkeley Law, and clerked for judges in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • Exclusive ADR practice since 2015 and prior service as private and court-appointed neutral 
  • Experience as a neutral across a wide range of subject matter areas, including administrative law, business torts, cannabis, civil rights, class action, consumer and unfair competition law, constitutional law, construction defects, contracts, copyright, cybersecurity and privacy, debt collection, disability law, education law, elder abuse, employment law, environmental law, ERISA, false advertising, family law, franchise law, government/public agency law, health care and health systems, higher education/Title IX, housing law, immigration law, insurance, labor relations, land use, maritime law, mortgage foreclosure, Native American/Indian/Tribal law, partnership dissolution, personal injury, product liability, public agency law, qui tam/False Claims Act, real estate, telecommunications, trade secrets, trademark and utilities law
  • Served as faculty for judicial trainings offered by the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference, the California Center for Judicial Education and Research, and the Los Angeles Superior Court
  • Co-authored a Federal Judicial Center publication, Competencies for Federal Mediators
  • Berkeley Law lecturer in courses on mediation advocacy and negotiations
  • Taught mediation and early neutral evaluation certification courses for federal court
  • Led advanced mediation practice groups for federal neutrals and a settlement conference practice group for magistrate judges
  • Employment dispute resolution coordinator for federal court, responsible for responding to employee and supervisor inquiries, engaging in informal dispute resolution, conducting formal investigations, and preparing findings of fact and conclusions of law
  • Appointed settlement conference officer, mediator and/or evaluator for the San Francisco Superior Court, San Francisco Office of Citizen Complaints, Alameda County Superior Court, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California and U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
  • Served on the Litigation Overview Committee for the California State Association of Counties

Representative Matters

  • Ms. Lange served as a neutral in all matters listed below unless otherwise noted:
  • Business/Commercial
      • Breach of contract disputes
      • Dissolution of partnerships and joint ventures
      • Accounting and fraud claims
      • Disputes arising from franchise agreements
      • Financial services industry matters, including claims between financial institutions
      • False advertising/Lanham Act claims and associated antitrust issues arising between close competitors in major industry, each with annual earnings measured in billions of dollars
      • Infringement, false designation, breach of franchise agreement and fraud claims
      • Cyberpiracy under Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA)
      • Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)
      • Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
      • Complex commercial, business and public law litigation, including government controversies, public policy disputes, and challenges involving federal, state and local regulations (as counsel) 
      • Unfair competition and false advertising claims concerning FDA labeling requirements for food (as counsel)
  • Civil Rights/Constitutional Law
    • Disability

      • Disability access discrimination cases under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and California disability laws, including claims seeking equal access to hospitals, doctors, dentists, movie theaters, websites, apps, hotels, restaurants, stores, salons, housing and other public accommodations
      • Title II disability access cases against public entities, including regional transit agency systems for securing mobility devices and access to Communication Access RealTime Translation (CART) services in state court
      • Cases involving service animals, including at restaurants, stores and hospitals
      • Disputes over whether modification of existing facilities was readily achievable
      • Disputes over reasonableness of requested accommodations
      • Interpreter services for deaf and hard-of-hearing participants at large, multi-day festival
      • Housing and employment discrimination claims based on disability (as counsel)

      Equal Protection/Due Process/Privacy

      • Challenge to removal of children from parental custody as violation of constitutional rights to familial association, privacy and due process
      • Litigation involving domestic partnership, marriage and other family relationship protections for same-sex couples and their children, including California Marriage Cases and initial challenge to Proposition 8 (as counsel)
      • Counsel of record on successful petition for certiorari in companion case to Lawrence v. Texas involving discriminatory “Romeo and Juliet” law (as counsel)
      • Collaborated on school “push-out” and educational equity initiative (as counsel)
      • Facilitated coalition-building meetings for racial justice, education and LGBTQ+ rights advocates (as counsel)

      First Amendment Speech and Religion Clauses

      • First Amendment and Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) challenge to application of zoning regulations that discriminated between religious and non-religious assemblies in downtown area
      • Action by high school students and religious club against school district under Equal Access Act, First Amendment Speech Clause (viewpoint discrimination and right to expressive association), Free Exercise Clause (including targeting religious beliefs and denominational discrimination) and Equal Protection Clause
      • Disability, unfair competition and religious freedom challenge to COVID-19 mask requirement at grocery store

      Fair Housing Act

      • Challenge under FHA to alleged disability discrimination, exposure to secondhand smoke and breach of rental agreement
      • Claims under FHA for discrimination based on HIV status, disability and religion (as counsel)


      • Challenges to denial of passport renewal and revocation of passport, and claim for declaration of citizenship
      • Investigation as Flores class counsel for all children in immigration detention of compliance with consent decree and constitutional rights in family detention centers and border patrol facilities (as counsel)
      • Supervised analysis of first local government initiative limiting use of immigration holds in county jail (as counsel)

      Police Practices and Detention Conditions

      • Excessive force cases involving injury or death, including disputes over use of batons, tasers, handcuffs, restraint position and/or guns
      • Claims regarding police response to mentally ill and/or drug-involved claimants or decedents
      • Fourth Amendment search and seizure claims
      • Monell policy and practice claims
      • Harassment and discrimination claims by unhoused/homeless resident against police
      • Eighth Amendment and other claims concerning detention conditions, solitary confinement and medical care (as counsel)
  • Class Actions/Mass Torts
      • Representative, collective and class action wage and hour claims under California’s Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) and/or Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), including regarding hourly rates, overtime pay, rest and lunch breaks, and working off the clock
      • Class action involving patient discharge procedures and allegations of “patient dumping” at skilled nursing facilities
      • Class action by blind and low-vision plaintiffs and nonprofit organization regarding access to assistive listening devices in movie theaters
      • Claims of misclassification of employees as independent contractors
      • Class action regarding misclassification of taxicab drivers as independent contractors (as counsel)
      • Public entity § 17500 action challenging false advertising of allegedly dangerous pharmaceutical (as counsel)
  • Education Law
      • Claims for violation of Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA), including administrative appeals, attorneys’ fees disputes and claims for compensatory education
      • Student rights cases under Equal Access Act and First Amendment, including heckler’s veto issues (as counsel and as neutral)
  • Employment/Labor Relations
      • Claims of discrimination, harassment, hostile work environment, failure to promote, demotion, wage and hour violations, and/or wrongful termination allegedly based on age, race, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or disability under federal laws and state laws, including Title VII, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Pregnancy Discrimination Act, Fair Pay Act and California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA)
      • Failure to provide reasonable accommodations and/or engage in interactive process with employee under ADA and state disability laws
      • Whistleblower cases under California Labor Code § 1102.5 and federal laws
      • Compensation disputes, including commission-based and wrongful termination claims under Massachusetts Wage Act
      • Claims by labor union against private organization for unfair business practices and interference with collective bargaining agreement and prospective economic advantage of union members
      • Scope of preemption under the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA)
      • Age and gender discrimination claims for making occasional employee ineligible to serve as deckhand following report of safety concerns
      • Employment dispute resolution coordinator for U.S. District Court (including responsibility for investigation and preparation of findings of fact and conclusions of law)
      • Employment discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination and whistleblower cases (as counsel)
  • Environmental Law
      • Multi-party, coordinated cases involving California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA), Endangered Species Act (ESA), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funding and other claims arising from disputes over regional fire mitigation strategies, environmental impact report legitimacy and funding
      • Administrative Procedure Act (APA) action to void FEMA pre-disaster mitigation funding
      • APA and Magnuson-Stevens Act challenge to National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) determinations limiting total catch and setting cap on market share
      • Inter-agency litigation under APA challenging planned action as violation of Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) and Clean Water Act (CWA)
      • ESA litigation regarding development of vineyard, critical habitat and conservation plan
      • Point source discharge litigation under CWA and National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program
      • Public nuisance action by counties and cities against manufacturers of lead paint (as counsel)
      • Short- and long-term disability insurance coverage disputes (STD and LTD)
      • Disputes over coverage by ERISA health for inpatient substance abuse treatment and for care disputed as experimental
      • Disputes over mandatory contributions to disability, health and pension plans
      • Employer withdrawal liability disputes
      • Claims of breach of fiduciary duty
      • Claim for accidental death benefits and associated defense of exclusion for intoxication
      • Class action challenging calculation of benefits (as supervisor of neutral)
  • False Claims Act
      • Qui tam cases alleging false claims and/or reverse-false claims made in connection with funding of education, health care, and federal, state and local governmental programs (as neutral and as counsel)
      • Whistleblower retaliation claim under False Claims Act (FCA) and California FCA
  • Family Law
      • Dissolution/divorce disputes, including child custody and property division
      • Family disputes over proceeds from life insurance
      • Litigation between parent and adult child over preservation of assets gifted to child
      • Constitutional and family law disputes regarding child custody restrictions and fitness determinations based on sexual orientation or gender identity of a parent (as counsel)
  • Health Care/Health Systems
      • Claims against skilled nursing facilities, including associated issues regarding piercing corporate veil between defendant entities
      • Claims by hospitals against public agencies challenging audit findings
      • Patient claims against payors seeking reimbursement for medical services
      • Managed health care provider claims for reimbursement from payors regarding “reasonable and customary” rates
      • Claim against employer for delaying access to medical care by allegedly pressuring employee to continue working and for termination allegedly based on resulting disability
      • Management of complex federal compliance analysis for health and hospital system (as counsel)
      • Litigation regarding HRSA 340B drug pricing program reimbursement rates and associated pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) formulary analysis (as counsel)
      • Challenge to disallowance by California Controller of mental health care reimbursements (as counsel)
      • Challenge to Medi-Cal refusal to cover inpatient psychiatric hospital care for youth in detention (as counsel)
      • Challenge to false advertising of pharmaceutical drug (as counsel)
  • Insurance
      • Claims of bad faith denial of coverage and/or defense of litigation
      • Claims in excess of policy limits
      • Interpleader actions involving disputes among family members over allocation of benefits from insurance policies
      • Claim for fraudulent or negligent failure to bind additional coverage and associated dispute over value of classic car destroyed in crash caused by underinsured motorist
      • Dispute over coverage where injured party allegedly had not exhausted underinsured motorist policy limits
      • Complex insurance coverage disputes involving high-value underlying claims and excess coverage, including environmental cleanup costs under Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) (as counsel)
  • Intellectual Property
      • Trademark and trade dress disputes involving footwear, wine and child care centers with claims of infringement, false designation, etc. (see also unfair competition)
      • Copyright infringement actions involving code, photos and textbooks
      • Trade secrets cases, including disputes over allegedly stolen code, client lists, business plans and other confidential information and claims brought jointly against former employees and their new employers
      • Patent and licensing disputes (as counsel and as supervisor of neutrals)
  • Maritime/Admiralty
      • Wrongful death action involving claims of gross and simple negligence and infliction of emotional distress during commercial recreational activity in shallow water
      • Jones Act, damaged cargo and other federal maritime matters (as supervisor of neutrals)
  • Native American/Indian Law
      • Fishing rights dispute between Native American tribes and individuals, and associated issues concerning tribal membership, sovereignty and impact of Congressional action on tribal rights
  • Personal Injury/Torts
      • Wrongful death claims in maritime and § 1983 cases
      • Elder abuse litigation in various contexts, including alleged mortgage fraud
      • Defamation claims and associated First Amendment defenses
      • Claims of various forms of abuse by psychologist, religious leaders and employers
      • Spinal fracture following tip-over fall on damaged surface of ramp to restaurant
      • Claims of failure to maintain business premises in safe condition; e.g., slip-and-fall cases, including matters focused on policies for routine safety checks in store aisles
      • Unfair debt practice claims, including against counsel seeking payment of educational debt
  • Product Liability
      • Insurer subrogation action to recover for extensive water damage allegedly caused by defective design of faucet
  • Real Property
      • Residential mortgage/foreclosure cases, including requests for loan modification, disputes regarding primary residence, claims of elder abuse, etc.
      • High-value long-term commercial leases, deed transfers and franchise agreements
      • Dispute between siblings over private loan secured by residential property
      • Action for specific performance of residential purchase agreement
      • Landlord/tenant eviction, habitability, Section 8 and other disputes

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

Bar Memberships

  • State Bar of California (1995)
  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
  • Supreme Court of the United States

Professional Associations

  • American Health Law Association
  • McFetridge Inn of Court
  • Federal Bar Association

Honors and Awards

  • County Counsel Association of California’s Dwight Herr Perpetual Award for Outstanding Appellate Practice: The award was given jointly to Ms. Lange and her colleague, Owen Clements of the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office, for their efforts on appeal to establish that public entities may retain outside counsel on a contingent fee basis to assist in litigation of public nuisance cases.
  • At Berkeley Law, Ms. Lange graduated Order of the Coif (top 10% of the class) and received American Jurisprudence (AmJur) awards for being the top student in three courses: Civil Trial Practice, Sexual Orientation & Law, and Children & Law.


  • Lecturer, Mediation Advocacy and Negotiations, UC Berkeley School of Law
  • Judicial Education Seminar on Settlement Skills (with Chief Circuit Mediator Stephen Liacouras, hosted by Hon. Elaine Lu and Hon. Mark Young), Los Angeles Superior Court
  • Advanced Settlement Skills (with Chief Circuit Mediator Stephen Liacouras and Riverside County Superior Court Judge Kira Klatchko), Civil Justice Institute, California Center for Judicial Education and Research
  • Faculty, Promoting Civil Discourse, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy Library and Learning Center
  • Mediation Skills for Judges, Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference
  • 15th Annual Mediation & Advocacy Skills Institute, Pepperdine University, ABA
  • Restorative Practices in Mediation, Dispute Resolution Section Conference, ABA
  • S. District Court for the Northern District of California, extensive teaching and training of 250+ senior attorneys and former judges serving as mediators and evaluators, including in-depth training on remote/Zoom mediation skills, tools for listening and connecting online, and using caucus and joint sessions effectively
  • Adjunct Professor, Local Government Law, Stanford Law School
  • Teaching Assistant, Law & Economics, UC Berkeley

Selected Speaking Engagements

  • Online ADR - A Court’s Response, The Mediation Society
  • Weinstein JAMS International Fellowship Program, ADR Workshop on Anatomy of a Court-Connected ADR Program and Teaching in Reflective Mediation Practice Groups
  • Determining Which Law Governs Mediation (with JAMS colleague Rod Thompson), California Lawyers’ Association
  • Effective Presentation at Zoom Mediations and Settlement Conferences (with federal magistrate judges), Federal Bar Association
  • ADA Litigation, Civil Justice Summit, Northern District Practice Program
  • Use of ADR in Intellectual Property and Related Disputes, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
  • Potential Uses of ADR in the Field of Intellectual Property Rights, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)/U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO)

Selected Articles

  • “Competencies for Federal Mediators,” Federal Judicial Center
  • Tamara Lange, J.D., Michael Hoefges, J.D., Ph.D., and Kurt M. Ribisl, Ph.D., “Regulating Tobacco Product Advertising and Promotions in the Retail Environment: A Roadmap for States and Localities,” J Law Med Ethics. 2015 Winter; 43(4): 878–896
  • “HIV & Civil Rights: A Report From the Frontlines of the HIV/AIDS Epidemic” (2003)

Background and Education

  • ADR Director, ADR Counsel and Mediator; U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California; 2015–2023
  • Senior Attorney, National Center for Youth Law, 2013–2014
  • Mediator and Litigation & Policy Consultant, Lange Law & Mediation, 2011–2015
  • Lead Deputy County Counsel, Office of the County Counsel, Santa Clara County, 2008–2010
  • Senior Staff Attorney, LGBT and HIV Project, American Civil Liberties Union, 2001–2007
  • Litigation Associate, Caldwell Leslie Newcomb & Pettit, 1998–1999 and 2000–2001
  • Law Clerk, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Hon. William A. Fletcher, 1999
  • Law Clerk, U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Hon. Richard A. Paez, 1996–1998
  • Litigation Associate, Heller Ehrman, 1995–1996
  • J.D., Order of the Coif, UC Berkeley School of Law, 1995
  • Bachelor of Arts and Sciences, cum laude, Cornell University, 1990
    • College Scholar: Science, Human Rights and Social Institutions


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