Michael Loeb

Michael J. Loeb

JAMS Mediator, Arbitrator and Referee/Special Master

Case Manager
Diamond Lewis
T: 415-774-2649
F: 415-982-5287
Two Embarcadero Center,, Suite 1500,, San Francisco, CA 94111


Michael J. Loeb was a labor and employment lawyer for more than 30 years before joining JAMS in March 2006. He has been mediating cases since 1991. Mr. Loeb began his career as a staff attorney for the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board trying unfair labor practice cases. For three decades, he was a “full service” labor and employment lawyer first at Crosby Heafey Roach & May, Oakland (later merged with Reed Smith), and then with McCutchen, Doyle, Brown & Enersen, whose labor and employment law department he led before its merger with Bingham Dana forming Bingham McCutchen in 2002.

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • Mediated, litigated, and arbitrated virtually every conceivable type of labor, employment and employment benefits dispute in federal and state courts, including wage and hour class actions, wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment and retaliation cases, employment contract disputes, and misappropriation of trade secret cases
  • Since 1991, mediated, arbitrated, or served as an early neutral evaluator in more than 1,500 cases, including the following representative matters

Representative Matters

  • Wage and Hour Class and Individual Actions:
    • Numerous wage and hour class action and individual cases, involving the alleged misclassification of employees as exempt or as independent contractors, the failure to provide meal and rest periods, PAGA claims, the failure to distribute tips and service charges, travel time, and off the clock work. Mr. Loeb has mediated class actions involving California, Massachusetts, Florida, Illinois, and Hawaii wage and hour laws and the FLSA. He has also arbitrated, to final award, a wage and hour class action involving more than 7,000 class members. 
  • Wrongful Termination:
    • Executive termination cases involving disputes over whether good cause existed for termination, whether restricted stock and stock options vested, and the valuation of stock options
    • Public sector wrongful termination and whistleblower cases
    • Retaliation lawsuits alleging wrongful termination for engaging in protected activity or opposition to unlawful practices
  • Discrimination Claims:
    • Age discrimination cases
    • Disability discrimination cases involving alleged wrongful termination, failure to provide reasonable accommodations or engage in the interactive process, and the interplay between workers’ compensation, long-term disability, SSDI, and disability discrimination claims
    • National origin discrimination cases and cases involving alleged discrimination based on English only policies
    • Pregnancy and Family Medical Leave/California Family Rights Act discrimination and interference claims involving termination of employees on leave, the failure to grant leaves, and the failure to reinstate employees following the end of leaves
    • Religious discrimination cases resulting from the failure to reasonably accommodate religious beliefs or practices
  • Sexual Harassment: Individual and multiple plaintiff sexual harassment cases
  • ERISA and Benefit Plan Litigation:
    • ERISA cases involving alleged breaches of fiduciary duty in the management of trust fund assets
    • ERISA section 510 cases involving alleged discrimination to avoid the vesting of or receipt of benefits
    • ERISA welfare benefit denial cases, primarily involving the denial of long-term disability benefits
    • Class action involving multiple mediation sessions, both virtual and in-person, including school board employees in Atlanta, Georgia and a supplemental retirement plan with a resulting settlement of $117.5 million
  • Trade secret, non-compete, and non-solicitation disputes
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (non-employment):
    • Class action claims alleging failure to provide access to disabled students in educational facilities and activities
    • Class action claims involving the alleged lack of access to health care facilities and equipment
Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS.

  • Recognized as a Northern California Super Lawyer, ADR Category, San Francisco Magazine, 2005-2009, 2011-2020
  • Member, California Commission on Access to Justice, 2005-2009
  • State Bar President’s Pro Bono Services Award, State Bar of California, 1991
  • President, Alameda County Bar Association, 1993; Founder of its Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Program; and Chair, ADR Program Executive Committee
  • Speaking engagements include: American Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section (mediating wage and hour class actions); National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) (mediating and arbitrating class actions); Bridgeport Continuing Legal Education (mediating wage and hour class actions, mediating discrimination and wrongful termination cases); State Bar of California’s Labor & Employment Section and Practicing Law Institute (presentations on wage and hour developments, arbitrated wage and hour cases and class action litigation); numerous law firm and bar association presentations on mediating employment disputes and wage and hour class actions; presentation to California Employment Lawyer's Association (CELA) (mediating wage and hour class actions)
  • Member and Chair, Civil Justice Reform Act Advisory Group of the United States District Court, Northern District of California, 1995-2002 (Appointed by United District Judge Thelton E. Henderson)
  • Board member and Chair (15 years), East Bay Community Law Center (formerly the Berkeley Community Law Center), Boalt Hall’s largest clinical program and the largest provider of indigent legal services in Alameda County, with 18 staff lawyers serving more than 4,000 clients per year, 1991-present
  • "Learning on the Job," ADR Profile, Daily Journal, June 29, 2012
  • Bingham McCutchen LLP (formerly McCutchen, Doyle, Brown & Enersen), 1998-2006 (Partner)
  • Crosby Heafey Roach & May, Oakland, CA, 1976-1997 (Partner, 1983-1997)
  • Attorney, Agricultural Labor Relations Board, 1976 (Staff Attorney)
  • J.D., University of California, Hastings College of the Law, 1974 (Order of the Coif)
  • B.A., Cornell University, 1969

Counsel Comments

    • "[Mr. Loeb's] knowledge of employment law and his ability to connect with my clients and bring them to resolution is remarkable."

      -San Jose Employment Attorney 
    • "Mr. Loeb used time efficiently. He learned about the parties (including the attorneys) and their history in order to best facilitate resolution."

      -Bay Area Employment Attorney 
    • "Michael Loeb is the best."

      -Los Angeles Employment Attorney
    • "Michael Loeb is a fantastic mediator. We use his excellent services whenever we can." 

      -Bay Area Employment Attorney
    • “[Michael Loeb] possesses knowledge of the law, the ability to gain trust of parties, and the strategic ability to bring a case to closure.”
      -Bay Area Employment Attorney
    • “Mr. Loeb efficiently addressed some of the most salient issues in the premeditation conference and has vast knowledge of the area of law. [He] has an ability to discern the parties’ positions despite difficulties. He did an outstanding job. Would definitely work with him again.”
      – San Francisco Employment Attorney
    • “[Michael Loeb] persevered even when it looked like it might not settle.”
      –Founding Partner at Bay Area Employment Law and Personal Injury Firm
    • “Good listener, quickly seized on and was able to leverage with the parties their respective factual and legal weaknesses. Refused to give up on the process.”
      – Silicon Valley Litigation Partner
    • “[Michael Loeb] did an excellent job in assisting with settlement negotiations. [He] was a good listener, had excellent substantive knowledge of wage and hour class and collective action issues. [He] had creative solutions.”
      – Los Angeles Complex Employment Partner
    • “[Michael Loeb] has patience, empathy, and diligence.”
      – Los Angeles Plaintiff Employment Attorney
    • “[Michael Loeb’s] great follow through made a decisive difference in the outcome.”
      –Civil Litigation Attorney
    • “Michael is always well prepared and stuck with us to get the matter resolved. He was very effective.”
      – Los Angeles Employment and Insurance Attorney
    • “Excellent evaluative skills. Michael did an excellent job.”
      – Principal at San Francisco Firm
    • “[Michael Loeb] was very thoughtful with close attention to evidence. It was a very difficult case to manage, but Mr. Loeb was extremely patient. His opinion reflected mastery of the subject matter and facts. He was also decisive on hotly contested issues.”
      –Partner at Sacramento Federal Labor and Employment Law Firm
    • “Michael was great! He had great expertise in the subject matter and fabulous client management skills.”
      –Partner at Southern California Labor and Employment Firm 
    • “[Michael] was very diligent and continued post-mediation discussions with the parties to facilitate a settlement.”
      -Bay Area Attorney




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