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Hon. Lynn O'Malley Taylor

Hon. Lynn O'Malley Taylor (Ret.)

Latest Insights
Upcoming Events
General Biography
Practice Areas
Business Commercial
Employment Law
Estate Probate Trusts
Family Law
Higher Education & Title IX
Personal Injury
Professional Liability
Real Property
Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities
Background and Education

Hon. Lynn O’Malley Taylor (Ret.) joins JAMS as a full-time neutral, bringing over 35 years’ experience as a trial court judge. In 1982, Judge Taylor was the first woman elected to the court in Marin County. She has served three times as presiding judge. In addition, Judge Taylor has served in Contra Costa, Sonoma, Monterey, Napa, Sacramento, and Orange counties and for the last seven years in the San Francisco Superior Court as part of the Judicial Council’s Assigned Judges Program.

As supervising civil law judge in Marin County, Judge Taylor eliminated the court’s civil backlog by settling old cases and managing the remaining cases on realistic time schedules. She encouraged mediation and required settlement conferences for all cases that did not settle in mediation. She settled hundreds of cases in partnership with mediation trained attorneys and experts. While serving in San Francisco, she settled numerous cases assigned to her at the request of other judges.

Treating all with dignity and kindness, Judge Taylor has well-deserved respect from the lawyers and litigants who have appeared before her. She approaches each matter that comes before her with optimism and persistence.

Judge Taylor continues to share her expertise serving as faculty in judicial/legal education programs, including Stanford University Law School, University of San Francisco Law School and the California Judicial College. Most recently she taught a course on Advanced Settlement Conferences at the Center for Judicial Education and Research.

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • Has been a part of the Judicial Council’s Assigned Judges Program since 2004, serving for the last seven years in the San Francisco Superior Court
  • Served as a trial court judge for 35 years, presiding over and settling hundreds of cases
  • Has handled some of the most complex multi-party construction/engineering/landslide, investment fraud, banking and civil rights cases
  • Has heard and settled multiple cases involving employment discrimination and sexual harassment, wage and hour employment/independent contractor issues, insurance coverage, indemnity, bad faith, judicial review of administrative determinations, toxic torts (asbestos, weed killers), inverse condemnation, medical/dental/engineering/legal/accountant malpractice, personal injury, product defect, and property disputes involving easements and covenants, conditions and restrictions

Representative Matters

  • Business Commercial
      • Architectural malpractice and breach of agreement to timely submit drawings for a construction project that resulted in loss of a use permit
      • Compensation dispute involving two independent contractors
      • Commercial contract dispute for wine delivery to a concession stand at a ballpark
      • Breach of contract involving which provisions of the contract applied and whether plaintiff could opt out of arbitration
      • Breach of independent contractor agreement
      • Judicial Council Coordination Proceeding involving claims by hundreds of California investors in three investment trusts against an international bank that failed to meet its obligation as an indentured trustee, causing investors to lose their funds in a Ponzi scheme
      • Eminent domain/inverse condemnations suits involving challenges to property and goodwill values
      • Numerous lawsuits involving commercial leases, some of which involved renegotiating leases
      • Complex breach of contract case between high-profile technology companies regarding the licensing of source code
      • Many breach of contract cases and a racketeering case involving a broadcasting company
  • Construction
      • Construction defect involving faulty electrical work that affected the radiant heating system
      • Complex landslide case involving over 100 homeowners, 26 contractors and sub-contractors, and geotechnical engineers. After fault as to the cause of the landslide was determined by the jury, settled case with all homeowners and all the indemnity claims between the defendant contractors and engineers
      • Multiple claims by HOAs, businesses and individuals against and between general contractors, subcontractors, design professionals and material suppliers
      • Complex structural engineering disputes regarding whether or not seismic standards were met in the construction of an office building
      • Dispute involving responsibility for odor caused by negligent use of mold remediation product necessitating demolition of house
  • Employment Law
      • Gender discrimination and sexual harassment claims
      • Claims of wage violations, failure to provide adequate facilities, unfair competition, constructive discharge and breach of the covenant of good faith
      • Dispute involving alleged violations of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act for Disability Discrimination, retaliation, failure to accommodate, and wrongful termination in violation of public policy
      • Whistleblower cases involving high-profile public officials
      • Numerous trials and settlements involving wrongful terminations, pregnancy discrimination, sexual discrimination, age discrimination, race/cultural background discrimination, sexual harassment and hostile work environment
      • Numerous trials and settlements involving wage and hour, independent contractor/employee disputes and Labor Code violations, most recently involving employment practices of taxi company affected by competition. Civil rights cases involving interference with economic advantage, several involving the Bane Act
  • Family Law
      • Numerous probate disputes between beneficiaries
      • Many cases involving family trusts and mismanagement or misappropriation of assets
      • Many child custody, property, child and spousal support disputes in family law cases
  • Insurance
      • Multiple bad faith cases with major insurance carriers denying coverage. One involved a disability coverage claim that resulted in jury verdict for compensatory damages and a $30,000,000.00 punitive damage award.
      • Case involving an alleged wrongful denial of coverage for a false advertising/business defamation claim made against a small business and an insurance carrier’s right to reimbursement of Cumis counsel’s attorney fees in excess of $13,000,000.00.
      • Multiple cases involving coverage, Stearman claims, Cumis issues, subrogation claims, indemnity and contribution issues
  • Personal Injury
      • Personal injury and medical negligence claim involving allegedly defective exercise equipment in defendant’s office
      • Libel/defamation case involving parties who severed their professional relationship
      • Numerous multi-party consolidated asbestos cases involving personal injury and wrongful death
      • Hundreds of personal injury and wrongful death cases involving automobiles, buses, bikes, motorcycles and pedestrians
      • Many claims for premises liability, including slip and fall, trip and fall, and other hazards
      • Numerous claims involving injuries caused by the dangerous condition of public property
      • Cases involving medical products that caused disabilities
  • Professional Liability
      • Numerous claims for professional negligence, including dental, medical, legal, engineering, accounting, and real estate broker/agent
  • Real Property
      • CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) case regarding whether city and county properly approved improvements to a sport club’s property
      • Numerous cases involving commercial and residential leases
      • Multiple cases between neighbors involving easements, parking, landscaping, encroachments, views, privacy and covenants, conditions and restrictions
      • Quiet title claims between family members and other co-owners
      • Hundreds of unlawful detainer cases, many involving the San Francisco Rent Ordinance
      • Numerous cases between buyers and sellers regarding claimed breaches of purchase/sale contracts, duty to disclose, real estate broker communications and dual representation
      • Cases regarding landlord/property owner failures to comply with city/county ordinances & CEQA cases

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS.

Honors and Awards

  • Marin Women’s Hall of Fame, YWCA San Francisco and Marin, 2019
  • Distinguished Citizen of the Year, Marin Council of the Boy Scouts of America, 2010
  • Silver Wolf Award, Marin Council of the Boy Scouts of America, 2019

Professional Organizations

  • CJER Civil Law Curriculum Committee, 2010–2019
  • California Judges Association, 1983–2019
    • Chairperson, Retired Judges Committee, 2009
    • Chairperson, Judicial Elections Committee, 1987, 1988
    • Annual Meeting Seminar Committee, 1985
  • Judicial Council of California
    • Advisory Committee on Civil Jury Instructions, 2004–2011
    • Jury Instruction Task Force, 1997–2003
    • Civil and Small Claims Advisory Committee, 2003, 2004, 2005
  • Judicial Advisory Board, Law & Organizational Economics Center AEI-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies, 2004–2006

Mediation Training

  • Harvard Law School Advanced Mediation Course, 40 hours
  • Harvard Law School Mediation Course, 40 hours
  • Mediation and Conflict Resolution, Stephen Rosenberg, 40 hours

Selected Faculty and Educational Programs

  • California Center for Judicial Education and Research, Civil Law Institute: Advanced Settlement Conferences, 2018
  • Presiding Justice, UC Hastings College of the Law Moot Court Competition, 2016
  • Lorman, Settlement Negotiation Strategies, 2005
  • Stanford Law School Advocacy Skills Workshop, 1994–2002
  • University of San Francisco Advocacy Skills Workshop, 1996–2002
  • Rutter Group Employment Litigation, 2002
  • California Center for Judicial Education and Research, Mediation: A Skills-Based Program, 2000, 2001
  • California Judicial College, 1987, 1988, 1995, 1996
  • American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Workshop on “Custody and the Right to Move,” 1991
  • Dominican University (Business Law, Family Law, Evidence), 1977–1982
  • San Francisco City College (Real Estate Law), 1978–1979

Selected Community Activities

  • Constitutional Rights Foundation, California State Mock Trial Competition, 1989–present
  • Member, Marin Evening Rotary 2010–present
  • Member, Terra Linda Rotary, 1987–2009
    • President, 2006–2007
  • Member, Board of Directors, Marin Council of the Boy Scouts of America, 1983–present
    • President, 2009–2010, 2010–2011
    • Vice President of Exploring, 1987–1988
  • Member, Board of Directors, Marin Symphony, 1995–2005
  • Founding Member, Marin Forum
    • President, 1990–1991
  • Member, Leadership Council, United Way Marin County, 1986–1992
  • Member, Board of Directors, Terwilliger Nature Education Center, 1985–1986
  • Member, Selection Committee, Marin Education Foundation, 1983–1986

Background and Education

  • Judge Marin County Superior Court, 1991–2004
    • Presiding Judge, 2002–2003
  • Judge, Marin County Municipal Court, 1983–1990
    • Presiding Judge, 1986, 1990
  • Attorney; General Practice; San Rafael, California; 1972–1982
  • J.D., San Francisco Law School, 1972
  • B.A., cum laude, University of Arizona, 1964


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

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