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Hon. Patrick J. Mahoney

Hon. Patrick J. Mahoney (Ret.)

Latest Insights
Upcoming Events
General Biography
Practice Areas
Business Commercial
Civil Rights
Class Action & Mass Tort
Cybersecurity & Privacy
Employment Law
Family Law
Governmental & Public Agency
Personal Injury
Real Property
Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities
Background and Education

Hon. Patrick J. Mahoney (Ret.) brings to his full-time ADR practice years of legal experience as a civil litigator, judge and ADR neutral. Judge Mahoney’s unique career has covered a wide-range of matters including business/commercial, securities, antitrust, trade secrets, technology ventures, environmental, employment, family law, civil rights, insurance, real property, torts, attorney’s fees, and professional liability.

Judge Mahoney is noted for his ability to listen, probe and express opinions where appropriate. He treats each case as a unique experience where it is essential to understand each party’s position, their interests and what is critical to resolve or adjudicate the dispute. The process begins before the parties appear by receiving input on the issues, recommendations on how to proceed and written submissions. Thereafter, Judge Mahoney continues to work with the parties until the matter is concluded. The skills Judge Mahoney developed as a civil litigator tempered with his broad judicial experience have shaped his ability to work with parties and counsel in a myriad of settings including business, government, non-profit, and family law.

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • Served as one of the original panelists on the San Francisco Bar Association Early Settlement Program hearing over 100 cases until appointment to the bench in 2000
  • Served as Early Neutral Evaluator for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California; presently serves as a mediator
  • Negotiated numerous class action securities litigation settlements with private parties and the government as well as a broad range of business disputes
  • As a Chief Trial Deputy, responsible for overseeing approximately 1,200 ongoing cases and negotiated to resolution major personal injury, police misconduct, employment, civil rights, ADA claims, Qui Tam actions and False Claims Act claims
  • As a judicial officer, settled cases in civil, criminal, juvenile and family law assignments
  • Lectures and writings on effective mediation skills, negotiation strategies, resolving public entity cases, recurring arbitration issues, mediation and arbitration of employment cases and a variety of family law issues

Representative Matters

  • Business Commercial
      • Settled allocation of a class action proceeds for managed health care data breach 
      • Mediated disputes involving sales practices of a major bank, interpretation of technology development agreements, break up of closely held businesses, enforcement of stock option agreements, the implementation of partnership buyout agreements, trade disparagement claims, business disputes among family members and multiple contract claims
      • Arbitrated stock purchase disputes between venture capital firms, trade secrets claims, interpretation of by-laws, private club agreements, limited partnership agreements and termination of at will corporate officers
      • Early neutral evaluation of joint venture technology agreements between a major US and foreign corporation
      • Ruled on successor liability, alter ego, piercing the corporate veil, merger, and valuation issues
  • Civil Rights
      • Mediated claims of discrimination based on physical disabilities, age, race and gender
      • Mediated whistle blower claim
      • Mediated the rights of prisoners to receive written materials
      • Resolved a range of ADA cases including claims by low visibility riders of a transit system and access to commercial businesses
      • Settled politically sensitive cases involving police conduct and class actions arising out of mass arrests
  • Construction
      • Mediated class action wage and hour claims related to an airport construction project
      • Mediated contract interpretation dispute between city and public entity
      • Mediated building and design defect issues involving owners, contractors and architects
  • Discovery Referee
      • Addressed a variety of disputes including the scope of discovery in a lemon law case, attorney client issues and the patient/psychologist privilege
  • Employment Law
      • Mediated claims of sexual harassment, racial discrimination, age discrimination, disability discrimination, retaliation, and wrongful termination in a variety of employment settings
      • Mediated wage and hour claims, failure to provide meal and rest breaks, failure to pay overtime and furnish accurate wage statements
      • Mediated the termination of senior executives, franchise managers and public employee whistle blowers
      • Mediated claim by District Attorney challenging tech company’s classification of users
      • Arbitrated matters involving termination of CEO; interpretation and enforcement of employment agreements in a variety of settings; partnership break up disputes; interference with prospective economic opportunity; failure to pay timely commissions; allegations of defamation and blacklisting
      • Arbitrated severance, wage and hour issues, misclassification of employees and wrongful termination claims based on race, sex and gender
      • Arbitrated claims against employment contractors for tech companies
  • Family Law
      • Mediated and served as a private judge in cases with multiple issues including:
        • Determination of separate and community property
        • Property management rights
        • Valuation of assets
        • Analysis of venture capital interests, stock options and related issues
        • Complex corporate and tracing transactions
        • Assets in foreign countries
        • Transmutation agreements
        • Spousal and child support determinations
        • Security to ensure support obligations
        • Child abuse claims
        • Attorney fees
        • Pre and post nuptial agreements
        • Custody; visitation and move away issues
        • Palimony claims and Marvin actions
        • Application of the law of other jurisdictions
      • Mediated malpractice claim arising from an agreement reached at a court settlement conference
      • Conducted Unified Family Court negotiations related to custody, visitation, property, and financial issues; dependency settlement conferences; and mediating disputes between and among public agencies related to providing services to youth
      • Handled numerous dependency cases regarding issues of abuse, neglect, mental health, substance abuse, return of children to parents, and termination of services to parents
      • Ruled on the enforceability of pre and post nuptial agreements, custody issues, interests in foreign assets, spousal and child support, interim attorney’s fees and community and separate property interests
  • Governmental & Public Agency
      • Mediated dispute involving public entities and investment advisor related to school bond issues
      • Mediated dispute between county and local school districts related to the authorization of charter schools
      • Mediated dispute over access to airport by a car sharing company
      • Mediated scope of work, costs, and future obligations to the complete a public transportation project
      • Mediated claim of a whistleblower against a public official
      • Williams v. State of California, No. 312236: structured $989 million class action settlement regarding adequacy of funding for public schools with a focus on textbooks, facilities, and class size
      • State of California ex rel. Stull v. Bank of America NT & SA, et al., No. 968-484: handled multi-million settlement of whistleblower action seeking to recover damages for the mismanagement of bond proceeds
      • SN Sands Corp. v. City & County of San Francisco, (2008) 167 Cal.App.4th 185, 507-848: approval of a government contract and interpretation of City charter
  • Insurance
      • Mediated dispute between client and broker over the premium charged
      • Arbitrated a multi-million dollar claim by financial entity against four insurance carriers involving settlement of a dispute with a former partner
      • Arbitrated dispute between hospital and insurer over reimbursement claims
      • Evaluated numerous identity theft claims in class action health insurance case
      • Ruled on subrogation, contractual indemnification, good faith settlement issues
  • Personal Injury
      • Early neutral evaluation of alleged criminal of alleged criminal violations in the operation of a heating unit resulting in the evacuation of a hotel
      • Mediated multi-million dollar claim for complex chronic pain syndrome
      • Mediated wrongful death  and serious injury claims involving public entities, design immunity and dangerous condition of public property issues
      • Mediated disability rights case involving claims of indemnity between a county and a third-party service provider
      • Mediated defamation, elder abuse, property and personal injury claims
      • Mediated claim against conservator for mismanagement
      • Presided over civil trials including a disability claim based on the presence of mold that centered on the admissibility of expert testimony; interpretation of the Hospital Lien Act; fraudulent use of checking account, affirmed on appeal; wrongful death based on officer negligence, affirmed on appeal; wrongful death and motion to compel arbitration in a release form, affirmed on appeal; wrongful death case involving alleged failure to diagnose a brain fracture; and claims of negligence and breach of implied warranty of habitability based on mold. 
  • Professional Liability and Fees
      • Settled matter involving an architectural design contract for failure to pay for labor and materials and payment of attorneys’ fees
      • Mediated attorneys’ fee claims in civil rights cases
      • Mediated accounting malpractice claim
      • Arbitrated disputes involving the payment of professional fees for expert witness and enforceability of a contingent fee agreement
      • Arbitrated million-dollar fee claim and malpractice counterclaim
      • Determined interim attorney’s fees in family law and Public Records Act cases
      • Les Jankey v. Song Koo Lee, 55 Cal. 4th 1038: award of attorneys’ fees in a disability rights case
  • Real Property
      • Mediated disputes between HOA and residents involving hardwood floor installation, damages due to a defective sprinkler, noise issues, parking disputes, the interpretation of by-laws and decisions by the HOA board
      • Mediated dispute between adjoining property owners over the existence and/or scope of an easement
      • Mediated landlord tenant matters involving rent control, property management claims and move out agreements
      • Mediated shopping center use disputes involving authorized use, parking and maintenance issues
      • Arbitrated commercial contract related to the use of real property, an HOA dispute related to repairs and insurance issues, and the enforceability of a broker’s agreement
      • Arbitrated broker’s claim for a commission
      • Resolved multi-million-dollar settlement of property damage claim arising out of a broken pipeline on the Hetch Hetchy water system
      • Macor, Inc. v. City & County of San Francisco, CGC-07-460994 & A122276: quiet title, adverse possession, equitable estoppel, injunctive and declaratory relief, alienation of tidelands, settled with appeal pending
  • Securities
      • Settled multiple multi-district class action securities cases involving claims against corporations, officers and directors, accountants, and venture capitalists
      • Mediated disputes involving offers to buy and to sell securities
      • Arbitrated claims of misrepresentation and failure to disclose related to investments in a startup company
      • Blackie v. Barrack, (9th Circuit) 524 F.2d 891 cert. denied (1976) 429 U.S. 816: landmark securities case
      • In re Activision Securities Litigation, (N.D. Cal. 1985) 621 F. Supp. 415: class action involving allegations against officers and directors, underwriters, accountant, and investors and director
      • In re Trilogy Securities Litigation, U.S. District Court, N.D.: expedited settlement that provided shareholders compensation and the company the opportunity to avoid bankruptcy
  • Trade Secrets
      • Arbitrated matter involving alleged use of trade secrets claim by a terminated employee
      • Protiva Biotherapeutics Inc. v. Sirna Therapeutics, Inc., CGC-06-450694: preliminary injunction ruling addressing claims of misappropriation of biotechnology trade secrets, unfair competition, fraud, constructive trust, joint venture, and related agreements
      • Litigated claims involving semiconductors, printers, hand held devices, financial services, customer lists, software

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

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

  • Recipient, Board of Supervisors of the City and County of San Francisco Community Boards Leadership Peacemaker Award, 2013
  • Certificates of Honor, Appreciation and Recognition from San Francisco District Attorney, the Office of the Public Defender, and the California State Senate in 2013, for reducing truancy, for improving the quality of juvenile justice and inspiring a generation of community leaders
  • Resolution of Recognition, San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women 2013, for convening a variety of task forces of city agencies to streamline services for families and children
  • Recipient, Kids’ Turn Award for dedication to the well-being of children, 2013; City Youth Now Community Achievement Award, 2011
  • Executive Committee Member, San Francisco Superior Court, 2001-2003 and 2007-2012
  • Participant, Pepperdine University School of Law, Strauss Institute, Mediating the Litigated Case, 2012; University of Oxford, California Judges Program, England, 2010
  • Member, California Judges Association Legislative Committee, 2011-2012
  • Board of Directors, JAMS FOUNDATION 2018-present; Edgewood Center for Children & Families 2015-present; Youth Treatment and Education Center, 2006-2012; Kids’ Turn, 2009-2014; Legal Community Against Violence, 1994-2000; Legal Aid Society of San Francisco, 1986-1994; College Preparatory School, 1990-1993
  • Master, Edward J. McFetridge American Inn of Court, 1997-present
  • Board of Governors, Association of Business Trial Lawyers, 1997-2004
  • Panelist, Bar Association of San Francisco Early Settlement Program, 1985-2000
  •  Early Neutral Evaluator, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, 1997-2002; Mediator and Early Neutral Evaluator 2019
  • Speaker and author on a variety of topics including litigation, law and motion, mental health, delinquency, family law, judicial leadership, dispute resolution and class action securities
  • "Touch of Reality," ADR Profile, Daily Journal, March 28, 2014

Background and Education

  • Judge, San Francisco Superior Court, 2000-2013
    • Supervising Judge, Unified Family Court, 2009-2013 
    • Law and Motion Department, 2007-2009
    • Supervising Judge, Juvenile Delinquency, 2003-2006
  • Chief Trial Deputy, San Francisco City Attorney’s Office, 1992-2000
  • Partner, Cooley LLP, 1976-1992 (Associate, 1972-1976) 
    • Member, Executive Committee, 1976-1988
  • Associate, Arent, Fox, Kintner Plotkin & Kahn, 1969 -1972
  • J.D., Hastings College of the Law, 1969 (Order of Coif, Law Review)
  • CORO Foundation Fellow, Public Affairs Internship, 1965-1966
  • B.A., Political Science, Stanford University, 1965


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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