Hon. Patrick J. Mahoney (Ret.)

T: 415-982-5267
F: 415-982-5287
Available nationwide

Hon. Patrick J. Mahoney (Ret.) brings to his full-time ADR practice over 45 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, 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 case, 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 to be addressed, 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.

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • Mediated an array of business, employment, public sector, and family law issues. Representative cases include ADA issues; civil rights of prisoners; class action product labeling issues; commercial, construction and technology agreements; defamation and personal injury claims; education issues; electronic evidence issues; employment disputes alleging discrimination, sexual harassment and/or wrongful termination; wage and hour claims; family law custody and property issues; fee disputes with professionals; identity theft; investment advisor claims; partnership breakups; real estate, commercial and residential disputes.
  • Conducted numerous settlement conferences involving asbestos claims, torts, employment discrimination, wage and hour, and workplace conditions claims
  • 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
  • As a litigator, mediated numerous cases involving class action securities, trade secrets, environmental, and employment claims
  • As Chief Trial Deputy, responsible for overseeing approximately 1,200 ongoing cases and negotiated to resolution major personal injury, police misconduct, employment, and False Claims Act claims
  • 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 in 1997, regularly evaluating civil rights cases
  • 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

  • Asbestos
    • Multi party settlements negotiated 
    • Susan Janes v. A.W. Chesterton Co., CGC-04-436144: application of the sophisticated user defense
  • Business/Commercial
    • Mediated software contract dispute between U.S. and international companies; resolved claims related to partnership breakups
    • Arbitrations involving private club membership agreements; claims related to use of digital currency
    • Phoenix American Inc. v. Lease Management Associates Inc., No. 318820 & A115400: successor liability, alter ego, piercing the corporate veil, merger, valuation
    • Center for Self-Improvement & Community Development v. Lennar Corp., (2009) 173 Cal.App.4th 1543, CGC-07-465738 & A121982: effect of suspension of corporate powers
  • Civil Rights
    • Mediated rights of prisoners to receive materials
    • Resolved ADA matters including claims by low visibility riders of a transit system
    • Settled politically sensitive case regarding police raid on a private party. Settlement included non-monetary relief that addressed community concerns
    • Settlement of class actions arising out of mass arrests related to Rodney King demonstrations
    • Tried to verdict police shooting case
    • Ninth Circuit arguments on police misconduct issues
  • Construction
    • Mediated construction contract dispute between U.S. and international companies and cases involving public contracts
    • Arbitration of cost overruns and change orders
    • Martin McEnery Development, Inc. v. Gold River Contractors, CGC-05-438748 & A123564: construction defect based on alleged defective drywall, affirmed on appeal
    • Borregaard Construction Co. v. Carrara Marble Co., CGC-04-434906: dispute over the quality and installation of marble
  • Employment
    • Mediated claims of sexual harassment, retaliation and termination
    • Mediated breakup of closely held businesses
    • Arbitrations involving termination of CEO, severance and wage claims; dispute involving alleged misclassification as exempt employee and related wage and expense claims; partnership breakup and claim for lost wages
    • Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. v. Yu, CGC-07-467125: severance agreement dispute
    • Conley v. PG&E, (2005) 131 Cal.App.4th 260, 310938 & A105832: class action wage and hour claim
  • Family
    • Mediated a range of issues including property management rights, transmutation agreements, pre and post nuptial agreements; real and personal property claims; custody and visitation issues; palimony claims
    • Mediated disputes among family members concerning an interest in real property and a family business
    • Determined 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
    • Numerous settlement conferences involving characterization of property, spousal and child support, custody and visitation, interpretation of a pre-nuptial agreement, division of assets
    • Sagonowsky v. Kekoa, FDI-03-755091: community and separate property analysis, transmutation, undue influence, 401(k) issues, spousal support, personal property valuation and allocation, sanctions and Feldman claims, debts, education expenses, breach of fiduciary duty, attorneys’ fees
    • Dependency: numerous cases regarding issues of abuse, neglect, mental health, substance abuse, return of children to parents, and termination of services to parents
  • Government
    • Mediated disputes involving public entities, including investment advice related to school bond issues, county and local school districts related to charter schools, ADA issues and personal injury claims
    • 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
    • County of Alameda v. Judicial Council of California, CPF-05-505884: breach of contract issues
    • Defend Bayview Hunters Point v. City & County of San Francisco, (2008) 167 Cal.App.4th 846, CPF-06-506863 & A119061: interpretation of an election ordinance
    • People v. Norteno, a criminal street gang, CGC-07-464492: gang injunction
    • 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
    • Evaluated numerous identity theft claims in class action health insurance case
    • Interstate Fire & Casualty Insurance Co. v. Cleveland Wrecking Co., (2010) 182 Cal.App.4th 23, 475134 & A124920: subrogation, contractual indemnification, good faith settlement
  • Professional Fees
    • Determined interim attorney’s fees in family law and Public Records Act cases; mediated fees in civil rights cases
    • Les Jankey v. Song Koo Lee, 55 Cal. 4th 1038: award of attorneys’ fees in a disability rights case
    • California Correctional Peace Officers v. Virga, 450906 & A123989: attorney’s fees under California Torts Claims Act
  • Professional Liability
    • Mediated accounting malpractice claim
    • Bradlow v. Grant Thornton LLP, CGC 04 437423: claim by Receiver against its accounting firm for malpractice and failure to disclose material facts
    • City of Mountain View v. Daoro, Zydel & Holland, CGC-06-453560: alleged failure to audit
  • Real Property
    • Mediated shopping center use disputes, property management claims, landlord tenant issues
    • 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
    • Resolved multi-million dollar settlement of property damage claim arising out of a broken pipeline on the Hetch Hetchy water system
  • Securities
    • Litigated and settled multiple multi-district class action securities cases involving claims against corporations, officers and directors, accountants, and venture capitalists
    • 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
  • Torts
    • Mediated defamation, elder abuse, property and personal injury claims
    • Hill v. Dameron Hospital Association, CGC-08-475520: interpretation of the Hospital Lien Act
    • Ramirez v. California Highway Patrol, CGC-04-432914 & A121607: wrongful death based on officer negligence, affirmed
    • Burns v. Neiman Marcus Group Inc., (2009) 173 Cal.App.4th 1543, 457841 & A120378, (2009) 173 Cal.App.4th 479: fraudulent use of checking account, affirmed
    • Lhotka v. Geographic Expeditions, 477496 & A123725, (2010) 181 Cal.App.4th 816: wrongful death and motion to compel arbitration in a release form, affirmed
    • Charles Ethier & Shirley Ethier v. Jhon Poindexter, M.D., CGC 05-437623: wrongful death case involving an alleged failure to diagnose a brain fracture
    • Michelle Dosch v. Monica and Allen Zimmerman, 03-418453: claims of negligence and breach of implied warranty of habitability based on mold allegedly causing health issues
  • Trade Secrets
    • 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

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • 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, Straus 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, Edgewood Center for Children & Families, 2015 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
  • 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


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November 3, 2015