Patrick Mahoney

Hon. Patrick J. Mahoney (Ret.)

JAMS Mediator, Arbitrator, Referee/Special Master, Judge Pro Tem

Case Manager
Brian Palencia
T: 415-774-2646
2 Embarcadero Center, Suite 1500, San Francisco, CA 94111


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. In the course of his career, Judge Mahoney has addressed a myriad of legal and factual issues relevant to disputes involving private and public sector employees. He has lectured on the resolution of employment cases through mediation and effective techniques in the arbitration and trial of employment cases. As a consequence, Judge Mahoney understands the legal, emotional and practical issues central to such disputes. This experience has prepared Judge Mahoney to serve as a mediator, arbitrator, private judge, neutral evaluator or discovery referee in private and public sector employment disputes.

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.

Representative Matters

Illustrative cases have involved a wide-range of parties including: public and private corporations, start-up entities, venture capital firms, partnerships, law firms, accounting firms, public entities, cities and counties, non-profits, educational entities, public and private employees, police officers, fire fighters, deputy sheriffs, lawyers, accountants, partners, supervisors, dancers, and individuals with disabilities. Issues addressed:

  • State and federal wrongful termination claims based race, sex, gender, national origin, age and/or retaliation
  • Physical and sexual harassment and hostile workplace claims
  • Wrongful termination based on raising public policy issues
  • Wage and hour issues
  • Class action wage and hour claims involving misclassification, overtime, tips and uniform issues
  • ADA disability issues, class and individual actions
  • Termination of executives and issues of cause, stock options, vesting and valuation issues
  • Federal and state consent decrees involving police and fire fighters
  • Whistle blower cases
  • Trade secret agreements, enforcement, breach and restrictions on future employment
  • Severance and benefits disputes
  • Compensation plans
  • Employment testing issues and the use of test scores in employment decisions
  •  Attorneys' fees requests
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
  • 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

Counsel Comments

    • "[Judge Mahoney's] impressive judicial temperament and quick grasp of the law was invaluable in getting us to settlement."

      -General Counsel, Public Agency
    • "[Judge Mahoney is] capable of grasping complicated case law and complicated financial information…. As a longtime trial lawyer, he has the nuanced ability to measure the strengths of argument in a real-world perspective."   

      - Former Chief Assistant District Attorney for the City and County of San Francisco



Practice Areas

Available nationwide


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