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

Patrick J. Mahoney is available to conduct cases virtually. JAMS is equipped to provide virtual ADR services on a variety of online platforms, including Zoom, Microsoft Teams, WebEx, and more.


Hon. Patrick J. Mahoney (Ret.) brings to his full-time ADR practice over 45 years of legal experience as a civil litigator, judge, mediator, arbitrator and neutral evaluator. Between 2009 and 2012, Judge Mahoney’s focus was on family law issues while serving as Supervising Judge of the San Francisco Unified Family Court.  

The skills he developed as a civil litigator tempered with his broad judicial experience have shaped his ability to work with the parties and counsel in high conflict and complex family law cases as a neutral. As a case manager, Judge Mahoney is exceptional at moving the case forward, and as a mediator, he is skilled at enabling the parties to reach resolution in a timely and cost effective manner by focusing on the parties’ interests, not simply the specific items in dispute.

In his professional career, Judge Mahoney has worked with a broad range of individuals: officers and directors of public companies; partners in accounting, venture capital, law and business entities; elected and appointed public officials; educators; non-profit executives. He has also worked with experts in numerous fields including: accounting, banking, biotechnology, broker-dealer issues, commercial businesses, damages, employment practices, entertainment entities, intellectual property, health clubs, land use, medical issues, personal property valuations, professional malpractice, real estate, sporting goods, stock market, underwriting, water systems, and winery operations. This breadth of experience gives Judge Mahoney keen insight into the business and valuation concerns that often arise in family law disputes.

Judge Mahoney has a broad range of experience in working with youth both inside and outside of the legal system and his efforts have been recognized by the San Francisco community. As a sitting and private judge and as a mediator, Judge Mahoney has addressed a broad range of factual and legal disputes including:

  • Temporary and permanent child and spousal support
    • Transmutation agreements
    • Palimony issues
    • Imputation of income in an array of factual settings
    • Analysis of expert reports, financial and vocational
    • Determination and allocation of child support add on expenses
    • Modification of support, retroactive application and enforcement
  • Custody and visitation plans in high conflict cases
    • Evaluation of expert reports on custody/visitation issues
    • Effect of addiction, mental health needs and domestic violence
    • Plans for special needs children
    • Conflicts over religion, education, activities and scheduling
    • Parentage issues
    • Formulating plans utilizing custodial experts, parental coaches and/or parent coordinators
  • Move away issues, domestic and international
  • Domestic violence issues
  • Pre and post nuptial agreements including issues of enforceability, support and division of property
  • Analysis of separate and community property claims:
    • Analysis of financial records, expert reports, tracing issues and tax consequences
    • Real property issues including Marsden/Moore and transmutation claims
    • Management of the parties’ property interests, Epstein and Watts issues
    • Pereira/Van Camp allocations
    • Value of partnership interests and stock in closely held corporations
    • Valuation of property interests governed by the law of another country
    • Retirement plan issues including valuation and distribution of assets
    • Personal property valuations
    • Claims of undue influence
    • Assessment and allocation of debts
    • Marvin claims
  • Attorney fee issues, Feldman claims and sanctions
  • Enforcement of out of state judgments
  • Domestic partnership issues
  • Elder abuse claims
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

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