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 and judge. In particular, his experience as Chief Trial Deputy for the City and County of San Francisco and as a Superior Court Judge have prepared him to serve in his current role as a mediator, arbitrator, or discovery referee in government and public entity related disputes.

A theme of Judge Mahoney’s personal and professional life has been a keen interest and involvement in the public sector. After graduating from Stanford University with a degree in political science, Judge Mahoney became a Coro Foundation Fellow in public affairs; thereafter, he practiced law in Washington D.C. focusing on issues of government regulation. During his twenty years at Cooley LLP, Judge Mahoney focused on litigation involving technology companies, venture capital firms and public accounting firms and served as a board member of non-profits addressing social issues and contributed countless hours of pro bono legal services.

While the Chief Trial Deputy for the City and County of San Francisco, Judge Mahoney litigated and settled a myriad of matters including False Claims Act cases, employment discrimination, consent decrees involving the police and fire departments, strip search protocols of the sheriff’s department, claims brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act, tax fraud claims, and numerous tort claims for personal injuries and property damage.

While serving on the San Francisco Superior Court, Judge Mahoney tried or settled claims involving public entities that addressed issues of attorneys’ fees; asbestos; civil rights claims; construction defect claims; employment issues including discrimination claims, labor agreements, wage and hour issues and wrongful termination suits; gang injunctions; insurance coverage claims involving contract interpretation, indemnification and subrogation; parade permits; property damage and personal injury tort claims; professional liability claims against accountants and lawyers; public contract requirements; real property disputes with claims seeking to quiet title, adverse possession equitable estoppel, alienation of tidelands, rent control and zoning; tax issues; and voting laws.

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • Mediated public sector disputes involving the following issues: ADA, personal injury, dangerous condition of public property, zoning, employment termination, financial services contracts, bonds and debt instruments, construction contracts, prevailing wage claims, public records act requests
  • Arbitrated retaliation claim for raising False Claims Act issues
  • Arbitrated attorneys’ fees issue; discovery referee to address attorney client privilege issues
  • Conducted numerous settlement conferences involving asbestos claims; torts; education issues; employment discrimination, wage and hour, and workplace conditions
  • As a litigator, mediated numerous cases involving environmental and employment claims
  • As Chief Trial Deputy, responsible for managing approximately 1,200 ongoing cases and negotiated major personal injury, police misconduct, employment, property damage and False Claims Act claims
  • Served as Early Neutral Evaluator for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in 1997, regularly evaluating civil rights cases

Representative Matters

  • Attorneys’ Fees
    • California Correctional Peace Officers v. Virga, 450906 & A123989: attorneys’ fees under California Torts Claims Act
    • Jankey v. Lee (2012) California Supreme Court, S180890, affirms award of attorney fees under Civil Code section 55
  • Civil Rights
    • Resolved several ADA matters including claims by class of low visibility riders of the municipal transit system
    • Resolved politically sensitive case based on a police raid. Settlement included non-monetary relief that addressed specific police practices.
    • Tried police shooting case arising from confrontation between property owner who refused City access to property to find source of raw sewage coming from the property
    • Settled class actions arising out of mass arrests related to Rodney King demonstrations that included changes in crowd control practices
  • Employment
    • Wrongful termination claim by terminated Deputy District Attorney claiming he was fired for running against the incumbent District Attorney, 124 F.3d 1328 (1997)
    • Conley v. PG&E, (2005) 131 Cal.App.4th 260, 310938 & A105832: class action wage and hour claim 
  • Government
    • Resolved public entity disputes involving investment advice, ADA issues and personal injury claims
    • Williams v. State of California, No. 312236: structured $989 million class action settlement regarding adequacy of funding for the state’s 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 multimillion settlement of whistleblower action seeking to recover damages from the Bank for 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 to abate a public nuisance
    • 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
  • Real Property
    • 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 multi-million dollar property damage claim arising out of a broken pipeline on the Hetch Hetchy water system
  • Torts
    • Ramirez v. California Highway Patrol, CGC-04-432914 & A121607: wrongful death based on officer negligence, affirmed
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


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