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Hon. Mark H. Pierce (Ret.)

Hon. Mark H. Pierce (Ret.)

General Biography
Practice Areas
Business & Commercial
Construction Defect
Employment Law
Personal Injury/Torts
Pharmaceuticals/Mass Tort
Professional Liability
Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities
Background and Education

Hon Mark H. Pierce (Ret.) joined JAMS after having spent 30 years in private practice as a litigation attorney and 15 years as a judge for the Santa Clara County Superior Court, primarily handling civil litigation matters. In his private practice, Judge Pierce specialized in personal injury, primarily representing plaintiffs. He handled a wide spectrum of cases, including automobile, medical malpractice, product liability and employment. While in private practice, Judge Pierce served as settlement conference pro tem judge in the Santa Clara County Superior Court.

Initially appointed to the superior court in 2005, Judge Pierce spent five years in drug treatment court during two stints. His time in drug court allowed him to work with people from all backgrounds. The remainder of his tenure in superior court was in the civil division. He spent five years as a case manager and five years as a trial judge. During those 10 years, Judge Pierce heard cases from virtually every area of law.

Throughout the time on the bench, Judge Pierce always took the opportunity to try to resolve cases. Having participated in hundreds of mandatory settlement conferences and voluntary discussions before trial, he always emphasized the advantages of settlement. He believes that one of the most important aspects of ADR is to listen to the parties and allow them to participate in a meaningful way, as the parties must work together to achieve resolution.

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • Acted as a pro tem judge for the Santa Clara County Superior Court from 1995 to 2005 
  • Served on an American Arbitration Association mediation panel for personal injury cases
  • Completed a mediation program at Harvard University in 1994
  • Participated in hundreds of mandatory settlement conferences and voluntary settlement discussions before trial

Representative Matters

  • Business & Commercial
      • Heard and handled many disputes involving breach of contract, partnership disputes and shareholder claims
      • Handled a number of FINRA/securities matters, including arbitrations
  • Employment Law
      • Handled multiple wrongful termination and discrimination cases, including those involving whistleblowers and breach of contract
      • Heard sexual harassment and age discrimination cases as well as those involving national origin discrimination
  • Insurance
      • Handled cases involving bad faith, coverage and claims handling
  • Personal Injury/Torts
      • Handled case involving multiple plaintiffs making claims against one insurance policy in excess of the limits of the policy
      • Handled multiple cases involving wrongful death, sexual abuse, product liability and elder abuse
      • Heard many tort claims against government entities
      • Handled hundreds of cases involving automobile, slip and falls, and multi-party claims.
      • Held a number of informal discovery conferences involving complex discovery matters
  • Professional Liability
      • Handled multiple cases involving medical and dental claims
      • Conducted medical malpractice trial involving a minor and a major regional hospital
  • Real Property
      • Heard and handled numerous cases involving breach of contract, landlord/tenant issues, foreclosures, eminent domain and failure to disclose  

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

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

Memberships and Affiliations

  • President, Santa Clara County Trial Lawyers Association, 1989–1990
    • Presenter at numerous member programs involving ADR
  • Member, Santa Clara County Bar Association, 1975-2005
    • Presenter at numerous programs involving mediation, arbitration and court proceedings
  • Member, American Inns of Court, 2006–present. 
    • Pupilage Group Leader, 2008–2019
  • Member, City of Saratoga Planning Commission, 1995–1998
  • Presenter at numerous ADR and court efficiency programs sponsored by private providers

Background and Education

  • Judge, Santa Clara County Superior Court, 2005–2020
    • Supervising Judge, Civil Division, 2012
  • Member, Saratoga Rotary, 1987–2017
  • Partner, Olson & Pierce, 1985–2005
  • Associate; Kelly, Leal & Olimpia; 1980–1985
  • Associate, Clark & Glennon, 1975–1980
  • J.D., Santa Clara University School of Law, 1974
  • B.A., University of Colorado, 1971


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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