Michael Ranahan

Michael D. Ranahan, Esq.

JAMS Mediator, Arbitrator and Referee/Special Master

Case Manager
Kathleen Hanley
T: 415-774-2617
F: 415-982-5287
1255 Treat Blvd., Suite 700, Walnut Creek, CA 94597


Michael D. Ranahan, Esq. has over twenty years of experience as a litigator and since 2005 has been a full-time JAMS neutral conducting both mediations and arbitrations. With particular expertise in personal injury and business commercial matters, he also handles landlord/tenant and other real property disputes as well as professional liability matters and has brought over a thousand cases to conclusion.

Mr. Ranahan is known for his ability to build rapport with clients, earning their confidence, while working with attorneys to address the pivotal issues on both sides of the matter. Mr. Ranahan is committed to reaching resolution. When a case is not ready to settle, he follows-up, seeing it through to the end. In arbitration proceedings, he is prepared and pursues additional research when necessary, enabling him to quickly absorb the legal issues and make informed decisions. Having successfully resolved matters with unique hearing needs, such as telephonic mediations and online dispute resolution, Mr. Ranahan is able to adapt his style to meet the needs of the parties and the attorneys.

Mr. Ranahan is also available to hear matters under the JAMS Northern California Alternative Fee Settlement Program. Learn more about the program here.

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • Full-time JAMS neutral serving as mediator and arbitrator since 2005
  • Mediated in excess of 1,000 cases involving personal injury and wrongful death, products liability, property damage, medical malpractice, first party insurance casualty loss claims, Automobile Sales Finance Act (ASFA) claims, Song Beverly (Lemon Law) claims, landlord-tenant matters, partnership disputes/dissolutions, contract disputes, and customer-bank disputes
  • Continuing Legal Education lecturer on the topics of mediation, competency, ethics, and bias

Representative Matters

Personal Injury

  • Mediated Personal Injury Cases in the Following Areas:
        • Construction site accidents
        • Premises liability
        • Products liability
        • Professional negligence, including legal and medical malpractice
        • Uninsured and underinsured motorists
        • Vehicular related matters
        • Other tort claims
  • Representative Personal Injury Mediations
        • Wrongful death claims involving multiple decedents and insurance coverage issues
        • Case involving the State of California wherein the plaintiff suffered catastrophic injuries
        • Truck/bicycle accident wherein an elderly plaintiff suffered a traumatic brain injury; causation, damages and the nature and scope of plaintiff’s injuries were vigorously contested
        • On the job injury with third party liability wherein plaintiff suffered severe multiple fractures when a stack of pallets struck him; significant issues involved liability, residual disability, damages, comparative fault, and worker's compensation lien rights
        • Uninsured motorist claim where claimant suffered major injuries requiring back fusion surgery with resulting permanent disability
        • Car/motorcycle collision with plaintiff motorcyclist suffering a significant foot fracture with resulting chronic pain and permanent disability
        • Underinsured motorist claim involving multiple vehicles with the insured suffering a severe shoulder injury and multiple fractures resulting in surgery and permanent disability
        • Multiple cases while participating in “Settlement Days” with major insurance carrier
  • Representative Personal Injury Arbitrations
        • Personal injury claim involving five-vehicle accident with issues of liability, causation, apportionment of fault, and damages in dispute
        • Uninsured Motorist claim involving a pro per claimant wherein insured suffered neck and back injuries; extent and nature of injuries and residuals were in dispute

Automotive Disputes

  • Representative Automotive Related Mediations/Arbitrations
        • Mediated hundreds of consumer disputes with nearly every major automobile and RV manufacturer, involving the following issues:
            • Song-Beverly (lemon law)
            • Magnuson-Moss
            • Breach of implied warranty
            • Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA)
            • Civil Penalty
        • Mediated and arbitrated Automobile Sales Finance Act (ASFA) matters involving consumers, dealerships and lenders
        • Arbitrated or mediated attorney fee applications/disputes post settlement
        • Arbitrated numerous breach of contract disputes alleging fraud in the sale of vehicles


  • Representative Business/Commercial Mediations
        • Collection disputes between individuals and credit card companies
        • Mechanic’s lien case between contractor and land owner
        • Dispute between a public utility, water district, and contractor following a catastrophic water main rupture resulting in substantial property damage, lost profit claims, and business interruption claim
  • Representative Business/Commercial Arbitrations
        • Partnership dispute relating to restaurant construction, operations, and ultimate dissolution
        • Partnership dispute involving division of real estate firm commissions and assets, allocation of debts and final dissolution
  • Representative First Party Insurance Mediations/Arbitrations
        • First party casualty loss claims resulting from 
            • Fire 
            • Hail/Wind Storms
            • Flooding
            • Hurricane damage 
            • Employee theft
        • First party dispute regarding custom vehicle loss 

Real Estate/Landlord-Tenant

  • Representative Landlord-Tenant and Real Estate Mediations
        • Multiple landlord-tenant disputes involving the following types of claims
            • Breach of warranty of habitability
            • Wrongful eviction/retaliatory eviction
            • Breach of contract
            • Breach of covenant of quiet enjoyment
            • San Francisco Rent Ordinance violations
        • Hostile boundary dispute between adjacent property owners involving yacht harbors
        • Matters involving residential real estate sales contracts
        • Property line disputes involving easements
        • Tree disputes (view/privacy)



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

  • Member, California State Bar Association, 1985-present
  • Board of Directors, Bay Oaks Soccer Club, Oakland, CA, 2004-2007
  • Board of Directors, Park Day School, Oakland, CA, 1999-2002
  • "Making Lemonade," ADR Profile, Daily Journal, July 20, 2012
  • Principal, Ranahan Law Corporation, specializing in personal injury cases, 1985-2004
  • J.D., John F. Kennedy University, Pleasant Hill, CA, 1985
  • MBA, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL, 1981
  • B.A., University of California, Berkeley, CA, 1977

Counsel Comments

    • “Michael keeps clients comfortable and informed while at the same time pushes the attorneys to take a real look at their own and their opponent’s cases. He blends the practical and legal worlds in a way that addresses both the clients and the lawyers concerns, all by getting to the core of the issues…. He’s definitely among the best I’ve ever worked with.” 

      - Prominent Northern California Law Firm Partner



Practice Areas

  • Arbitration
  • Business/Commercial
  • Insurance
  • Personal Injury/Torts
  • Professional Liability
  • Real Property
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