Hon. Robert B. Freedman (Ret.)

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Hon. Robert B. Freedman (Ret.) brings to JAMS 21 years of experience on trial courts in Alameda County and 27 years of civil litigation experience as an attorney prior to joining the bench. Having served as the Assistant Presiding Judge, as well as Supervising Judge/Civil Direct Calendaring, he values efficiency and enjoys working with technically savvy attorneys.

Respected by lawyers on both sides of the aisle, Judge Freedman places a high premium on civility and is lauded for his even-handed demeanor. Described by those who have appeared before him as exceptionally bright, he is able to quickly grasp complex issues. 

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • Served as Assistant Presiding Alameda County Superior Court.
  • Presided over cases in the Alameda Superior Court Complex Litigation Department and as Asbestos Case Management Judge. 
  • Presided over and settled countless matters in all areas of civil litigation including asbestos, employment class actions, construction defect, personal injury and governmental agency disputes.

Representative Matters

  • Business/Commercial
    • Randolph v. AT&T Wireless, RG05-193855. Class alleged AT&T Wireless’s unfair and deceptive practice of imposing an undisclosed charge to customers, applied like a tax, to recover a business overhead expense it had to pay to operate as a wireless carrier
    • Thomas v Global Vision Products RG03-091195. $30 million settlement agreement between Global Vision Products Inc. and a class of plaintiffs that claimed the company falsely billed its hair loss treatment system and that  the TV, radio, print and Internet ad campaigns used fabricated medical studies, fictitious clinics and experts, and unsubstantiated testimony
    • General Motors Dex-Cool/Gasket Cases JCCP004495. Nationwide class action brought by motorists who claimed GM's Dex-Cool coolant damaged the engines in their vehicles; the settlement resolved the claims of all plaintiffs except those in Missouri, and awarded refunds of up to $800 to current and former owners and lessees of certain GM models for related engine repairs; recovery by class members truncated after GM entered bankruptcy
    • In re Chiron Shareholder Deal RG05-230567. Class action brought by shareholders seeking injunctive relief to prevent the controlling shareholder, from acquiring the remaining shares for an inadequate price and alleging that the defendants misused non-public information about the company  to acquire it at a significant discount from its true value 
    • Staudenraus v. Bisno. Matter involving a claim of investor fraud by a limited partner against a general partner
  • Construction Defect/Insurance
    • Golden State Developers v. Allied Insurance Corporation and cross-actions RG10509252. Insurance Coverage/Bad Faith action involving multiple residential developments and related construction defect actions and cross claims for contribution among carriers
  • Employment
    • Savaglio, et al. a. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., et al. A110120, A111606.  Resolved post-trial motions in a statewide wage and hour class action in which a jury awarded a class of 116,000 Wal-Mart workers $57 million in compensatory damages and $115 million in punitive damages for missed meal and rest breaks
    • Andrews v. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Wrongful termination case with 130 individual plaintiffs alleging age discrimination which was litigated in two separate jury trials; matter settled while cross-appeals pending
    • Duran v. U.S. Bank, No. 2001-35537. Wage and hour class action involving business bankers and the outside salesperson exemption. California Supreme Court provided guidance for the certification of class actions in wage and hour misclassification litigation and the use of representative testimony and statistical evidence at trial of such a class action
    • Washington Mutual /JP Morgan Chase Wage & Hour Cases JCCP0044976. Three class actions alleging the banks failed to pay overtime to a group of about 4,000 current and former loan consultants across the nation; resulted in a $38 million settlement
  • Government/Public Agency
    • Alliance For McKillop Road v. City of Oakland January 28, 2008No. RG07342506. Claims brought by property owners against several public entities for damage arising out of a May 13, 2006, landslide caused by soil erosion in Sausal Creek which damaged private residences on McKillop Road, the road itself, and sewer and water lines
    • Capitol People First v. Department of Developmental Services, et al. Class action involving persons with developmental disabilities in California who reside in facilities with a capacity of 16 or more, and persons at risk of placement in such facilities alleging violation of the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act, state nondiscrimination laws and the Americans with Disabilities Act;  settlement required the state to increase efforts to inform about options, and to assign caseworkers to annual status meetings, scheduled so the patients can attend

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • Judicial Member, Board of Governors of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers, Northern California Chapter, 2007-Present
  • Member, Information Technology Advisory Committee (formerly Court Technology Advisory Committee) to the Judicial Council, 2014- 2017
  • Distinguished Judicial Service Award, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, 2012
  • Board of Trustees, Bernard E. Witkin Alameda County Law Library, 2000-2007
    • President, 2003-2004
  • Alameda County Trial Judge of the Year, Alameda-Contra Costa Trial Lawyers Association, 2008
  • faculty member at the California Judicial College, 1998-2002
  • President, Alameda County Bar Foundation, 1995
  • Member, Civil and Small Claims Advisory Committee to the California Judicial Council
  • President, Alameda County Bar Association, 1988

Background and Education

  • Judge, Alameda County Superior Court, 1998-2017
  • Judge, Oakland-Piedmont-Emeryville Municipal Court, 1996-1998
  • Solo Practitioner, 1995-1996
  • Partner, Wald, Freedman, Chapman, and Bendes (and predecessor entities), 1969-1995
  • J.D., University of California, Berkeley School of Law (formerly Boalt Hall), 1968
  • B.A., with Honors, University of California, Los Angeles, 1965

*Judge Freedman was disciplined in 2007 by the Commission on Judicial Performance for not deciding bench trial decisions and motions within the required 90 days. Thereafter, Judge Freedman went on to serve the court for ten more years as one of its leaders, handling complex cases and the court’s technology committee.  For further details regarding the discipline, please see the Commission’s website.

Disclaimer

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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