Elaine Rushing

Hon. Elaine Rushing (Ret.)

JAMS Mediator, Arbitrator and Referee/Special Master

Case Manager
Julie McCool
T: 415-774-2612
F: 415-982-5287
Two Embarcadero Center, Suite 1500, San Francisco, CA 94111


Hon. Elaine Rushing (Ret.) is a full time neutral at JAMS and has a extensive amount of experience resolving employment disputes including claims of wrongful termination, discrimination, retaliation, sexual harassment, and wage and hour issues. Prior to becoming a neutral, she served on the Sonoma County Superior Court bench for nearly two decades and has the distinction of being the first woman appointed as judge on the Sonoma County Superior Court.  Judge Rushing is known for being able to quickly grasp complex facts, for being well prepared, and for listening carefully to both sides to quickly synthesize the facts to achieve a fair resolution.

Representative Matters

  • Mediated suit involving claims of harassment, intimidation, assaults, batteries, infliction of emotional distress, gender and national origin discrimination in violation of FEHA, and violation of civil rights
  • Handled numerous wrongful termination and discrimination employment matters, some with millions of dollars in damages claims
  • Mediated wrongful termination case alleging sex and race discrimination, hostile work environment, retaliation, and Labor Code section 1120.5 whistleblower protection
  • Mediated 16-plaintiff, 3-county wage and hour dispute against major child care corporation in which plaintiff on-site managers alleged they were wrongfully classified as exempt, at a loss of millions of dollars of overtime pay
  • Handled multi-million dollar case involving suit by county health care caseworker who alleged county discontinued accommodation of worker’s psychiatric condition, resulting in claimed permanent medical disability including depression, panic, fainting spells, trauma, embarrassment and loss of self-esteem
  • Settled suit for wrongful termination by employee of national warehouse chain  in which plaintiff claimed sexual harassment, sexual discrimination, and wrongful termination.
  • Resolved case brought by former coach  of women’s college baseball team  who claimed inequities in staffing, facilities and job demands between the men’s and women’s athletics programs
Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS.

  • Currently Teaches Negotiations, University of California Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall)
  • Panelist, 3-hour program on Recent Changes in Testamentary Capacity Rules, From Drafting Through Trial, 2016
  • Member, Richard M. Sangster American Inn of Court (Sonoma-Napa-Marin), 2011-present
  • Member, Judicial Council Probate Law Curriculum Committee, 2010-2015
  • Awarded Certificate of Recognition by the Sonoma County Bar Association Alternative Dispute Resolution Section for her encouragement and support of alternative dispute resolution, 2010
  • Chair, Sonoma County Superior Court Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee, 2006-2010
  • Chair, Sonoma County Superior Court Civil Bench-Bar Committee, 2006-2010
  • Member (Vice Chair since February 2009), Judicial Council Probate and Mental Health Education Advisory Committee, November 2007-March 2010
  • Chair, Planning Committee, California Supreme Court Special Oral Argument Session, Sonoma County, October 2007
  • President, (member since 1994) Edward J. McFetridge American Inn of Court in San Francisco, 2003-2004
  • Member, Judicial Council Civil and Small Claims Standing Advisory Committee, 1993-1994, 1998-2002 (Chair, Uniform Rules Subcommittee)
  • Member, CJSP Planning Committee, 1999-2004
  • Chair, Sonoma County Community Focused Court Planning Team, 1999-2001
  • Member (formerly President), Sonoma County Law Library Board of Trustees, 1998-2010
  • Chair, CJA Elections Committee, 1999, 2000
  • Panelist on Judicial Elections, CJA Mid-year and Annual Conferences, 1999
  • Member, CJSP Civil Law and Procedure Institute Planning Committee, 1997
  • Member, CJA 1997 Annual Meeting Planning Committee
  • Member, CJA Civil Law and Procedure Committee, 1993-1999
  • Member, (Chair, 1997 to 2002) CJA/State Bar Joint Working Group on Uniform Local Courts Rules
  • Chair, CJA Civil Law and Procedure Subcommittee on Pretrial Discovery, 1994
  • "Woman of the Year," Sonoma County Women in Law, 1994
  • Member, Board of Trustees, Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, 1993-1998 (Chair, Community Benefit Committee)
  • Member, Advisory Board of the Junior League of Napa-Sonoma, 1993-1998
  • Keynote Speaker, Barristers Club, Sonoma County Bar Association, August 2010
  • Consultant, Conservatorship Proceedings, California Judges Benchguide 301, 2010
  • Speaker on a variety of topics before professional organizations including the California Judges Association, State Bar of California Litigation Section, Sonoma County Bar Association, National Business Institute, AOC Civil Law Institute, and various universities
  • Judge, Sonoma County Superior Court, 1992-2010
    • Supervising Judge, Civil Division, Sonoma County Superior Court, 2005-2010
    • Probate Judge, Sonoma County Superior Court, 2005-2010
    • Presiding Judge, Sonoma County Superior Court, 1995-1996
  • Civil trial attorney, private practice, 1979-1992
  • Graduate, Strauss Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine University, “Mediating the Litigated Case,” 2006
  • J.D., Hastings College of Law, Order of the Coif, 1979 (Research Editor, Hastings Law Journal, 1978-1979)
  • National Defense Fellow, University of Wisconsin, 1969-1970 (Ph.D. candidate in Geography)
  • B.A., Phi Beta Kappa with Honors in German, Syracuse University, 1969

Counsel Comments

    • “Judge Rushing has a good sense of when to move and how much.  She is able to generate flexibility with all sides.”

      –Experienced Litigator




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