Deborah Saxe

Deborah Crandall Saxe, Esq.

JAMS Mediator, Arbitrator and Referee/Special Master

Case Manager
Elizabeth Walls
T: 213-253-9752
F: 213-620-0100
555 W. 5th St., 32nd Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90013


Before becoming a full-time neutral, Deborah Crandall Saxe, Esq. was a litigator and appellate lawyer at Jones Day, Heller Ehrman, and Seyfarth Shaw for more than 30 years. When she was practicing law, she was lead counsel in litigation matters resulting in more than 30 reported court decisions. She litigated cases before state and federal trial courts, the California Court of Appeal, the United States Courts of Appeals for the Fourth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, and District of Columbia Circuits, the California Supreme Court, and the United States Supreme Court. Chambers USA called her “an aggressive and highly capable litigator” with “substantial experience in the courtroom as a trial lawyer.” More recently, Chambers USA called her a “talented mediator.”

Ms. Saxe is highly regarded and well-respected. She is a quick study, prepared, personable, approachable, creative, and flexible. As an arbitrator, she is known to be fair, practical, unflappable, and not afraid to make tough decisions. As a mediator, she is strong, good at listening and reading people, and a tenacious closer. She is known for her ability to quickly establish rapport with parties and counsel and enable them to recognize their legal risks. The perspective gained from her extensive trial and appellate court experience allows her to offer valuable insights as to how a case is likely to proceed in the courts and how it is likely to appear to a judge and jury.

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • Has mediated and arbitrated legal disputes for decades, first as an advocate and later as a mediator and arbitrator 
  • Began serving as a neutral on a part-time basis in January 2007 (while a partner at Jones Day) 
  • Full-time neutral since July 2012 
  • Extensive trial and appellate court experience as an advocate 
  • Extensive mediation and arbitration training through Straus Institute of Dispute Resolution, JAMS, AAA, and other organizations 
  • Has mediated and arbitrated hundreds of cases 
  • Has served as Chair of a tripartite panel of arbitrators

Representative Matters

Contract disputes, including those involving:

  • Executive employment contracts 
  • Law firm and other partnership agreements 
  • Non-disclosure agreements 
  • Confidentiality and trade secrets agreements 
  • Inventions agreements 
  • Independent contractor agreements 
  • Consulting agreements 
  • Severance pay contracts 
  • Release agreements 
  • Corporate transactional documents

Business torts, including those involving:

  • Invasion of privacy, including alleged misappropriation of voice and likeness 
  • Intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress 
  • Interference with contractual relations 
  • Interference with prospective economic advantage 
  • Defamation 
  • Fraud

Attorneys' fees disputes

Employee pension and health insurance matters, including those involving:

  • Vesting of benefits in defined contribution pension plans
  • Withdrawal liability under the Multiemployer Pension Plan Amendments Act (MEPPA) 
  • Withdrawals from multiple employer pension plans 
  • Whether private sector employers with collective bargaining agreements providing for retiree health insurance had right to change or terminate retiree health insurance plan for employees who already had retired 
  • Whether public sector school district with collective bargaining agreements providing for lifetime retiree health insurance for its teachers had right to alter deductibles, premium payments, and/or covered benefits for teachers who already had retired 
  • ERISA class action alleging partial termination of pension plan

Labor and employment matters of all kinds, including those involving:

  • Employment discrimination
  • Harassment
  • Retaliation
  • Reasonable accommodation 
  • Leaves of absence 
  • Wage and hour issues arising under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the California Labor Code (including PAGA), California’s Wage Orders, and California Business & Professions Code §§ 17200, et seq. 
  • The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), and the California Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (PDL) 
  • Non-compete agreements (including issues arising under California Business & Professions Code §§ 16600, et seq.) 
  • California Labor Code § 1102.5 
  • Employee raiding 
  • Alleged misappropriation of trade secrets under the Uniform Trade Secrets Act 
  • Wrongful termination in violation of public policy
Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS. 

  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America, 2005-2017, 2019-2022
  • Recognized as a Southern California Super Lawyer, Alternative Dispute Resolution category, 2019-2022
  • Recognized as a Southern California Super Lawyer, Top 50 Women, 2019 
  • Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, 2014-present
  • Fellow, International Academy of Mediators, 2015-present 
  • Fellow, College of Labor & Employment Lawyers, 2001-present 
  • Ranked by Chambers USA as a “leading lawyer” in employment law, 2004-2012 
  • Identified as one of the 100 Most Powerful Labor & Employment Lawyers in the Nation, 2010, 2011, 2012 
  • Recognized by peers as a Southern California SuperLawyer in the field of ADR, 2014-2017 
  • Recognized by peers as one of the Top 50 Women SuperLawyers in L.A. and Orange Counties for 10 consecutive years, 2004-2013 
  • Recognized by peers as one of the Top 100 SuperLawyers in L.A. and Orange Counties, 2010 
  • Member, American Bar Association, Labor & Employment Law Section, 39 years 
  • Member, American Bar Association, Dispute Resolution Section, 6 years 
  • Member, California Bar Association, Labor & Employment Law Section, 32 years 
  • Trustee, Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA), 2005-2008 and 2010-2013; Member, 32 years 
  • Chair, LACBA Labor & Employment Law Section, 2002-2003; Member 32 years 
  • Associate Member, California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA), 2012-present 
  • Member, Board of Governors, Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles (WLALA), 2012-2013 
  • Lifetime Member, WLALA 
  • Associate (neutral) member, California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA) 
  • Listed in Marquis’ Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who of American Women, and Who’s Who in the World

ADR Profile

  • Full-time neutral since July 2012 (part-time since January 2007 - July 2012)
  • Partner, Jones Day, 1988-1996 and 2006-2012
  • Shareholder, Heller Ehrman, 1997-2005
  • Associate, Jones Day, 1983-1987
  • Associate, Seyfarth Shaw, 1978-1983
  • J.D., UCLA School of Law, 1978 (Member, UCLA Law Review)
  • M.A., Comparative Literature, UCLA, 1973
  • B.A., English Language & Literature, magna cum laude, Penn State, 1971
  • B.A., Russian Language & Literature, cum laude, Penn State, 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