W. Scott Snowden

Hon. W. Scott Snowden (Ret.)

JAMS Mediator, Arbitrator and Referee/Special Master

Case Manager
Karen Clerici
T: 916-830-7102
F: 916-565-7780
Two Embarcadero Center, Suite 1500, San Francisco, CA 94111

W. Scott Snowden is available to conduct cases virtually. JAMS is equipped to provide virtual ADR services on a variety of online platforms, including Zoom, Microsoft Teams, WebEx, and more.


Hon. W. Scott Snowden (Ret.) has been a trailblazing leader for over 25 years in case management, modern court administration, and early resolution. Under his guidance for over 15 years, the Napa Superior Court has resolved the majority of civil actions within 12 months of filing. A pioneer of court-based mediation, he brings decades of skills as an extraordinarily effective settlement specialist to the resolution of a variety of disputes including employment matters. Judge Snowden has successfully mediated actions involving alleged FEHA violations, sexual harassment, discrimination, retaliatory and wrongful termination issues.

Representative Matters

  • Action by large urban school district against former Superintendent and former Chief Financial Officer for alleged misfeasance respecting failed program to create joint powers agreement replacing traditional employee retirement programs. Complex issues regarding public schools’ financing and insurance coverage of public agencies and employees. Successfully mediated.
  • Action for sexual harassment against owner/operator of assisted-living/skilled care facility. Legal issues included whether the owner was strictly liable for actions of plaintiff’s co-worker who allegedly had de facto supervisory status. Successfully settled in early stages of litigation.
  • FEHA action for alleged disability discrimination and wrongful discharge against state university hospital. Successfully settled.
  • Lawsuit by former cellar master for wrongful termination, alleging FEHA violation for firing in retaliation for job-related disability. Defendant asserted legitimate business related reasons for elimination of position. Mediated to settlement.
  • Mediation of lawsuit alleging wrongful termination, discrimination for disability, and failure to accommodate. Successfully mediated to settlement.
  • Post-filing, early litigation mediation of lawsuit alleging discriminatory termination for disability and failure to accommodate. Successfully mediated to settlement.
  • Pre-litigation mediation of sexual harassment/retaliatory termination claim against a county for acts allegedly committed by a department head. Successfully mediated to settlement.
Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS.

  • Recognized as "Top Neutral," Daily Journal Top California Neutrals List, 2013
  • California Center for Judicial Education and Research, teacher at numerous programs and presentations, including many years as a presenter and team leader for the Continuing Judicial Studies Program for Presiding Judges and Court Administrators
  • California Administrative Office of the Courts, frequent presenter at programs for administrators; twice member of Presiding Judges’ Standing Advisory Committee; member, Criminal Law Standing Advisory Committee
  • National Judicial College, faculty member teaching Effective Caseflow Management, and Complex Litigation
  • Teacher/Lecturer, various subjects relating to case management and court administration in California, Nevada, Missouri, Maryland, South Carolina, Florida, and Toronto, Canada
  • California Judges Association, 1980-present
ADR Profiles
  • Judge (often Presiding Judge), Napa Superior Court, 1985-2005
  • Judge (often Presiding Judge), Napa Municipal Court, 1980-1985
  • Partner, Coombs, Dunlap, Dunlap & Champlin (now Coombs & Dunlap), Napa, CA, 1972-1980
  • City Attorney, Yountville, CA, 1977-1980
  • Deputy City Attorney, Napa, 1972-1980
  • Commissioner and Chairman, Napa County Planning Commission, 1976-1980
  • Commissioner and Chairman, St. Helena City Planning Commission, 1973-1975
  • United States Army, Captain, Signal Corps, 1968-1976
  • J.D., University of California, Berkeley School of Law (formerly Boalt Hall School of Law), 1971
  • B.A., Washington & Lee University, Lexington, VA, 1968

Counsel Comments

    • "I truly appreciate your hands-on approach to resolving the case, staying 'on the saddle' throughout the day until the last signature went on the settlement agreement...I believe that keeping your finger on the pulse of the parties is critical to a successful mediation...Thank you again for your very professional and successful mediation efforts."

      Silicon Valley Civil Litigation Attorney
    • “Once again, you have pulled a very large rabbit out of a very small hat. This was a very stressful case for all of the individuals involved. There were very difficult personalities to work with and your ability to bring resolution with these dynamics does not go unnoticed.”

      - Bay Area Attorney
    • “[Judge Snowden] did a truly masterful job of putting this settlement together. I have been through at least a hundred mediations over my career and I have never had a neutral work so hard, and so effectively, at cutting to the core issues, eliminating the peripheral players/issues, and putting the settlement to bed. My clients and I are extremely grateful for his hard work and skill. And, of course, I will look forward to using him again on my next difficult settlement.”

      - San Francisco Attorney
    • "You get incredible results with [Judge Snowden]...who has a real knack for settling cases. This is a mediator who works very hard at it, is innovative, always calming to the parties, and will not rest until he has squeezed the parties into the position that they always wanted, a reasonable settlement. In short, he is probably the best mediator we have known from our experiences..."

      -Senior Partner at Bay Area Firm
    • “Judge Snowden is one of the most intelligent, articulate, involved, professional and effective mediators that I have had on a case.”
    • “I wanted to thank [Judge Snowden] again for [his] extraordinary talent in bringing this matter to a successful conclusion today.”
    • “…I appreciate [Judge Snowden’s] skills and demeanor in Mediation. It’s been one of the better experiences I have had this year in discovering his abilities are available to us.”
    • “Judge Snowden was very prepared for mediation, and was very active, energetic and involved in the entire process.”
    • “Judge Snowden is the best mediator I've ever appeared before. And a big part of that is how fun and funny he is.”
    • “Thank [Judge Snowden] for helping us successfully resolve the entire case. Tell him that I would recommend him highly and I would utilize his services again in a heartbeat.”
    • “… a phenomenal job in our recent mediation. [He is] the number 1 person on my list of people to go to when I have ADR matters. I appreciate [his] humor and common sense approach to cases…”




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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