Jerry Spolter

Jerry Spolter, Esq.

JAMS Mediator

Case Manager
Lily Kaufman
T: 415-774-2656
F: 415-982-5287
2 Embarcadero Center, Suite 1500, San Francisco, CA 94111


Since 1980, Jerry Spolter, Esq. has served as a neutral in numerous aviation-related cases. He successfully blends his flying background and mediation expertise with tenacity to help parties resolve disputes. Jerry acquired his FAA private pilot's license in 1968 while attending language school at DLI in Monterey. As a Marine Officer, in 1969 he was recruited OJT as an Aerial Observer, attended ejection seat school, and logged over 600 hours in 6 months in the counter-rotating jet-prop, OV-10A (Bronco) at Marble Mountain Marine Airbase in DaNang. In 1972, Spolter acquired his commercial pilot's license and, upon being admitted to the California Bar, joined the Lawyer-Pilots Bar Association. He has represented individuals involved in helicopter and aircraft-related injuries and claims related to loss of power and fuel contamination and airline pilots and crew insured by the ALPS (Airline Pilot Protective Syndicate) insurance program.

Representative Resolved Mediations

  • Numerous helicopter and fixed wing wrongful death claims, including 8 figure post-trial appellate mediation
  • Foreign owned/operated Airbus crash into mountain with US Citizen deaths
  • Engine malfunction where a/c unit lands on a car on the freeway resulting in personal injuries
  • Wrongful deaths arising from Alaska Airline crash
  • 747 Wing Walker’s injuries after being hit by a Vehicle Service Road van
  • Prominent public figure’s fall onto jetway with physical and psychological injuries
  • Fee dispute arising from wrongful death in the Egyptian Air 990 crash
  • Class action arising from misdelivery/use of jet fuel vs. avgas for private aircraft
  • Multiple airline employees on a shuttle bus who sustained serious injuries
  • TMJ and other injuries related to an airline’s “exploding” lavatory towel dispenser
  • Airline passenger’s 3dº burns from dry ice provided for a knee injury
  • Employment disputes between airline and its employees
  • Flight attendant's wrongful termination and disability retaliation claim
  • Poisonous sodium azide cargo punctured during depalletization causing injuries
  • Indian Ocean air disaster involving DOHSA and laws of 3 nations
Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS.

  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America, 2022
  • Recognized as a "Top Master," Daily Journal Top California Neutrals List, 2013
  • Recognized as a Best Lawyer, ADR Category, Best Lawyers in America, 2012-2015, 2022
  • Best Individual Mediator, Hall of Fame, The Recorder, 2012
  • Named #1 Mediator, survey of Bay Area attorneys, The Recorder, 2009-2012
  • Named a Top California Neutral, Daily Journal, 2004-2011
  • NorCal Super Lawyer, 2005-2014
  • Outstanding Achievement in Mediation Award, The Mediation Society, 2002
  • Mediator of the Year Award, San Francisco Trial Lawyers' Association, 2000
  • Mediator of the Year, American Arbitration Association, 1989
  • Bar Memberships and Affiliations: U.S. Supreme Court; Supreme Court of California; U.S. Court of Military Appeals; Maritime Law Association (1981-2004), National Board of Trial Advocacy (NBTA) (1992-2002); American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA)
  • Managing Partner, Spolter, McDonald & Mannion, San Francisco, CA, 1975-2005
  • J.D., University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, 1974
  • FAA Commercial Pilots License, 1972; NAUI Scuba Certificate 1975
  • Major, USMCR, Plt. Cmdr., Co.Cmdr., Aerial Observer, Viet Nam, 1968-1970
  • Defense Language Institute (Vietnamese), 1968
  • Language: Spanish
  • B.A., Political Science, San Jose State University, 1967

Counsel Comments

    • “I can personally say Mr. Spolter is skilled at Zoom mediations and has successfully resolved several cases with my office via Zoom over the last few months.”

      Partner at San Francisco Law Firm 
    • "Once a case is assigned out of my court to Jerry Spolter, I never hear of it again."

      - Alameda Superior Court Judge
    • “Jerry Spolter is forceful, driven and successful.  He can get to the heart of the matter, and get the parties to settle before the end of the day.” 

      - Partner at San Francisco Law Firm
    • “Jerry Spolter is always very efficient in settling cases. I like his style, sense of humor, ability to get along with everyone and make them feel invested in the process and his rate of success.”

      - Named Partner at National Law Firm




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