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

Jerry Spolter 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.


Jerry first went to sea at the age of 17 with the Military Sea Transport Service, aboard Liberty-class vessels out of Port Heuneme. His firm’s first maritime client in 1975 was the California Inland Pilots Association, followed by Pier 39's Blue & Gold Fleet, and the Merchant Officers Protective Syndicate (now Lancer Insurance), which provides administrative and civil defense to licensed mariners and pilots. His firm was lead counsel representing the master and crew in the arrest and sale at auction of the Greek freighter Santa Maria and has been involved in Coast Guard proceedings related to marine casualties throughout the United States and Canada, including the Sunshine Skyway Bridge tragedy in Florida and the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska. Jerry has successfully mediated hundreds of maritime cases.

Representative Mediations

  • Tech officer's brain injury claim against research sub's interests
  • Triple amputee's claim against foreign based research center
  • Asbestos claims against multiple ship owners and bridge interests
  • Deep sea diver's head injury claim against employer for negligence
  • Diver's heirs' wrongful death claim against dive shop and SCUBA instructor
  • Coverage and London-based Club P&I issues and container overboard claims
  • Long-time member's claim against maritime union and employer ferry operator
  • Numerous Jones Act/Unseaworthiness injuries and wrongful death claims
  • Passenger's closed-head and leg injuries during shore excursion from cruise ship
  • Sexual harassment and hostile workplace claims aboard cruise ships and vessels
  • Vessel damage claims relating to failure of marine railway and dry dock failures 
  • Captain and crew claims against ship owner when pirates commandeered ship in South America
  • Energy company claim against ship with premature anchor drop damaging undersea cable
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
  • 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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