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James Ware

Hon. James Ware (Ret.)

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Case Manager
Sandra Chan
T: 415-774-2611
F: 415-982-5287
Two Embarcadero Center, Suite 1500, San Francisco, CA 94111

Hon. James Ware (Ret.) joined JAMS after 16 years as a civil litigator and 24 years as a judge. He served on the Superior Court of California in Santa Clara County before becoming a United States District Judge in the Northern District of California, the last year and a half of which he served as Chief Judge. Judge Ware brings a wealth of experience derived from his extensive judicial career. His approach to mediation begins with assisting the parties in communicating and understanding one another and then identifying and overcoming obstacles that stand in the way of resolution. In his role as an arbitrator, he considers the issues and reaches a definitive, principled, and expedited resolution.

As a neutral, Judge Ware has resolved numerous cases involving intellectual property, including, patent infringement, trademark and copyright disputes. His acumen for technology and the high volume of IP cases before his court have given him unparalleled expertise in this area. For four years, he served as the Chair of the Information Technology Committee for the Ninth Circuit and his decisions while on the bench have helped shape the legal landscape of intellectual property disputes.  

Judge Ware has also handled matters involving securities fraud, antitrust, contract disputes, employment law, civil rights and various complex business and commercial disputes. His experience reaches public and private sectors, domestic and international parties and jurisdictions, including matters with governmental agencies and foreign entities.  Judge Ware’s temperament and stellar reputation for quickly grasping and assessing highly complex issues make him a sought-after neutral in all areas of the law.

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • Lectures and participates in panel discussions on the latest developments in IP and Employment Law at Stanford Law School, Berkeley Law School, and Hastings College of the Law and other conferences
  • Taught courses on Civil Procedure, Federal Courts, Judicial Writing, Electronic Evidence and Remedies at various bay area law schools for over twenty years
  • Regularly conducts workshops and lectures on topics such as dispute resolution and IP domestically and internationally for attorneys, judges, and educators

Neutral Analysis, Special Master & Other Appointments 

  • Appointed as a Special Master for a Markman hearing and to submit Report & Recommendation to the Court on claim construction involving pharmaceutical patents
  • Appointed by the ICC of Hong Kong, China, as arbitrator on a tripartite panel on a patent infringement/licensing case involving a Japanese company and a US company
  • Appointed by the ICC of Paris, France, as the sole arbitrator on a securities and breach of contract case involving an Iranian citizen and a US company
  • Appointed to serve as the Chair on a tripartite arbitration panel before the ICDR involving claims for breach of contract and malpractice between an American law firm and a Chinese company
  • Served as both a sole neutral as well as a member of a tripartite panel to provide feedback to counsel on mock hearings and trials regarding intellectual property cases and anti-trust matters
  • Provided neutral analysis on motion for recusal in an IP case, early stages of pleadings in securities cases, and cases involving IP litigation in Germany

Representative of International Matters

  • Mediated patent license dispute between an Israeli company and a U.S. networking company
  • Mediated a patent infringement dispute between a Taiwanese owner of United States patent and a Silicon Valley computer manufacturing company
  • Mediated patent infringement dispute between major Korean electronics manufacturer and major Silicon Valley company
  • Mediated an employment case in London between a US company and an international employee
  • Arbitrated a patent infringement dispute between Silicon Valley company and a major Japanese game manufacturer applying the patent infringement laws of Japan
  • Presided over a dispute regarding trademark ownership between an American alcoholic beverage company and a French company
  • Presided over an anti-counterfeiting action against distributors of pharmaceutical products in South Africa
  • Arbitrated a breach of contract case between an Iranian citizen and a US company
  • Arbitrated a breach of contract and malpractice case between an American law firm and a Chinese company

Representative Matters 

  • Business/Commercial
      • Arbitrated, mediated and presided over breach of contract matters, breach of implied warranty, breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing, unfair competition, promissory estoppel, failure to pay, and default
      • Arbitrated, mediated and presided over dissolution of partnerships between parties with ongoing relationships, such as family members
      • Arbitrated, mediated and presided over contractual disputes between school districts and administrators, auction houses, banks, wine distributors, insurance companies, telecommunications companies, manufacturers, and tech companies
      • Arbitrated, mediated and presided over partnership dissolutions, LLCs, licensing disputes, and contracts involving virtual goods
      • Mediated and presided over cases under the Clean Water Act between governmental entities and private businesses
  • Intellectual Property 
      • Patent Infringement 
          • Arbitrated and mediated numerous patent infringement matters, including disputes regarding complex licensing agreements
          • Arbitrated, mediated and tried many patent disputes involving utility and design, pharmaceutical, technical, mechanical, and method patents
          • Served on a tripartite arbitration panel involving interpretation of contract and scope of patent licensing agreement involving a method patent
          • Presided over numerous patent infringement cases as judge in jury trials, the sole finder of fact, as well as a member of a panel
      • Copyright
          • Mediated and presided over copyright related matters involving the recovery of license royalties
          • Arbitrated copyright infringement relating to online auction houses
          • Mediated copyright infringement matter related to design details of waterproofing and exterior façade prepared by a civil engineering and architectural firm
          • Mediated copyright disputes about murals, including their illegal use in marketing materials and their improper destruction by building owners; alleged violations of Federal Visual Artists Rights Act and the California Art Preservation Act
          • Presided over copyright dispute involving major animation studios
      • Trademark
          • Arbitrated, mediated, and presided over many cases involving alleged Lanham Act violations,
          • Mediated trademark matters involving major technology companies, tobacco products
          • Arbitrated a trademark infringement dispute relating to electronic products between a US Company and an Australian company
          • Mediated and tried matters involving federal anti-cybersquatting protection act (ACPA) trademark infringement, and unfair competition
          • Mediated trademark infringement disputes involving an international fashion house regarding counterfeiting and the use of a mark to intentionally confuse consumers
          • Presided over a dispute regarding whether the yellow color of a product was a protected trademark
  • Labor and Employment
      • Arbitrated, mediated and presided over numerous employment matters under state and federal laws, including: 
          • Wage and hour employment matters involving issues such as alleged failure to pay minimum and overtime wages, employee misclassification, failure to provide meal and rest periods
          • Wrongful termination involving claims such as retaliation, hostile work environment, and discrimination based on disability, age, pregnancy, race, gender, religion, medical condition, sexual orientation, and national origin (FEHA claims)
          • Matters involving Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and its state counterpart
          • Sexual harassment and quid pro quo harassment
      • Arbitrated, mediated and presided over ERISA disputes involving valuation of plan assets, breaches of fiduciary duty, denial/modification of benefits, 401K fees, and “stock drop” class action cases
      • Arbitrated, mediated and presided over various employment contract disputes, including alleged theft of proprietary information and trade secret misappropriation
  • Privacy/Data Breach
      • Arbitrated, mediated and presided over a number of Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) matters involving various banks and their debt collection practices
      • Arbitrated, mediated and presided over class actions and individual actions involving Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and state related statutes
      • Presided over a case involving California’s right of publicity statute (Civil Code §3344), alleging misappropriation of name and likeness, as well as a derivative claim under California’s Unfair Competition Law (Business & Professions Code §17200 et seq.)
      • Presided over multiple putative class action cases involving social media companies and alleged privacy violations, specifically, involving the selling of on-line data
  • Professional Malpractice
      • Mediated a malpractice claim arising out of a failed real estate transaction
      • Arbitrated a case involving alleged malpractice between an American law firm and a Chinese company
      • Presided over an alleged medical malpractice for the misdiagnosis of appendicitis resulting in subsequent health issues
      • Presided over claims of malpractice arising out of the Santana Row fire
  • Securities
      • Arbitrated securities case involving an Iranian investor and a US company
      • Mediated securities fraud case involving shareholders and directors
      • Mediated and presided over securities fraud actions involving a business advertising industry
      • Presided and mediated and presided over putative shareholder class actions against companies for alleged violation of SEC Rule 10b-5 and 20b


  • Awards & Honors
    • Recognized as a 2018 “Best Lawyer” by Best Lawyers in America.
    • Recognized in the 25th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America for work in mediation.
    • Recipient of Lifetime Achievement Award from the Santa Clara County Trial Lawyers Association
    • Recipient of award from the International Academy of Trial Lawyers for excellence in appellate advocacy
  • Selected Publications
    • Showing IP Lawyers the Joys of Mediation,” ADR Profile, Daily Journal, December 20, 2013
    • Why Companies Need Clear Policies Against Giving Computer Access to Non-employees,” co-author, InsideCounsel (Business Insights for Law Department Leaders), February 19, 2013
    • When District Judges Look Beyond Bilski, We Still See Markman,” Stan. L. Rev. 2011 Symposium Keynote Address, May 4, 2011
    • The History, Content, Application and Influence of the Northern District of California’s Patent Local Rules,” 25 Santa Clara Computer & High Tech. L.J. 965 (2009)
    • Patent Rules of Evidence,” 23 Santa Clara Computer & High Tech. L.J. 749 (2007)
    • Earning the Daubert Seal of Approval for Expert Witnesses,” Association of Business Trial Lawyers Report, July 1994
    • Adopting an Educator Habit of Mind: Modifying What It Means to Think Like a Lawyer,” with Gail A. Jaquish, 45 Stan. L. Rev. 1713 (1993)
  • Selected Workshops, Speaking Engagements, and Trainings
    • Workshop on Mediation and Arbitration and Effective Legal Writing presented in the United States, Amman, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Cairo, Rome, Nigeria, and Dubai
    • Lecturer on Improving the Protection of Intellectual Property without sacrificing creativity for judges, lawyers and educators in: Nairobi, Abuja, Lagos, United States.
    • Consultant to the Inter-American Development Bank improving the administration of justice:  Antilles Island Nation of Barbados
    • Consultant to Justice Reform Commission: Rwanda
    • Consultant to Fair Housing Commission of South Africa: Pretoria & Johannesburg
    • United States District Judge for the Northern District of California, 1990-2012
      •  Served as Chief District Judge for 1.5 years
    • Judge, Santa Clara County Superior Court, 1988-1990
    • Sat by designation on the following federal courts:
      • United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit & the Ninth Circuit
      • United States District Court for the Central District of California, the District of Arizona and the District of Guam
    • Partner, Blase, Valentine & Klein, Palo Alto, California 1978-1988; Associate Attorney 1972-1978
    • J.D., Stanford Law School, 1972
    • B.A., California Lutheran University, 1969

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    Practice Areas

    • Arbitration
    • Business/Commercial
    • Civil Rights
    • Class Action/Mass Tort
    • Construction
    • Cybersecurity & Privacy
    • Employment
    • Environmental
    • Federal Judge
    • Insurance
    • Intellectual Property
    • International
    • Personal Injury
    • Professional Liability
    • Securities
    • Special Master/Discovery Referee

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    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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