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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

Judge James Ware (Ret.) joined JAMS after spending sixteen years as a civil litigator, and twenty-four years as a judge. He served as a United States District Judge on the Northern District of California, including a year and a half as the Chief Judge of the Northern District. Previously, he served as a judge on the Superior Court of California in Santa Clara County. During his extensive judicial career, Judge Ware managed the resolution of individual and class actions employment claims such as wage and hour, ERISA, discrimination, ADA, sexual harassment, wrongful termination, and contract disputes including those involving theft of proprietary information.  Since joining JAMS, Judge Ware has mediated employment cases involving private companies, school districts, and public utilities.

Judge Ware draws on his vast experience as a judge on both the state and federal bench. Serving as a mediator and special master/discovery referee, he helps parties to communicate with and understand one another; offers a broad perspective on parties’ problems; assists them to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of respective positions; assesses the overall cost of the dispute; and aides them in identifying, and overcoming, obstacles that stand in the way of effective resolution. As an arbitrator, he considers the issues and reaches a definitive, principled, and expedited resolution.

Representative Matters

  • Wage and Hour: individual and class actions claims including alleged failure to pay minimum and overtime wages, employee misclassification, failure to provide meal and rest periods
  • ERISA: disputes involving valuation of plan assets, breaches of fiduciary duty, denial/modification of benefits, 401K fees, “stock drop” class action cases
  • Contract: employment contract disputes, including alleged theft of proprietary information
  • Discrimination: Claims of discrimination or harassment based on race, gender, religion, age, disability, medical condition, sexual origin, national origin and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) discrimination cases.
  • ADA: disputes alleging failure to accommodate disability on the job and wrongful termination
  • Sexual Harassment: Claims alleging hostile work environment, quid pro quo harassment, and unwelcome touching

Significant Cases

  • Andrews v. Lockheed Missiles & Space Co., Inc.: Age discrimination claim
  • Fu v. Walker Parking Consultants: Pregnancy discrimination claim
  • Busey v. P.W. Supermarkets, Inc.: State court action for wrongful discharge moved to federal court as collective bargaining agreement and Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA) at issue
  • Gamboa v. United Parcel Services, Inc.: Employment discrimination and retaliation claims
  • Granite Rock Co. v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters: Dispute regarding validity of a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) which included no-strike and arbitration clauses
  • Stewart v. Stanford University: Allegation of wrongful termination governed by Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA)
  • Koontz v. Hoge, Fenton, Jones & Appel, Inc.: Gender discrimination and hostile work environment claims
  • London v. Sears, Roebuck & Co.: Claims of age discrimination, wrongful termination, unpaid wages, defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress
  • Quinones v. Target Stores: Disability discrimination claims
  • Ruggiero v. AMR Corp.: Claims of wrongful termination and failure to rehire
  • 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



    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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