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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 and Honors
    • Recognized as a "Best Lawyer, Alternative Dispute Resolution Catergory,"Best Lawyers in America, 2018 
    • Recipient, Santa Clara County Trial Lawyers Association Lifetime Achievement Award
    • Fellowship awarded by the German-Marshall Fund to study at Atlantik-Bruecke Conference in Berlin, Germany
    • Fellowship awarded by the Fulbright Foundation to lecture at University of Jordan in Amman, Jordan
    • Recipient of award from the International Academy of Trial Lawyers for excellence in appellate advocacy
  • Books and Articles
    • California Residential Landlord Tenant Practice, CEB
    • 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)
    • Adopting an Educator Habit of Mind: Modifying What It Means to Think Like a Lawyer, 45 Stan. L. Rev. 1713 (1993) (with Gail A. Jaquish)
    • Earning the Daubert Seal of Approval for Expert Witnesses, Association of Business Trial Lawyers Report, July 1994
    • "Showing IP Lawyers The Joys of Mediation," ADR Profile, Daily Journal, December 20, 2013
  • Judge, U. S. District Court, Northern District of California, 1990-2012
    • Chief Judge, 2011-2012
  • Judge, Santa Clara County Superior Court, 1988-1990 
  • Private Practice, Palo Alto, California, 1972-1988 
  • U.S. Army Reserve Captain, Military Police, 1973-1986
  • U.S. Army, Military Police, 1973
  • U.S. Army Reserve Second Lieutenant, 1972
  • J.D., Stanford Law School, 1972
    • Hilmer Ohlmer Award for excellence in Research and Writing
  • 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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