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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.) has extensive experience in analyzing and resolving international business disputes involving parties and issues arising in Asia, Europe, Africa, Barbados, and the United States. He 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. Thanks to his extensive judicial career, he brings a wealth of experience derived from his management and resolution of thousands of cases across a wide variety of subjects. Most notably, Judge Ware presided over numerous cases involving patent infringement, securities fraud, antitrust, contract disputes, employment law, and various statutory actions.

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.

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • Twenty-two years as United States District Judge on the Northern District of California, including a year and a half as the Chief Judge of the Northern District; two years as a judge on the Superior Court of California in Santa Clara County; and sixteen years as a civil litigator
  • Sat by designation on a number of other federal courts, including the following:
    • United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
    • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
    • United States District Court for the Central District of California
    • United States District Court for the District of Arizona
  • Taught case management and dispute resolution practices in numerous legal practice programs, both in the United States and around the world. For over twenty years he has taught courses at Bay Area law schools, including Santa Clara Law School and Golden Gate Law School. In addition, he has given lectures and speeches at a number of Bay Area institutions, including Stanford Law School, Berkeley Law School, and Hastings College of the Law
  • Author of several law review articles dealing with patent law and civil trials

    ADR Philosophy

    Judge Ware's effectiveness in resolving international commercial disputes is based on his recognition of the importance of understanding the history of the relationship. Many times, international commercial relationships are created through negotiations. During the relationship, each transaction may be a continuing negotiation. When a conflict arises, as a skillful neutral, he assists the parties to review this history, the language they used to express their agreement, and the events that took place during the relationship to assist the parties to achieve a resolution that will allow the relationship to continue or, if it cannot continue, a resolution that brings it to a just and harmonious conclusion.

    International ADR Experience

    In recognition of his vast experience as a judge on both the state and federal court, Judge Ware has been selected by parties to serve as a mediation, special master, and arbitrator in international disputes. Judge Ware is adept at mastering and applying foreign legal systems. Notable examples include:

    • 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 electronic manufacturer and major Silicon Valley company
    • Arbitrated a patent infringement dispute between Silicon Valley company and a major Japanese game manufacturer applying the patent infringement laws of Japan

    International Judicial Experience

    During his tenure as a United States District Judge presided over multiple international cases, notable examples include:

    • An intellectual property dispute between European based world-wide distributor of luxury merchandise against Internet Service Providers for providing on-line access to allegedly infringing products
    • Securities fraud class action based on sales to China and other international business
    • A trademark dispute between a Napa Valley winery and an importer in Poland
    • Labor dispute between a domestic corporation and an international union
    • Foreign nationals action against the United States government under "extraordinary rendition" program
    • Trade secrets action requiring analysis of laws of the People's Republic of China

    International Experience as a Teacher and Trainer:

    During his tenure as a judicial officer, Judge Ware volunteered to conduct mediation and case management lectures and demonstrations for judges and lawyers around the world. Under the auspices of the United States Department of Commerce, the Administrative Offices of the United States Courts and private non-profit organizations, Judge Ware provided valuable training internationally.

    • Lecturer on Mediation and Arbitration for attorneys and judges in:
      • Amman
      • Tel Aviv
      • Jerusalem
      • Cairo
      • Rome
    • Lecturer on Improving the Protection of Intellectual Property without sacrificing creativity for judges, lawyers and educators in:
      • Nairobi
      • Abuja
      • Lagos
    • Consultant to the Inter-American Development Bank
      • Improving the administration of justice in the Antilles Island Nation of Barbados
    • Consultant to Justice Reform Commission
      • Rwanda
    • Consultant to Fair Housing Commission of South Africa
      • Pretoria
      • Johannesburg
    • Conducted mock appellate hearing considering enforceability of International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) arbitration award and related choice of law issues
    • Lecturer on Civil Procedure, Federal Courts, Remedies
      • Santa Clara Law School
      • Golden Gate University School of Law
      • Lincoln Law School of San Jose
    • 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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