Hon. Rebecca Westerfield (Ret.)

T: 415-982-5267
F: 415-982-5287
Business/Commercial
A JAMS full-time panelist since 1992, Judge Westerfield has arbitrated and mediated hundreds of business/commercial cases. She is known for her success in settling complex litigation with multiple parties involving diverse business ventures as well as cases with high emotional content, such as reorganization of closely-held businesses and dissolution of professional practices. Judge Westerfield’s business/commercial experience encompasses a broad range of legal issues, including insurance coverage disputes.

Resolution Expertise
  • Attorney fee disputes
  • Banking
  • Breach of fiduciary duties
  • Business defamation
  • Contracts
  • Complex billing disputes
  • Corporations
  • Dissolution of business partnerships and closely held corporations 
  • Franchises
  • Insurance coverage and payment disputes
  • International business disputes
  • Joint venture agreements
  • Lending disputes  
  • Refinancing agreements
  • Securities fraud
  • Stock purchase and sale agreements
  • Trade secret agreements
  • Unfair competition

Representative Matters

  • Allegations of unsuitable investments and securities fraud
  • Complex financing structure for multi-million dollar casino development on tribal lands
  • Contract disputes among various European, Asian, and Middle Eastern businesses
  • Disputes regarding insurance coverage of business losses
  • Disputes regarding valuation and ownership of books of business
  • Dissolution of shopping center partnership
  • Franchise disputes: automobile sales, restaurant business, and furniture retail
  • Fraud in selling of a business
  • Patent dispute
  • Social media network defamation claims
  • Trade secret breach: software industry
  • Unfair competition claims against internet business

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • Co-Chair, International Mediation Global Pound Conference (Northern California), 2016-2017
  • Presenter, USA-Italy Dialogue on Judicial Reform: Alternative Dispute Resolution, Rome, Italy, 2016
  • Presenter, USC-JAMS Arbitration Institute- Advanced Arbitration Academy, Los Angeles, 2016
  • Presenter, Admont International Summer School on Business Mediation, Austria, 2016
  • Presenter, Bangalore Chamber of Commerce, Conclave on Alternative Dispute Resolution, Bangalore, India, 2016
  • Recognized as an “ADR Champion”, National Law Journal, 2016
  • Participated in private mediation conclave sponsored by the Bangalore Chamber of Commerce, 2016
  • Presenter, ABA Asia Pacific Summit on Mediation, New Delhi, India, 2015
  • Presenter, Private Commercial Mediation Conclave, Bangalore, India, 2015
  • Trainer, ADR for Supreme Court of India (Delhi), High Court of Bangalore 2013
  • Active member, State Bar of California
  • Elected Fellow, College of Commercial Arbitrators
  • "Top Master," Daily Journal Top California Neutrals List, 2013
  • "Top California Neutral," Daily Journal, 2002-2011 (since the inception of the recognition)
  • Best Lawyer, Alternative Dispute Resolution Category, Best Lawyers in America, 2008-2016, and Northern California Super Lawyer, 2008, 2010-2016
  • Best Lawyer in the Bay Area, San Francisco Business Times, 2009
  • One of the Top Three Best Neutrals in the Bay Area, The Recorder, 2007
  • One of the 500 Leading Judges in America, by Lawdragon Magazine, 2006
  • Distinguished Mediator of the Year, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, 2003
  • One of the Top 10 Mediators in the Bay Area, The Recorder, 2002
  • Member, Advisory Council to the ABA International Human Rights Center, 2011-2014, and Advisory Board U.C. Berkeley School of Law, Human Rights Center, 2009-present
  • Member, National Association of Women Judges, International Association of Women Judges, ABA Women in Dispute Resolution Committee
  • Member, International Academy of Trial Judges, Northern California International Arbitration Committee
  • Presenter, International Summer School on Business Mediation, Admont, Austria (2006, 2010, 2012, 2014)
  • Chair of the Bar Association of San Francisco’s International Human Rights Committee, 2009-2011
  • Participant, International Human Rights Summer School, Oxford University-New College 2004
  • Member, American Bar Association House of Delegates, 1987-1991, 1996-2008
  • Board of Directors, Bar Association of San Francisco, 1994-1997
  • Chair, American Bar Association Section on Individual Rights and Responsibilities (now Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice), 1994-1995
  • Co-authored the ADR chapter of CEB's Wrongful Termination Practice 2ed. (1997)
  • Adjunct Professor, University of California Berkeley School of Law
  • Lecturer, Stanford Law School
  • "Enduring Optimism," ADR Profile, Daily Journal, June 28, 2013

Background and Education

  • Serves on ADR panel for the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California
  • Appointed Judge, Circuit Court of Jefferson Co., Kentucky (court of general jurisdiction), 1987-1992
  • Admitted to Bar of United States Supreme Court, 6th and 9th Circuit Courts of Appeals
  • Masters in Liberal Arts, Stanford University, 2008
  • J.D., University of Kentucky, 1975 (Law Journal, National Moot Court Team)
  • B.A., University of Kentucky with distinction, 1972

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