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Rebecca Westerfield (Ret.)

Hon. Rebecca Westerfield (Ret.)

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Case Manager
Melissa Ornstil
T: 415-774-2600
F: 415-982-5287
Two Embarcadero Center , Suite 1500 , San Francisco , CA 94111
Judge Westerfield has mediated and arbitrated hundreds of personal injury claims. A full-time JAMS panelist since 1992, Judge Westerfield is particularly effective in managing cases with high emotional content and complex insurance matters. Judge Westerfield has also dealt with cross-cultural issues.

Resolution Expertise
  • Assault
  • Closed head injuries
  • Common carrier accidents
  • Excessive force during police action
  • Elder abuse
  • Highway design
  • Industrial accidents
  • Jones Act claims
  • Maritime accidents
  • Medical and dental malpractice
  • Mold exposure
  • Premises liability
  • Product liability
  • Public property
  • Toxic exposure
  • Trepass


Representative Matters

  • Cases involving burn injuries and disfigurement
  • Death due to scalding on construction site
  • Death due to toxic exposure on high seas
  • Fatality due to dog mauling
  • Industrial machinery product liability claim involving wrongful death
  • Many cases involving losses of or permanent injury to children
  • Medical malpractice claims involving wrongful death and permanent injury
  • Multiple cases arising from death of elder person during care at nursing facilities
  • Multiple wrongful death and permanent personal injuries arising out of boating and sailing accidents
  • Numerous cases involving burns and permanent scars
  • Numerous cases involving multiple severely injured parties in a single occurrence and limited insurance coverage
  • Quadriplegia as result of sailing accident
  • Rollover due to tire blow out
  • 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
  • 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

Counsel Comments

    Video-
    Westerfield featured in JAMS mediation video

    "I really enjoyed mediating the case with [Judge Westerfield] , and I was impressed with [her] patience, empathy, clarity, flexibility, and determination. I am strongly recommending [her] to my colleagues, and I look forward to our next mediation." --Bay Area Attorney

    "Judge Westerfield was remarkable, truly remarkable.  This has to be one of the toughest mediations she’s ever had in terms of the difficult nature of the parties." Bay Area Attorney

    Recognized as "Top Master," Daily Journal Top California Neutrals List, 2013

    Recognized as a Top California Neutral, Daily Journal, 2002-2011 (since the inception of the recognition)

    Recognized as a Northern California Super Lawyer, ADR Category, 2008, 2010-2016

    Recognized as a Best Lawyer, Alternative Dispute Resolution Category, Best Lawyers in America, 2008-2016

    Recognized as One of the Top Three Best Neutrals in the Bay Area, The Recorder, 2007

    Recognized as One of the 500 Leading Judges in America, by Lawdragon Magazine, 2006

    Distinguished Mediator of the Year, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, 2003

News

Events

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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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