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Rebecca Westerfield

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
  • Excessive force during police action
  • Elder abuse
  • Higway design
  • Industrial accidents
  • Jones Act Claim
  • Maritime accidents
  • 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
  • Active Member, State Bar of California
  • Advisor; Center for Advanced Mediation Practice; Bangalore, India; 2018
  • Certified Mediator, International Mediation Institute, 2017
  • Presenter, Mediation, University of Southern California Gould School of Law School, 2018
  • Co-Chair, Global Pound Conference, International Mediation Institute (Northern California), 2016–2017
  • Presenter; USA/Italy Dialogue on Judicial Reform: Alternative Dispute Resolution; Rome, Italy; 2016
  • Presenter, USC/JAMS Arbitration Institute Symposium: Advanced Arbitration Academy, Los Angeles, 2016
  • Presenter; Admont International Summer School on Business Mediation; Admont, Austria; 2006, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016
  • Presenter; Bangalore Chamber of Commerce, Conclave on Alternative Dispute Resolution; Bangalore, India; 2016
  • Recognized as an “ADR Champion,” National Law Journal, 2016, 2018
  • Presenter; ABA Asia Pacific International Mediation Summit; 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
  • Elected Fellow, College of Commercial Arbitrators
  • "Top Master," Daily Journal Top California Neutrals List, 2013
  • "Top California Neutral," Daily Journal, 2002–2012 (from the inception of the recognition to its conclusion)
  • Best Lawyer, Alternative Dispute Resolution Category, Best Lawyers in America, 2008–2018, and Northern California Super Lawyer, 2008, 2010–2018
  • 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, 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
  • Member, Advisory Board University of California, 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
  • Chair, International Human Rights Committee, The Bar Association of San Francisco, 2009–2011
  • Participant, International Human Rights Summer School, New College at the University of Oxford, 2004
  • Member, American Bar Association House of Delegates, 1987–1991, 1996–2008
  • Board of Directors, The 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
  • Appointed Judge; Circuit Court of Jefferson County, Kentucky (court of general jurisdiction); 1987–1992
  • Admitted to Bar of United States Supreme Court and Sixth and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeals
  • M.A., Stanford University, 2008
  • J.D., University of Kentucky, 1975 (Law Journal, National Moot Court Team)
  • B.A., University of Kentucky, with distinction, 1972
  • Serves on ADR panel for the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California

Counsel Comments

    • "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

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