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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 Rebecca Westerfield (Ret.) has served as a full-time ADR neutral since 1992. In settling or arbitrating over 2,500 cases, Judge Westerfield has had extensive experience in real estate matters. She is particularly adept at dealing with cases with large numbers of plaintiffs and multiple defendants and with complex insurance issues. 

Judge Westerfield has an extremely high settlement rate in mediations and has a reputation for presiding over arbitrations in a fair and efficient manner. 

  • Boundary disputes
  • Breach of lease
  • Business slander/libel
  • Buyer-seller disputes
  • Commercial leases
  • Construction defect issues
  • Development agreements
  • Division of real property interests
  • Earnest money agreements
  • Environmental issues
  • Failure of escrow
  • Failure to disclose known defects
  • Fraud
  • Habitability
  • Indemnification
  • Interpretation of lease or sales contracts
  • Landlord-tenant
  • Partnership disputes
  • Rent ordinances
  • Tribal lands

Representative Matters

  • Construction Defects:
    • Claims involving subdivisions and large condominium complexes as well as single family dwellings
  • Easement/Boundary Line:
    • Matters involving neighbors, governmental entities and utility companies
  • Environmental:
    • Failure to disclose existence of super fund site next to new subdivision development
    • Forty million dollar dispute regarding allocation of remedial costs for groundwater contamination
  • Fire loss:
    • Residential and commercial fire loss claims; third party and subrogation claims as a result of fire damage to commercial buildings, condominiums and single family residences and attendant complex insurance issues
  • Landlord-Tenant (Commercial and Residential):
    • Disputes involving owner-landlord’s condominium conversion/San Francisco Ellis Act/unlawful detainer and tenant’s cross-complaint
    • Disputes regarding tenant improvements of commercial property
    • Numerous claims regarding warranty of habitability
    • Numerous rent control ordinance wrongful evictions per alleged pretextual owner move-in
    • Premises liability issues involving death and permanent injuries
    • Retaliation claims under rent statutes
  • Mold:
    • Multiple claims involving mold remediation and personal injury and insurance issues
  • Real Estate Transactions:
    • Claims regarding concealment and non-disclosure of defects, lack of building permits and code compliance, zoning and other land use controls, neighborhood problems and other matters involved in the purchase and sale of residential properties, including claims presented against sellers, brokers, agents, and whole house, pest and other inspectors
    • Multi-million dollar casino development on tribal lands
    • Professional malpractice of realtors
    • Shopping mall commercial lease dispute
    • Arbitration determining fair market value of minimum rent under commercial lease option to extend
  • Advisor, Center for Advanced Mediation Practice, Bangalore, India, 2018
  • Certified Mediator, International Mediation Institute, 2018
  • 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

    • "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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