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Litigation & Arbitration

Nov. 8, 2017

Hon. James Ware (Ret.)


Ware james online
Bay Area

Business/Commercial; Class Action/Mass Tort; Employment; Insurance; IP; Securities

Judge James Ware (Ret.) joined JAMS after spending 16 years as a civil litigator, and 24 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. In addition, he is a Fellow of the International Academy of Mediators and has been appointed as Arbitrator by the International Court of Arbitration as well as the International Centre for Dispute Resolution. Judge Ware was also recently recognized as one of the 2018 Best Lawyers in America by Best Lawyers.

Thanks to his extensive judicial career, he brings with him 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.

In his role as a neutral, he helps parties to communicate with and understand one another. He approaches mediation as an opportunity to assist parties to explore resolution beyond ordinary boundaries; to treat the protuberances of one side with the same dignity as the hollows of the other; to use dialog to assist parties to untangle the intricacies of a dispute; and ultimately to replace risk with the solid comfort of resolution. He brings this same approach to the table as an arbitrator or when advising the court as a special master. 415-774-2616

Q&A with Hon. James Ware (Ret.)


Q: In which types of cases is mediation least effective?

John Hueston, Hueston Hennigan LLP

A: There is no case that is categorically more or less suited for mediation. There are circumstances, however, that affect the readiness of parties to resolve a case, most notably a feeling by one party that better information will lead to more informed resolution. A skillful mediator must extract and address each impediment to resolution.

Q: Do you ever ask to meet only with the principals (without their lawyers) during mediations? If so, under what circumstances do you want to proceed this way? Are principals-only meetings helpful?

Brad Brian, Munger, Tolles & Olson

A: Lawyers are such an important part of the process that leaving them out of any part of the conversation deprives the mediator of their valuable contributions. I welcome their involvement and enlist them, not to abandon their respective clients, but to assist clients to see the benefits of a mediated solution.

Q: What are the techniques you use when the parties have reached a seeming impasse?

Jennifer Keller, Keller Anderle LLP

A: An impasse is just one of the many kinds of barriers that arises in mediation. When the parties are presented with an impasse, I invite the parties to agree on why there is an impasse. If successful in reaching agreement on that, I invite them to agree on what needs to be done to overcome the impasse. From there I invite them to agree on ... and so it goes.


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