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Litigation & Arbitration

Nov. 8, 2017

Hon. James Kleinberg (Ret.)


Kleinberg james online

Bay Area

Antitrust, Arbitration, Business/Commercial, Class Action/Mass Tort, Employment, Financial Markets, Insurance, Intellectual Property, Securities

Hon. James Kleinberg (Ret.) brings a unique set of experiences to the ranks of full-time JAMS neutrals: federal prosecutor, national and international litigator for more than 33 years, and California Superior Court judge for more than 11 years, the last three of which presiding over the Santa Clara Court's Complex Civil Litigation Department. He was named 2014 "Judge of the Year" by the Santa Clara County Trial Lawyers Association, and received the 2013 "Outstanding Jurist" award from the Santa Clara County Bar Association. He was one of the founders of the Early Neutral Evaluation program for the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California. That Court appointed him to be its first Co-Ombudsperson in 2014.

As a neutral at JAMS Judge Kleinberg arbitrates and mediates corporate dissolutions, construction defect, patent licensing, executive employment, contract, trade secret, real estate, and personal injury cases. He's been called upon to participate in mock appellate arguments, law and motion matters, and trials - all to provide counsel with judicial insights.

His 33-plus years of private practice included numerous complex cases involving commercial disputes, class actions, securities, antitrust and trade regulation, and intellectual property issues in state and federal courts throughout the nation, as well as Canada, Europe, and Asia. These cases included the representation of high technology companies, brokerage and accounting firms, agencies of foreign governments, inside and outside directors, sports teams and leagues, and individuals in SEC investigations. His private practice included domestic and international arbitration. He is a regular panelist on trial practice and ADR programs for California and local bar associations, PLI, ABA, ABTL and the Sedona Conference.

Judge Kleinberg's experience on the bench included complex civil matters, acting as settlement judge in dozens of cases. He was supervising judge of the court's civil division, as well as presiding over jury and court trials, law and motion, and discovery issues.

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

Q: Do you come to the arbitration prepared to split the baby or fairly call balls and strikes?
-- Patricia Glaser, Glaser Weil Fink Howard Avchen & Shapiro LLP

A: I never approach an arbitration to "split the baby." I believe that is improper, just as when I was on the bench.

Q: Since, in most arbitrations, the arbitral panel is not required to strictly follow the rules of evidence, how does a panel decide just how rigorous (or lax) to be with the receipt of evidence in a case?
-- Roman Silberfeld, Robins Kaplan LLP

A: Every case is different, of course, and the arbitrator's experience as a trial lawyer and/or judge gives one a sense of what is relevant and useful. But arbitrators err on the side of admission rather than exclusion.

Q: Arbitration was long thought to be a more efficient and cost effective means of resolving disputes. However, arbitrations increasingly resemble civil litigation in court, with extensive discovery, discovery motions, pretrial motions in limine, etc. In some particularly complex cases, that may be appropriate. Do you agree, and what can be done to return to a more streamlined approach to arbitration?
-- John Hueston, Hueston Hennigan LLP

A: The Arbitrator has to take control through case management conferences, setting forth his/her rules and practices, asking tough questions of counsel, putting limits on presentation times. The complex civil case program in the California Superior Court has ideas in this regard.


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