Judge James C. Emerson (Ret.) served 20 years on the Santa Clara County Superior Courts. Well known for his thoughtfulness, judicial demeanor, and commitment to resolving complex disputes. Judge Emerson was recognized by the Trial Lawyers in 2010 as the Judge of the Year and by the Town of Los Gatos and the City of San Jose in 2011 for his commitment to justice and the voluntary resolution of cases.
As a mediator, Judge Emerson is known for his thorough preparation and ability to listen attentively to diverse views and legal positions. His unique background in government and school law cases has proved a valuable asset to the distinguished panel of ADR neutrals.
As a full time neutral since 2010, Judge Emerson has conducted mediations and arbitrations with emphasis in the following areas: personal injury including coverage issues and brain injury cases, employment, school law and Government issues including First Amendment, executive compensation, construction, Brown Act and zoning regulations, real estate, banking, finance, and foreclosure law. He has conducted settlement conferences in hundreds of matters including serious personal injury cases involving the State of California and its obligation to construct and maintain safe and well-designed roadways.
1993 – 2010 Judge of the Superior Court, Santa Clara County
Civil Team Leader: Law and Motion, Settlement Conferences, and Case Management, 2008 and 2009
Civil Trials, 2007 – 2008
Supervising Criminal Judge, 2005 – 2006
1990-1993 Judge of the Municipal Court, San Jose
Civil Supervisor, November 1992 to March 1993
Criminal assignments, January 1990 to November 1992
1985-1990 Deputy County Counsel
Represented school districts, Registrar of Voters, the Sheriff, and the Department of Corrections
1974-1985 Private practice
Emphasizing personal injury, estates and small business formation
2009 & 1998 Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University
1998 40 hours overview of Alternative Dispute Resolution
2009 20 hours overview of techniques of ADR