Hon. Maria-Elena James has served on the bench for a remarkable thirty years, first as a Civil and Family Law Commissioner with the San Francisco Superior Court, and later for twenty-four years as a United States Magistrate Judge with the Northern District of California. She further served as the Chief Magistrate Judge of the Northern District for three years. In 2010, she was honored with the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association’s “Federal Jurist of the Year” award.
Known for her professionalism and even-handed temperament, Judge James conducted thousands of settlement conferences as a Magistrate Judge and became highly regarded for her ability to settle disputes. Previously, as a Family Law Commissioner, she had established a formal program of procedures for settlements. Judge James also served as the Northern District’s ADR Magistrate Judge, where she was in charge of coordinating the alternative dispute resolution program with the Court.
“On behalf of my team, we also thank you for your efforts. Mediation is always a long day and we truly appreciated your attention to detail, and your humor.”
“Judge James was terrific. She was efficient, candid, firm, clearly understood the issues and nuances, and was easy to communicate with. I look forward to the opportunity to work with her again.”
“Judge James may be the best mediator I’ve ever used. She deftly handled an extremely difficult opposing counsel and emotional/sensitive issues. I am so grateful for her hard work in this challenging case.”
“Judge James and her coordinator Sydney were wonderful in every imaginable way. I will be seeking to resolve other cases with this judge.”
“One of the best mediators I have used”
“Judge James was very effective in helping resolve the matter. I would definitely use her in the future based on this experience. I liked that she provided suggestions regarding brackets”