Hon. Margaret Kemp (Ret.)


Judge Kemp has had a distinguished judicial career spanning over 25 years, and was the first woman appointed to the San Mateo Superior Court.  Creative and involved, she is known for her innovations that were instituted in the courts, including some procedures that are literally named after her.  For the last four years of her judicial tenure Judge Kemp served as the Settlement Judge for San Mateo, handling all of the Mandatory Settlement Conferences. Having joined ADR Services, Inc. in 2005, Judge Kemp has resolved thousands of matters through her mediation and arbitration practice.

Judicial Experience

1987-2004 Judge, San Mateo County Superior Court

1978-1987 Judge, San Mateo County Municipal Court

Types of cases handled include:

  • Commercial and Business Disputes
  • Personal Injury
  • Intellectual Property
  • Malpractice
    • Medical
    • Dental
    • Legal
    • Accounting
  • Employment
    • Wrongful Termination
    • Discrimination
  • Real Estate
  • Business and Partnership Dissolution
  • Fraud & Lemon Law
  • Class Actions
  • Church Matters including abuse of Children
  • Domestic Abuse
  • Eminent Domain
  • Land Use
  • Neighbor Disputes over Real Property
  • Will and Trust Contests
  • Elder Abuse
  • Construction Defect

Professional Career

  • 1976-1978 Private Law Practice at Thirkell, Pierpoint and Kemp
  • 1972-1976 San Mateo District Attorney’s Office – Deputy District Attorney – Founded Consumer Fraud Division


  • 1971 University of California at Berkeley – Boalt Hall School of Law
  • 1966 University of California at Berkeley – Masters in Political Science
  • 1965 University of Illinois – Bachelors of Science in Education

ADR Training

  • 2010   Straus Institute – Mediating in the Red Zone
  • 2006   Straus Institute – Mediating the Complex Case
  • 2004   Straus Institute – 3 day training session on Advanced Mediation Techniques
  • 2002   CJER – 3 day Advanced Mediation Training
  • 2000   CJER – 5 day training session on Mediation

Professional Activities and Memberships

  • Member, California Judges Association
    • Executive Board (1981-1983)
    • Secretary Treasurer (1982-1983)
  • Chair, Municipal Courts Committee
  • Member, Judicial Ethics Committee
  • Member, National Association of Women Judges
  • Member, San Mateo County Bar Association Board of Governors
  • Member, Private Defender Panel
  • Appointed, San Mateo County Drug and Alcohol Abuse and Advisory Board
  • Recipient, California Judge of the Year as presented by the California Correction, Parole and Probation Officers Association.

Representative Cases