Hon. James R. Trembath (Ret.)



  • Served on the Contra Costa Superior Court for 13 years.
  • Supervising Civil Fast Track Judge.


  • J.D.     Hastings College of Law
  • B.A.     University of California, Berkeley


  • Supervising Civil Judge
  • Trial, Case Management, Law in Motion and Settlement Judge on Civil Fast Track (8 years)
  • Appellate Department Supervising Judge and Appellate Department Judge
  • Felony Criminal and Family Law
  • Varied cases including Juvenile
  • In conjunction with the Contra Costa Bar Association, organized and presided over new bench-bar settlement program
  • Extensive work with Contra Costa ADR programs
  • Served as ADR Chairman, with ADR Director, implemented the EMP (Early Mediation program) piloted by Contra Costa County Superior Court.  Attended various AOC program ADR conferences.

Judicial Experience

  • Superior Court Judge: Thirteen Years
  • Appointed and then reelected twice without opposition

Trial Experience

Extensive jury and court trial experience including, but not limited to, the following: personal injury, medical, dental, and other professional malpractice and other tort matters, construction defect, class actions, employment, real estate (including environmental, land use, etc.) business (including high tech, and B&P 17200 matters), elder abuse, educational law, civil rights, insurance coverage, and indemnity.

Law Practice

TREMBATH, McCABE, SCHWARTZ, EVANS, LEVY & DAWE as founding senior partner.  Initially engaged in general law practice, including personal injury with emphasis on Real Estate, and later specialized in Real Estate Transactions & Litigation and Business & Bank Litigation representing both plaintiffs and defendants.
Served as a prosecutor for the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office.

Special Training

  • Master’s Forum Invitational (Mediation)
    • Pepperdine University.
  • Advanced Dispute Resolution for Judges
    • California Judicial Education and Research (CJER)
  • John Paul Jones Mediation Seminar
    • National Judicial College
    • Reno, Nevada
  • Mediation Seminar
    • California Judicial Education and Research (CJER)
  • Straus Dispute Resolution Training Seminar

    • Pepperdine University


Co-author of “Real Estate Litigation”

California Civil Practice, Thomson Reuters (Was Westgroup (Bancroft-Whitney)
From Inception to Present



Teaching and Lecturing

  • “Mediation in the Courts”
    • National Judicial College
  • Panel Member, Judicial Council proposed New Jury Instructions Seminar
    • Association of Defense Counsel of Northern California and Nevada
  • “Judicial Settlement Conferences”
    • Contra Costa Bench Bar Panel
  • “Mediation Training”

    • California Judicial Education and Research (CJER)

    • Monterey, California

  • “Judicially Supervised Settlement Conferences”

    • “MCLE Spectacular”

  • “Judicial Settlement and Mediation”

    • Superior Court Bench

    • Martinez, California

Awards and Memberships

  • Judge of the Year
    Alameda-Contra Costa Trial Lawyer’s Association
  • Ingram-Inn of Court

Representative Cases