After almost 29 years practicing law and 11 years on the Alameda County Superior Court, John True is now a full-time mediator, arbitrator and fact-finder. He is also a part-time adjunct law professor. Although his primary experience has been in the field of labor and employment law, he has also handled a wide variety of other cases including contract disputes, torts, property matters, malpractice cases (both medical and legal) and construction defect cases. A brief summary of his experience and qualifications follows:
Alternative Dispute Resolution Experience
While on the bench and after his retirement from the bench, Judge True has mediated cases in a wide variety of practice areas including:
- Employment, including class actions;
- Labor disputes;
- Business disputes including commercial sales, business agreements, and others;
- Personal injury cases;
- Professional liability, including medical and legal malpractice claims;
- Trade secrets and non-competition litigation; and
- Real estate.
While on the Alameda County Superior Court, Judge True held settlement conferences in hundreds of civil cases, most of which resolved successfully. In 2005, he was asked by the Court to lead its Alternative Dispute Resolution Administration Committee, which he did until his retirement. As Chair of the ADR Committee, Judge True helped to develop and implement the Court’s successful Court Mediation Program for civil cases. Local rules and procedures were modified to encourage mediation, and a panel of mediators willing to volunteer time to help settle civil cases was developed. The Program is now the centerpiece of the Court’s ADR program. Judge True also helped to develop and inaugurate a Discovery Facilitation Program, now widely used to resolve discovery disputes before motion practice is required.
Since he left the bench, Judge True has been an active arbitrator in employment and labor disputes. In addition to being available as a private mediator and arbitrator, Judge True serves as a mediator and discovery facilitator on the Alameda County panel he helped to create. He is also a panel mediator and Early Neutral Evaluation Program Evaluator for the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California’s ADR Program.
- Current – Mediator, Arbitrator, Referee, ADR Services, Inc.
- 2003 – 2015 Judge, Superior Court of California, Alameda County
Served as civil trial judge from 2008 – 2015
Appellate Division for four years, including one year as Presiding Judge
Conducted settlement conferences in hundreds of civil cases
- 1975 – 2003 Employment Litigator
Handled labor and employment cases in state and federal courts, including individual and class action cases in the state and federal trial courts, before administrative agencies and at the appellate levelMediated, arbitrated, served as a neutral fact-finder, and provided expert witness and consulting services in employment matters
- 2000 – 2003 Partner, Leonard Carder
- 1994 – 2000 Partner, Rudy, Exelrod, Zieff & True
- 1985 – 1993 Senior Staff Attorney, San Francisco Legal Aid Society – Employment Law Center
- 1979 – 1985 Partner, True, Wetzel, Colton & Fouts
- 1975 – 1979 Field Attorney, National Labor Relations Board
- 1966 – 1972 United States Peace Corps
Deputy Peace Corps Director in Afghanistan (1969 – 1972)
Peace Corps Fellow in Washington, D.C. (1968 – 1969)
Peace Corps Volunteer in Nepal (1966 – 1968)
- 1975 – University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley Law School (Boalt Hall), J.D.
- 1966 – Trinity College, B.A. in History
- Member, Alameda County Bar Association
- Member and Past Chair, Bar Association of San Francisco, Labor & Employment Law Section
- Member and Past Chair, California State Bar, Labor & Employment Law Section
- Member, Advisory Board, Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice (Boalt Hall)
- Member, Advisory Board, Berkeley High School Student Court
- Member and Past Chair, Civil Justice Reform Act Advisory Group, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
- Past Member (1998 – 2001), California State Bar, Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution
- Past Lawyer Representative (1988 – 1992), Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference
- Member, American Law Institute (elected 2009)
- Fellow, College of Labor & Employment Lawyers (elected 2001)
- Recently published “Collective Bargaining To Crowdsourcing: Taxi Drivers In Transition,” 29 Cal. Lab. & Empl. Rev. No 6, p. 1 (2015).
- From 1993 to 2003, authored a bi-monthly employment law column titled “Point of View” in Matthew Bender’s California Employment Law Reporter (LEXIS Law Publishing).
- Wrote regularly on employment law topics for CEB’s Civil Litigation Reporter and the California State Bar Labor & Employment Law Section Quarterly.
- Co-author of California Employment Litigation: Strategy and Tactics (LEXIS Law Publishing, 1999, now in third edition).
- Wrote or edited chapters of several major employment law treatises including California Employment Law (Matthew Bender)(author of Chapter 51); Employment Discrimination Law (BNA)(contributing editor, Chapters 20 and 26); and Wrongful Employment Termination Practice (CEB)(co-author of Chapter 2, “Discrimination Claims”).