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Rebecca Westerfield

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United States - CA
Mediation Profile

Hon. Rebecca Westerfield (Ret.) has settled and arbitrated thousands of domestic cases and cross-border disputes throughout the United States. A full-time JAMS panelist since 1992, Judge Westerfield is widely perceived as a tenacious mediator. She is included on the "National Mediators" List, Chambers USA (2019), where she is noted as being at the "cutting edge of the field" by peers. Her extensive experience includes complex, multi-party, multi-issue cases with underlying insurance coverage disputes. She is particularly adept at dealing with matters that involve cross-cultural dynamics and high emotional content, such as business dissolutions, catastrophic personal injury litigation and family estate matters. Parties have included Fortune 500 companies and other publicly owned corporations, Silicon Valley entities and multinational corporations.

  • Judge Westerfield’s successful ADR practice includes both arbitration and mediation of accounting, financial markets, banking, business/commercial, civil rights, class action/mass tort, employment, entertainment, estates/probate/trusts, franchises, government public agencies, health care, insurance, personal injury, professional liability, real property and securities matters
  • Continually recognized as an ADR leader in California and beyond by publications such as Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, The California Daily Journal and the National Law Journal
  • Presenter on mediation and ADR-related topics in Europe and Asia as well as serving as an adjunct at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law

Representative Matters:

Arbitrated multiple matters involving ICDR and JAMS International Arbitration Rules

Mediated disputes among Middle Eastern rival religious sects over real property held in the U.S.

Mediated or arbitrated disputes regarding buy-sell agreements of businesses in Russia and India

Mediated disputes between manufacturers in Hong Kong, Thailand and India and distributors in U.S.

Mediated claims by American manufacturers involving suppliers from India.

Mediated numerous personal injury cases involving residents outside the U.S.

Frequently mediating cases involving British and European continental based insurance companies

Successfully mediated an international breach of contract dispute involving a Turkish company and Turkish law. The case also involved issues due to the fact that a component of the product was produced in India and banking was done in Thailand.

Mediated an international breach of contract case involving Dubai bankruptcy law and the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards

Handled a dispute between American developers and a Caribbean sovereignty over the development of housing and a high-end resort

Successfully resolved a dispute related to a joint venture between a German manufacturing company and closely held US corporation over product development

Mediated multiple contract disputes with various European manufacturers

Mediated a case with claims related to Central American energy sources

Successfully resolved tort claims arising out of purported use of pharmaceuticals manufactured in Japan

Mediated complex business dispute involving a dissolution of an Asian partnership with multi million dollar real estate holdings in both the US and India

Mediated employment dispute involving US immigrant from Eastern Europe who allegedly harassed employees. Case involved sensitive cross-cultural issues

Successfully resolved numerous employment matters with companies based in Europe and Asia.

Visit for more detailed profiles by practice area as well.

Judge Westerfield uses both the facilitative and evaluative style in her mediations. She is known for her ability to grasp legal and factual issues quickly, as well as reading the personalities involved. She is particularly adept at dealing with matters that involve cross-cultural dynamics and high emotional content. Judge Westerfield manages the ADR process efficiently and fairly. Judge Westerfield is noted for her effectiveness in settling litigation with high emotional content, such as reorganization of closely-held businesses, dissolution of professional practices, serious personal injury and wrongful death claims, and family estate disputes.

Accounting, financial markets, banking, business/commercial, civil rights, class action/mass tort, employment, entertainment, estates/probate/trusts, franchise, government public agency, health care, insurance, personal injury, professional liability, real property, securities.

Please contact my Case Manager:
Melissa Ornstil
Two Embarcadero Center
Suite 1500
San Francisco, CA 94111
T: 415-774-2600
F: 415-982-5287
[email protected]

  • Serves on ADR panel for the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California
  • Appointed Judge, Circuit Court of Jefferson Co., Kentucky (court of general jurisdiction), 1987-1992
  • Admitted to Bar of United States Supreme Court, 6th and 9th Circuit Courts of Appeals
  • Active member, State Bar of California
  • Elected Fellow, College of Commercial Arbitrators
  • Included on the "National Mediators" List, Chambers USA, 2019
  • Recognized, Mediation, Who's Who Legal: California, 2019
  • "Top Master," Daily Journal Top California Neutrals List, 2013
  • "Top California Neutral," Daily Journal, 2002-2011 (since the inception of the recognition)
  • Best Lawyer, Alternative Dispute Resolution Category, Best Lawyers in America, 2008-2015, and Northern California Super Lawyer, 2008, 2010-2015
  • Best Lawyer in the Bay Area, San Francisco Business Times, 2009
  • One of the Top Three Best Neutrals in the Bay Area, The Recorder, 2007
  • One of the 500 Leading Judges in America, by Lawdragon Magazine, 2006
  • Distinguished Mediator of the Year, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, 2003
  • One of the Top 10 Mediators in the Bay Area, The Recorder, 2002
  • Member, Advisory Council to the ABA International Human Rights Center, 2011-2014, and Advisory Board U.C. Berkeley School of Law, Human Rights Center, 2009-present
  • Member, ArbitralWomen, 2019
  • Member, National Association of Women Judges, International Association of Women Judges, ABA Women in Dispute Resolution Committee
  • Member, International Academy of Trial Judges, Northern California International Arbitration Committee
  • Chair of the Bar Association of San Francisco’s International Human Rights Committee, 2009-2011
  • Member, American Bar Association House of Delegates, 1987-1991, 1996-2008
  • Board of Directors, Bar Association of San Francisco, 1994-1997
  • Chair, American Bar Association Section on Individual Rights and Responsibilities, 1994-1995
  • Community Involvement: President and Co-Founder of RockRose Institute, 2004-2014 Trustee of the World Affairs Council, San Francisco, 2011-present Advisory Board Facing History and Ourselves, 2009-present Board of Directors, Danny Weinstein Youth Foundation, 2004-present Board of Trustees, Town School for Boys, 2011-2014 Leadership Council, Convergence (Washington, D.C.), 2013-present, Board Member, 2015-present

For further information, visit

Please contact my Case Manager:
Melissa Ornstil
Two Embarcadero Center
Suite 1500
San Francisco, CA 94111
T: 415-774-2600
F: 415-982-5287
[email protected]

Training and Education

Masters in Liberal Arts, Stanford University, 2008

J.D., University of Kentucky, 1975 (Law Journal, National Moot Court Team)

B.A., University of Kentucky with distinction, 1972

Participant, International Human Rights Summer School, Oxford University-New College 2004.

  • Advisor; Center for Advanced Mediation Practice; Bangalore, India; 2018
  • Presenter; Bangalore Chamber of Commerce, Conclave on Alternative Dispute Resolution; Bangalore, India; 2015, 2016
  • Presenter; USA/Italy Dialogue on Judicial Reform: Alternative Dispute Resolution; Rome, Italy; 2016
  • Presenter, Mediation, University of Southern California Gould School of Law School, 2018
  • Co-Chair, Global Pound Conference, International Mediation Institute (Northern California), 2016–2017
  • Presenter, USC/JAMS Arbitration Institute Symposium: Advanced Arbitration Academy, Los Angeles, 2016
  • Presenter; Admont International Summer School on Business Mediation; Admont, Austria; 2006, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016
  • Adjunct Professor, University of California Berkeley School of Law Lecturer, Stanford Law School
  • Presenter, ABA Asia Pacific Summit on Mediation, New Delhi, India, 2015
  • Trainer, ADR for Supreme Court of India (Delhi), High Court of Bangalore 2013
  • Adjunct Professor, University of California, Berkeley, School of Law
  • Lecturer, Stanford Law School

Co-authored the ADR chapter of CEB's Wrongful Termination Practice 2ed. (1997).

"Enduring Optimism," ADR Profile, Daily Journal, June 28, 2013.


JAMS Mediators Ethics Guidelines.

IMI Professional Conduct Assessment Process.

Provided through JAMS.

Rebecca Westerfield
Two Embarcadero Center, Suite 1500
San Francisco
United States