Neutral Profile



  • Based in Northern California, available in All of California
  • Available for Mediation, Arbitration, and Private Judging assignments


Diana Kruze is a full-time mediator, arbitrator, and discovery referee, focusing on business, contract, intellectual property, technology, and health care. She has successfully resolved multi-million-dollar cases around the world and has extensive subject matter expertise in eDiscovery, IP infringement (trade secret, copyright, and patent), biotech and pharmaceuticals, licensing, data breach/cybersecurity, telecommunications, and satellite technology.

Prior to becoming a neutral, Diana was a litigation partner with the leading international law firm of Morrison & Foerster, where she tried and settled complex disputes in all areas of business, civil rights, health care, and technology law. She was then appointed as a full-time judicial officer with the California Superior Court, where she presided over thousands of civil cases and discovery matters. As a former judicial officer, Diana has hands-on experience helping parties resolve their disputes and crafting well-reasoned legal opinions after careful consideration of all arguments and the governing law.

Continuing her work with the courts, Diana was appointed to the California Access to Justice Commission, where she is currently spearheading an initiative to help landlords and tenants access COVID rental assistance and settle their disputes. The Access Commission is designing and implementing a new mediation program to help settle as many of these cases in advance so that both landlords and tenants can take advantage of rental assistance funds and avoid going to court.

Diana has earned a reputation for fairness, thorough preparation, and the ability to effectively harness technology to work towards party-driven solutions. Moreover, Diana’s warm and friendly demeanor, combined with her direct and persistent approach, provides a solid foundation for the candid dialogue required to achieve resolution. As one of Diana’s former colleagues on the bench remarked, “What makes Diana truly special is her ability to combine her book smarts with people smarts. Diana has a way of connecting with people that cannot be taught.” As an attorney commented, “Diana excels at brokering deals. She works well with counsel and has shown a flair for coming up with creative solutions to help move settlement discussions forward.”

Practice Areas

  • Complex Business/Contractual
  • Construction
  • Healthcare
  • Insurance
  • Intellectual Property
  • Real Estate
  • Personal Injury

Hobbies & Interests

Diana enjoys fly-fishing, exploring Golden Gate Park with her dogs: Bulldozer and Tiny, trying hole-in-the-wall restaurants. She is a (very unsuccessful) poker player and likes to binge-watch Netflix and Hulu. She makes mid-century modern dollhouse furniture and miniatures. She boxes, plays the violin, and searches for dinosaur bones with her three children. She also has a serious weakness for shoes.


Experience Summary

Legal Career

  • Full Time Neutral, Judicate West (Present)
  • Mediator, Arbitrator & Discovery Referee, ADR by Diana (Present)
  • Adjunct Professor, University of California, Hastings College of the Law (2016-Present)
  • Commissioner, California Superior Court, Contra Costa County (2019-2020)
  • Judge Pro Tem, California Superior Court, San Francisco (2016-2019)
  • Morrison & Foerster, Litigation Department, Associate (2006-2015); Partner (2016-2019)
  • Law Clerk for Chief Judge James Ware, Federal Clerkship, Northern District of California (2010-2011)

Education & Professional Affiliations

  • J.D. Hastings College of the Law, magna cum laude (2006)
  • B.A. New York University (2001)
  • ADR Training, California Superior Court New Judges Training & Orientation (2019)
  • Arbitrator Training, American Arbitration Association (2021)
  • Higginbotham Fellowship Training, American Arbitration Association (2016)
  • U.C. Berkeley Conflict Resolution & Mediation Program (2017)
  • Discovery Referee & Settlement Judge Pro Tem Training, San Francisco Superior Court (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019)
  • President Elect and Board Member of Jewish Bar Association of San Francisco, 2017-current (presidency beginning 2021)
  • Appointed to California Access to Justice Commission (2021-Current)
  • Pro Tem Judge, San Francisco Superior Court (Discovery, Appeals, Traffic & Mediation) (2016-2019)
  • Appointed by Mayor of San Francisco to Citizen’s Committee on Community Development (2017-2019)
  • Fundraising Chair and Board Member, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights (2016-2019)
  • Secretary and Board Member of the Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF), Barristers Club (2014-2016)
  • President of Board of Directors of Playmates Cooperative Nursery School (2016-2018)
  • Board member of Executive Committee, Intellectual Property Section, BASF (2016-2019)
  • Firm Chair of Champions of Diversity, Bay Area Urban Debate League (2011-2019)
  • Member of California Judges Association, National Association of Women’s Judges, International Association of LGBT Judges, Bar Association of San Francisco, ABA, Queen’s Bench, California Women Lawyers, & BALIF

Achievements & Awards

  • “Teacher of the Year” Award, LWR Department, U.C. Hastings (2019)
  • “Legal Lion” Award by Law360 (2018)
  • “Intellectual Property Trailblazer” Award by the National Law Journal (2017)
  • “Inspiring Role Model in Promoting Gender Diversity” Award Finalist by Chambers (2017)
  • “Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40” Award by the National LGBT Bar Association (2017)
  • “Copyright Litigation Lawyer of the Year in California” Award by Corporate INTL Magazine (2017)
  • “Top 40 Attorneys Under 40” Award by the Daily Journal (2016)
  • Inducted into the Fellowship of the American Bar Foundation (2016)
  • “A. Leon Higginbotham Fellow” by the American Arbitration Association (2016)
  • “Rising Star” in Northern California for six years in a row by Super Lawyers Magazine (2013-2018)
  • “Barrister of the Year” Award by the Bar Association of San Francisco (2013)

Legal Experience

  • Complex Business/Contractual
  • Construction
  • Healthcare
  • Insurance
  • Intellectual Property
  • Real Estate
  • Personal Injury

Recent Representative Cases