• Available in Northern California
  • Available for Mediation, Arbitration, and Private Judging assignments


Herman Papa is a highly experienced trial attorney representing both plaintiffs and defendants for over 40 years in state and federal court.

Since 2006, he has dedicated his career to serving as a Neutral in all types of serious personal injury cases and landlord-tenant litigation, real estate contract litigation, employment law cases, commercial contract litigation, professional liability and government entity litigation.

Leading members for both plaintiff and defense trial bars have been profuse in their expressions of confidence and satisfaction of Mr. Papa's genuine insight, patience and skill in grasping the key issues of their cases, understanding the position of their clients and showing outstanding skill at motivating parties to collaborate for successful settlement of their disputes.

One leading trial lawyer said "Mr. Papa was able to assist the parties in resolving our case using his persuasive demeanor, his ability to get to the heart of the matter, and his tremendous knowledge and experience of the reality of the courtroom."




Experience Summary

Legal Career

  • Law Offices of Herman D. Papa, a plaintiff trial practice representing clients for personal injury damages (1982-2009)
  • Associate, Boccardo, Blum, Niland, Teerlink & Bell, plaintiff trial practice in products liability, aviation, Jones Act, FELA, LHWA cases, construction defect cases, medical and dental malpractice cases (1967-1982)
  • Deputy City Attorney, City & County of San Francisco, defense practice focused in civil litigation involving public property, Municipal Railway, school property, police and firefighter conduct, public school supervision, Juvenile Court proceedings.

Education & Professional Affiliations

  • BA University of San Francisco (1958)
  • J.D. Lincoln University Law School (1963
  • Approved Neutral Arbitrator, Kaiser Permanente (2014 -present)
  • Certified Arbitrator Bar Association of San Francisco (2014-present)
  • Rosenberg school of Dispute Resolution, Intensive Mediation Training (2006)
  • Bar Association of San Francisco Mediation Services Panel (2006-present)
  • Mediation Services Panel San Francisco Bay Area Superior Courts
  • American Board of Trial Advocates
  • CA State Bar
  • Consumer Advocates of CA
  • San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association

Hobbies & Interests

Golf, cycling, educational and non-profit advisory work.

Legal Experience

  • All types of personal injury cases including private and governmental parties
  • Professional, medical dental and legal malpractice
  • Product liability
  • Premises liability
  • Motor vehicle accidents including highway design defect
  • Construction defect cases resulting in personal injury
  • Property damage
  • Commercial contract
  • Real estate contract
  • Employment law
  • Elder Abuse
  • Probate, trust and estate

Representative Case Information

Recent Representative Cases


Complex Commercial

  • Commercial bank loan litigation, loan dispute, counterclaim for fraud, reformation of contract.
  • Major commercial contract dispute, fraud allegations, substantial contract damages, punitive damage allegations - confidential settlement


  • Attorney/client fee dispute, dispute of terms of HOA contract, attorney malpractice, State Bar ethics violation charges - confidential settlement.
  • Atty/client fee dispute, breach of HOA agreement, attorney malpractice, charges of State Bar ethics violations. Confidential settlement.
  • Lawsuit by private creditor-lender for real estate investment seeking repayment of loan. Allegations of fraud against real estate broker-borrower.
  • Atty/client fee dispute, collection of unpaid attorney's fees for probate work, counterclaim for attorney malpractice.


Construction Defects

  • Multi-party construction contract litigation, performance default, loan foreclosure, multi cross-complaints for indemnity.



  • Employment law, wrongful termination, racial discrimination, sexual harassment, punitive damages.


Property Damage

  • Property damage claim against auto manufacturer for manufacturing design defect, component parts defense.

Professional Malpractice

Professional Malpractice Legal

  • Attorney malpractice, employment law/wrongful termination, State Bar ethics violations. Confidential Settlement.


General Negligence

  • Traumatic brain injury case asserting negligent supervision of bar, restaurant, dance club, 11 parties in interest, multiple cross-compiaints.

Personal Injury

  • Traumatic brain injury, premises liability, commercial entertainment venue, substantiai damages.
  • Auto collision, supermarket parking lot. Complaint for bodily injuries and permanent disability.

PI Assault and Battery

  • Premises liability, commercial entertainment venue, public entity liability, substantial damages, punitive damages, multi-party cross-complaints.
  • Premises liability, negligent handling of troublesome customer, traumatic brain injury, skull fracture, substantial damages.

PI Auto

  • MVA litigation seeking personal injury damages.
  • MVA, Plaintiff lawsuit seeking personal injury damages.
  • Motor vehicle - pedestrian injury lawsuit. Plaintiff seeking bodily injury damages, loss of income.
  • Public entity liability, highway design defect, substantial personal injury damages.
  • Injury to child on private school premises, personal injury damages of minor.
  • Governmental entity liability. Design defect of State highway. Severe multiple injuries and permanent disability of Plaintiff.
  • MVA for bodily injury damages. Allegations of comparative negligence.
  • Auto/motorcycle collision, negligence, comparative negligence, bodily injury damages.
  • MVA bodily injuries, special and general damages, comparative negligence.
  • Death case involving auto/pedestrian with limited insurance coverage. Settlement terms negotiated with future payment schedule from personal assets of defendant and security documentation.
  • Case involved emotionally charged atmosphere as Plaintiff/Attorney was faced with defense evidence that would jeopardize his license if turned over to the State Bar. Plaintiff's attorney had client control difficulty. The mediation atmosphere was highly charged and demanded carefully controlled communications by the Mediator.

Product Liability

  • Product liability, negligence, multi-party cross/complaints, catastrophic injuries, multiple defenses.
  • Traumatic amputation of thumb and finger dominant hand design defect and breach of warranty allegations.

Wrongful Death

  • Case of complex medical causation issues. Plaintiff was a 42-year-old with chronic pre-existing degenerative spine and right hip seeking to recover damages in present lawsuit for aggravation of pre-existing condition resulting in surgery to replace right hip and future surgery to stabilize fractured L-3 vertebra.

Downtown Los Angeles

601 S. Figueroa
Ste 4000
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Phone: 213.223.1113
Fax      : 213.223.1114

Los Angeles Mediation

West Los Angeles

11601 Wilshire Blvd
Ste 2040
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Phone: 310.442.2100
Fax      : 310.442.2125

Mediators Los Angeles

San Diego

402 W. Broadway
Ste 2400
San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: 619.814.1966
Fax      : 619.814.1967

San Diego Mediation

Santa Ana

1851 East First Street
Ste 1600
Santa Ana, CA 92705
Phone: 714.834.1340
Fax      : 714.834.1344

Orange County Mediation

San Francisco

100 Pine Street
Ste 1950
San Francisco, CA 94111
Phone: 415.266.1242
Fax      : 415.266.1243

San Francisco Mediation


980 9th Street
Suite 2200
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916.394.8490
Fax      : 916.394.8495

Sacramento Mediation