With a legal career encompassing over three decades of combined legal experience in mediation, settlement, and litigation, Robert Jacobs brings his wealth of experience to Judicate West as a neutral. As a successful litigator for 30 years, he represented individuals and companies in civil litigation for both plaintiffs and defendants. Robert developed the ability to quickly identify the ‘tipping points’ of a case - those key factual and legal issues on which cases turn. After becoming a skilled expert in resolving matters through litigation and trial, he gained valuable experience in achieving resolution through mediation and negotiation. Robert has privately mediated and arbitrated all types of matters for the past six years in a variety of civil disputes.

In addition to his impressive track record of settling cases, Robert is admired for his passion for ADR and dedication to the legal community. He has served as Chair of the ADR Section of the Contra Costa County Bar Association (2020) and Co-Chair of the ADR Section of the Alameda County Bar Association (2020). He also serves as a court-appointed mediator for several Bay Area counties.

Practice Areas
  • Business/Contractual
  • Construction
  • Employment
  • Insurance
  • Personal Injury including Wrongful Death
  • Probate/Trust & Estates
  • Professional Malpractice, including Medical and Dental Malpractice
  • Real Estate
Hobbies & Interests

Reading, the outdoors, listening to classical music and jazz, watching art films, and finding first-class restaurants to dine at.

Website
Legal Career
  • Full-time Neutral, Judicate West (2023-Present)
  • Associate Area Legal Counsel, Africa West Area (consisting of 17 West African Nations), The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (2022-2023)
  • Mediator/Arbitrator, Robert Jacobs (2016-2022)
  • Mediator, California Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District (2020-2023)
  • Settlement Mentor, Contra Costa County Superior Court, Settlement Mentor Program (2020-2023)
  • Attorney, Law Office of Robert B. Jacobs (1995-2022)
  • Judge Pro Tem, Contra Costa County Superior Court (1994-1997)
  • Attorney, Morgan, Miller and Blair (1991-1995)
  • Attorney, Boornazian, Jensen and Garthe (1989-1991)
  • Attorney, Burnhill, Morehouse, Burford, Schofield and Schiller (1988-1989)
  • Attorney, Salisch & Salisch (1987-1988)
Education & Professional Affiliations
  • J.D., Brigham Young University J. Reuben Clark Law School (1987)
  • B.A., Brigham Young University, cum laude (1984)
  • Member, The Mediation Society of San Francisco (2024 – present)
  • Faculty training from Harvard Law School, Program on Negotiation (PON), advanced mediation skills training (March 2024)
  • Advanced Mediation Skills Training, National Conflict Resolution Center, Sacramento (2021)
  • Mediator Training Course, California Lawyer for the Arts (2017); Served on its mediation panel (2017-2023)
  • Certificate in Mediation Skills Training, Northwest University (2016)
  • Certificate in Arbitrator Training, Bar Association of San Francisco (2016); Served on its mediation panel (2017-2022)
  • Mediator Training Course, California Association of Realtors (2015); Served on its mediation panel (2017-2021)
  • Chair, Contra Costa County Bar Association ADR Section (2020); Director (2021)
  • Co-Chair, Alameda County Bar Association ADR Executive Committee (2020); Member (2018-2020)
  • President, Tri-Valley Estate Planning Council (2017-2018); Director (2016-2019)
  • Director, Eastern Alameda County Bar Association (1995-1996)
Achievements & Awards
  • AV Peer Review Rated Martindale-Hubbell (2002-Present)
  • Designated Super Lawyer by Thomas Reuters (2014-2016, 2020-2023)
  • Charter Fellow of the Construction Lawyers Society of America (2017)
  • Authored articles in numerous publications including the Daily Journal, Contra Costa County Lawyer Magazine, and CEB (Continuing Education of the Bar)
Below is a sampling of the various matters Robert B. Jacobs, Esq. handled as a practicing attorney or neutral.

Banking/Finance

  • Mediated claims of nonpayment on a Promissory Note
  • Mediated claims of plaintiff who purchased real property at foreclosure sale and who thereafter reportedly filed a quiet title action seeking to quiet title against an encumbrancer who claimed to hold a senior lien on the property

Contractual

  • Mediated case where lender claimed debtor had wrongfully defaulted on debtor’s loan repayment obligations
  • Mediated claims involving business dealings between two brothers involving an alleged agreement to purchase real property for family members along with associated business dealings
  • Mediated claims between attorneys for alleged non-payment for legal services that had been rendered by one of the attorneys
  • Served as one of three arbitrators who rendered a decision on a claim by an attorney against a client for a seven-figure attorneys fees award
  • Mediated claims of unfair competition based on allegedly defamatory statements made on the website

Fraud/Misrepresentation

  • Mediated case where plaintiff claimed that defendant had wrongfully concealed material structural damage to motor vehicle which defendant sold to plaintiff

Constr. Defect/Real Property

  • Mediation of claims by nationwide retail chain store operator against architect for defective design of improvements that allegedly resulted in a problematic encroachment by the improvements over a public right-of-way
  • Mediated claims for defective construction, non-disclosure and defective design by the purchaser of a large single-family custom home against the seller of the home who also acted as engineer for the project

Construction Breach Of Contract

  • Mediation of claims by contractor of nonpayment by Community Services District for public works improvement constructed by contractor
  • Mediation of claims by masonry contractor for nonpayment for masonry construction services provided in connection with the construction of a bank
  • Mediated claims by a plaintiff subcontractor that a defendant contractor that had failed to pay for improvements constructed by the subcontractor at a filling station
  • Arbitrated claims that a contractor had not been paid for work performed and materials supplied to a public housing project
  • Arbitrated claim by a general contractor against an owner that the owner had failed to pay for significant tenant improvements at a restaurant
  • Mediation of claims against utility provider by sellers of real property alleging that sound levels of equipment to be installed in improvements to be constructed on the property sold were louder than as represented

Wage and Hour

  • Mediated hour and wage case where plaintiffs alleged they had been paid on a piecework basis in an auto painting facility and that legally required overtime had not been paid

Wrongful Termination

  • Mediated case for wrongful termination in violation of public policy based on claims that the plaintiff employee was terminated due to both his race and religious affiliation
  • Mediated case for wrongful termination allegedly in violation of public policy based on claims that the plaintiff was terminated due to disability and for whistleblower activity and for alleged failure by employer to engage in interactive process, failure by employer to reasonably accommodate employee, unlawful retaliation by employer for employee’s requesting reasonable accommodation, failure to provide meal periods and rest breaks, failure by employer to provide compliant wage statements and maintain payroll records, failure by employer to timely pay wages upon termination and for unlawful business practices (Business and Professions Code section 17200)

Coverage

  • Mediated claims in interpleader action filed by insurer seeking court confirmation as to property beneficiary of life insurance proceeds
  • Mediated claims in interpleader action filed by insurer seeking court confirmation as to the proper beneficiary entitled to receive fire insurance proceeds

Estates/Trusts

  • Mediated claims that a trustee had failed to fulfill their fiduciary obligations with respect to trust administration of assets; petitioner sought to have the trustee removed
  • Mediated claims that trustees of a family trust had failed to adequately abide by the trust instrument; petitioners sought to have the trustee instructed or in the alternative removed
  • Mediated claims between trust beneficiaries that one of the beneficiaries had not repaid amounts loaned by trust settlor to one of the beneficiaries after note had been assigned to the Trust
  • Mediated claims on appeal by a disinherited family member concerning disputed will and trust amendment documents
  • Mediated claims by non-married life partner to decedent’s real property and other assets, including competing petitions for appointment to administer estate as well as actions for quiet title as to decedent’s real property and unlawful detainer

Medical Mal Dental

  • Mediated claims of dental malpractice arising from a drill that became unattached during a dental procedure, thereby allegedly injuring a patient

Medical Malpractice

  • Mediated a case against a hospital and physicians where the plaintiff in the presence of acute severe pancreatitis, the defendants misdiagnosed abdominal compartment syndrome, which allegedly resulted in severe internal damage necessitating surgical removal of several organs and damage to others
  • Mediated a case where a patient claimed a physician improperly performed a knee tap

Real Property

  • Mediated claims that the seller of real property had wrongfully refused to complete a sale of real property
  • Mediated claims for quiet title based on allegations that a deed to real property had been wrongfully obtained
  • Mediated claims by tenant of commercial property against a new property owner under an existing lease after property had been sold subject to tenant’s commercial lease rights without execution of a new commercial lease
  • Mediated claims between family members concerning the management, purchase and sale of several properties, including an apartment building and a single family residence
  • Mediated case where plaintiff claimed that a commercial lease agreement included an option to buy the commercial property which was leased but that landlord had refused to honor such option and had wrongfully refused to sell such commercial property to the commercial tenant/optionee
  • Mediated claims that seller and seller’s broker failed to disclose that undeveloped property was situated on an earthquake fault like, thereby allegedly preventing Buyer from constructing a multi-unit residential building on the property
  • Mediated claims of property purchaser against seller of property for construction defects where defendant built the property and then sold it to claimant
  • Mediated claims by purchaser of real property at probate sale against broker where purchaser claimed the seller’s real estate broker had wrongfully failed to disclose that the previous owner had passed away in the property
  • Mediated claims of property purchaser against sellers for not disclosing pending formation of special services district and costs to be incurred therewith in replacing the aging infrastructure improvements in a housing development
  • Mediated case where purchasers of real property claimed that defendant sellers and their broker had wrongfully failed to disclose that a portion of the property had illegally been converted to residential use for occupancy without necessary permits
  • Mediated claims by purchaser of real property alleging that seller had wrongfully failed to disclose that several improvements had been constructed without required permits and were encroaching upon neighboring property
  • Mediated claims that real property seller failed to properly repair/disclose plumbing issues prior to close of escrow thereby resulting in substantial property damage post-closing
  • Mediated claims that seller of real property failed to properly disclose defective roofing defects which allegedly caused substantial property damage post-closing
  • Arbitrated claim by purchaser of real property for return of deposit due to alleged misrepresentation of property features followed by provision of subsequent disclosures which allegedly made material variations to the disclosures previously provided
  • Mediated claims that owners of real property had established, and were entitled to judgment affirming, that due to past history of property ownership coupled with historical use they had received an implied grant of easement over a neighboring property
  • Mediated claims of a property owner that a county highway was encroaching on his land; the relief sought included a request that the court quiet title in the property owner
  • Mediated claims in a suit for partition between partners who had purchased real property together but were unable to agree on liquidation of the asset
  • Mediated claims that San Francisco property was being improperly used as a child day-care facility.
  • Mediated case for unlawful detainer, retaliatory eviction and breach of warranty of habitability relating to a commercial property
  • Mediated Quiet Title case involving claims between neighbors concerning an easement for the use of a driveway
  • Mediated case involving the sale of real property where the property buyer alleged that the foundation and related defects in the property were not properly disclosed to the buyer
  • Mediated a case involving claims against a county sanitary district alleging damages caused by a failure in the sanitary system
  • Mediated case between neighbors and related parties involving nuisance, trespass, and lack of lateral and subjacent support based on excavations on a property that allegedly damaged the neighboring property
  • Mediated a case based on claims by the buyer for specific performance where the seller allegedly refused to convey title to real property following execution of a contract for the sale of such property
  • Mediated a case based on claims by the property owner that the general contractor materially failed to construct significant improvements which had been agreed upon
  • Mediated a partition case between co-owners of real property (based upon a joint venture or TIC agreement where the owners were Tenants in common) involving claims of mismanagement of the commonly owned property and conversion of funds

Assault and Battery

  • Mediated claims for personal injury by a plaintiff who alleged that the defendant had physically attacked him after the defendant had allegedly been found guilty of criminal assault/battery for the same incident

General Negligence

  • Mediated claims that a patient at an adult care facility had suffered personal injuries due to inadequate care by the facility

PI Auto

  • Mediated wrongful death claim where plaintiff alleged that a large tree had been improperly maintained, thus causing it to fall into traffic lanes, causing a fatal injury to a passing motorist
  • Mediated claims where the motorist alleged personal injuries and claimed that the defendant motorist failed to appropriately stop at the intersection
  • Mediated claims that a motorist who came to a full stop due to traffic congestion was wrongfully hit from behind by a second motorist, resulting in personal injuries to a stopped motorist
  • Mediated personal injury claims of driver and passenger of a big rig semi-tractor trailer when a second big rig semi-tractor trailer sideswiped the first big rig semi-tractor trailer
  • Mediated personal injury claims of driver of agricultural tractor which was rear-ended by a big rig semi-tractor trailer which was traveling at highway speed
  • Mediated personal injury claims of a pedestrian who was struck by a big rig semi-tractor trailer
  • Mediated personal injury claims of a vehicle driver against a public entity and private property owner allegedly arising from a defectively constructed storm drain, grate and catch basin which gave way underneath the driver’s vehicle and caused the driver’s airbags to deploy
  • Mediated personal injury claims of driver who suffered injuries from a broadside collision by a car overtaking a vehicle which had stopped in a traffic lane

Premises Liability

  • Mediated claims that a restaurant patron was injured after exiting a seating booth in a restaurant where the booth allegedly fell apart resulting in the patron’s fall
I have been in practice for 43 years, and I have tried over 100 jury trials. I have also mediated approximately 100 cases during my career. I spent 20 years on the bench during my career. A mediation will only succeed if the mediator has the skills to keep the parties talking and has the ability to convey the strengths and weaknesses of the case to each party. Robert Jacobs did a masterful job of that. He is the best mediator that I have had during my career. I was in awe of his skillful ability to reason with a very difficult party and a more difficult attorney in a very complex case. He came to the mediation fully prepared and ready to discuss the case without exerting his own will on the parties but bringing each party into the settlement of their own accord. I would recommend him to any litigant.
- Attorney on a Business Contractual Fraud Case
Mr. Jacobs went above and beyond to help us settle this case. He listened kindly and professionally to the client, acknowledged concerns, and worked very hard to help us settle.
- Attorney on a Probate Matters Case
Bob Jacobs is great. He is a smart and effective mediator who, in my experience, goes above and beyond the call of duty.
- Counsel for National Insurance Company
I highly recommend Bob Jacobs as a mediator, and you can probably do no better. In the cases I have had with he is fully briefed on the issues and unlike some mediators who simply go from room to room to tell the participants the problems with their cases and to get to a number, Bob Jacobs truly works with counsel and clients to gain an understanding of the issues that are most important to both and to find common ground therein. Then he can try, and in my cases with him, successfully, bring the parties together to a reasonable settlement.
- Civil Litigation Attorney
It has been said that mediators are born, not made. Robert B. Jacobs was born for it. Mr. Jacobs is smart, insightful, cheerful, pleasant to work with, and has a good sense of humor. He has also been in the trenches so he knows about what he speaks. He has a superior knack for getting down to the nub of the problem and offering creative solutions for the parties to guide themselves through to a resolution. He's on my shortlist of mediators.
- Northern California Plaintiff Attorney with Forty Years of Experience
You managed to put together a settlement on a case where settlement could not be achieved – thanks!
- Partner at a Prominent San Francisco East Bay Law Firm
Robert Jacobs, Esq.
Based in Northern California | Available in All of California
Mediation Case Manager: Valerie Egerton
Arbitration/Private Judging Case Manager: Delmy Sanchez