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William James O'Connor

William James O'Connor

also known as Bill O'Connor

About me

I have conducted several hundred mediations, court-sponsored settlement conferences and privately retained ADR cases. Most have been a variety of civil legal disputes, mainly, Personal Injury, Business, Construction Defect, and Real Estate Matters.

I originally worked with the Superior Court in San Francisco as a court Mediator and as a part-timeCommissioner/Judge. I have substantial, specific, professional Mediation training. I belong to the San Francisco Bar Association and the Marin County Bar Association and am a member of their respective ADR Sections. I have been accepted to the Mediation/ADR panels of San Francisco, Marin, Alameda, Solano, and Sonoma County Superior Courts.

In recent years, I have expanded my practice into the area of Probate, Wills, Trust and Estate and Conservatorship Contests. I have become experienced in these matters, successfully resolving more than 45 of them, and now work in that field mainly, while still accepting other civil litigation cases for mediation and arbitration. For the past eight years I have also served as a special neutral in Kaiser medical malpractice Arbitrations throughout California.

I am effective, experienced, and successful in my ADR activities. I have found a great deal of professional and personal satisfaction in this type of work, which although very demanding, also results in resolution of conflict, the reduction of time and expense and sometimes even reconciliation among litigants.


I do not limit my approach to specific techniques often described as Transformational or Evaluative or Directive. Individual cases, the needs and personalities of parties and the dynamics of the mediation require flexibility. Patience and respect, understanding of thesubject matter, and willingness to let the parties shape the outcome are important. Whenappropriate, I will be more evaluative and directive, if it is in the best interests of all.

I charge $300.00 per hour. No administrative fees and no more than 1 hour travel time charged in the Bay Area. These charges are shared equally by all parties, unless agreed otherwise at the Mediation.

If required to travel outside the Bay Area, actual travel time and expenses are charged. A mutually shared deposit based upon the estimated length of the mediation is required inadvance. I conduct an initial organizational phone conference call (except in Arbitration matters, which are handled more as a Court Trial with the same rules of ex-parte contact as apply to trial); and also a confidential, pre-mediation conference call to prepare myself andcounsel to learn more about the needs of the parties. This has proven to be extremely productive. In litigated cases, I also look for a simple letter or e-mail brief describing the legal and procedural issues.

 Convenient Mediation facilities with break-out offices and support services available in Marin County near the Superior Court, close to freeway access.  Also in Santa Rosa for Sonoma County. Spanish language capability also available when necessary.


…I have known Mr. O’Connor for many years and in addition to honesty and integrity, he brings a sharp mind and keen settlement skills to his work for the Court….He works hard and stays late exhausting all possibilities of mediating hard cases, which other Judges and attorneys have been unable to do. He has the respect of attorneys and litigators with whom he works and has been a great help to me and the Courts.”

Albert Cantelli, Presiding Judge Superior Court (Ret.)- SF  


“…thank you very much, I was not optimistic about the prospects of this case settling; I don’t believe it would have resolved without your intervention. I regret that I was unable to sit in because I suspect I would have learned a great deal from watching how you achieved your results…I look forward to working with you in the future…”

Verna Adams, Presiding Judge of the Superior Court, Marin County

“I have recently been in Mediation with Mr. O’Connor and he did an excellent and effective job and settled our probate matter…I was most impressed with his capabilities and would highly recommend him.”

Trutner Law Law Offices- Certified Probate Specialist – Alameda County

“Please accept my sincere thanks…settlements were reached in the cases assigned to you and the parties and counsel were grateful that they had the opportunity to resolve their matters.”

Lynn O’Malley Taylor, (Ret.) Judge of the Superior Court - Marin County

“…I worked with Mr. O’Connor a few years ago on a major, multi-million dollar real estate dispute involving many attorneys which seemed impossible to settle. He worked with all of us over a period of two or three days and resolved the matter to everyone’s satisfaction…I have recommended him to members of my firm. He is quite effective.”

Dryden, Margoles Law Firm – San Francisco County


I have used William O’Connor as a mediator and I have found him to be tenacious and effective….. I am particularly impressed with his efforts to contact counsel prior to the mediation, which I believe leads to a more productive session. I recommend Mr. O’Connor highly to other attorneys.”


Richardson and Wilhelmy (Litigator) – Contra Costa County


Languages spoken: Spanish

Practice areas

  1. Mediation: 50%
    21 years, 250 cases
  2. Arbitration: 50%
    21 years, 250 cases



Free consultation (60 minutes)

Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

2 total 

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  • Victor Peter Obninsky

    Mr. O'Connor recently acted as a mediator on a rather nasty case involving a lease guaranty. My client was facing bankruptcy if the lawsuit could not be settled, but Mr. O'Connor very skillfully mediated the matter and a solution was reached. Unfortunately, my client still went bankrupt shortly after the settlement. The other side was extremely dfficult and Mr. O'Connor bridged the gap between my client, whose representative lost her temper, and the principle for the other side who bordered on being disrepectful. He is a very pleasant gentleman, as well as a fine lawyer.


    Victor Obninsky Litigation Attorney
    Relationship: Other

  • No photo

    Judge O'Connor has successfully mediated a number of cases for me. He is a fair-minded mediator who has a wealth of experience. He is adept at keeping the focus on the real issues in the case,


    Sean Barry Employment and labor Attorney
    Relationship: Worked together on matter

Contact info

O'Connor and Associates - ADR Services

172 Vineyard Circle
Home Office
Sonoma, CA, 95476-8076


We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
San Francisco, Marin, and Sonoma Superior CourtsPro Bono Services to the Court2009
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
OwnerO'Connor and Associates ADR Services1995 - Present
Association namePosition nameDuration
Marin, Sonoma, SF Bar Associations,Member and ADR Chair1995 - Present
Marin County Bar Assn. - ADR SectionChair- Committee to Draft Special Mediation Program2009 - 2011
Publication nameTitleDate
Marin County Bar Association Journal10 Steps to Successful Mediation2009
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of San Francisco School of LawN/AJD - Juris Doctor1974
Gonzaga UniversityN/AOther - BachelorsN/A
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Century 21 of Sonoma Training SessionIntroduction to Mediation for Real Estate Agents2010