williams and williams mediation

Elizabeth A. Williams

  • Biography
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Testimonials


Elizabeth Williams

Elizabeth Williams is a native of San Jose, California. A graduate of U.C. Davis, she also spent time studying at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, the University of Granda, Spain, the University of Guadalajara, Mexico, and the University of Guanajuato, Mexico. She lived in Guadalajara, Mexico as a Rotary International Scholar, where she achieved fluency in Spanish. Upon her return from several years spent abroad, Elizabeth graduated from Santa Clara University School of Law and became a member of the California State Bar in 1999.

Elizabeth has been resolving litigated disputes since the mid-nineties, thanks to her focus on evaluation and settlement.  While she is oriented toward settlement, she is simultaneously able to develop a great rapport with and project a level of human empathy to clients, especially plaintiffs, that enables her to push for closure, when it is appropriate and feasible.

She has resolved a range of civil matters, including personal injury, premises liability, breach of contract, medical malpractice, and many employment matters involving discrimination, sexual harassment, and wrongful termination. Her fluency in Spanish has enabled her to conduct mediations with Spanish-speaking clients, as well. Having worked and mediated in a high tech corporation and in county government, prior to establishing her practice in 2001, Elizabeth possesses a breadth of mediation experience and the capacity to work with a wide variety of people, including, self represented parties, corporate executives, attorneys and claims representatives.

Elizabeth designed California State University and Community College-accredited mediation courses and has presented guest lectures, courses, and key note addresses for Stanford University, San Jose State University, as well as skillfully facilitated a variety of corporate, government, and non-profit groups. She has taught the Legal Negotiation Course at Santa Clara University School of Law and spoken on professional panels at conferences geared toward corporate executives and insurance claims representatives.

For two terms, Elizabeth chaired the Santa Clara County Bar Association Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee, she has been a member of various, Northern California and National Dispute Resolution organizations and sections, the California State Bar Association, the American Bar Association, and the Santa Clara County Bar Association.

Elizabeth has been named to the San Jose “Top Lawyers” list and has been an invited participant for the Pepperdine University School of Law’s Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution Master’s Forum for Experienced Neutrals.

She is known for being prepared, persistent about first session settlement, as well as about follow-up efforts leading to settlement after a mediation concludes. She is fair, personable, confident, respectful of the parties, attorneys, claims representatives and clients.


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Curriculum Vitae

Downloadable / Printable Curriculum Vitae


Williams & Williams Mediation
April 2001 – Present.
  • Successfully mediated to settlement civil, litigated cases of limited and unlimited jurisdiction, including: personal injury, premises liability, medical malpractice, breach of contract, sexual harassment, wrongful termination, discrimination, some conducted in Spanish.


City of San Jose Rental Housing Dispute Program
July 2003 – Present.
Hearing Officer  
  • Mediate and arbitrate housing disputes involving lease terminations, service reduction and habitability complaints, and rent control ordinance violations, some conducted in Spanish.


Square Trade, Inc.
June 2003 – May 2005.
  • Resolved eBay Transactional disputes between national and international parties through an online mediation process.


County of Santa Clara.
January 1998 – February 2005.

Dispute Resolution Program
Supervising Mediator, Ombudsperson, & Small Claims Mediation Program Coordinator

  • Oversaw program and mediated to settlement litigated cases including, landlord-tenant, consumer-merchant, breach of contract, real property, dissolution of partnerships, neighborhood, family court, temporary restraining orders, Victim-Offender and Juvenile Probation Department issues; some mediations conducted in Spanish.
  • Negotiated phone settlements; drafted conciliation agreements; convened the mediation process.
  • Facilitated strategic planning and program development meetings.
  • Performed ombudsperson function by mediating complex, controversial intra-agency cases.



  • Hundreds of mediations of litigated disputes, some in Spanish.
  • Profiled in San Jose Magazine “Top Lawyers” Edition, October 2002 and October 2003. Named to San Jose Magazine’s “Silicon Valley’s Top 300 Lawyers” List, July 2004.
  • Santa Clara County Bar Association ADR Executive Committee Chairperson 2002-2004.



Facilitator, Trainer, Coach, & Instructor.
July 2001 – Present.

Develop curricula, conduct facilitations and trainings for the Santa Clara County Bar Association, Pepperdine University Straus Institute, non-profit organizations, government agencies, San Jose Unified School District and various private schools, universities, and insurance companies regarding the following subject matters: ADR Confidentiality, Effective Communication Skills, Small Claims Court Procedures  and Mediation Process, Constructively Managing Conflict in the Corporate Workplace, Anger Management, Mediation Principles & Practice, Negotiation Skills for Non-Lawyers, and Legal Negotiation.


Santa Clara University, School of Law.
Spring 2003 – Present.
Adjunct Faculty, Negotiation  
  • Co-design and co-teach semester-long Legal Negotiation course to second and third year law students.


San Jose City College
Spring 2003 – Spring 2005.
Adjunct Faculty, Negotiation  
  • Proposed and shepherded mediation course through rigorous, six month-long, local and state matriculation approval and accreditation processes.
  • Designed and co-taught intensive, 54 hour-long “Mediation Principles and Practices” course.



RealNames Corporation
June 1999 – September 2000.
Corporate Disputes & Policies Manager  
  • Devised corporate data quality and product distribution policies. Generated and disseminated policy manual and trained company employees on policies.
  • Managed and oversaw data quality and customer service teams charged with applying policies to daily, corporate functions.
  • Successfully resolved interdepartmental, workplace, and customer service conflicts.
  • Mediated and “arbitrated” intellectual property infringement and domain name-like disputes between the company, its customers, and its competitors.
  • Created online dispute resolution process for product distribution and customer service disputes. Successfully negotiated and managed the strategic, outsource partnership with an online dispute resolution provider.



  • Santa Clara County Bar Association;
  • Santa Clara County Superior Court Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee;
  • California State Bar Association;
  • American Bar Association ADR Section, Labor & Employment Law Section, Government & Public Sector Lawyers Division;
  • Santa Clara County Superior Court Mediation Panelist and Limited Jurisdiction Early Settlement Conference Panelist.



  • Juris Doctor, Santa Clara University.
  • Bachelor of Arts, English, U.C. Davis.
  • Attended over 1000 hours of training sponsored by the following organizations:

    Harvard Law School Program of Instruction for Lawyers, The World Intellectual
    Property Organization, Pepperdine University Straus Institute of Dispute Resolution,
    Santa Clara County Dispute Resolution Services and  Juvenile Probation Departments, Stanford University Law School, The Justice Center of Atlanta, Santa Clara University Law  School, University of California Berkeley, Negotiation Strategy Institute, Council on Education and  Management, New York University School of Law, and The EEOC.








Plaintiffs’ Attorneys:

Santa Clara County:
“Dear Ms. Strickland: I represent the plaintiff in the [case name] matter.  This case was settled through mediation with Elizabeth Williams. This is the first time that I have used Ms. Williams as a mediator, and I was impressed with the way she conducted the mediation. I found her to be thoroughly knowledgeable on the issues in our specific case, and compassionate and understanding with our client. I especially appreciated the fact that she allowed our client an opportunity to talk about her injuries and suffering. Giving injured parties the opportunity to “air their grief” helps immensely in the overall healing process, as people sometimes feel cheated if they are denied the opportunity of telling their story. It is a strong psychological boost to their well-being, something Ms. Williams was obviously well aware of. I found Elizabeth Williams to be knowledgeable, thorough, and totally in command of the mediation process. I thought she did an outstanding job and would not hesitate to use her again and would recommend using her as a mediator to other attorneys."

Very truly yours,
P. Kemp
Santa Clara County, California


“Ms. Williams was tireless, patient, professional, courteous and extremely competent!”

Santa Clara County, California


“I recommend that you try Elizabeth Williams [Jack¹s daughter] as a mediator.
She does good work and is a very good value at $350.00 per hour. We have found her to be firm and positive, without being pushy.  She knows how to maintain control of the process to move it to resolution in one setting and is cost-effective on the medium to small size case that cannot afford to carry heavy mediation charges, but which benefits from a mediation as opposed to wasting time on an arbitration where you have no idea what you will be getting. Clients find her likeable and trustworthy.  And she is fluent in Spanish.  In my book she is a natural, has the benefit of Jack¹s years of experience
in understanding insurance company requirements, and the right personality and style for the job.  Apple doesn't fall far from the tree.”

R. Alexander,
San Jose, California


Other Counties:
“Dear Ms. Williams, I would like to thank you for your excellent service at the mediation of the [case name] matter. I have worked with many mediators, including retired Appellate Justices, retired federal court judges, retired state court judges and many fine counsel all over the state, and I would consider you among the top five. … "

Very Truly Yours:
W. Brown, III
Encinitas, California


“Dear Ms. Williams, I am writing to thank you for your assistance in helping the parties resolve the above-referenced matter. You were truly instrumental in bringing this matter to a resolution. This was a difficult case with a number of complexities that acted as impediments to reaching settlement.”

T. Egan,
Petaluma, California


”Dear Ms. Strickland, I am a trial lawyer in Santa Cruz County, and past president of the Santa Cruz County Trial Lawyer’s Association. I am writing to let you know what an excellent experience I have had with mediator, Elizabeth Williams, in two, recent cases. Ms. Williams served as the mediator in [case name, Alameda County] and [case name, Santa Cruz County]. She was able to settle both of these cases for me in one day.  The Alameda County case was particularly contentious and I had no expectation that the case would settle. I am very impressed with Ms. Williams’s skill and power, and I wanted to let you know in a more formal way than the general evaluation form allows."

L. Walther
Santa Cruz County, California


Defense Attorneys:

Santa Clara County:
“I have had the opportunity to work with Ms. Williams twice.  Each time I dealt with Elizabeth Williams, I found her to be professional, knowledgeable, and quick to respond… .” 

Santa Clara County, California


“I have used Elizabeth Williams in 4 mediations within the past year, and she got 3 of the cases settled to my and my clients’ complete satisfaction. No doubt she will follow up on #4."

Santa Clara County, California


“Ms. Williams, You are to be congratulated in keeping the roof on over [the plaintiff attorney’s] head and navigating the negotiations to a settlement which was eminently fair to both sides and within the bounds of reason. You did something which I frankly have not seen before, and that is to convince a plaintiff’s attorney that he simply needs to come back to earth and stop wallowing around in the clouds if there is any serious desire to settle the case at a sensible level. The “baby steps” approach to this case was never going to work, and somehow or other you got that message to the plaintiff’s camp and things finally got serious enough to actually resolve the case at a level which the insurance company was comfortable with and, obviously, was also satisfactory to the plaintiff’s attorney and his client. Congratulations on a job well done. Your name is now a permanent fixture on my short list of people I will propose to be mediators in appropriate cases. Thanks again for your help."

Very truly yours, …
Santa Clara County, California


Other Counties:
“Dear Ms. Williams, Just a note to let you know what a terrific job you did in helping the parties mediate this case. The fact that you understood, and took the time to understand, the facts and legal issues made all the difference. I look forward to working with you again in the future."

S. Jackson
Modesto, California


“Ms. Williams agreed to mediate this case for us within a week of certain motion deadlines in the hope that if mediation was successful, then we could all avoid unnecessary costs. So with very little warning, Ms. Williams reviewed piles of documents, brought herself up to speed, and thoughtfully resolved our case.”

Stanislaus County, California


“Ms. Williams was excellent. She knew and understood the case and the dynamics of the parties. She exerted the appropriate amount of pressure on the parties, and treated our client in a very professional manner. All of this definitely helped get the case settled. I would definitely use Ms. Williams again!”

D. Keller,
San Francisco, California


Mediation Participants:

“The constant communication provided by Elizabeth prior to and after the mediation was great.”

“Elizabeth was able to diffuse a hostile situation to a level in which a compromise could occur.”

“The mediator provided a higher degree of communication between the parties than would have ever been possible on our own.  We would never have been able to accomplish [a resolution] without Elizabeth.  She did a terrific job and should be commended.”

“Elizabeth continued to work for a compromise… she was a very good listener.”

“Elizabeth’s negotiating skill and the process of opening up the discussion to possible solutions agreeable to both parties were valuable.”


Insurance Claims Representative:

“Yes, I would use this neutral again. [She was] Extremely competent, understood exactly defendant’s position.”

San Mateo County, California


Former Corporate Colleague:

"To you whom I do not know--

I want to take this opportunity to express to you the highest praise and recommendation I know how to give to Elizabeth Williams. She is an immensely talented, gifted, dedicated, and conscientious professional and human being. I have known Elizabeth for going on a decade now and she continues to astound me with her work, her focus, her dedication to her family, and her integrity. It is a privilege to know and to have worked with her. I commend her to you without any reservation whatsoever. Please know that I would always be happy to expand further on her great qualities."       

Bill Washburn: Executive Director at OpenID Foundation; Chairman
   of the Board at XDI.org



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