Hon. Lise A. Pearlman, Ret.
For the past 10 years, Judge Lise A. Pearlman has been a private arbitrator and mediator in civil cases and a consultant and expert witness in professional responsibility. Judge Pearlman has a reputation as an extremely dedicated, hardworking neutral who shows consideration and concern for the perspectives of all parties. Attorneys find her to be a very quick study and extraordinarily bright with impressive legal knowledge and a reassuring manner. Recognized as an excellent settlement judge, Judge Pearlman’s ability to quickly hone in on the key issues and keep the parties focused on resolution of their differences has made her very successful in bringing even extremely challenging cases to closure.

Judge Pearlman received widespread acclaim for her role as the first Presiding Judge of the California State Bar Court from 1989-1995 in establishing that new court as highly professional, efficient and fair. She received her appointment from the California Supreme Court, after a merit selection process involving well over 300 candidates statewide. Her prior career involved 14 years of experience in private trial and appellate practice focusing on business and tax disputes, class actions, and real estate litigation. A major highlight of her practice was serving as co-counsel before the U.S. Supreme Court in the first class arbitration recognized in the United States. In her third year at Boalt Hall School of Law, she was chosen as an extern forJustice Tobriner of the California Supreme Court. After graduating in the top 5% of her law school class, Judge Pearlman became a Teaching Fellow at Stanford University Law School and then clerked for Chief Justice Donald Wright of the California Supreme Court. In 1984, she held the distinction of being the first woman named sole managing partner of an established law firm in the state of California, an experience she credits with giving a jumpstart to her consensus-building skills. From 1997 to 2000, she served on the newly created Oakland Public Ethics Commission, chairing it from 1998-99.


Member: California Judges Association; National Assn. of Women Judges; California Women Lawyers Board (Rep. Dist. 3); Alameda County Bar Assn.; WLAC (Past Pres.); APRL; Cal. Bar COPRAC; FEWA; Ass’n for Dispute Resolution.

Publications: Co-Author Vol. 1 Cal. Forms of Jury Instructions [contract cases]; numerous opinions; MCLE articles; frequent lecturer at educational programs for attorneys. Listed among Northern Cal. Super Lawyers 2005.


General civil matters with an emphasis in business/commercial, securities, real property, employment, landlord tenant, family law, legal malpractice and personal injury.


  • J.D., 1974, Boalt Hall School of Law, Order
  • B.A., 1971, Yale University, Classics, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa


Throughout California.