Hon. James J. McBride has served over two decades on the San Francisco bench as Presiding Judge, civil trial judge and a member of the Appellate division. He is recognized in the legal community as being well prepared, a master of difficult and complex jury trials and is equally well-regarded for his talent in bringing forth settlement in even the most demanding of cases.Judge McBride draws upon a lifetime of diverse experience and expertise: born and raised in San Francisco during a time of great ethnic, economic and cultural transformation; attending UC Berkeley as students led the change in the nation’s perspective of society and politics; and serving the community as a police officer for the San Francisco Police Department.Now available to serve as a mediator, arbitrator, referee and private judge, Judge McBride continues to serve his beloved community by helping parties resolve their disputes outside of the court system.


  • University of California, Berkeley – J.D. 1979
  • University of California, Berkeley – B.A. Psychology, cum laude 1973

Legal and Judicial Background

  • Judge, San Francisco Superior Court  1999-2015
    • Presiding Judge, 2009-2010
    • Civil Trial Division
    • Appellate Division
  • Judge, San Francisco Municipal Court 1994-1999
  • Civil Litigator, Private Practice 1985-1994
  • Assistant District Attorney, San Francisco District Attorney’s Office 1979-1985

Professional Honors & Affiliations

  • Barristers’ Choice Award, San Francisco Bar Association 2003
  • Trial Judge of the Year, San Francisco Trial Lawyers 2001
  • Charter President, University of San Francisco American Inn of Court 2001-2003

Areas of Expertise

  • Business & Commercial Contract
  • Class Action
  • Employment
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Mass Torts
  • Landlord/Tenant
  • Personal Injury
  • Product Liability
  • Real Estate
  • Technology