John S. Preston

John S. Preston Arbitration
1060 Clarendon Crescent
Oakland, California 94610


Areas Of Practice

Personal Injury
Real Estate



  • Member (New York Stock Exchange) NYSE Arbitration and Mediation Panels, (Pacific Stock Exchange) PSE, Alameda, SF, and Contra Costa Counties arbitration and mediation Panels;
  • Member of Wisconsin and California State Bar Associations: (Alameda County Bar and Contra Costa Bar) as well as Federal Courts therein. Courts therein.
  • Previous member of American Arbitration Association Arbitration & Mediation panels including settlement court officer for San Francisco County Superior Court.
  • 1992)— California Real Estate Broker’s License; Active for 15 years Member, California Association of Realtors, Legal Forum
  • 1991-1996: Completion of AAA advanced arbitration and mediation courses; Completion of ACBA and SF Bar advanced mediation seminars; Completion of university of California Certification.Completion of NYSE and PSE mediation and arbitration seminars.


  • (1972)-- J.D., University of Wisconsin:
  • Member, Wisconsin Law Review




  • Have conducted in excess 500 arbitrations and mediations since 1992. Many of these ADR proceedings involved multiple parties and complex issues of civil law, personal injury lawsuits, insurance coverage issues, assessing damages after liability was established, business and commercial issues, contractual disputes, real property issues and complex damages.
  • My practice is now focusing on arbitrations and mediations.
  • History: Private practice including all aspects real estate & business law, insurance coverage issues, numerous mediations and arbitrations, numerous residential transactions, commercial leasing, financing issues, guarantees, disclosure, mediation, and civil litigation, Partnership dissolutions, Attorney fee disputes, Represented Oakland Association of Realtors as well as dozens of brokers statewide. Additional practice of law generally involving real estate transactions as well as securities issues, e.g., drafting prospectuses for syndications, limited partnerships. Conducted in excess 14 trials--including a 6-month jury trial re defective condominium project. Additionally, conducted over 500 arbitrations & mediations for California Superior Courts, the AAA & NYSE & PSE.


  • Principal of International Private Investment Banking Firm between USA and Japan. Genesis Group was primarily involved in sale Genesis Group was primarily involved in sales and development of USA real estate and other business transactions between the USA and Japan. Genesis Group had closed in excess of $10,000,000 in real property transactions.


  • General Counsel and Chief Financial Officer for Fayette Manufacturing Corp., and the limited Partnerships known as Wind Energy Technology Associates I & II & III. Fayette achieved over $150,000,000 in sales over a four year period. Responsibilities included litigation, negotiation, drafting, development, structuring, and legal analysis of all aspects of multi-million dollar transactions, including land leases and utility easements.
  • These aspects include real estate, land leases, financings, and civil & business litigation, drafting of financing agreements, commercial loans, and the drafting of investment prospectuses for syndication and limited partnership agreements. Also included was the importation of over $5,000,000 in Danish equipment to The USA.
  • (1981 - 1978) with the Law Firm of Touhey & Prosse, Santa Ana, California. Practice Associate with the Law Firm of Touhey & Prosse, Santa Ana, California. Practice consisted exclusively of litigation and general business law. Largest trial involved dispute concerning 170 condominiums and consisted of over 130 plaintiffs, 30 depositions, 2000 exhibits, and all aspects of real property issues and practice of a protracted litigation.
  • (1977-1973) University of Wisconsin. Responsibilities included all aspects of legal practice relevant to a large institution, including contracts, litigation, and public policy issues.

Arbitration is an extremely complex, dynamic process.  Because each of the lawyers is different; each of the clients is different; and each of the issues presented are different and unique; the arbitrator must continually use a complete array of skills--both legal, authoritative,  and psychological.


To begin with, the arbitrator must understand the subject matter in order to be able to critically evaluate the disputed issues.  A working knowledge of the subject matter will help streamline the process and provide the parties with the confidence, knowing that the arbitrator “grocks”the material.


In addition, usually these cases come through a process of litigation.  In these types of cases, the relationship between the counsel and the parties is often strained, at best, and dysfunctional, at worst.  How an arbitrator these aggressive relationships may well affect a smooth transition to hearing. The arbitrator must be able to handle boisterous, obstreperous and aggressive counsel that tend to disrupt the process.


Oftentimes during the course of arbitration, there are a great deal of discovery disputes; including deposition scheduling, written discovery, and admissibility of evidence.  The arbitrator must have working knowledge of these disputes and be able to rule with relative definitiveness on resolving these discovery issues.  Please see the attached tab for my arbitration philosophy regarding discovery.


Quite often, there are many, many issues involving points of law.  The arbitrator must be completely familiar with those areas and how to resolve those issues.  Moreover, the parties often tend to “dump” the entire case at the feet of the arbitrator and expect him to go through it.  The parties must be apprised that that takes a great of painstaking time and thought.  Thus, it is very helpful if the arbitrator can convince the attorneys and their clients into stipulating into a variety of facts – which will save everyone time and money. 


Long before the hearing, there may be five to ten pre-conference hearings attempting to resolve or at least streamline issues prior to the time of the actual hearing. Lastly at the conclusion of the hearing, John Preston will render a fairly detailed findings of fact and conclusions of law.  This allows the parties to feel that they have been carefully heard  and a neutral third party considered and then resolved their issues.

John S. Preston 

1060 Clarendon Crescent 

Oakland, California 94610 

Tel.  510-763-9131

Cell: 510-289-0766
E-mail: [email protected]