Richard J. Collier, Esq.

Mediator • Arbitrator • Special Master

Mr. Collier has been in practice for more than 40 years as a trial lawyer and over 25 years as a mediator and arbitrator. Since first training as a mediator in 1993, he has mediated or arbitrated to completion over 400 disputes across a wide range of civil law, ranging in complexity from smaller value disputes to large, multi-million dollar settlements. Mr. Collier prides himself upon thorough preparation – of the participants as well as of himself. He has proven to be particularly effective in disputes encumbered by high emotions. His respect for the emotional dynamics between the parties, as well as his thorough understanding of the facts and law, allow him to build credibility with the parties and their counsel while crafting settlement scenarios to ensure resolution.

As a trial lawyer, Mr. Collier’s practice has focused on trust and probate litigation for the past 15 years. He has represented beneficiaries and trustees, both individual and institutional, in removal and surcharge proceedings, cases involving interpretation and modification of trusts, and will and trust contests. Mr. Collier was recognized as a Northern California Super Lawyer in Probate and Trust Litigation for nine consecutive years.

In addition to his probate expertise, Mr. Collier has handled numerous business and commercial disputes on behalf of individual and corporate clients, as plaintiffs and defendants, including actions related to partnership dissolutions, unfair competition, distributor termination, shareholder disputes, trade secrets and trademarks, insurance coverage, and bad faith disputes.


Probate, Estates and Trusts
Removal and Surcharge Proceedings, Interpretation and Modification of Trusts, Will and Trust Contests, Undue Influence, Breach of Trust Claims

Business and Commercial Disputes
Partnership Dissolutions, Unfair Competition, Breach of Contract, Trade Secrets, Trademarks, Shareholder Disputes, Fiduciary Duty Issues

Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith
Insurance Coverage Disputes Involving First- And Third-Party Claims, Bad Faith Claims, Insurer Rescission Claims


Cooper, White & Cooper, LLP (2008-2019)

  • Partner, Litigation and Mediation/Arbitration Practice

Titchell, Maltzman, Mark & Ohleyer, P.C. (1993-2008)

  • Managing Partner, Litigation and Mediation/Arbitration Practice

Farella, Braun & Martel (1979-1993)

  • Litigation Partner, San Francisco

University of California, Berkeley (1969-1976)

  • Assistant Professor, Department of English
  • Distinguished Teaching Award (1975)


  • J.D., University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law, 1979
  • Ph.D. in English, Washington University, St. Louis, 1969
  • M.A. First Class Honours, Edinburgh University, Scotland, 1965


American Arbitration Association

  • Mediator and Arbitrator Panels
  • “Dealing with Delay Tactics in Arbitration” (2005, 2010)
  • “Advocacy in Mediation: Advanced Training for Corporate and Outside Counsel” (1997)
  • Advanced Mediation Advocacy Training (1997)
  • Basic Real Estate Arbitrator Training (1994)

United States District Court, Northern District of California

  • ADR Program
  • Mediator and Early Neutral Evaluator Panels
  • Appointed Member of the ADR Rules Committee
  • Early Neutral Evaluator Training (1993, 1994, 1996, 2001, 2015)
  • Workshop: “Effective Lawyering in Mediation (1998)
  • Training for ADR Neutrals (1997)

Past President of the Mediation Society

Guest Lecturer and Trainer in mediation and negotiation courses at Stanford Law School; Santa Clara Law School; University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law; California Court of Appeal, First and Second Appellate Districts

Early Neutral Evaluation Trainer for Fresno, Los Angeles, and Stanislaus County Superior Courts


Northern California Super Lawyer in Probate/Trust Litigation

  • 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016