Robert J. Sheppard, Senior Partner
The firm's senior partner, Robert J. Sheppard, is regarded as one of San Francisco's premier attorneys in the fields of real estate law, landlord/tenant law, rent control law, premises liability and property owner's liability, wrongful eviction cases, business disputes as well as tort/personal injury cases and disputes involving insurance companies and insurance law.
In 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and again in 2022. (for Seventeen consecutive years), Robert was voted "Super Lawyer of Northern California," a distinction reserved for a select few attorneys out of over 50,000 lawyers. He was selected a "Super Lawyer" in the field of Real Estate Law and in conducting Mediations and Alternative Dispute Resolution.
Robert was also selected as one of the "Top Rated Lawyers in Real Estate Law" based on his peer review rating and meeting the "gold standard" according to his peer reviewed attorneys. This distinction is featured in Corporate Counsel and The American Lawyer magazines.
For several years starting in the spring of 2009, Robert served as Chair of the Real Property Section of the Bar Association of San Francisco.
Since 1978, Robert has successfully litigated numerous jury trials, and has obtained highly praised verdicts and settlements for his clients, including several dozen "six and seven figure" cases. He routinely handles complex, multi-party tort/real estate litigation cases.
For the past forty years, Robert has been in demand as a Lecturer to other attorneys and judges, regularly speaking at Continuing Education of the Bar courses, Rutter Group Seminars, State Bar Conventions, and State Bar Real Property Educational Conferences on landlord/tenant litigation, Unlawful Detainer litigation, Rent Control, Wrongful Eviction lawsuits and other real estate and premises liability related legal issues. He has published numerous articles in the statewide Real Property Law Journal for the California State Bar.
Since 1996, Robert has been in high demand as a Private Mediator helping parties resolve disputes and all types of contested litigation cases.
• Robert's mediation and negotiation skills have earned him wide respect in the legal community as a tenacious "problem solver".
• Robert has enjoyed an exceptionally impressive record for resolving contested disputes between landlords and tenants, disputes between neighbors, HOA disputes, disputes between sellers and buyers of real estate, disputes with real estate agents, disputes between parties claiming conflicting interests in real estate, and general business disputes.
• Robert previously served as the President of The Mediation Society - a professional association of experienced mediators in Northern California - and served on the organization's Board of Directors starting in 2007.
• Robert is a member of Real Estate Neutrals - a select group of experienced real estate Mediators in the San Francisco Bay Area.
• Robert's reasonable rates for mediation services have saved litigants thousands of dollars as opposed to more costly and less efficient AAA, JAMS (Judicial and Arbitration Mediation Services), or ADR Services, Inc.
• Robert also serves as a Private Arbitrator on binding arbitration cases, and has been specially appointed Discovery Magistrate and Referee to resolve discovery disputes between litigants and their respective attorneys.
• Robert served as a Neutral Arbitrator in a case involving alleged medical malpractice claims against Kaiser Permanente Hospital.
Robert serves as a Temporary Judge for the San Francisco Superior Court. He has served in this capacity from 1988 to the present. He has presided over 500 trials and settlement conferences. Robert is widely regarded as a fair-minded, resolution-oriented practitioner by both landlords and tenants, by monetary claimants and insurance companies.
Robert has worked on multi-million dollar estates, and has saved his client millions of dollars of savings through estate planning, trusts and probate litigation.
From 1979 through 1982, Robert served as one of the first Administrative Law Judges for the San Francisco Rent Board, presiding over dozens of hearings on rent adjustment cases. He enjoyed an impressive record of never having one of his Decisions overturned by the appellate Rent Board or a Court.
Robert routinely serves as an Expert Witness. He has testified as an Expert Witness in both Federal and State Courts before juries, at bench trials, at judicially-ordered arbitrations and at fee dispute arbitrations, on standards of care for property owners, for landlords, for tenants and on real estate issues in general. Robert also offers testimony on standards of care of lawyers (both plaintiff and defense).
Robert has been rated "AV" by his professional peers - the highest rating available for lawyers in terms of skill level/ability and ethical standards under the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating System.
When Robert isn't serving his clients, he enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, bicycling, live music, and playing keyboards/sharing vocals in a rhythm & blues/rock band.
Current Employment Position
- Senior Partner
Areas Of Practice
- Real Estate Law
- Landlord/Tenant Law
- Premises Liability Law
- Business/Commercial Disputes
- Personal Injury/Tort Law
- General Litigation and Trials
- Mediations, Arbitration, Dispute Resolution
- Wills, Trusts, Probate and Estate Planning
- Rent Board Matters
- California, 1979
- U.S. Federal Courts, 1979
- University of San Francisco School of Law, San Francisco, California
- Juris Doctor Degree - 1978
- University of Illinois
- Honors: Magna Cum Laude
Classes / Seminars
- Lecturer, Real Estate Law and Landlord-Tenant Law, Continuing Education of the Bar
- Lecturer, Real Estate Law and Landlord-Tenant Law, The Rutter Group
- Lecturer, Real Estate Law and Landlord-Tenant Law, Bar Association of San Francisco
- Public Speaker, Landlord-Tenant Law, State Bar Conventions (four times)
Honors And Awards
- Voted by peers a "Super Lawyer of Northern California," 2006-2022
- Temporary Judge, San Francisco Superior Court, 1988 - Present
- AV Rated, Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating System
- Featured in California Lawyers Magazine, February 1985, "Best of the New Breed of Lawyers"
- Top Rated Lawyer in Real Estate Law, Corporate Counsel, and The American Lawyer
- Administrative Law Judge, San Francisco Residential Rent Stabilization and Arbitration (1979, 1980, 1981)
Professional Associations And Memberships
- State Bar Landlord-Tenant Committee, Vice-Chair, 1985 to 1987
- The Mediation Society, Past President
- The Mediation Society, Board of Directors, 2007 - 2014
- Real Estate Neutrals, Member
- Real Property Section, Bar Association of San Francisco, Member, Past Chair
Pro Bono Activities
- Kaiser Permanente Hospital, Neutral Arbitrator
- Affordable Housing Alliance, Steering Committee and Founding Member
- Won Federal Court Asylum Trial for Honduran teenage girl on "humanitarian grounds," November 2018
Fraternities / Sororities
- Phi Beta Kappa