Adjunct Professor Elaine Leitner is a full-time neutral mediator in private practice. Since becoming a mediator in 1991, she has focused on resolution of employment, intellectual property, commercial, business, and insurance disputes.
Professor Leitner was born and raised in Vineland, New Jersey. She received a B.S. in Psychology, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from Tufts University. In 1978, she graduated magna cum laude from the Georgetown University Law Center, where she was an editor of the Georgetown Law Journal. After graduation, Professor Leitner moved to San Francisco, where she served as a law clerk to the Hon. Cecil F. Poole, Judge of the District Court for the Northern District of California. She practiced as a litigation associate at Morrison & Foerster in San Francisco in 1980, moving to practice and become a partner for the next ten years at the San Francisco complex commercial litigation and criminal defense firm of Keker & Van Nest. She was listed in the 1987 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.
In addition to her private ADR practice, Professor Leitner also serves on the court affiliated ADR panels of the federal court, Northern District of California, and the Bay Area superior courts. She has been a Judge Pro Tem and a Special Member. She is active in the San Francisco legal community, having been the founding president of the San Francisco Women Lawyers' Alliance in 1983, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Legal Aid Society for seven years. She has served on the State Bar's Women and the Law and Mandatory Fee Arbitration Committees, and the San Francisco Trial Court's Mediation Advisory Committee. Professor Leitner currently is a member of the Board of Directors of the Mediation Society.
Professor Leitner lives in Oakland with her 2 teenage children and her husband, Steve Zieff, an employment lawyer specializing in wage and hour class actions.