Judge Gallo joined Judicate West following a distinguished legal career spanning over three decades. He was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California in 2009 and was the Presiding Magistrate Judge from 2020-2022. During his 14 years on the bench, his duties primarily pertained to resolving civil lawsuits and any discovery disputes that arose during litigation. Having presided over more than 2500 settlement discussions, he oversaw a wide array of matters including but not limited to employment, intellectual property, Lemon Law, ADA, FDCPA, FTCA, class actions, and personal injury,

Prior to his appointment, Judge Gallo served as a prosecutor at the state and federal levels for a combined 23 years, including 18 years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California in San Diego. He tried approximately 200 jury and bench trials as a criminal trial attorney.

Regarding his approach to dispute resolution, Judge Gallo stated, “I’ve learned that the case before me is the most important matter in the lives of the parties, regardless of the amount of money possibly at stake. Consequently, it has been my guiding principle to always keep that in mind when I engage with the parties and to treat every one of them with respect and dignity. A component of that is to provide the parties with an objective and candid assessment of the case, its strengths, and weaknesses, as I view the facts and law. The parties are owed no less from me.”

Practice Areas
  • ADA
  • Civil Rights
  • Class Action
  • Employment
  • Lemon Law
  • Maritime & Admiralty Law
  • Medical Negligence
  • Patent and Trademark
  • Personal Injury including Wrongful Death
Hobbies & Interests

With a passion for the outdoors, Judge Gallo enjoys hunting, fishing, and playing golf and pickleball in his spare time.

Legal Career
  • Full-time Neutral, Judicate West (2024-Present)
  • U.S. Magistrate Judge, Southern District of California in San Diego (2009-2023); Presiding Magistrate Judge (2020-2022)
  • Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of California in San Diego; Prosecution of Federal Crimes (1991-2009)
  • Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Illinois in Chicago; Prosecution of Federal Crimes (1989-1991)
  • Deputy County Attorney, Yuma County Attorney’s Office; Prosecution of Major Felony Crimes (1989)
  • Marine Corps Officer and Judge Advocate - Retiring at the Rank of Colonel, United States Marine Corps (Active Duty 1980-1986; Reserves 1986-2005)
Education & Professional Affiliations
  • LLM - Concentration in IP, University of San Diego, School of Law (2013)
  • MBA, University of Phoenix (2011-2012)
  • J.D., Loyola University, School of Law (1976-1979)
  • B.A., Duquesne University (1972-1976)
Achievements & Awards
  • Selected by the Department of Justice to serve as the Director of the Law and Order Task Force in Iraq; Led a joint 85-person civilian-military task force training Iraqi judges and lawyers, conducting criminal investigations, and providing security and protection to Iraqi judges (2008)
  • As a Reservist, he served as the Staff Judge Advocate, a senior legal advisor role to the Commanding General of the First Marine Expeditionary Force (2003-2005)
  • Presenter and panelist for various legal programs at multiple organizations including the American Bar Association, Federal Bar Association, and the Courts.
Hon. William V. Gallo, Ret., has significant experience in civil and criminal litigation from his 14 years of service as a United States magistrate judge and over 20 years of service as a state and federal prosecutor. Below is a sampling of civil actions over which he has presided as a judicial officer and resolved as a neutral.

Banking/Finance

  • Suits against credit reporting agencies for purported violations of the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act and the California Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act.

Breach of Privacy

  • Suits on purported class and individual bases for purported violations of the Telephone Consumer Protections Act.

Consumer Class Action

  • Purported consumer class actions for false and misleading advertising, including claims against big pharmaceutical companies.

Contractual

  • Consumer debt actions brought on purported class and individual bases against debt collectors under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the California Rosenthal Act.
  • Breach of contract suits brought by tenants living in military housing for alleged water intrusion and toxic mold exposure.
  • Breach of contract suit for purported failure to manufacture and produce landscaping molds for commercial use subject to third-party contracts.
  • Breach of contract suit between distributors of agricultural products under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act and alleging related claims for conversion, civil theft, and violations of the Uniform Fraud Transfer Act, the California Food and Agricultural Code, and the Unfair Competition Law.
  • Breach of contract suit between biotechnology company and COVID rapid-test manufacturer during COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Breach of contract suit between a sporting goods manufacturer and a large-scale storage facility for breach of contract, conversion, and declaratory relief.
  • Breach of contract suit between a real estate developer and contractor for faulty installation of elevators for a beachfront luxury estate complex.
  • Breach of contract suit between insured and insurance company for purported breach of contract, breach of privacy rights, and negligence arising from the same.

Fraud/Misrepresentation

  • Mediated a case in which the plaintiff, an elderly widow, purchased a sailboat to fulfill the dream she and her husband had before he passed away to sail around the world. Plaintiff brought the sailboat to Defendant who was purportedly skilled in marine repairs. Costs for repair ballooned to more than two or three times the value of the vessel after full repair. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant did not inform her of costs. Defendant states he told Plaintiff that repair costs would be exorbitant and far exceed value. According to Defendant, Plaintiff insisted on the repairs being made.

Lemon Law

  • Individual consumer actions for products liability, including car defects against manufacturers arising under the Song-Beverly Act.

A D A

  • Single plaintiff actions arising under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, Rehabilitation Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, California Fair Employment and Housing Act, and related statutes.

Discrimination

  • Constructive discharge suit against global company for disability discrimination, retaliation, and related claims under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act.

Employment Wage & Hour Class Action PAGA

  • Purported class actions arising under the California Labor Code, California Private Attorneys General Act, and Fair Labor Standards Act against small and large-scale employers with purported class and PAGA groups of up to five figures and across diverse industries including construction, pharmaceutical, sales, and technology.

Hostile Environment

  • Suit by a former principal of a school within a unified school district for age and disability discrimination, hostile work environment, tortious interference with business relations, and California Labor Code claims.

Wrongful Termination

  • Suit by a former, longtime employee for breach of sales commissions contract, wrongful termination, retaliation, and unfair business practices.

ADA Issues

  • Mediated a case in which the plaintiff claims wrongful termination after more than a decade of employment with constant promotions. The defendant disputes that termination was motivated by the plaintiff's misconduct and malfeasance.

Civil Rights

  • During his 14-year tenure on the bench, Judge Gallo handled 105 Civil Rights cases.

Bad Faith

  • Purported class actions and individual suits for breach of insurance contracts and claims of bad faith.

IP Copyright

  • Copyright infringement actions, including a copyright infringement suit between a photographer and a corporation that purportedly published the photographer’s works absent a licensing agreement or photographer’s authorization.
  • Mediated a copyright infringement case involving a company who is a prolific register of automobile photographs, many of which appeared on a lawyer's website who engages in Lemon Law litigation. The defendant alleged numerous defenses from invalidity due to improper registration of copyrights, to fraud, to denial of infringement, and finally to lack of knowledge of infringement.

IP Patent

  • Patent infringement actions involving related claims of breach of contract, accounts stated, and open book accounts, in technology, consumer products, and biomedical industries.

IP Trademark

  • Trademark infringement actions arising under the Lanham Act, California’s Unfair Competition Law, and California common law trade dress infringement and unfair competition claims implicating diverse industries, including sports gear and surgical device manufacturers.

Civil Rights

  • Wrongful detention and arrest, and excessive force and wrongful death actions arising under Title 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 against government entities.

Maritime Law

  • Wrongful death suits brought by multiple decedents’ estates against a sea vessel for alleged violations of the Jones Act, unseaworthiness, general maritime negligence, and vessel negligence.
  • Complaint for exoneration from or limitation of liability arising from a collision between a small vessel and a mega yacht resulting in serious bodily harm, including the death of passengers.

Premises Liability

  • Premises liability actions against small and large-scale businesses, including major entertainment theme parks.
Judge Gallo quickly understood the issues of the dispute, including the insurance coverage issues and the carrier's reservation of its indemnity rights; and had a good handle on the respective personalities and objectives of the parties.
- Attorney on a Business Fraud and Misrepresentation Case
The encyclopedic knowledge that Judge Gallo brings to the table through this experience in countless trials and settlement conferences while on the bench is invaluable to litigants who utilize his services. He can give a real-world interpretation of how each side's arguments may be received by the trier of fact, allowing litigations to fully weigh what is in their best interest in moving forward with litigation.
- Seasoned Consumer Attorney
I can say that Judge Gallo was one of the best, if not the best settlement judge that I have ever had the pleasure of working with. I settled several major cases with his help. Judge Gallo was amazing, and his demeanor made everybody comfortable, which made them receptive to his input. It seemed like he really cared and that he went out of his away to make a deal happen even if it meant working after hours.
- Partner at a San Diego-Based Law Firm
Judge Gallo was wonderful, fair, insightful, and most importantly, respectful.
- Attorney on an Employment Race Discrimination Case
Judge Gallo is one of the hardest-working, intelligent, and honorable judges I know. He resolves many cases at settlement conferences because of his tenacity and will to get the case settled. I highly recommend him for any alternative dispute resolution. His knowledge and compassion will help the parties come to an amicable resolution.
- CEO and Principal Attorney at a San Diego Law Firm
Judge Gallo is a very effective settlement judge. Having participated in numerous early neutral evaluation conferences while he was a Magistrate Judge in the Southern District, I found him to be not only extremely well prepared as to the law involved in the particular case, but also very skillful in interacting with the parties and counsel, effectively driving the case toward settlement. I cannot think of an occasion when Judge Gallo was not successful in settling a case. He does require counsel to be prepared which should come as no surprise given his military background. Highly recommended and I look forward to an occasion on which I can retain him for mediation.
- Top-Rated Defense Attorney with Three Decades of Experience
Hon. William V. Gallo is a great mediator. He puts in the work to understand the case and be fully prepared. He has the ability to get a stubborn party to move from their position and into a zone where both parties will find common ground. I highly recommend him.
- Experienced Consumer Protection Attorney in San Diego
Judge Gallo was outstanding.
- Attorney on an Intellectual Property Copyright Case
Hon. William V. Gallo, Ret.
Based in San Diego | Available in All of California
Mediation Case Manager: Susi Bush
Arbitration/Private Judging Case Manager: Heidi Adams