While some legal disputes are best reconciled through the courts, many matters can be resolved through alternative dispute resolution methods like mediation.
As an outgrowth of my decades of experience in litigation and business consulting, I provide mediation services to businesses and individuals throughout California.
Virtually any dispute can be mediated. From 40 years as a trial lawyer, I am well-versed in many areas of the law, including conflicts in business, employment, construction, securities, real estate, probate, personal injury, intellectual property and creditors’ claims in bankruptcy. That catalog of knowledge augments my formal mediator training through Pepperdine University, one of the premier mediation programs in the world.
What Is Mediation And What Is The Goal?
Mediation is an alternative to lawsuits and courtroom litigation. Instead of each party trying to “win” a contested proceeding, both parties are trying to find a workable middle ground. Mediation is facilitated by a neutral third party – the mediator – who has no agenda or vested interest in the conflict.
My job as a mediator is to help people in disputes get from “No” to “Yes.” I do that by building trust between me and the parties, in order to help break through the impasse to resolution.
The Benefits Of Mediating
- Lower cost – Mediation is generally far less expensive than litigation, saving you thousands of dollars. See our Rates page.
- Faster timeline – Mediating is quicker. You are not waiting months to get on a court docket and most disputes are resolved in one mediation session.
- Lower stress – Mediation takes much of the animosity, risk and gamesmanship out of the equation.
- Better results – I remind the parties that they control the outcome, which is not the case at trial.
My Approach To Mediation
I believe in helping the parties openly communicate their concerns to the other side, so that there is a transfer of knowledge and understanding. I will actively listen to each side’s position, to absorb what it is that makes the dispute important to them. I take that input to heart in seeking a path toward resolution.
Mediation is a puzzle to be solved. I encourage the parties to look past who is right and who is wrong and join me in the field of compromise to put an end to the costly and stressful struggle. From my decades of litigation experience, I have a good feel for the zone of possible agreement where we can reach some consensus.
During the process, you will be asked to make concessions from your initial positions. I will determine which of many approaches is best suited to your circumstances. My approach is to encourage creativity, imagination and an atmosphere of problem-solving. I want the participants to feel they can safely discuss their concerns and offer suggestions, without judgment, so that we can circle ever closer to an agreement to put in writing.
What If We Don’t Reach A Resolution?
Sometimes the two sides in mediation reach an impasse. If you made good progress but just can’t get to the finish line, if the parties wish, I will suggest the parties allow me to present a mediator’s proposal to resolve the dispute. This proposal will be based on my first-hand insights into how a court would likely rule at trial as well as settlements of similar conflicts I have litigated over the years. The proposal will be made in confidence, and neither side will know that the other has accepted the proposal unless all sides have done so. In other words, it won’t matter “who blinked first.” Furthermore, if the matter does not resolve at the mediation, I will follow up with the attorneys for as long as it is wanted to see if we can overcome the remaining obstacles to resolution.
Let’s Find A Way Forward
I believe that all participants in mediation – the parties and their attorneys – deserve respect and to be treated with dignity and fairness. If you are ready to hire a mediator or wish to learn more about my mediation practice, please reach out at 805-564-2333 or send me an email.