“Mediation is an exploratory, but liberating process. You still steer the car; I just work the pedals.”
How many mediations have you attended, and then left, dissatisfied that the mediator didn’t seem to “go to bat” for you to get your case settled?
Or, perhaps, you felt you were placed in the role of excessively explaining the legal issues to the mediator because he or she didn’t seem to grasp their nuances–leaving you wondering how your interpretation of those issues was being relayed in private caucusing to the other side. Maybe you’re just tired of waiting for months on end for your “go to” mediator to become available. I have had such experiences more times than I can count.
My own clients’ frustration with overly-“soft-styles” and, sometimes, an outright failure of the neutral to grasp the complexities inherent in employment and commercial disputes is what motivated me to combine my extensive litigation and mediation background as an advocate with the substantial “community-based” mediation training I have acquired, so as to offer mediation services you will find a bit different than what others provide, perfectly tailored to your case and, I predict, a lot more satisfying.
My approach to mediating disputes draws upon my skills, knowledge and tenacity to strike a balance between active listening and a dispassionate but forceful evaluation of the facts and law. Having represented countless litigants and companies in single-party discrimination, breach of contract, workplace health and safety and/or union disputes, as well as having handled more wage and hour class actions than nearly any attorney in California, I offer unique insight into how both sides view a host of fact patterns and an appreciation of the high costs and burdens of litigation. Although best-known for handling plaintiff-side employment and consumer class actions, my representation of business entities across many industries as well as my own experience as an employer for decades gives me an extremely well-balanced and broad understanding of how workers and employers view each another. This, along with my significant mediation training, provides me with a well-rounded and extensive toolbox of skills and approaches to help empower parties to resolve even the most acrimonious situations.
I recognize and never forget that the parties are completely in charge of the mediation process and its outcome, and that mediation (although usually driven by the hope and goal of settlement) need not be focused on a definable result; sometimes the parties just need a forum for exploring issues and improving communication, while, at other times, the parties are in the midst of intense litigation and are struggling to find common ground and a concrete resolution of the claims. Whatever the goals, we explore them, in advance of the mediation as well as during the mediation session and, in doing so, I bring the same energy that made me a successful litigator to the mediation process. Finally, since my mediation practice is limited to helping parties resolve employment and commercial disputes, no one should leave wondering whether the mediator understood the nuances of a legal or factual issue, or whether a position was properly communicated to the other side.