My Background and Approach
I first worked in a law firm in 1987, starting as a file clerk and working my way up to law clerk and office manager. I graduated from U.C. Berkeley, and then attended McGeorge School of Law, working for law firms during those times. Since being licensed in 1992, I gained experience working on cases involving combinations of high value claims, complex legal issues, and multiple parties. The subjects of those cases include construction claims and defects, real estate and broker liability, employment, medical malpractice and personal injury. I've also become adept at handling the insurance issues associated with these claims.
My mediation practice covers the same areas, although primarily consists of construction claims and defects and real estate matters, and related insurance issues.
Mediation is a dynamic process. There is not one "right" way to conduct a mediation. I employ numerous skills as I assist the parties in their dispute. The parties need to properly prepare themselves, and need to educate their opponents about the facts that support their cases, and what legal principles are supported by those facts. They must evaluate the strengths of their respective cases. They must also consider the weaknesses as well. Without having studied those strengths and weaknesses, the parties won't be in a position to fully evaluate the risks and rewards of settling their dispute versus going to trial. I find that parties can't really appreciate the value of settlement without comparing it to their alternatives (which usually means trial). But ultimately, they must decide for themselves whether to setlle or not.
Arbitration is a bit more static. The parties provide legal briefs and evidence, and I make a decision for them.
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