Conflict is an inevitable part of life. Notwithstanding, most people do not handle conflict well. We avoid it, escalate it. Capitulation or compromise that leads to regret. When the conflict is more serious, we turn to the adversarial process and entrust a third party – a judge, a jury, or arbitrator – with the power to decide critical matters pertaining to our lives, personal, and professional. Yet, these third party deciders will never understand your situation as you do. Meanwhile, you will be engaged in an articulate, expensive, and time-consuming point-fingering process trying to prove who’s position is right. It begs the question: can such a divisive process bring justice and, if so, at what cost? Most matters can be resolved with mediation. Sometimes, it is just a matter of timing.

My dispute resolution practice focuses on each matter individually because each matter presents unique parties, subject matter, history, contexts, perceptions, interests, and future goals. This personalized approach to dispute resolution blends the realities and risks of litigation or arbitration with the human factors present in all disputes. It is a mistake to separate the two. I possess a practical understanding of the psychological and strategic aspects of an adjudicated matter with a unique ability to intuit intangible interests and concerns beyond the stated legal issues. Passionate and committed to my work as a neutral, I see infinite opportunity for creativity and growth, both professionally and personally, in all matters of conflict. I truly enjoy helping others put present difficulties in the past. These factors separate me from other mediators.

Prior to mediation, I work with counsel (and/or the parties) to develop a plan for the mediation that will work best for that particular situation. Depending upon the matter (and as discussed with counsel prior), the mediation may take place entirely in joint session, joint session with private caucuses (as needed), or in entirely in private caucus using shuttle diplomacy. I mediate both commercial and civil matters before and/or during arbitration or prior to trial. Given my litigation experience, I have particular subject matter expertise in business litigation, contractual disputes, partnership disputes, unfair competition, unfair business practices, product liability, construction disputes, fraud, torts (privacy, intentional torts, and personal injury), intellectual property, and bad-faith litigation. Well-versed in the pragmatic realities of risk analysis and quantum with knack for creative problem-solving and true empathy, I am able to facilitate parties through the most difficult disputes.
A member of the California Bar since 1995, I also have a Master of Laws in International Arbitration and Dispute Resolution. During my years as a trial attorney in Los Angeles, I represented individuals as well as corporations in both commercial and civil matters, sometimes on the plaintiff’s side of the table and at other times, the defendant’s. Some matters need to be litigated and resolved in a courtroom; most, however, do not. The court process can be lengthy as well as financially and personally costly. These costs combined with the lack of true conflict resolution led me to focus my efforts as a mediator. The flexibility in procedure and resolution simply does not exist in the adjudicatory process. The opportunity to enable an individual to create and arrive at solutions tailored to their particular interests and put events in the past and move forward to future days and new projects is always rewarding. The opportunity to assist parties by facilitating dialogue and a mutually beneficial resolution feeds my innate curiosity and appreciation for individuals and their interests and perspectives.

Accredited as a mediator on two continents in well-known programs and taught by impressive experts in mediation — CEDR (UK), Center for Dispute Resolution (CA, USA), and the Straus Institute of Dispute Resolution (CA, USA) — I am well-practiced in facilitative, evaluative, and transformative mediation. My unique style blends the use of all three. Living in Los Angeles, California and Paris, France has given me practical exposure to various cultural approaches to mediation. As a result, in my practice as a neutral, there is no “one size fits all.”

In addition to my services as a neutral, I have served as a professional volunteer for ICC International Mediation Competition, Centinela Youth Services, Inc., and the USC Mediation Advocacy program. I teach dispute resolution skills and provide workshops on conflict resolution in Los Angeles as well as in Europe. I serve as a panelist and guest lecturer in mediation and negotiation. I coach mediation teams in mediation competitions such as CMAP and the ICC International Commercial Mediation Competition.

Finally, beyond my legal experience, I received my culinary degree and served as a private chef and instructor for about ten years. While it has been some time since I have cooked professionally, this period of my life left an indelible mark on me personally and professionally. I honed my spontaneity, creativity, and patience. Working with thousands of people of different backgrounds and interests strengthened my interpersonal skills. Suffice it to say that whether I am cooking or acting as a neutral, my interest remains the same: bringing people to the table.

Life is best when everyone sits at the table together.