2013 Fall Conference Speaker Biographies
Hal Abramson, Esq. – Professor of Law, Touro Law Center, New York
Professor Abramson is a full-time faculty member at Touro Law Center in New York where he served for nine years as vice dean responsible for academic programs, faculty development, and international programs. He teaches or has taught courses on administrative law, business organizations, dispute resolution methods including mediation representation and international mediation, government regulation of business, remedies, domestic and international sales, and international business and trade. He has been teaching dispute resolution courses at Cardozo Law School since 2000. He publishes extensively in the areas of mediation representation and international mediation.
At Touro, Hal Abramson established the law schools first summer abroad program at Russia’s premier university, Moscow State University. As an ABA CEELI Specialist in Russia, he worked on a number of law reform projects when Russia began its transition to democracy. After leaving his vice dean position, he stayed involved in legal education developments by first serving for three years on the Committee for Professional Development (CLE for law professors) of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) and now as a member of the small AALS Resource Corp that facilitates retreats at law schools.
Prior to joining the Touro faculty, he worked in both private practice and state government for seven years, where he first litigated contract disputes in a civil legal services office and then helped formulate business regulatory policies and litigated complex regulatory cases for a New York State agency.
Michael Alder, Esq. – Alderlaw P.C.
Louisiana native Michael Alder has established himself as one of the top litigation attorneys in Southern California. Mr. Alder attended Louisiana State University (LSU) and graduated from LSU Law School in 1992. After clerking for the Hon. Lenore Prather, Presiding Justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court, he began his career at the Los Angeles offices of the late David M. Harney, a legendary California trial lawyer. He then moved on to work for and be mentored by Michael J. Piuze, one of the best trial lawyers in the country. Mr. Alder’s dedication to his practice is transparent in the many awards and recognitions he’s received for the cases he has litigated since 1994.
Mr. Alder’s most recent accomplishment was when he received the largest personal injury verdict in Ventura County history ($39.4 million for his client, a paraplegic auto accident victim). After a two-day break, he commenced a trial in St. Charles Parish, Louisiana, which resulted in the largest personal injury verdict in St. Charles Parish history for his client ($29.1 million for wrongful death of a truck passenger). Later in the year, Mr. Alder received $33 million for a breach of contract with punitive damages. Since 2004 Mr. Alder has been honored each year by his peers as one of the Top 100 Super Lawyers in Southern California. He remains the youngest person ever elected as Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles’ (CAALA) Trial Lawyer of the Year and is a five time nominee for California’s Trial Lawyer of the Year. He is also one of the youngest recipients of the prestigious Daily Journal’s Top 100 Lawyers in California for 2011.
Mr. Alder is the past president of CAALA, the largest local trial lawyer organization in the country. Mr. Alder has given nationwide seminars on litigation and published multiple articles on litigation strategy and practice. He has been a speaker at multiple continuing education seminars and regularly speaks at the annual CAALA Las Vegas convention. His topics range from advanced trial skills to the use of technology in the courtroom. He has been a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) since 2003. He was selected by The Daily Journal, one of the country’s leading legal newspapers, as one of the Top 20 Lawyers under the age of 40 in California in 2005.
A long-time board member of the Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC) and the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA), Mr. Alder was a leader of both organizations in 2012. In 2006, he was elected by CAOC to become one of the nine members of the Board of Directors for Southern California, after serving as the PAC Chairman for Southern California during the 2005-06 election. He remains on the CAOC Board in 2009.
Mr. Alder is a founder of Trial Lawyers Charities, a charity begun by lawyers in Los Angeles dedicated to helping people in the community with financial or legal needs and a founder of the Alder Family Foundation, which is devoted to assisting students in obtaining quality education based on merit, regardless of their ability to pay. He is also a member of the Board of Overseers of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association. Mr. Alder is the founder of The AlderLaw Warrior Fund established in 2012 to provide free funding and legal support to new lawyers with their cases.
Mark K. Ameli, Esq. – Mediator/Arbitrator – Diversified Dispute Resolution
Mark K. Ameli has been a practicing attorney since 1980. His practice is concentrated in the areas of Business and corporate transactions and litigation, personal injuries as a result of defective products, vehicular collisions, slip and fall and industrial accidents.
Between 1994 and 2009, Mr. Ameli has served as a judge pro tem in the Los Angeles Superior Court. He has also been appointed as the Superior Court of the State of California arbitrator and mediator in the Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Program. In 2005 his law firm started a mediation division under the name of Diversified Dispute Resolution.
Mr. Ameli holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of California at Berkeley, Master’s Degree from University of Southern California, both in Economics, and a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of West Los Angeles. He has also completed the various advanced mediation courses at Pepperdine University and at Harvard.
Mr. Ameli is an active member of California State Bar, and a number of Bar Associations. He is a founding member and past President of Iranian American Lawyers Association and a member of the Board of Southern California Mediation Association.
During the past years, Mr. Ameli has involved as an attorney for a party, an arbitrator or a mediator in thousands of cases. He has had speaking engagements in a number of Rotary Clubs dealing with cross cultural mediation and prevention of gang violence. He has also been approved as a provider by the State Bar of California to offer CLE seminars in Cross Cultural Negotiation and Mediation which satisfies the “Elimination of Bias” requirement. He concentrates on mediating Cross Cultural disputes. His Iranian-American background makes him especially effective in the resolution of cross-cultural disputes.
Maurice J. Attie
Maurice J. Attie is a Los Angeles based Mediator. With a background as a realtor and in accounting, he has been a bar member for over 49 years starting as a L.A. Deputy City Attorney and closing out his civil practice (real estate matters, business, photography, motion picture, record industry and other civil litigation, probate, corporate and business transactions, contracts, etc.). Along the way, he joined the New York and Israel Bar Associations, became a circuit presenter instructing on alternatives to conventional legal solutions (including 23 cities around the world), published numerous articles and has been interviewed extensively by the printed and broadcast media. He become a full time neutral at the end of 2001. He has conducted upwards of 1,100 mediations, is a long-time member of the SCMA, was associate member of both ACR and ABA’s DRS and Executive Committee member of the IAHL. He has twice received Mediator of the Year Awards by the LASC ADR.
Eleanor Barr, Esq. – Mediator – PMA Dispute Resolution
Eleanor Barr mediates in the areas of employment, real estate, environmental, business, insurance coverage and personal injury. She is especially skilled at handling complex, multi-party matters—and any matters that include tough negotiations and difficult personalities. She brings exceptional people skills to even the most bitterly-contested disputes and is known for her sense of fairness and her tenacious commitment to reaching settlement.
Ms. Barr was recognized by the Daily Journal as a Top 50 Neutral in 2012. She has also been selected by her peers as one of The Best Lawyers in America in mediation for 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, and has been chosen by Los Angeles Magazine as a Southern California Super Lawyer for 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013. She is a Distinguished Fellow of the International Academy of Mediators, a frequent lecturer on mediation and negotiation, and has taught mediation as an Adjunct Professor at Pepperdine School of Law.
Ms. Barr began practicing law 24 years ago as a litigator of complex civil cases. She was a named partner (under her maiden name, Oths) at Denney & Oths in Glendale, California, where she focused on environmental, business and employment litigation. Prior to that, Ms. Barr litigated in the areas of entertainment and First Amendment law at Glassman & Browning in Beverly Hills. She has represented corporate and individual clients, as plaintiffs and defendants, in all stages of litigation, including mediations, arbitrations, trials and appeals. Ms. Barrr’s experience in litigating complex, multi-party lawsuits has been instrumental in her ability to resolve such cases as a mediator.
Daniel Ben-Zvi, Esq. – Mediator – ADR Services, Inq.
Daniel Ben-Zvi (pronounced “BenzVee”) has been a respected mediator and arbitrator since 1995. With ADR Services, Inc. for over 10 years, he has mediated more than 2,000 disputes. Mr. Ben-Zvi is a “Distinguished Fellow” with the International Academy of Mediators and of 1 of 32 “Power Mediators” worldwide [Hollywood Reporter]. Admitted to five Bars, Mr. Ben-Zvi draws on 20 years as a multi-state trial lawyer to resolve complex disputes. This “warrior-turned-peacemaker”, as The Daily Journal describes him, brings a unique blend of persistence and creativity to ending bitterly fought lawsuits.? Mr. Ben-Zvi co-authored a book, “Inside the Minds–Alternative Dispute Resolution”, writes articles and lectures on dispute resolution. Mr. Ben-Zvi’s creativity even led him to be a writer on the television show “L.A. Law”.
Lee Jay Berman
Lee Jay Berman began as a full-time mediator and trainer over 19 years ago, and has successfully mediated over 1,800 matters. He mediates through PMA Dispute Resolution in the Century City, and is also a national panelist with the AAA, a Distinguished Fellow with the International Academy of Mediators, and a Charter Diplomat with the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals. He was Mediator of the Year for the US Bankruptcy Court in 2007; the Daily Journal named him a Top Neutral in 2008 and 2009; and he has been named to the Who’s Who of International Commercial Mediation in 2012 and 2013. He founded the American Institute of Mediation, leaving his position as Director of Pepperdine Law School’s Mediating the Litigated Case program after seven years. He has trained judges, attorneys and business leaders in Croatia, Jordan, The Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, India and Australia. In 2010, SCMA honored him with the Randolph Lowry Award for his leadership in educating mediators.
Annemarie Billoti, Esq. – Chief of Dispute Resolution – Department of Fair Employment and Housing
Annmarie Billotti is the Chief of Dispute Resolution for the Department of Fair Employment and Housing in Elk Grove, CA where she established and manages the Department’s Dispute Resolution Division. Ms. Billotti also is responsible for the DFEH’s legislation, regulation and public affairs units, and manages the Department’s EEO program. Ms. Billotti also formerly served as the DFEH Chief of Mediation, Volunteer Mediation Program Coordinator and also acted as the Department’s Chief Counsel in 2007 and 2008.
Before assuming her responsibilities at DFEH headquarters in 2007, Ms. Billotti held the position of Senior Staff Counsel in Oakland, obtaining significant remedies for complainants in employment and housing discrimination cases litigated in state court and before the Fair Employment and Housing Commission (FEHC). Of note is Ms. Billotti’s litigation of the matter of Dept. of Fair Employ. & Hous. v. SASCOElectric (Scherl) (June 22, 2007) FEHC Precedential Dec. No. 07-02-P [2005 WL 5672426 (Cal.F.E.H.C.)], a pregnancy discrimination case in which the FEHC awarded nearly $125,000 plus front pay and job reinstatement to the complainant and a $25,000 administrative fine to the State General Fund. The FEHC’s decision was upheld in SASCO Electric v. Cal. Fair Employ. & Hous. Com. (Scherl) (2009) 176 Cal.App.4th 532.
Prior to joining the DFEH in 2002, Ms. Billotti spent three years with a private firm litigating employment and civil rights cases and two years with the Santa Clara County Bar Association Law Foundation’s Mental Health Advocacy Project.
Jonathan Boxer, Esq. – Sec. Senior Counsel – Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems
Jonathan Boxer is a Senior Counsel Employment with Northrop Grumman’s Aerospace Systems unit in Redondo Beach.
His responsibilities include providing legal advice regarding the legal aspects of the employment relationship to business units in Northrop‘s Aerospace Systems Sector covering approximately 19,000 employees, providing legal advice regarding the legal aspects of the employment relationship to the west coast operations for Northrop Grumman Technical Services covering approximately 1,500 employees and several collective bargaining units, and representing Northrop Grumman in employment complaints, mediations and arbitrations under Northrop’s Dispute Resolution Policy, and employment litigation.
Prior to joining Northrop’s corporate predecessor TRW in 1982, Mr. Boxer worked at Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhoades in Philadelphia, PA and Parker, Chapin, Flattau and Klimpl, in New York City. Mr. Boxer received a BA from the University of Pennsylvania in 1971 and is a graduate of the New York University School of Law.
Barbara Brown, Esq. – Mediator
After practicing as a litigator for over 28 years, Barbara turned her practice to mediation full time in 2006, focusing on business and employment matters. She has trained extensively in different styles of mediation and successfully mediated hundreds of cases in the areas of employment, wage and hour, harassment, lemon law, business partnership, collection, real estate, breach of contract, and civil rights. She is an independent mediator who, in addition to her private practice, serves on mediator panels for the LASC; the USDC, Central District; the Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District; and the United States Post Office.
During her 28 years as a litigator Barbara represented individuals and companies both large and small on both plaintiff and defense sides. She had her own firm, The Brown Law Firm, for over 10 years. Before that she spent five years as Senior Counsel at First Interstate Bank and 12 years in private practice. Not incidentally, Barbara Brown is also the immediate past president of SCMA.
Hon. Daniel J. Buckley – Supervising Judge Civil Division, LA Superior Court
Judge Buckley has served on the Superior Court since 2002. On top of his duties as Supervising Judge of the Civil Division, he is also a member of the Executive Committee, the Personnel & Budget Committee, the Technology Committee, the Civil & Small Claims Committee, the Judicial Orientation & Continuing Education (Civil) Committee, and the Bench/Bar Committee. Prior to taking the bench, Judge Buckley was in private practice for more than 20 years. He received his J.D. from the University of Notre Dame. He is also an adjunct professor of trial advocacy at Loyola Law School, and an instructor in trial advocacy at Notre Dame.
Charles Chang has served as the Executive Director of the Asian Pacific American Dispute Resolution Center (APADRC) for over eight years. APADRC provides conflict resolution and mediation services in the greater Los Angeles communities and schools with a focus on serving the low-income monolingual communities. Charles led a team from APADRC, National Association for Community Mediation, and Advancing Dispute Resolution to develop a peer mediation curriculum that is currently being used in 45 U.S. states and 30 countries around the world. Charles has been working in nonprofits for twenty years, doing work in development, youth programs, and conflict resolution.
Phyllis W. Cheng, Esq. – Director – Department of Fair Employment and Housing
Phyllis W. Cheng is Director of the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). Appointed in January 2008 and unanimously confirmed by the Senate, she heads the largest state civil rights agency in the nation.
Ms. Cheng began her legal career as an associate at Hadsell & Stormer, a Pasadena civil and human rights firm where she practiced employment litigation representing plaintiffs. She later served as a deputy attorney general in the Civil Rights Enforcement Section of the California Department of Justice. Ms. Cheng was additionally a two-term member of the Fair Employment and Housing Commission (FEHC), where she served as vice chair, regulations committee chair, and ruled on nearly 80 administrative decisions. Ms. Cheng was additionally a senior appellate court attorney to the Honorable Laurie D. Zelon, Associate Justice of the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Seven. Immediately prior to her current position, Ms. Cheng was further of counsel at the Los Angeles office of Littler Mendelson, the national employment and labor law firm representing management clients. Among her published appellate court decisions are: Colmenares v. Braemar Country Club, Inc. (2003) 29 Cal.4th 1019 (definition of “physical disability” under California’s FEHA is broader than that of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act); and Fair Empl. & Hous. Com. v. Super. Court (Las Brisas Apartment, Ltd. Partnership) (2004) 115 Cal.App.4th 629 (30-day statute of limitations period under Government Code section 11523 applies to writ of administrative mandate actions challenging FEHC decisions).
Before becoming a lawyer, Ms. Cheng founded and directed a citizens’ commission to address sex discrimination at the Los Angeles Unified School District, was Title IX coordinator and monitored a Title VII consent decree promoting women into administration in the school system. She was responsible for the passage of California’s version of the federal Title IX law (Ed. Code, § 200 et seq.) prohibiting sex discrimination in education. She was also a researcher on school desegregation at the RAND Corporation, adjunct faculty at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Graduate School of Education, director of a mentoring program for at-risk minority girls at the University of Southern California (USC), and a debate panelist on KNBC-TV’s Emmy-winning “Free 4 All” program.
The State Bar of California named Ms. Cheng the 2012 Ronald M. George Public Lawyer of the Year for being an exceptional lawyer, who has dedicated a significant portion of her career to public service. The State Bar further named the DFEH Educational Partnerships as winner of the 2013 Education Pipeline Diversity Award. Ms. Cheng has been a member of the State Bar Committee of Bar Examiners and the executive committees of the Labor & Employment Law and Public Law Sections. She co-founded the Fair Housing and Public Accommodations Subsection of the State Bar’s Real Property Law Section. Ms. Cheng also edited both the California Labor & Employment Law Review and the Public Law Journal, is an attorney editor of two chapters of Employment Litigation (The Rutter Group California Practice Guide, 2009-current editions) and a chapter contributor to an upcoming California Fair Housing and Public Accommodations Practice Guide (The Rutter Group, California Practice Guide, in progress), authors a regular column on cases pending before the California Supreme Court, and provides a free case alert service on new labor and employment law decisions to thousands of practitioners. She has additionally published widely in both legal journals and newspapers. Ms. Cheng further served on the California Commission on the Status of Women.
Ms. Cheng received her B.A. and M.Ed. from UCLA, her Ph.D. from USC, where she was a James Irvine Fellow, and her J.D. from Southwestern Law School. She is an immigrant from Hong Kong and a native speaker of Chinese in three dialects.
Kenneth Cloke – Director, Center for Dispute Resolution
Kenneth Cloke has served as a mediator, arbitrator, attorney, coach, consultant and trainer. Ken specializes in resolving complex multi-party conflicts which include: community, grievance and workplace disputes, collective bargaining negotiations, organizational and school conflicts, sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuits, and public policy disputes. Ken also provides services in designing preventative conflict resolution systems for organizations.
His coaching, consulting, facilitation, and training practice includes work with leaders of public, private and non-profit organizations on effective communications, collaborative negotiation, relationship building, conflict resolution, leadership development, strategic planning, team building, and organizational change.
His university teaching experience includes law, mediation, history, political science, conflict studies, urban studies, and other social sciences at a number of colleges and universities including Southwestern University School of Law, Antioch University, Occidental College, USC, and UCLA. He is an Adjunct Professor at Pepperdine University’s School of Law, Strauss Institute; Harvard University School of Law, Program on Negotiation, Insight Initiative; Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Cape Cod Institute and University of Amsterdam ADR Institute.??He has done international work in conflict resolution in Austria, Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, China, Cuba, England, Georgia, India, Ireland, Japan, Latin America, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Puerto Rico, Thailand, Ukraine, the former USSR, United Kingdom, and Zimbabwe. He is President and co-founder of Mediators Beyond Borders.
He served as an Administrative Law Judge for the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board and the Public Employment Relations Board, as Factfinder for the Public Employment Relations Board, and as Judge Pro Tem for the Superior Court of Los Angeles. He has been an Arbitrator and Mediator for over twenty-seven years in labor management disputes, and is a member of a number of arbitration panels.??Kenneth Cloke’s education includes a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley; J.D. from U.C. Berkeley’s Boalt Law School; Ph.D. from U.C.L.A.; LLM from U.C.L.A. Law School; and did post-doctoral work at Yale University School of Law. He is a graduate of the National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada.
Hon. Huey P. Cotton – Los Angeles Superior Court, Northwest District – Van Nuys
Judge Huey P. Cotton presides in a general (unlimited) jurisdiction civil court. He was appointed to the bench in 2009 by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Judge Cotton practiced law for 27 years prior to taking the bench. He started his legal career as a staff attorney with the United States Civil Rights Commission in Washington, D.C. While there, he helped prepare a report on the treatment of Native Indians in the Courts (both federal and tribal courts).
He served 5 years as a senior trial attorney for the Defenders Association of Philadelphia. While there, he successfully tried one of the first cases in the country using the battered woman self-defense. He also successfully convinced a trial judge to allow a Zulu cultural expert to testify in a criminal case concerning the use of a machete in self-defense.
In 1988, he joined the national law firm of Cozen O’Connor in Philadelphia. He was the first minority attorney to join the firm. He litigated civil cases in more than 14 states, and 3 different countries (Barbados, Canada and Mexico). While practicing law in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he helped initiate a comprehensive study of cultural conflict and bias in the courts. He also organized the first comprehensive CLE for judges on judicial ethics in Philadelphia.
He was a member of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (which later became the American Association for Justice), the Defense Research Institute, the National Lawyers Guild and the National Bar Association. He also served on the board of directors of the American Civil Liberties Union (Philadelphia Chapter), and served as a legal commentator on the O.J. Simpson trial for independent television stations throughout the Northeast.
In addition to his regular duties on the Superior Court, Judge Cotton serves as a mentor for high school and college students interested in pursuing legal careers.
Mary Culbert, Esq. – Director, The Center for Conflict Resolution at Loyola Law School
Mary B. Culbert is a Clinical Professor and Director of The Center For Conflict Resolution (The Center) at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. She is a bilingual certified mediator and a 1984 graduate of Loyola Law School. In 1993, Ms. Culbert began serving as a community and court mediator and received the “Rookie of the Year Award” from the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Dispute Resolution Services. She returned to Loyola in 1994 as an Adjunct Professor of law and founding Director of the Disability Mediation Center of the Western Law Center for Disability Rights (currently the Disability Rights Legal Center). After practicing law for several years, Ms. Culbert became a Bilingual Certified Mediator and has mediated extensively since 1992 in numerous community, government agency and court programs. She served as a resource to local, state and federal agencies regarding the design and implementation of mediation programs. She sat on the California State Bar ADR Committee and Chaired its Ethics Subcommittee since its inception in 1997 until September 2001, and still sits as an advisor to that Committee today. Ms. Culbert has served on numerous boards, committees and mediation panels over the past 20 years. She has trained and lectured extensively on mediation skills, advanced mediation techniques, disability mediation and legal issues in mediation. She served an appointment to the Judicial Council, Civil and Small Claims Advisory Committee, ADR Subcommittee Working Group on Uniform Procedures for Addressing Complaints about Court-Program Mediators. She was recognized in the “TOP NEUTRALS” Supplement to the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journals and to the Sacramento Recorder, in the section on “Community Mediators: taking it to the streets” in 2007. In 2009, she received the Ester Soriano Peacemaker of the Year Award from Los Angeles County DRPA Program Community Mediators, and in 2010, the Ester Soriano Award for Excellence in Community Mediation from the California Dispute Resolution Council. In 2011, she traveled to Bangladesh with Professor Hiro Aragaki to train Judges and Attorneys in mediation. She is currently working on finishing an article involving mediation ethics based on ideas developed in conjunction with Professor Marco Turk.
Kurt L. Dettman, Esq. – Dispute Resolution Board Foundation – Hingham, MA
Mr. Dettman draws upon his 30 years of legal and public management experience to facilitate dispute avoidance and dispute resolution, focusing on open communication and consensus building among contractors, owners, attorneys and consultants. Mr. Dettman focuses on the use of all forms of dispute avoidance and resolution in the construction industry, including dispute resolution systems design, partnering, settlement negotiations, mediation, arbitration, and Dispute Review Boards.
Mr. Dettman was instrumental in the creation and implementation of a construction dispute resolution program on the CA/T Project, including the use of Partnering and Dispute Review Boards (of which there were 46 over the 15+ years of active construction on $7B in contracts). He wrote the DRB specification and operating guidelines used on the CA/T Project, advised on the procurement of DRB members and chairpersons, and oversaw the presentation of all claims to the DRB on behalf of the Owner. Mr. Dettman recommended to the CA/T Project Director whether to accept or reject all DRB findings and recommendations as part of the Project Director’s Decisions.
Frank Garfield, Esq. – Mediator – Frank Garfield Mediation
As a divorce mediator, Frank Garfield works for both parties. Although he is a lawyer, he does not represent either party or both parties; instead, he is a lawyer for the situation. In that capacity, he provides authoritative information and guidance, offers the benefits of 35 years of experience, knowledge and judgment, facilitates the parties’ negotiations, and prepares the paperwork necessary to conclude the case. Frank Garfield has been practicing family law in Los Angeles since January 1, 1975, first as a litigator and then as a mediator. Starting in 1992, he began the transition to mediation, and now limits his practice to mediation. Mr. Garfield no longer makes Court appearances. He represents individual clients only as a consulting attorney or in connection with the negotiation of prenuptial agreements and postnuptial agreements. Mr. Garfield was profiled in the April, 2007 issue of Los Angeles Magazine, and was also pictured on the cover of the November, 2011 issue of Los Angeles Lawyer.
Jack R. Goetz, Esq., M.B.A., Ph.D.
Dr. Goetz has spent 30 years as a law professor and bar exam expert and was the founding dean and president of Concord Law School, the nation’s first fully online nationally accredited law school. He earned his doctorate in Education, and his unique understanding and application of traditional and modern teaching philosophies have established him as an innovator for career-oriented students who wish to achieve academic and professional advancement. In 2002, Dr. Goetz’s contributions to the field of distance education were recognized by the presentation of the Distance Education and Training Council’s Distinguished Recognition Award.
Dr. Goetz has been a member of the California State Bar since 1979 and actively mediates litigated cases throughout Los Angeles and Ventura counties privately as well as for the Superior Courts. In recognition of his work at CSUN and privately as a volunteer mediator for the Los Angeles Superior Court, he was awarded the Alternative Dispute Resolution department’s “Volunteer of the Year” award in 2012. Dr. Goetz additionally serves as an arbitrator and mediator for the Los Angeles County Bar Association and arbitrates cases for FINRA, the self-regulatory agency that oversees securities brokers and dealers.
Dr. Goetz is a graduate of the California State University system (San Diego State University, Economics, 1976), received his M.B.A. at Pepperdine University (1990), his J.D. from Boston University (1979), and his Ph.D. from Capella University (2006).
Victoria Goldfarb is an attorney and Marriage and Family Therapist Intern and a therapist-attorney-mediator with Peace Talks Mediation Services. She is completing her third year of clinical training at Airport Marina Counseling Services, where she has been working with individuals, children, couples and families. She also sees clients, many of whom are going through divorces, in private practice under the supervision of Carol Hirshfield, Ph.D.
Jeff Guilfoyle is a Senior Client Development Consultant with FindLaw, A Thomson Reuters Business. He is specializes in helping attorneys and mediators in the Los Angeles area to maximize their return on investment in regard to their online marketing budgets. Mr. Guilfoyle assists his clients in strategizing for growth and maximizing visibility and profitability of their practices through websites, social media campaigns, blogs, conversion tools, and a hyper focused marketing strategy to help them be discovered by the right clients in a complicated and fragmented internet landscape.
Christine Harwell, Esq.
Christine Harwell, a California lawyer since 1978, presently serves as a hearing and settlement officer and litigator for the Department of Industrial Relations with the State of California, Office of the Director, Legal Unit in Los Angeles. She also mediates employment harassment cases brought through the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement.For nearly a year Ms. Harwell served as Administrative Law Judge for the State of California Office of Administrative Hearings in the area of special education, an area of the law that mandates that the judges conduct both hearings and mediations. In April, 2013, in Chicago, Illinois, Ms. Harwell served as one of the ABA’s judges of lawyer/mediator competitions of the American Bar Association Conference on the Section on Dispute Resolution.
A Masters’ degree graduate of Pepperdine Law School’s Straus Institute of Dispute Resolution, Ms. Harwell has recently established Miracle Mile Mediation to pursue the business of alternate dispute resolution services following termination of the Los Angeles Superior Court ADR program last Spring. She spent an extensive internship conducting co-mediations for the EEOC in 2012; she has conducted many high-stakes mediations of public works prevailing wage matters and applies her settlement and negotiation talents to the various employment related issues in workers’ compensation matters involving insurers, bond holders, bankruptcy and collection issues. Prior to working for the State of California, Ms. Harwell practiced business litigation for ten years handling both plaintiff and defendant civil litigation in state and federal courts.
She also served as a prosecutor for the City of Inglewood City Attorney and prior to that for ten years she served as Staff Attorney for the Clerk and Court Executive of the U.S. District Court, Central District of California.During that time Ms. Harwell attended USC School of Judicial Administration and served as president of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Federal Bar Association and as Ninth Circuit Vice President; during her work with the Federal Bar Association Ms. Harwell planned and produced many “Bridging the Gap” and substantive federal law practice programs that the federal bench and bar sponsored.
Isael Hermosillo – Commissioner – Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service
Commissioner Hermosillo is assigned to the Glendale Field Office of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services (FMCS). His major responsibilities revolve around fulfilling the primary FMCS Mission established by Congress under the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947, which is, providing assistance to management and union parties during collective bargaining. Inherent in this Mission, and a particular focus for Mr. Hermosillo, is providing parties with trainings useful to dealing with workplace conflicts.
Prior to joining the FMCS, Mr. Hermosillo was a Board agent at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). He worked out of the Baltimore, MD and Los Angeles, CA offices. During his tenure there he was responsible for investigating Unfair Labor Practice charges, conducting Union Elections and trying Unfair Labor Practice cases in front of administrative judges.
Mr. Hermosillo attended Pasadena City College before transferring and earning a Bachelors’ degree from the University of Southern California. In 2006 Mr. Hermosillo was awarded his Master’s degree in Public Administration and a Jurist Doctorate in Law from Syracuse University.
Patricia Kasschau, Esq. – Managing Counsel – Labor And Employment – Toyota Legal One c/o Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
Patricia Kasschau holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, a Ph.D. in Sociology and Gerontology, and a J.D., all from the University of Southern California. After teaching and conducting research at USC for five years, she attended law school on a Law and Behavioral Sciences grant, and afterwards practiced labor and employment law at Paul Hastings as a Project Attorney for five years, before going in-house at Hughes Aircraft Company, where one of her first assignments was to draft a mandatory arbitration procedure for the Company’s dispute resolution process. At Hughes, she gained valuable experience mediating litigated matters.
Not long after Raytheon acquired Hughes’ defense business and related employment litigation, Patricia moved to Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. as Labor and Employment Managing Counsel, where her first task was to design a new alternative dispute resolution program for the company: named the Toyota Associate Dispute Resolution Process or T-ADR, it included mediation and non-binding arbitration as integral steps outside the Company. In 15 years at Toyota, Patricia has handled well over 100 mediations on behalf of the company. Since T-ADR’s introduction, only five matters in twelve years have reached Step 4 non-binding arbitration, which speaks to the success that has been achieved through mediation. T-ADR currently is being revised: mediation will be retained as an option, but non-binding arbitration will be replaced by binding arbitration at the final step.
Linda Joy Kattwinkel, Esq. – Of Counsel – Owen, Wickersham & Erickson, PC
Linda Joy is a painter and former graphic artist as well as an attorney. She has been mediating arts-related disputes as a member of the Arts Arbitration and Mediation Service of California Lawyers for the Arts panel since 1987, and as a member of the Alternate Dispute Resolution panel for the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California since 2011. She is of counsel to Owen, Wickersham & Erickson, PC, where she represents clients in all artistic disciplines on issues such as copyright and trademark protection, infringement, licensing and gallery contracts. Linda Joy earned her B.F.A. cum laude in Communication Arts from Virginia Commonwealth University, and her law degree cum laude from Hastings College of the Law. She frequently serves as an oral argument judge in the Saul Lefkowitz Western Regional Moot Court Competition (trademark law), and currently serves as the Northern California Chair of the U.S. Copyright Society: She often speaks to visual artists, designers and lawyers, including for example, at the annual Visual Arts and the Law Conference, AIGA (the Professional Association for Design) national and local conferences, and ICON (Illustrators’ Conference). Linda Joy is the author of Legalities, an online column on legal issues for artists, for the San Francisco Chapter of the AIGA (http://aigasf.org/community). Her articles on copyright and arts law have appeared in various publications, including the GAG national newsletter, STEP Inside Design magazine, and the AIGA website.
Jeff Kichaven, Esq. – Mediator
Jeff Kichaven is an internationally recognized speaker and writer on mediation. He is a leading voice on the ways lawyers and mediators can, and must, work together to serve clients better. He has addressed audiences of lawyers in the United States, Canada, and England for six Sections of the American Bar Association (Business Law, Dispute Resolution, Family Law, Law Practice Management, Litigation and Tort, Trial and Insurance Practice). He has also addressed the Practicing Law Institute, ALI-ABA, the State Bar of California, the Texas Association of Mediators, the North Carolina Bar Association, the Wisconsin Association of Mediators, the California Center for Judicial Education and Research (“Judges’ College”), the USC Insurance Law Institute, California Continuing Education of the Bar, the Los Angeles County and Beverly Hills Bar Associations, the national seminar series of the Negotiation Strategy Institute and many other organizations. Several of his recent articles, including the widely published “Mediation is Not for Sissies,” are included in this website.
Jeff is a former President of the Southern California Mediation Association (SCMA). Jeff co-authored SCMA’s amicus brief in Rojas v. Superior Court. The brief had a significant impact on the Supreme Court’s opinion. Specifically, footnotes 4 and 9 of the decision, drawn from the SCMA brief, prevent the case from having a holding that would negatively affect confidence in the integrity of mediation. Jeff is also a Fellow in the International Academy of Mediators, a select group of approximately 100 commercial mediators worldwide who work to elevate the standards of mediation practice. In the academic world, Jeff is an adjunct professor in Pepperdine University School of Law’s Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution.
Lisa Klerman, Esq. – Mediator – Mediation Office of Lisa Klerman
Lisa Klerman is a full-time mediator specializing in employment law mediations. A sizeable portion of Ms. Klerman’s practice involves the mediation of employment law class actions. In addition to her work as a neutral, Ms. Klerman is also a member of the adjunct faculty at USC Law School, where she teaches courses in Alternative Dispute Resolution and serves as Director of the Mediation Clinic. The Mediation Clinic courses that she designed and developed received national recognition in 2011 when the Ninth Circuit Judicial Council honored USC Law School with its prestigious ADR Education Award.
Previously a partner in the employment law department at Morrison & Foerster, Ms. Klerman represented plaintiffs as well as defendants while she was a practicing attorney. Her achievements include several notable jury trials, as well as some high profile appellate cases, including Hawaiian Airlines v. Norris, 512 U.S. 246 (1994), and Hanson v. District Lodge 725 of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, 90 Cal. App. 4th 977 (2001).
In 2004, Ms. Klerman left the partnership at Morrison & Foerster to become a full-time neutral. That same year, she received an achievement award in recognition of outstanding ADR services for the Los Angeles Superior Court, and was designated a California “Super Lawyer Rising Star” by Los Angeles Magazine. She has appeared as a commentator on National Public Radio, on a nationally broadcast series for NPR’s “Morning Edition” program, speaking on the legal issues surrounding religion in the workplace. She has also been interviewed by major publications including Forbes, California Lawyer, Editor and Publisher Magazine, and Oprah Magazine, and is a frequent speaker on alternative dispute resolution, negotiation, and mediation. In June 2011, Ms. Klerman’s interview by the BBC on the landmark Dukes v. Wal-Mart Supreme Court decision was broadcast internationally.
Ms. Klerman is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, where she received her B.A. degree with honors in 1988. She received her J.D. degree from the University of Chicago in 1992, where she was a member of the University of Chicago Law Review. At the University of Chicago, she authored and published an article entitled, “The Role of the Jury and the Court in Assessing Front Pay Awards Under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act,” 58 U. Chi. Law Review 1475 (1991). After graduating from law school, Ms. Klerman served as Law Clerk to the Honorable Alan C. Kay, Chief Judge of the United States District Court, District of Hawaii. Ms. Klerman has been given Martindale-Hubbell’s highest rating (“AV”) for her professional excellence and ethical standards.
Wendy W. Kramer, Esq. – Mediator/Arbitrator – Kramer Mediate
Wendy Kramer is a full-time, independent mediator and arbitrator practicing out of her private offices in Santa Monica. Formerly a partner with Kramer & Kramer, handling insurance-related matters, Wendy specializes in personal injury, business disputes, professional malpractice, landlord-tenant matters and complex litigation. Wendy is the President of the Southern California Mediation Association, a former Panel Mediator/Arbitrator for the Los Angeles Superior Court ADR Programs, a Panel Mediator for Resolute Systems, Inc., the Ventura County Superior Court, and a Santa Monica and Beverly Hills Bar Association Fee Dispute Mediator. Wendy also chairs the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section of the Santa Monica Bar Association. She earned her J.D. from Loyola University School of Law and became a Member of the State Bar of California in 1985. In 2004, she completed Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution Training from Pepperdine University. In 2005, she became a Certified Arbitrator for the Better Business Bureau. Wendy has mediated over 1,200 matters and is known for her ability to deal with difficult personalities and complex legal issues.
Hon. Michael A. Latin – Mediator/Arbitrator – ADR Services, Inc.
Judge Latin served on the Los Angeles County Superior Court from 2003-2011. He was the Supervising Site Judge for the Van Nuys Superior Civil Courthouse from 2008-2011, and a member of the LA Superior Court Executive Committee from 2010-2011, as well as a member of the Court’s ADR Committee from 2009-2011. Judge Latin is currently a mediator and arbitrator with ADR Services, Inc.
Stephanie Maloney, CFP, CDFA – Financial Mediator/Neutral – Peace Talks Mediation Services Inc.
Stephanie Maloney is a Certified Financial Planner, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst ™, Financial Neutral & Mediator. She was one of the first practicing divorce financial planners in the Los Angeles area. As a mediator with Peace Talks, Stephanie brings her expertise to help mediation clients make good choices for settlement. She helps determine the short-term and long-term financial impact of proposed divorce settlements, offers valuable insight into the pros and cons of different settlement proposals, and helps avoid common financial pitfalls of divorce. Ms. Maloney earned her Certified Financial Planning (CFP®) credential from the College for Financial Planning in Denver, Colorado in 1991. She completed the training by the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts as a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst in 1999. She has also taken Collaborative Divorce™ training and completed 30 hours of mediation training in 2005 and 40 hours of divorce mediation training in 2007. Stephanie has over 25 years of professional experience in the financial services industry providing a broad range of financial and advisory services for her clients.
Having personally gone through a divorce involving the future of her child, Stephanie is prepared to assist her clients, both financially and emotionally. She helps determine the short-term and long-term financial impact of proposed divorce settlements, offers valuable insight into the pros and cons of different settlement proposals, and helps avoid common financial pitfalls of divorce. Whether it’s in a mediation session or as part of an individual consultation for each party in mediation, Stephanie provides personalized reports illustrating the financial status, cash flow and net worth of divorcing parties.
Stephanie is a member of the Institute for Certified Divorce Planners, the California Divorce Planners Network, the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, Alternate Dispute Resolution Standing Committee of the State Bar-Family Law Section (Southern California), and Associate Member of the Los Angeles County Bar.
Joseph Mansolillo – Commissioner – Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service
Commissioner Mansolillo is assigned to the San Diego Field Office of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services (FMCS). His major responsibilities revolve around fulfilling the primary FMCS Mission established by Congress under the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947, which is, providing assistance to management and union parties during collective bargaining. Inherent in this Mission, and a particular focus for Mr. Mansolillo, is providing consultation, training, and facilitation in the design of processes to help mediate workplace grievances and conflicts. These processes help to promote collaboration towards effective conflict management and joint problem solving, which ultimately enhance the collective bargaining process and the labor-management relationship.
Just prior to joining FMCS in 1997, Mr. Mansolillo was responsible for coordinating the Southern Nevada Labor Alliance, helping to establish and facilitate collaborative processes between labor and management at the Nevada Test Site. The Alliance was a shared forum of the Bechtel Corporation, the Southern Nevada Building Trades and other Affiliates of the Southern Nevada Labor Council.
After earning his Bachelors’ degree from the University of Maryland, Mr. Mansolillo began his labor relations career in Upstate New York in 1970’s. In 2006 Mr. Mansolillo was awarded his Masters degree in Negotiations and Conflict Management from California State University, Dominquez Hills. Mr. Mansolillo has been a regular trainer of the Labor-Management Negotiations Skills Course for the FMCS Institute and recently served as a member of the development team for the FMCS Fundamentals of Collective Bargaining program.
Anthony Matthews – Mediator
Anthony Matthews, a law graduate of the University of Cambridge, is a mediator with Valley Mediation LA, specializing in small business, employment, and interpersonal disputes. He is an active member of SCMA, and is particularly interested in the study of negotiation techniques used in mediation.
Joseph C. Markowitz, Esq.
Joseph C. Markowitz has over 30 years of experience as a business trial lawyer. He has represented clients ranging from individuals and small businesses to Fortune 500 corporations. He started practicing with a boutique litigation firm in New York City, then was a partner in a large international firm both in New York then in Los Angeles, then returned to practicing with a small firm and on his own. In addition to general commercial litigation, Mr. Markowitz has expertise in intellectual property, employment law, entertainment law, real estate, and bankruptcy litigation. Mr. Markowitz has managed his own firm since 1994.
Mr. Markowitz was trained as a mediator more than 15 years ago, and has conducted a substantial number of mediations as a member of the Mediation Panels in the Los Angeles County Superior Court, the District Court and Bankruptcy Court in the Central District of California, as well as privately. He has served since 2010 as a board member of the Southern California Mediation Association, and has been elected vice-president for 2013 and president of that organization in 2014. He served for two years on the LA Superior Court’s ADR committee, and chaired the task force that developed SCMA’s “Select a Mediator” program.
Daniel D. McMillan, Esq. – Partner – Jones Day
Dan McMillan is the co-chair person of Jones Day’s global construction practice. He represents owners, design professionals, and contractors in large construction disputes and in negotiating and drafting the full panoply of contracts for large construction projects.
Dan has substantial trial and appellate experience, as well as extensive experience with domestic and international ad hoc and administered arbitrations. The clients he represents include major owners like Chevron, Sempra Energy, and Edison International, and international contractors and design firms like Vinci, Arup, Befesa, and AECOM. Dan has substantial experience with termination cases, projects with disputes review boards (“DRBs”), and disputes arising on both oil/gas and energy projects. He tried the first case in the country to result in a published decision involving DRBs, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority v. SKK, 59 Cal. App. 4th 676 (1997). Under UNCITRAL rules, he successfully represented a Chevron affiliate in arbitration defeating the EPC contractor’s claim for additional costs associated with the failure of an oil production pipeline located offshore of Angola, Africa, and recovered the owner’s extra costs on a cross-claim. In September 2011, Dan concluded a trial involving the termination of a construction contractor on two large public works projects defeating the contractor’s claim that the notice and opportunity to cure provided by the owner were inadequate and the termination was pretextual.
Dan is a member of the Disputes Resolution Board Foundation, the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators, and the American Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry (Steering Committee for Dispute Avoidance and Resolution, 2003-2008; Technology Committee, 2008-2012). He is on the executive board of the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation, served as an adjunct professor at Loyola Law School teaching appellate advocacy, and has been an instructor for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy. Dan served on the California Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation (2007-2010), which evaluates judicial candidates and reports to the Governor of California.
Diana Mercer, Esq – Attorney/ Mediator – Peace Talks Mediation Services Inc.
Diana Mercer is an Attorney-Mediator and the founder of Peace Talks Mediation Services, www.peace-talks.com. She is the co-author of Making Divorce Work: 8 Essential Keys to Resolving Conflict and Rebuilding Your Life (Penguin/Perigee 2010), Your Divorce Advisor: A Lawyer and a Psychologist Guide You Through the Legal and Emotional Landscape of Divorce (Simon & Schuster/Fireside 2001) and 8 Simple Keys to Building and Growing Your Mediation or Arbitration Practice (Peace Talks Press 2011). Diana also writes for the Huffington Post as well as her own blog, Making Divorce Work.
Jacklin Mizrahi is the Director of the Center for Civic Mediation. She holds a J.D. from Pepperdine University School of Law and a master’s degree in Dispute Resolution from Pepperdine’s Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution. She has mediated civil and civil harassment cases for the Los Angeles Superior Court through the California Academy of Mediation Professionals and the Center for Conflict Resolution.
Jacklin was previously the Manager of Volunteer and Development Services for Dispute Resolution Services and has over nine years experience helping members of the Los Angeles community resolve conflict peacefully by providing mediation and facilitation services for a variety of disputes including, neighbor/neighbor, landlord/tenant, consumer/merchant, business/business, employment, family and real estate. Jacklin’s experience includes teaching mediation and conflict resolution skills to Los Angeles community members, social service and legal professionals in Los Angeles, as well as youth in public schools in Carson, Santa Monica and Pacoima. She also served as the Interim Program Manager for the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer Affairs, Dispute Settlement Service.
Forrest Mosten, Esq.
Forrest (Woody) Mosten has been a private mediator since 1979, has been SCMA’s Annual Keynote speaker 3 times, and trains mediators and lawyers worldwide. He is the author of 4 books, including, Mediation Career Guide, and his training signature is to blend the mastery of advanced skills with strategies to develop profitable mediation practices.
Gail Nugent has over twenty five years’ experience mediating disputes of all kinds, facilitating meetings, conducting training in conflict resolution, and designing conflict management systems. She has mediated well over 2500 disputes in a broad range of areas, including employment, business, community, special education, vocational rehabilitation, and family law. She has also conducted over 150 complex multi-party mediations and facilitations for public and private agencies, school districts, churches, and community organizations. In addition, Ms. Nugent conducts training for organizations, businesses, government entities and school districts in effective communication, effective meeting facilitation, conflict resolution, creative problem solving and mediation. >Ms. Nugent’s education and experience also include the development and management of community organizations and volunteer development.
She earned her master’s degree in Social Work from the University of California, Los Angeles with a specialization in the area of program administration and community organization. Ms. Nugent worked as the Director of Community Programs and Training for the Los Angeles County Bar Association, Dispute Resolution Services. In 1995, she became the Executive Director of the Mediation Center of Orange County, a non-profit organization that provides alternative dispute resolution training and services. She also served as Executive Director of Community Boards of San Francisco, one of the oldest community mediation centers in the United States. In 2000, the Southern California Mediation Association recognized her with its Peacemaker of the Year award. Currently, she is an elected member of the Governing Council of the American Bar Association’s Section of Alternative Dispute Resolution.
Marc D. Paisin, Esq. – Mediator – Mediation Law Offices of Marc D. Paisin
Marc Paisin is a metalsmith/glassblower as well as a mediator & attorney. He earned an MFA from U.C. Berkeley in addition to his J.D. from Boalt Hall. One of the co-founders of CLA in 1973, he has been continually active with CLA and mediates disputes as a member of CLA’s Arts Arbitration & Mediation Service as well as speaking at numerous CLA workshops for artists. He is the principal at the Mediation Law Offices of Marc D. Paisin & also sits as a member of the Executive Committee of the ADR Section of the Alameda County Bar Assn. He was a Harry Sloan Fellow of the Center for Mediation in Law now coaches & trains Arts/Entertainment/Copyright mediators throughout California & is of counsel to numerous art guilds, artists, museums, galleries, etc. He frequently speaks on and teaches art law and arts mediation throughout the U.S. and his silver work has been exhibited in the Renwyck Gallery of the Smithsonian.
Cynthia F. Pasternak, Esq. – ADR Services Inc.
Cynthia Pasternak has been a full-time mediator for the past 20 years, following a broad and accomplished career as an AV-rated civil litigator and negotiator.
Ms. Pasternak has mediated over 3,000 cases involving diverse and cross-disciplinary issues, including: Business and Commercial Contracts, Construction Defect, Disability, Elder Abuse, Employment, Personal Injury, Product Liability, Professional Liability, Real Estate, and Wage & Hour.
Cynthia Pasternak has received multiple awards and recognition from the Los Angeles Superior Court, the County of Los Angeles, and several legal associations and publications for her extensive contributions to the ADR field. Cynthia was honored by the Los Angeles Superior Court as an ADR Top Achiever and twice for mediating the Case of the Year. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors recognized her as a Mediation Week Honoree. The Beverly Hills Bar Association has honored Cynthia Pasternak with the President’s Award, Executive Director’s Award, Distinguished Service Award, and President’s Medallion. Los Angeles Magazine has named her a SuperLawyer six times.
Ms. Pasternak is also a devoted leader in the legal community, serving on the Special ADR Advisory Board for the United States District Court Central District of California, as a member of the Programs Committee and Co-chair of the Sponsorship Committee for the Southern California Mediation Association, the Executive Committee of the American Bar Association Metropolitan Bar Caucus, a previous member of the ABA House of Delegates and the Board of Trustees for the Los Angeles County Bar Association. Cynthia Pasternak is a member of the Order of Distinguished Attorneys, Los Angeles Mediators, The Chancery Club, a Fellow of the American Bar Association, a Lifetime Member of MENSA, Ltd., and a Past-President of the Beverly Hills Bar Association.
Cynthia Pasternak is currently affiliated with ADR Services, Inc.
Steve W. Paul, Esq. – Mediator – Alternative Resolution Centers
Steve Paul is a full-time neutral with Alternative Resolution Centers LLC (ARC) in Century City and Downtown Los Angeles, specializing in mediating employment disputes. He also mediates business, entertainment, real estate and personal injury disputes. Steve is also an Adjunct Professor at the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine Law School, where he will be teaching “Resolution of Employment Disputes” in the Spring of 2014. He also received a Fellowship from the Straus Institute. Prior to becoming a mediator, Steve was in-house legal and business affairs counsel for over 10 years at Warner Brothers Studio Facilities, where he primarily advised on labor and employment issues, and provided legal oversight of the day-to-day studio operations that included transactional, real estate, compliance, safety, and environmental issues. Prior to joining Warner Bros., Steve spent several years in a plaintiffs’ employment litigation practice, and initially at a large law firm representing employers. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from UC Berkeley, and received his law degree from Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law. Steve has been recognized by the Daily Journal as a 2012 Top Neutral “Rising Star” in California.
Hon. Enrique Romero – Mediator – ADR Services, Inc.
For the last 15 years, Judge Romero has settled hundreds of cases averaging between $300 million – $500 million in settlements each year. Judge Romero has extensive experience in, among other areas, environmental insurance coverage cases, eminent domain, all aspects of wrongful termination, product liability cases, massive toxic tort litigation, class actions, complex business litigation, intellectual property, entertainment law, complex construction defects cases, insurance coverage and bad faith, legal, accounting and medical malpractice, police misconduct, civil rights litigation and complex business dissolution cases. As a judge, Judge Romero conducted settlements in other states besides California and in the United Kingdom in cases involving Lloyds of London.
Deborah Rothman, Esq. – Mediator, Arbitrator & Arbitration Consultant
Deborah Rothman, a magna cum laude graduate of Yale College, holds a J.D. from NYU Law School and a Masters in Public Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. She is on the Large Complex, International, Employment and Commercial mediation and arbitration panels of the American Arbitration Association, and the national panel of CPR.
A full-time mediator and arbitrator since 1992, she has chaired the Labor and Employment and the ADR Sections of the Beverly Hills Bar Association. She also created a private listserv called California Women Neutrals, and always welcomes new members.
Deborah has been named a Southern California Super Lawyer (’2006-’14) and a Best Lawyer in America (’2006-’14). In 2007, the Hollywood Reporter named her a Power Mediator, and in 2009 she was named top arbitrator in California by Who’s Who Legal. A Distinguished Fellow of the International Academy of Mediators and an officer of the College of Commercial Arbitrators (CCA), next year at this time she will begin her term as the first female President of the College of Commercial Arbitrators.
For more information about her practice, please visit her website at www.DeborahRothman.com
Fern Topas Salka, Esq. – Certified Family Law Specialist
As a Certified Family Law Specialist since 1983 and former Chair of the Los Angeles County Bar Association Family Law Section as well as a select fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Ms. Salka is a recognized expert in marital dissolution law, litigation and the Los Angeles family law community. After 30 years of advocacy work, in order to better meet the needs of a wide range of clients, including wage earners, small business owners, and high profile/high asset-earning clients, she is now specializing in non-litigation conflict resolution services (CDR). Ms. Salka presently limits her practice to mediation, collaborative and unbundled consultation services, case management and corporative negotiation and drafting of documents for couples marrying or separating. Ms. Salka is founder and current Board member of the Los Angeles Collaborative Family Law Association and co-chair of the State Bar Family Law Section CDR Standing Committee (South). As co-chair, she has formed and presented a panel of adult children of divorce to family law judges, attorneys and mental health professionals, as well as parents, teachers and clergy throughout Los Angeles County. Ms. Salka has written and lectured extensively about family law as well as CDR throughout her almost 40 years career. She has been named a SuperLawyer by Los Angeles magazine each year since 2004.
Deborah Crandall Saxe, Esq. – Mediator and Arbitrator– Alternative Resolution Centers and American Arbitration Association
Deborah Saxe has mediated and arbitrated employment law disputes for many years, first as an advocate and later as a mediator and AAA arbitrator. Before becoming a full-time neutral, she practiced labor and employment law at Jones Day, Heller Ehrman, and Seyfarth Shaw for more than 30 years and was widely recognized as one of the best in the business. In 2010, 2011, and 2012, she was identified by LawDragon and Human Resource Executive Magazine as one of the 100 Most Powerful Labor & Employment Lawyers in the Nation. When she was practicing law, Chambers USA called her “an aggressive and highly capable litigator with a forte in wage and hour and discrimination cases” and “substantial experience in the courtroom as a trial lawyer.” More recently, Chambers USA called her “a talented mediator.” She is a Fellow in the College of Labor & Employment Lawyers, has repeatedly been recognized in Chambers USA and Best Lawyers in America, and is one of a handful of lawyers who has been selected by her peers as one of the Top 50 Women SuperLawyers in Southern California for 11 consecutive years. She was selected as a Southern California SuperLawyer in the field of Alternative Dispute Resolution in 2013 and has been selected for that honor again for 2014. Saxe Arbitration & Mediation Services has received a Tier 1 Ranking in the 2014 Edition of U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms.” Ms. Saxe is a long-time member and Past-Chair of the Labor & Employment Law Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association (“LACBA”) and a lifetime member of the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles (“WLALA”).
Douglas J. Schiffer, Esq.
Douglas Schiffer has been in practice since 1982 representing victims injured as a result of the negligent acts of others including: automobile, motorcycle and bicycle accidents as well as slip and falls, dangerous condition of public property, dog bites, medical and professional malpractice, in his private law practice in West Los Angeles. In addition, he has been a mediator and arbitrator with the County of Los Angeles for over 20 years. Mr. Schiffer was on the Superior Court of the State of California Mediation and Arbitration Panel as a member of both the pay panel and the pro bono panel. He has trained at Pepperdine and attended dispute resolution seminars through the ADR office and CAALA and recently expanded his practice to handle outside mediations for private counsel as well as insurance carriers at reasonable and competitive rates. He has mediated and arbitrated over 700 cases and with his long history of representing injured parties has the trust of the Plaintiff’s bar as well as the knowledge of what the defense will be willing do to fairly compromise a claim.
Larry Schooler – Mediator, Facilitator, and Community Engagement Consultant
Larry Schooler oversees community engagement, public input, and conflict resolution projects for the City of Austin, working in conjunction with the Mayor and City Council. He is also the President-elect for the U.S. affiliate of the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) and a guest lecturer at several colleges.
Larry also mediates disputes on behalf of the U.S. Department of Defense and is a Fellow at the Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution at the University of Texas, where he has given guest lectures. He also serves as a member of the board of Interfaith Action of Central Texas (iACT). He is active with Mediators Beyond Borders and the Association for Conflict Resolution.
Larry is the author of a forthcoming book on the first Truth and Reconciliation Commission in the United States and related projects elsewhere. He is a pianist and co-founder of jazz trio “Three Piece Suit.” He has taught religious studies at several synagogues. He has also worked as the policy director for Austin City Councilman Lee Leffingwell; his work included conflict resolution, research and policy development, media relations, speechwriting, and constituent service. He was a reporter for NPR stations across the country and a freelance reporter for National Public Radio, Voice of America, and magazines. Larry has a BA from Yale and his Masters from Nova Southeastern University.
Jan Frankel Schau, Esq. – Mediator/Arbitrator – ADR Services, Inc.
After more than 20 years of legal practice, Jan Frankel Schau has mediated nearly 1,000 litigated cases. She specializes in employment and business disputes, as well as serious personal injury, professional negligence and tort matters. Jan has enjoyed enormous success in resolving disputes arising out of the complex business environment of the 21st century. She has developed a keen expertise in handling disputes by and against small to mid-sized companies. Jan is both determined and effective, practical and empathetic. She is consistently commended for her persistence and professionalism, often bringing parties together in unexpected and creative ways. Jan is recognized as a fair and trustworthy neutral by both the plaintiff and defense bars. She is amongst the most sought after mediators in the Los Angeles area.
Jan began her legal career in 1981 at Harrington, Foxx, Dubrow & Canter. ??She specialized in the defense of employment and other insured claims. Jan has litigated cases arising out of employment, business and real estate for several boutique firms.
Floyd Siegal, Esq. – Mediator – Mediation Offices of Floyd J. Siegal
After nearly three decades as a successful trial attorney, in both the civil and criminal arenas, Floyd developed a passion for mediation and made the decision to transition from litigator to mediator. Since opening his mediation offices in the fall of 2007, Floyd has proven to be enormously effective, gaining the trust, confidence and respect of those who have used his services, as well as the respect and admiration of his peers, who elected him to serve on the Board of Directors of SCMA this past year. In August, Floyd was invited to join Judicate West as the newest addition to its panel of neutrals.
Before making the decision to transition from litigator to mediator, Floyd spent the preceding twelve years trying cases and supervising litigation at Spile, Siegal, Leff & Goor, where his practice was devoted to the defense of claims in the areas of professional liability, employment practices liability, products liability and commercial general liability, as well as claims against religious institutions.
Floyd began his career as a highly regarded criminal defense attorney, opening his own law office in 1978 immediately following his graduation from Loyola Law School. Floyd practiced criminal defense exclusively until 1995, defending a number of celebrity and higher-profile defendants along the way and earning the respect of prosecutors and judges alike for his dedication to his clients, his effectiveness as a negotiator and his skills in the courtroom. During the O.J. Simpson trial, Floyd was privileged to serve as a legal commentator, appearing regularly on “Rivera Live” and other similar programs.
Maria Simpson, President SCMA Education Foundation
Maria Simpson is an expert on organizational conflict resolution. She has worked with senior executives and leadership teams to improve team relationships and effectiveness and to build conflict resolution skills. She is also the author of “Leading Unstoppable Teams!” a collection of her weekly emails on conflict resolution and management communications, and of “Is This a Good Fit? The Connection Between Organizational Culture and Communications Style.” She teaches in the graduate program at CSUDH on Negotiation. Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding, has served on the board of directors of the SCMA, and currently serves on the boards of the South Bay Center for Dispute Resolution, Empathia Pacific, a national EAP provider, and the SCMA Education Foundation where she serves as president. She was a volunteer mediator for the court ADR program for 15 years.
Robert Sowell is coordinating the Dispute Resolution Program of the Los Angeles County Department of Community and Senior Services and a Mediator. He is also an Intergroup Relations Specialist of the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission. He is a member of the Youth Team that helps equip schools and other youth-serving organizations train and mobilize youth to lead social justice initiatives. In addition, he participates in designing and delivering human relations training in a variety of organizations, and has assisted with the preparation of the annual LA County Hate Crime Report.
Prior to joining the Commission staff, Robert worked for more than 25 years in a variety of nonprofit human service organizations, including a private junior high school, consulting and planning agencies serving congregations, and inner city neighborhood community development organizations. He was also employed previously by the L A County Department of Children and Family Services as an Emergency Response Children’s Social Worker, investigating reports of child neglect and abuse.
Robert earned a Master of Science of Social Work degree from the University of Texas at Arlington and another graduate degree in education from SWBTS. In addition, he completed post-graduate studies at UTA’s School of Public and Urban Affairs.
A. Marco Turk, J.D. – Emeritus Professor of Negotiation, Conflict Resolution & Peacebuilding – California State University Dominguez Hills
Professor Turk is the director of the Negotiation, Conflict Resolution, and Peacebuilding (NCRP) program at California State University Dominguez Hills (CSUDH). He designed the current version of the NCRP program, and he has been an innovative visionary in curriculum improvement/creation of new programs at CSUDH, in on-campus, online, and blended formats.
Prior to his arrival at CSUDH in the fall of 2002, Professor Turk taught in the Global Peace and Conflict Studies Program and in the Department of Criminology, Law and Society at the University of California, Irvine, where he began his full-time academic career in 1995; and later co-designed/developed the first University of California system online distance-learning program (including some course design) to offer a UCI Master of Advanced Study (MAS) in Criminology, Law and Society. He is a certified community and trial court-qualified mediator, and serves on a panel of appellate mediators. A member of the State Bar of California since 1961, Professor Turk also is admitted to practice before the U. S. Supreme Court.
Professor Turk is recognized internationally for his work as a peacebuilder, educator and trainer dealing with ethnic conflict. He was a Fulbright Senior Scholar in Conflict Resolution on the Eastern Mediterranean Island of Cyprus (1997-1999), and has made funded return trips in 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, and 2008 to continue his peacebuilding work with both Greek and Turkish Cypriots; and, he has taught as an adjunct professor of law for Loyola Law School/Los Angeles in its 2012 summer study abroad program in Cyprus. He has published extensively concerning the Cyprus problem, and his peacebuilding efforts have extended to Norway, Israel, Turkey, England and Nigeria (where he was a featured presenter for the 1st African ADR Summit: Power of Change 2006), as well as to both coasts of the United States. In October 2003, he participated as one of only two Americans invited to attend the Oxford University international workshop on “Getting to Yes” regarding efforts to reunify Cyprus.
As part of his continuing work with the Cyprus Fulbright Commission through the U.S. State Department, Professor Turk conducted a two-week education/training program for six Cypriot family court judges in the Los Angeles area in August 2004, dealing with family law in a federal system. His two earlier Fulbright/State Department education/training programs in the USA for Cypriots (lawyers, judges, law professors, and police) have dealt with: (1) the administration of justice, and (2) community policing, in the United States. During the summer of 2005, he returned to Cyprus with Dr. John Winslade and Dr. Gerald Monk to conduct advanced narrative mediation training programs through the Fred J. Hansen Institute for World Peace (San Diego State University). In November 2006, he was invited to participate at San Diego State University with Drs. Winslade and Monk in the Cyprus Forum that hosted six Cypriot academicians under the auspices of the Hansen Institute.
Hon. John Leo Wagner – Mediator/Arbitrator – Judicate West
Judge Wagner is a full-time Mediator and Arbitrator with Judicate West. He is a former United States Magistrate Judge, and served for 8 years as the head of the ADR practice group for Irell & Manella LLP. He has over 28 years of experience in settling complex, multi-party, difficult and emotional disputes, and has conducted thousands of mediations and arbitrations.
The Daily Journal has selected Judge Wagner as one of the Top Neutrals in California every year since 2008. He was also selected as one of 42 Power Neutrals by The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. in 2007. He as been listed as a Southern California Super Lawyer in the field of Alternative Dispute Resolution every year since 2007, and has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America from 2007 to the present in the specialty of Alternative Dispute Resolution.
Judge Wagner a past President and a Distinguished Fellow of the International Academy of Mediators. He is a Fellow of the American College of Civil Trial Mediators and is listed on the CPR International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution National Panel of Distinguished Neutrals. He was designated a Master at the Founding of the Paul R. Michel Intellectual Property American Inn of Court (Los Angeles). He is a Diplomat Member of the California Panel of Distinguished Neutrals, and is on the panel of the International Centre for Dispute Resolution.
Chris Welch received his Master of Dispute Resolution degree from Pepperdine University School of Law, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution in 2005. Prior to obtaining his Master’s Degree, he graduated from Pepperdine University, Seaver College with his B.A. in Political Science. Chris has worked at CCR since 2004 and has been the Director of CCR since summer 2008. His duties include running day-to-day operations of the Center, interacting with the county regarding the DRP Grant, and maintaining correspondence along with guidance, to both volunteers and students. He has facilitated resolutions in various types of cases primarily in the Small Claims and Community arena. He has done over 350 mediations. This experience extends all the way back to seventh grade when he was first trained as a peer mediator while living outside of Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Robert K. Wrede, Esq.
Mr. Wrede has served as mediator, settlement officer, early neutral evaluator and/or arbitrator in over 400 civil cases for the Los Angeles County Superior Court and the United States District Court for the Central District of California. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Law at Pepperdine Law School and the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution. He has represented clients in numerous court-ordered and voluntary arbitrations and mediations, under the auspices of the International Chamber of Commerce, American Arbitration Association, and in numerous ad hoc arbitrations. Robert Wrede is currently affiliated with ADR Services, Inc.
Wendy Wright is the Director of the California Academy of Mediation Professionals (CAMP). She holds a Master of Public Administration degree and a Master of Social Work degree from USC; and a Master of Dispute Resolution degree from Pepperdine. She has mediated over 1000 cases in the last eight years as a member of various mediation panels and in private practice. She also provides training to new mediators who are mid-career professionals, as well as training to university mediation programs. She is a former member of the SCMA Board of Directors. She is also an Enrolled Agent (EA), a financial planner, and anthropologist, and a gemologist. Prior to CAMP, she was a university administrator for 20 years at UCLA, and also an organizational consultant.
Andy Yoo is the Director of the 4.29 Dispute Resolution Center of the Korean American Coalition serving residents throughout Los Angeles County. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Legal Studies, and Juris Doctorate from Loyola Law School. Prior to becoming Director, he was a corporate litigation attorney specializing in Korean language representation for major litigation firms. He also specialized in bankruptcy law and had a family law private practice.
Hon. John Zebrowski – Mediator/Arbitrator – ADR Services, Inc.
Justice Zebrowski served on the California Court of Appeal until November of 1999, when he joined ADR Services. His ADR practice since then has covered a spectrum of business-related matters, including insurance, real estate and finance, commercial and entertainment contracts, partnership and corporate disputes, business torts, investment and securities, intellectual property, environmental liabilities, professional liability (other than medical malpractice), employment and similar matters, occasionally also including catastrophic injury matters in which insurance issues were prominent.
Justice Zebrowski’s ADR practice consists primarily of mediation and arbitration. He also conducts temporary judge trials and judicial reference proceedings, and has acted as a provisional corporate director for a real estate holding company. On occasion he also consults on appeals and major motions, assists in development of litigation, arbitration and mediation strategy, and handles discovery references. Although Justice Zebrowski has mediated cases in New York, London, Washington, Atlanta, Denver, San Francisco, San Diego, Fresno, Santa Barbara, Ventura, the Inland Empire, Palm Springs and other California cities, the bulk of his work is done in Los Angeles County.
His practice has included cases ranging from quite modest in size to those involving many millions of dollars, and also cases in which business or other non-monetary issues predominated. Justice Zebrowski has regularly been named by the Los Angeles Daily Journal as one of the “Top Neutrals” in California, most recently in 2012. Justice Zebrowski also recently served as Chair of the California Law Revision Commission and is also a member of the BAJI Civil Jury Instructions Committee.
James Zurawski, Esq. – Kirk & Zurawski
James Zurawski is an Attorney of Record in the Law Offices of Kirk & Zurawski in Los Angeles, California. Attorney Zurawski received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, cum laude, from Georgetown University and his Juris Doctorate from New England School of Law. He was admitted to practice in 1977 and joined Liberty Mutual in 1992. Attorney Zurawski practices in the areas of auto liability, general liability, personal injury, products liability, construction site accidents, wrongful death, serious injury cases and brain injury cases. Mr. Zurawski has over 30 years of legal experience.
Before joining Liberty Mutual, Attorney Zurawski worked in private practice in California for 11 years, handling all areas of tort law. Prior to that, he was a trial lawyer in a general practice in Massachusetts. Attorney Zurawski has taken over 45 jury trials to verdict including matters of wrongful death, traumatic brain damage, catastrophic spinal and skeletal disorders, and severe multiple injuries.