Conflict Resolution for the 21st Century

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Cynthia Gitt, Esq.

An employment lawyer since Title VII was in its infancy, Cynthia Gitt has 45 years of experience as a litigator representing all sides of the employment community: first the EEOC, then exclusively plaintiffs, then exclusively employers and individual defendants, and now a mix. Ms. Gitt has been recognized as a Super Lawyer in employment every year since that program began in 2004. Ms. Gitt has served as an arbitrator since 2014, and received the following accolade from one party: “I wanted to take this moment to sincerely thank you, on behalf of my client and I, for all your care and attention to this case. Your willingness to give both sides a fair shake, your willingness to give both sides opportunity to address or otherwise resolve issues, and your clear desire to do justice were beyond compare. Thank you again for doing justice and for your service as an arbitrator in our case.”

Hon. Stephen E. Hjelt, Ret.

Judge Stephen Hjelt brings over 40 years of experience in health care related disputes. A trial lawyer for 17 years, he worked both as a defense and plainti ’s attorney doing personal injury, medical and dental malpractice. As an Administrative Law Judge for the last 25 years, he specialized in hearing disciplinary cases led against licensed health care professionals by various state regulatory agencies including the Medical Board of California, the Board of Psychology, the Dental Board, the Board of Registered Nursing, and the Board of Chiropractic Examiners. For the last ve years as an Administrative Law Judge, he worked exclusively as a Settlement Conference Judge in health care disciplinary cases.

Stanley W. Levy, Esq.

Stan Levy, a well-known and respected litigator and senior counsel at the prestigious firm of Manatt, Phelps and Phillip, LLC, since 1998, is now mediating at ARC. Stan brings decades of experience in complex business litigation as well as insight and expertise in settling cases for major national and international companies. A peacemaker at heart, Stan specializes in addressing clients’ needs and resolving issues such as intellectual property, licensing, business disputes and employment claims, including wage and hour class actions. In recent years, he focused more of his practice on mediation, often reaching across the table and co-mediating with opposing counsel to resolve disputes involving both federal and state enforcement agencies and private parties.

Richard R. Terzian, Esq.

Richard Terzian spent most of his 55 years in practice handling litigation involving employment, civil rights, governmental matters and school district operations issues for public agencies in state and federal court at the trial and appellate level and before local and state administrative agencies. He also regularly rendered advice to public agencies on personnel and other matters, primarily while serving as the contract attorney for the cities of Azusa, Calabasas, Malibu, Rolling Estates and South Pasadena and as special counsel for the Torrance Unified School District. Mr. Terzian has also served  as a volunteer mediator with Los Angeles County Superior Court.

Gary C. Ottoson, Esq.

Gary Ottoson has more than 40 years of litigation experience, including nearly 100 trials in general jurisdiction and numerous bench trials. He has handled a variety of high profile, multi-party cases with a primary focus on environmental disputes, toxic torts and complex or catastrophic personal injury cases. He also has expertise in resolving professional liability and real estate matters. Mr. Ottoson has been recognized as a Southern California Super Lawyer annually since 2004. In addition to his service as an advocate in scores of mediations and  more than a dozen arbitrations, Mr. Ottoson has regularly served as a pro bono settlement officer for Los Angeles County courts for the past three decades.

Hon. Reva G. Goetz, Ret.

Judge Reva Goetz joins ARC after serving as a highly regarded Probate Judge from 2007 to 2014. Judge Goetz handled hundreds of contested, complex probate, trust and estate and conservatorship cases, including numerous high-profile matters. Prior to her appointment as a judge, she served as a Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner for nearly 20 years. She handled Family Law from 2001 to 2007 and again from 2014 to 2015. Judge Goetz’s background also includes service as a Deputy District Attorney and positions in the public and private sectors as an accountant, auditor and financial analyst.


Robert L. Fairman. Esq.

Bob Fairman has more than 40 years of trial experience in the Southern California courts. He also has more than two decades of experience as a mediator. He has handled 400+ cases for private parties as well as the Los Angeles Superior Court ADR and Judge Pro-Tem programs and the United States District Court, Central District of California’s ADR program. As a lawyer, he has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in trials as lead or sole counsel. He approaches cases in a focused, efficient manner, working toward a prompt resolution. He recognizes the importance of meeting the needs and goals of the parties to the mediation. He has structured settlements in creative ways, achieving win-win settlements for all sides. Additional information is available on LinkedIn at “Bob Fairman.”


Hon. Anthony B. Drewry, Ret.

After a diversified law practice over a 30-year period, Commissioner Drewry served on the Superior Court for 10 years. During his tenure on the bench, Commissioner Drewry handled family law-related matters, as well as civil and juvenile delinquency matters. He also presided over settlement conferences. In his most recent assignment, which began in 2009 in the Child Support Division of the Family Law Department, Commissioner Drewry handled a high volume of cases on a regular basis and was praised by attorneys for his ability to find solutions to difficult and often acrimonious disputes. In this assignment, he was highly regarded for his equanimity and patience, and respected for his skillful handling of the sensitive, volatile issues that arise in dispute resolution.



Hon. Owen Lee Kwong, Ret.

Judge Owen Lee Kwong is well known for his broad and extensive experience in settling cases.  He was the first judge to be assigned to the Los Angeles Superior Court’s Central Civil Settlement Program. He is especially skilled in settling high-profile, complex cases and has done so all over the country and abroad, including multi-party federal and state cases. In 2003, Judge Kwong was assigned to the ADR Department and, prior to that, handled a direct calendar, fast-track civil trial court and MSCs. Judge Kwong is highly regarded and respected by attorneys and fellow judges, who sent their most contentious cases to him for settlement. Known as the go-to judge, he is an outstanding neutral respected for his intelligence, preparation, broad knowledge of case law, persistence and witty sense of humor. Judge Kwong is considered the master of settlement!


Marc E. Rohatiner, Esq.

A litigator since 1978 and a neutral for more than 10 years, Marc E. Rohatiner has successively mediated and effectively arbitrated many disputes, ranging from those involving complex legal issues with multiple parties to cases driven more by emotions that need to be carefully addressed during the course of the proceedings. The subject matter of the cases has been as varied as his own litigation practice. Mr. Rohatiner is well regarded for his exceptional people skills and his ability to develop creative solutions to problems.


Marisa Ratinoff, Esq.

Marisa Ratinoff specializes in mediating and arbitrating all types of employment law disputes. Highly regarded for her expertise, Marisa was selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© (2016), in the field of Employment Law – Management. She has more than 24 years of experience in employment law both as an advocate and neutral. Clients attribute Marisa's settlement success to her ability to quickly grasp complex issues and her skill in reading, connecting and empathizing with both sides. She is also complimented on her strong work ethic and creativity in reaching equitable resolutions to even the most contentious disputes.



Bruce S. Ross, Esq.

Bruce Ross, Chair of international law firm Holland & Knight’s Private Wealth Services National Dispute Resolution Group, has over 40 years’ experience specializing in the litigation, settlement and trial of estate, trust and protective proceedings cases.  He has served as a mediator in many such complex matters and has given seminars on mediation aimed at trust and estate attorneys.

Mr. Ross has served as a Voluntary Settlement Officer for the Los Angeles Superior Court, has acted as Judge Pro Tem for the Alameda County Superior Court, Probate Department, and has spoken on estate and trust topics to the National College of Probate Judges and the California Judges Association Probate training program, among many other organizations.

 


Thomas M. Dempsey, Esq.

Mr. Dempsey is a nationally recognized trial attorney, obtaining numerous million-dollar verdicts and settlements. His practice emphasizes spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries in state and federal courts. Yearly named as a “Super Lawyer” yearly since 2004, he is the recipient of the Public Justice Foundation 2009 Champion of Justice and the 2011 Public Justice Achievement Award for the case of Castaneda v. State of California (voted one of the top ten verdicts of 2010 by the Los Angeles Daily Journal). He is also a member of the National Trial Lawyers “Top 100 Lawyers in California.”


Thomas J. Feeley, Esq.

Thomas J. Feeley has been a specialist in tort liability for more than 40 years. He has particular expertise in police misconduct litigation defense as well as extensive experience in major municipal law, personal injury, civil rights, employment and contract disputes. He is frequently selected as a mediator by both plaintiff and defense counsel because of his reputation for knowledge, integrity and dedication to obtaining a resolution that is fair and equitable to all involved parties.


Hon. Anthony S. Borwick, Ret.

Judge Anthony Borwick retired in December 2013 after nearly three decades of service on two boards of contract appeals, the General Services Administration Board of Contract Appeals and the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals. Known for his excellent judicial leadership and outstanding settlement skills, Judge Borwick played a key role in the arbitration of Hurricane Katrina claims by writing the decision that set forth the standard of review for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant disputes. He also provided a neutral case evaluation of a contract dispute involving the EPA’s environmental cleanup contract near St. Louis, MO, which resulted in an early settlement without litigation.



Peter J. Marx, Esq.

Peter J. Marx has been a mediator for more than 25 years and has successfully handled hundreds of cases. After 20 years as a litigator and transactional attorney, Mr. Marx was an early adopter of mediation as a more civilized and far less expensive and burdensome means of resolving disputes. His mediation practice, focused primarily on business, labor and employment and entertainment disputes, has also encompassed diverse areas from real estate to personal injury and family matters.


Hon. William M. Kolin, Ret.

Judge William Kolin retired from the Contra Costa bench after 20 years of service. He served on the Superior Court from 1997-2013, where he was Supervising Judge of the Civil Fast Track division for three years. Before becoming a judge, he was in private practice with three different firms where he handled primarily insurance cases, including product liability, as well as legal malpractice and police liability cases. Judge Kolin has a reputation for being extremely professional, well-prepared, knowledgeable and fair. He is also known for his willingness to negotiate with all sides in order to bring about settlement.


Hon. Douglas C. Carnahan, Ret.

Commissioner Carnahan was assigned to the Los Angeles Superior Court’s Southwest District from 2000 until his retirement in 2013. His caseload emphasized probate, conservatorship, guardianship, civil and small claims matters.  Well regarded by the local bar for his fairness, intelligence and broad legal experience,  Commissioner Carnahan was the 2003 recipient of the South Bay Bar Association’s “MacFaden Award,” honoring jurists who have made a significant contribution to the interests of the bench and bar.  He has a calm but formal manner that lends itself to the resolution of disputes in different forums.


Hon. Frank Y. Jackson, Ret.

Justice Jackson was a judicial officer for nearly 25 years, serving most recently as an Associate Justice on the Court of Appeal from 2008 until his retirement in 2013.  During his service with several divisions of the appellate court, he filed hundreds of decisions, including People v. Erik and Lyle Menendez. More than 20 of his appellate decisions were published. As a Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge in Lancaster from 1993-2008, he handled a civil calendar for the second half of his tenure, making him an ideal choice as a mediator, arbitrator or discovery referee.

Mark A. Flagel, Esq.

Mark Flagel spent nearly two decades as a partner at Latham & Watkins LLP, where he was considered a pioneer in patent litigation. He helped grow the firm’s Global Intellectual Property Practice Group into an international team of more than 100 lawyers and served for a number of years as its Co-Chair. Mr. Flagel has been a perennial choice as a Top California IP Lawyer by publications including Best Lawyers, SuperLawyers, Chambers, the Daily Journal, and the Los Angeles Business Journal. Mr. Flagel’s colleagues and clients have lauded his intelligence, enthusiasm, wisdom and insight as well as his humble, low-key approach—qualities that will continue to serve him well as a neutral.

Michael H. Leb, Esq.

Michael H. Leb, Esq. has almost 30 years of broad-based legal experience—with a unique blend of traditional labor law, litigation, and transactional expertise—all of which he brings to bear in his work as a mediator and arbitrator. He has practiced at Latham & Watkins, held senior executive positions with two Fortune 50 companies in law, human resources, labor relations and operations, represented plaintiffs at a top-tier trial boutique and as a solo practitioner, and participated in hundreds of mediations and arbitrations. He has broad and deep litigation expertise at both the trial and appellate levels in labor and employment law, including class actions, as well as federal and state court commercial litigation.

Hon. Lise A. Pearlman, Ret.

For the past 16 years, Judge Lise A. Pearlman has been a private arbitrator and mediator in civil cases and a consultant and expert witness in professional responsibility. She has a reputation as an extremely dedicated, hardworking neutral who shows consideration and concern for the perspectives of all parties. Attorneys find her to be a very quick study and extraordinarily bright with impressive legal knowledge and a reassuring manner. Recognized as an excellent settlement judge, Judge Pearlman’s ability to quickly hone in on key issues and keep parties focused on resolution of their differences has made her very successful in bringing even extremely challenging cases to closure.

Hon. Jaime R. Corral, Ret.

A mediator, arbitrator and private judge since 1999, Judge Corral is known for his easygoing, relaxed demeanor and his ability to focus on the issues. He has gained a reputation for being extremely fair and for having an acute sensitivity conducive to early resolution of conflicts of all types. His approach demonstrates intelligence, friendliness, objectivity and a complete understanding of the emotional issues attached to litigation matters. Judge Corral is fluent in Spanish and speaks basic conversational Japanese.

Lawrence Teplin, Esq.

A real estate and construction law specialist with four decades of experience representing major developers, owners, tenants, landlords, pension funds and lenders, Larry Teplin has taken more than 175 cases to jury verdict, court judgment or arbitration. Larry understands the parties’ business goals and the need for creating cost-effective and creative settlement solutions. He has gained an exemplary reputation among his peers and has been recognized annually as a leading lawyer by Chambers USA (2003-2013), Best Lawyers in America (2006- 2013) and Southern California Super Lawyers (2004-2013), among others.

 

Kenneth S. Wolf, Esq.

Kenneth S. Wolf (“Ken”) is a sole practitioner and Of Counsel to the firm of Hoffman, Sabban & Watenmaker, APC. For the past four decades, Ken has practiced almost exclusively in the areas of estate planning, probate and trust law with emphasis in dispute resolution. Known for his excellent reputation among the probate bar, Ken mediates probate, trust and fiduciary matters with a settlement rate in excess of 95%. Ken has been listed in “Best Lawyers in America” annually since 2003 and recognized as a Los Angeles County “Super Lawyer” since 2004 in both Estate Planning and Trust Litigation.


 

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