Tag Archives: Amy L. Lieberman

mediation - AZ Business Magazine March/April 2012

Mediation becomes trend for resolving business disputes

While mediation used to be a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), mediation has become mainstream.

Today, virtually every dispute that is not able to be resolved through direct negotiation is proceeding to mediation. The only questions are at what stage of the process will mediation be held and who will be selected as the mediator.   

When should parties mediate?

More often in business today, mediation can be mandatory, pursuant to a contract that requires mediation before arbitration or a lawsuit is filed, or pursuant to company policy that requires mediation before an administrative charge or suit is filed.    

If the timing of mediation is not mandatory, the parties can choose from various options:     

• Pre-suit. This occurs when one party, typically through counsel, sends a demand letter and suggests private mediation. The main advantage of this is privacy: no public suit is filed than can generate negative publicity or that will remain public information forever.   The other advantage is that resolution can occur before much is expended in legal fees. The disadvantage is that, without formal legal discovery, parties are making decisions that are less than “fully informed.”   However, parties can save literally hundreds of thousands of dollars.

• After suit is filed, before discovery. The privacy advantage is lost, but now the primary advantage becomes avoiding the extensive costs and emotional and lost productivity drain of protracted litigation. The disadvantage is that, as with pre-suit mediation, much information will not be known.

• After discovery, before motions filed. Much of the costs of litigation will have been incurred, but it avoids the costs of filing motions, which can run in excess of $25,000, and it avoids the risk of loss if the court rules against a party on a motion that may dispose of all or part of a case.

• After motion is ruled on. At this point, the parties have given their best pre-trial shot at convincing the judge of the righteousness of their positions, and the outcome is known. The advantage here is to avoid the risks at trial, if trial is still available, or of an appeal, if the judge has dismissed the case.

• Post-trial. Mediation at this point occurs after a highly-undesirable result has occurred at trial and the losing party wishes to avoid paying a huge verdict, and/or wishes to avoid the process, costs and risk of an appeal.

Who should be selected as the mediator?

Selection of a mediator is made easier today by on-line research. Ask your lawyer for a recommendation. Search mediate.com, the American Arbitration Association, National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals, the American College of Civil Trial Mediators, or JAMS, for possible sources of lists of mediators. Mediator searches can be run by geographic location and by subject matter expertise and experience.

In making your selection, consider the following:

• Substantive expertise. Does the mediator have an extensive background in the type of dispute (i.e., real estate, employment, commercial, environmental, personal injury, domestic relations, etc.)?

• Reputation. Is the mediator well-known and well-respected in the legal community?

• Style. Do you prefer a mediator that is more directive, evaluative or facilitative?

• Availability. Is the mediator available within the time frame we need?

• Cost. While relevant, this should be the least important factor. Mediations generally last one day and if you can resolve your conflict in one day, it is a heck of a worthwhile investment.

Amy L. Lieberman is a mediator whose practice concentrates in employment and executive mediation. She is the author of “Mediation Success: Get it Out, Get it Over, Get Back to Business,” available on Amazon.com. She is the executive director of Insight Mediation and has been listed in Best Lawyers in America and Southwest Super Lawyers in ADR for more than a decade.

Amy L. Lieberman, Insight Employment Mediation

2013 Az Business Mediation Guide

Az Business magazine’s 2013 Mediation guide was created after consultation with experts in the alternative dispute resolution field.

Amy Abdo
Fennemore Craig
602-916-5399
www.fclaw.com
Abdo has extensive experience in arbitration, mediation, investigations, administrative proceedings and litigation, including bench and jury trials.

Kevin T. Ahern
Broening Oberg Woods & Wilson, P.C.
602-271-7781
www.bowwlaw.com
Ahern’s practice is confined to mediations, neutral case evaluations, arbitrations, special master appointments and consultation in his areas of practice experience — real estate, commercial enterprises, title insurers, escrow agencies, insurance agencies, lenders, and property managers.

Shawn K. Aiken
Aiken Schenk Hawkins & Ricciardi
602-248-8203
www.ashrlaw.com
Aiken devotes a substantial portion of his practice to mediation and arbitration, and was selected by Best Lawyers in America as Lawyer of the Year, 2012 (Mediation, Phoenix).

Rebecca Albrecht
Bowman and Brooke LLP
602-643-2459
www.bowmanandbrooke.com
A former Superior Court judge, Albrecht incorporates her vast experience and skills to her practice, which includes arbitration and mediation. Albrecht is an American Arbitration Association (AAA) certified arbitrator.

Gerald W. Alston
Jennings Strouss
602-262-5911
www.jsslaw.com
Alston serves as both an arbitrator and a mediator in all areas of civil litigation, including domestic relations, eminent domain, and matters involving real estate and contract disputes. Cummins has extensive trial experience in the areas of health care and is an experienced arbitrator and mediator.

Christian C.M. Beams
Ryley Carlock & Applewhite
602-440-4818
www.rcalaw.com
Beams is an accomplished neutral who has resolved countless disputes through the mediation and arbitration processes. He is diligent in his efforts to bring matters to resolution, as evidenced by his high success rate in doing so.

Maureen Beyers
Osborn Maledon
602-640-9305
www.omlaw.com
Nationally recognized as a top arbitrator, Beyers has served as a neutral in hundreds of arbitrations on a variety of business disputes, and is a member of many of the American Arbitration Association’s specialized panels.

Gary L. Birnbaum,
Richard A. Frielander, and Michael S. Rubin
Mariscal, Weeks, McIntyre & Friedlander
602-285-5000
www.mwmf.com
Five of the firm’s senior lawyers are actively and continuously involved in alternative dispute resolution, including acting as arbitrators, mediators and neutral case evaluators in Arizona and throughout the Southwest.

Denise M. Blommel
Denise M. Blommel PLLC
480-425-7272
www.azlaborlaw.com
Blommel has more than 28 years of experience as an employment and labor law attorney, 15 years as a practicing mediator, including seven years serving as a contract mediator for the U.S. Postal Service.

Brice Buehler
Brice E. Buehler, P.C.
602-234-1212
www.bricebuehler.com
Since 1987, Buehler has mediated or arbitrated more than 2,500 disputes, including corporate, commercial, partnership, professional malpractice, and construction.

John R. Dacey,
Michael R. King,
Richard K. Mahrle
Gammage and Burnham
602-256-0566
www.gblaw.com
As part of Gammage and Burnham’s practice, several attorneys are available to serve as mediators or arbitrators in employment, construction, general, commercial and other litigation matters.

David J. Damron
David J. Damron, LLC
602-476-1836
www.damronadr.com
Damron specializes in alternative dispute resolution including mediation, settlement conferences and arbitration. Damron has mediated many hundreds of matters in his practice through the years and his participation as a Judge Pro Tem.

Paul F. Eckstein
Perkins Coie
602-351-8222
www.perkinscoie.com
Eckstein’s practice is focused on civil litigation and he also frequently serves as a mediator and arbitrator.

Michele M. Feeney
Michele M. Feeney L.L.C.
602-682-7513
www.mmflaw.com
Devoting her practice to mediation, arbitration and alternative dispute resolution, Feeney has litigated cases in the areas of medical malpractice, wrongful death, personal injury and other tort litigation.

Lawrence H. Fleischman
The Fleischman Law Firm
520-326-6400
www.fladr.com
Fleischman created the first Center for Dispute Resolution in the Arizona Superior Court system, saving litigants and taxpayers millions of dollars each year. To date, he has mediated more than 6000 cases for clients.

Sherman D. Fogel
Sherman D. Fogel, P.A.
602-264-3330
www.shermanfogel.com
Fogel is a full-service conflict management and dispute resolution professional, providing mediation, arbitration and facilitation services.

Richard N. Goldsmith
Lewis and Roca
602-262-5341
www.lrlaw.com
Goldsmith mediates commercial disputes and has extensive experience handling matters related to Articles 2 and 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code, commercial and real estate lending and leasing, and loan documentation.

Brian Michael Goodwin
Polsinelli
602-650-2001
www.polsinelli.com
Goodwin is a professionally trained mediator and has served as a judge pro tempore with the Maricopa County Superior Court from 1982 to 2005. He currently conducts private mediations and arbitrations.

Alona Gottfried,
Jared Simmons
Simmons & Gottfried, PLLC
480-998-1500
www.sglawaz.com
Simmons & Gottfried’s attorneys are specially trained to handle mediations and settlement conferences as a way to resolve issues in a cost-effective manner. Specialties include family matters, commercial and business issues, employment disputes, and real estate matters.

J. Alex Grimsley
Bryan Cave LLP
602-364-7117
www.bryancave.com
Grimsley has represented a variety of domestic and foreign companies in international arbitrations and before various federal regulatory agencies.

Rebecca A. Winterscheidt
Snell & Willmer
602-382-6343
www.swlaw.com
Through early intervention mediation, Winterscheidt assists parties in reaching a mutual resolution of their dispute without the need for costly litigation.

William Haug,
Chad Schexnayden
Jennings, Haug & Cunningham, LLP
602-234-7800
www.jhc-law.com
Attorneys who practice Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) at JHC represent businesses, government agencies and individuals involved in business disputes.

Marc Kalish
602-956-3608
www.arizonamediator.com
Since receiving formal mediation training in 1995, Kalish has devoted his law practice almost exclusively to providing alternative dispute resolution services as both an arbitrator and mediator.

Amy L. Lieberman
Insight Employment Mediation
480-246-3366
www.insightemployment.com
Lieberman’s practice is focused on the prevention and resolution of workplace and business conflict. She mediates primarily employment and commercial matters.

Merton E. Marks
Merton E. Marks, PC
480-544-4324
www.mertonemarks.com
Marks is a nationally known arbitrator and mediator of commercial disputes involving insurance, reinsurance, securities and product liability.

Bruce E. Meyerson
Bruce Meyerson PLLC
602-277-4585
www.brucemeyerson.com
Meyerson regularly serves as a mediator in virtually all aspects of commercial, employment, construction, real estate and business litigation.

Robert J. Milligan
Milligan Lawless, P.C.
602-792-3500
www.milliganlawless.com
Milligan specializes in health care law and mediation of litigated cases and pre-litigation disputes.

Leah Pallin-Hill
Mediation and Arbitration Services, PLLC
602-387-5323
www.leahpallinhill.com
Pallin-Hill offers ADR for general civil matters, including commercial disputes, construction, condemnation, employment, family, malpractice, elder abuse/nursing homes, personal injury, probate, and real estate.

Susan M. Robbins
Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker, PLLC
623-889-0691
www.phoenixlawteam.com
Robbins is a member of the State Bar Alternative Dispute Resolution Section and is also a member of the Association for Conflict Resolution. She is active in the area of mediation and disputes and contested matter in elder law.

David L. Rose,
Sharon B. Shively,
David C. Tierney
Sacks Tierney
480-425-2600
www.sackstierney.com
In addition to serving on some of the AAA’s most sought-after arbitration panels, Sacks Tierney attorneys regularly appear as advocates in arbitrations (or mediations) under AAA rules, or in State Court arbitrations convened under an arbitration agreement.

Ira M. Schwartz
DeConcini McDonald Yetwin & Lacy, P.C.
602-282-0500
www.deconcinimcdonald.com
Schwartz actively serves as a mediator and arbitrator of intellectual property disputes.

Stephen H. Scott,
Christopher M. Skelly
Scott & Skelly, L.L.C.
602-277-8228
www.scottandskelly.com
Scott is a former judge on the Arizona Superior Court who now serves full-time as a mediator, arbitrator, appraisal umpire and discovery master. Skelly has conducted thousands of mediations in virtually every kind of civil case.

Brian E. Smith
Brian Smith Mediation & Arbitration
480-507-8895
www.bsmed-arb.com
Smith has established himself as a proven mediator, impartially assisting and guiding parties to effectively facilitate their self-determined mutual decision making which is the cornerstone of the mediation process.

Thomas L. Toone
Beer & Toone, P.C.
602-263-0900
www.beer-toone.com
Toone has served as settlement judge, arbitrator or mediator in more than 2,300 cases in Maricopa County.

Douglas G. Zimmerman
Davis Miles McGuire Gardner, PLLC
480-733-6800
www.davismiles.com
Zimmerman is a certified mediator by The Institute for Conflict Management, LLC and completed the Advanced Negotiation Skills Program at the Harvard Law School Negotiation Insight Initiative.

Mark D. Zukowski
Jones, Skelton and Hochuli, P.L.C.
602-263-1759
www.jshfirm.com
Zukowski is a construction and commercial arbitrator and mediator for the AAA. He also serves as a private arbitrator and mediator and as a settlement conference Judge Pro Tem for the Maricopa County Superior Court.