Mediation Experience Categories

In mediation, the training and experience of the mediator in the process of facilitated negotiation may be more important than subject matter expertise. To the extent the practitioner considering my services is interested in my subject matter experience the following itemizations may be useful. In addition to the practice experience noted in the curriculum vitae, my mediation experience includes the categories and case type descriptions below. The cases described are examples and are by no means an exhaustive list.
Categories: (Scroll down for details)
BUSINESS-CONDOMINIUM-CONSTRUCTION-CONTRACT-DEBTOR/CREDITOR-EMPLOYMENT/LABOR-ESTATES AND TRUSTS-LANDLORD/TENANT-MISCELLANEOUS-PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY-PERSONAL INJURY-REAL PROPERTY

BUSINESS

A claimed breach of a distribution agreement; a claim for damages for unilateral termination of a contract to purchase an office condominium; a claim for damages based upon a royalty agreement by commercial printer manufacturer against graphics company; a suit to enforce terms of a business sale/employment contract by developer of a multi-branch physical therapy clinic; a dispute between partners in a facial and body cleansing and massage service, which also sold cosmetics and herbal preparations over the distribution of a cash settlement received in a lawsuit; an enforcement action by the seller of a retail jewelry business to a key employee; a suit for interference with and misappropriation of business interests by a sports camp operator against lessor of the camp facilities; action for damages and reinstatement of medical specialist versus a university medical center claiming improper transfer to an off campus facility; claim for damages and specific enforcement of franchise contract against franchisor for unilateral termination of franchise.

CONDOMINIUM

Numerous cases involving disputes between homeowners and their associations involving claimed violation of CC&Rs or By-laws, including for example refusal to remove a specimen tree; installation of non-conforming windows; installation of a non-conforming type of hardwood flooring; maintenance of excessive number of pets; and a case involving disturbance of peace issues. These cases are frequently made complex by disagreements within association boards of directors as to acceptable settlement terms.

CONSTRUCTION

A claim on both contract and negligence theories in the construction of a solarium including damages for personal injury arising from one of the claimed defects, a claim for damages against concrete contractor for popouts that occurred 3 years after installation, believed due to reactivity between sand particles and concrete mix; a claim for interior water leak damage due to failure to install a weep screed; a claim for leak damage to property in a restaurant attributable to two separate causes; a claim for damages for defective materials and installation of a series of steel warehouses supplied by the manufacturer. a claim for damages for construction defects resulting in extensive mold and fraud with six figure remediation costs and medical concerns plus a claim for punitive damages against builder, owner and realtor; a claim by home buyer of defective roof installed during the purchase escrow based on expert testimony that the roof pitch was inadequate for the type of shingling used, and that nailing had not been properly done; issue of entitlement to compensation by building designer not licensed as architect and related issues of partnership, valuation and right of occupancy; claim for compensation for driveway installation disputed on ground of absence of proper drainage measures. In addition to the forgoing mediations, as a member of the California Department of Insurance Earthquake Mediation Pilot Program I mediated four separate cases involving scope of damage and fraudulent adjusting practices by insurer of earthquake damage due to the Northridge quake. These cases all involved fairly sophisticated construction issues as well as insurance coverage issues.

CONTRACT

A suit for damages arising out of a claimed breach of a distribution agreement with a major Japanese technology company; a collection action by company who installed a gas tank at defendant’s gas station; a claim for damages for unilateral termination of a contract to purchase an office condominium, with promissory estoppel issues; a claim for contract damages based upon a royalty agreement by commercial printer manufacturer against graphics company; a suit to enforce terms of a business sale/employment contract by developer of a multi-branch physical therapy clinic who had sold the company to defendant; a suit by auto buyer against dealer and finance company for fraud in sale transaction; a collection action for about $250,000 in contract damages, interest and attorney fees by a major technology company against a startup with a new tech product; a suit to enforce a contract for the purchase of her home from an elderly lady on terms very favorable to buyer who had in the past been her accountant and tax preparer, with issues of elder abuse and undue influence; suit on contract and for fraud damages in a gold bullion transaction; claim of independent contractor status by landscaping company foreman.: contract interpretation dispute between major waste management company and a recycling company;

DEBTOR/CREDITOR

An action by a lender under a college student loan program against a delinquent professional; action to enforce the payment obligation of the buyer of a retail jewelry business; see also Business and Contact categories.

EMPLOYMENT/LABOR

A claim for wrongful termination by a municipal court clerk against the court and the county; a wrongful termination claim by an instructor in a union apprentice training program against the union coalition; a two part claim for commissions earned and for sexual harassment/constructive termination damages; a claim of wrongful termination by a waitress whose immigrant boss terminated her after she complained of being denied appropriate breaks; a claim of gender discrimination and wrongful termination by a female building inspector against the city employer; wrongful disadvantageous transfer and defamation by conduct based on claimed retaliation against whistleblower by professional employee against major university; a claim for damages for discriminatory termination (sex/pregnancy); a wage and hour claim (employee/contractor).

ESTATES AND TRUSTS

Claim by siblings concerning trusteeship of deceased parent’s estate; a claim by siblings for revocation of a conveyance by their mother to a brother charged with duress; dispute arising in a sale of an estate income property to the property manager where manager sought to enforce sale contract and estate claimed fraud and misappropriation; a Section 850 petition to establish estate’s claim of ownership of property on basis of decedent’s incompetency at time of his inter vivos gift to a son.

INSURANCE

Medical insurance coverage dispute arising out of carrier’s claim that plaintiff had had a pre-existing condition not reported in his declarations; Claim based upon scope of damage and fraudulent adjusting practices by insurer of earthquake damage; casualty claim for cost of repair and related damages arising from earthquake damage; claim for damages against casualty insurer for fraud and unfair dealing in adjusting an earthquake loss, where dispute centered upon the issue of which defects in the home were attributable to the earthquake; claim for insurance contract and bad faith damages against casualty carrier centered on dispute about the causation of extensive foundation damage following the Northridge quake; claim on casualty policy where dispute was scope of work and cost of repairs of damage caused by the Northridge quake;  a first party claim for uncorrected smoke damage to residence against claimant’s carrier.

LANDLORD/TENANT

Action for accrued rent on business lease against tenant who had made a deal with landlord under which the latter undertook to find a new tenant; Suit for rentals due on a shopping center lease defended upon the ground of landlord’s unreasonable and fraudulent rejection of a subtenant; claims against landlord for damage to property in a Togo’s restaurant caused first by a leaking roof, and then by a leaking air conditioner; a suit for interference with and misappropriation of business interests by a sports camp operator against lessor of the camp facilities.  Several unlawful detainer cases.

MISCHELLANEOUS

A discovery dispute in a collection case brought by vendor of technical equipment resolved with a compromise on defense obligation to produce writings; an interpleader action by life insurance carrier because of the conflicting claims of a creditor beneficiary and the surviving husband of the named insured; a discovery dispute in a malicious prosecution case against a law firm who in underlying suit sought damages for sexual abuse by a physical therapist; first party fire lossclaim against insurer..

PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY

Attorney malpractice action based on failure to make important motions at conclusion of trial which, if made, would have altered the amount of the judgment entered; malpractice claim against an attorney for damages due to a failed business transaction: dental malpractice claim for faulty workmanship in the delivery of multiple sheers ,  fraudulently sold to plaintiff, against two dentists and the clinic; malpractice damages claim against attorney for error in immigration status processing; attorney contingent fee claim – defense of invalid contract;

PERSONAL INJURY

Claim for damages due to carbon monoxide poisoning attributed to a major manufacturers failure to equip the unit properly and to detect CO on a service visit; slip and fall in restaurant on almost colorless liquid, probably olive oil spilled by server; trip and fall on sidewalk claim against a utility where adjacent to a utility box set in sidewalk had a raised edge on which plaintiff tripped; claim for losses due to spoliation of evidence affecting the underlying case for damages; claim for lost finger caught in the pinch point of a dough sheeter machine operated by a pizza store; suit against utility for severe injury arising from an auto utility pole collision where plaintiff was a pedestrian standing nearby and was struck by power lines; product liability claim based on severe eye injury to carpenter due to flying nail head when nail struck by hammer; claim for damages by plaintiff struck by out of control vehicle while working in his yard causing contested neurological function loss affecting his mentation, personality and the motor functions of his right hand; claim for re-injury of a knee on which surgery had been performed and stabilized with an orthotic device which plaintiff claimed was not properly sized; claim for damages for fall on concrete steps that had been wetted by a leaking drain, by a produce delivery person well familiar with the site of the fall; slip and fall claim for injuries including carpel tunnel syndrome; claim for injury and property damage due to negligent causation of fire on neighboring property.

REAL PROPERTY

Claim against seller of land by buyer/contractor who performed a remodel and an addition that encroached within the city required setback due to faulty measurement by seller’s architect; buyers’ claim of being unjustly ousted from a commercial real estate purchase contract in which they had agreed to buy the sellers’ condominium; claim for damages for unilateral termination of a contract to purchase an office condominium on basis that though buyers were “out of contract” as contended by sellers, the sellers should be estopped from that defense because buyers had been led to believe they would receive floor and building plans to assist them in determining suitability; a municipality sponsored mediation between a mobile home park owner who wanted to convert the property to a condominium or planned development project and the tenants who opposed the conversion. At issue also was the amount by which the tenants should be compensated for their displacement; action for partition by sale of the home shared by father and daughter who had made approximately equal contributions to its purchase where the father wanted to live out his life in the home, contract breach and realtor misrepresentation claimed in purchase of a condominium in a 1031 exchange; partition action with disputed cross claims as to amounts contributed to the purchase and improvement of the home; claim for damages by buyer of a home when seller backed out and refused to close. Agents claimed earned fees and buyer sought price and interest rate differential damages; claim for real estate investment fraud by an 80 year old; claim for damages in amount of cost of a lot line adjustment made necessary when buyer of home discovered boundary line had been misrepresented by seller; encroachment removal claim met with defense of prescriptive easement; eminent domain condemnation of commercial parcel near freeway with dispute as to validity of comparable sales relied upon; suit for specific performance of real estate contract involving a C.A.R. Form WPA allocating cost of pest damage; lease option to purchase – interpretation of documents; easement by prescription claim with trespass and encroachment counter;  suit for removal of encroachment by installation of irrigation system and landscape materials with defense claiming prescriptive easement and nuisance abatement; HOA action against owner on basis of hard flooring violation; civil harassment and trespass claim against adjacent homeowner for blockage of access to a roadway.