HONORS & RECOGNITIONS

  • Top Neutrals in the State of California – Daily Journal (2004, 2008 – 2014)
  • Daily Journal’s inaugural list of Master Neutrals
  • Best Lawyers in America –  (2006 – 2020)
  • Southern California Super Lawyer – Los Angeles Magazine (2006 – 2020)
  • Case of the Year Award – L.A. County’s Dispute Resolution Program (2001)
  • Volunteer of the Year Award – L.A. Superior Court/L.A. County DRP (2000)
  • Top 20 Attorneys Under 40 – California Law Business (1999)
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FIRST-HAND IMPRESSIONS

"On behalf of my client and myself, I want to thank you for your skillful approach to resolving this difficult case. ...I have been an attorney for 33 years. I served 11 years as a member of the State Judiciary. I also served for 17 years as Dean of Cal Northern School of Law. ...I taught courses in Alternative Dispute Resolution and since my retirement from the bench, I have served as Settlement Conference Judge and Discovery Referee. I also serve as a mediator in approximately 15-20 cases per year. ...[T]here are a lot of mediators in our business today, the majority are simply average, few have superior mediation skills and then there are those like you that I call the 'one percenters', who are born with the people skills necessary to be overwhelmingly successful in bringing conflicting interests together for resolution."

      Al J. Carrion
      Carrion Law Office

"Words cannot express my appreciation for the job you did in mediating the above referenced matter. Without doubt it was one of the most difficult mediations in which I have been a participant as Plaintiff’s counsel. There were difficult issues and emotionally charged disputes between the parties. I could feel myself getting frustrated, but you handled the situation compassionately and patiently, yet persistently. The description "quietly tenacious" fits you perfectly. You remind me of a soundless freight train.
Your assessment of the situation as a volatile one resulting in your decision to get the parties to agree to give up their Labor-day holiday was unbelievable. I simply did not believe that the case would settle given the apparent hostile relationship between the parties and the complexities of the personalities involved. I expected to join my friends early on for a previously scheduled cookout. But to my surprise, you were able to keep the parties talking. On more than one occasion, I packed up my gear expecting you to walk into the room and say, "It’s over!" But those words never came.

I have been litigating employment cases for nearly twenty years and utilized the services of many different mediators. After this one, you will always be number one on my list."

      Audrey Y. Ripley, Esq.
      Law Offices of Audrey Y. Ripley

"I want to thank you for all your help mediating this case....We were very impressed with your follow through spirit. Something told me that you were more humanistic than most lawyers.... I am pleased that I chose you as the mediator, and that we were able to settle so soon. I wish that more people had the compassion and heart that you possess."

      Linda J., Party

"I truly appreciate the role you played in mediating this matter....Not wanting to waste a day mediating a dispute that would never settle, my clients and I decided to leave the mediation.

How you managed to keep us in your office I will never know. You managed to bring the parties within striking distance after just one day. Thereafter, a dispute amongst the co-defendants threatened to destroy a compromise. Again, you brokered a resolution.

Thank you for staying on top of the case. Thank you for returning phone calls even while out of town. Thank you for all of your hard work."

      Stephen M. Sokoloff, Esq.
      Knapp, Petersen & Clarke

"[We] would like to express our appreciation for the outstanding work you did in mediating this action. . . . I am certain that without your fine work this matter would not have settled.

In my conversations with opposing counsel . . . it was clear that all parties respected your knowledge, preparation and hard work.

You showed persistence and tenacity and no matter how heated and difficult the proceeding became, you kept your wits about you. It was clear that both sides had dramatic differences as to the fair settlement value of the case, but in spite of the adversity you were able to forge a consensus and achieve a fair settlement for all of the parties. Without your efforts both sides would be preparing for a 10 day jury trial."

      Robert M. Russak, Esq.
      Hersh and Russak

"Thanks, Gig. I feel very sure that we could not have settled this case without...your unfailing calm during the multiple mediations.... Congratulations at having so materially assisted in the beginning of what will be a regulatory process that makes a difference in the health of thousands of people."

      Susan Durbin, Deputy Attorney General
      State of California Attorney General's Office

"I really appreciate your efforts and I have to tell you it was the finest mediation experience I have gone through in 20 years of practice. Your willingness to continue the mediation after we walked out of the room is certainly what did it...."

      Frank A. Conner, Esq.
     Wordes, Wilshin, Goren & Conner

"Thanks Gig, you truly worked a miracle."

     Pat B., Party

"I wanted to send a short note to thank you for your work on the [deleted] cases. You are incredibly persistent, and yet you remained a gentleman throughout as we worked through the issues.

All of these cases were difficult, but the [deleted] matter was the most difficult, and you were able to solve that problem as you did the others."

     Stephen M. Moloney, Esq.
     Gilbert, Kelly, Crowley & Jennett

I believe all who participated in the mediation are grateful to you because you accomplished what otherwise would have been accomplished in 60 days of intense trial preparation (including a series of last minute discovery motions, as well as expert witness depositions) and three weeks of what surely would have been a vigorously fought jury trial. As a result, each of the parties saved $150,000 to $200,000 in attorney fees, expert fees and costs." ...

"Your methodology, your calm demeanor in the midst of great intensity and at times considerable animosity, your uncanny ability to quickly distill the case to the critical issues and your ability through negotiations to bring people with very different view points to a consensus, brought about the resolution of the case." ...

"Although after 22 years of business litigation, I have long understood that the greatest service we can provide our clients, as litigators, is not to be ruthless mercenaries but to be instruments of resolution, in the most hard fought litigation battles, I have often resigned myself to the conclusion that my clients have no options but to go to trial. When next confronted with such a case, I will make every effort to have you meet my opposing counsel and to persuade him or her to submit the matter to you for mediation."

     Brian F. Buchanan, Esq.
     Haney, Buchanan & Patterson

"Thank you very much for your tireless efforts (and I mean this literally) in bringing the matter to a close. I have worked with many mediators, but none as talented or perseverant as you. Your work in this case truly brought the parties together towards a common purpose (the well-being of Jane Doe) and we very much appreciate it."

     Eva Lehman, Esq.
     Walraven & Lehman, LLP

"Thank you once again for your efforts in bringing this matter to a resolution. This particular mediation certainly involved more than a "nuts and bolts" analysis of liability and damages and I was very pleased with your ability to recognize and meet the challenges posed in this matter.

Once again, thank you for your efforts and I look forward to working with you again."

     Anthony Ruggieri, Esq.
     Advantage Law Group

"We want to thank you for the thoughtful way you helped bring our case to settlement…Our intention from the outset was to keep the negotiations principled and to work toward the benefit of both parties involved. Your conscientious and calm nature helped us do just that.

Your understanding of the importance of human relationships and the influence of emotions in business as well as your empathy regarding the toll that the stress of litigations takes on creative minded people was instrumental toward achieving our goal.

It is said that good mediation leaves both parties feeling unhappy. Untrue. A good mediator finds the way to bring relief and in some cases advantage to both parties. You are that mediator."

     David & Arlene N., Parties

“I just wanted you to know what a pleasure it was having you as our mediator. This was a very difficult case with some contentious issues and personalities (mine excluded) but you were able to cut through it all and finally pull a settlement together.

If you hadn’t persisted with the telephone calls, I am sure we would have ended up trying this case.

I look forward to working with you again.”

     Michael K. Wolder, Esq.
     Pistone & Wolder, LLP

"Thanks again for your efforts yesterday. I remain firmly convinced you are the only mediator in the world who could have sealed the deal.”

     Alan R. Zuckerman, Esq.
     Lewis, Brisbois, Bisgaard & Smith LLP

"I would like to personally thank you for a wonderful experience in dealing with you in this mediation. I really appreciate your insight and expertise. Your thoughtfulness, advice, and respectfulness is greatly appreciated... Also, your staff was so gracious."

     Client, DZ

"I can’t thank you enough for your kindness and care yesterday. Without your compassion and persistence, I don’t know if...and I could have made it through.

For the first time in months, I feel like a cloud has been lifted and I can think about a future that includes enjoying time with my family and some security and happiness ahead. None of this would have been possible without you. You never gave up even when things seemed hopeless and I know in my heart of hearts but for you and...I would be in a very different place.

People like you are very rare, and I truly feel privileged to have met you.

...A special thanks to your mom whose cookies brightened the day!"

     Client

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