Featured Articles

I Agreed to Arbitrate That? Recent Developments in the Application of Arbitration Agreements

The California bill, SB33, is extremely broad and would prohibit imposing a waiver of a legal right that arises as a result of fraud, identity theft, and any other act related to the wrongful use of personal identifying information as a condition of entering into a contract for the provision of goods or services.

Mediating Fee Disputes Gracefully

Getting into a fee dispute with a client can be a bit like walking through a minefield. Stepping cautiously may maximize your ability to recover fees due and help you avoid a malpractice claim or State Bar complaint.

Civility and the Mediation Process

Practicing civility at the mediation session also produces unmistakable dividends, starting with your credibility with the mediator.

Choosing a Great Mediator

Mediators can get places nobody else can. Good mediators promote open dialogue between the parties. And once people talk candidly about their cases, great things happen.

Elephant in the Room – Attending to Power Differences in Mediation

The issues surrounding reaching an agreement grow in complexity whenever the dispute involves power differences. How would a landlord/tenant mediation be different from one that involves two neighbors?

Update on Mediation Confidentiality

Both mediators and participants should understand the possibility that mediation communications and writings may be discoverable in certain situations. Two California court decisions that protected the absolute privilege, despite creating arguably unfair results, have caused much consternation.

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  • The CCCBA Supports ADR in Many Ways

    The Contra Costa County Bar Association runs a Mandatory Fee Arbitration and Mediation Program that provides an informal, low-cost alternative to the court system for Contra Costa County attorneys involved in a fee dispute with their clients. The program also provides a volunteering opportunity to mediators and arbitrators who would like to give back to […]

  • Bar Soap

    Bar Soap

    As I mentioned in my last Bar Soap, the Contra Costa High School Mock Trial Competition was on the horizon. It has now taken place and it was the usual tremendous success. Miramonte High School was the winner this year. That makes two years in a row for Miramonte. I served as judge two nights […]

  • What Do You Look for When Choosing a Mediator?

    Coffee Talk is a regular feature of the Contra Costa Lawyer magazine. We ask a short question related to an upcoming theme and responses are then published in the Contra Costa Lawyer magazine. What do you look for when choosing a mediator? I look for someone who has experience in personal injury work (Plaintiff or […]

  • March 2017 Contra Costa Lawyer – The Real Estate Issue

    Browse the articles from the March 2017 issue below:   FEATURES: A Macro Approach to Large-Scale Construction Defect Matters, by David Young and Erica L. Morris Bay Area Cities Implement New Eviction and Rent Control Measures, by Puneet Singh The Ruckus over Airbnb: Local Governments Struggle to Control Short-Term Vacation Rentals, by Robert B. Jacobs […]

  • A Macro Approach to Large-Scale Construction Defect Matters

    A Macro Approach to Large-Scale Construction Defect Matters

    Given the relatively high-exposure involved with large-scale construction defect matters, insurers will generally be cautious and hire coverage attorneys to provide critical analyses of their insurance policies against the facts of each case, the identity of their insureds, and the insureds’ scope of work.

  • Bay Area Cities Implement New Eviction and Rent Control

    Bay Area Cities Implement New Eviction and Rent Control Measures

    In response to the affordable housing crisis, several cities passed ordinances, and rent and eviction control ballot initiatives became a hot topic for residents in several California cities in the 2016 election.

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