FOUNDER, RESOLUTION REMEDIES
If sturdy foundation is everything in construction and in life, Resolution Remedies is certain to have healthy longevity. Diane Levinson-Fass started the firm in 1995 after stints with Judicial Resources (which she helped found), Judicial Arbitration Services (JAMS), and Endispute. When Endispute and JAMS merged in 1994, Levinson-Fass bravely set out on her own to organize Resolution Remedies right at the time when mediation and arbitration services were beginning to flourish as viable alternatives to lengthy trials and pricey litigation.
Her somewhat circuitous career path began in North Beach, San Francisco, where she was born and where she began her first chosen profession, advertising. Toughened by the brutally competitive trenches of advertising in The City – which had reached its most intense peak in the 70’s and 80’s – Levinson-Fass grew restless and, as a single parent, wanted to simplify her life.
She went to work for noted Marin attorney Dave Freitas, and it was her frequent contacts with other lawyers and judges that germinated the idea to get into the mediation field.
“I’ve always trusted my gut feelings,” says the affable, highly energetic founder, “and I knew there was a huge, crying need for effective, formal, professional alternatives to dispute resolution. I’d always ask the attorneys about the judges and what they were like, and I discovered that they ran the gamut – some were approachable and well-liked, others were stuffy and insufferable, several were reflective and thoughtful, still others were well motivated and lofty minded. A mosaic began to emerge, and I had a very vivid picture in my mind about what a vital, diverse, viable and effective mediation firm would look like.”
Resolution Remedies is that vision. Levinson-Fass is deeply proud of both the professional panel of judges and attorneys she has selected, and also the bright new office staff that serves them and acts as liaisons between the mediators and clients.
“The gift I have is intuition,” she says. “I have extremely acute people skills. Growing up in a boisterous Italian family, being raised and schooled in the culturally rich streets of North Beach, mixed with the joy I feel being exposed to the Bay Area’s incredible wealth of legal and judicial talent – these things have sharpened my ability to recognize brilliance and put it to work in a collegial setting that is fluid, effective, fun, and ultimately successful.”
Levinson-Fass – now recognized nationally as one of the leaders in the relatively new and still burgeoning mediation/arbitration field – exudes passion for her work, and brings to the table boundless energy, a deep sense of empathy, and a firm conviction that patience and sound preparation are the keys to success.
“I was born into a warm, supportive, embracing family who instilled in me the notion that I could achieve anything I wanted,” she smiles, “so I learned early on that failure simply did not exist in my vocabulary. And my family roots are strong and equally colorful – my genealogy includes blood relations with both General Robert E. Lee and famed baseball slugger Joe DiMaggio. How’s that for a rich sense of diversity, not to mention irony – being related to both the Yankee Clipper and the Confederate Commander?”
A nationally ranked senior tennis player – she still plays the sport with fierce dedication – Levinson-Fass is the proud mother of children Jeff and Jennifer; and she has been gifted with two grandchildren.
As for the future of Resolution Remedies, her sale of the firm to San Rafael attorney Perry Litchfield in June, 2010, is something she relishes. “As new President and CEO,” she says, “Perry is an articulate and well-reputed attorney, an astute and very successful entrepreneur, and, I am proud to say, one of my original panel members with Resolution Remedies. He definitely has ‘the right stuff,’ and is already taking dramatic and wide-sweeping steps to ensure our company’s growing stature as one of the finest mediation/arbitration firms in the nation.”
Diane Levinson-Fass now has the opportunity to spend more time with her family, but she remains an active consultant with the firm, which will always bear the rich character of her dynamic personality.