Professional Panel- Alan M. Mayer, Esq.
“As a mediator, I think I can be helpful with finding some innovative solutions to problems and evaluating what’s practical and what’s not.” - Alan Mayer
In his 45 years of representing homeowners, contractors, engineers, and other clients as an attorney, Alan Mayer has approached dispute resolution with his own personal style. “I try to find a solution that benefits as many people as possible. I try to find long term solutions rather than short term ones. I like to begin with something reasonable and move from there. Rather than taking a hard line and then backing down, using a reasonable approach allows negotiators more movement, flexibility, and options.”
Mr. Mayer observes that the beauty of mediation is that disputants can do so much more than what they can do in court. They might win or lose a money judgment in court, but with a good mediator’s help they can craft a settlement that brings them to new and unique solutions. For example, business partners can rearrange their business structures so their company operates better, neighbors with view disputes can fashion a schedule of tree maintenance, and homeowners impacted by landslide can start a resource fund that benefits multiple property owners.
“That’s the kind of solution that I prefer by far” he notes. “It actually accomplishes a physical good that’s tangible and long term. The best settlement solves current and future problems.”
Alan notes that his most valuable takeaway from his formal mediator training was learning more about how to prepare all participants for mediation. “A good mediator sees to it that the parties are prepared,” he says. As a mediator, Alan offers guidance and direction on the preliminary work that needs to be done before the mediation session begins.
Alan applies his experience as a mediation participant, as well. “I think I can demonstrate to attorneys how they might best serve their clients, helping them evaluate factors they may not have considered and contemplate what may be beneficial for both sides in the long run.”
Alan recalls that once when dealing with a landslide case, his client felt extremely embarrassed by the experience of being sued. “For me, this is just part of what I do, it’s part of life. But people bring far more of their emotions to it than I do, and I came to understand this as an important factor in striving for resolution.”
“That’s something that influenced me a lot,” he adds. “It’s not just something on paper, not just about money. There’s this whole personal side and I try to deal with that and try to respect that.”
Although Alan Mayer is well-known in the Bay Area as a landslide specialist, he has handled a wide variety of civil litigation matters:
California State Courts
GOLDEN GATE UNIVERSITY
EDWARDS MEDIATION ACADEMY
Court appointed settlement panelist since 1995. Marin Superior Court
Marin County Bar Association