Professional Panel - Robert J. Sheppard, Esq.
Of the several titles Bob Sheppard could easily choose as his favorite - Northern California "Super Lawyer," Distinguished Law Firm Senior Partner, Bar Association Real Estate Section Chair, Accomplished Professional Mediator - the one that makes his face shine with pride is ... "Chief Happy Fox." That is how he is affectionately called by a group of young Mill Valley girls and their fathers who look up to him as one of the doting Dads heavily involved in the Marin YMCA "Indian Princess" program, a father-daughter mentoring vehicle for the past 75 years.
A 10-year Indian Princess Tribe veteran, and the very proud father of three daughters, Bob Sheppard brings the same passion, sense of purpose, and commitment to the mediation table.
"The word that best describes my problem-solving ability," says Sheppard, "is tenacity. I simply never give up. Call me the velvet-gloved pit bull, if you will, but I am devoted to doing whatever it takes to come to a mutually satisfactory resolution, which is why we all gather at the table in the first place."
He traces his tenacity to the influence of his parents - his father was a celebrated criminal trial lawyer in Chicago and his mother a vibrant stage and musical performer, both of whom took tremendous pride in their crafts.
"Clients and their lawyers don't want a passive, complacent mediator or arbitrator," he explains, "although I am a huge believer in the art of listening. They want and deserve a pro-active, persistent Neutral who will work tirelessly and creatively toward a solution. I take very seriously the clients' and the lawyers' need to be heard, understood, acknowledged and respected."
Sheppard embraces mediation as the art of positively directing curve balls, twists and turns. "Flexibility and fast, artful thinking is paramount," he says. "And so is a heightened sense of humanity and compassion. If you have these qualities - and I believe I do - they shed light on the key to effective mediation, which is not to have a pre-established formula, but rather the willingness to let each dispute shape the resolution."
As the Senior Partner in Sheppard, Uziel, Sussman & Rosen at 100 Montgomery Street in San Francisco, Shepard presides over a top-shelf firm with expertise in real estate law, neighbor disputes, landlord/tenant law, and commercial/business conflicts
From 2006 through 2011, Sheppard was selected by peers as "Super Lawyer of Northern California," but somehow "Chief Happy Fox" seems to be the best moniker for this vivacious, empathetic warrior boldly pursuing resolution with ironclad tenacity.