Professional Panel - Judge Vernon F. Smith
Affable and engaging in personal style, yet authoritative and objective in judicial presence, Judge Smith brings 25 years’ worth of experience as a trial judge to the mediation process. Thousands of cases involving settlements in such varied matters as real estate claims, construction disputes, probate and personal injury concerns, insurance coverage, and malpractice suits have forged Judge Smith as a versatile, intelligent, extremely well-informed and prepared mediator and arbitrator
Smith, emphasizes that mediation is an art that requires discipline and hard work. “Dedication to exploring all avenues to proper resolution is absolutely essential in this line of duty,” he says. “You might walk into a room with three well-prepared and imaginative ideas, all of which might not bear fruit. But, at the end of the day, it’s hard work, interactive and vigorous discussion, and a willingness to compromise that bring a sense of satisfaction to all parties. And, believe me, when parties approach you when matters have been resolved and express their gratitude for whatever help you may have contributed, it is extremely satisfying.”
Warmth of personality and a genuine demonstration of the art of listening go a long way in conflict resolutions that are often boisterous, hostile, awkward, and uncomfortable. Judge Vernon Smith brings all the good characteristics of San Francisco-Marin congeniality and well-seasoned friendliness to a venue so frequently spiked with animosity and bitterness.
ON THE BENCH
Judge Smith served in every assignment of the courts of Marin and has served as the Supervising Judge of the Civil, Probate, Juvenile, Family Law and Criminal divisions. He was the first Presiding Judge of the consolidated Marin Superior Court, and served several terms on the Appellate Department and as the appointed CEQA Judge for Marin.