Professional Panel - J. Randolph Wallace, Esq.
Recently at the young age of 67, Randy Wallace took five months away from the office to hike 1,250 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from Campo, California to Ashland, Oregon. He is convinced that his time on the trail has made him a better mediator. As “Froggy” (his trail name is an acronym – ask him what it stands for), he made many genuine connections with other hard core hikers along the way, and is making a YouTube movie about his adventure. Randy is passionate about putting his “bring back principles” to work with his clients at the mediation table: a quiet mind, the creation of joy, and the ability to keenly look, listen, and learn.
“One of the most important parts of a mediator's job is to know when to listen and when to talk,” he says. “Only then can the process work to permit intelligent people to make sensible decisions to solve their problems.”
Mediation presents perplexing issues to those involved in dispute, and Randy notes that a good mediator recognizes that “it’s not about playing hardball; it’s about being adaptable. Whenever I’m asked about my approach as a mediator, I like to point out that when I was a men's senior league pitcher, my best pitch was always the one that’s getting them out.”
There are several “must-have” qualities for a mediator.
Randy Wallace comes to a mediation with these “must haves” gained from professional and personal experience. In addition to decades of work as a trial attorney and mediator, Randy’s persistence, patience, resolve, and sense of humor create an atmosphere to maximize resolution for your clients.
Not surprisingly, Randy suggests a hiking metaphor for his work as a Special Master in construction disputes and complex cases. “Problems are the hills that Special Masters must climb; hills of people, documents, insurance issues, industry and subject matter issues, and chaos that can seem impossible to organize and resolve.” He prides himself in transforming chaos into order, being pragmatic, and working through consensus to resolve a dispute.
Being a Special Master is not about telling people what to do. It is about defining a problem, developing discovery and case processing plans, formulating a fix, apportioning how the fix will be paid, addressing coverage and indemnity issues, and working cooperatively to accomplish these goals.
Randy understands that a Special Master must maintain a delicate balance between pushing the participants to resolution, but not pushing so hard as to be counter-productive. He tries to make rulings by consensus first, then by making recommendations to the Court. “Both of these concepts are promoted by creating a comprehensive pretrial order with ‘teeth’ to move the case forward,” he says.
A Special Master must keep the Court, parties, lawyers and claims adjustors informed as to what will happen before it does happen, and he or she must never embarrass any of the participants. With a broad background in all aspects of construction and the fortitude of a seasoned hiker, Randy welcomes the opportunity to take on your most arduous construction matters.
Randy Wallace was born in San Francisco, raised in Marin County, and educated in Berkeley. In 1978, he hung out his own shingle in a conference room at 19 Bolinas Road in Fairfax to start his law practice. He was a solo practitioner for 17 years before joining the firm of Ragghianti Thomas Montobbio Wallace (now Ragghianti Freitas) as a partner in 1995. He has been a mediator since 1994. In August 2008, he returned to his roots, restarting his own Law and Mediation Office. He joined the Resolution Remedies panel in December 2017.
Additional Professional Experience:
Practice Areas (over 250 cases tried, arbitrated, or mediated):
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