Specialties:
  • Boundary disputes
  • Business disputes
  • Construction
  • Construction defect
  • Contracts
  • Easements
  • Elder Abuse
  • Environmental contamination
  • Land Use/Municipal Law
  • Landlord-Tenant
  • Landslides
  • Mold
  • Neighbor disputes
  • Public Entity
  • Real Estate transaction and litigation
  • Tree Law
  • Trusts and estates
Memberships & Special Honors
  • California Supreme Court, Extern to Justice Marcus Kaufman.
  • Marin County Bar Association, Board President, 2005.
  • Congregation Rodef Sholom, Board President (2006-2008)
  • Larkspur City Council, 2009-2013 (Mayor in 2012)
  • Marin County Council of Mayors and City Council Members, Chair (2013)
  • Marin County Bar Association, Real Property Section Chair (2017 to 2022).
  • Northern California Super Lawyers (2012-2023)

Len Rifkind, Esq.

Mediation Style.  Parties and counsel will find Len to be a high energy and engaging neutral, who can employ either  humor or gravitas as appropriate.  “I have an indefatigable never say ‘die’ attitude and will go all day and night, if necessary, to settle a case.  I can follow up for days or weeks until the case settles,”  he says.  Len, who is an endurance athlete–ski mountaineering and open water swimming–says he gets the same dopamine hit from settling a case as he does from climbing a mountain to ski a steep couloir, or swimming under the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco Bay. 

Preparation.  Every case begins with pre-mediation meetings with counsel to ascertain from counsels’ perspective what will work or not work during the mediation.  Len invites the opportunity to attend a site visit as appropriate.  While a thorough review of the parties’ briefs and legal citations is standard, Len will often call counsel in advance of the mediation to address or raise any concerns raised from his review of the briefs so that on mediation day the parties have the best chance to settle.

Listening.  Every mediation begins with giving the floor to the parties to tell their story.  “I find that it is essential and cathartic for parties to be able to tell their story and to feel heard,” he observes.  Active empathetic listening and the finding of common ground sets the tone for Len to gain the trust of the parties and their counsel so that parties will have engendered the confidence to make tough decisions often required to settle a case.  

Secret Sauce to Settle Cases.  Len’s secret sauce to settling cases at mediation is his ability to dig deep into understanding the essential and immutable facts of a case, review and understanding of applicable law, and then ask probative questions to help parties evaluate his/her/their/its legal position realistically.  Helping parties to be pragmatic about their case is what Len has found settles cases.

Background

  • Bullard & Bridges,  1988-1990
  • Laub & Laub, 1991
  • Rifkind Law Group, 1991-2022
  • Rifkind Law & Mediation, PC, 2022 to present
    • Extensive trial experience in real property law.
    • Practice emphasis on real property transactional matters, related litigation, boundary and easement law, construction, land use, landlord-tenant, partnership, neighbor, and tree law.

Education

  • J.D., California Western School of Law, 1988, Cum Laude.
  • B.S., San Diego State University (Geophysics major), 1984

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