What Our Clients Say . . .
In addition to training, qualifications and experience, another worthwhile measure of a mediator is what clients have to say about their mediation experience. The following is a sampling of detailed comments from our clients and their counsel in a variety of past cases.

Securities / Breach of Contract and Fiduciary Duty

     “Having been a party to a very hotly-contested Federal Court lawsuit in the Northern District of California, I can speak with some authority as to the mediation skills of Jack Skelton of the Litigation Solutions Law Group.

     “In our very difficult situation, hostile, antagonistic defendants, plaintiffs and attorneys were scattered across six states. Not one of the parties, to my knowledge, had any desire to introduce the expense of a mediator into what had already become extremely expensive and burdensome legal proceedings.

     “At the Court’s insistence, however, Jack Skelton waded into the mess to assist us in settling the suit before it reached the courtroom for what had been predicted to be a very long and difficult trial. Over the course of three very contentious months, Jack kept tough negotiations moving forward in the direction of a settlement.

     “He juggled egos, difficult personalities and troublesome interpersonal conflicts, and pushed us to always look past the immediate aggravation toward ‘the prize’ — a settlement acceptable to all parties.

     “Jack was tough and serious, yet always pleasant to work with. Without a doubt, this lawsuit would never have reached a settlement without the involvement of Jack Skelton. Contrary to our initial beliefs — that his services would be an unnecessary additional cost — I can truly state that Jack Skelton actually saved the defendants and the plaintiffs a great deal of money, time and aggravation through his skillful negotiation of a settlement of this lawsuit before it reached the trial stage.”

Robert R. Turnage
Vice President

Reef Energy Corporation
Salem, Illinois

Multiple Claims / Multiple Jurisdictions

Dear Judge:

     “. . . By selecting a very superior mediator, the Court was saved eons of time. The purpose of this letter is to emphasize to the Court what an excellent choice of mediators was made. . . .

     “This letter will not be long enough to express the extreme amount of time and energy, not to mention consummate skill, that Mr. Skelton brought to bear in the circumstances. The result is a settlement agreed to by all sides, and a complete, global resolution which leaves no loose ends. . . .”
Jane Z. Hinsdale
The Hinsdale Law Firm
Burlingame, California

Racial Discrimination / Profiling
     “This is to thank you for your mediation efforts in connection with the matter involving our client who was not allowed to board an airline flight because of what he perceived to be racial and religious discrimination.

     “Our client, as an American Sikh, felt very strongly that no one in these United States should be subjected to discrimination on the basis of their race and/or religion and was determined to play his part in prosecuting an action against a major airline. He believed that constitutional and civil rights extend to all and cannot be suppressed based on an airline pilot’s stereotypical attitude towards passengers who appeared Middle Eastern.

     “The mediation process required several sessions and you very patiently considered his concerns and handled the matter most sensitively. The result was that you built trust with the client and were able to achieve a resolution that satisfied our client’s goals of preventing future discrimination against passengers such as he.

     “Thank you again for all your hard work and we look forward to working with you on other matters.”
Javed Ellahie
San Jose, California

Wrongful Death (Murder-Suicide) / Probate / ERISA

     “I can't thank you enough for all of your efforts in connection with the resolution of this case and the related matters. I am now a firm believer in the mediation process.

     “Your efforts are the reason my client is now in the position to have closure, not only with the California matter, but for all the other related matters you were willing to negotiate between the parties. I really don’t want to contemplate the outcome if you had not orchestrated this settlement. . . .”

Susan K. Stoneman
Richmond, Virginia

Dear Judge:

     “I am writing to commend the work of John Skelton, the mediator assigned by the court in the above-referenced matter. As Virginia counsel for one of the parties in the California litigation, I became involved in the negotiations as a result of Jack's comprehensive approach to the mediation.

      “Jack's vision for resolution and his position that settlement through mediation was necessary transformed the parties from adversaries to negotiators. His skill and dedication was the catalyst which kept the parties and their attorneys at the mediation table despite the numerous and complex issues.

     “The California court system is fortunate to have a professional of his high caliber assisting in the resolution of matters through mediation.”

Susan K. Stoneman
Richmond, Virginia

Airline Passenger Denied Boarding Following September 11th

“. . . . Again, I wish to thank you for the extraordinary amount of work you devoted to the process of bringing both sides to common ground. I am certainly pleased, as I am sure [opposing counsel] is, that your efforts were not at all in vain.”

Richard G. Grotch
Coddington, Hicks & Danf
Redwood City, California

Commercial Computer Spam /
Violations of Federal CAN-SPAM Act

“. . . . I thought Jack was terrific. The talks looked like they had reached an impasse several times, but Jack knew just how to gently get things back on track. I don't think the case would have settled without him."

Jay R. Henneberry
Chadbourne & Parke LLP

Los Angeles, California

ERISA Disability Claim
      “Thank you for your hard work and diligence in working with the parties to try to settle our ERISA disability claim. . . . [You] follow[ed] up with both parties on a regular basis after the mediation to get us to come closer to a resolution.  You demonstrated superb knowledge of the delicate facts of our case and extreme finesse in dealing with my client, a headstrong disabled woman, who repeatedly said to me about you, “I really like him.”  Your ability to show compassion while “telling it like it is” commanded great respect from both myself and my client.  I would highly recommend you as a mediator and look forward to the opportunity of working with you again.”

Michelle L. Roberts
Springer-Sullivan & Roberts LLP
Oakland, California

Commercial Property Mortgage / Breach of Oral Agreement to Modify Loan Terms
      “Jack worked to help us settle our case, without the need for an actual face-to-face mediation session, and at no charge to the parties. His efforts were very helpful in a difficult situation.”

Ali Nehme
San Francisco, California

Securities and Exchange Commission Civil Fraud Action / Related Insurance Coverage and Attorneys’ Fees Dispute
      “Jack Skelton helped us successfully settle a securities case and then resolve fee issues. Throughout the process, Jack was smart, thoughtful, and even-tempered, and brought excellent experience to the tasks. We appreciated his hard work and quick responses.”

David W. Shapiro
Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP
Oakland, California

Airline Passenger Personal Injury

     “Jack Skelton mediated a case I had against a major airline in federal court. The law and issues were complicated though the facts simple. Despite my clarity about the case, its strengths and weaknesses, the defense didn't quite see things as I did. Jack helped me cut through the issues, boil it down, and resolve it that day. It was a good result for all. In short, I could not have settled my case without Jack's help.”

Brett Burlison
San Francisco, California

Bank Employee Wrongful Termination Action / Retaliation in Violation of California FEHA / Disability Discrimination (Denial of FMLA) / Retaliatory Termination in Violation of Labor Code § 1102.5(c)

     “Jack . . . you did a fantastic job. Our client commented about that also as we were leaving (and he has had experience with a lot of mediators). He really appreciated your no nonsense way of handling things, your knowledge and experience, the fact that you did not waste our time, and, of course, the excellent result you achieved. I will certainly recommend you and seek you out next time I need a mediator.”

Bethany A. Pelliconi
McGuireWoods LLP
Los Angeles, CA

Confidential Civil Dispute (Lawsuit Not Filed)

     “Jack Skelton handled what seemed to be an intractable dispute for an important client of our firm. Over a period of almost six months, he refused to let up, ultimately bringing the parties to resolution. We were very fortunate: Jack displayed perseverance, fairness and wisdom to a degree rarely found even in highly accomplished mediators, skills without which the parties likely would have ended up in costly litigation.”

Lee S. Wolosky
Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP
New York, New York

Confidential Civil Dispute (Lawsuit Not Filed)

     “In my over 40 years as a litigator, it is hard to remember if I have ever come across a mediator who is as doggedly determined as Jack is. He is relentless. He will not let up. Jack has a unique style of shuttle mediation over the phone that is very effective. And he does it all with professionalism and good humor. I would recommend Jack and plan to use him in the future.”

Robert C. Rosen
Rosen & Associates, Prof. Corp.
Los Angeles, California

China - U.S. Mediation Via Skype / Commercial Trade Dispute

     “Jack enabled us to us resolve a difficult, international dispute. His lengthy list of qualifications made him an easy choice, but it was only after the mediation got underway that we realized what an excellent choice we had made. Jack’s insight — which had clearly been developed over the course of many years as a corporate officer and litigator — was by far the most important intangible in the room. He quickly earned the respect of both sides. From that point on, settlement seemed inevitable.”

Kevin J. Hartmann
Vice President Law & Insurance
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (America)
Edison, New Jersey

Long-term Office Employee Wrongful Termination Action / Age and Disability Discrimination / Failure to Engage in Interactive Process / Failure to Accommodate / Retaliatory Termination / Violation of California Family Rights Act

     “[Jack] did an excellent job aiding the parties on a mediation regarding the termination of a longterm employee. He used the parties' time efficiently and was impartial and polite in his approach with the parties. Additionally, he was able to corral the plaintiff's emotions and focus her and her counsel on the viability of the legal arguments to help the parties reach a settlement which our client felt was reasonable given the facts of the case.”

Sabrina A. Beldner
McGuireWoods LLP
Los Angeles, California

International Maritime Shipping Dispute / Violation of U.S. Shipping Act and VOCC Tariffs By NVOCC

     “Jack: You did a terrific job as mediator and I would have no hesitation in recommending you as a mediator, although you do have a nagging streak. I appreciated your follow-thru. Thanks again and I hope we work together in the future.”

Joseph Mirkovich
Russell, Mirkovich & Morrow
Long Beach, California

Dispute Arising from Sale of $60,000,000.00 Franchise

     “Jack, Thanks again for your hard work getting this deal done. I will definitely keep you in mind for future cases and pass your name along to colleagues looking for a persistent mediator. Pleasure getting to know you . . . .”

Michael C. Righetti
Righetti • Glugoski, Prof. Corp.
San Francisco, California

Flood Damage to Ranch Property

     “I have had several mediation experiences with Jack, and one of the things that separates him from others I have worked with is that he never gives up. If a roadblock is put in the way of reaching resolution, he is thoughtful, creative, and determined to help the parties get around it. If a matter does not resolve quickly, he continues to stay involved in an effort to bring the parties closer together. The fact that we keep coming back to him speaks highly to the value he brings to getting cases resolved.”

Jason Heath
Assistant County Counsel
County of Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz, California

Wrongful Death Following Surgery to Repair Leg Injury Caused By Trip and Fall

     “Jack, Just wanted to take a minute and thank you for solving to my great satisfaction what seemed a case that was completely unsolvable without going to trial.

     “Although this had a nice upside, as usual it also had its risks and would have been somewhat risky to try. I think the result you got for us was very fair but I am pretty sure very few people could have done as good a job as you did in bringing both sides together. Thank you again for your effort, hard work and talent.

Sanford M.Cipinko
Law Offices of
  Sanford M. Cipinko
San Francisco, California

Transition from Old to New Partnership Agreement

     “For a period of several years our partnership attempted to forge a new partnership agreement to replace the original which had been largely in place for 20 years. Our task was complicated by the fact that when the partnership was formed we were a new venture and there was little value. Over time the value of the partnership became a significant portion of the net worth of the partners. Additionally, each partner’s life circumstances had changed over time, which affected their interests and concerns in the new agreement.

     “We reached a point that it was apparent we needed an outside third party to work with us and lead us to a new agreement. We were referred to Jack Skelton, who we interviewed along with several other mediators. From the outset we realized that with Jack we were dealing with a true professional. Jack is a good listener and has an ability to understand complex situations and individual positions. All partners were confident that when speaking with Jack individually that our confidence was kept. Jack offered good guidance and made valuable suggestions as to possible resolutions.

     “After our day-long mediation session, Jack continued following up for the next 8 months as we worked on the details and finalized an agreement. This follow up, I believe, was key to our not losing momentum and getting an agreement done. Due in large part to Jack’s work we now have an agreement that will serve the partners, and potentially their heirs, well for the foreseeable future

Jim Moravec
General Manager and Partner
Stott Outdoor Advertising
Chico, California

Burns and Scarring to Mother and Six Year Old Child

“Dear Mr. Skelton,

     “First let me express my appreciation for all of your efforts in getting our case resolved. It was a pleasure to get to know you. Having been in untold mediations over my 32 years of private practice, and having been before mediators ranging from retired state Supreme Court justices to individual attorneys, I can honestly say that you have been the best. I found your approach and handling of the case to be exemplary. Confidentially was respected and maintained at all times, and the parties were treated with courtesy and consideration.

     “Frankly, I did not expect to settle this case at mediation, and I do not believe it would have but for your efforts and expertise. I particularly appreciated your foresight in contacting the lawyers well before the actual mediation date (with their permission of course), and providing advice and assistance to the parties, always in confidentiality, in order to create the optimum opportunity for both parties to get the case resolved.

     “Although I did not know you prior to your entering the case, when I arrived for the mediation, I felt as if a rapport had already been established. It was a comfortable atmosphere, and when my client was afforded an opportunity to present her case to the other side (at the optimal moment I might add), it brought the human element to the case that the other side needed to see. Well orchestrated. Well done.

     “Sharing your personal knowledge and background in the litigation field let the attorneys know that you had ‘been there, done that,’ and that reasonableness was to be the order of the day. From there, you brought two very disparate positions, both on liability and damages, to a middle ground, resolved the issues and settled the case.

     “I would recommend your services to any litigation attorney, will use you (or at least put your name up for selection) at my next mediation, and will definitely recommend your services to my colleagues.

H. Steven Burnside
Palo Alto, California

“Bermuda Triangle” Employment Case: Interaction of FEHA Disability Discrimination, Workers Compensation, and Disability Insurance Issues

     “Jack did an outstanding job mediating an employment law single plaintiff vs. corporate defendant Federal case in the Northern District of California. This particular case involved complex issues between the interaction of disability insurance, workers compensation, and FEHA disability discrimination claims, in what is commonly referred to as the 'Bermuda Triangle.'

     “Although the case was not resolved at mediation, Jack's energy and focus at mediation helped to narrow the issues, which carried on after the mediation. Jack's follow-up post-mediation really made the difference as he continued to monitor evidentiary developments in the case, which he utilized to bring the parties to a consensus and reach settlement a few months later. I would use and recommend Jack in the future for his solid competencies in identifying and narrowing issues, handling personalities, understanding
valuation, and bringing parties to resolution.”

Christopher G. Wilhelmi
Hinkle, Jachimowicz,
Pointer & Emanuel
San Jose, California

(Quotes used with permission, and edited where necessary for length, clarity and to protect confidentiality.)