I am an attorney with experience as both a litigator and a clerk attorney to San Francisco Superior Court judge Ronald Quidachay. I earned my J.D. at U.C. Hastings where, among other things, I was one of only three students in my class to receive a three-year merit scholarship. During law school I also served as a member of the Hastings Law Journal and externed for Federal Court Judge Charles Breyer. I passed the bar in 2004. In 2009, I received the state bar’s Wiley W. Manuel Award for providing more than 100 hours of pro bono legal services to persons in need.
Prior to becoming an attorney, I taught 4th, 7th and 8th grades at Ross School, a public school in Marin County. During my tenure as a teacher, I also fulfilled several leadership roles including president of our district’s teacher union, member of the negotiations committee and the administration’s leadership committee, and faculty liaison to the PTA. In 1999, the PTA awarded me its “Inspirational Teacher” award the first time it was given for creating on my own initiative a reading mentorship program engaging middle school students as mentors to struggling primary grade readers.
I am a lifelong resident of the Bay Area and a graduate of Stanford University. My wife, Ingrid, grew up in Palo Alto. We had our first child in 2010 and were thrilled to buy our first home in her hometown, and my college town, in the fall of 2011. In the summer of 2012, I opened the doors of Family Tree Mediation, excited to be shifting my legal practice to focus solely on the mediation process, which I regard as both a far more economically sound service to provide and a far more constructive process in which to engage than litigation.
My Approach to Mediation
I employ a facilitative approach to mediation focused on achieving and building upon the mutual benefits parties in dispute experience when they realize they have been truly heard. I believe a mediation revolution is quietly at work in our society significantly improving our communication methods in ways that have a long lasting positive influence on the quality of our lives. Understanding and appreciating the value of utilizing a neutral third party who is present, sensitive, articulate, intelligent and creative to mediate difficult relationships, issues, disputes and conversations I believe will soon enter the mainstream in our culture in the same way that therapy, yoga, and alternative medicine have become widely experienced and practiced throughout our society.
I believe as a mediator I have the important personal strengths described above of being present, sensitive, articulate, intelligent and creative. The complementary experience I bring to mediation as an attorney and educator informs my outlook. My legal background gives me experience with and appreciation of the value of procedural integrity and thoughtfully developed, independent standards for evaluating available settlement agreement options. My education background gives me experience with and appreciation of the emotional, psychological, and practical dynamics we face when coping with conflict, change, opportunity and loss.