Ashley Mediation Centers

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[edit] General Information

  • Official name: Ashley Mediation Centers
  • Country: USA
  • City: Santa Rosa
  • Type of organization: Non-profit organization
  • Date of creation: 1993
  • Interests: Mediation
  • Fields of expertise: Business, Real Property and Employment Disputes

[edit] Origin

Ashley Mediation Centers (“AMC”) was founded by Fred Ashley, a California real estate broker and attorney with over 25 years of experience representing both plaintiffs and defendants in complex business and employment litigation.

Having practiced as a California mediator in the resolution of business and employment disputes since 1993, Mr. Ashley possesses a national and acclaimed reputation as an expert in the fields of negotiation and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), as well as on the substantive law. He has the knowledge, tenacity, and interpersonal skills as a mediator to bring even the most acrimonious dispute to resolution. He also has the unique ability to effectively manage mediations involving multiple parties with divergent interests.

[edit] Conflict Resolution and ADR Services

Ashley Mediation Centers, which is affiliated with ADR Services, Inc., helps its clients in Northern and Southern California avoid the high costs and burdens of litigation through the productive use of the business mediation process. It provides free, neutral facilities for Los Angeles Mediation, San Diego Mediation, Orange County Mediation, San Francisco Mediation, Las Vegas Mediation, San Bernardino Mediation, and Riverside Mediation as well as additional mediation facilities in other key cities in California and Nevada. Ashley Mediation Centers is also pleased to render its alternative dispute resolution and mediation services at the offices of any of the participating law firms, or such other conflict resolution center as the parties may designate.

[edit] Approach to the Mediation Process

Over the years, Mr. Ashley has determined that no single model of conflict resolution is appropriate in all circumstances. He has also discovered that different approaches to mediation can often be effectively mixed in the same negotiation. As such, he adjusts his mediation style to fit the nature of the dispute, the personalities of the parties, the type of relationship that exists between the parties, and the stage of the process in which he finds himself. In so doing, he draws upon his broad range of life experiences, his interpersonal skills, his ability to overcome acrimony, his in-depth knowledge of the distributive bargaining process, his capacity to engage the parties in a collaborative problem-solving endeavor, and his facility at closing deals. He does not give up in the face of adversity, and carries forward with the mediation process so long as there is any possibility of achieving a resolution of the dispute.

In a litigation context, Mr. Ashley makes use of his knowledge of the substantive areas of law in issue in any dispute he is called upon to mediate. He does not employ such knowledge strictly as a means of pontificating regarding the probable outcome of a litigated matter. He rather uses his knowledge of the law as a means of engaging the parties in a dialogue regarding the strengths and weaknesses of their respective positions and the uncertainty of anticipated litigation outcomes. As a result of such interaction, parties are frequently able to work through the emotions and personal conflicts that may stand as barriers to settlement, and resolve their dispute based on their best legal and/or business judgment. At the end of the process, the decision of whether to settle a matter, or proceed with litigation, remains one to be voluntarily made by the parties, with the advice and assistance of their counsel.

[edit] Activities

[edit] Employment Mediation

Mr. Ashley is often called upon to conduct mediations of disputes which have arisen as a result of an employer allegedly having taken a wrongful adverse action against an employee (e.g., a termination, layoff, demotion, salary reduction, etc.). On some occasions, these mediations involve claims that, in taking such action, the employer breached an express or implied contract, or the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing in a contract. More frequently, they pertain to claims that the employer wrongfully terminated, or took other adverse action against, an employee in violation of fundamental public policy or the federal and state laws against discrimination, retaliation and harassment. The latter variety of claims frequently involves allegations of:

  • (a) sexual harassment;
  • (b) age, race, sex, pregnancy, disability, religious, or sexual preference discrimination;
  • (c) retaliation for complaining of unlawful discrimination or harassment; and/or
  • (d) a failure to grant an employee a leave of absence, or to reinstate him/her to the same or a comparable position at the end of a leave.

These claims are also frequently joined with claims that the employer defrauded the employee, defamed him/her, invaded his/her constitutional right to privacy, and/or intentionally inflicted emotional distress upon him/her.

Because these cases generally involve claims of wrong doing and evil motive, they often give rise to great emotion and interpersonal conflict between the parties and attorneys. It takes a high level of skill and tenacity to work through these obstacles to settlement to get the deal done. Mr. Ashley succeeds like few California neutrals.

During his years as a litigator, Mr. Ashley represented both employers and employees in cases involving claims of violations of the wage and hour laws and California Labor Code. He has frequently drawn on this experience as a mediator in assisting parties in resolving complex litigation involving such claims. He has also frequently served as a neutral where such claims have been brought by an individual on his/her own behalf and on behalf of others pursuant to the Unfair Competition Law and/or Private Attorney General Act. Mr. Ashley’s knowledge of these laws and class action procedures has proven invaluable in helping parties to resolve such disputes.

[edit] Business Mediation

Mr. Ashley also relies heavily on his recognized expertise in the field of business law in the mediations over which he presides. Such mediations often involve claims that a party breached its obligations under the terms of a commercial contract. Other mediations involve disputes relating to:

  • (a) intellectual property;
  • (b) partnership dissolution;
  • (c) insurance coverage;
  • (d) antitrust and trade regulation;
  • (e) unfair competition;
  • (f) professional liability;
  • (g) collection matters;
  • (h) product liability/negligence;
  • (i) fraud/deceit;
  • (j) product defamation;
  • (k) environmental regulation; and/or
  • (l) whistle-blowing under the Qui Tam statutes or Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

While one might expect that disputes between business people would promote less emotion and hostility than one regularly sees in other areas of the practice of law, such is not always the case. Where large amounts of money and/or the future of businesses are at stake, passions often rise. However, because disputants frequently find themselves in an on-going relationship, opportunities often occur in a business mediation to enlist the parties in a creative problem-solving enterprise. It is by looking for, and exploiting, these opportunities that Mr. Ashley frequently succeeds in resolving business disputes where others may have seen no chance for a settlement.

[edit] Other Areas of Arbitration and Business Practice

In addition to the foregoing, Mr. Ashley is also frequently called upon to apply his knowledge of the substantive law and skills as a mediator in facilitating the resolution of disputes in the following areas:

  • Real Property Mediation: Including breach of contract, specific performance, quiet title, adverse possession, fraudulent conveyance, failure to disclose, division of property, boundary disputes, easements, water rights, lateral and subjacent support, liquidated damages, security deposits, commissions, and RESPA violations;
  • Construction Mediation: Including breach of contract, construction defect, architecture, insurance, case management orders, and mechanic’s liens;
  • Personal Injury Mediation: Including negligence, intentional torts, assault and battery, product liability, and mass torts;
  • Professional Liability Mediation: Including legal, medical, broker, accounting, and architectural malpractice;
  • Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith Mediation: Including scope of policy, failure to tender payment, refusal to defend or indemnify, and bad faith practices;
  • Civil Rights Mediation: Including Section 1983 claims, police abuse, unlawful search and seizure, false arrest, discrimination, ADA violations, and failure to accommodate;
  • Class Actions Mediation: Including wage & hour, discrimination, anti-trust, consumer fraud, product liability, and mass torts;

[edit] Contact

111 Santa Rosa Avenue, Suite 202 Santa Rosa, CA 95404 - USA

Tel: (877) AMC-4ADR / (877) 262-4237

Email: ftashley@aol.com

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