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Voluntary Early Mediation (VEM) Program

Choosing a Mediator

File the Mediation Consent form (43KB PDF) or contact us at 415-782- 9000 x8787 or mking@sfbar.org.


Dean A. Christopherson

Dawe & Christopherson

Areas of Experience: Banking, real estate, contracts, commercial, consumer and collections litigation (including FDCPA and related defenses)


Guy Kornblum

Drawing on more than thirty years’ practice in commercial, banking and real estate litigation, Dean Christopherson has a successful track record as an evaluative mediator, using a cordial and attentive approach. After reviewing briefs and holding pre-mediation calls with counsel, Christopherson focuses on those few key issues on which he believes the ultimate resolution of the case will turn. Caucuses often consider how the trier of fact might view crucial evidence or evaluate credibility, both the financial and emotional costs of continued litigation, and the collectability of any potential judgment.

Recognizing that some parties find that they need time for reflection before making a decision as impactful as settlement, Christopherson may either schedule a second session or continue dialogue with counsel by phone or email. While Christopherson makes clear to all parties that his questions and comments have no bearing on how the dispute will ultimately be determined if not resolved at mediation – “what happens in mediation stays in mediation” – his analysis of the case with fresh eyes often leads to successful resolution.

The best evidence of the success of Christopherson’s approach is the feedback of counsel who have mediated before him (see more reviews here):

“My firm recently used Dean as a mediator and we were very satisfied. He spotted the issues with the case and laid a good groundwork for resolution. Resolving our lawsuit was not easy. Dean did a great job getting our dialogue on the healthy path of settlement. The parties, including my client, walked away assured that they had reached the best outcome without going to trial.”
John (JR) Richards
Real Estate Attorney

Hourly Rate: $300. He would be pleased to schedule your mediation at his Walnut Creek office or your location.