PR for People Monthly August 2017 - Page 12

A couple of years ago and after nearly 30 years as a full time mediator/arbitrator I started a new Seattle venture, Pacific ADR. Pacific ADR is an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) boutique based in Seattle and active throughout the Pacific Northwest. However, the company competes in an already saturated legal market crowded by other ADR firms and increasing numbers of individual ADR practitioners. There are constant challenges.

Foremost among these challenges is a motivational one. Generally, lawyers are not entrepreneurial, although in today’s world they must be in order to thrive. Our panel of neutrals is composed of very experienced, trustworthy lawyers, most of whom continue to practice with their law firms. For most of them, maintaining their existing practices while building reputations as savvy ADR professionals is not easy. Mediation is a reputational field. Aspirants must constantly find creative ways to market their services and be top of mind to trial attorneys and risk management professionals, who are the primary ADR consumers.

Complicating the above landscape is a market for legal services that has not grown post-2008 recession at the rate it previously did. Added to this reality are more and more older lawyers and judges who are flocking to private mediation as a hoped for profit center. However, established mediators are not leaving the profession at nearly the same rate as those wishing to enter it. Therefore, new entrants must work exceptionally hard to build an ADR following and most will not succeed.

Our panel members are unique because of their impartiality and passionate belief in the efficacy of ADR, especially mediation. Each possesses an extensive and successful legal background, personal integrity and the tenacity necessary to resolve a myriad of civil disputes at the highest professional level. No one at Pacific ADR takes success for granted. We work hard!

Those of us who were fortunate enough to begin ADR careers when the field was just emerging also universally appreciate our good fortune. For most of us, helping parties to resolve seemingly intractable disputes is immensely satisfying and stimulating. Our newer panel members share these beliefs and at Pacific ADR the quality of the panelists and staff are the difference makers.

Read More about Gregg Bertram

Gregg Bertram M.A., J.D., LL.M. is the President and Founder of Seattle-based Pacific ADR Consulting. He is one of the most experienced and successful mediators in the U.S. Gregg and Pacific ADR's panelists mediate and/or arbitrate in every area of civil litigation at the highest professional level.

ANATOMY OF A MEDIATION STARTUP

by Gregg Bertram