I practice dispute resolution — mediation, arbitration, and collaborative law. I mediate, arbitrate, and practice collaborative law in the areas of legal disputes where I have practice experience: appeals (appellate mediation), large and complex cases, mass torts, labor and employment, securities, banking and financial services, and domestic relations.
The primary focus for my law practice until 2010 was complex litigation, including, among many others, the Vioxx product liability litigation, the Healthsouth Derivative Litigation, a series of class actions involving payday lenders and credit repair organizations, and a number of smaller consumer and credit-related class actions. I have been appointed lead counsel in numerous class actions in the area of consumer litigation and have served as counsel in many securities and antitrust matters.
But my practice (except for some ongoing matters for clients) is now devoted to mediation, arbitration, and collaborative law.
I am a member of the Commercial Arbitrators Panel and Consumer Arbitrators Panel for the American Arbitration Association and serve as an arbitrator and mediator for the Financial Regulatory Authority, Inc., (“FINRA,” the successor to the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc., and the regulatory arm of the New York Stock Exchange). I have served as a FINRA arbitrator for more than twenty years and have been appointed to over one hundred FINRA/NASD panels, serving as chair in approximately half of those arbitration matters. I am a registered mediator and have mediated matters in many legal settings, including divorce, consumer, employment, and securities cases.
I also practice divorce and domestic relations law, especially in the context of collaborative law. I am a member of the Global Collaborative Law Council, an international group of lawyers dedicated to promoting the use of the collaborative process in civil disputes, and I serve on its board of directors. I am also a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. The IACP also has attorney members as well as financial and mental health professional members. I am a member of the Ethics Committee of the IACP. Finally, I am a member of the Birmingham Collaborative Alliance, a collaborative practice group in Alabama.
*Collaborative Law or Collaborative Practice is a voluntary dispute resolution process in which parties settle without resort to litigation. In Collaborative Practice:
1. The parties sign a collaborative participation agreement describing the nature and scope of the matter;
2. The parties voluntarily disclose all information which is relevant and material to the matter that must be decided;
3. The parties agree to use good faith efforts in their negotiations to reach a mutually acceptable settlement;
4. Each party must be represented by a lawyer whose representation terminates upon the undertaking of any contested court proceeding;
5. The parties may engage mental health and financial professionals whose engagement terminates upon the undertaking of any contested court proceeding. The parties may jointly engage other experts as needed.
–from the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals