In addition to the "accolades" listed on this site's Testimonials page, some of the most telling comments about mediations conducted by David I. Karp come from observers (usually other mediators) occasionally permitted into this emotionally charged process by the parties and counsel. Unlike the lawyers and clients engaged in the mediation, these observers can see all sides in their respective private caucuses, have no stake in the outcome, and have a neutral perspective.
Published visitors' observations are rare because the instances of observations are rare and because of the privacy and confidentiality of the process.
In addition, written comments from the attorneys involved are rare, too, usually because they take time away from an otherwise busy schedule to prepare.
Nevertheless, when comments are received, and permission to publish them has been granted, they are posted to this page. They are listed in chronological order, oldest at the top, newest at the bottom.
Caveat: The circumstances of your matter may differ from the matters in which results and testimonials have been provided. These letters are not guarantees, warranties, or predictions regarding the outcome of your matter.
Thank you for permitting me to observe your mediation yesterday.... Watching you in action allowed me to witness all aspects of a case. Observing you allowed me to take the text book mediation into reality. I was amazed at how you patiently brought the parties to a resolution. At the point of the proceeding at which there was a potential impasse, you easily managed the parties to continue on with their negotiations.
Your methodology is skillful, forthright, and persistent. I can see why you have chosen to transfer your litigation practice into a mediation practice. I would clearly recommend you as a mediator to any parties of an unresolved conflict. You clearly love what you do and you have an intuitive understanding of the various elements which melt a dispute into a resolution. Again, I thank you for allowing me to be a fly on the wall during this mediation session. I wish you the best of luck in all that you do.
Thank you for letting me observe your mediation at the Van Nuys courthouse [recently]. With mediation, as with any profession, there is a significant gap between theory and practice. Watching you in action has helped me narrow that gap.
I appreciate the professionalism and civility you demonstrated, from the outset with your letter to counsel seeking permission for me to observe, up to the moment you adjourned the mediation.
You handled a complex, emotionally charged business dispute with great skill. Where a preconceived ,cookie-cutter approach would have been a disaster, your intuitive ability to handle the twists and turns of the process in a seamless fashion was impressive and effective something that I'm sure was not lost on the parties or counsel.
I was struck by how you served as an agent of reality for parties and counsel who were sorely in need of a dose. When you asked the plaintiffs what they thought a judge or jury would make of the arguments they had just advanced, I could see that they had not even considered the thought before. Similarly, in a dispute that seemed to be about revenge as much as money, with your help the parties and counsel left the table with the costs and risks associated with advancing their respective positions in clear focus.
The parties had the latitude to own their conflict even as you remained firmly in control of the process. When it looked like the situation might degenerate into an enthusiastic exchange of brickbats, you skillfully guided them back to the process at hand.
Your approach to mediation ensures that parties have their best shot at successfully controlling the outcome of their dispute and settling it themselves. I think that's a serviceable definition of what mediation is all about.
Howard Brittain, Jr.
Thank you for allowing me to observe your mediation at the Los Angeles Superior court today. I was impressed with the skillful manner in which you handled the parties conflicting views and positions. You were quite adept at listening with an understanding look as the parties presented their positions to you. Also present was an admirable show of patience upon your part as you received and interpreted the endless number of proposals presented. Your experience proved quite beneficial in resolving the matter at hand.
Norman J. Granz
I wanted to thank you for your efforts in [our] recent mediation.... This case is particularly challenging as all parties speak Spanish as their primary language. Nonetheless, you assisted everyone with amazing ease in understanding the key issues which will be dealt with at trial and as to which we should focus for settlement purposes. You suggested solid business solutions which we are all now pursuing. You also helped us establish better communications to move the case along faster to a settlement, which we are all optimistic will occur. [¶] Thank you again for your excellent work. My opposing counsel, Diane Carey shares my feeling on your work.
Very truly yours,
Laurie J. Butler
Hi David -
Thank you so much for permitting me to observe your mediation yesterday afternoon. I was impressed with your tireless efforts to help the parties move toward a compromise. You asked thoughtful questions and gave the parties gentle and consistent guidance in their search for a resolution that everyone could live with. Although the case did not settle, your efforts left the parties with much to think about and planted the seeds from which a solution might grow.
Jessica Lyman Pink
Pink Law Group, a Professional Corporation
"I had the pleasure of observing Mr. Karp during my mediatior's training with the Los Angeles Superior Court ADR program. Though the issues were difficult, Mr. Karp's experience helped focus the mediation on the issues the parties were primarily concerned about. Mr. Karp was able to establish a line of communication and rapport that allowed them to resolve many of their issues despite being worlds apart on both fact and law. As an attorney, I would highly recommend Mr. Karp's mediation services. His knowledge of law and skills as a communicator are exactly what is needed in most mediations"
Madam or Sir:
I am writing this letter to convey my highest recommendation of David Karp as a mediator. I am an appellate specialist who has been practicing law in California for over twenty years. I am also a mediator and serve on the panel of mediators for the Second District Court of Appeal.
I recently had the opportunity to observe a mediation that Mr. Karp conducted for two parties to an appeal at the Second District. I was very impressed by Mr. Karp’s efficiency in quickly discerning the fundamental issues and bringing the individual parties to a realistic understanding of the other’s position and the benefits and sacrifices that would be required to reach a settlement. Mr. Karp’s years of experience as a mediator were evident in his informal but direct style, his accurate reading of the parties’ positions, and in his skilled guiding of the discussions in a productive direction. I was most impressed by the degree of progress he achieved in a short period of time, as were the parties.
Dear Mr. Karp:
The purpose of this letter is to express our deep appreciation for the professional manner in which you handled our recent mediation.
We found you to be caring, knowledgeable, accommodating, creative and extremely helpful both in offering insight into the benefits of settlement and also acknowledging the frustration inherent in the litigation process.
I would not hesitate to recommend you to a colleague, based on your skills and your reasonable fees.
Feel free to offer me as a reference.
Thank you again.
Very truly yours,
K. Martin White
Thank you for letting [my classmate and me] observe you in action. You brought calm, reason, insight and humour to an otherwise contentious setting. Your mediation was truly an educational experience both for ourselves, as students of mediation, and for the parties at the bargaining table. I think both sides walked away feeling satisfied not only with the outcome, but with a process that was fair and enjoyable. You are an outstanding professional to observe.
Annette Wong, J.D. Candidate 2012, USC Gould School of Law
Thank you for letting me observe your mediation last week. You came highly recommended by the [court's] ADR office.... As a law student, I will be taking the skills I observed back to my class, so you will effectively help bloom the next generation of mediators.
From the start, I noted that you are both great with people and incredibly patient. It was a tough case where the parties began very far apart on numbers, but you listened closely, dealt well with emotions, and guided the parties to a win-win resolution. Everybody seemed happy when they left the courtroom. While we have been taught to fear the joint session, you may have convinced me otherwise as your transformative style and insightful analogies brought the parties closer even when there seemed to be an impasse.
I would recommend you both as a mediator and a teacher.
Thank you again,
Dorna Moini, J.D. Candidate 2012, USC Gould School of Law
Dear Mr. Karp,
This letter is to thank you for your services in bringing the dispute between [our client and the other disputant] to a successful resolution. Your professionalism was greatly appreciated, as was your continued commitment to working towards the resolution of this matter beyond the scheduled mediation. Without your continued efforts this matter very likely would not have resolved as quickly and could very well have resulted in litigation rather than settlement....
Thank you again for your efforts and dedication. We look forward to working with you in the future."
Very truly yours,
CARLSON & COHEN, LLP
MORGAN M. HALFORD, ESQ.