Alternative Dispute Resolution

San Francisco Arbitration and Mediation Attorney – San Francisco Bay Area Arbitration and Mediation Lawyer


Arbitration is a less costly alternative to litigating a matter in court. The process begins with the parties selecting a neutral arbitrator, usually a retired judge or an experienced attorney, who will weigh the strengths and weaknesses of the case presented by each of the parties and then issue a decision. Whether the arbitrator’s decision is binding, preventing the parties from later litigating the same matter in court, depends upon the type of agreement entered into by the involved parties prior to the arbitration. Commonly, in contractual disputes, the subject contract will include a provision stating that binding or non-binding arbitration is required.

Whether the arbitration is binding or non-binding, in order to protect the party's interests, it is important that an attorney assists the party with presenting his side of the case. We will relentlessly pursue and protect our clients’ rights and interests at arbitration. Szeto Law Group has successfully represented both claimants and respondents at arbitrations.


For some individuals, mediation is an appropriate first step to resolving a conflict. Mediation may also be a mandatory initial step if it is contractually required. For example, most real estate purchase agreements require that the buyer and seller attempt to resolve their issues through mediation before they can arbitrate or litigate the dispute.

Mediation generally begins with the parties selecting a neutral mediator who hears all sides of the dispute and then proposes a settlement or other type of resolution. The mediator is generally a retired judge, an experienced attorney, or a professional trained in conflict resolution.

Throughout the mediation process, it is important that a party has an attorney to assist him with presenting his side and protecting his interests, especially if the opposing side has counsel. Otherwise, the unrepresented individual may be at a disadvantage from the start. We have advocated on behalf of our clients at numerous mediations while negotiating for the most favorable outcome.

Settlement Negotiations

Parties can participate in private settlement discussions, without the involvement of the court, or in settlement conferences ordered by the court in a pending court action. Either type of settlement may be advantageous as there are typically many benefits to settlement discussions including the following: parties are often able to better identify the strengths and weaknesses of their case through discussions with the opposition; parties may be able to resolve their cases without litigation or trial and avoid expending tremendous amounts of time, money and other resources; and parties may be able to work through their differences and come up with an amicable solution.

Having an attorney’s assistance during the settlement process may be valuable for many reasons, including providing advice regarding the reasonableness and practicality of specific settlement terms, and understanding the benefits and consequences of settlement provisions. We have participated in numerous settlement discussions, always negotiating for the most favorable outcome for our clients.

Szeto Law Group counsels and represents businesses and individuals with arbitrations, mediations and settlements involving the following types of matters:

  • Breach of contract, breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing and unfair business practices
  • Fraud, intentional misrepresentation and negligent misrepresentation
  • Unlawful detainers (evictions), breach of leases, breach of covenant of quiet enjoyment, habitability issues, nuisance, negligence, quiet title and partition
  • Discrimination, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress, wage claims and retaliation

For more information regarding alternative dispute resolution, click here.

To view a summary of some of the cases that we have handled, click here.

This list is not exhaustive. Contact Szeto Law Group for a free telephone consultation regarding your arbitration, mediation and settlement negotiation needs.

Call Szeto Law Group at (415) 337-0500 for a free telephone consultation.

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