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Who We Are

A message from Kathryn Marshall,
Founder of Westside Mediator

"Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often the real loser—in fees, expenses and waste of time."

Abraham Lincoln once wrote this advice to a group of young lawyers. Lincoln understood that choosing litigation to "cure" a conflict carries a high risk of killing the "patient" in the process and should be considered only as a last resort.

Today, disputing parties and their attorneys recognize the perils of litigation, not only because it is expensive, uncertain, and public, and denies the parties control in resolving their own conflicts, but it also takes a terrible and frequently irreparable human toll on all involved.

Like Lincoln, I am an attorney and litigator who fully understands and appreciates the burdens and uncertainties all parties face in litigated cases. The adversarial process is not designed to be flexible or address individual needs. Parties caught up in litigation are discouraged from venturing outside the legal boundaries that fortify their positions and become entrenched in a winner/loser battle.

Mediation on the other hand, allows the parties the freedom to explore underlying and important truths that represent their interests and arrive at more meaningful resolutions not hampered by limitations the court may impose.

The constant I bring to every mediation table is my belief that the answer is in the room. I founded Westside Mediator to help people find that answer while ensuring that each party enjoys a safe and secure platform to resolve their issues confidentially with the greatest self-empowerment possible.

I welcome parties and attorneys who are seeking to find successful resolutions through this non-adversarial and confidential process. Come and join me in my commitment to the 21st century's intelligent dispute resolution.

Recent Mediated Matters

Business: Contract, failure to deliver goods, partnership dissolution, HOA issues

Labor and Employment: Wage and hour, overtime, work for hire, discrimination, labor

Personal Injury: Premises liability and vehicular accidents

Entertainment: Intellectual property, copyright infringement and business issues

Professional Liability: Contractor, construction defect

Public Policy: Inverse condemnation, public and private entities

Divorce: Real estate, support and custody issues

Kathryn Marshall is a successful litigator and mediator with over a decade of experience. Graduated from U.C.L.A. with a B.A. in Motion Picture and Television Production, Kathryn received her Juris Doctor from Southwestern School of Law; her initial mediator certification from the Straus Institute at Pepperdine University; and has completed extensive advanced studies in non-litigious conflict resolution.

Kathryn is admitted to practice law in California; the United States District Court Central District; and the United States Supreme Court. She has served as a LASC ADR Panel member since 2003 and a California Lawyers for the Arts Panel attorney since 2013.

Mediation Rates

For Kathryn Marshall, Westside Mediator's Rates:

Please call 310 882-1853 for information on scheduling, fees and cancellation policies.

Please note that Mediation fees are typically divided equally between participating parties, unless otherwise agreed.

Our Location

My office is located at Constellation Center, 10250 Constellation Blvd., 23rd Floor, in Century City. Convenient parking is located directly across the street at the Westfield Mall.

Kathryn Marshall, Esq.
Westside Mediator
10250 Constellation Blvd. Suite 2300
Century City, CA 90067
Tel 310 882-1853

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Or give me a call at (310) 882-1853

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why does mediation matter to me?

Traditional litigation is a mistake that must be corrected… Our system is too costly, too painful, too destructive, too inefficient for really civilized people.
- Chief Justice Warren Burger United States Supreme Court (Ret.)

Our American justice system is intentionally designed to be an adversarial process where parties take opposing sides in a dispute, usually represented by lawyers who zealously advocate for their respective client's positions. This process is governed and restricted by laws and, because the court is a communal stage which must be shared with many other disputants, parties who choose litigation find themselves further constrained by the court's limited time and attention.

Parties to lawsuits often do not understand the adversarial process or what is actually involved in going through trial. Their legal educations come with a very high price tag which the parties often do not fully appreciate until they have experienced the financial and emotional costs of depositions, written discovery, experts, and countless motions. They come to realize that the trial has not even begun and they must face a long, expensive and uncertain road still ahead.

What can mediation do for me?

A Pause Button Mediation is a voluntary process that functions like a pause button for parties engaged in litigation, or parties contemplating a lawsuit. Mediation brings the parties together in a safe and private setting to work with an unbiased neutral, called a mediator, who will assist the parties in exploring all options for a resolution to their conflict.

When should I mediate?

Sooner than later: Mediation can occur anytime before or after litigation has begun, however, the best timing for mediation is as early in the dispute as possible, ideally even before a case is actually filed or as soon after the parties and their attorneys have all of the factual and legal issues. It is preferable to mediate before the parties have expended substantial resources on expensive motions, discovery and depositions.

Who is in control?

Parties Control the Outcome The parties themselves stay in control of the outcome. The Mediator does not render a decision and has no power to force the parties to settle their claims. Rather than determining who is right and who is wrong, the Mediator’s job is to understand the respective parties’ positions and see where they have common ground and the potential for compromise. This helps all concerned to focus on interests and solutions rather than adversarial positions and legal arguments.

Can a mediator be called to testify in court?

Private and Confidential Unlike litigation, which is a very public forum held in an open court with records available to anyone, mediation is confidential. Everything that is discussed during the mediation, and any documents prepared especially for the mediation cannot be used by any party outside of the mediation process, or in any portion of the litigation or trial. Mediators are prohibited from disclosing anything that goes on during the mediation, and the parties themselves sign confidentiality agreements to ensure each party's interests are protected throughout the process. This allows the parties to freely explore solutions that can address their individual interests. Parties can consider more meaningful and satisfying resolutions tailored to their specific needs that are not limited by what the judge or jury can decide.

What does it cost?

Economical and certain Mediation is also economical and takes very little time when compared with litigation. The length of the mediation depends on the number of parties, the complexity of the issues, and how well prepared the parties and their attorneys are to commit to the process. Mediations typically last from three to eight hours while some complex cases, with many issues, may require more than one session to reach a resolution on each issue.

The time and cost spent in mediation is a tiny fraction of the cost necessary to pursue a case through trial where even one pre-trial motion may cost more than the entire mediation. Mediation carries far less risk than trial and provides certainty to the parties that they will make their own decisions without the delay, cost or interference of a judge or jury.

What if we can’t reach a full agreement?

A good mediator will have a significant amount of litigation experience and will help the parties realistically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their case. The odds are excellent that your case will settle in mediation. 90% of mediated cases result in a full settlement of the parties' issues. For the small percentage of cases that do not settle completely, even a partial settlement of issues accomplished through mediation is a significant benefit to the parties by narrowing down the issues to be litigated.

The reality is, less than 5% of litigated cases will go through an actual trial. It simply makes no sense for the parties to squander their assets in anticipation of having their day in court, only to settle on the court house steps after all the money, time and aggravation has been spent. Statistics show that the parties who determine the outcome themselves in mediation while preserving the assets of both sides are the most satisfied with their final settlement and is why a successful mediation is often referred to as a "win/win" for both parties.