California Employment Lawyer Frank Pray Saddles Up to the Bar.

There were two big holiday mixer events this week:  a joint “Inns of Court” party at Andrei’s restaurant in Irvine, and the Orange County Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Section party at Mastro’s Steak House in Costa Mesa.  In the first event, we expected former CIA agent Bob Baer to present his analysis on the causes of terrorism.  Mr. Baer’s plane was held in Denver due to a snow storm, and so he joined by audio, but the Hon. James Gray (ret.) read the prepared notes for Mr. Baer’s presentation.  Not much holiday cheer in the assessment.  The key point:  the recruitment of terrorists is not driven by the recruits’ ideology, but by their anger, and especially the anger of Sunni Muslims who believe they are targeted for extinction by the Shiites and Western powers.  I just downloaded an audiobook by Mr. Baer:  “The Perfect Kill”  analyzes the art of assassination as it has actually been executed over the years.

The second event, while not a sit down dinner, was a lavish affair with unlimited hors oeuvres. Mastro’s is a great restaurant on Anton in Costa Mesa.  The Lobby.  The Labor and Employment Law Section event was of course my preferred event because of the many years of association with the members of that section.  Ironically, I met there two retired judges, one of whom I had shared breakfast with fellow lawyers on Tuesday, and the other with whom my associate and I had lunch that same day.  Both these jurists now serve as mediators.

Judges as Mediators for the California Employment Lawyer

The question often arises, are retired judges the best mediators?  Judges have experience judging, and are not necessarily trained to spend the deep time needed to move parties step by step over the course of a day or days to reach settlement.  There simply isn’t time for that in the management of their court calendars.  I generally prefer the services of attorney – mediators who have specialized knowledge in my field of employment law.  But the deportment and style of the judge can also be perfect for mediation if the judge has made the psychological shift from managing a trial to facilitating a settlement process.  My two judicial acquaintances are persons who know how to listen deeply and who over their years as judges exhibited an attitude of humble service to the public.  Each has been retired for about 2 or 3 years, and still enjoy the intellectual challenge of the law.

The California Employment Lawyer and Case Management

Finally, this week, I went through our case management system, updated it, and encouraged my team members to use our system more consistently.  We track our progress by memos, work log, “to do” lists, and negotiation status notes within secure cloud based notebooks.  Once a week we meet to review and update our progress notes.  Case management is a recurring theme in our office, and our motto is “transparent client services timely delivered.”  That motto appears on the back of our business cards, but more importantly, we practice it through our case management system.  By “transparent” we mean what we do, the client sees in real time, as we enter our goals and tasks for the client as a critical team member.

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