Many know “the law”; Bob knows how things really work, and the conflicting pressures and interests that drive decisions. Bob’s experience brings an understanding that enables him to resolve disputes. For many years, he has brought people together to resolve their issues.
Bob has facilitated resolution of conflicts as a mediator, a partner with major law firms, a senior HR consultant, and counsel to a Congressional committee. He has mediated diverse, complex cases including employment, disability, business contracts, technology, real property rights, public land use, real estate, and construction.
In all cases, the key has been to clearly understand the parties’ real interests and with that understanding help them find basic common ground. Often more than money is involved. Different views on reputations, financial and other future interests, status, jobs, family and health can drive decisions. And, of course, important principles can be at stake.
A critical part of Bob’s work is to listen carefully and dig out the real dispute and the parties’ base line goals. Then he can help the parties understand the options, find common ground and help them move toward resolving their issues in a practical way.
Bob believes that people can resolve disputes with a mediator who understands the real world that people must deal with, hears what is not said as well as what is said, and with that knowledge help the parties develop practical solutions. This is what he has done for decades in his different practice experiences.
Bob also has experience with mediating “remotely” with electronic means, even before the COVID-19 lockdown. As more lawyers and clients become familiar with this process, they will continue to use it for mediating their disputes. That’s a good development – time and expense will be saved and some disputes can be resolved faster. Yet there are some important questions, especially about privacy and security. Bob will work with you to ensure that you are comfortable with the process before mediation begins.
Bob has helped stakeholders resolve their disputes for over 40 years. Bob’s success in mediation is built on his work as a mediator, lawyer, senior HR consultant, and Legislation Counsel for the Joint Committee on Taxation, U.S. Congress.
Bob has mediated complex litigation including employment, disability, business contracts, technology, real property rights, public land use, real estate, and construction. He also assists the courts as a member of pro bono mediation panels for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Eastern District of California, California 6th District Court of Appeal, Marin County Superior Court and Sacramento Superior Court.
He was a key Congressional staffer writing ERISA and developed an employee compensation and benefits law practice. His practice deals with multiple complex issues involving contracts, employees, employers, unions and collective bargaining, joint labor-management boards, and the significant amounts of money that are held in trust to pay for benefits. His clients have included publicly held and private corporations, the University of California, Stanford University, CalPERS, the Western Conference of Teamsters Pension Trust Fund (the country’s largest Taft-Hartley fund), the State of California, and many California counties and cities. He has co-led successful class action litigation that involved hundreds of millions of dollars.
Beyond the law, Bob problem solved as an HR consultant and led teams that helped hospitals and physicians to negotiate revisions of their administrative and clinical procedures to achieve significantly better patient health outcomes and service at lower cost.
While working for the Joint Committee on Taxation, U.S. Congress, he was part of teams that negotiated and wrote legislation that bettered the lives of millions of Americans. In the Congress, life was all about resolving conflicting interests.
2013-present, Deputy General Counsel, Benefits, The Permanente Medical Group, Inc. (“TPMG”). TPMG provides all medical care to more than 4 million Kaiser-Permanente members in Northern California. TPMG employs over 40,000 people with over 8,000 physicians, 6,000 non-union employees and 25,000 union employees. TPMG is separate and independent from Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc.
Previously, partner in Hanson Bridgett (2001-2013); senior HR consultant for Mercer, an international human resource consulting firm (1992-2001) and partner in Orrick, Herrington and McCutchen, Doyle (1976-1992) and Groom & Nordberg (Washington, DC, 1975).
Bob was Legislation Attorney/Counsel to the Congressional Joint Tax Committee and was part of the team that wrote ERISA and other major legislation. He was part of the team that audited President Nixon’s tax returns and led the investigation of the use of the IRS for political purposes.
Bob has been recognized as a Northern California “Super Lawyer” for many years and is a Fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel. He is a nationally recognized author and speaker and has provided over 60 hours of CLE training for ALI-ABA.
Bob contributes articles on mediation for the Daily Journal. Recent articles include:
- Your mediator wants to use Zoom. But do you?
- A couple ways to help your employees weather the COVID-19 storm
- Worries over AB 5 are overstated because of federal law limitations
- Fee Shifting in ERISA cases: Considerations in Mediation
- Long Term Disability, “Unretirement” and Pension Plans
- Sure That Plaintiff You Settled With Won’t Sue Again?
- Tax Bill Affects Employment Litigation Settlements
- Truth or Consequences (180 Million of Them)
California, District of Columbia, U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, U.S. Tax Court
University of California, Berkeley (BA, MA, JD)