Labor and Employment Law

Ca. Labor & Emp't Rev. NOVEMBER 2020, Volume 34, No. 6


By Alan R. Berkowitz

Alan R. Berkowitz is a mediator with Judicate West, specializing in individual and class action cases. He has resolved hundreds of cases involving all types of employment matters, including wage & hour class actions and PAGA claims, many of which resulted in seven-to-eight-figure settlements. Before retiring from the practice of law to become a full-time mediator, he was a partner with Bingham McCutchen, managing partner with Schachter Kristoff Orenstein and Berkowitz, and Regional Attorney at the NLRB, Region 32. He has tried over 50 cases in state and federal courts and administrative agencies on behalf of both defendants and plaintiffs.


To exchange mediation briefs or not to exchange—unfortunately, that is a recurring question. Reframing the question makes the answer obvious—who are you trying to persuade by your mediation brief? The mediator? Sure, you want the mediator to view the case as strong if you represent the plaintiff, or weak if you represent the defense. But more importantly, you want to persuade the other side, and the mediation brief is your best opportunity to do so.

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