Negotiating Tactics


Is negotiation an art form? Come find out the answers and tactics applied by some of the best trial lawyers, defense attorneys and mediators around. Find out answers to questions like:

When is the optimal time to negotiate? Is there such a time? What information should you share and when? Must you go in knowing your settlement bottom line and walkaway terms? Should you make the first offer? How do you counter correctly? How do you determine who the right mediator is for your case? Do you even need a mediator?

Come in with your questions!


Karine Bohbot (Chair) is a partner in the law firm of Bohbot & Riles, located in Oakland. Ms. Bohbot has been practicing law for 20 years. Her areas of expertise are employment and immigration litigation. Karine is a board member of SFTLA, a member of CAOC and ACBA, and is SPHR certified. She was a 2009 finalist for SFTLA’s Trial Lawyer of the Year award and a 2012 finalist for CAOC’s Street Fighter of the Year award. She was also the recipient of the 2015 SFTLA Civil Justice Award.

Cassie Springer Ayeni is the President of Springer Ayeni, A Professional Law Corporation. She represents people with disability, medical, and life insurance benefit claims under ERISA. She was selected as a “Top 100” attorney in Northern California in 2015-2018, and “Top 50 Women” attorney in Northern California 2014-2018 by Super Lawyers Magazine. She is an active leader in the American Bar Association Labor & Employment Law Section and Employee Benefits Committee, where she co-chaired several committees. From 2013-2014, Cassie served as Governor-at-Large for the California Women Lawyers Board of Governors. She is currently on the Board of the Alameda-Contra Costa County Trial Lawyers Association.

Doris Cheng is a partner in the law firm of Walkup Melodia Kelly & Schoenberger in San Francisco. She is a Past President of the San Francisco Trial Lawyer Association and the current President-Elect of the Bar Association of San Francisco. She serves as a member of the Kaiser Arbitration Oversight Board. She has been ranked as one of the top 50 women lawyers and top 100 lawyers in Northern California. She has been chosen as Trial Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers of America for 2017.

Chuck Geerhart is a founding partner of Paoli & Geerhart. He is a graduate of Cornell University and the UCLA Law School. Chuck has tried 15 cases to jury verdict. In addition to his active practice representing injured people, he conducts private mediations and arbitrations. Chuck sits on the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association as Parliamentarian and is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA).

Debra L. Mellinkoff has been a professional mediator for more than thirty-five years and has resolved thousands of disputes throughout the United States and Europe. She has successfully resolved numerous disputes before a lawsuit was ever filed and conducts independent fact-finding in employment, discrimination and sexual harassment claims. She also has conducted numerous seminars for attorneys on the topics of effective advocacy in mediation and how to resolve disputes before they escalate into litigation.

Rachel Pusey is a Partner at Villarreal Hutner PC, a woman and minority owned boutique firm in downtown San Francisco. She has extensive experience representing employers at all stages of litigation in state and federal court, as well as providing advice and counsel as tricky and time sensitive situations arise. She is experienced in handling an array of employment-related claims, including employment discrimination, harassment, retaliation, disability accommodation, family medical leaves, and Labor Code claims. She has resolved hundreds of disputes through administrative hearings, one-on-one negotiation, settlement conferences, mediation, and dispositive motions. She has been selected as a Super Lawyer Rising Star from 2011-2014.


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Cancellation Policy

No refunds will be made for cancellations, however, substitutes may attend in place for a registrant. Non-members substituting for members must pay difference in price.