Mediation Tips


Come talk with our panel of seasoned mediators whose neutral work is informed by their diverse legal backgrounds and mediation practices. The three speakers will focus on providing practical tips for a successful mediation while paying special attention to ethical considerations that arise in the unique environment of mediation.


» A discussion on new Rule 4.1 Truthfulness in Statements to Others, Cal. Rules of Professional Conduct, and Business and Professions Code 6068(d)
» Evidence Code sections 1119-1122 & 1129
» The scope of permissible ex parte communications with mediators


EMILY MCGRATH (Chair) is an attorney at Lawless and Lawless. Prior to joining the Lawless firm, she was a misdemeanor attorney at the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office. During law school, Emily was a
judicial extern for a magistrate judge in the Northern District of California, a constitutional law teaching
assistant, and an editor for UC Hastings’ International and Comparative Law Review.

RACHEL EHRLICH is a mediator of civil disputes in California and across the country. She is based in the Bay Area and affiliated with Judicate West. She mediates insurance coverage and bad faith, personal injury, real estate, and in several court programs including the Northern District of California, trains mediators and mediation advocates, and regularly presents on mediation of insurance coverage and bad faith, mediation confidentiality, and ethics. In addition, she serves on the Board of Directors of The Mediation Society, Alameda Superior Court’s ADR Administration Committee, and UC Hastings Board of Governors.

MARY M. LEICHLITER is a full-time neutral mediator since 2012, having begun mediating in 2007. Since 2012, she has assisted parties in resolving over 700 disputes. She mediates privately and as a member of respected mediation panels, including the U.S.D.C. Northern District panel. Mary has expertise in cases where emotions run high, due to a life-changing or traumatic experience, and can address the emotional needs of Plaintiffs and others while keeping the mediation firmly on track toward settlement. Recent representative cases include a high-profile federal race discrimination case involving a major corporation and a personal injury case involving a major airline. Prior to becoming a full-time neutral, Mary tried cases for two decades in state and federal court. Her published case is Betts v. United Airlines, Inc., 246 F.3d. 672 (9th Cir. 2000), where she served as lead and appellate counsel on a $1.5 million jury verdict on behalf of a female pilot upheld by the 9th Circuit.

HON. IGNAZIO J. RUVOLO is a full-time neutral at JAMS. He was presiding justice of the California First District Court of Appeal, Division Four from 2006 until his retirement in 2018. He was appointed as an associate justice in Division Two in 1996. Prior to that, he served on the Contra Costa Superior Court. In addition to serving as a mediator and adjudicator throughout his legal and judicial careers, Justice Ruvolo’s experience makes him uniquely qualified as a neutral evaluator. He has a passion for neutral analysis/ evaluation work, and his particular expertise in appellate and writ approaches can help provide valuable insights to matters potentially destined for appeal.


SFTLA Conference Room

311 California Street, Ste 620, San Francisco

Cancellation Policy

SFTLA does not provide refunds for cancellations, however, substitutes may attend in place for a registrant.