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MGC - Mediator Bios


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Justice Agliano joined JAMS’ panel of neutral arbitrators and mediators shortly after his retirement as Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal, Sixth Appellate District in 1992. Before serving on the Court of Appeal, Justice Agliano served as a Judge of the Monterey County Superior Court for 13 years. He has served as a mediator, or referee/special master and judge pro-tem in thousands of cases in a wide area of civil law. His 46 years of legal experience as a practitioner, judge, and teacher provides him with the tools to navigate through highly complex and turbulent cases.

Jane E. Bednar has been in practice on the Monterey Peninsula for over 30 years. A 1988 alumna of Monterey College of Law, she handles litigated cases in the areas of personal injury; trusts and estates; elder financial abuse; landlord-tenant, and business and real estate disputes.

Neil Berman practices personal injury law, including products liability, automobile accidents, toxic torts, wrongful death, and premises liability matters. He is admitted to practice in California and before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Neil also practices Social Security Disability law, Workers’ Compensation and employment law. Neil has been selected to the Northern California Rising Stars List by Super Lawyers each year between 2013 and 2019.
Neil earned his Juris Doctor degree from Santa Clara University School of Law and his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Washington.
Outside of his practice, Neil is dedicated to helping members of the community who need legal assistance. He is a member of the Board of Governors of the Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC), an organization dedicated to protecting the constitutional right to trial by jury for all consumers and championing the cause of those who deserve redress for injury to person or property and resisting efforts to curtail the rights of such injured persons. Neil is also on the Parks & Recreation Commission for the City of Morgan Hill.

Mr. Burton has been practicing since 1974. He currently is with Burton & Cooper LLP. Based out of Santa Cruz, the firm has held a strong presence on the coast for the past 25 years. He is skilled in ADR and Professional Mediation as well litigation in areas ranging from Insurance Defense, Insurance Claims Related to Fire and Property Damage, Dog Bites, Premise Liability, Products Liability and many other branches of law.

Ms. Campbell retired in May 2018 after 44 years of practicing law. She is now working as a private mediator, and she specializes in cases which involve family conflict, such as trusts and estate litigation, contested conservatorships, and guardianships.

If ever there was a time that could shape people into mediators it was the tumultuous decades of the 60's and 70's. From the Vietnam War and civil rights movement to various political dilemmas, these years were rife with conflict. Ann Clarke grew up in the midst of this all and from a very early age, she recalls feeling a connection to difference. Different cultures intrigued her, as did the difference they created. In fact, her pursuit of understanding difference was so strong that it led her to study geography, and law.
It was during law school, that Ann became acquainted with Alternative Dispute Resolutions (ADR). She recalls watching ADR develop into a discipline, and as it did, so did her experiences with negotiation. When Ann began working in management she got to witness internal conflict between and within agencies.
Once retiring from public service, Ms. Clark became a part of the Mandell Gisnet Center for Conflict Resolution. Ann mentions that in all her years of working with Department of Aviation, NASA, and other State agencies, she was never able to hold a truly neutral position when overseeing disputes. She was finally able to attain a truly neutral position when she began mediating.
During her time at the MGC, Ann has specialized in mediating civil harassment cases in court, and in elder mediation. Regardless of the category that a case might fall into, Ann tries to approach each mediation with several guidelines. First off, she suggests, ``Instead of focusing solely on the points of dispute, I try to be alert to the areas of agreement ... (because) once you find common cause, it opens the door to reframe``. Secondly, and this comes as no surprise, she urges that listening is paramount to this practice, ``Listen to what is being said, and what isn't and ask questions wisely``. These are just some of the valuable suggestions that Ann has to share with those interested in learning more about conflict and mediation. And since these words come from someone that chose to make a career out of understanding differences and disputes, we might be wise to listen.

Mr. Cook is a seasoned trial attorney, mediator, and arbitrator with over 40 years of litigation experience. A recipient of the prestigious Lewis Fenton Award for Excellence and Advocacy, Mr. Cook is a well-integrated staple in the Monterey Legal Community. He has served as lead counsel in a large number of jury and court trials, appellate proceedings, arbitrations, mediations, and agency proceedings. His experience as a mediator has included construction, trust and estate, personal injury, and real property disputes.

William Daniels is an attorney, arbitrator, mediator, and Professor of Public Policy Development at the Panetta Institute in Monterey, CA. Mr. Daniels began his law career as a public interest attorney with California Rural Legal Assistance until he was appointed Assistant Professor of Social Science at City University of New York. He left teaching to join the Monterey County law firm of Heisler, Stewart, Silver and Daniels. That firm evolved until Mr. Daniels formed an individual proprietorship. He co-founded the Monterey College of Law and the Mandell Gisnet Center for Conflict Management. With the presiding judge and three other members of the Monterey County Bar Association, he established the Monterey County Court-Directed Mediation Program. In 2016, Mr. Daniels was given the Gibson Award in honor of his outstanding achievement in community service by the Monterey County Bar Association.

Mr. Daunt is an attorney-mediator whose practice focuses on resolving legal issues presented in real estate and small business contexts. Mr. Daunt has served as an ADRA-trained and certified commercial mediator since 1993. He has served as a ``Resolution Advocate`` for the US Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California’s Bankruptcy Dispute Resolution Program since 1994. He completed additional mediation training with the Conflict Resolution & Mediation Center of Monterey County in 1995 and has served as a volunteer mediator with that organization. He has served on the Mediator Panel of the Monterey County Superior Court’s Court-Directed Mediation Program since 2006. He has served on the California Association of Realtor’s Attorney Referral Panel since 2014. He has served on the Mediator Panel of the California Association of Realtor’s Mediation for the Consumer Program since 2014. He has practiced law on the Monterey Peninsula since 1984 and has been the principal of Strategic Loan Solutions, a short sale facilitation company, since 2007. He also served as an Adjunct Professor at the Monterey College of Law between 2006 and 2009. He is fluent in French and has a knowledge of Spanish and German.

Admitted to the bar in 1975, Mr. Duffy has provided an indispensable service to the Monterey legal community. His areas of practice include commercial litigation in both federal and state trial and appellate courts, including construction defect litigation, agricultural industry litigation, investor fraud matters, anti-trust/unfair competition litigation, estate/trust litigation, general business matters, as well as serving as a mediator.

Mr. Emerson has been a civil trial lawyer for the past 35 years. A member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), The International Society of Barristers, and the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel, all by-invitation-only organizations. Praised and viewed with high regard by his local legal community, Mr. Emerson has made a reputation for being a skilled trial attorney as well an individual who knows when to take alternative routes to resolution, ensuring the most effective outcome for his clients.

Mr. Espinoza has been practicing law in the Monterey Bay area since 1996. Opening his own office in 2003, Mr. Espinoza represents clients in actions ranging from trust and estate litigation, conservatorships to unlawful detainer and civil litigation actions. Further, Mr. Espinoza has more than eighty hours of formal mediation training through the University of California, at Berkeley and through the Mandell-Gisnet Center for Conflict Management. Providing aid to the Monterey County Superior Court’s, Court-Directed Mediation Program, Mr. Espinoza has been rendering services since the Program began in 2005.

Mr. Farrar has been a presence in the Monterey legal community for over 40 years, practicing in areas such as trust, probate, elder abuse, fiduciary and conservatorship litigation matters. While known for his expertise in the courtroom, Mr. Farrar strives for the most practical solution despite the complexity of the issue at hand, achieving such results via settlement, mediation and when necessary, trial. Mr. Farrar has also honed his successful mediation practice by acting as a mediator and through trainings at the Mandell-Gisnet Center (with Bill Monning) and at the prestigious Pepperdine Law School, Straus Institute.


Ms. Gaudette practices civil litigation, with a broad practice covering business and contract disputes, employment matters, real estate litigation, etc.  She has represented companies and individuals throughout the country before federal and state courts and government agencies, and in alternative dispute resolution via arbitration and mediation. Ms. Gaudette is an experienced trial lawyer, with extensive experience in managing issues involving electronic discovery, taking, and defending depositions, working with experts, arguing motions, and litigating cases through trial by judge or jury. She particularly enjoys helping clients make litigation decisions that make good business sense.


Maxine Howard has been mediating and arbitrating since 2001. Following college at Cornell University, law school at Georgetown University and clerkship with a Federal Appellate Judge in Washington D.C. she worked as a litigator at Dow Lohnes & Albertson in Washington. After moving to New York she broadened her practice to include real estate, trusts and estates, and small business representation in Westchester County. She served as Acting Village Justice in Ardsley, New York, and later became a prosecutor in Ardsley and Elmsford Village Courts. Following her training as a mediator and arbitrator, she handled attorney/client fee disputes and was a member of the Westchester County Supreme Court Commercial Division Alternative Dispute Resolution Program. Since moving to Santa Cruz, she has received additional training in both community and divorce mediation. She works through the Conflict Resolution Center of Santa Cruz as a mediator in Small Claims Court and resolving community disputes. She is a member of the Court Directed Mediation Program of Monterey County and has a private mediation practice based in Scotts Valley. In addition to her mediation practice, Maxine is a licensed Realtor at Montalvo Homes & Estates in Santa Cruz and is an Ombudsman for the Santa Cruz County Association of Realtors.

Charles R. (Chuck) Keller has practiced law in Monterey County since graduating from Stanford Law School in 1965. Prior to founding the law firm of Fenton & Keller in 1993, he was a partner in its predecessor firm, Hoge, Fenton, Jones & Appel. Chuck is considered one of the preeminent civil trial lawyers on the Central Coast. Chuck's legal practice has focused on all areas of civil trial practice, and has included judgments in several high profile cases including the Americans with Disabilities Act claim against The Mission Ranch in Carmel, and a case involving Salinas Valley agricultural concerns which established an important legal principle regarding cover damages under the Uniform Commercial Code. Chuck's practice involves a wide variety of business litigation matters for a diverse group of clients. He also conducts mediations and arbitrations.
Chuck's experience, skill and integrity have been recognized by election to the American College of Trial Lawyers, The American Board of Trial Advocates, and in 2005, by being
honored with the first Lewis L. Fenton Excellence in Advocacy Award by the Monterey Bar Association. Mr. Keller's principal areas of practice are civil litigation, including legal and real estate broker malpractice defense, real estate and commercial litigation, and probate and securities litigation (primarily on behalf of claimants). Mr. Keller also serves as a mediator and arbitrator.
EDUCATION: Stanford University, B.A., 1962; Stanford Law School L.L.B., 1965, Revising Editor of the Stanford Law Review, 1965.
PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS AND ACTIVITIES: Admitted to the California Bar in 1966; admitted to practice before the U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Eastern, and Central Districts of California.
MEMBERSHIPS: American College of Trial Lawyers; American Board of Trial Advocates; Consumer
Attorneys of California; National Institute for Trial Advocacy; past member, Northern
California Association of Defense Counsel.


The Law Offices of Kenneth J. Kroopf is a bilingual plaintiff’s personal injury and employment law firm, located in Monterey. For over 40 years Ken, a graduate of Southwestern Law School, has been representing plaintiffs in a variety of personal injury matters, including, wrongful death, motor vehicle, motorcycle, bicycle, pedestrian and premises liability. In the past several years he has joined the California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA) and has expanded the firms focus into the area of employment law, including, wrongful termination, age and disability discrimination, harassment, whistleblowing, retaliation, government entity and wage claims. Having been an advance level arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association for approximately 10 years, Ken now participates as a volunteer in the Monterey County Direct Panel Mediation and Arbitration Programs, and accepts private mediation and arbitration matters. He has been an instructor in paralegal programs at UCLA and UC Davis/Santa Cruz and has participated in continuing education programs. He received a Certificate of Recognition from Congressman Sam Farr and State Senator Henry Mello for his commitment and voluntary activities with local non-profits.

Elizabeth’s practice focuses on civil litigation, primarily in the areas of employment, healthcare, and business disputes.  Elizabeth represents clients in state and federal courts, in private arbitrations and mediations, and before state and federal administrative agencies.  Representative matters include workplace harassment and discrimination claims, wrongful discharge and retaliation claims, wage and hour issues, including class actions, contract disputes, real estate disputes, and healthcare industry disputes.  Elizabeth is happy to be practicing on the Monterey Peninsula where she was born and raised.
Principal Areas of Practice
Civil litigation, including labor and employment law, healthcare disputes, and general business litigation; employment counseling.

Mr. Luft is a widely respected attorney given his fairness and skill in pinpointing the underlying issues of a case. A San Jose based mediator and arbitrator, Mr. Luft puts his 40 years of experience as a civil trial lawyer to use. His qualifications include numerous successful settlement conferences and private mediations in both state and federal courts, more than 125 superior court jury trials and binding arbitrations involving medical malpractice, professional liability, and other civil litigation. Mr. Luft is currently a Mediation panelist for Santa Clara and San Mateo County Superior Courts, U.S. District Court Northern District of California, Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, and American Health Lawyers Association.

Mr. Masuda specializes in civil litigation, trial and appellate practice, arbitration and mediation. He was chosen as 2014, 2015 and 2016 Northern California Super Lawyer. In addition, Mr. Masuda received the 2013 Lewis L. Fenton Excellence in Advocacy Award and was selected as a 2016 Top Rated Lawyer in Appellate Law by Martindale-Hubbell. He has tried over 90 cases in both state and federal courts throughout California.

Justice McAdams joined JAMS after retiring from the Court of Appeal, Sixth Appellate District. He began his judicial career in 1977 in the trial courts of Santa Cruz County, handling all assignments including civil, probate and family law. He utilizes his 40 years of cumulative legal knowledge in his practice of ADR. He is considered one of the most notable and accomplished judges in California as a result of his judicial career and his experience as a judicial educator. Justice McAdams resolved hundreds of civil, probate, and family law cases over the course of his tenure on the bench and he has served as a mediator, arbitrator, and referee/special master with JAMS in scores of cases in a wide variety of practice areas.

Christopher Panetta is an attorney and Shareholder at the law firm of Fenton & Keller. Chris’ practice focuses on civil litigation, including labor & employment law and general business litigation. Chris has been in practice since 1994 representing both employees and employers, large and small businesses in many local industries, and individuals with a variety of civil litigation needs. Chris also regularly serves as a mediator and has successfully resolved numerous employment related cases.


Mr. Swanston has been practicing since 1996 with Fitzpatrick Spini &Swanston. His practice focuses on employment litigation, including sexual harassment, retaliation, discrimination, misclassification, overtime and various wage and hour lawsuits and various other branches of law.

Mr. Swartz has been practicing in Monterey since 1973. He has specialized in a wide array of civil litigation, ranging from personal injury to defamation, as well business, trust and will and real estate disputes. Aside from his skill as a lawyer, Mr. Swartz has also been a court appointed referee, private arbitrator, mediator, discovery referee, and has served as an expert witness in attorney’s fee disputes and ethical questions.