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Deborah Coleman

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United States - OH
Mediation Profile

Deborah Coleman is an attorney, mediator and arbitrator based in Cleveland, Ohio.  She handled complex commercial litigation for 37 years with Hahn Loeser & Parks LLP.  She is a graduate of Harvard Law School.   Ms. Coleman's principal experience as an advocate, advisor and neutral is in matters involving intellectual property, technology, antitrust, unfair competition or other distribution issues. Ms. Coleman has also helped resolve a wide range of other matters, including insurance coverage cases, shareholder disputes, adversary proceedings in bankruptcy, public law cases and disputes arising from acquisitions and financing transactions. She is often consulted on issues of legal ethics, and served as chair of the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility.  She is a member of the American Arbitration Association mediation panel and its Large Complex Case, Commercial and Technology arbitration panels; she is also a panel member of CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution.  Ms. Coleman is a Fellow of the College of Commercial Arbitrators, and a member of the Tech List of the Silicon Valley Arbitration and Mediation Center.  Her experience includes international matters and those in which eight-figure damage demands were at issue.  In the course of her work as an advocate, counselor and neutral, Ms. Coleman has worked with companies from all industry sectors, including manufacturing, food and beverage, construction, real estate, banking and finance, insurance, publishing, technology, sports and entertainment, and utilities, as well as with governmental entities, not-for-profit institutions, authors and artists.

Ms. Coleman has mediated dozens of cases during the last 15 years. Her experience includes a variety of commercial contract disputes, including matters involving technology joint ventures, manufacturing contracts, licensing agreements, and utility agreements. She has also mediated family business disputes, employment cases, a housing discrimination case, insurance coverage disputes, legal malpractice claims, and consumer law claims. She has experience with multi-party mediations.

In ADR terms, my style is “facilitative”, as distinguished from “evaluative” or “transformational” but these labels don’t convey much about the many dimensions of my mediation work. In scheduling, I seek to assure that mediation takes place at an appropriate time in the “life” of the dispute, that the right people attend, and that each party has disclosed information that is essential to negotiations. I coach counsel and the parties to invest in the mediation, to acknowledge others' viewpoints and to forge agreements—on process, if not on the merits. I strive to create and maintain a framework in which parties’ interests, as well as positions, can be disclosed — at least in caucus -- and in which different approaches to resolution can be generated and considered. I give parties the opportunity to be heard by an informed neutral, and a supportive environment in which to air emotional or other concerns. I am flexible in format and approach. I generally avoid giving my evaluation of the merits of the case, but may, in caucus, share my views of how a judge or jury might react to particular arguments or witnesses. I am persistent, but respectful. I bring everything I have learned about law, business and people to my work.
Arbitration and mediation of business and commercial disputes.

American Bar Association,  Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers, Ohio State Bar Association,  Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association.  

Training and Education

CPR Institute, Advanced Mediation Skills, 2007; AAMA, Advanced Attorney Mediation Training, 2006; University of Cincinnati, Counseling & Convincing Difficult Emotional Clients, 2004; Capital University, Negotiations and Advanced Mediation Training, 2002. One or two day workshops given by Woody Mosten, Zena Zumeta, Miki Kashtan and others.


IMI Code of Professional Conduct

IMI Professional Conduct Assessment Process

Professional Liability Services, Inc. $1,000,000/$2,000,000.

Deborah Coleman
Coleman Law LLC
16781 Chagrin Blvd. #289
United States
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