Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgement.
Extensive Litigation Experience: Shel Stark litigated wrongful discharge, employment discrimination, personal injury, insurance and business cases as a trial lawyer for 27 years. With an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell and a listing in “Best Lawyers in America” from 1987 to 2000 when he left practice, he understands the litigation process and its challenges inside and out.
Broad Mediation Experience: Shel Stark has extensive experience mediating and arbitrating employment, commercial, personal injury, probate and insurance disputes in both state and federal court, before administrative agencies and pre-filing. He began mediating and arbitrating in the mid-1980s, handling a wide variety of cases. He manages both mediation, case evaluation and arbitration with skill, efficiency and sensitivity.
Well Trained: Shel has received extensive training. After years of “on-the-job” training, he attended his first 40-hour hands-on mediation training in 1999 and has since been appointed to court lists in Kent, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne Counties. Since his appointment, he attends advanced mediation training two and three times per year to stay current, add new skills, and gain fresh insight for his “tool kit” of mediation techniques. Since 2002, Shel has been one of ICLE’s highest rated trainers in both basic and advanced mediation programs helping over a thousand trainees to gain or enhance their mediation skills.
A Good Listener: The key to a successful mediator is the ability to listen and understand each individual at the mediation table. What are their concerns, their needs and their interests? Shel Stark listens patiently and insures that everyone who needs to speak is given the opportunity to do so.
Thoroughly Prepared: As a mediator, one of the hallmarks of Shel Stark’s practice is the level of preparation he brings to every dispute. He reads attorney written submissions thoroughly including exhibits and attachments, prepares a time line to keep track of dates and sequence, develops questions and identifies risks well in advance. He is driven to understand the facts and issues presented, large and small, including any nuances. His pre-mediation conference call agenda is comprehensive, encouraging resolution of logistical issues and getting him up to speed on each dispute. He’s not afraid to work with the parties before the mediation process even starts so that everyone and everything that can be ready IS ready when the mediation begins.
Persistent: Litigators often complain that mediators give up too soon. Shel Stark is as persistent and determined as they come, hanging in as long as progress seems possible at the table. Should a mediation conclude without the parties reaching an agreement, he will follow up to determine whether conditions are ripe to resume talking.
Excellent Communication Skills: Shel is a natural teacher, able to translate legal and technical concepts into language and ideas everyone can understand.
Creative: When the parties and their lawyers start running out of ideas and options, Shel’s background, training and experience allow him to bring fresh proposals and concepts to the table assisting the parties to reach an agreement.
Trustworthy: Shel prides himself on building relationships with the parties and their attorneys, establishing credibility and fostering trust to establish an atmosphere in which participants are comfortable enough to build bridges and achieve resolution and closure.
Flexible: Shel is ready and willing to work with you to tailor a process that best meets your individual needs. Rejecting the notion that “one size fits all,” Shel solicits your input. Once the process is under way, he looks for ways to make adjustments as necessary to reach agreement.
Totally Professional: At the close of the mediation process with Shel, parties and litigators alike feel they were heard and understood, respected and given a fair opportunity to present their points of view. Even when a dispute isn’t settled at the table, the litigants receive value: Their differences are narrowed, they better understand each other, they’ve had a fair exchange of information and they are better positioned to reach resolution in the future.
Competitive Rates: Shel has competitive rates and does not charge for in-state travel.