Any darn fool can learn from his own mistakes. The wise learn from the mistakes of others.

- Julius Stark

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As a management-side labor and employment lawyer who litigated against Shel Stark when he was in private practice, I have used Shel as a neutral mediator in several difficult cases involving complex facts and legal issues and difficult personalities, both in terms of the plaintiffs involved and the opposing counsel. Shel was well-versed on the facts and law at the start of the mediation, having spent considerable time digesting the parties’ mediation submissions, and he was able to use his credibility as a pre-eminent plaintiffs-side employment lawyer and his characteristic good humor and commitment to fairness to break through the barriers erected by the difficult personalities at the table. This, coupled with his creativity in offering pragmatic solutions to the issues presented by the cases, resulted in productive and often successful mediations.

– David B. Calzone, Vercrussye Murray and Calzone, P.C., Bingham Farms

Shel Stark is one of the best mediators with whom I have worked. He is thoroughly prepared, detail-oriented, and uses innovative techniques to find common ground. Shel is also an empathic listener, and he demystifies the legal process for the clients. I have seen Shel bring parties together who began the morning with no hope of settlement and reached an agreement by day's end. That is the sign of a great mediator.

– John J. Conway, John J. Conway, P.C., Royal Oak

One of the best arbitration experiences I had in the past few years was with Shel Stark. My clients felt they received a fair, complete hearing and a well reasoned, logical decision based solely on the merits.

– Steven H. Schwartz, Steven H. Schwartz & Associates PLC, Farmington Hills

I engaged Shel Stark as a mediator several years ago on a very contentious, and somewhat complex discrimination matter. There were literally layers of difficulties with the case, factually, legally and emotionally, and counsel agreed to engage Shel Stark with the feeling that he was one of the few mediators with the skill to help the parties attempt a resolution. Shel Stark is one of the best mediators in the state, and he was instrumental in bringing both parties to a level of clarity, that enabled them ultimately to work out a settlement. Shel has all of the skills of the best mediators. Shel was very patient, hard-working, knowledgeable about the mediation process, and well-prepared. Shel also has great integrity, and with his sincerity, he was able to gain a level of trust with both parties, even where there was very significant personal animosity, and distrust. Very simply, Shel did an outstanding job of helping the parties achieve a settlement, in a case which both counsel were certain, based on the factual difficulties and personal animosities, could never settle.

– Kevin S. Hendrick, Clark Hill PLC, Detroit

Shel's reputation as an employment law expert and his front line litigation experience enhanced his credibility with my client and with my opposing counsel. He was well prepared. Shel made my client feel like her voice was heard and her complaints justified. His personality and communication skills contributed to a meaningful settlement. I would use Shel again in a heartbeat.

– Michael C. Curhan, Michael C. Curhan, Esq., Bloomfield Hills

I recommend Mr. Stark to serve as a mediator. In a matter recently mediated involving multiple professionals and unsophisticated parties in a complex business tax liability case he was able to keep all parties on point, gain their respective trusts and then address the issues at hand in such a way that brought the parties together to reach a settlement. Time and attention were an integral part of the resolution shown by Mr. Stark.

– Roy Jay Montney, Jr., Esq., Martinelli & Montney, P.L.C., Traverse City

Shel Stark believes passionately in the mediation process, and his passion is apparent in the preparation and enthusiasm he brings to the table. His knowledge of the law, attorneys, and judges makes him well-positioned to assist parties in understanding the merits of their positions and the advantages of resolving disputes.

– Megan P. Norris, Miller Canfield Paddock & Stone PLC, Detroit

The cases you have mediated for me all settled. More importantly, the parties walked away satisfied their positions were heard, understood, and taken seriously. You come to the mediation not only having read the submitted materials but with probing questions for all parties. Your patience, creativity, and perseverance are a valuable asset to the litigation bar. Your uncanny ability to remain neutral and fair minded is much appreciated.

– Bruce N. Moss, Black Duggan & Moss PC, Troy

Sheldon Stark was the facilitator upon whom both parties easily agreed. He knew the facts of our case and the law well. He took enough time to understand the parties and their positions before actively asking us to take any action. With his thorough preparation and gentle manner, he settled a contentious matter where the parties were not communicating with each other. The bottom line: Shel created trust where there was none. Once you have trust, anything can happen.

– Timothy A. Dinan, Dinan & Associates, Grosse Pointe Park

An outstanding mediator who gets the job done! Well prepared, professional, persistent, and creative in getting cases resolved. Communicates well with people from the factory floor to the CEO. A pleasure to work with.

– David A. Kotzian, David A. Kotzian PLLC, Farmington Hills

Shel’s knowledge of mediation practices allows him to explore all viable resolution options with the parties. He knows not just the right questions to ask, but when and how to ask them.”

– Patrick A. Aseltyne, Johnson Rosati LaBarge Aseltyne & Field PC, Lansing

Shel is thoroughly prepared and focused during mediations. He brings credibility and experience and is trusted by lawyers and clients on both sides of the table. I used him in a particularly difficult case where my client was reluctant to settle. We successfully resolved the case and my client left feeling good about the process and the result.

– Jennifer B. Salvatore, Nacht & Associates PC, Ann Arbor

I have mediated cases with Shel, and he has arbitrated cases for me. I have found Shel to be extremely knowledgeable and prepared – his experience in his prior life as a top-notch litigator, and then service with I.C.L.E., gives him a unique perspective. He wastes no time, carefully assesses the evidence, and is exceedingly fair both in practice and appearance.

– Thomas G. Kienbaum, Kienbaum Opperwall Hardy & Pelton PLC, Birmingham

Mr. Stark is knowledgeable, practical, and excels at getting the parties to reach a solution. I strongly recommend him for any case.

– Joseph A. Ritok, Jr., Dykema Gossett PLLC, Detroit

Shel has a good manner with the parties attending mediation. He is patient and asks good questions. It is obvious from his questions that he has read the summaries and given them some thought.

– Patricia Gormely Prince, Prince Law Firm, Farmington Hills

We picked Shel to mediate a multi-plaintiff retiree health insurance case because he is creative and undaunted by a challenge. It was the right choice. Shel was instrumental in helping the parties recognize the interests that were important to the other side and we ultimately reached a mutually satisfactory settlement.

– Mark T. Nelson, Butzel Long, PC, Ann Arbor

Our case was resolved by Shel during early mediation conducted before discovery. This is only the second time in my career that mediation at this stage was successful. Shel was able to convince all the participants that settlement was in their best interest and got the movement needed on both sides to make it happen. My client and I couldn't be happier with the result.

– Rex Burgess, The Law Offices of Burgess & Sharp, Clinton Township

Mr. Stark is a terrific mediator. He was appropriately tough on both sides, made us think about our case in ways that mattered, and exhibited extraordinary patience and perseverance though resolution. I highly recommend him.

– Craig Annunziata, Fisher & Phillips, Chicago

This is the first time my firm has used Mr. Stark to mediate a civil litigation matter. It was a very difficult case, packed with a great deal of emotion, and coupled with national media attention. Mr. Stark did a fabulous job mediating the dispute. His mediation skills are incredible. We were very impressed, and plan to use Mr. Stark in other cases handled by our firm.

– Kendall B. Willams, The Williams Firm PC, Grand Blanc

We picked Shel to mediate a multi-plaintiff retiree health insurance case because he is creative and undaunted by a challenge. It was the right choice. Shel was instrumental in helping the parties recognize the interests that were important to the other side and we ultimately reached a mutually satisfactory settlement.

– John R. Runyan, Jr., Sacks Waldman, PC, Detroit

Shel continues to bring civility and compromise to a contentious atmosphere. He was able to deploy his usual mediation skills in a virtual environment, with the parties and their attorneys 100s of miles apart both physically and philosophically. In typical Shel fashion, he guided the parties to an agreement and insured that signed settlement documents were exchanged before anyone left "the room," i.e., their computers.

– William Altman, Fisher & Phillips LLP, Bingham Farms

Shel did a great job with a business dispute, allowing the two principals to work together to reach a settlement after giving them his very cogent opening remarks. His pre-mediation work was also excellent and contributed to the settlement.

– Jonathan B. Frank, Jonathan B. Frank PC, Bloomfield Hills

Shel Stark does a professional and excellent job conducting mediations. He is creative in his thinking and candid. He also has a great handle on conducting Zoom mediations. I was initially skeptical about a Zoom mediation, but his handle of Zoom technology and ability to connect with clients did not change.

– Sarah L. Wixson, Varnum LLP, Ann Arbor
I would recommend Mr. Stark to any attorney that is seeking the assistance of a mediator. He is extremely professional, and comes to mediation well-prepared. When we began mediation, I did not think there was much hope of the parties to our dispute reaching a resolution. Through several innovative techniques I have never seen employed, Mr. Stark was able to get the parties to agree to what I believe was a fair settlement.
– Joshua Castmore, Maxwell Dunn PLC, Southfield
Shel Stark was great at helping us reach a resolution. His style and demeanor put everyone at ease. He was able to get the parties past their emotions and to a resolution that was the best outcome for all.

– Geoffrey L. Silverman, Silverman & Morris PLLC, Farmington Hills

Sheldon was thorough, fair, and engaging. I would recommend his services to others.

– Tonya M. Phillips, Michigan Legal Services, Detroit

I highly recommend Shel Stark as a mediator. He is an excellent facilitator, and his expertise in employment law gives him great credibility when some evaluative comments are necessary.

– David A. Kotzian, Gasiorek, Morgan, Greco, McCauley & Kotzian P.C. , Farmington Hills, MI

When selecting a mediator with opposing counsel, I am surprised by some of the names that come up repeatedly who do not, in my experience, bring a great deal of planning or persistence to the mediation process. I routinely advocate that we use Shel Stark ... not because he shows us favoritism but because he takes his work seriously and finds results. In a recent mediation, I had proposed we use Shel, and the other side agreed notwithstanding a lack of experience with him. Afterward, opposing counsel told me, "Shel was the right choice."

– Dirk A. Beamer, Wright Beamer, PLC, Farmington Hills, MI

Sheldon Stark is an experienced facilitator and mediator with the ability to reassure an anxious client, identify the issues in the case quickly and efficiently, and create the best possible environment to achieve a settlement.

– James K. O'Brien, Dean & Fulkerson PC, Troy

SJS's warm, thoughtful manner gave my client confidence in his ability to work with us towards a resolution. SJS's skillfull mediation helped my client do what needed to be done. We are satisfied with our result and glad to have chosen SJS.

– Christopher M. Taylor, Hooper Hathaway PC, Ann Arbor

Sheldon Stark is an excellent mediator. He handled my mediation in a very professional manner, he was knowledgeable about the subject matter, very well prepared, very courteous, fair and neutral to all parties. The way he handled the mediation demonstrated someone who is extremely skilled and experienced as a mediator.

– Donald B. Greenspon, Donald B. Greenspon PC, Southfield

Shel was clearly well prepared. He was thoughtful and provided good guidance in navigating through the mediation process.

– Peter L. Conway, Lapeer, MI

Shel is a great mediator. I have successfully mediated two cases with him. In both instances, he was completely impartial, thoroughly prepared and had a command of the facts, the parties' positions, and other nuances that impacted the parties' approach to settlement. He listened to the clients and gave them an opportunity to voice their opinions, whether directly relevant to the merits of the case or not. His experience and knowledge of the relevant law and courts gave him great credibility with clients in explaining the risks of further litigation, when such explanation was necessary. I plan on engaging Shel again the next time I have the opportunity.

– William E. Altman, Murray Law Group PC

Shel arrives at the mediation well prepared and willing to listen to the parties tell their side of the story. When the time is right, he outlines for the parties in a forthright and calm manner the strengths and weaknesses of their case. Finally, he demonstrates empathy for the client's situation and makes useful suggestions to help them accept the risks and realities of litigating their case through trial. Shel's approach is critical in assisting the client to compromise and understand the benefits of settling the dispute

– Daniel D. Swanson, Sommers Schwartz PC, Southfield

Shel dedicates immense effort to resolve the case and does so without undue pressure, and with a sense of humor!

– Thomas G. Kienbaum, Kienbaum Opperwall Hardy & Pelton PLLC, Birmingham, MI

Shel is an experienced and skilled mediator. He is helpful on "reading the room" so that you can understand not only the positions being articulated, but what the other parties are thinking and what strategies might help resolve the matter. I have used him several times and each time was able to resolve the matter.

– Daniel B. Tukel, Butzel Long PC, Bloomfield Hills

Shel does a great job as a settlement facilitator. He understands the lawyers and their needs and does a great job of explaining the process to the clients. He is warm, friendly, kind, AND effective. I would highly recommend Shel to anyone.

– Charles W. Palmer, Charles W. Palmer PC, Wyandotte

Shel Stark is a consumate gentleman, a skilled mediator, and a perceptive and insightful peace-maker. He brings years of his own litigation experience to the mediation process, assures that all parties are heard, and has an excellent sense of the ebb and flow of the process, with a keen ability to identify the proper timing for the most helpful communications and exercises which will bring the mediation to a successful conclusion.

– Anthony P. Patti, Hooper Hathaway PC, Ann Arbor

I have known and respected Mr. Stark's professional reputation for many years but have not had the opportunity to use his services as mediator until now. He was very well prepared and extremely adept at building the parties' trust in the process and in him. He didn't belabor points or issues unnecessarily. Instead, he fairly quickly detected an opportunity for mutual "buy in" and worked immediately to capitalize. I believe both parties feel they received fair treatment and a fair outcome. And, in addition to all of this, Mr. Stark's fees are quite reasonable.

– Dirk A. Beamer, Wright Beamer PLC, Farmington Hills

After taking mediation training from a team that included Sheldon, I was looking forward to seeing him in action. He did not disappoint. He took a difficult business case that was more like a divorce and brought calm, common sense and reality to the parties. He established trust quickly and kept everyone moving forward. I highly recommend him to anyone looking for a mediator.

– Jeffrey L. Fanto , Attorney and Counselor, Allen Park

Mr. Stark is truly a master at dispute resolution techniques. His ability to have the parties in difficult and controversial cases reach the settlement of claims is amazing.

– Kendall B. Williams, The Williams Firm PC, Grand Blanc

Shel was tasked with helping us find a resolution in a very contentious business dispute that had been dragging though discovery for months. When we started the process, we were millions apart in the offer and counter-offer. With three different parties, seven different attorneys, and several complex business issues at stake, Shel came to the mediation prepared. I found his willingness to actually listen to our clients -- rather than wasting time telling war stories like other mediators have done -- to be extremely productive. At the end of the mediation, one of the attorneys for another party in the case admitted that he didn't hold out much hope for resolving the case at mediation before he arrived. Shel made it happen. Our clients, and everyone involved, were greatly impressed with his approach.

– Bruce A. Inosencio, Jr., Inosencio & Fisk, PLLC, Jackson

Shel Stark understands the value of cases and unrelentlessly works to settle them. He brings helpful insight to the table and is able to relate with the parties and their attorneys. I appreciate his candor and experience.

– Sarah L. Wixson, Tishkoff PLC, Ann Arbor

I had never used Shel before. He took the time to understand the case and helped the parties reach a fair settlement in a complicated business divorce.

– Dean D. Elliott, Royal Oak

Mr. Stark was thoroughly well prepared and professional throughout the proceedings. He took a great deal of time to understand the issues presented, the parties' true motivations, and to communicate effectively with the parties about achieving those goals through mediation. I was pessimistic that these parties would reach agreement at the early stage of the case when we mediated but through Mr. Stark's guidance they did settle and avoided substantial litigation costs and the uncertainty of continuing the process. I would recommend Mr. Stark and hope to take advantage of his services in future proceedings.

– Joseph A. Lavigne, Law Offices of Joseph A. Lavigne, Farmington Hills

While we did not ultimately reach a global agreement, Shel worked his tail off to help the parties even after the formal session ended. Highly knowledgeable, fair, and ethical. Would highly recommend him to represented and unrepresented parties alike.

– Nicholas Roumell, Nacht & Rommel, P.C., Ann Arbor

My client came into the mediation with no intention of settling and had every intention of litigating all the way and even expressed that to Shel. Shel very respectfully and skillfully worked to first develop trust and then allowed my client the space and time to consider each position he took which eventually resulted in a settlement. The next day my client said mediating with Shel was like being with a master artist--he was so skillful he didn't realize he was being worked until the settlement was reached.

– Peter M. Doerr, Doerr & Jory PC, Mount Morris

Shel is a masterful mediator. I truly did not believe that this case would settle, but he found a way to get the parties to see the benefits of doing so. Very much appreciated!

– Michelle Thurber Czapski, Bodman PLC, Detroit

The parties established a four hour time limit for the mediation and Shel accomplished his mission by assisting the parties in resolving the case within the specified period. As usual Shel was well prepared and focused and used an imaginative approach to assisting the parties in reaching an agreement.

– Daniel D. Swanson, Sommers Schwartz PC, Southfield

We had a knotty civil case on behalf of a low-income client, with the parties stuck in their positions. Shel Stark agreed to mediate the case and was able move the parties to settlement. The respective lawyers were not far apart, but the parties needed an outsider to make clear their respective risks and costs, clearing the way first to movement and ultimately to settlement. We were totally satisfied with the result and the process was fair, easy, and efficient. (Great snacks, too.)

– Paul D. Reingold, Michigan Clinical Law Program, Ann Arbor

Sheldon's calm influence and ability to relate to the litigants emotional concerns as well as having a firm grasp on the law and the strengths and weaknesses it adds or detracts from the case was indispensable in getting the case resolved.

– Chris Easthope, Law Office of Chris Easthope, Saline

Very professional but also informal and comfortable. The mediator took the time to really get to know the parties and to understand where both sides were coming from, and what obstacles needed to be overcome to reach a settlement. The mediator tried to help each side understand the other side's position, which reduced the tension and made the parties more open to compromise. The mediator also got a good sense of the strengths and weaknesses of both sides cases, as well as their ability to pay, what kind of witnesses they would make at trial, and what proofs they had or were lacking.

– Paul D. Reingold, Michigan Clinical Law Program, U of M Law School, Ann Arbor

The owner of this site is my grandfather and we have had conflicts where he mediated our conflicts. He is a great Mediator and if you are looking for a good way to resolve 2 party's fight you should hire him.

– Louie J. Stark, Age 8

I have used Shel as a mediator several times and exceeds my expectations very time. His willingness to make the effort to build trust with the attorneys and parties is a testament to his desire to help people resolve their problems without the time and expense of involving the courts.

– Peter M. Doerr, Peter M. Doerr, P.C., Mount Morris
Shel does an outstanding job as a mediator for employment matters. He has a great deal of experience and pays great attention to detail. Importantly, he also has the patience of Job when dealing with the parties.
– Louis B. Eble, Louis B. Eble PLLC, Bloomfield Hills
Shel Stark is truly one of the most effective mediators of employment and other civil cases I have utilized over the last several years. His innovative mediation techniques greatly assist in getting complicated cases resolved.

– Kendall B. Williams, The Williams Firm PC, Grand Blanc

Mr. Stark was great in getting the parties and their attorneys to "disarm" and engage in the mediation process without abandoning their claims and defenses. Mr. Stark was well prepared!! He took time to understand the issues and addressed creative ways to resolve the issues. He highlighted the strengths and weaknesses on my client's case in a constructive manner. Overall a great mediator!

– Valentina Lucaj, The Lucaj Law Firm PLLC, Troy

Shel is a consummate and masterful mediator/facilitator. My firm and I have resolved a number of cases over the years through Shel's exceptional mediator services. We have not had a case mediated by Shel that did not resolve through mediation. Among Shel's great mediator qualities is his complete professionalism, real empathy for all parties and tenacity. The last quality is particularly important as we've found that to be one of the most important elements of a great mediation. We feel that many of our cases with mediators that gave up on the process prematurely would otherwise have settled through mediation. This never happens with Shel and we highly recommend this services!

– William G. Tishkoff, Tishkoff PLC, Ann Arbor

Sheldon Stark was an excellent and neutral mediator who clearly laid out the risks for each side and allowed all to come to an amicable resolution without the need to go to Court.

– Hassan Ali-Zaarour, Kitch Drutchas Wagner Valitutti & Sherbrook, Detroit

I have practiced law for 47 years, tried hundreds of cases and handled appellate work in State and Federal courts in 47 States up to Supreme Courts. I have done mediations, facilitation, case evaluations, you name it, I have been there. This is easily in my top 20 good experiences. It was handled professionally, expertly, with a mediator who put each party and their attorneys at ease separately and who knew the issues, problems of each party and their attorneys and who was expert in dealing with all he had to face. I have had some of these that were farces. It is a good feeling to see how one handled properly works and, I believe, in this case worked to the benefit of both the parties.

– Gary A. Colbert, Gary A. Colbert, Attorney at Law, Farmington Hills

I do not hesitate to recommend Shel Stark for use as a mediator. He is exceptionally talented and does an outstanding job.

– Steve M. Wolock, Maddin Hauser Wartell Roth & Heller PC, Southfield

Our dispute--involving a family being torn apart after the death of their mother-- was one that seemed irresolvable to me and my clients. With [Shel's] help, the case was settled in full, before a lawsuit was filed, putting the family on a path that will hopefully lead to a reconciliation between them.

– Deborah J. H. Weber, Crippen Urquhart & Weber LLP, Ann Arbor

Mr. Stark was a Mediator in a multi-plaintiff employment matter involving several extremely long-term employees. There was some early confusion because my office inadvertently did not notify all parties as to the time and date of the Mediation. Once the plaintiffs arrived they were understandably upset with plaintiffs' counsel. Mr. Stark was able to navigate the frustration of these plaintiffs, provide them with a venue to vent and then redirect the process towards resolution. He controlled the mediation process and continuously moved everyone forward until we reached an acceptable resolution. He was well prepared and stayed as long as necessary to get the matter resolved. Overall, it was a very good experience.

– Cristine Wasserman, Law Offices of Dean T. Yeotis, Flint, MI

When I discussed early mediation of a difficult employment case with opposing counsel, Shel Stark was our mutual first choice. Shel's knowledge, experience, and incisive judgment helped us understand the strengths and weaknesses of our case; his disarming interpersonal style, his ability to win trust, and his thoughtful, sympathetic ear helped facilitate settlement.

– Sean M. Siebigteroth, The Williams Firm, PC, Grand Blanc, MI