• Available in Southern California, All of California
  • Available for Mediation, Arbitration, and Private Judging assignments


After 30 years as a successful employment and business/commercial trial lawyer, Ann brings her wealth of experience and skills to JW to serve as an arbitrator and mediator. In her 3 decades as an associate, partner and rainmaker she has tried, arbitrated, and mediated hundreds of cases and implemented many in house ADR programs for clients.

In practice, she earned the respect of her clients, colleagues and opposing counsel for her philosophy of limited discovery with a goal towards early resolution. As a result, she was often asked to give presentations in conflict avoidance and serve as a neutral fact finder. Ann states "I understand the emotional dynamics of conflict for both sides. One of my goals as a mediator is to create an atmosphere of frank and open communication between the parties, demonstrating active listening and remaining courteous at all times. In addition, arbitration plays an important role in the finality of cases, as an arbitrator I help the parties narrow down the issues to a point where resolution may be possible."

One plaintiff attorney stated, "Ann has a down to earth mediation style; during session we appreciated her experience and feedback and most of all her tenacity."



Working hard following no resolution "at mediation" and ultimately getting a deal done.
- Attorney on an employment/discrimination wage & hour dispute

Experience Summary

Legal Career

  • Mediator/Arbitrator, Judicate West (2016-Present)
  • Mediator/Arbitrator, Ann Kotlarski Mediation (2015)
  • Partner, Payne & Fears, LLP (2016)
  • Partner, Bryan Cave, LLP (2013-2015)
  • Partner, Seyfarth Shaw (2003-2013)
  • Director, Crosby, Heafey, Roach & May (2001-2003)
  • Lamb and Baute, LLP (2000-2001)
  • Of Counsel, Yuhl, Rhames, Yul & St. Clair (1997-1999)
  • Partner, Quinn Emanuel (1995-1997), Litigation Associate, (1991-1995)
  • Whitman, Breed, Abbot & Morgan (1987-1991)

Education & Professional Affiliations

  • University of San Francisco School of Law, cum laude (1985)
  • B. A., Northwestern University (1982)
  • Los Angeles County Superior Court CRASH Program
  • Formal dispute resolution training at Pepperdine University School of Law's Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, including Mediating the Litigated Case, Women's Negotiation Academy, and Resolving Workplace Disputes Through Mediation and Other ADR Processes

Achievements & Awards

  • The Current State of Affairs: Best Practices and Pitfalls In Negotiating Employment Law Disputes in Mediation, Southern California Mediation Association 2016 Employment Mediation Institute, May 19, 2016
  • Valuation of Discrimination/Retaliation Cases In Mediation: A 360 Perspective, 2016 LACBA Labor and Employment Symposium, March 9, 2016
  • Managing Leaves of Absence and Accommodations in California: An Essential Guide for In-House Employment and Corporate Counsel, Celesque for Westlaw, February 1, 2016
  • Arbitrating in 2016: New Cases, Rules, Challenges and Opportunities, Judicate West Program, January 28, 2016
  • HR Investigation Workshop: A Guide to Legal and Effective Inquiries, Business Management Daily, January 16, 2016

Hobbies & Interests

Ann enjoys gardening, baking, hiking, yoga, reading, painting and interior design.

Legal Experience

  • All types of Employment related matters
  • Class action
  • Business/contractual

Representative Case Information

Recent Representative Cases



  • Mediated claims asserted by a high level executive for disability discrimination, failure to accommodate and failure to engage in the interactive process, age discrimination, violation of Labor Code Section 970 and wrongful termination where the executive was not returned to his prior position or provided with another available position for which he was qualified following his diagnosis and treatment for a life threatening medical condition.


  • Mediated sexual harassment and wrongful termination claims based upon comments made by multiple male defendants. Plaintiff asserted the termination of her employment was due to complaining about the alleged harassment and requesting time off in connection with an unrelated matter.

Wage and Hour

  • Mediated and resolved contentious matter by long term disabled employee alleging claims for wrongful termination, failure to accommodate and failure to adequately engage in the interactive process.

Downtown Los Angeles

601 S. Figueroa
Ste 4000
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Phone: 213.223.1113
Fax      : 213.223.1114

Los Angeles Mediation

West Los Angeles

11601 Wilshire Blvd
Ste 2040
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Phone: 310.442.2100
Fax      : 310.442.2125

Mediators Los Angeles

San Diego

402 W. Broadway
Ste 2400
San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: 619.814.1966
Fax      : 619.814.1967

San Diego Mediation

Santa Ana

1851 East First Street
Ste 1600
Santa Ana, CA 92705
Phone: 714.834.1340
Fax      : 714.834.1344

Orange County Mediation

San Francisco

100 Pine Street
Ste 1950
San Francisco, CA 94111
Phone: 415.266.1242
Fax      : 415.266.1243

San Francisco Mediation


980 9th Street
Suite 2200
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916.394.8490
Fax      : 916.394.8495

Sacramento Mediation