• 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."


Hobbies & Interests

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


My experience with Ann has been nothing short of spectacular. I have never met a mediator as caring and thoughtful as her. She is sensitive to the views of all parties involved as well as the facts of the case, but can be really tough when pushing all parties to resolve the matter
- Attorney on an employment dispute

Ann went the extra mile for my client. She uses her extensive and practical knowledge of the law to compliment her approach to get the job done.
- Attorney on an Employment/Wrongful Termination dispute

We have been incredibly impressed with Ann. She has worked tirelessly to get each of the cases we have mediated with her settled. I have never seen a mediator work as hard as Ann to settle a case. Not only did she take the time to know the facts and the law of each case, but she also took the time to get to know our clients and make them feel comfortable with the process. Our clients were extremely happy with the results and impressed with Ann's hard work. I would not hesitate to use Ann again.
- Attorney on an Employment/Discrimination dispute

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

Legal Experience

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

Representative Case Information

Recent Representative Cases


A.D.A Act

  • Mediated commercial dispute involving major financial institution against whom claims pertaining to failure to abide by consumer protection regulations were alleged.
  • Mediated ADA access claims involving paraplegic consumer who was unable to gain access to a retail establishment.
  • Mediated ADA access claims involving seriously disabled customer who encountered various access barriers.
  • Mediated ADA access case filed against national bank concerning absence of a lowered teller window for disabled customers.
  • Mediated a matter brought against a national bank alleging that a disabled access teller window was not staffed allowing use by disabled persons.
  • Mediated matter involving sexual harassment allegations asserted against a prominent public figure.
  • Three day mediation involving sexual harassment and relations claimed against a prominent public figure.

Breach Of Privacy

  • Mediated dispute brought by applicant against a prospective law firm employer for allegedly conducting an illegal background search and invasion of privacy.


  • Mediated commercial dispute involving a major financial institution where a co-signer sought declaratory relief from payment of loans allegedly procured as a result of identity theft pertaining to the co-signer
  • Mediated dispute involving major telecommunications provider for alleged violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act by allegedly using an automated telephone dialing system.



  • 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 disability and wrongful termination claims asserted against an entertainment establishment by a long term employee who received extended leaves of absence and multiple accommodations for several years.


  • Mediated disability discrimination and wrongful termination claims asserted against an auto dealership in connection with attendance issues.
  • Mediated disability discrimination case alleged against amusement park involving termination of employment for failing to provide medical documentation.
  • Mediated a dispute where plaintiff alleged her disability prevented her from performing assigned duties resulting in her absence from work and subsequent termination for not reporting to work.
  • Mediated matter against a Fortune 500 employer claims including failure to engage in the interactive process where the plaintiff's employment was terminated after he was declared permanent and stationary by the workers' compensation physician
  • Mediated matter brought by a short term employee against national staffing company, a joint employer, for sexual harassment and wrongful termination.
  • Mediated matter involving allegations of age discrimination where an elderly employee was terminated following an extended period of employment for alleged performance deficiencies.
  • Mediated a case involving retaliation and disability claims asserted by a senior manager against an entertainment company where absent previous documentation plaintiff following a complaint of alleged sexual harassment, plaintiff was given the alternative of a performance improvement plan or resignation.
  • Mediated a matter alleged against a retailer for misclassification of debt collectors as independent contractors and resultant multiple wage and hour violations.
  • Mediated claims asserted against staffing company and manufacturer alleging joint employer status and liability for failure to engage in the interactive process, failure to accommodate and disability discrimination resulting in the termination of plaintiff's employment.
  • Mediated matter brought against a large retailer for disability discrimination and wrongful termination where plaintiff allegedly violated the employer's associate discount policy.

EWT and Discrimination

  • Mediated dispute involving national healthcare provider's termination of emotionally disabled employee for attendance related issues.
  • Mediated disability discrimination and wrongful termination action where long term employee was terminated for policy violations shortly after requesting a transfer for accommodation purposes.
  • Mediated matter involving long term employee taking a medical leave and not returning to work who subsequently filed suit for wrongful termination and disability discrimination.
  • Mediated a matter where plaintiff alleged against his former employer, a public entity, claims based upon refusal to accommodate serious mental disabilities and wrongful termination associated with the plaintiff's inability to return to work.

Family Leave Act

  • Mediated claims for disability and pregnancy discrimination, failure to accommodate and engage in the interactive process, retaliation and wrongful termination allege against a major financial institution where the plaintiff's employment was terminated while on leave for pregnancy related conditions.
  • Mediated matter involving allegations of pregnancy discrimination where plaintiff's duties where reassigned while plaintiff was on leave and no comparable job was offered upon her return from pregnancy leave.

Labor Code

  • Mediated wage and hour dispute involving claims for failure to pay overtime, provide meal periods and rest breaks, provide itemized wage statements and waiting time penalties as well as FEHA claims for race and national origin discrimination.

Sexual Harassment

  • 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.
  • Mediated case involving manager's claim of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation based upon the manager's sexual orientation and whistle blowing activities pertaining to wage and hour violations including misclassification of the manager.
  • Mediated sexual harassment claims asserted by former employee against an engineering company and its president including unwelcome touching.
  • Three-day mediation involving sexual harassment allegations asserted against a prominent public figure. Case successfully settled in mediation.
  • Mediated allegations of sexual harassment asserted by an independent contractor who also alleged misclassification claims.
  • Mediated action brought against dental office by a short term, part-time employee for failing to reinstate plaintiff to her position upon the conclusion of her brief medical leave of absence.

Wage and Hour

  • Mediated wage and hour case involving claims for alleged failure to pay prevailing wage, overtime, meal and rest period and wage statement violations.
  • Mediated commission dispute involving allegations of fraud resulting in alleged failure to pay commissions to motor dealer ship sales personnel and management.
  • 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.
  • Mediated numerous wage/hour violations alleged by undocumented and documented immigrants against a garment manufacturer.

Whistleblower Wrongful Term

  • Mediated claims asserted under multiple whistleblower statutes based upon allegations of fraud, waste, and abuse asserted by a peace officer against his former employer, a state governmental agency.

Wrongful Termination

  • Mediated dispute involving claims for religious discrimination, retaliation and wrongful termination asserted against a telecommunications company stemming from plaintiff's complaints about cyberstalking by a co-worker.
  • Mediated multiple plaintiff dispute involving claims for disability discrimination, retaliation and wrongful termination brought against an entertainment company.
  • Mediated dispute brought by a current employee who was injured on the job against a transportation and logistics company for failure to engage in the interactive process, failure to accommodate and disability discrimination.
  • Mediated and successfully resolved a sexual harassment case involving conduct by managerial and executive level employees of an adult entertainment business.
  • Mediated whistleblower retaliation and wrongful termination claims alleged against healthcare organization by former employee whose employment was terminated for behavioral issues.
  • Mediated disability discrimination case asserted against a public entity involving claims for failure to engage in the interactive process and reasonably accommodate a long term seriously disabled employee.
  • Mediated case filed against major retailer alleging claims for failure to accommodate, disability discrimination, retaliation, and wrongful termination.
  • Mediated whistle-blower claims against an auto dealership based upon alleged safety and financial violations of law.
  • Mediated wrongful termination matter where plaintiff alleged he was terminatied for complaining about bullying and physical violence in the workplace.
  • Mediated matter brought against a moving and storage company for breach of contract, property damage, and false representations.
  • Mediated a matter brought against a large auto dealership where plaintiff alleged that her whistleblowing about improper service charges lead to her termination.
  • Mediated a matter where plaintiff was a documented high performer and was terminated for undocumented behavioral issues following a leave of absence.
  • Mediated action brought against a print media company alleging multiple wage and hour violations as well as retaliatory termination following complaints about wages and reimbursement of expenses.

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