Michael D. Young, a former employment, intellectual property and business litigator and mediator with the national firm Alston & Bird, has been mediating cases since 1989. Building off of his extensive litigation experience, and his training through the nationally acclaimed Straus Institute of Dispute Resolution at the Pepperdine Law School, Mr. Young assists parties to resolve contentious and complex civil disputes, often in creative and innovative ways that the parties themselves had not previously considered. Mr. Young has extensive experience both litigating and mediating all varieties of employment, intellectual property, and business disputes, including class actions and single-plaintiff matters.
On the employment side, these have included wrongful termination, harassment, discrimination, disability, public policy, wage and hour, and misclassification disputes, among others. On the IP side, Mr. Young had handled disputes over trade secrets, trademarks, copyrights, patents, and restrictive covenants. In addition, in his 25-plus year legal career, Mr. Young has mediated, litigated, and tried hundreds of disputes involving unfair competition, antitrust, and environmental issues (including CERCLA and RCRA cases), among other complex business disputes.
Attorney's have praised Mr. Young's creativity and doggedness. Said one attorney following a difficult employment mediation: "Your ideas were very creative, and your no-nonsense approach was exactly right for this case. I've been in over 200 mediations from all perspectives, but the job you did this week really stands out." Commented another: "Mike was very effective in building credibility with both plaintiffs and the defense in an emotionally charged case involving several plaintiffs. He was able to get to the heart of the issues and put the parties on a path to resolution while giving everyone an opportunity to be heard. His tireless follow up and accessibility was crucial to the resolution of the case." Said a third: "I have used mediators for over three decades, and Mike came up with approaches, ideas, and solutions that were new to me. That mediation was a success because Mike Young refused to let it fail."
"Recommending creative solution on an impossible case."
- Attorney on an IP Patent Dispute
"Mike Young is great. He's smart, sharply focused, and by comparison [to another mediator], has a relaxed demeanor. But don't be fooled. He understands exactly where the case is and what the parties need, as well as how to move the case toward resolution. Mike is very creative and perceptive and knows how to put frazzled nerves at ease. His knowledge of employment law is deep and his nose for settlement is second to none. I'd entrust my case and my clients to him and believe that, if a settlement is possible, he will facilitate making it happen."
- Employment Attorney in Los Angeles
"Mike was very effective in building credibility with both all sides in an emotionally charged case involving many parties. He quickly zeroed in on the heart of the issue while giving everyone a chance to be heard. He then set the stage for the path that ultimately led to resolution. I would not hesitate to recommend Mike and will certainly use him in the future."
- Attorney, Orange County, California
"Great demeanor, effective use of time, moved the negotiation along until the case resolved."
- Attorney on an Employment Wrongful Termination Matter
"I wanted to reach out and thank [him] for helping push this one over the edge and settled. I appreciate that [he] kept in the loop and helped navigate some strange waters."
- Attorney on an Employment Breach of Contract Matter
"Mike astutely and skillfully brought our two sides to a settlement in a case that I didn’t think would settle given how far apart the parties had been to that point. He very quickly zeroed in on the relevant facts and issues, and seemed to know all the right buttons to push to get us to move off our opposite ends and towards an acceptable middle. At the same time, Mike was cordial, respectful, and empathetic—traits that made him all the more effective as a communicator, and earned him a great deal of credibility with my client. I’m thankful for Mike’s help on this matter and look forward to using him again in the future."
- Attorney on an Employment Breach of Contract Dispute
"This was my third case with Mike as mediator. I appreciate that he can quickly cut through the chaff and gets to the root issue causing the impasse. He clearly understood the facts and legal issues in the case and determined that the path to settlement in this particular case was to focus on the psychological/emotional impediments. He effectively broke through the impasse and the parties were able to craft a settlement that was satisfying to both sides."
- Attorney on a Business/Contractual case
"I appreciated the way he gave our side room to talk and express emotional issues at the beginning but then moved to practical issues to bring the parties to a close."
- Attorney on an Employment/Discrimination Wage & Hour Dispute
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