PETER J. SEARLE, ESQ.

  • Available in Orange County, All of California
  • Mediation Only

Introduction

Since April 2000, Peter Searle has dedicated his career to being a full-time ADR professional specializing in mediation. During this time he has been honored as the top Volunteer Mediator for the Los Angeles Superior Court, where he established working relations with all types of litigants and became one of their top choices for a Private Mediator. Mr. Searle is widely recognized for his talent as a creative problem solver, and for his passion to get proactively involved with all the facts and circumstances of each matter. He has the intellect to quickly identify and evaluate the legal and interpersonal intricacies and to help focus the parties on resolution. Attorneys have described him as sharp, intuitive, and possessing a strong leadership quality that imparts confidence that the matter can, and will reach resolution. He is an attentive listener, and one who believes in direct and open communications as the best method to fashion creative and practical solutions. One trial lawyer commented, "When the mediation didn't settle at the hearing, my client was disappointed. However, Peter stuck with it and called everyone consistently and because of it, the case finally resolved! I will use him on any case; he was great!"

Specialties

Hobbies & Interests

In Mr. Searle's spare time, he enjoys his five children, running, cooking, tennis, baseball, skiing and brewing his own beer.

Testimonials

Peter Searle was the best! Awesome. Great mediator.
- Attorney, Los Angeles, CA

Peter is fantastic!
- Attorney, Orange County, CA












Experience Summary

Legal Career

  • Full-Time Mediator (2000-Present)
  • Vice President and Claim Manager; CNA Insurance (1996-00)
  • Litigation Attorney, Chase, Rotchford, Drukker & Bogust representing both plaintiff and defense in all types of civil litigation matters (1986-96)

Education & Professional Affiliations

  • J.D., Southwestern School of Law (1986)
  • B.A. Political Science, California State University, Fullerton (1983)
  • Certified Mediator, Pepperdine University, School of Law - Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution
  • International and Cross-Cultural mediation training
  • Serves as Mediator and Arbitrator for Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside County Courts
  • Founder and Past President, Construction Defect Claims Manager Association
  • Member, American Bar Association (1991-Present)
  • Member, Los Angeles Bar Association (1988-Present)
  • Member, Orange County Bar Association (1997-Present)
  • Member, Southern California Mediation Association (1999-Present)
  • Member, Riverside County Bar Association (1999-Present)

Achievements & Awards

  • Mr. Searle has been the recipient of numerous awards including the 2002 Dispute Resolution Service (DRS) Achievement Award for Judicial Mediator/Arbitrator.
  • He was selected as a Top Neutral in California by the Daily Journal every year since 2009.
  • Additionally, he has written many articles regarding construction defect litigation and ADR related topics that were published in the Daily Journal and other legal publications.

Legal Experience

  • Personal Injury/Wrongful Death
  • Business/Contractual
  • Construction
  • Construction Defect and Mold
  • Professional Malpractice
  • All types of Insurance related matters including: Bad Faith and Complex Coverage Disputes

Representative Case Information

Recent Representative Cases

Business/Commercial

Contractual

  • Mediated settlement of claims that arose between two businesses that had a long standing business relationship, such that the company that produced parts extended credit to the product manufacturing company, but, ultimately, brought suit, for failure to pay.
  • Cremation case involving the loss or wrongful destruction of cremains. Highly emotional for the family members.
  • Business Dispute, Agency Agreement and Breach of Contract matter. Compliance with Department of Justice requirements, governmental compliance and Due Diligence compliance. Future damages calculations, including sales growth, discount rates, profit and overhead, and mitigation of damage issues.
  • Breach of contract and negligent infliction of emotional distress case against a mortuary and crematory for wrongly disposing of a decedent's ashes. Multiple plaintiffs with significant emotional issues.

Financial Elder Abuse

  • Elder Abuse/Elder Financial Abuse/Fraud/Wills & Trusts Inter-family dispute where heirs claim daughter fraudulently established a joint bank account with her wealthy deceased mother, then systematically withdrew hundreds of thousands of dollars. Heirs also claim daughter stole cash and valuables from mother. Daughter claims heirs fraudulently set up a trust in their favor that entirely disinherited daughter thereby diverging millions of dollars in inheritance. Both sides filed criminal charges against the other.

Fraud/Misrepresentation

  • Mediated settlement of class-action claims against a car dealership that arose when the dealership, allegedly, violated California Civil code section 2981.9, requisites of a conditional sale contract.

Lemon Law

  • Mediated settlement of claims that arose when a man purchased a new car that quickly started malfunctioning and, allegedly, was not informed that the car had been damaged, repaired, and had an extra kit put on the car that voided the manufacturer's warranty.

Employment

A D A

  • Mediated settlement of claims that arose when an employer fired a newly hired employee upon learning she had a disability.

Wrongful Termination

  • Mediated settlement of age and race discrimination claims against a school district when, allegedly, plaintiffs were each removed from their positions and put in lesser paying positions that did not match their qualifications as well.
  • Mediated settlement of sexual harassment and discrimination claims that arose when a woman was, allegedly, subjected to sexual comments and propositions by her supervisors and was not given adequate breaks nor compensation.
  • Constructive termination, assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress with a cross-complaint for embezzlement against the employee. Small, family owned company without insurance, and significant emotional issues. Resolved globally, with payment plan, non-disparagement, mutual confidentiality, and neutral reference for future potential employers.

Insurance

Bad Faith

  • Mediated settlement of claims that arose when a sewer line broke causing plaintiffs to suffer damages to their home and additional living expenses, but their homeowner's insurance company denied their claim for reimbursement of those costs.

Coverage

  • Mediated settlement of underinsured motorist claims that arose when plaintiff's vehicle was in a collision causing her to suffer injuries and the third party's insurance company paid policy limits.

Subrogation

  • Mediated settlement of claims that arose when an employer sued a landowner for damages when an employee was injured when the pallet jack he was driving got caught in a pothole in the driveway asphalt.

Real Estate

Warranty of Habitability

  • Mediated settlement of claims that arose when a senior citizen housing apartments became overrun with bed bugs.
  • Mediated settlement of claims that arose by residents of an apartment complex situated in an old building.
  • Mediated settlement of claims of minors who resided in an apartment complex who suffered health and emotional issues due to cockroach, bed bug and rodent infestations, inadequate plumbing, leaks, electrical problems, filthy common areas, and inadequate waste management and security.
  • Multi-unit, multi-plaintiff habitability case with multiple insurers on the risk. Significant coverage and Cumis issues. Negotiated tenant move-out conditions, Medicare affidavit language, and tenant reference language.

Tort

Catastrophic Injury

  • Mediated settlement of claims against private and government entities that arose when a private bus transporting children crashed causing many catastrophic injuries.
  • Mediated settlement of claims against pool owner, pool maintenance company, and product manufacturer when plaintiffs received chemical burns from spa water when an automatic chlorinator failed and too much chlorine was in the spa.
  • Multi party shooting at bar with negligent security allegations.
  • Catastrophic injury case where an 89 year old woman is run over by a trash truck. Severe crush injuries to her arm and leg. Central issues of quality of life, life expectancy, future medical care (home health care vs. LVN care) and valuation of having to move from self-sufficient living to assisted living/medically monitored living facility.

General Negligence

  • Woman with physical disabilities as a result of polio suffered injuries on a public bus. Issues related to the exacerbation of her significant disabilities and lack of adequate safety precautions for wheelchair bound passengers.
  • Personal injury case against a governmental entity. A man is struck by garbage truck, suffered traumatic brain injury, two level cervical disc replacement and Post traumatic stress disorder.
  • Personal injury claim by a bicyclist against City and utility companies for injuries sustained due to defect in roadway resulting from presence of underground vault, utility trenching and lack of inspection.

Personal Injury

  • Mediated settlement of claims that arose when Defendant was making a left turn his vehicle collided with Plaintiff's vehicle, causing injury to Plaintiff.
  • Mediated settlement of claims that arose when a security guard started hitting Plaintiff and caused injury while at a night club.
  • Mediated settlement of claims that arose when a woman suffered burns that necessitated hospitalization and surgery when was given a treatment that was contraindicated for her obvious medical condition.
  • Mediated settlement of claims that arose when a woman tripped and fell over a construction line when walking on a public walkway
  • Mediated settlement of claims that arose when dogs repeatedly attacked a neighbor's smaller dog, until a final incident where they killed the neighbor's dog and caused injuries to the neighbor's face and hands.
  • Dog bite case with facial nerve damage and scarring, and significant Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and future loss of earning capacity claims.
  • Product liability case involving a young girl who suffered third degree burns to 50% of her body after a tea pot placed on a lazy susan in a restaurant turned over and burned her. Product claims against the manufacturer of the tea pot, and others in the stream of commerce. Seven figure settlements.
  • Product liability case resulting in catastrophic burns to a young child. Issues include product identification, actual defect (case of first impression) and damages including significant future medical treatment, and psychological treatment.

PI Assault and Battery

  • Mediated settlement of claims that arose when a security guard attacked a young man wearing a hoodie at a church event.
  • Mediated settlement of claims that arose when a restaurant patron was assaulted on his way to the restroom.

PI Auto

  • Complicated personal injury action for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, with numerous cross-complaints for contractual indemnity. Further, insurer filed action for declaratory relief based on claim of no coverage under the commercial property policy. Personal contribution from insured required for settlement and full resolution of potential bad faith claims.
  • Personal injury/product defect case involving an Inferior Vena Cava filter (manufactured by Bard - a Bard Meridian model filter - designed for temporary placement) properly placed but never removed, resulting in significant health risks to Plaintiff going forward.
  • Personal injury case involving Deputy Sheriff and whether he was in scope of employment at the time of the accident. Matter is currently on appeal. Cross-complaints for defense and indemnity (coverage issues) and property damage issues involving binding arbitration.
  • A straw man vehicle purchase and sale of luxury vehicle, subsequently stolen and sold through grey market to China, with complicated insurance coverage issues.
  • Case involved trauma to Plaintiff with Multiple Sclerosis and dealt with the neurological and psychological damages arising therefrom - and the potential advancement of the disease due to trauma. Further, complicating factor was Plaintiff developed a DVT and had to take Warfarin for 6 months.

Premises Liability

  • Personal injury case involving a tree falling on a family. Issues include causation of tree failure involving in-depth arborist evaluations, private vs. public land ownership disputes and brain injury issues.
  • Tree falls at amusement park and causes head and orthopedic injuries to Plaintiff. Defendant amusement park and landscape contractor vigorously asserting cross-complaints for contractual indemnity and contribution, as well as insurance additional insured issues. Traumatic brain injury, tree maintenance and arborist issues and psychological issues.

Wrongful Death

  • Mediated settlement of wrongful death claims that arose after a roofer fell off a ladder, sustaining fatal injuries.
  • Mediated settlement of wrongful death claims that arose when an employee was knocked down, run over and killed by a skip loader at work.
  • Mediated settlement of claims that arose when an 18 wheel truck lost control, crashed into a car, and then into a coffee shop, causing multiple injuries and fatalities on a road, allegedly, that was not safe for big rigs.
  • Wrongful death case involving freeway planning, design and construction issues and standards.
  • Wrongful death of motorcyclist claim against food delivery service, including issues of insurance coverage, insurance bad faith, employment status, independent contractor status, vicarious liability, special employee status and additional insured coverage matters.

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

Sacramento

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

Sacramento Mediation