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!"
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.
Class Action Mobile Home Residency Law (MRL) case involving 175 unit seniors only complex. Residents significantly divided, and new owners and new management come into project, and unify the factions against the new rules and procedures. Through the course of several mediations, successfully mediated an informal discovery protocol that identified the lease and MRL violations; then negotiated the stipulation to class certification, injunctive relief, MRL compliance agreement, and attorney fees.
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.
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.
Successful resolution of a three-party business matter involving the creation, development, and manufacturing of of a dairy-based alcoholic beverage for mass
distribution. Claims included breach of warranty of fitness, merchantability and negligence. Heavy fact intensive case focused on the manufacturing and storage processes,
and the chemical reactions that contributed to the product failure and recall.
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.
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Mediated settlement of claims that arose when an employer fired a newly hired employee upon learning she had a disability.
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.
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.
First party insurance bad faith claim arising from a minor automobile accident superimposed on a very complicated medical history and by subsequent injuries, workers compensation claims, unrelated physical infirmities, and medical malpractice claims. Plaintiff's damages included significant financial losses alleged due to the multi-year delay in the investigation and evaluation of the complicated claims.
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.
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.
Product liability case involving the manufacture of a uninterruptible power switch, following a high voltage power to ground surge event. Multiple and competing fire investigation results, and electron microscopic analysis of failed and/or burned product parts.
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.
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.
Plaintiff contracted Legionnaire's disease following a visit to Defendant's health spa. Thereafter Plaintiff suffered a debilitating stroke as complication of the
alleged Legionnaire's disease. Complicated coverage issues involving the initial microbial exposure. Plaintiff's damages included significant medical bills, past and future loss
of earnings and a life care plan.
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.
Man struck in chest by accidental discharge of gun at shooting range by patron. Issues included liability waivers, firearm safety practices, shooting range rules and regulations, and personal responsibility of gun owner. Significant issues related to internal damage done by gunshot wounds.
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.
Catastrophic injury case involving injuries sustained by Plaintiff seated on a bench and a curb jumping vehicle in front of a large chain store. Significant evidentiary issues between the parties as to other similar incidents nationwide, versus limiting evidence to this single store. Plaintiff's injuries significantly advanced by potential medical malpractice, raising Henry v. Superior Court claims by Defendant. Multiple indemnity issues between the landowner, management company and chain store, raising coverage and breach of contract issues.
Successfully settled a catastrophic injury case involving the plaintiff and two governmental defendant entities. Issues included roadway design, duties and responsibilities of first responders, toxicology findings with evidentiary disputes and damages.
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.
Automobile vs. pedestrian case with significant injuries. Two potentially responsible drivers, with one driver very underinsured, thereby triggering the joint and several liability issues. Primary level of insurance refused to put up their layer, despite the excess insurers strong belief that there is excess exposure potential. The Defendant insureds were actively involved in the case - and at times at great odds with their own appointed counsel and insurers.
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.
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.
Bicycle versus automobile accident involving complex liability and accident investigation and reconstruction issues. Serious injuries including traumatic
brain injury (TBI) and multiple orthopedic injuries requiring surgeries.
Personal injury case involving significant third degree burns caused as a result of defects in a commercial hot water heater.
Wrongful death case truck versus auto with felony homicide conviction. Issues of employee vs independent contractor status, vicarious liability, availability of punitive damages against the driver, and the corporate trucking entity and the effect on the introduction of evidence at trial, insurability of punitive damages under a foreign policy, insurance coverage,insurability of attorney fees authorized by criminal statute, and drug use of decedent and effect on life expectancy.
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.
Plaintiff injured at a rural working Dude Ranch. Someone submitted an electronically signed waiver of all liability form on Plaintiff's behalf. Central issue of this case is the legal interpretation and enforceability and effect of the electronically signed waiver on the facts of this matter (working Ranch), and whether Plaintiff can reach the standard necessary to prove gross negligence to overcome the legal effect of the waiver.
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.
Catastrophic accident whereby three people were struck by a commercial vehicle while crossing the street mid-block. (Failure to yield to motorist Vehicle Code section 21954 (a).) Mother was killed and two children were injured. Case involved claims of wrongful death, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and direct personal injury claims. Parents of decedent also had claims for loss of support (Civil Code section 377.60.) Primary and excess layers of insurance involved. Heavily litigated liability issues.