Susan has been a full time mediator since 2010. She uses insight and intuition to bring a fresh and creative approach to reaching
settlement. Before becoming a mediator, Susan was a business litigator with an international law firm, practiced in house as
litigation counsel for a large national bank, and since 1985, has closely followed personal injury cases of all types. Susan has
a natural ability to read people and can skillfully uncover the real issues fueling the dispute and redirect the parties towards
She is bright, tenacious and hardworking, and has mastered the art of follow up to achieve resolution. One attorney commented that
her "expertise, intelligence, humor and commitment were the key to bringing both sides together in what seemed like an impossible
feat." Susan guides the negotiation with empathy and exhibits genuine care and concern for the embattled parties. When not mediating
privately, Susan assists the burdened Court system by settling cases of all types, and works with schools and parents to resolve
educational conflicts. She also enjoys teaching mediation at USF Law School.
Susan Feder uses a fresh approach to getting parties to settle. She handled a most difficult construction defect matter with a personal injury twist for us and it was her determination, fortitude and willingness to consider novel ideas that got the matter resolved. I would recommend her to anyone with difficult issues, difficult parties, or both. I will certainly recommend her to my professional friends in the bay area.
- Partner, Sacramento, California
“Susan did an excellent job navigating a complicated family dynamic to reach a settlement for my client. She was persistent and impressive in her follow up efforts with both sides. I look forward to mediating with her again soon!”
- Attorney on a premises liability case
Susan was absolutely fantastic! After dealing with a very difficult opposing counsel during the first round of mediation, Susan did not give up. She was
tireless in her follow up and worked extremely hard to digest each nuance of this case that would prove dispositive in case valuation. She stayed with it
in a way other mediators would grow weary. We look forward to using her again.
- Attorney on a Premises Liability Dispute
I appreciated that after our initial mediation found the parties entrenched in our respective positions, Susan continued to work with the parties while
discovery progressed. She was invested in the process, knew the issues and was committed to achieving a fair result. Susan reached out to the parties at regular intervals despite
being told over and over that the case was not going to resolve. Susan ultimately proved us wrong by settling the case via phone two weeks before trial. It was a great result and
I would absolutely use her services again.
- Attorney from a Commercial Dispute
Her expertise, intelligence, humor and commitment were the key to bringing both sides together in what seemed like an impossible feat…she was terrific and her tenacious efforts were most admirable…She is our number one 'go to' mediator.
- Attorney, Los Angeles
“Thanks for doing a great job, with a really fine result for our clients. You have a real talent for listening, and great emotional intelligence. I recommend my team of lawyers use you for future cases.”
- Attorney on a landlord-tenant dispute
She has continued to work with counsel for the parties to achieve a resolution since the mediation.
- Attorney on a medical malpractice dispute
Ms. Feder is an extremely effective mediator who obtains highly satisfactory outcomes for embattled litigants. She has superb people skills and works hard to help the parties achieve a settlement. Her optimism helps the parties enjoy the process and feel good about their resolution.
- Attorney, San Francisco
Full-Time Mediator, Judicate West (Present)
Full-Time Mediator, Mediation Office of Susan G. Feder (2010-Present)
Settlement Conference Officer, San Francisco Superior Court (2012-Present)
Settlement Panelist; Marin County Superior Court (2010 to Present)
Banking Litigation Attorney; Bank of America Legal Department, San Francisco (1981-1986)
Commercial Litigation Attorney, Paul Hastings; Los Angeles (1979-1981)
Education & Professional Affiliations
J.D., Hastings College of Law (1979)
B.A., University of California, Los Angeles (1976)
University of Paris; Sorbonne' (1975-1976)
Member, American Bar Association (2012-Present)
Member, Bar Association of San Francisco (2012-Present)
Board of Director’s Secretary, Marin County Bar Association (2018)
Chair of ADR Section, Marin County Bar Association (2017)
Board of Directors Member, The Mediation Society (2018)
Member, California Women Lawyers (2012 - Present)
Member, Marin Women Lawyers (2012 - Present)
Member, Richard M. Sangster Inn of Court (2014 - Present)
Member, Youth in Arts, Marin; Board of Directors (2005 - Present)
Marin County Bar Association (MCBA); Secretary, Board of Directors (2018)
Board Member, The Mediation Society (2018)
ADR Section of MCBA; President (2017-2018)
Achievements & Awards
Association of Defense Counsel of No. Calif. and Nevada; presented on Expert Witness Testimony in Deposition and Trial.
Marin County Bar Assn: Presentation, Nov. 2017: “Getting the Most From Your Mediation; Tips from the Experts”
CAOC Annual Meeting: "The View from the Middle; A Mediator's Perspective"
CAOC Winter Seminar: "What Every Trial Lawyer Can Learn from a Mediator"
Guest Lecturer in Mediation; USF Law School (2013-Present)
Settled breach of commercial lease action involving restaurant owner and owner of hotel property. Long term business relationship between the parties was maintained as a result of the settlement.
Settled breach of warranty action by contractor against commercial seller of decking material. Settlement allowed contractor to replace customer’s deck and maintain his favorable relationship with clients.
Settled commercial lending dispute between borrower and major lender on a sold out equity line of credit after a trustee’s sale by lienholder. Addressed issues of nature of loan, and consequences of foreclosure action.
Settled nursing home penalty dispute between government agency and owner of facility. Penalty level was reduced, allowing family-run facility to maintain its business. Addressed issues of patient neglect and code requirements for nursing home facilities.
Handled a complex CD matter involving multiple defendants litigating over a remodel project on a residence. The claims involved alleged defects with the driveway, doorways, windows and iron work. The plaintiff also had a PI claim associated with the case when she fell on water which had leaked from the defective doorway. This case resolved in mediation.
Complex commercial case involving development of two different multi-unit real estate projects. Case included several cross actions in which allegations of breaches of fiduciary duty, fraud, mismanagement and breach of contract are alleged against numerous parties. Parties were emotionally and financially invested in polar opposite positions.
Breach of Contract
Mediated breach of contract case in which employment agency claimed damages against hospital for termination of agency relationship without due cause. The disputed claim centered on question of hospital’s ability to cancel contract at will. Case settled on day of trial.
Settled an emotional workplace termination action in which employee alleged loss of job due to prior reporting of alleged sexual harassment by employer. Dealt with emotionally-charged litigant in helping to resolve dispute.
Family Law Issues
Settled highly contentious case between ex-spouses for damages bases on allegations of battery and abuse. The parties were embroiled in conflict, with feelings of anger, mistrust and fear affecting the negotiations. By incorporating excellent listening skills, empathy and nuanced negotiation strategies, I was able to arrive at a negotiated settlement of this sensitive civil dispute.
Subrogation claim by insurer for damage to real and personal property of the insured from an alleged defective washer in upstairs unit. Issues mediated included reasonable cost to repair, measure of damages and product defect.
Settled medical malpractice claim of mother and young child against well known hospital for injuries arising from incorrect pharmaceutical prescription. Damage allegations included both physical injury and emotional distress claims.
Medical malpractice case involving ankle surgery following complicated fracture. Plaintiff alleged that surgeon improperly repaired tri-malleolar fracture and subsequently failed to properly read post-operative x-ray. Plaintiff required second surgery and claimed general damages and lost earning capacity.
Settled a medical malpractice/wrongful death case brought by parents against the doctor for alleged negligence in over prescribing opiates to their 28-year old son, who died of an apparent overdose. Parents claimed that son’s doctor breached standard of care in failing to appropriately monitor the controlled substances he was prescribing. Plaintiff also argued that physician should be held liable for treble damages under statute directed at drug dealer liability.
Settled a medical malpractice case against a surgeon and physician’s assistant after complications following surgery to repair ankle fracture. Plaintiff claimed doctor’s conduct fell below standard of care in performing surgery and in conducting follow up care, resulting in need for second surgery and a longer recovery time.
Settled landlord/tenant dispute in which tenant sued for breach of warranty of habitability and retaliatory eviction. Plaintiff’s damage claim included a computation of loss of income for day care business on property, as well as statutory penalties for retaliatory eviction. Plaintiff also claimed emotional distress and harassment by landlord.
Settled heated dispute between homeowner and Homeowners' Association in Kentfield involving issues of alleged violations of CC & Rs.
Settled highly emotional neighbor dispute involving fence and property line issues, responsibilities for repair and encroachment, between owners in San Francisco. Settlement allowed neighbors to repair their relationship as well as their fence
Landslide dispute between upper and lower slope property owners when property was damaged after heavy rains caused upper slope to slide onto lower property.
Settled family property dispute involving issues of ownership of real and personal property, tenant’s rights and obligations, lending and foreclosure. The emotionally charged and delicate family situation required sensitivity and careful handling by the mediator.
Emotionally charged family dispute between mother and son regarding division of real property asset. Parties were able to agree on a framework for resolution that helped repair relationship as well as resolve property dispute.
Action by seller against realtor for breach of fiduciary duty in dual party representation of both seller and buyer. Seller claimed agent concealed material facts in brokering sale, and sought disgorgement of substantial commissions paid to seller in transaction.
Neighbor dispute involving failure to restrain dog and subsequent attack and bite. Strained and difficult relationship between the neighbors fueled the dispute and presented a challenging situation for the mediator. A history of police involvement and other complaints created further animosity between the parties.
Settled a product defect case alleging disfigurement when plaintiff’s finger was injured by defendant’s defective chair. Plaintiff alleged that embarrassment about her appearance caused her to abandon a desired career choice.
Settled a workplace accident case in which window washer sustained serious injuries after a fall. Plaintiff alleged employer’s failure to observe required safety regulations. Addressed issues of independent contractor relationship and licensure requirements.
Settled a bicyclist accident case in which cyclist was hit by an elderly motorist. Plaintiff claimed significant damages for alternative therapies used to treat cyclist’s injuries.
Settled a motorcycle accident case in which motorcyclist was hit by motorist while lane splitting on Golden Gate Bridge. Issues of comparative fault and extent of injury were raised by motorist and resolved.
Slip and fall in grocery store in which plaintiff alleged that fruit debris was responsible for elderly customer's fall. Plaintiff alleged that their advertised store layout required a higher level of cleaning and diligence to prevent falls.
Auto accident in which injuries were difficult to quantify due to plaintiff's unique susceptibilities.
Settled UIM claim against plaintiff's insurance carrier for injuries sustained in high-speed freeway rear end accident case.
High speed highway collision occurred when plaintiff's car crashed into defendant's disabled car which was partially blocking plaintiff's lane of
travel. Defendant had tried to avoid an earlier collision, and in executing an evasive maneuver, had ended up in the center divider at midnight. Primary issue
under discussion was extent of liability of each party, and how to apportion comparative fault. Important facts included range of visibility; highway conditions and visual perception.
Settled a motorcycle vs. auto case in which plaintiff claimed that injuries to his hand effectively ended his career as a musician. Damage computation was hotly contested as speculative, and plaintiff claimed to have suffered severe emotional trauma.
Settled auto accident case in which plaintiff collided with defendant’s disabled vehicle that was stopped in center divider of highway. Disputed liability focused on whether plaintiff should have seen stalled car and avoided impact.
Plaintiff was a semi-professional golfer and instructor who claimed that her shoulder injury and resulting surgery drastically affected her ability to pursue her chosen career. Negotiations included discussion of how to evaluate the loss of a prospective business opportunity, and how to compensate plaintiff for the loss of her dreams.
Premises liability case involving unsafe access to public beach area by bar/restaurant where patron sustained knee injury on broken glass.
Premises liability case by elderly resident of assisted living facility for injuries sustained when sliding door closed on her walker, causing her
to fall and suffer arm fractures. Issues addressed included how to evaluate a claim of change in quality of life for the elderly, accompanied by loss of sense of
A 69-year-old teacher tripped and fell on a crack in the pavement adjacent to a curb jointly owned and maintained by the City and a private party. Plaintiff
suffered a broken nose with residual scarring. Issues addressed included notice, failure to remedy a defective condition, comparative fault, and nature and extent of damages. Case settled in post mediation follow-up.
Settled a premises liability case brought by 97-year old resident of assisted living facility for injuries claimed when automatic door malfunctioned and closed on her, causing her to fall. Plaintiff claimed that her injuries caused a dramatic decline in her quality of life. Analysis involved evaluation of life care plan for a person of advanced age.
Settled a premises liability case for trip and fall on crack in sidewalk owned by the city and maintained by a local business. Plaintiff claimed that injuries to her face and eye resulted in permanent disfigurement requiring plastic surgery.
Medical Malpractice case filed by parents of a 30-year-old son for his wrongful death from overdose of prescription drugs. Parents filed suit against primary
care physician alleging negligence for inappropriately over prescribing addictive narcotics and painkillers. Plaintiffs also pursued novel claim for violation
of the Drug Dealer Liability Act by physician.