TMS Event Details

Event Title: Special Ethical Problems

Event Type: Society Session


Richard Collier’s office

Cooper, White & Cooper LLP
201 California Street, 17th Floor
San Francisco, CA 

(Pending MCLE)

Presenter: Howard Herman

Date: Monday, May 7, 2018

Time: Noon to 1:30pm

Please provide your own lunch.


Howard Herman, the Director of the US District Court (Northern California) mediation program will facilitate an informal discussion on special ethical problems which arise when mediators handle cases involving statutory fee-shifting provisions. In most of these cases, California law provides that any fees recovered belong to the attorney. Where the plaintiff’s attorney takes the position that settlement of the merits of the case must be (1) negotiated separately and (2) contingent on settlement of attorney’s fees, and the defendant insists on resolving the case globally, difficult problems can arise for the mediator.


Howard A. Herman has been with the Northern District since February 1997. Mr. Herman previously served as Director of ADR Programs for Contra Costa County Superior Court. He also spent four years as a settlement conference attorney for the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, ultimately serving as the co-director of that court’s settlement conference program. Mr. Herman has practiced as a civil litigator with the firms of Graham & James and Kindel & Anderson in San Francisco. He is a 1983 graduate of Hastings College of the Law and a 1979 graduate, with high honors, of the University of California at Berkeley. Mr. Herman currently teaches negotiation and mediation at Hastings College of the Law. He has experience as a mediator, mediation trainer, and early neutral evaluator.