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JAMS ADR Insights

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Mediation Neutral Spotlights & Profiles

A JAMS Q&A Session: Shining the Spotlight on Judge Regina S. Cahan (Ret.)

Learn about her mediation style, what she enjoys most about mediating, and how her experience at the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has helped her in ADR.

Tell us a bit about your legal career prior to joining JAMS.

After a year at a boutique plaintiffs’ civil rights firm, I moved to Seattle in 1989 to join the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office (KCPAO). For 10 years, I worked in the Criminal Division, focusing on sex crimes and homicides. For the next decade, I practiced civil law in the KCPAO, primarily in employment litigation, defending and advising county agencies, departments and management.

After over 20 years of litigation, I was elected to the King County Superior Court. I was honored to serve the people of King County as a judge for 14 years, presiding over all types of civil and criminal cases. 

I am now delighted to use my skills to help parties resolve their differences outside of court in my new role as a mediator at JAMS.

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How did you get interested in ADR?

In my civil litigation practice, I experienced firsthand that mediation can be a very powerful tool to resolve many lawsuits, even some of the most contentious. I observed skilled mediators who were able to foster agreement in cases that most believed would not settle. They inspired me to serve as a mediator.

How would you describe your mediation style?

I have a master’s in social work, so it is not surprising that I take an empathetic approach to mediation. To resolve a case, it is imperative to allow both sides to express themselves so that they feel they are being fully heard. I believe active listening is a key ingredient to a successful mediation.

I also approach mediation from a practical perspective and search for creative solutions. As appropriate, it is critical that a mediator challenge each side on their views of the case. Every case has its strengths and weaknesses. If a party cannot see both, it is up to the mediator to help them do so and to fully evaluate the risks of further litigation and see the benefits of a shared resolution. 

What do you enjoy the most about mediating?

The best part is helping people reach resolution. Mediation comes down to human dynamics. I find it energizing meeting everyone and getting “under the hood” of a case. I enjoy discussing the dynamics and strategies of a case. As a mediator, I experience all the fun of litigating without the headaches of discovery and stress of trial.

Which practice areas are you particularly interested in developing at JAMS?

A large portion of my work at JAMS has focused on employment law, a practice area that I thoroughly enjoy. I also have developed a niche handling civil sexual abuse cases. In my pre-law life, I counseled adult survivors of sexual abuse, and later, I presided over many of these cases. I truly enjoy mediating and am happy to handle all types of cases. Given the broad practice areas I covered while serving as a judge, I have mediated a wide variety of cases, including medical malpractice, civil rights, public accommodation, personal injury, commercial, real property and family law.

This page is for general information purposes. JAMS makes no representations or warranties regarding its accuracy or completeness. Interested persons should conduct their own research regarding information on this website before deciding to use JAMS, including investigation and research of JAMS neutrals. See More

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