Judge Brazil’s comprehensive qualifications to serve as an arbitrator are rooted in his 25 years of service as a Magistrate Judge in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California and his extensive experience evaluating and revising rules of procedure and evidence at the highest national levels.
As a magistrate judge in the Northern District, Judge Brazil presided over countless cases from inception through trial. In every case, he worked closely with counsel to tailor a case development plan that would position the parties, with maximum efficiency, either to negotiate settlement or proceed to trial. None of his trial dispositions was successfully appealed. During his years on the bench, Judge Brazil also published numerous ground-breaking opinions.
Perhaps the most unique source of Judge Brazil’s qualifications as an arbitrator is his extensive service on national and state-wide committees charged with responsibility to critically assess and improve rules of procedure, discovery, and evidence. He served on the Judicial Conference’s Civil Rules Committee, a body to which he was reappointed twice by the Chief Justice of the United States. He also served as the voting-liaison between the Civil Rules Committee and the Judicial Conference’s Committee on the Rules of Evidence.
Just as in all of this law reform work, one of Judge Brazil’s principal goals as an arbitrator is to help the parties strike a sensible balance between case value and litigation transaction costs. In particular, he tries to assure prompt access to evidence that matters while helping counsel avoid excursions into evidentiary cul-de-sacs.
Through his wide-ranging experience, Judge Brazil also has developed a sophisticated appreciation for how fragile the fact-finding process can be – and, therefore, how important it is for a trier of fact to examine all the relevant evidence with care and objective discipline before beginning to draw any inferences.
Representative Matters Arbitrated Through Hearing/Award
- Dispute between physicians formerly in same practice group; issues included rights under contracts with several hospitals, conversion, equitable distribution of income.
- Dispute between medical practice group and national provider of full package of support (facilities, equipment, staff, billing and collections); allegations included breaches of MSAs and shareholder agreements, unfair competition, abuse of trade secrets, and self-serving manipulation of accounting techniques.
- Dispute between shareholders and purchasers of significant interest in environmental services corporation.
- Sanctions against attorney for pressing vapid claims and defenses.
- Dispute over entitlement to commercial finder’s fee.
- Contract dispute arising out of agreement to provide expert analysis.
- Dispute between former employee and employer over compensation, benefits, timely payment of wages upon severance with company.
- Personal injury claim against entertainment company.
Other Representative Matters
- Numerous cases involving employment disputes – discrimination, wrongful termination, breach of contract, failure to pay overtime wages, failure to provide meal and rest breaks, failure to include all required information on periodic pay stubs.
- Unfair competition; breach of covenant not to compete; abuse of trade secrets; breach of contract in sale of business; fraud.
- Breach of contract for professional services; malpractice.
Books, Articles, and Chapters in Treatises
- Shaking Decision Trees for Risks and Rewards (with Majorie Aaron), 22 ABA Dispute Resolution Magazine 12, Fall 2015
- Early Neutral Evaluation: A Guide For Neutrals, Advocates, and ADR Program Designers, Dispute Resolution Section, ABA, 2012
- Effective Approaches to Settlement: A Handbook for Lawyers and Judges, published by Prentice Hall Law and Business, 1988
- Settling Civil Suits: Litigators' Views About Appropriate Roles and Effective Techniques for Federal Judges, ABA Press, 1985
- Managing Complex Litigation: A Practical Guide to the Use of Special Masters (with Geoffrey C. Hazard and Paul R. Rice), American Bar Foundation, 1983
- Thoughts About Impasse for Mediators in Court Programs, 15 Disp. Res. Mag. 11, Winter 2009
- ENE or Mediation? When Might ENE Deliver More Value? 14 Disp. Res. Mag. 10, Fall 2007
- Professionalism and Misguided Negotiating in The Negotiator’s Fieldbook; The Desk Reference for the Experienced Negotiator, ed. by Andrea Kupfer Schneider and Christopher Honeyman, ABA, 2006