Elizabeth A. Williams, Esq., has been resolving litigated disputes for more than 20 years and is highly regarded for her ability to focus on evaluation and settlement while simultaneously managing the difficult parties, emotions and dynamics that can complicate the settlement process. She develops a strong rapport with clients by listening well and building trust, which enables her to ultimately have the difficult discussions to help move toward closure.
Ms. Williams mediates a range of civil matters, including personal injury, premises liability and many employment matters involving discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful termination and wage and hour issues. She has mediated many real property, landlord/tenant, lease terminations and habitability cases, in addition to some easements and HOAs. Her fluency in Spanish has enabled her to conduct mediations with Spanish-speaking clients as well. Having worked and mediated in a high-tech corporation and in county government prior to establishing her private mediation practice in 2001, Ms. Williams possesses a breadth of mediation experience and the capacity to work with a wide variety of people, including self-represented parties, corporate executives, government representatives, attorneys and claims representatives.
Those who have mediated with Ms. Williams praise her for being well-prepared and able to sort through key issues, for listening closely and allowing clients to feel heard. They also note that she is capable of managing difficult parties and difficult expectations. She is considered tenacious in her efforts to settle cases at the first mediation session and in her follow-up after a mediation concludes. She is fair, personable, confident and respectful of the parties, attorneys, claims representatives and clients.
ADR Experience and Qualifications
- Over 20 years of experience as a mediator, successfully settling civil litigated cases of limited and unlimited jurisdiction, including personal injury, premises liability, medical malpractice, breach of contract, sexual harassment, wrongful termination and discrimination, with some conducted in Spanish.
- Mediated and arbitrated housing disputes involving lease terminations, service reduction and habitability complaints, as well as rent control ordinance violations through the City of San Jose Housing Program.
- Resolved e-commerce transactional disputes between national and international parties through an online mediation process.
- Managed high tech corporation Policy Team, resolved intra-departmental matters and customer disputes.
- County of Santa Clara, County Executive Office of Human Relations Program: Supervising Mediator, Small Claims Mediation Program Coordinator, Victims and Juvenile Offender Program Mediator, Foster Care Ombudsperson.
- Williams & Williams Mediation, 2001–2017
- Dissolution of CPA partnership: interpretation of partnership buyout obligations and alleged violations of partnership agreement, selective enforcement of partnership terms, identification of proper method of calculating buyout amount, negotiation of viable timeline for buyout and ongoing earnings.
- Fee disputes: client’s failure to pay fees to law firm, disputes between referring attorneys.
- Negligent misrepresentation claims against banks due to scam wire transfers made per attorney-foreign and out-of-state-client fee agreements, attorney trust accounts, state bar ethics rules and Uniform Commercial Code requirements compromised by scams.
- Employment matters involving California Labor Code violations, including failure to pay overtime and rest breaks and failure to provide accurate pay stubs, related attorney’s fees.
- Resolution of personnel file contents and classification of voluntary resignation versus termination, impact to unemployment benefits.
- Industrial accidents and personal injuries due to alleged negligent hiring and training, product defects of railroad equipment and forklifts, worksite maintenance, workers’ compensation, loss of earnings, Medicare and lien negotiations.
- Wrongful terminations due to alleged drug possession and violations of company controlled substance policies, as well as due to employee complaints of harassment, discrimination and improper employer compensation practices.
- Wide variety of physical injury and wrongful death claims due to automobile collisions involving trucks, motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians; accidents involving intersections, crosswalks, rights of way, excessive speed, alcohol use and substance abuse and failure to take prescription medications .
- Personal injury cases involving cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacral and structural pain; misalignment; broken bones; soft-tissue conditions: lordosis, spinal stenosis, sprain/strain, disc herniation, torn ligaments and tendons, shoulder impingements and labral tears; chronic pain management treatments, including cortisone injections, nerve ablation, acupuncture, physical therapy, chiropractic adjustments and surgical intervention; concussions and closed-head injuries; dental trauma; urinary incontinence and bowel leakage; waxing and laser injuries at salons; and burns and lacerations.
- Emotional distress, psychological claims and claims of damages/loss/injury secondary to personal injury, including depression, sleep disturbance, fatigue, loss of libido and decreased sexual performance; loss of consortium; Dylan v. Legg claims related to spouses, infants, children and pets in proximity to accidents; false imprisonment; and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
- Injury cases involving emergency medical personnel and first responders: “the golden hour,” delay of transport of injured parties in the presence of emergency responders, fireman’s rule and exception applied to multi-car accident involving police vehicle during pursuit of high-speed vehicles racing each other and negligence claim against good samaritan.
- Injuries due to trip and falls: raised sidewalks, bathtub step-down height variation at historic hotel, disabled parking space obstructed by property management vehicle and safe use of sidewalk encroached by vehicle parking.
- Premises liability claims involving homeowner’s associations: fires and insurance coverage; trip and fall injuries and maintenance of common areas; slip/trip and falls in retail stores, grocery stores and restaurants; sweep schedules; inspections; notice issues; dangerous conditions caused by on-site food courts; maintenance of flooring; transitions between carpets; temporary flooring materials; slick surfaces; ice/liquid hazards near bar areas; and maintenance of bathroom facilities.
- Injuries caused by animals: dog bites, horse-bucking incidents and knowledge of dangerous propensities.
- Conversion: commingled community property and allegedly embezzled work-related assets; rogue employee steals insurance payments made to employer/doctor for medical services provided to patients and employee quits and takes tools, equipment and customer property from small business employer.
- Landlord/tenant issues: habitability; personal injuries due to bedbug, roach and pest infestations; damage to personal property; lack of 60-day notice of eviction; Foreclosure Act of 2009; unlawful detainer; eviction; intentional infliction of emotional distress due to unlawful eviction; wrongful eviction.
- Residential property-related tort claims: easement disputes; common use of driveways; sewer lines; adverse possession claims; foreclosure and bankruptcy matters; damage to homes and properties caused by trees; good-neighbor fence disputes; fires in ovens and on stoves due to improper electrical wiring; maintenance and negligent usage claims; fiduciary duty related to title in a community property dispute; and alleged improper transfer of title to relatives by property owner convicted of felony sexual assault to protect real property asset from civil claim for damages by assault victim.
- Commercial property lease issues: unlawful detainer, foreclosure sale of commercial property, quiet title and violation of business and professions codes.