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Phillip Neiman

Phillip Neiman, Esq.

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Case Manager
Cindy Cravalho
T: 925-975-5738
F: 925-938-6732
1255 Treat Blvd. , Suite 700 , Walnut Creek , CA 94597

Phillip Neiman, Esq. has been settling high-stakes disputes as a full-time neutral for 15 years. He devotes much of his practice to securities, financial and commercial cases, with additional expertise in employment, real property, trust/estate, insurance and professional liability matters. Mr. Neiman also has extensive experience resolving disputes involving privacy torts and significant personal injuries.

As a former investment banker, Mr. Neiman brings a unique skill set to his ADR practice. He spent more than a decade raising capital for growth companies in the technology space, serving as lead facilitator in privately negotiated transactions between public issuers and institutional investors, including hedge funds, foreign banks and asset managers. He draws on this background as a dealmaker throughout the mediation process.  

Before establishing his ADR practice, Mr. Neiman served as CEO and General Counsel of a FINRA- registered broker-dealer. He was tasked with reconciling the competing interests of public company shareholders, senior management and directors, institutional investors, traders, compliance officers and regulators. This proved to be the ideal training ground for a mediator, demonstrating the importance of taking all perspectives into account while locating common ground to close the deal. He appreciates the nuances involved in most lawsuits, from business realities to emotional issues, and uses that understanding as the basis to resolve conflicts and settle cases.

Mr. Neiman is known for his rigorous preparation, a routine that includes reviewing the material pleadings and ancillary documents, clarifying the legal analysis as needed and planning the mediation session with an eye to resolution.   

Mr. Neiman describes his approach as “facilitative until an evaluation is called for.” He is adept at guiding the parties and counsel through their negotiations, frequently using technology to help analyze proposals in light of potential outcomes at trial. 

Mr. Neiman’s success as a neutral is a testament to his tenacity and perseverance. He is routinely praised by counsel for earnestly engaging in the process, bringing a dose of calm to emotionally charged conversations and keeping the settlement discussions moving forward.

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • Full-time mediator since 2004
  • Early practitioner in the field of deal mediation: pre-dispute deal formation in M&A and venture financings  
  • Served as Court Mediation Program Director for The Congress of Neutrals under the California Dispute Resolution Programs Act; supervised team of mediators for the California Superior Court, Contra Costa County, in day-of-trial settlements; responsible for training and development of mediators, leading an annual 40-hour basic skills class, teaching advanced courses on mediation techniques and mentoring new mediators in a courthouse setting

Representative Matters

Financial/Securities

  • Dispute between mezzanine and early-stage venture funds related to anti-dilution provisions in share purchase agreement
  • Dispute between angel investor group and company founders related to technology ownership following departure of software development team   
  • Dispute between broker-dealer and hedge fund over features of custom (off-market) put option written by trader
  • Dispute between equity trader and broker-dealer (employer) over execution of series of block trades
  • Dispute between offshore-domiciled hedge fund and U.S. institutional investor over redemption rights   
  • Multiple disputes involving institutional investors and issuers over pricing and conversion features of privately placed securities
  • Post-acquisition dispute between acquiring company and target’s shareholders based on alleged misrepresentations in stock purchase and sale agreement 

Business/Commercial

  • Multiple disputes arising from stock and asset purchase and sale agreements
  • Co-ownership conflicts involving partners, joint venturers, LLC members and majority and minority shareholders involving a range of issues
  • Multi-party commercial disputes involving performance delays, defective products, chargebacks, marketing and payment issues and other contract claims

Employment

  • Multiple actions alleging discrimination and wrongful termination based on race, age, gender and disability (FEHA, ADEA, ADA, Title VII)
  • Multiple litigated and pre-litigation matters alleging sexual harassment by supervisors and co-workers
  • Single-plaintiff action alleging harassment based on gender identity and gender expression
  • Multiple constructive discharge cases based on race, sexual orientation and gender
  • Multiple cases alleging violations of California Labor Code wage and hour laws, including waiting time penalties, failure to pay overtime, meal breaks and rest breaks and minimum wage claims
  • Multiple actions alleging failure to make reasonable accommodations based on disabilities
  • Pre-litigation dispute alleging employer’s failure to protect employee from sexual harassment by vendor
  • Multiple pre-litigation workplace conflicts involving employees/supervisors and between co-workers
  • Multiple actions arising out of employment agreements involving benefits, severance and option grants

Trusts/Estates/Elder Abuse

  • Eight-month pre-litigation dispute among adult children of conservatee over future inheritance rights and concurrent mediation of related litigated action pending out of county involving equitable adoption claims
  • Dispute involving competing petitions filed by adult daughter and current spouse of proposed conservatee, both seeking appointment as conservator of estate and person in the aftermath of Santa Rosa Tubbs Fire
  • Dispute over title to real property brought pursuant to California Probate Code §850 (Heggstad Petition) between decedent’s adult children and decedent’s spouse following a family tragedy
  • Financial elder abuse claims brought on behalf of a father against his adult son and trustee pursuant to (Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act), including allegations of false imprisonment and breach of fiduciary duty
  • Dispute brought by decedent’s adult sons alleging financial elder abuse and undue influence against their stepmother, who was sole of beneficiary under decedent’s trust, including claims of breach of an oral contract to make a will 
  • Dispute between intestate decedent’s heirs and decedent’s former spouse involving title to landmark commercial building in California
  • Action against trustee for breach of fiduciary duty, failure to file accountings and malfeasance claims brought by trust beneficiaries in estate comprised of commercial and multi-family real property in multiple states

Real Property

  • Various actions brought by buyers against sellers and buyers against brokers and agents, alleging failure to disclose, permitting issues, code non-compliance and use of unlicensed contractors, among other claims
  • Multiple quiet title and partition actions involving co-owners, including family members and business partners
  • Various commercial construction defect actions brought against general contractors and layers of subcontractors
  • Multiple non-defect claims involving developers, general contractors and subcontractors, including delay, payment and lien issues
  • Easement and boundary dispute cases, many involving trespass and private nuisance claims
  • Disputes involving a spectrum of issues related to common-interest developments under Davis–Stirling, from pre-litigation matters under IDR processes to litigated construction defect actions
  • Full range of disputes involving landlord and tenants, including unlawful and forcible detainers, violations of local just cause for eviction and rent control ordinances, habitability issues and retaliatory eviction claims, among others

Intellectual Property

  • Various trade secret misappropriation suits brought by owners and, separately, licensees under CUTSA; cases involved customer lists, source code and manufacturing processes, among others. 
  • Dispute arising out of cross-border, cross-licensing agreement involving multiple patents
  • Dispute involving an option agreement to license a patent portfolio  
  • Multiple cases involving royalty disputes arising from patent and product licensing agreements

Personal Injury/Business and Non-Business Tort

  • Cases involving severe personal injury and death arising from defective products, alleged physician error and negligent hiring, among other claims
  • Multiple cases involving privacy torts (public disclosure of private facts, etc.)
  • Multiple professional liability actions brought by clients against attorneys and accountants
  • Conversion action brought by retailer against former employee engaged in forgery

Insurance

  • Dispute over coverage issues in range of cases
  • Claims of bad faith refusal to accept reasonable settlement demand
  • Disputes over refusal to appoint Cumis counsel

Selected Lectures

  • Lead Trainer, ADR: Mediation, Arbitration and Negotiation, The Congress of Neutrals
  • Presenter, Mediating in the Courthouse Workshop, CB Advanced Mediation Series
  • Presenter, Mediator Impartiality Workshop, SEEDS Advanced Mediation Training Program
  • Presenter, Co-Mediation Skills, ADRNC Annual Conference

Selected Professional Activities and Awards (Present)

  • Mediation Supervisor and Trainer, The Congress of Neutrals
  • ADR Panelist, California Superior Court, Alameda, Contra Costa and Marin counties
  • Arbitration Panelist, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)

Selected Professional Activities and Awards (Past)

  • Mediation Panelist, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of California
  • Mediation Panelist, Collaborative Conference Program, SFUSD
  • Court Appointed Special Advocate, Marin County
  • Panel Mediator, Office of Citizen Complaints, San Francisco
  • Member, Board of Directors, Association of Dispute Resolution of Northern California
  • Mediator of the Year, Congress of Neutrals, 2013
  • Neiman Mediation, 2004–2018
  • Court Mediation Program Director, Contra Costa County, 2017–2018
  • CEO and General Counsel, Rochon Capital Group, Ltd., 1995–2004
  • J.D., The University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law, 1990
  • B.A., Economics, Swarthmore College (High Honors, Phi Beta Kappa), 1985

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