Wawra Dispute Resolution

Steven Wawra

About Steve

His mediation and communication counseling skills have been developed over ten years of experience, which included conducting over 1000 mediations and settlement conferences, mediation training and seminars, and teaching alternative dispute resolution courses.  Some relevant experiences are as follows:

Experiences and Education Related to Mediations

- Real Estate

Steven A. WawraHe has mediated and arbitrated numerous real estate purchase and sale, leasing and brokerage disputes. His extensive knowledge of real estate is based on both business and legal experience related to the acquisition and leasing of various types of real estate buildings and projects. As general counsel and senior vice president of Mitsui Real Estate Sales, U.S.A., Co., Ltd., he worked closely with Japanese corporate officers in the acquisition, joint venture development, and leasing of office, R&D, industrial/commercial and multi-family projects. For eight years, he acted exclusively as a real estate broker for U.S. and foreign entities.

He also worked as an associate with the major international law firm of Graham & James (later combined with the international law firm of Squire, Sanders & Dempsey) on Japanese banking, trading and corporation matters.

Steve has had legal, business and mediation experience involving major Japanese corporations. His understanding of Japanese negotiation and cultural ways is based on many years of experience in working with Japanese corporations and individuals.

- Business, Contract, Commercial, Corporate, and  NASD/FINRA Securities 

Steve has also mediated and arbitrated numerous business and securities disputes. His experience in business matters is based, in addition to his eight years with Mitsui Real Estate and a significant period working as real estate broker, on five years as an associate general counsel of Vidal Sassoon, Inc., an international hair and skin care company, and as assistant general counsel, assistant to the president and corporate secretary of Shareholders Capital Corporation, a then prominent publicly-held company involved in the offering and management of mutual funds and real estate limited partnerships. He has also managed a representative law office for a New York law firm, and was executive director of a community mediation center. Also, as an arbitrator and mediator for the NASD/FINRA, he has arbitrated and mediated various securities brokerage/client and employment disputes.

- Employment

In employment matters, he has mediated numerous disputes for the U.S. Postal Service as a member of their Redress EEO Complaint panel, as well as employment cases from various other sources.

-Automobile personal injury, slip and fall, lemon law and many others.

Broad variety of cases in mandatory settlement conferences and mediation panels. Steve has conducted over 700 mandatory settlement conferences involving a broad variety of cases on a regular basis for over ten years through IVJC, for many years a non-profit affiliate of IVAMS, a major dispute resolution provider in the Inland Empire, which had a contract to provide such services for all superior courts in San Bernardino County.  He has also mediated a broad variety of cases as a panel member for Superior Court ADR programs for the counties of Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside and for the US District Court.- Mediation/Arbitration Training Seminars and Courses

Over many years, he has received mediation training in numerous courses from the Straus Institute at Pepperdine Law School and others. For information, please click on the ADR Training tab.

- Instructor in ADR

He has, for a number of years, acted as an instructor for the University of California, Irvine, Extension in their Certificate Program in Conflict Management and the Use of Alternative Dispute Resolution.

_ Mediation Approach

For an explanation of his mediation approach in conducting mediations, please click on the tab for mediation services.


Experiences and Education Related to Communication Coaching

The skills used to resolve conflicts in mediation over 10 years are used to overcome problems of communication breakdown, and loss of trust and respect between family members, and individuals in family businesses and organizations.

In numerous mediations conducted for the U.S. Postal Service,  a breakdown of communications, trust and respect led to grievances against management. To resolve the conflict an environment was created for an expression of issues, which although emotional, were done in a way that would give management an understanding of the impact on the employee. Discussions were conducted in a way to empower the employee to express his or her issues. Once given a full expression of issues, the employee was much better able to recognize the problems faced by management and to discuss ways to resolve the issues.  

Other experiences dealing with conflicts where there had been a breakdown of communication, trust and respect was among teachers on a high school grade level and another between a dean of a department in a university and an assistant. In each case, the effects on school and department were toxic and there had been a filing of a grievance.

He received extensive experience in communication issues when working as senior vice president and general counsel of Mitsui Real Estate Sales U.S. A. Skills were required to communicate with Japanese officials in the company with an understanding and sensitivity of Japanese culture, and in discussions and negotiations of business goals and transactions desired by the Japanese company with U.S. corporate officials.

Dealing with communication issues was also involved when he worked as corporate secretary with a then major  publicly-traded corporation in the mutual fund industry.  Board members were often required to discuss and make decisions on matters that were highly contested, especially in a time of financial stress. Writing the minutes of discussions and resolutions adopted required a communication that was acceptable and included the discussion from various points of view.

Steve has received numerous trainings in dealing with the resolution of communication issues, including the many trainings for conducting mediations noted above. He also participated in a ground-breaking training presented by the American Institute of Mediation relating to the application of mediation skills to facilitating the restoration of communication, where there has been a communication breakdown leading to internal disputes in families, family businesses and organizations. 

He also participated in an annual meeting program at the national university ombuds conference, where he presented a program on how the tools of a mediator can be used to build trust and rapport, and a meaningful communication of the issues, and lead to a discussion of options for a peaceful resolution.

- Process of Restoring Communication and Relationships

Please click on the communication coaching tab for a description of the process of restoring communication, where there has been a communication breakdown leading to disputes in families, family businesses and organizations.

421 Marigold Avenue
Corona del Mar, CA 92625
Phone: (949) 640-4500