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Litigation & Arbitration

Nov. 8, 2017

Hon. Gail A. Andler (Ret.)



Business/Commercial, Class Action/Mass Tort, Construction Defect, Employment, Environmental, Family Law, Health Care, Insurance, Personal Injury, Pharmaceuticals/Mass Tort, Professional Liability, Real Property

Hon. Gail A. Andler (Ret.) is a full-time JAMS neutral after more than 22 years on the Orange County Superior Court, where she served from 2007 until 2017 on the Complex Civil Litigation Panel. Her time with the court also included serving two terms as the Presiding Judge of the Superior Court's Appellate Division.

Smart, diligent, and firm but fair, Judge Andler received numerous awards from ABOTA and trial lawyer organizations. Her significant experience on the bench is both deep and wide, including managing, trying, and settling business, class action, employment, catastrophic injury, construction, health care, eminent domain, family law and real property cases. She managed large coordinated and consolidated product defect and injury cases in the pharmaceutical, medical device, and automotive industries. Her experience also includes consumer and employment class actions and PAGA cases. Before her appointment to the bench, Judge Andler represented individuals and corporations in business and real estate litigation and served as a prosecutor, where she gained substantial jury trial experience.

As a mediator, Judge Andler approaches each matter thoroughly prepared and is known to be evaluative, patient and persistent, as well as skilled at establishing a rapport with the clients. Judge Andler draws on her experience as a judge and trial attorney when serving as a neutral evaluator in mock trials, and she uses her complex civil litigation experience to approach her arbitrations in an organized and managerial manner. Her approach is flexible and she often finds creative solutions to difficult problems.

Counsel has stated of her, "Judge Andler was thoughtful, thorough and tenacious. She continued to push the parties on all fronts in order to obtain a resolution." "Judge Andler was terrific. She was thoroughly prepared and her experience with complex class action settlements was of great assistance."

Q&A with Hon. Gail Andler (Ret.)

Q: When do you begin the process of a successful mediation in a complex matter? Do you contact the parties in advance after receipt of the mediation briefs to gather intelligence, collect thoughts, answer questions, etc.?
-- David Willingham, Boies Schiller Flexner LLP

A: I schedule pre-mediation conference calls to ask questions and get an idea of party and counsel dynamics. Ideally this takes place after the briefs have been submitted, but I find it helpful even if the briefs have not yet been filed.

Q: Do you come to the arbitration prepared to split the baby or fairly call balls and strikes?
-- Patricia Glaser, Glaser Weil Fink Howard Avchen & Shapiro LLP

A: Arbitration is an adjudicatory process. I come with an open mind prepared to receive and weigh evidence, hear arguments, and rule fairly.

Q: Will you (the proposed mediator) handle what some of us refer to as "evaluative mediations" instead of just knocking heads?
-- Patricia Glaser, Glaser Weil Fink Howard Avchen & Shapiro LLP

A: Yes, especially where counsel ask for an evaluation. In any mediation there are a variety of approaches which I use, along the spectrum from a facilitated discussion to a more directive, or evaluative approach. I try to determine the most appropriate approach based on the pre-mediation calls, briefs, and initial discussions at mediation, considering what I believe to be the expectations of counsel and the needs of the case. I maintain flexibility, as a mediation which begins as facilitative may need to switch to evaluative to make progress.


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