ADR stands for Alternative Dispute Resolution.  Few civil cases filed in California will proceed all the way to trial.  In recent years, ADR has become an increasingly important and favored way to resolve civil disputes.  Although there are many different variations of ADR, the most common are mediation and arbitration.  Mediation involves a third party “mediator” who will attempt to guide the parties to a mutually satisfactory settlement.  Mediation is usually voluntary and “non-binding.”

The mediator uses persuasion and logic to achieve settlement.  The mediator does not have the power to rule on issues or to force the parties to settle if they do not wish to do so.  Arbitration, on the other hand, generally is binding and the arbitrator operates as a quasi-judicial officer.  However, arbitration is often conducted in an informal setting with relaxed rules of evidence and procedure.

Our partner Paul Fine serves as a mediator and arbitrator in commercial and construction disputes. He has been on the American Arbitration Association panel of neutrals since 1977. Paul’s experience in handling construction cases enables him to quickly and comprehensively grasp complex architectural, engineering and construction issues.

Given the prominence of ADR in today’s civil litigation arena, it is imperative to utilize counsel who can help you select the best mediator or arbitrator for your case and who understands the nuances of the ADR process.  At DFISL, we have vast experience in the ADR arena and we frequently utilize the services of all major California ADR providers.  We can help you with this very important piece of the civil litigation puzzle.

Practice Areas


A civil case is not always over after the judge makes a "final" ruling or a jury returns a verdict. Some cases proceed beyond the trial court to the court of appeal.


Disputes, claims and litigation can disrupt any kind or size of business. In today's environment, any business may have to deal with claims by employees, competitors or injured customers.

Class Action

Class action and representative lawsuits present challenges that require skilled counsel who can navigate through complex cases to a successful result.


There are few areas of daily life untouched by insurance. From home ownership to healthcare, from construction to commercial property, there are insurance policies in place to mitigate risk and permit business activity to thrive.

Real Estate

No real property transaction or dispute is too small or too large for our experienced attorneys to handle. Our partners have worked in-house and alongside real property professionals

Trial Law

A lawsuit can be intimidating, frustrating and expensive. Whether you are protecting your company or your rights, you need a law firm that you can be confident knows how to handle your case.


1801 Century Park East, 9th Floor

Los Angeles, CA 90067

16030 Ventura Blvd, Suite 490

Encino, CA 91436

© 2022 Daniels, Fine, Israel, Schonbuch & Lebovits, LLP.

All rights reserved.