Focus, passion, and tenacity are just a few of the qualities Dave Carothers brings to each mediation.  Carothers has been a trial attorney for 33 years in jurisdictions throughout California and brings the wisdom of this practice to his mediation of cases.  For the past 20 years, he has successfully litigated claims of wrongful termination, sexual harassment, breach of contract, ADA, wage and hour violations and discrimination and negotiated settlements on behalf of employers and employees in many of these cases thus avoiding the cost of trial. Carothers has represented clients as lead trial counsel in large complex actions involving representative actions, class actions, and coordinated actions involving hundreds of claimants.

Carothers first began mediating cases as a neutral in 2008 when Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed him as Commissioner to the California Fair Employment and Housing Commission.  Through this experience, along with participating in hundreds of mediations as trial counsel, Carothers came to appreciate the mediative approach, which he saw yield tremendously positive outcomes for participants.  Carothers observed that mediation allowed for deep listening, reflective evaluation (including an honest look at the strengths and weaknesses of each party’s case), and creative “outside of the box” remedies and solutions – experiences that litigation did not easily afford. To Carothers, mediation is not just an “alternative” method of dispute resolution – it is the most viable solution for resolving litigation matters. 

Carothers has also advised senior management teams on how to be proactive, execute preventive strategies in human resources, and achieve positive and productive work-place environments. His clients have included educational institutions, national retail chains, religious institutions, and hospitality, banking and technology companies.

Carothers is frequently invited to address various groups as a speaker on issues related to trials of employment matters, employment law, and diversity in the workplace.


$450 per hour 
$195 non-refundable per party administrative fee

Legal Career & Prior Experience: 

Early in his legal career, Carothers had the opportunity to be mentored by some of the best and brightest in the San Diego legal community.  During this period, he defended both plaintiffs and defendants and became known as a lawyer who was not afraid to try any case and, more often than not, persuaded the jury to find for his client.

Carothers was appointed Commissioner to the Fair Employment and Housing Commission by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in November 2008 and served through 2011.

Education & Professional Affiliations: 

  • University of Southern California Gould School of Law, J.D., 1985
  • National Labor Relations Board, Region 31, Law Clerk to the Director, 1983
  • California State University, Dominguez Hills, B.A., Public Administration, 1982
  • Served in the U.S. Navy, 1975-1981
    - Awarded the Navy/Marine Corp Expeditionary Medal for services related to Iran
  • Federation  of Defense and Corporate Counsel, 1999 – present
  • American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), 2005 - present
  • Commissioner, Fair Employment and Housing Commissioner, 2008-2011 (appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger)
  • San Diego County Bar Association, Diversity Fellowship Program Committee -- Member and Founding Participant

ADR Experience & Specialties: 

Carothers mediates all employment matters, including:

  • Wrongful Termination, Retaliation, Discrimination, and Workplace Tort Litigation
  • Unfair Competition and Trade Secrets
  • Wage and Hour Issues
  • Class Actions
  • Union-Management Disputes

Achievements & Awards: 

  • Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent Rated
  • Selected as one of San Diego's Top Attorneys in 2013 - 2016 by The Daily Transcript
  • Listed, Best Lawyers®, Litigation - Labor and Employment, San Diego, 2013 - 2017
  • Listed, Best Lawyers®, Class Action - Defense, San Diego, 2015 - 2017 
  • Listed, San Diego Super Lawyers, 2012 - 2017

Hobbies & Interests: 

  • Motorcyclist 
  • Avid follower of world events, history, and politics

To schedule a mediation please call Case Manager Kathy Purcell at
619-238-7282 or email Dave at dcarothers@westcoastresolution.com.