Printer Friendly Version

John Edwards is a nationally recognized speaker and mediation trainer.  After many years as a trial lawyer, John is now a full time neutral mediating cases throughout Southern California.  In conjunction with his mediation practice, John frequently lectures at seminars and law schools, training both lawyers and other mediators in effective negotiation strategies to be used in mediations.  He is an adjunct faculty member at Pepperdine Strauss Institute of Dispute Resolution and at the High Conflict Institute, through which he teaches seminars on working with high conflict personalities.


John is often engaged to mediate the most challenging matters in which the legal issues are not driving the dispute, but the personalities are the issue.  Lawyers are often frustrated because their usually persuasive legal skills are often ineffective with high conflict people.  John has had years of training and experience, and has become known for achieving results when legal analysis and vigorous advocacy have failed to achieve settlement.

In cases in which legal and factual issues are complicated, John’s trial and mediation experience provides a foundation to assist the parties in evaluating the relative strength and weakness of both sides of the case.  John’s polite persistence and commitment to follow through when cases don’t quickly settle often leads to settlement when hope had been lost.  His ultimate goal is a resolution that leads to client satisfaction with both the process and with their attorneys.


Superior Court Ordered Civil Mediations:

  • Civil Limited: $150 per hour for each of the first two hours and $450 per hour thereafter.
  • Civil Unlimited: $250 per hour for each of the first two hours and $450 per hour thereafter. 

HOA Mediations:

  • $800/3 hours + $450 per hour thereafter.
  • There is a $125 per party administrative fee. $800 flat rate for up to three hours. $450 per hour thereafter.
  • For all HOA mediations: please contact the WCRG Paralegal, Joshua Hernandez​:  or 619-238-2400 ext. 259

All Other: $450 per hour
$195 non-refundable administrative fee
For cases outside of San Diego, John is available to mediate throughout Southern California and does not charge for travel time.

Legal Career & Prior Experience: 

  • Trial lawyer 1977 -2014
  • Mediator, Real Estate Mediation Center (San Diego Association of Realtors) (2002-2004)
  • Mediator, National Conflict Resolution Center (2004-2010)
  • Mediator, West Coast Resolution Group (2010-present)

Education & Professional Affiliations: 

  • University of California, Hastings College of Advocacy
  • University of San Diego, Law School, J.D.
  • San Diego State University, B.A., Psychology
  • Harvard Law School Mediation Workshop, 2001
  • Civil Mediation Training, Academy of Dispute Resolution, 1998
  • State Bar of California Mediation Skills Training, 1997

Professional Affiliations

  • State Bar of California
  • U.S. District Court: Southern District (1977), Central District (2001)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit (1980)
  • California Real Estate Broker (2004)
  • Association for Conflict Resolution, Practitioner
  • San Diego County Bar Association
  • Adjunct Faculty, Pepperdine University, Strauss Institute of Dispute Resolution
  • Faculty Member, High Conflict Institute

ADR Experience & Specialties: 

  • Probate and Trust
  • Real Estate (buyer and seller, dispute, easements, landlord tenant)
  • Business (contracts, partnership, corporate dissolution)
  • Personal Injury (Soft Tissue to Catastrophic Injury, and Wrongful Death)
  • Professional Liability (medical, legal, engineer, broker)
  • Employment Law (wage and hour, wrongful termination)
  • Homeowners Association

Achievements & Awards: 

  • Top Lawyers, San Diego Magazine (2013)
  • Martindale-Hubbell “AV” rated


"I’m an attorney and former partner at two large international law firms and have handled mediations as counsel for my own clients, but never until this month participated in a mediation in which I was one of the parties, quite a different perspective from what I’m used to.   Opposing counsel suggested we use John as our mediator, which made me suspicious, but John’s relaxed, informal and sincerely helpful manner immediately put me at my ease and made it possible to contemplate settling issues I couldn’t imagine might be settled short of litigation.  Based on his smooth, successful mediation of our knotty case, I’d give him my very highest recommendation.  I only wish I’d known about him for my clients while I was still actively practicing law.  He’s a born mediator."

"Thank you so much for mediating our case. You, yourself, and your techniques and abilities settled this case. I doubt any other mediator could have done so… What I watched you accomplish is something I have never seen, never had a mediation approached in this way, even from those who claim to work with personalities. With your talents and personality, I would be surprised if you ever have an open slot in your mediation schedule."

"That was an incredibly successful mediation! What happened yesterday is the classic example of the power of facilitative mediation. We came prepared to trust completely in John. John is the greatest. He has outstanding intuition and a wonderful way with people. He is perfectly suited to the mediation mode and I am in awe."
"Dave and I want to thank you for making a difficult situation so much easier for us. Your guidance helped to make me feel so much more comfortable and composed. We can see that you are truly a good person who is very good at what he does."

"This is a long overdue letter to thank you for your yeoman efforts in resolving this matter…. I feel confident that this particular mediation will occupy its own special place in your pantheon of war stories. I need to voice, however, my strong belief that without your participation, this case would likely be heading to trial. On behalf of my clients, let me thank you for your dedication to achieving a fair result, and your demeanor in handling at least one distraught party. While this is the first time that you and I have worked together, I sincerely hope that it will not be the last."

"I must announce BIG kudos to John Edwards. . . . John did a stellar job in settling a case I had no expectation would settle. . . . Notwithstanding my very low expectations, John got it settled. It was no small feat. . . . John exhibited the following mediator qualities: He gave it his fullest attention, he listened to my clients and really heard them. he was persuasive without being pushy, he was respectful and helpful. He got it settled! That was a settlement, I can honestly say, could not have been settled by any mediator of ordinary talent. John Edwards, good job!"

Hobbies & Interests: 

Surfing, biking, hiking and spending time with family

To schedule a mediation please contact Case Manager Kathy Purcell at
619-238-7282 or