Mediator Bios

Hon. Donald
Armento, Ret.

Commissioner Armento has served the legal community as an attorney and judicial officer with passion and dignity for over 30 years.  After nearly ten years on the bench, he retired from San Diego Superior Court in January 2018 and is now available to serve as mediator, arbitrator and private judge. 


Doug Barker was a very active and highly successful civil litigator from 1980 to 2014, both as a shareholder at San Diego’s largest law firm, and, thereafter, as the managing partner of a full service civil litigation firm.  As a trial lawyer, he represented both plaintiffs and defendants in a wide variety of cases.


Mr. Boss is a mediator, arbitrator and litigator using his experience of more than thirty years as a practicing attorney and real estate broker.   Shaun also mediates and arbitrates business and construction disputes.  He is a member of the San Diego County Superior Court mediation and business arbitration panels.


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.


Prior to becoming a full time neutral in 2000, Mr. Chodzko spent 23 years as a civil litigator. His practice was devoted to representation of entities and individuals involved in, but not limited to insurance coverage, legal malpractice, serious personal injury, wrongful death, products liability, business, construction defect, design professional and environmental claims throughout his legal career.


Judith (Judy) Copeland practiced law exclusively in the areas of probate, estate planning, trusts, conservatorships, guardianships, and elder law for 39 years.   She authored two chapters of CEB’s California Will Drafting and has lectured extensively for a variety of legal organizations including CEB, the Rutter Group, the California Judges Association, several local Bar Association and the California State Bar.


Bob Copeland is special counsel in the Corporate Practice Group in the Del Mar office of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter, & Hampton, LLP. For over 45 years, Bob has practiced in the area of corporate and business law with an emphasis on corporate governance, relationships among the owners of businesses and their business relations, real estate, and mergers and acquisitions. He has led numerous corporate finance, recapitalization, and IPO transactions.


Merrianne believes parties who need a little help to resolve a dispute are well served by the mediation process. This is particularly true when a party has a real need to be heard, to “have their day in court,” or simply to have the benefit of input from a neutral with experience in their type of case. Mediation with a trained mediator provides a forum where core motivations and desires can be identified and creative solutions can be explored to ensure the clients have a satisfying resolution of their dispute.


John Edwards is a nationally recognized speaker and mediation trainer. After many years as an AV rated trial lawyer, John is now a full-time neutral mediating cases throughout Southern California. During John’s mediation training at Harvard Law School, he was introduced to interest-based negotiating as articulated in “Getting to Yes” by Roger Fisher and William Ury.  Subsequently, he trained under Bill Eddy of the High Conflict Institute and now frequently lectures at seminars and law schools on effective negotiation strategies with high conflict personalities.


Ms. Golub has been a licensed attorney since 1986.  She has substantial experience in litigating and trying cases in the areas of medical malpractice, employment, personal injury, elder abuse, and construction defect and homeowner association law.  She has also successfully mediated and arbitrated numerous insurance related disputes in the above areas. 


Before retiring in 2019, Richard practiced law for 43 years. For the last 37 years, Richard was a trial lawyer handling a wide variety of business and Probate Court cases. Richard was recently selected by Best Lawyers as the 2019 San Diego “Lawyer of the Year” for his work in Litigation - Trusts & Estates. He had previously been selected as the 2016 San Diego “Lawyer of the Year” also for his work in Litigation - Trusts & Estates. For the last 17 years of his legal career, Richard was a partner at Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP. He was the leader of Procopio’s Litigation Team for five years, from 2009 through 2013. He is a trial lawyer with extensive trial experience. His law practice emphasized complex high-stakes litigation involving trusts and estates and business and commercial litigation. Many Probate Court cases have a business and real estate component. Richard’s trial experience—including jury trials—proved quite valuable in handling such cases.


I am maintaining my practice, but I am extremely happy to join West Coast Resolution Group.  I love to be involved in mediation, and I think that I have an ability to work with people, to hear their stories and concerns, and to assist them in resolving their conflicts.  


Chris Hulburt brings 27 years of experience as a litigator and trial lawyer in all types of personal injury and wrongful death cases. He has handled complex and simple cases including car crashes, premises liability, medical malpractice and medical devices, nursing homes and elder abuse, products liability, government torts, dangerous roadways, construction accidents, electrocutions, dog bites, legal malpractice, sexual assault, physical abuse, and more.


Jeffrey Isaacs joined the San Diego law firm of Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch in 1968.  Jeff was made a partner of the firm in 1972 and continued at the firm for over 46 years until his retirement in January 2015. During his career at Procopio, Jeff was the leader of Procopio's insolvency team and specialized in bankruptcy law, creditor-debtor rights and commercial litigation. 


Ms. Kass-Moreno began practicing law in 1982. Her vast experience includes civil litigation, representing both plaintiffs and defendants in complex business, employment and real estate matters, as well as handling a variety of insurance matters and claims.


Rich Paul has been a fixture among California employment lawyers for over 35 years, as a practitioner and as a neutral, combining representation of flagship public and private institutions with service as a neutral educator, mediator, investigator and community member. 


Mr. Riley has more than 25 years of focused experience as a Certified Legal Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law. For more than 30 years, he maintained a successful practice limited to estate and tax planning; trust and probate administration; transfer and fiduciary income tax matters; and related litigation. 


Kristin Rizzo is a full-time neutral who believes that parties seeking to resolve a dispute through mediation deserve a partner in resolution - a mediator who is dedicated to her clients, has a command of the details of the case, the needs of the parties, and the underlying complexity of the law involved. Passionate about dispute resolution, Kristin uses her strong work ethic, empathy, and tenacity to help parties resolve their disputes in creative and meaningful ways. Kristin specializes in employment mediation, from internal workplace disputes and post-investigative matters, to pre-litigation and litigated employment matters, and is also skilled at mediating breach of contract, fair housing, and emotionally charged cases. Kristin has been recognized as a San Diego Super Lawyer in Employment Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution.


Mr. Solomon has extensive experience in various aspects of business and real estate transactions including loan workouts and restructurings.  He provides a wide range of advice and counseling to both individual and business clients and assists clients in strategic and tactical business planning. 


Since 2007, Gina Stein has practiced exclusively in the area of probate and trust litigation, including the representation of clients in will and trust contests, breach of fiduciary duty and surcharge litigation, contested conservatorships, financial elder abuse claims, and probate-related appeals.