Kristin Rizzo, Esq.

Kristin RizzoKristin Rizzo

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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 the needs and goals of the parties and has a command of the details of the case and the underlying laws 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 mediates a variety of civil claims, specializing in employment mediation, from internal workplace disputes and post-investigative matters to pre-litigated and litigated matters from single plaintiff to representative claims. She also mediates business, contract, housing discrimination, ADA access, personal injury, medical malpractice, and emotionally charged/high-impact matters. With her years of prior experience representing individuals, employees, and organizations in a wide range of civil and employment law matters, including giving high-level strategic advice and counsel and performing neutral workplace investigations, Kristin uses her varied background to lend a multi-faceted approach to every mediation. With her extensive leadership background in both the San Diego legal community and community at large, and twice recognized as a San Diego Super Lawyer in Alternative Dispute Resolution, Kristin recognizes that a calm, knowledgeable, and collaborative presence can assist the parties build consensus and feel confident that the correct resolution has been reached.

Every mediation with Kristin is set up for success as she offers a full complement of tailored services that start prior to the mediation and may continue post-mediation. Kristin becomes involved with your matter early, through a pre-mediation conference with each counsel (and decision-maker, if desired), seeking information about the goals for the mediation, any obstacles to resolution, and inviting input on factual and legal issues. Kristin continues her preparation by reviewing all materials submitted in advance and customizing a mediation plan. As most of Kristin’s matters resolve at mediation, Kristin is ready to assist the parties with settlement agreement execution at the mediation. And, because some matters just need a little bit more time, if the case does not resolve during the session, Kristin offers her continued assistance through post-mediation communications and/or a settlement proposal for effective resolution at the appropriate time. In addition to in-person mediation, Kristin conducts mediations using Zoom, telephone, and other virtual platforms as desired.


Private Cases

  • Full day: $5,000 – up to 8 hours of mediation session time on a single day
  • Three-quarter day: $4,000 – up to 6 hours of mediation session time on a single day
  • Half day: $3,000 – up to 4 hours of mediation session time on a single day
  • Class Action, PAGA, 3 or more party cases: $5,500 – up to 8 hours of session time on a single day
  • Additional time: $500 per hour, in 1/2 hour increments – Extended mediation session, continuing settlement discussion, and Mediator’s Proposal time
  • Administrative fee: $225 per party – Non-refundable per party fee will be added to all mediations

All mediations include a private pre-mediation consultation per party, preparation time and review of briefs, and Mediator’s post-session follow-up, if necessary, at Mediator’s discretion. For cases outside San Diego County a full day mediation is required.

Fees and costs for any mediation are the obligation of the parties and their attorneys, jointly and severally, unless otherwise agreed.


  • University of San Diego, School of Law, J.D.
  • University of California, San Diego, B.A. Political Science, B.A. Spanish Literature (Cum Laude)
  • Pepperdine University School of Law, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Mediating the Litigated Case and Advanced Mediation Training
  • National Conflict Resolution Center, Mediation Skills Training
  • City of San Diego Human Relations Commission, Commissioner
  • University of San Diego, School of Law, Board of Visitors Trustee, Past-Alumni Board Director and Executive Committee Member
  • San Diego County Bar Association, President (2018), Treasurer (2015), Labor & Employment Section Chair (2013), New Lawyer Division President (2010), Labor & Employment Law and ADR Section Member
  • Welsh Inn of Court Barrister, Past-Enright Inn of Court Barrister
  • Lawyers Club of San Diego, Mediator Taskforce Co-Chair


  • Employment and Workplace
    • Abusive Conduct, Bullying, Cyber-Bullying
    • Accommodation, Leaves of Absence
    • Breach of Contract, Severance
    • Discrimination: ADA, Disability, Age, Gender, Race, Religion, Sexual Orientation, Pregnancy, National Origin, Military
    • Harassment: Sexual Harassment, Hostile Work Environment
    • Internal Workplace Dispute
    • Pre-Litigation
    • Post-Investigative
    • Post-Verdict, Appellate
    • Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA)
    • Retaliation, Whistleblower
    • Wage and Hour
    • Wage and Hour Class Action
    • Workplace Safety, Coronavirus
    • Wrongful Termination
  • Real Estate
    • Neighbor Dispute
    • Statutory Housing: Harassment, Discrimination
  • Tort
    • Assault, Sexual Assault
    • Medical Malpractice
    • Personal Injury
  • Business and Contractual
    • ADA and Disability Access (Unruh)
    • Breach of Contract
    • Business Dispute
    • Business Dissolution


  • Super Lawyers, Alternative Dispute Resolution, San Diego, 2020, 2021, 2022
  • Super Lawyers, Employment Attorney, San Diego, 2019
  • San Diego Metro, 40 Under 40, 2018
  • San Diego County Bar Foundation, Service Award, 2018
  • Super Lawyers, Employment Attorney Rising Star, San Diego, 2015 – 2018
  • Daily Transcript, Top Employment Law Attorney, San Diego, 2013
  • Red Boudreau Trial Lawyers Judge David R. Thompson Recognition, 2012
  • University of San Diego, School of Law, Distinguished Recent Alumni, 2011
  • Daily Transcript, Top Employment Law Young Attorney, San Diego, 2009, 2011
  • Avvo, Super Rated Attorney, Highest Rating, 10.0


“Ms. Rizzo was prepared and committed to resolving our matter. She was knowledgeable and effective. I would not hesitate to work with her again and refer her to my colleagues.”
– Stephen R. Hunter, Esq.
Partner at Pleiss Sitar McGrath Hunter & Hallack

“I was very impressed with Ms. Rizzo’s approach to the case, diligence, and persistence. She was extremely effective, knowledgeable, had a very good demeanor, and communicated well with our client. I will definitely use her again.”
– Arthur K. Cunningham, Esq. Principal, Jackson Lewis

“Above and beyond! Kristin was knowledgeable about all the case specifics and was very effective in mediating the parties’ different negotiation styles and perspectives to get the case settled. Kristin expertly established credibility with the parties by taking the extra time to prepare herself and create rapport, particularly with attorneys she had never encountered before. Mediation with Kristin is more than just the scheduled mediation – she conducts a pre-mediation conference and spends time wrapping up loose ends.”
– Michael Martinez, Principal, Michael Martinez Law APC

“Extremely effective! Ms. Rizzo is one of the most effective, productive and kind mediators I have worked with. She was very informed about the issues prior to the start of the process and took a great interest in my client’s perspective. She worked tirelessly to get both sides to come to a resolution. I look forward to enlisting her help on future cases.”
– Daphne Delvaux, Senior Trial Attorney, Gruenberg Law

“Thank you for your monumental efforts in getting our complex case resolved.  Your demeanor with our clients was very effective in putting them at ease with the process. My co-counsel and I both really enjoyed working with you and we hope to do so again in the future very soon.”
– San Diego Attorney

“Thank you for your hard work on this matter to help the parties get it resolved.  I will definitely use you again when the opportunity arises and will also recommend you to others whenever I have the chance. You were persistent and did not give up when settlement appeared to be impossible.  We appreciate your hard work and tenacity!”
– Los Angeles Attorney

“Thank you, Kristin. I know having you as our mediator really helped with my client’s nerves. Both she and I were very appreciative of the outcome and really thankful to you for all your work.”
– San Diego Attorney

“Kristin Rizzo is amazing at what she does.” – Plaintiff in an employment mediation alleging national origin harassment and discrimination.


Kristin is a native of San Diego and lives in Poway with her husband and two daughters. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends traveling, camping, and at their pool and lake house.


Kristin Rizzo presents: Top Three Tips for Writing Your Most Effective Mediation Brief, West Coast Resolution Group (September 2021)

San Diego Lawyer, “New Laws and Guidance for the Workplace as Coronavirus Claims Rise: Mediation Provides Effective Resolution in 2021” (Mar/April 2021)

San Diego County Bar Association’s For the Record, “Becoming an Employment Neutral: The Joy of the Journey” (March 16, 2021)

North County Lawyer, “Mediating Workplace Disputes: Novel Coronavirus Claims” (December 2020)

Kristin Rizzo speaks at 4 Legal Global Mediation Conference 2020: What Do You Think Will Happen in Mediation in Your Country in the Next 6 Months (October 2020)

San Diego County Bar Association’s For the Record, “Mediation During Separation: Embracing the Virtual Session” (April 2020)

Kristin Rizzo talks about: Shifting to Neutral: Kristin Rizzo’s Journey From Litigation to Mediation, Legal Talk Network (November 2019)

San Diego Union-Tribune, Commentary: Do you know definition of workplace sexual harassment? Legal Source Citation (Feb 9, 2018), “Accusations in the #MeToo era: How Companies Handle Complaints,” Legal Source Citation (December 17, 2017). 

San Diego Union-Tribune, “Beyond #Me Too: What You Need to Know About Reporting Sexual Harassment,” Legal Source Citation (December 10, 2017). 

Kristin is a frequent author, speaker, and presenter on a variety of topics, including mediation techniques, online dispute resolution, employment law, and current legal issues; for a complete list of Kristin’s media, or to contact her about speaking at your next event, please visit her website at

Ready to Get Started?

To schedule a mediation please contact Case Manager Kathy Purcell