John Edwards, Esq.

John Edwards

Contact John’s Case Manager: Smhale Leon
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John Edwards is a nationally recognized speaker and mediation trainer. An AV-rated trial lawyer for many years, John became a full-time neutral in 2014 and mediates 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.

John has a deep and enduring interest in the empirical study of decision making and bargaining as found in the work of Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman, whose groundbreaking work with Amos Tversky taught us about cognitive bias, anchoring, bargaining, and undid our assumptions about the decision-making process. Their papers showed how the human mind makes systematic errors when making decisions in uncertain situations. A mediator who understands this may be able to provide invaluable assistance in helping decision makers in our very uncertain world, without being coercive or judgmental in the process.

John is often engaged to mediate challenging matters in which the legal issues are not driving the dispute, but the personalities are the issue. Lawyers are often frustrated because their analytical and persuasive legal skills are often ineffective with high conflict people. John’s years of training and experience have helped him achieve successful results when legal analysis and vigorous advocacy have failed to achieve settlement. John believes it is most important to treat everyone, even the most difficult person, with empathy, attention and respect. John practices polite persistence without coercion and is committed to follow through when cases do not settle at the first session.

John is proficient in conducting mediations using Zoom and other virtual platforms.


  • Half day – $2,750 flat rate: includes 1 hour of preparation (including .5 hours per party of brief review and pre-mediation Zoom test session) and 4 hours of mediation time; .5 hours per additional party of brief review, $550 per hour thereafter, in 1/2 hour increments.
  • Full day – $5,500 flat rate: includes 2 hours of preparation (including 1 hour of brief review and pre-mediation Zoom test session) and 8 hours of mediation time; .5 hours per additional party of brief review, $550 per hour thereafter, in 1/2 hour increments.
  • $300 non-refundable administrative fee per party


  • 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
  • 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


  • Real Estate
  • Business
  • Personal Injury (Soft Tissue to Catastrophic Injury, and Wrongful Death)
  • Professional Liability
  •  Employment Law
  •  Homeowners Association


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


“I have worked with Mr. Edwards many times, and he continues to exceed my expectations. With his experience and knowledge, we were able to settle our most recent case. Mr. Edwards is always fair, impartial and respectful to all participants and parties. Mr. Edwards is a stellar mediator, and I look forward to working with him again in the future!”
– Mark E. Stenson, Esq., Schneider, Holtz & Hosmer, Newport Beach, CA.

“I was very impressed with how Mr. Edwards handled the mediation for our HOA association. I felt he was very skilled and was able to bring a satisfactory result for all parties.  I would absolutely work with him again.”
– Maria Powell, Pinnacle Estate Properties, Inc. Westlake Village, CA

“We genuinely appreciated the opportunity to work with John Edwards again. Our firm loves him, and I personally have had great results with him when I was at prior firms. Once again, thanks to John’s professionalism, expertise, persistence, efficiency, and tact, we were able to resolve our most recent case with him and achieve a positive outcome for our clients.”
– Nicholas Meerson, Esq., Adams Stirling PLC, Los Angeles, CA

“In all respects, John is an excellent mediator. I greatly appreciate the extra steps he took to ensure that the case was settled successfully. His thorough follow-up not only demonstrates his professionalism but reassured me and provided me with peace of mind throughout the process.”
– Gregory Hagen, Esq., G. Hagen Law Office, Solana Beach, CA.

“While I was apprehensive about conducting a hybrid mediation with some parties in person and others virtual, John’s experience and knowledge allowed us to have a seamless experience. We appreciated his flexibility, which ultimately led to our case being settled!”
Randall C. Sterling, Esq., The Sterling Law Group, Rancho Bernardo, CA.

“John did a great job getting the case settled. He is extremely effective and knowledgeable in mediation practices. I would be happy to work with John again in the future!” 
– Michael M. Daly, Daly Law Firm, San Diego, CA.

“Thank you for your great work on this one. The clients and I sincerely appreciated your efforts in this. I know it was not easy. Also, the Zoom mediation went great– I may never attend a mediation in person again!”
Ian R. Friedman, Partner, Wingert Grebing Brubaker & Juskie LLP

“I again wanted to thank you for putting this settlement together. As I told you when we spoke over the phone, your approach was exactly what was needed to bring the parties together, and without any animosity between them. Truly masterful!!!”
– Mark C. Mazzarella, Esq.


Surfing, biking, hiking and spending time with family.

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