Conflict Resolution Expert San Diego, CA - Jim Burnett at Pollack Peace
“Helping people resolve longstanding conflicts and disputes — some that have lasted for years — is extremely satisfying, and in many cases downright thrilling.”
Jim was a certified mediator with the Conflict Resolution Center in Northern California from 2009-2019, now living in North County San Diego. He mediated over 200 cases for the CRC, many at the Nevada County (CA) Courthouse with parties who were scheduled to go to trial. His private mediations have ranged from the dissolution of a business partnership to disputes between neighbors. In addition, he has been a part-time mental health counselor from 2014-2019.
A longtime writer and editor, Jim is the author of “TEE TIMES: On the Road with the Ladies Professional Golf Tour [Scribner 1997]. His magazine and newspaper articles covering sports, politics, legal and social issues, travel, and investigative subjects have appeared in publications ranging from “Juris Doctor” to “The Rocket” to “Hemispheres,” to “Golf Magazine” to the “Oregonian Sunday Magazine.”
Jim is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Whitman College. He obtained a J.D. from Duke Law School.
In his free time, he enjoys working out, music, golf, horse racing, collecting books, and daily walks along the ocean.
“I have known Jim for roughly 8 or 9 years. We met when he began doing mediations with our organization (The Conflict Resolution Center). He has done quite a number of mediations over the years — perhaps a hundred or more. As a mediator, he is one of our strongest. He is calm, extremely well-balanced, kind, helpful, intelligent, and steady. His legal background has served him well in this line of work. Like most of our gifted mediators, Jim achieves very high resolution and client satisfaction rates.
“Outside the conference room, I mostly know Jim from bumping into him on a regular basis in the small-town places we both frequent – especially if they involve books. We always find time for an extended talk about mediations, town life, and life’s surprises. In addition to showing up with the same traits that he exhibits as a mediator (reliability and capability being 2 qualities that I especially appreciate), he also has a fun sense of humor.”
– Thomas Lambie, Secretary, Court Coordinator, and past President of the Conflict Resolution Center of Nevada County
“It has been my pleasure to know and work with Jim Burnett for several years. I met Jim while he was doing volunteer mediation work with Conflict Resolution Center (CRC) in Nevada City, CA. As our court was developing the civil mediation project, it was always helpful to have Jim’s perspective on the use of mediation in the adversarial setting of court. He was particularly helpful to me in preparing training materials and working with non-lawyer mediators.
“Jim continued on in his work with other agencies in the area. However, he often stopped in and shared what was happening with his work and projects. He has recently been available to volunteer more time again with CRC, and it has been a pleasure to work with him more regularly.
“Jim’s approach to any situation is always thoughtful and generous. When he was affected by internal political stresses in one of his positions, he held the well-being of other co-employees in the highest regard. It was genuinely important to him that he If with integrity, even if that made his own situation more difficult. He has the uncommon combination of a skilled and reasoned mind, with a foundational quality of fairness and compassion.
“Jim has been a regular mediator at the Nevada County Courthouse for about eight years. He and his fellow mediators have done a remarkable job of settling cases scheduled to go to trial, Instead, the judge surprises the parties by shuttling them into mediation. The parties have been geared up for battle for months, and the mediators have to soothe them, almost instantly, read the atmosphere in the room, and get them to consider peace instead of war.
“The success rate for the mediators ranges from 80 to 90 percent on a yearly basis. Since many of the parties come to the law library for advice, I know many of the plaintiffs and defendants in these cases. In many situations, parties believe any settlement is unlikely to impossible. Yet time after time, Jim and the other mediators come to me with written agreements, which they have successfully put together despite serious time constraints.
“I’ve been particularly impressed with Jim’s creativity and persistence. He is dedicated to his work and he has strong attention to detail. While he is low-key and often humorous, he doesn’t give up easily.”
– Helen Cavanaugh, Family Law Facilitator Director, Self-Help Center Sierra & Nevada Counties