Striving for Cooperation. Member Spotlight: Lisa Baker Morgan

Lisa Baker Morgan is a mediator, dispute resolution consultant, lawyer, and author. She is a mediator at the Mediation Center of Los Angeles and a graduate of Southwestern Law School with a JD. She became a certified mediator at the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University. Her personalized approach to dispute resolution blends the realities and risks of litigation with the human factors present in all disputes. She strives to focus on each matter individually because each matter presents unique parties, subject matter, history, contexts, perceptions, and interests.

Time as a Litigator

“While I believe that mediation offers a better way to resolve civil and commercial disputes, there are times where litigation is beneficial. Sometimes litigation is the only option.” Lisa has a wealth of experiences on both sides of the counsel table, representing individuals as well as corporations. Initially, her practice focused on product liability, mass tort, insurance coverage and bad-faith litigation, and a range of business litigation including copyright infringement, labor disputes, partnership dissolution, fraud, and contractual disputes.

“What I saw as a litigator is that in many cases, mediation was the preferable and more cost-effective way to solve disputes. Disputes are a natural part of life. Mediation allows parties to resolve conflicts in a much more human and complete way. The confidentiality of mediation gives both sides the opportunity to be heard, to vent, to be compassionate and understanding. Mediation encourages parties to take a breath and reflect on their own conduct, consider other perspectives, and to resolve the dispute fully. Mediation allows parties an opportunity to heal while preserving relationships, both personal and professional, which doesn’t exist in litigation.”

Mediation Focuses

She prides herself on having no particular style’ when it comes to mediation. Each case is unique to Lisa and her ability to connect with others and intuit intangible interests and concerns beyond the stated legal issues as well as spot potential barriers to settlement. “The most important thing when connecting with the parties is to create trust. It is crucial to have a sense of connection with all parties when mediating a dispute.”

“Despite the importance and value of advocacy, I found that the limitations in the adversarial system remained the same regardless of the side I represented. The lack of true conflict resolution and healing through litigation led Lisa to focus her efforts as a neutral, peace building on a local and international level instead of advocating for one side. The path of neutrality and working with others toward a goal of dispute resolution feeds “my innate curiosity and appreciation for people, their interests, their customs, and perceptions. I believe passionately that we are better as a community when we work through our differences together.”

Mediation and Cooking

Lisa worked for years as a private chef and instructor in both Los Angeles and France. While the culinary arts may seem a dramatic departure from litigation, at their core the interests are similar: both are service professions devoted to the enrichment and betterment of others’ lives. Both require judgment, improvisation, patience, interpersonal skills, and hard work. You can reach out to Lisa for her mediation practice here. If you ask, she may even share a recipe.

 Article by Francini Umanzor, MBBI Writer