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George Calkins blog

About George Calkins

A nationally recognized mediator/arbitrator, George Calkins is an expert in resolving cases relating to business, real estate, public works, contracts, partnerships, suretyship, insurance, products liability, environmental/land use, construction and construction defects and professional negligence.

A senior partner at Cox, Castle & Nicholson, LLP -- a premier California law firm specializing in business and real estate -- George has presided over complex arbitration and mediation proceedings involving diverse legal and factual issues and partnered with the courts to resolve complex cases. As the “lawyer’s lawyer” in mediations, he formulates and implements settlement strategies that save time and money for parties and their attorneys.

Over his twenty year ADR career, George Calkins has mediated and arbitrated hundreds of disputes involving multi-family residences, commercial projects and public works construction projects, as well as issues involving landlord/tenant disputes, product liability, suretyship, insurance and partnership disputes. He is an industry leader in the development of methodologies for settling disputes involving partnership disputes, product liability issues, construction projects, and suretyship concerns. As one attorney states, “Calkins is patient, tenacious and knowledgeable. He listens well to all parties and finds the common ground necessary to craft a settlement.”

As an arbitrator, George is respected for his judicial temperament, coupled with years of litigation experience in business, construction and insurance arenas. His experience in the courtroom, professional demeanor and vast body of knowledge makes him "an excellent choice for arbitrating construction or insurance related disputes.”

George has been appointed by the court to serve as a Special Master/Settlement Officer in many complex cases and has served as an expert witness in business, construction and insurance disputes. He is a pioneer in developing customer service and risk management programs in real estate development and construction.

George Calkins teaches alternative dispute resolution at UCLA, USC, and Pepperdine University School of Law Strauss Institute, makes presentations at regional and national conferences and is widely published on business, construction and dispute resolution topics. He has written a chapter for a text case on management issues regarding creative settlement techniques.

George has written and lectured nationally on issues of construction law, design/built contracts, risk management and construction claims avoidance. His writings include presentations regarding evolving construction liability and damages theories, dispute resolution means and methods and construction management practices. He serves on the Commercial and Construction Large Complex Case Panels of the American Arbitration Association, as well as on the California Public Works Arbitration Program. He has participated in drafting legislation arbitration procedures and has been a leader in the development of sophisticated Alternate Dispute Resolution procedures for the development, construction and business community.

“Many talk the talk, but George actually delivers results,” concludes a peer. He’s “a true master of the craft.”

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  • University of California, Los Angeles,
    BA Political Science, 1968
  • Loyola University School of Law, Juris Doctor 1973
  • Pepperdine University School Law/Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, 1999 to Present
  • The Forum Committee on Dispute Resolutions of the American Bar Association, 2000 - Present
  • JAMS Training Course, 1999

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Professional Affiliations

  • Defense Research Institute, the Financial Lawyers Conference
  • Southern California Association of Defense Counsel
  • Business Trial Lawyers Association
  • Forum Committee of the American Bar Association concerning construction issues
  • AGC Legal Advisory Committee
  • American Arbitration Association Construction and Specialty Mediation Panels
  • American Arbitration Association Large Complex Case Panels for Construction and Commercial Arbitration.

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