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George Calkins blog


"The content of the courses created by George and the generous sharing of his experiences (at the Straus Institute of Dispute Resolution) exceeded the expectations of a discerning clientele: late career attorneys and judges. He is not only qualified and gifted as a mediator, but also has the personality and communication skills that make him an excellent educator."

Peter Robinson, Esq.
Managing Director
Straus Institute of Dispute Resolution

Pepperdine University School of Law

George Calkins has lectured on business and construction management and dispute resolution at UCLA School of Law, USC Law School, as well as University of California, Irvine and UCLA Extension Programs. He is an adjunct faculty member of the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University Law School, the leading national trainer of mediators, where he lectures on the nuances, planning and conduct of effective mediation as to complicated commercial and public works construction disputes. He has written and lectured at national conferences regarding mediation, construction law, products liability and insurance law, contract interpretation, methods of practice and procedure, performance issues in manufacturing, constructional aspects of public works projects, design/build contracts, as well as commercial development, entertainment, construction, real estate. and suretyship.

George has lectured before legal and trade associations including the California Judges Association, the Southern California Defense Counsel, the Associated General Contractors, the Southern California Accountants Association and the Ceramic Tile Institute; and he has participated as a panelist on California CEB Receivership and Construction Law panels and as a speaker at the Rutter Group/California Judges Association Seminar on Real Estate and Construction. He was retained by FEMA to teach thousands of construction contractors in California construction claims avoidance strategies when implementing seismic retrofits. He has been the moderator of panels involving hot topics on construction defects with the California Continuing Education of the Bar for more than 8 years. He has chaired the judges’ panel at the West Coast Casualty, and presented at MC Consultants, American Conference Institute, Mealey’s, and the ABA Forum Committee on Construction involving topics of construction law and dispute resolution.

George has published articles for the California Continuing Education of the Bar, the Associated General Contractors Legal Advisory Committee and the University of California regarding construction disputes, receivership law, construction defect claims, construction law, alternate dispute resolution, and settlement/mediation of construction disputes. He has also developed and implemented procedures for construction claims administration and liability minimization and dispute resolution for contractors, owners and developers.

George Calkins assisted in drafting the California Public Works arbitration program legislation when it was first implemented in California in the nineteen-eighties and has participated in drafting changes to the state's mechanic’s lien law.

What other experts say…

“George and I taught a two and one-half day course on the handling of complex construction defect cases by lawyers and mediators for a number of years at the Strauss Institute at Pepperdine Law School. During this time I got to know George very well…. He combines an encyclopedic knowledge of the law with wit and bon homme that is rare to find…. George possesses all of the qualities in abundance that anyone would want in a dispute resolution neutral."

The Honorable Judge Kevin W. Midlam
San Diego Superior Court, Retired
San Diego, California

"George Calkins has been a repeat guest speaker in my Construction Management class at UCLA Extension for over 15 years, during which we have seen approximately 1500 students come through the class. George is an engaging speaker; uses humor and real world examples to keep the interest of the students. The students have always commented about the current and relevant issues that Mr. Calkins addresses, and have rated him very highly every quarter."

Sean Leonard, Esq.
The Law Offices of Sean Leonard

Camarillo, California

"George takes the time and effort 24/7 to dig in and settle cases, even where the parties are at a perceived "real" impasse. He adds value in sophisticated litigation."

Keith J. Bremer, Esq.
Bremer Whyte Brown & O’Meara, LLP

Newport Beach and Woodland Hills, California
Las Vegas, Nevada
Phoenix, Arizona

"George has been instrumental in resolving a number of (complex) cases, as a result of his intricate knowledge of construction issues and process, willingness to work very hard, effective communication with principals and tenacious follow up if the matter is not settled during the first session."

David McPherson, Esq.
Watt, Tieder, Hoffar & Fitzgerald LLP

Irvine, California