Tuesday, March 24, 2015

          Q + A with Court Mediator Mattie Robertson '10

          How the UC Hastings Mediation Clinic prepared her to manage the Court Mediation Program for the nonprofit SEEDS Community Resolution Center in Oakland.
          Sample alt tag.

          Q: Tell us about your current position.

          A: I manage the Court Mediation Program for the nonprofit SEEDS Community Resolution Center; the program is one of SEEDS various conflict resolution services. As Program Manager, I supervise and mentor a team of volunteer mediators who provide same-day-as-hearing mediations for litigants in the Alameda County Superior Courts. We work in Small Claims, Civil Harassment, and Collections courts, facilitating dialogue supporting individuals to resolve their conflicts using effective communication, and interest-based negotiation. It's wonderful because people can craft personalized agreements through mediation that better meet their needs than traditional court-ordered judgments. I work closely with Judges and other court personnel to ensure that SEEDS' services meet the needs of the community and the courts. I also oversee the Court Mediation Practicum, training student mediators who work alongside the volunteers, and me, getting hands-on mediation experience with litigants in Small Claims Court.

          Q: How did your time at UC Hastings prepare you for your career?

          A: While at Hastings, I took various Alternative Dispute Resolution courses that led me to mediation; in particular, the Mediation Clinic. Through the Clinic I discovered my passion for mediation, and realized a place to apply my talents. The collaborative nature of mediation appealed to be me greatly, and fulfilled my desire to work directly with individuals and bring positive change to the community. Because I excelled in the Clinical Program, I sought a way to continue mediating, leading me to an externship placement at SEEDS during my last semester at Hastings. My professors were hugely supportive, and I continue to partner with some of them today.

          Q: Why did you decide to go into law in the first place?

          A: I always knew I wanted to continue my education after college, and law school seemed a natural fit for me. I have always been able to argue both sides of a disagreement; although, whether I choose to is another story. I also love to delve into the details and background of a conflict to find what is at the core of the issues for the people involved.

          Q: What is your greatest professional accomplishment so far?

          A: Sharing with others the ability to effectively resolve conflict. Helping people to restore broken relationships through mediation is extremely rewarding. To this end, I've mediated over 150 cases and counting, taught many classes on conflict, and mentored numerous mediators over the last five years. Cultivating the ability to see conflict as an opportunity is a great asset to our community; conflict is inevitable, so why not embrace it as an opportunity for growth? Sharing this message is a personal and professional goal.

          Q: Can you tell us about one of your most interesting cases?

          A: In a landlord-tenant mediation, I discovered the parties used to be best friends. The defendant's inability to pay rent had led to a breakdown of the friendship, and brought them to court. Both parties were devastated at the lost relationship, and through the mediation process they were able to begin restoring their friendship - which was the main interest for both. Their agreement included acknowledgements of past behavior, how to communicate in the future, and a modest payment plan for a discounted amount. The real issue was the relationship, and once that was addressed, the monetary terms fell into place quickly. Both parties left smiling.

          ***

          Go to News Archive

          Share this Story

          Share via Facebook
          Share via TwitterShare via EmailPrint Friendly Version

          Other Recent Stories/ RSS

          Thursday, April 20, 2017

          Legalized: Aaron Herzberg ’95 is at the forefront of California’s budding cannabis industry.

          2L Jeremy Schwartz, President of UC Hastings Law Students for Sensible Drug Policy, interviews the divorce attorney turned marijuana real estate entrepreneur and dispensary owner.
          Tuesday, April 18, 2017

          UC Hastings Courtside: 3L Tom Lin Externs at the Supreme Court of California

          With the goal of becoming a first-generation attorney, Tom served as a judicial extern to the Hon. Goodwin H. Liu and Hon. Ming W. Chin, Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of California.
          Monday, April 10, 2017

          Healing and Trust: Students Organize Public Hearing for the San Francisco Human Rights Commission

          The “rebellious” Community Group Advocacy and Social Justice Lawyering Group Clinic students strive to create dialogue around the current state of community-police relations and take steps toward building a safer community.
          Friday, April 07, 2017

          Judge Jed S. Rakoff to Keynote 136th UC Hastings Law Commencement

          Prominent legal thinker and scholar hailed as “a legal hero of our time” by Rolling Stone, and among “The World’s 50 Greatest Leaders” by Fortune.
          Thursday, April 06, 2017

          Thinkers & Doers: March 2017

          The Californian who tried to fix Washington -- TRIAL TEAM IS #1 -- Clean Water Regulation Rollbacks -- Big Whistle-Blower Lawsuit Win -- “Defender” Documentary -- Boutique Suing Ivanka Trump -- The Endangered Antiquities Act -- and much more
          Go to News Archive