Robert T. Fries, Mediator

Before joining Carter Carter Fries & Grunschlag, Bob Fries was a partner, and managing partner, in the law firm of Steinhart & Falconer, where he worked for 30 years. Attorneys have praised his “insight and grasp of the psychological aspects” of mediation and his ability to “assist all parties in seeing things in a clear and realistic light.” His mediation skills have made him a more effective advocate.

Mediation Experience: Bob has served successfully as an impartial mediator in discrimination (race, sex, age), ADA (access and employment), wage/hour, wrongful discharge, trade secret, police practices (excessive force), elder abuse, probate, real estate, business, class action and attorneys’ fees cases. His mediation training includes over 200 hours of basic and advanced skills in facilitative, evaluative, and cross-cultural techniques from the John Paul Jones Group, The Center for Mediation in Law, Stanford Law School, the Federal District Court, and the First District Court of Appeal. He is a mediator for the First District Court of Appeal, the Federal District Court (N.D. Cal.), the San Francisco County Superior Court, and private parties.

Legal Experience: Bob counsels and represents companies and individuals in trials, appeals, agency proceedings, arbitrations, negotiations, ENE, and mediations in the state and federal courts, and administrative agencies. This experience includes contract disputes, fraud and unfair business practices, trade secrets, real estate, personal injury, wrongful discharge, employment discrimination, FMLA, EPA, sex harassment, ADA, OSHA, FLSA, ADEA, civil rights, class-action, NLRA, and RLA cases. Bob has tried cases to verdict in San Francisco, San Mateo, Alameda, and Contra Costa Counties, as well as in the Northern and Eastern districts of the Federal Courts.

In 1985 Bob was co-counsel for the plaintiffs in Micro/Vest v. Computerland, Inc., a dispute over plaintiffs' right to ownership of 20% of the giant computer retailer. A jury awarded plaintiffs 20% of the stock of the company (then valued at $400 million), plus $125 million punitive damages- the largest such award in California history at the time. (Affirmed on appeal: Micro/Vest Corp v. Superior Court (1984) 150 Cal. App. 3d 105).

Bob has served as a consultant to the California Fair Employment and Housing Commission on equal employment opportunity practice and procedure. He has written and lectured on many employment-related subjects, including key handbook policies, EEO concepts, disability, harassment, discrimination, retaliation, ADR, hiring, discipline and discharge (union and non-union settings), drug testing, privacy, independent contractors, wage and hour exemptions, leaves of absence, defamation, and unique California laws and regulations. He conducts trainings in these subjects for clients and industry groups. Bob taught employment law litigation at Stanford Law School and has lectured for the Stanford Business School, the Northern California Human Resources Association, the California Hotel and Motel Association, the National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel, the Litigation Section of the American Bar Association, and the Labor and Employment Section of the Bar Association of San Francisco. He is currently Adjunct Professor at UC Hastings College of Law where he teaches negotiation.

Memberships: The State Bar of California (Labor and Employment, Litigation, and ADR sections); the American Bar Association (ADR, Individual Rights and Responsibilities, and Labor and Employment sections); the Bar Association of San Francisco (Labor and Employment and Mediation sections); Lawyers Council, American Civil Liberties Union, Northern California; Board of Directors, Berkeley Law Foundation; Board of Directors, San Francisco Neighborhood Legal Assistance Foundation; Peer Review, Early Neutral Evaluation, arbitration, and mediation panels, U.S. District Court, N.D. California; arbitration and mediation panels, San Francisco Superior Court; California Dispute Resolution Council; The Mediation Society (President, 2009-10); Fellow, College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.

Education: B.A., J.D. Stanford University (Phi Beta Kappa, Order of the Coif). Woodrow Wilson Fellowship. Law clerk, The Hon. Robert F. Peckham, U.S. District Court, N.D. California.