kessler+kessler a law corporation

Joan B. Kessler

1925 Century Park East, The Watt Plaza, Suite 1400
Los Angeles, California 90067
TELEPHONE 310-344-6768
FACSIMILE 310-396-7576

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Once Joan gets her teeth into something, there's no shaking her off...she has boundless energy. Excerpt from
Los Angeles Daily Journal
October 20, 2000
She is absolutely driven to get parties to settlement... there is constant follow-up. Excerpt from
Los Angeles Daily Journal
April 18, 2008
With her background as a lawyer and jury consultant, she is able to show people how a case could play out in front of a jury, which gets them to become more 'realistic. Excerpt from
Los Angeles Daily Journal
April 18, 2008
She's just extremely bright and has a lot of litigation experience from a lawyer's perspective, so she knows the pressures that the attorneys are facing, as well as the clients. Excerpt from
Los Angeles Daily Journal
April 18, 2008
She had a good assessment of the parties, of where they might or might not be willing to go, and she worked the parties to get them to a place where an agreement could be reached, which really required major effort on her part, ... She set a professional tone. Nobody tried to bait anybody. The temperature in our room didn't go up once. Excerpt from
Los Angeles Daily Journal
April 18, 2008


  • LOYOLA LAW SCHOOL, Los Angeles, California, J.D., 1986
  • Honors: Chief Articles Editor, Loyola of Los Angeles
  • International and Comparative Law Journal
  • UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN, Ph.D. Speech Communication, 1973
  • Honors: Rackham Prize Fellowship, 1972-1973
  • UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, LOS ANGELES, M.A. Speech Communication, 1969
  • UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN, A.B. English, 1967


  • Mediator, Arbitrator and Special Master. JAMS, 2017 - Present.
  • Attorney, Mediator and Arbitrator. Kessler & Kessler, A Law Corporation. President and shareholder, 1994 - 2017. Mediate matters including: business, real estate, employment, entertainment, insurance, and shareholder/partnership matters.  Litigate select matters.
  • Managing Director. CaseXplorer Arbitration and CaseXplorer Mediation, 2014 - Present. Develop mock juror and evaluative arbitrator online analysis tools for use in mediations and arbitrations.
  • Arbitrator & Mediator. American Arbitration Association, 2009 - Present.
  • Consultant. DecisionQuest, 2013 - Present.
  • Mediator. USDC Mediation Panel, 2012 - Present.
  • Mediator/Arbitrator. ADR Services, Inc., 2006 - 2013.
  • Attorney. Gold, Marks, Ring & Pepper, 1990 - 1993. Business litigation, commercial litigation and bankruptcy.
  • Attorney. Frandzel & Share, A Law Corporation, 1986 - 1990. Commercial litigation and bankruptcy.
  • Extern. California Court of Appeal. 1985-1986.
  • Associate Professor. California State University, Northridge, Tenured, Department of Speech Communication, 1977-1983. Honors: Danforth Fellowship (1981-1986), National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship (1977-1979), Women's Center Board of Directors.
  • Assistant Professor. Loyola University of Chicago, Department of Communication. 1973-1976.
  • Instructor. Loyola University of Chicago Law School. Developed and taught communication and law. Summer, 1976.
  • Teaching Fellow. University of Michigan, Department of Speech. 1971-1972.
  • Instructor. Monroe Community College, Rochester, New York, Department of Speech. 1970-1971.
  • Teacher and Debate Coach. Beverly Hills High School, Beverly Hills, California. 1968-1970.
  • Teacher and Debate Coach. Ann Arbor High School, Ann Arbor, Michigan. 1967-1968.


  • Admitted to the State Bar of California, U.S. Tax Court, U.S. District Court, Central District of California. AV rating, Martindale-Hubbell.
  • Foundation Board of Governors, Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, 2018 - Present.
  • Member, American, Los Angeles County and Beverly Hills Bar Associations.
  • Member, Organization of Women Executives, 1996 - Present.
  • Member, Southern California Mediation Association, 2006 - Present.
  • Named in the “Corporate Counsel Super Lawyers Edition.”
  • Southern California Super Lawyer, 2006 - 2009, 2012 - 2019. 
  • Daily Journal's 2006 Top Women Litigators.
  • Los Angeles Superior Court Awardee in Mediation, 2008
  • Associate Editor, Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA) Advocate Magazine 2007 - 2016.
  • Member The California Academy of Distinguished Neutrals 2008.
  • Named in the "Top Lawyers" list by the Beverly Hills Courier, 2010.
  • Peer-rated "AV Preeminent" by Martindale-Hubbell (since 1997 to present), highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards.
  • Named through the years on multiple lists of Who's Who, including: Who's Who In America, Who's Who In American Law, Who's Who Of American Women, etc.
  • Named in the "Corporate Counsel Super Lawyers Edition", 2010.


  • Los Angeles City Attorney Office Transition/Advisory Team Member. 2001 - 2004.
  • Board of Governors, City of Hope, Member of Executive Committee. 1994 - 1999.
  • Advisory Council, University of Michigan Rackham Graduate School. 1992 - Present.
  • Board of Directors (Western States Board), National Jewish Center for Immunology & Respiratory Medicine, Denver, Colorado. 1991 - 1995.
  • Board of Directors, St. Vincent's Hospital Foundation. 1990 - 2009.
  • Board of Directors, American Cancer Society, San Fernando Valley Unit. 1982 - 1983.
  • Advisory Board, Kauai Film Commission. 2003 - Present.
  • 2006 Advisory Board Turks & Caicos International Film Festival.
  • Advisory Board, Loyola Law School Center for Conflict Resolution, 2008 - Present.
  • Board of Directors, St. Vincent's Meals on Wheels, 2007 – 2009.
  • Board of Governors Loyola Law School 2013-present.
  • Board of Trustees University of Michigan Hillel 2013-present.


  • Moderator, Women's Lawyers Association of Los Angeles seminar "How to Have Success in the Legal Profession and Maintain a Life" (February, 2019).
  • Note, An Empirical Study of Six- and Twelve-member Jury Decision-making Processes, 6 U. of Mich. J. L. Ref. 712 (1973) (CITED IN) Colgrove v. Battin 413 U.S. 149, 159 (1973); Georgia v. Ballew 435 U.S. 223, 238, 242 (1978).
  • Kessler, A Content Analytic Comparison of the Six- and Twelve-member Jury Decision-making Process. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of Michigan (1973).
  • Kessler, The Social Psychology of Jury Deliberation, in R. J. Simon (Ed.), The Jury System in America, A Critical Overview, Beverly Hills: Sage Publications (1975).
  • Kessler, Karnes & Follert, "The Effect of Juror Sex on the Decision-making of Student and Actual Jurors in a Simulated Civil Case," Speech Communication Association convention paper, Houston (1975).
  • Kulka & Kessler, "Is Justice Really Blind? -- The Influence of Litigant Physical Attractiveness on Juridical Judgment," 8 Journal of Applied Social Psychology 366 (1978).
  • Kessler, "Use of Videotape for the Expert Witness," 28 Journal of the American Academy of Forensic Science (April, 1983).
  • Benson and Kessler, "Legalese v. Plain English: An Empirical Study of Persuasion and Credibility in Appellate Brief Writing," 20 Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review (January, 1987).
  • Kessler, "The Lawyer's Intercultural Communication Problems with Clients from Diverse Cultures," Northwestern Journal of International Law and Business 64 (Spring, 1988).
  • Kessler, "Are Lender Liability Actions Alive and Well?" Western Independent Bankers Newsline (October, 1989).
  • University of Michigan, Rackham School, Alumni Magazine, 2005, article, page 10.
  • Moderator, Women's Lawyers Association of Los Angeles seminar "Get a Life and Stay Successful - Balancing Work, Life, and Family" (May, 2006).
  • Moderator, Women's Lawyers Association of Los Angeles seminar "Communication Strategies In Dispute Resolution: How To Have A Successful Mediation - And Make The Settlement Stick" (April, 2007).
  • Kessler, "Beyond the Golden Rule: Successful Intercultural Mediations" Volume 34, Number 10, Advocate (October, 2007).
  • Kessler, “Cross-Cultural Communication in Mediations” Southern California Mediation Association Annual Conference (November, 2007).
  • "Mediator Draws on Her Multifaceted Careers" Daily Journal (April 18, 2008).
  • Kessler, "Mediation Roadmap: The Mediation Brief - Plain English Trumps Legalese" Volume 35, Number 10, Advocate (October, 2008).
  • Moderator, Southern California Mediation Association 20th Annual Mediation Conference “Solution Focused Mediation: Using Concepts from Quantum Mechanics and Neuroscience to Resolve Conflict (November, 2008).
  • Kessler, "The Mediation Isn't Successful if the Settlement Doesn't Stick", Volume 36, Number 10, Advocate (October, 2009).
  • Speaker, Southern California Mediation Association 21st Annual Mediation Conference "Negotiating in the Female Voice: What We Can Learn From Our Women Colleagues (Not For Women ONLY)" (November, 2009).
  • Kessler, "Key Elements of the Successful Mediation", Volume 37, Number 9, Advocate (September, 2010).
  • Speaker, Southern California Mediation Association 22nd Annual Mediation Conference “Public Relations for Mediators” (November, 2010).
  • Kessler, "The Connection between Mediation and Military Strategy", Daily Journal (July 8, 2011).
  • Kessler, "Is Collegiality a Thing of the Past?", Volume 38, Number 9, Advocate (September 2011).
  • Speaker, Southern California Mediation Association 23rd Annual Mediation Conference "Intercultural Mediation Awareness and Strategies" (November, 2011).
  • Moderator, PROVISORS, Century City, "Ethics in Mediation" (January 13, 2012).
  • Kessler, "Brinker ruling expands the bag of tricks available to mediators", Los Angeles Daily Journal (April 23, 2012).
  • Kessler, "Caucus or Joint Session:  To Meet or Not to Meet?", Volume 39, Number 9, Advocate (September 2012). Click here to read article.
  • Kessler, "Catching Up with Justice Kagan", Los Angeles Daily Journal (September 14, 2012).
  • Speaker, Southern California Mediation Association 24th Annual Mediation Conference “How Attorneys Succeed and Fail in Mediation” (November, 2012).
  • Kessler, "Interview with Ken Feinberg", Volume 40, Number 9, Advocate (September 2013).
  • Kessler, “Deep-seated issues lurk in family business disputes”, Los Angeles Daily Journal (November 8, 2013).
  • Kessler, “Interview: the go-to guy for arbitrating victims’ funds”, Los Angeles Daily Journal (November 15, 2013).
  • Moderator, Beverly Hills Bar Association, "Assisting Businesses and Employees in Reducing Employment Related Litigation Through Training, Investigations and Pre-litigation Mediations (June, 2014).
  • Kessler, "Pre-litigation mediation, a signal of weakness or a sign of strength?" Volume 41, Number 9, Advocate (September, 2014). 
  • Kessler, "Pre-litigation mediation, a signal of weakness or a sign of strength?" Plaintiff (September, 2014).
  • Speaker, Southern California Mediation Association 26th Annual Mediation Conference “New Technology and Innovative Procedures in ADR” (November, 2014).
  • Kessler & Turner, “The Innovative Online Arbitration Evaluation Tool: CaseXplorer® ArbitrationTM”, LexisNexis® Emerging Issues Analysis, Research Solutions (April, 2015).
  • Kessler, "Assessment tools in mediation", Volume 42, Number 9, Advocate (September, 2015).
  • Kessler, "Reflecting back on 10 years of Advocate's ADR issue", Volume 43, Number 8, Advocate (August, 2016).
  • Kessler, "When All Hope is Lost, is Settlement Possible?", JAMS Employment Matters Newsletter Winter 2017 (October 2017). 
  • Kessler and Holley, "Why should you compromise? A mediator's take.", Los Angeles Daily Journal (November 13, 2017).