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Harold Coleman
Harold Coleman

Senior Mediator

Senior MediatorThis mediator has at least 100 hours of mediation training, 500 hours of mediation experience, agrees to take part in at least 12 hours per year of continuing mediation education, and subscribes to's required standards of mediation practice.Featured MemberCertified Mediator

Harold Coleman

Executive Director and Mediator, a Division of the American Arbitration

Association, 2013 – Present; Adjunct Professor, San Diego State University

1999 – Present; Adjunct Professor, Thomas Jefferson School of Law

1993 – Present; Lead Faculty, Graduate Law and Ethics University of Phoenix

1991 – Present; Adjunct Professor, Southwestern College

1988 – Present; Full-Time Arbitrator/Mediator/Trainer, Harold Coleman Jr. Ltd.

2003 – 2013; Partner and Head of ADR Group, Gaglione Coleman & Greene LLP

1998 – 2003; Senior Vice President and Corporate Counsel, Pacific 17 Inc.

1997 – 2000; Senior Litigation Attorney (Construction and Development Group), McInnis Fitzgerald Rees Sharkey & McIntyre

1990 – 1997; Adjunct Professor, Construction Management, San Diego Mesa College

1990 – Project Manager, County of San Diego Office of Architecture and Engineering

1980 – 1990; Project Engineer, City of Phoenix Engineering Department

1979 – 1980;  Structural Engineering Technician, Maricopa County Highway Department

1978 – 1979; Civil Engineering Technician, Arizona Department of Transportation, Highways Division

Professional Licenses:

Admitted to the Bar: California, 1990

U.S. District Court: Southern District of California, 1990

U.S. Court of Appeals: Ninth Circuit, 1990

Licensed Real Estate Broker, California, 2005.

Certificated Instructor of Legal Studies, California Community Colleges District, 1988.

Registered Construction Inspector, American Construction Inspectors Association, 1990.

ADR Experience

As a mediator and ADR trainer, well versed in alternative dispute resolution [ADR] techniques. Mediated (from 1992 to date) several hundred technical and business disputes as a mediation panelist with the San Diego Superior Court’s Civil Mediation Program and the San Diego Association of Realtors’ Real Estate Mediation Panel. Mediation practice has run the gamut encompassing business, consumer, public agency, real estate, construction, employment and personal injury disputes. Mediated disputes by, between and among land-development professionals (e.g., developers, realtors, appraisers, prime contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, inspectors, design professionals, consultants, owners and public agencies), business partners, corporate shareholders, franchisees and licensees, homeowner associations, commercial and residential landlords, and commercial and residential landlords and tenants.

Illustrative issues mediated during the past 16 years include: design errors and omissions; professional negligence; architect/engineering malpractice; construction payment claims; construction delay claims; total cost claims; job disruption claims; constructive change claims; cardinal change claims; contractual indemnity claims; equitable indemnity claims; tenant improvement claims; owner interference; eminent domain; progress payment overpayment; cost overruns; financial accounting; actual fraud, deceit and punitive damages; constructive fraud; breach of contract; breach of expressed warranty; breach of implied warranty; strict liability; negligence; negligent supervision; negligent inspection; negligent referral; harassment; hostile work environment; statutory penalties; prompt-payment penalty; conversion; nuisance; insurance coverage; first-party coverage; third-party coverage; insurance bad faith; interference with prospective economic advantage; interference with contract; commercial misappropriation; invasion of privacy; diminution in value; product misuse and abuse; product warranty; disclaimers; sufficiency of notice; notice of change; patent deficiencies; latent deficiencies; drafting ambiguities; contract documents interpretation; employment issues; and business and partnership.


Illustrations of Coleman’s ability to listen attentively, courteously, tactfully, and impartially with others, especially under difficult or adversarial circumstances, relate to Coleman’s role of professional mediator. Parties often come to the mediation process with considerable emotion and negative energy. But, as Coleman has well learned from experience, mediation is not for the impatient. Through his empathic listening and reassuring style, Coleman routinely redirects the negative energy toward productive ends and diffuses potentially hostile encounters between the parties. He uses facilitative questioning techniques to permit a party to vent while shedding light on the issues in question. He makes use of private caucuses strategically to gather information in a safe and confidential atmosphere. He “reframes” potentially negatively charged language in at least neutral, if not positive, language to assist in communicating the tenor of the message while mitigating some of its negative sting. In this manner the other party is better enable to receive the hard, but important, information so that all may better engage in problem solving.

Coleman embraces a facilitative yet evaluative process, depending on the parties and the unique dynamics of the matter in mediation. He provides the parties with an objective and impartial assessment of the costs, risks and possibilities at the appropriate time in the process. He facilitates creative brainstorming in seeking to overcome impasse and to invent options for mutual benefit.


Thomas Jefferson School of Law (JD-1984); Western State University (BS, Laws-1982).

Areas Of Practice

  • Business
  • Civil (general)
  • Commercial
  • Construction
  • Divorce (all issues)
  • Divorce (parenting)
  • Franchise
  • General
  • Insurance
  • Online Civil
  • Online Family/Divorce
  • Online Mediation
  • Organizational
  • Personal Injury
  • Technology

Additional Services

  • Advanced Mediation Trainer
  • Communication Skills Trainer
  • Facilitator
  • Mediating Lawyer
  • Mediation Consultant
  • Mediation Trainer
  • Staff Developer
  • Systems Designer



Fees and Provisos


Liability Insurance

  • Yes


  • Steven Anderson
  • James Melamed
  • Harold Coleman
  • Colin Rule
  • Clare Fowler