About John Butler

Passionate About Mediation

My passion for mediation evolved out of my successful law practice. More than 20 years ago, I discovered that I enjoyed resolving conflict far more than I enjoyed litigation.

I came to see conflict as an opportunity for deeper understanding, growth and peaceful outcomes.

My skill level increased, my experience grew, and eventually I closed my law practice to focus on mediation. I believe that I have exceptional experience and skills in resolving conflict and am available to help you regardless of where you live in the United States.

Shifting from Litigation to Mediation I have:

  • Resolved well over a thousand disputes for individuals, corporations, churches, and nonprofit agencies.
  • Received recognition for my service in settling suits in both Federal and State Courts.
  • Taught classes on communication and conflict resolution and I have trained other lawyers and mediators in how to facilitate settlements.
  • Been interviewed on TV and spoken at seminars and given talks in other venues on mediation and the principles of conflict resolution.
  • Led workshops on “gender reconciliation” as well as other topics related to conflict resolution.
  • Completed more than 350 hours of formal mediation-related training. This includes active listening skills enhancement, interviewing techniques and mediation role-plays and simulations.

Formal Education

  • J.D. Santa Clara Law School 1985
  • B.S. Business Administration Indiana University 1976

Listed here are a few of the subject areas in which I have put my mediation expertise to work for others.

Divorce and Family Law Matters

I have helped hundreds of couples and families move through the challenging times of transition and/or conflict. I can assist you with the following.

  • Divorce mediation (custody disputes, visitation, alimony, spousal support, property division, etc.) including gay/lesbian couple break-ups)
  • Marital Settlement Agreements (MSA’s) and other family law matters
  • Pre-nuptial agreements
  • Trial separation and standstill agreements
  • Unmarried couple break-ups (including gay/lesbian break-ups)

Real Property Disputes

I have years of experience resolving many types of conflicts in Real Estate matters. I am affordable and work expeditiously when time is of the essence.

Most Real Estate contracts require the parties to use ADR to mediate or arbitrate all of their contractual disputes. I have helped handle such matters below.

  • Real Estate contract purchase disputes between buyer and seller
  • Landlord/tenant disputes
  • Homeowner Association conflict resolution
  • Debtor/creditor workouts
  • Investor and subcontractor on house flips
  • Real Estate agency disputes between broker and agent(s)
  • Real Estate listing disputes between seller and listing agent/broker
  • Premises liability
  • Neighborhood disputes like dog barking, smoking, etc.
  • Retaliatory eviction
  • Neighbor boundary disputes regarding easements

Civil Litigation

Litigation is difficult. The risk of lasting emotional trauma is high and the cost can be devastating. Skilled professional mediation may be the answer to resolving disputes at a fraction of the cost of hiring an attorney.

Probate, Will, and Guardianship

I have a special fondness for resolving Probate cases because they are often especially complex. They often involve both difficult family dynamics as well as significant business or Real Estate issues. Given my extensive background in all three areas, I am able to be especially effective in helping parties come to resolution at a fraction of the cost compared to litigation.

  • Liquidation/division of estate assets
  • Administration of estates
  • Disagreement over estate charges
  • Strife regarding management of estate assets
  • Conflict regarding valuation of estate assets
  • Trust disputes
  • Inheritance controversies
  • Guardianship challenges
  • Conservatorship challenges
  • Family business disputes

Employment Disputes

In a delicate employee situation retaining an expert outside mediator is often the wise course of action. Here are just a few subject employment areas where mediation can be helpful.

  • Private negotiation of severance packages
  • Resolution of difficulties between co-workers
  • Sorting out issues between team members/teams/team leads
  • Confidential resolution of Employee/Employer discrimination claims
  • Confidential resolution of Sexual Harassment/Hostile Workplace issues
  • Wrongful discharge
  • Breach of employment contract
  • Enforcement of non-competition clauses (some)
  • Sex discrimination cases
  • Age discrimination cases
  • Sexual Orientation discrimination cases

Customer Complaints

Here are a few consumer dispute areas where mediation can be helpful.

  • Warranty/return disputes
  • Customer satisfaction questions
  • Homeowner/contractor
  • Vehicle Lemon Law
  • Vehicle Wrongful Repossession

Conflict in Nonprofit Corporations

Hiring an outside conflict resolution specialist benefits nonprofit agencies for a variety of reasons.
Skilled mediation:
  • is amazingly cost efficient
  • enables a prompt response time
  • provides a flexible, customized approach
  • is collaborative
Here are some typical disputes in a nonprofit agency where outside conflict resolution is beneficial.
  • difficulty between board and CEO
  • friction between staff and volunteers
  • other interpersonal conflicts
  • challenge in adaptation to changing market conditions regarding clients, funding etc.
  • need for agreement regarding clarity of mission and congruency of tactics to fulfill mission

An outside expert, who is objective, neutral and who will assist in resolving the conflict allows an organization to resolve the conflict more smoothly so it can return to its primary mission with the minimum of negative long-term consequences.

Experience and Training

Click edit button to change this text.

Mediation and Conflict Resolution Experience

Hundreds of private clients have employed me as their mediator, from all over the United States.

Court Clients

These Courts have appointed me to handle mediation matters for them over the years.

  • Santa Clara County Superior Civil Court
  • Santa Clara County Superior Family Court (Family Law ADR-Mediation, Settlement Pro Tem, Special Master, Arbitration)
  • Northern District of California – Bankruptcy Dispute Resolution Panel
  • Santa Clara County Small Claims Court ADR
  • San Joaquin County Court Small Claims
  • Stanislaus County Small Claims Court

Institutional Clients

Part of my experience has been with working with nonprofit agencies in the services they provide.

  • Legal Aid Society – Santa Clara County
  • Better Business Bureau (commercial disputes)
  • Project Sentinel (real estate and landlord/tenant)
  • Santa Clara County Department of Human Relations
  • Victim/Offender Mediation Program (criminal restitution)
  • Los Gatos Rental Dispute Resolution Program
  • Unity Worldwide Ministries Peacekeeper
  • Miscellaneous other nonprofit organizations and churches

Special Master, Litigation and Arbitration Experience

Over 20 years of experience has allowed me to assist people in many different situations in conflict resolution and to develop my virtual mediation process.

  • Admitted to California Bar 1986
  • Lead trial attorney 36 jury trials
  • Lead attorney several dozen court trials
  • Judge Pro Tem Superior Court
  • Court Ordered Arbitrator/Special Master Superior Court

Formal California Mediation Training and ADR Training

Use virtual divorce mediation to resolve your case and know that you’re in the right hands. The following mediation training assure the quality of our service.

  • Co-Mediator Skills Training – Dept. of H.R. Santa Clara County, California (40 hrs)
  • Special Master Training – Santa Clara Bar Association (8 hrs)
  • Training for Commercial Mediators – ADRA (40 hrs)
  • Mediation Practice – Santa Clara Law School (64 hrs)
  • Advanced Training – Academy of Family Mediators (8 hrs)
  • Effective Listening Course – Xerox (12 hrs)
  • Basic Communication in Stressful Situations- Process Therapy Institute (PTI)(4 hrs)
  • Introduction to Process Therapy Training (PTI) (21 hrs)
  • Advanced Process Therapy Training (PTI) (40 hrs)
  • Mediation Training – Better Business Bureau (3 hrs)
  • Dynamics of Male/Female Relationships – Hendrix Institute for Relationships (30 hrs)
  • Mediation Center of San Joaquin County (40 hrs)
  • Unity Worldwide Ministries -Peacekeeping and Mediation Training (75 hrs)
  • UWM-Credentialed Leader Minister/Ministry Review Process (20 hrs)
  • Compassionate Communication Trainings (AKA NVC) (25 hrs)
  • Other miscellaneous courses (excess of 130 hours)