About Bob Ivey
I have conducted mediations, negotiations, and settlement discussions throughout my career, and I am now a full-time mediator.
I specialize in mediating construction claims and other business disputes, but I regularly mediate cases, large and small, involving a variety of other issues.
To help you understand how I might help you, this and the following webpage summarize much of my forty-year professional career.
Recent Professional Highlights
In December 2009, I retired as an equity partner from the national law firm of Holland & Knight LLP, where I headed the firm's construction law practice in California and the West Coast. During my sixteen years in the Los Angeles office of Holland & Knight and its predecessor firm in Los Angeles, some of my most interesting cases included the following:
- Walt Disney Concert Hall Litigation. I represented the non-profit, public-interest corporation that raised the money, hired the architect (Frank Gehry) and general contractor, and oversaw the construction of Los Angeles' iconic Walt Disney Concert Hall, which opened in 2003. I defended the (non-profit) owner in the sixteen consolidated cases (involving some twenty-nine parties) that were filed against it that year seeking about $56 million in cost overruns. When we settled the cases more than two years later, my client paid the same amount in settlement that it had offered to the contractors before they commenced the litigation.
- Jail Construction. I defended a major British company that owned a major U.S. construction company against claims made by the owner (a city) arising from the construction of an $800 million jail. Before mediation, the parties were separated by claims totaling nearly $200 million.
o We settled both of the foregoing cases through persistent mediation.
- Royal Palm Resort Collapse. In the 1993 Guam earthquake, the only modern building to collapse was the twelve-story Royal Palm Resort. It was a new resort, open for business only three weeks, and it was 85% occupied. In the year 2000, after seven years of litigation (including three years of daily videotaped and mostly foreign-language depositions), our team of five Holland & Knight lawyers conducted a nearly year-long jury trial in Guam -- the largest trial in Guam's history. We were opposed by three major American law firms and two Guam law firms. After eliciting testimony in three languages in a high-tech ($700,000) courtroom that the parties constructed solely for this trial, our team persuaded the jury that the collapse was caused by construction deficiencies that were hidden from the owner by fraud. We obtained unanimous verdicts for our client totaling $146 million in compensatory and punitive damages. Each of our two verdicts (for compensatory and for punitive damages, respectively) was listed as one of the thirty largest jury verdicts in any U.S. court for two consecutive years.
o For a light-hearted take on this serious, long, complex and difficult trial -- in which the jury deliberated, daily, for more than thirteen months -- see my article entitled "Trials and Bat Milk on the Isle of SPAM" from the California Construction Law Reporter, Vol. 13, No. 7, or CLICK HERE. Nothing is more instructive regarding the value of mediation than a long and expensive jury trial.
Earlier in my career, I was a litigation partner in the law firm of Pillsbury Madison & Sutro, where I handled construction litigation, government-contracts claims, and other business and tort litigation. In recent decades, my law practice was centered on big construction projects and major commercial contracts. Throughout my career, my cases arose from both public and private development projects, local and federal government contracts, and private transactions involving real estate, insurance, banking, defamation, intellectual property (patents, copyrights, trademarks), trade secrets, design and construction deficiencies, and other specialized issues. I assisted my clients in settling most of these cases, often by mediation.
I have seen both sides of most issues. I was never called a "plaintiff's" or a "defense" attorney. Throughout my years of law practice, I represented both plaintiffs and defendants, both owners and contractors (and subcontractors and vendors), both buyers and sellers, and both landlords and tenants. The insights I gained from arguing one side and then the other, and alternately representing the competing interests of these traditional adversaries, regularly help me today in resolving the cases I mediate.
Without question, the most valuable training for my work as a mediator was my forty years as a practicing litigator: The primary focus of both professions is to understand and resolve disputes.
I have also:
- completed formal mediation training at the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University (Mediating the Litigated Case),
- participated in the training courses and seminars presented by:
- the American Arbitration Association University (AAAU) in 2008 --The Construction Mediation Conference,
- the Alternative Dispute Resolution Panel of the Los Angeles Superior Court in October 2008 -- Neutral Orientation,
- the ABA Disputes Resolution Section in April 2009 -- Complex Construction Mediation,
- the AAAU in 2009 -- Maximizing ADR Advocacy for Today's Economy,
- the Disputes Resolution Section of the American Bar Association at its annual meetings in Seattle, 2008 and San Francisco, 2010,
- the ABA's Forum on the Construction Industry, Miami 2010, and
- the California State Bar Annual Meeting, Monterey 2010,
- conducted about fifty mediations pro bono for the Los Angeles County Superior Court's ADR Panel during 2008 and 2009, and
- co-chaired a panel on advocacy in mediation at the 2008 ABA Dispute Resolution Section conference in Seattle.
- I graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law, where I served as a law-journal editor and was nationally ranked in the Philip C. Jessup International Moot Court competition.
- I entered college as an engineering student at Georgia Tech, worked (as a co-op student) as an apprentice engineer at the Savannah River Project (nuclear power facility), and completed my undergraduate education at Davidson College.
- Following law school, I served two years in the U.S. Army, where I was a Captain in Military Intelligence assigned to the Pentagon.
[Additional information appears on the webpage entitled "More About Bob Ivey"]
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