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<xTITLE>New Interview with Jeff Krivis - The Future of Mediation and Negotiation in Our Culture, Politics and Society</xTITLE>

New Interview with Jeff Krivis - The Future of Mediation and Negotiation in Our Culture, Politics and Society

by Jeffrey Krivis
March 2019 Jeffrey Krivis
This is a new interview with mediation leader and author Jeff Krivis by Robert Benjamin as part of Mediate's new "The Future of Mediation and Negotiation in Our Culture, Politics and Society" video series.

Jeff Krivis, J.D., practiced law for several years before shifting his career focus to mediation over 25 years ago. Since then he has become one of the most prominent and respected civil and commercial mediators not only in the Los Angeles area but nationally and internationally and is a founding member of the International Academy of Mediators. In addition to practice he is an Adjunct Professor of Law teaching for many years at the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University, where he is also an Emeritus member of the Board of Visitors. He has authored two books, Improvisational Negotiation: A Mediator’s Stories of Conflict about Love, Money, Anger—and the Strategies that Resolved Them, and How to Make Money as a Mediator And Provide Value. He has also written numerous articles including “Settlement Drift,” (, 2014), where he offers retrospective on how practice has changed over the last quarter century.

In his early college years, before he was even aware of mediation practice as a discipline, Jeff noticed the frequency with which relationships in families and in businesses were injured or severed. And, in his early career as a young associate lawyer in an established law firm began to think about how he might design a “blueprint” for clients to more effectively settle controversies. He admits to having been idealistic and notes how some of his initial hopes for mediation practice have been “thwarted in part by practical economics.” At the same time, he has taken the lead in this evolving mediation discipline in examining how “…we need to reshape our approach while at the same time carrying our visions forward...” recognizing that this “…will require both leadership and artistic imagination.”


Improvisational Negotiation. This phrase summarizes Krivis’ philosophy for a successful and dynamic mediated negotiation. A successful mediation needs both keen legal insight gained from years of litigation experience and cannot be scripted.

Exploring this idea with further study led Krivis to venture on the stage as a stand-up comedian. Ultimately, he authored a book entitled Improvisational Negotiation: A Mediator’s Stories of Conflict About Love, Money and Anger – and the Strategies that Resolved Them (Wiley/Jossey-Bass 2006). This book received the 2006 Outstanding Book Award from the CPR International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution.

Krivis began his mediation practice in 1989 breaking open a niche in the Southern California dispute resolution landscape. He crafted a process that sets the stage for successful resolution. Through improvising, harmonizing, and always closing, he has resolved thousands of disputes including wage and hour and consumer class actions, entertainment, mass tort, employment, business, complex insurance, product liability and wrongful death matters.

Additional articles by Jeffrey Krivis