Jeff Kichaven

Jeff Kichaven Mr. Jeff Kichaven is one of California’s leading mediators of insurance coverage and bad faith cases. He practiced business litigation for over 15 years before he began his full-time mediation practice in 1996. Today, Mr. Kichaven mediates approximately 200 cases per year.

Mr. Kichaven also has a distinguished record of service to the bar and the larger community. He is the first full-time mediator to serve as a trustee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, and also serves as chair-elect of the ADR Committee in the ABA’s Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS), and as a director of the Southern California Mediation Association. He has previously served on the Council of the ABA’s Section of Dispute Resolution and as chair of the Los Angeles County Bar’s ADR Section.

In addition, Mr. Kichaven is an adjunct professor at Pepperdine University School of Law and has conducted Advanced as well as Beginning Mediation Training for the ABA, the Los Angeles County Bar, the California Court of Appeals, the U.S. District Court (CD Cal) and many other state and local bar and mediation associations. He is also a Fellow of the International Academy of Mediators. Mr. Kichaven also serves on the Board of Directors of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and on the National Legal Committee of the American Jewish Committee.

Mr. Kichaven is an honors graduate of the Harvard Law School (JD, cum laude, 1980) and a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of California—Berkeley (AB in Economics, 1977).

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Articles and Video:

A California Correction? Legislature Will Consider Allowing Attorney Malpractice Proof from Mediation (07/20/17)
The evidence is in. After 43 years of federal practice under Rule 408 of the Federal Rules of Evidence (1975); 19 years of New York practice under CPLR 4547 (1998); and 16 years of practice in various states under the Uniform Mediation Act (2001), we can conclude: Statutory confidentiality is not necessary for effective mediation.

The Mediation Advocate’s Bill of Rights (12/05/12)
if you hire mediators, you have rights! If you insist on your rights, you and your clients will have a superior mediation experience.

Professional Mediator: A Distinction that Makes a Difference (09/07/09)
In April 2006, a remarkable thing happened at the Spring Conference of the American Bar Association's Section of Dispute Resolution in Atlanta. A distinguished lawyer unwittingly proved that the mediation profession has a spectacular future.

When Is the Right Time To Mediate? (07/27/09)
For many years, I, like many other mediators, answered the question of when to mediate something like this: "It's always the right time to mediate. The cost is modest compared to the overall legal fees, so if there's even the slightest chance of settlement, mediation is a good bet. Plus, even if you don't settle, you learn a lot along the way."

"Let Them Pick the Mediator. We Don't Care." (04/13/09)
It's a common practice. And, it's generally a mistake. Participants are more likely to achieve satisfactory results in mediation when they actively participate in mediator selection.

Urban Legends Of Mediator Selection In Patent Insurance Cases (03/30/09)
An "Urban Legend" is commonly defined as "an often lurid story or anecdote that is based on hearsay and widely circulated as true." Like the one about alligators living in the sewers—although everyone has heard it, it's just not true. But what about the one that says, "To mediate a patent case, a mediator has to be an expert in science and technology"?

Nix Your Mediator's Prospective Waiver of Liability (01/12/09)
Excellence in mediation requires considerable skill. It also requires that the mediator use those skills in service of values consistent with the values of clients. When selecting, reviewing, or comparing mediators, it's important to pay equal attention to the mediators' values as well as their skills.

Six Ways To Sabotage A Mediation (12/08/08)
Feeling mischievous? Naughty? Maybe even a little spiteful, perhaps? Want to use that negativity to ruin your next mediation? Sure, why not? It's easy.

A Tool for Multi-Party Insurance Litigation Mediation with "Additional Insureds" (10/27/08)
The settlement of a basic, two-party case at mediation is often hard to accomplish. When three parties are involved, the task is generally much more difficult. With multiple parties, the challenges increase exponentially.

Evaluative Mediation Techniques Help Achieve Success (09/01/08)
A March 2008 report of the American Bar Association's Task Force on Improving the Quality of Mediation confirms what is obvious to all who participate in commercial mediation: There is "overwhelming support" for the conclusion that lawyers want mediators to provide "analytical input," or, as we more commonly call it, "evaluative mediation." The marketplace has spoken.

Evaluative Mediation Techniques Help Achieve Success (07/21/08)
A March 2008 report of the American Bar Association's Task Force on Improving the Quality of Mediation confirms what is obvious to all who participate in commercial mediation: There is "overwhelming support" for the conclusion that lawyers want mediators to provide "analytical input," or, as we more commonly call it, "evaluative mediation." The marketplace has spoken.

The Concept of Reciprocity in Mediation (05/19/08)
I received a startling e-mail from a prominent Southern California judge. The reality he reflects should cause the commercial mediation community to reject two clods of conventional wisdom. To satisfy clients, commercial mediators must learn to love—not disdain—"evaluation." Commercial mediators must also remember to love—and again, not disdain—lawyers.

Courageous Carriers, Meaningful Mediations (02/11/08)
Pity the poor plaintiff at the mediation of a third-party claim being defended under a reservation of rights. This lonely soul has been "mediated-upon" and finally lowered her settlement demand to a reasonable number. Still, no deal. The mediator spends hours with the policyholder-defendant and its insurer, but to no avail. The mediation ends, and the plaintiff is frustrated. Why was she forced to waste a day? Embittered, she and her counsel return to the litigation trenches less willing to collaborate on settlement initiatives, discovery, scheduling, or anything else. Clearly, this is a bad result.

How To Pick a Mediator (10/07/07)
It's the litigator's worst mediation nightmare. As you leave the mediator's office, your client says, "That mediator is a real jerk. Why did you ever pick him?" The unspoken part of the conversation, though, is even worse. That's because you fear your client is thinking, "YOU picked that lousy mediator. Why did I ever pick YOU?"

Purchasing Habits of Sophisticated Mediation Services Consumers (09/03/07)
Among themselves, mediators spend a lot of time discussing what makes a good mediator. These discussions are largely uninformed by the views of the consumers of our services, and are therefore largely useless. "Good mediation" is defined by the consumers of our services to a degree far greater than we mediators define it ourselves. In short, unless the buyers are buying it, we are not doing it.

Can Mediators Be Forced To Kiss and Tell? (12/11/06)
In a recent column, "Absolute Confidentiality: Is It Wise?," I noted that California's Mediation Confidentiality Statute, Evidence Code 1115 et seq., bars all evidence of, among other things, attorney malpractice that takes place in the course of a mediation and, therefore, functions as an immunity statute as well. An attorney's lack of accountability in tort for malpractice that takes place during a mediation will ultimately make clients wary of allowing their attorneys to use mediation.

Some New Thoughts about Mediation Confidentiality (08/20/06)
Several of my recent columns have criticized the "absolute confidentiality" rules of the California Evidence Code which govern mediation in this state. In this column, I intend to move the discussion forward by describing some thoughts and ideas regarding how we might improve on the current rules.

When Mediators Cross the Line (01/02/06)
Mediators and lawyers can sometimes cross the line of common decency—bordering on committing illegal acts—particularly during difficult mediations. Strong-arm tactics do not help the process, however. A settlement for settlement's sake does all parties a disservice.

Absolute Confidentiality—Is It Wise? (12/05/05)
In California and elsewhere, it is said that confidentiality is key to the success of the mediation process. But is it really? Does it instead protect the parties from claims in tort? It is important to review state legislation and case law to determine what protections are available to the mediator and those involved in mediation, and then assess whether these are counterproductive.

Mediation Advocacy: The State of the Art (10/17/05)
Mediation has evolved over the past few years as a powerful risk management tool. As mediation grows in popularity, it becomes more likely that you or your firm will be involved at some point. It is important to know what you're getting into from the onset. Learn what to look for when selecting a mediator, how to prepare before mediation begins, and what to do when you first show up.

Apology in Mediation: Sorry To Say, It’s Much Overrated (09/12/05)
A simple apology—without admission of liability or fault—can go far to ease tension and promote goodwill in a mediation or negotiation setting. Although rarely used and often misconstrued, when done appropriately and sincerely, they can help effectuate fast, fair settlements.

When Logic Just Doesn't Work (07/25/05)
Sometimes during mediation, progress and negotiations are stalled due to one of the parties inability to act, a type of client paralysis. Mediation tactics, such as the “magical paradox” technique, can be used to help overcome this paralysis.

Top 10 Reasons Why Psychiatric Disability Discrimination Claims Are So Hard To Mediate (11/17/00)
Plaintiffs and defendants alike benefit from the clear choices generated in the mediation of psychiatric disability claims.

Mediation Is Not For Sissies (12/20/99)
Mediation is not for sissies. Mediation is for litigators who are well-prepared; who fully understand their cases and their clients; who have the skills to work with their clients to reach the best possible outcomes; and who have the courage to let the chips fall where they may.