Described as “remarkable,” “persistent,” “prepared, professional, flexible and easy to work with” by business mediation clients, Patricia Prince has broad experience resolving a variety of business and commercial disputes.
Resolving Litigated or Pre-Litigation Cases
Ms. Prince has successfully litigated and mediated business disputes for over 20 years. In her mediation practice, she is effective in resolving disputes before they reach the courts, as well as after litigation commences. Among the types of business disputes she mediates are:
Partnership, Corporate & Non–Profit Organization Business Disputes
- Common issues include breach of fiduciary duty, accounting, partnership dissolution, s
hareholder fights, management disputes, fraud, misrepresentation, misappropriation of funds,
misappropriation of confidential information, unfair competition claims, and family business succession disputes.
Breach of Contract Cases
- In particular, Ms. Prince has successfully resolved breach of contract cases in the high tech, investment, entertainment, real estate and other commercial environments.
Intellectual Property Disputes
- Ms. Prince has mediated cases involving copyright and trademark infringement, misappropriation of trade secrets, IP licensing disputes, work for hire disputes, and copyright ownership disputes in the high tech, entertainment and other industries.
Entertainment Law Disputes
- Ms. Prince has resolved conflicts involving breach of contract, defamation, royalty accounting disputes, licensing disputes and other intellectual property disputes.
Commercial Real Estate and Landlord/Tenant Disputes
- Among the issues Ms. Prince mediates are commercial and residential leasing disputes, construction/improvement disputes, building standards disputes, actions to recover back rent or security deposits, buy/sell disputes, agent/broker liability disputes, partition actions between co-owners, easement disputes and quiet title actions.
Premises Liability Cases
- Ms. Prince has handled numerous mediations involving slip and fall, inadequate maintenance, dangerous conditions and inadequate security cases involving a wide variety of defendants from major corporations to public entities and governmental agencies.
Ms. Prince is adept at identifying and resolving the underlying problems faced by the parties in the dispute, which often are magnified or otherwise distorted as the parties enter or proceed through the legal system. Ms. Prince is a skilled translator between the personal and business interests of parties and the legal requirements of a litigated case.
- Solving the problem in an employment dispute begins before the commencement of the mediation session with a careful review of mediation statements prepared by counsel for the parties and a pre–mediation session telephone conference with counsel to discuss the most efficacious mediation process for the dispute, to identify key factors that counsel and the parties believe may positively or negatively affect settlement prospects, and to hone in on case dynamics.
Tools and Techniques
Ms. Prince has developed additional tools to assist counsel and the parties prior to the mediation session, including a questionnaire counsel may use to assist their clients in prioritizing their business interests, as well as their personal interests, and in gaining a better overt appreciation of the opposing side’s interests prior to the mediation session. These tools and techniques help counsel and the parties prepare more effectively prior to the mediation session, which typically results in a more efficient session.
Curiosity, Empathy and Focus on Resolution
Ms. Prince listens carefully with curiosity and empathy for case themes and to understand the perspective of all parties of the dispute. She works closely with counsel to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of each side’s case; she helps the parties identify and prioritize their interests; and she keeps the parties focused on resolution as they negotiate, using her decade of ADR experience to move the parties through impasse to settlement.
Internal Workplace Mediation and Training
In addition to mediating pre-litigation and litigated disputes, Ms. Prince also works with businesses to resolve conflicts within business organizations when communication has broken down, including:
Internal Workplace Conflict Resolution
Internal workplace conflict resolution to curtail disputes before they escalate to the point of disrupting the workplace with gossip and office politics (at best) or the time, stress and expense of litigation (at worst).
Mediation of Internal Business Disputes
- Mediation of internal business disputes involving financial challenges, priorities, future goals, and mission statement goals for partners, shareholders or management.
Workplace Training and Coaching
- Ms. Prince also offers coaching and training in dispute resolution for managers and employees.
- Ms. Prince coaches and mediates with business owners and partners not represented by counsel (“self-represented parties”) and has spoken on this topic, including a presentation to The Mediation Society in May 2012 entitled, “Getting a Business Back on Track: Mediating Partnership Disputes with Self-Represented Parties.”
Overcoming Cultural Obstacles to Resolution
Ms. Prince has significant expertise resolving disputes involving cross-cultural disputants and is equally comfortable mediating with U.S. companies and nationals as with foreign companies and nationals.
Fluent in Spanish
- Ms. Prince is fluent in Spanish and is particularly effective at building bridges in cases in which the approach to negotiation and conflict resolution of differing cultures may be exacerbating the dispute.
- Her language skills and cultural fluency have proven invaluable in establishing the trust necessary to successfully resolve seemingly intractable disputes among parties from different cultures.
Recognized International Competency
- Patricia Prince was awarded the 2012 RockRose Scholarship to attend a conference at the International Summer School on Business Mediation in Admont, Austria , which brought together 100 conflict resolution professionals from around the world to focus on successfully mediating business disputes.
Through her active mediation practice, study and teaching, Ms. Prince is continually deepening her international perspective and cultural competencies. These skills have been called upon with increased frequency to successfully resolve business disputes in the high tech, medical, healthcare, investment and restaurant industries.