Joan B. Kessler

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Alternative Dispute Resolution Attorney in Los Angeles, CA

 | 1925 Century Park East, 14th floor
Los Angeles, CA 90067
Phone: 310-392-3044
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2006 - 2009, 2012 - 2017
Licensed Since: 1987
Practice Areas:
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
Languages Spoken:
  • English,
  • Spanish
Attorney Profile

With a law career spanning over 30 years and a Ph.D. in communications, Joan Kessler, Esq., is a uniquely qualified mediator and arbitrator whose training and education allow her to communicate effectively with attorneys and all parties involved in her mediations and arbitrations. She has the legal experience and knowledge to understand even the most complex of legal issues, as well as a background in communication which helps her to develop a rapport with even the most challenging, combative and high-profile personalities. She handles cases in real estate, employment, trust/estate, commercial, insurance, entertainment.

Ms. Kessler was honored by being named to the California Academy of Distinguished Neutrals. She has, also, had the honor to be the co-editor of the CAALA (Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles) Advocate journal each year since 2007 for their issue on ADR.

Ms. Kessler was further honored in 2011 to be invited as a guest of the U.S. Army War College to be a Civilian Member of the National Security Seminar. She spoke to her fellow seminar participants about key issues in resolving intercultural communication issues in mediations.

Ms. Kessler recently joined JAMS as a Mediator, Arbitrator and Special Master.

Regarding community service Ms. Kessler each year donates her time as a pro bono mediator to the USDC panel . She has traditionally handled many pro bono mediation cases each month in addition to her regular very busy mediation and arbitration practice, in order to give back to the community. Ms. Kessler, also, funds a yearly scholarship at the University of Michigan where she received her undergraduate and Ph.D. degrees and volunteers each year at Loyola Law School in their advocacy program as a judge.

Ms. Kessler has partnered with DecisionQuest, the largest jury consulting company in the United States, to develop new computer analytical tools to assess mock jurors’ and arbitrators’ reactions to cases.  Given her background in both litigation and in jury consulting, this new partnership is a very exciting match.  The tools, CaseXplorer Mediation and CaseXplorer Arbitration, will be used to help encourage settlement of matters before costly trials and arbitrations.


Practice Areas
Lawyer Practice Area Pie Chart

Alternative Dispute Resolution (100%): Arbitration, Mediation

Focus Areas

Alternative Dispute Resolution: Arbitration, Mediation


Selected to Super Lawyers for 10 yearsbottom-image

Super Lawyers: 2006 - 2009, 2012 - 2017

Email Me

To: Joan B. Kessler
Super Lawyers: Potential Client Inquiry

About Joan Kessler

Admitted: 1987, California

Professional Webpage:

Honors and Awards:

  • Named, Mediator, Arbitrator and Special Master at JAMS
  • Peer-Rated "AV Preeminent" by Martindale-Hubbell, highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards, 1997 - Present
  • AV Rating, Martindale-Hubbell
  • California State University, Northridge, Tenured, Danforth Fellowship, 1981-1986
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, 1977-1979
  • Named through the years on multiple lists of Who's Who, Who's Who In America, Who's Who In American Law, Who's Who of American Women, etc.
  • Named, "Top Lawyers" List by the Beverly Hills Courier, 2010
  • Named as a Member by the US Army War College to their National Security Seminar as their guest.
  • Los Angeles Superior Court Awardee in Mediation, 2008
  • Daily Journal's, Top Women Litigators, 2006

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • Admitted to the U.S. District Court, Central District of California.
  • Admitted to the U.S. Tax Court.
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • Member, Beverly Hills Bar Association
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, The California Academy of Distinguished Neutrals, 2008
  • Member, Southern California Mediation Association, 2006-Present
  • Member, Organization of Women Executives, 1996-Present
  • Member, Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles.
  • Member, California Academy of Distinguished Neutrals, 2008-Present.
  • State Bar of California, 1987

Pro bono/Community Service:

  • Mediator/Arbitrator, ADR Services, Inc., 2006 - 2013
  • Teacher and Debate Coach. Beverly Hills High School, Beverly Hills, California. 1968-1970
  • Board of Directors, St. Vincent's Meals on Wheels, 2007 – 2009
  • Advisory Board, Kauai Film Commission, 2003 - Present
  • Board of Directors, American Cancer Society, San Fernando Valley Unit, 1982 - 1983
  • Board of Directors, St. Vincent's Hospital Foundation, 1990 - Present
  • Board of Directors (Western States Board), National Jewish Center for Immunology & Respiratory Medicine, Denver, Colorado, 1991 - 1995
  • Instructor, Loyola University of Chicago Law School, Developed and taught communication and law, Summer, 1976
  • Board of Governors, City of Hope, Member of Executive Committee, 1994 - 1999
  • Advisory Council, University of Michigan Rackham Graduate School, 1992 - Present
  • Teacher & Debate Coach, Ann Arbor High School, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1967 - 1968
  • Member, Board of Advisors, University of Michigan Rackham School
  • Member, LASC Pro Bono Mediators Panel
  • Arbitrator, American Arbitration Association, 2009 - Present
  • Advisory Board, Loyola Law School Center for Conflict Resolution, 2008 - Present.
  • Advisory Board Turks & Caicos International Film Festival, 2006

Scholarly Lectures and Writings:

  • Kessler, "Reflecting back on 10 years of Advocate's ADR issue", Volume 43, Number 8, Advocate (August, 2016).
  • Kessler, "Assessment tools in mediation", Volume 42, Number 9, Advocate (September, 2015).
  • Kessler & Turner, “The Innovative Online Arbitration Evaluation Tool: CaseXplorer® ArbitrationTM”, LexisNexis® Emerging Issues Analysis, Research Solutions (April, 2015).
  • Kessler, "Pre-litigation mediation, a signal of weakness or a sign of strength?" Volume 41, Number 9, Advocate (September, 2014).
  • Speaker, Southern California Mediation Association 26th Annual Mediation Conference “New Technology and Innovative Procedures in ADR” (November, 2014).
  • Kessler, "Pre-litigation mediation, a signal of weakness or a sign of strength?" Plaintiff (September, 2014). 
  • Speaker, Southern California Mediation Association 26th Annual Mediation Conference “New Technology and Innovative Procedures in ADR” (November, 2014).
  • Kessler, "Pre-litigation mediation, a signal of weakness or a sign of strength?" Plaintiff (September, 2014).
  • Moderator, Beverly Hills Bar Association, "Assisting Businesses and Employees in Reducing Employment Related Litigation Through Training, Investigations and Pre-litigation Mediations (June, 2014).
  • Instructor, Monroe Community College, Rochester, New York, Department of Speech, 1970-1971
  • Associate Editor, Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA)Advocate Magazine 2007 - 2012
  • Kessler, "Caucus or Joint Session: To Meet or Not to Meet?", Volume 39, Number 9, Advocate, September, 2012
  • Speaker, Southern California Mediation Association 24th Annual Mediation Conference "How Attorneys Succeed and Fail in Mediation", November, 2012
  • "Catching Up with Justice Kagan", Los Angeles Daily Journal, September 14, 2012
  • Assistant Professor, Loyola University of Chicago, Department of Communication. 1973-1976
  • Speaker, Southern California Mediation Association 23rd Annual Mediation Conference "Intercultural Mediation Awareness and Strategies", November, 2011
  • "The Mediation Isn't Successful if the Settlement Doesn't Stick", Volume 36, Number 10, Advocate, October, 2009
  • "Is Collegiality a Thing of the Past?", Volume 38, Number 9, Advocate, September 2011
  • Speaker, Southern California Mediation Association 21st Annual Mediation Conference "Negotiating in the Female Voice: What We Can Learn From Our Women Colleagues (Not For Women ONLY)", November, 2009
  • Moderator, Seminar "Communication Strategies In Dispute Resolution: How To Have A Successful Mediation - And Make The Settlement Stick", Women's Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, April, 2007
  • Associate Professor, California State University, Northridge, Tenured, Department of Speech Communication, 1977-1983
  • Moderator, Solution Focused Mediation: Using Concepts from Quantum Mechanics and Neuroscience to Resolve Conflict, Southern California Mediation Association 20th Annual Mediation Conference, November, 2008
  • "Mediator Draws on Her Multifaceted Careers" Daily Journal, April 18, 2008
  • Beyond the Golden Rule: Successful Intercultural Mediations" Volume 34, Number 10, Advocate, October, 2007
  • "Cross-Cultural Communication in Mediations” Southern California Mediation Association Annual Conference, November, 2007
  • "Mediation Roadmap: The Mediation Brief - Plain English Trumps Legalese" Volume 35, Number 10, Advocate, October, 2008
  • Speaker, Southern California Mediation Association 22nd Annual Mediation Conference “Public Relations for Mediators”, November, 2010
  • University of Michigan, Rackham School, Alumni Magazine, article, page 10. 2005
  • Kessler, "The Lawyer's Intercultural Communication Problems with Clients from Diverse Cultures," Northwestern Journal of International Law and Business 64, Spring, 1988
  • Kessler, A Content Analytic Comparison of the Six- and Twelve-member Jury Decision-making Process. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of Michigan, 1973
  • Note, An Empirical Study of Six- and Twelve-member Jury Decision-making Processes, Georgia v. Ballew 435 U.S. 223, 238, 242, 1978
  • Moderator, PROVISORS, Century City, "Ethics in Mediation", January 13, 2012
  • "Brinker ruling expands the bag of tricks available to mediators", Los Angeles Daily Journal, April 23, 2012
  • Kessler, "The Connection between Mediation and Military Strategy", Daily Journal, July 8, 2011
  • Moderator, Women's Lawyers Association of Los Angeles seminar "Get a Life and Stay Successful - Balancing Work, Life, and Family", May, 2006
  • Kessler, "Use of Videotape for the Expert Witness," 28 Journal of the American Academy of Forensic Science, April, 1983
  • Kessler, "Are Lender Liability Actions Alive and Well?" Western Independent Bankers Newsline, October, 1989
  • Benson and Kessler, "Legalese v. Plain English: An Empirical Study of Persuasion and Credibility in Appellate Brief Writing," 20 Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review, January, 1987
  • Kulka & Kessler, "Is Justice Really Blind? -- The Influence of Litigant Physical Attractiveness on Juridical Judgment," 8 Journal of Applied Social Psychology 366, 1978
  • Kessler, Karnes & Follert, "The Effect of Juror Sex on the Decision-making of Student and Actual Jurors in a Simulated Civil Case," Speech Communication Association convention paper, Houston, 1975
  • Kessler, The Social Psychology of Jury Deliberation, in R. J. Simon (Ed.), The Jury System in America, A Critical Overview, Beverly Hills: Sage Publications, 1975
  •  "Key Elements of the Successful Mediation", Volume 37, Number 9, Advocate, September, 2010.
  • Note, An Empirical Study of Six- and Twelve-member Jury Decision-making Processes, (CITED IN) Colgrove v. Battin 413 U.S. 149, 159, 1973
  • Note, An Empirical Study of Six- and Twelve-member Jury Decision-making Processes, 6 U. of Mich. J. L. Ref. 712, 1973

Educational Background:

  • University of Michigan, Ph.D. in Speech Communication, Rackham Prize Fellowship, 1972 - 1973, 1973
  • University of Michigan, A.B. Major: English, 1967
  • Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, California, J.D., Chief Articles Editor, Loyola of Los Angeles, International and Comparative Law Journal, 1986
  • University of California, Los Angeles, M.A. in Speech Communication, 1969

Industry Groups

  • BHBA
  • OWE
  • Comments

    • “Fuses her communications skills developed as a Ph.D. and college professor with her legal skills developed as a business and real estate litigator.”
    • “Joan is able to settle difficult cases involving issues that are central to our economy. She is able to resolve disputes among people of different cultures by creating trust between the various parties and assisting them in fashioning workable settlements. She combines her extensive career as a litigator along with her background as a Ph.D. in communications. She has received numerous awards for her accomplishments.”

    These comments were made by fellow attorneys during the annual nomination process.

    Office Location for Joan B. Kessler

    1925 Century Park East
    14th floor
    Los Angeles, CA 90067

    Phone: 310-392-3044


    Joan B. Kessler:

    Last Updated: 6/13/2017

    Page Generated: 0.57578611373901 sec