Mark Baer

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Alternative Dispute Resolution Attorney in Pasadena, CA

Mark B. Baer, Inc., APLC
 | 301 E. Colorado Boulevard, Suite 320
Pasadena, CA 91101
Phone: 626-389-8929
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2012 - 2017
Licensed Since: 1991
Practice Areas:
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (80%),
  • Family Law (20%)
Attorney Profile

When someone walks into my office, they can expect to find a competent, caring, and compassionate professional who is determined to assist them in resolving their conflicts and disputes constructively, rather than destructively.

I assist clients in solving their problems, rather than merely brokering deals on the legal issues.

The more I understand the nature of human conflict and what makes people tick, the better able I am at helping them resolve their differences. This involves a lot of empathy (the core of which is perspective-taking) and understanding how others think. It’s impossible to be empathic toward someone you’re judging. My philosophy and approach is consistent with the title of the book in which I co-authored two chapters, which is "Putting Kids First in Divorce: How to Reduce Conflict, Preserve Relationships and Protect Children During and After Divorce."

Whether in my work as a mediator, attorney, or conflict resolution consultant, I am committed to assisting people in resolving or otherwise managing their conflicts and reaching agreements that are in their best interest and that of their children. In my practice, I try to capture the essence of a conflict and move people to a place of empathy and compassion. By de-escalating conflict and rebuilding trust, people are better able to resolve their differences in a constructive manner. I help people to see things from different perspectives and to focus on the bigger picture.

Working as a mediator closely aligns with my core values and how I define them. Two of the values that speak to me the most and without which I would not be who I am are “fairness” and “making a difference.” In addition, I define mediators as “peacemakers”, not “deal brokers”, and litigation attorneys as “warriors” and “gladiators.” As I began realizing that “legal justice” is not the same as “fundamental fairness”, I lost my passion “making a difference” through it.

Playing to "win" isn't problem solving.

Furthermore, the pervasive and increasing incivility within the legal profession serves no purpose in helping clients solve their problems – quite the contrary.

Moreover, in his article titled The Law As Violence: Essay: Litigation As Violence published in the Wake Forest Law Review in 2014, Vincent Cardi stated, "Making lawyers and the public more aware of the serious psychological harm to those involved in litigation is a moral obligation of the profession and would likely lessen the harms over time. As attorneys, we each have a moral obligation to know who will be hurt by our actions and a professional obligation to tell our clients of the harm that will likely accompany litigation.... Because an awareness of the likelihood of psychological suffering could be expected to deter some clients from filing suit, attorneys have a financial incentive not to advise the client of these problems. A court rule requiring attorneys to inform their clients of the serious psychological harms that often accompany litigation might be appropriate."

What really makes me unique is my work on the concept of empathy, a key component of compassion, led to my being the only person outside of the United Kingdom invited to participate in the Compassion: Child & Family Law Symposium scheduled for July 13, 2017 in London, England. The symposium is being presented by the Law & Compassion Research Network, founded by Associate Research Fellow Dermot Feenan at University of London's Institute of Advanced Legal Studies. My work pertaining to empathy was also referenced in a study by Dr. Lynne Reeder, Director of Australia21, an evidence based public policy think tank.

On June 16, 2017, I was interviewed for an article published on Psych2go.net, a popular psychology website with over 1 million followers, most of them being millennials. The interviewer commented as follows:  

"Mark, who I found out is not only accomplished in law but also an accomplished author, learns about clients’ relationships and how to best interact with them to solve their problems. This involves a lot of empathy and understanding how others think.... Baer proves that he does not need a degree in psychology to have any credibility about the topic of empathy. He works professionally with people to understand their relationships and how to best solve their problems with the same skill as any psychiatrist might. But I didn’t write this just to show how one can have deep psychological knowledge without directly working in psychology, I wrote it because Baer’s thoughts on empathy and the technique of empathy conversations are genuinely intriguing and important. I think that truly listening to someone you may disagree with is a very easy method to accept and understand their thinking, a method we can all practice every day."

This is particularly important, considering that many people believe that empathy is the key to conflict resolution or management

In 2017, I was elected a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, in recognition of exemplary dedication to highest principles of the legal profession, commitment to the welfare of society, and support for the ideals, objectives, and work of the American Bar Foundation. 

 
Practice Areas
Lawyer Practice Area Pie Chart

Alternative Dispute Resolution (80%): Mediation

Family Law (20%): Alimony & Spousal Support, Child Support, Custody & Visitation, Dissolution, Divorce, Paternity, Prenuptial Agreements, Marital Property, Mediation & Collaborative Law, Same Sex Family Law

Focus Areas

Alternative Dispute Resolution: Mediation

Family Law: Alimony & Spousal Support, Child Support, Custody & Visitation, Dissolution, Divorce, Paternity, Prenuptial Agreements, Marital Property, Mediation & Collaborative Law, Same Sex Family Law

Selections

Selected to Super Lawyers for 6 yearsbottom-image

Super Lawyers: 2012 - 2017

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About Mark Baer

Admitted: 1991, California

Professional Webpage: http://www.markbaeresq.com/Attorney-Profile.aspx

Honors and Awards:

  • On May 5, 2017, I was elected a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation in recognition of exemplary dedication to highest principles of the legal profession, commitment to the welfare of society, and support for the ideals, objectives, and work of the American Bar Foundation.  The Fellows is an honorary organization of attorneys, judges, law faculty, and legal scholars whose public and private careers have demonstrated outstanding dedication to the welfare of their communities and to the highest principles of the legal profession.  Membership in the Fellows is limited to one percent of lawyers licensed to practice in each jurisdiction. Members are nominated by their peers and elected by the Board of the American Bar Foundation. , Elected a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, American Bar Foundation, 2017
  • Mark B. Baer, Inc., APLC was one of only four law firms in the entire state of California to receive the Corporate LiveWire 2016 Global Award for "Litigation and Dispute Resolution." That award category encompasses mediation, collaborative law, and conflict resolution coaching, which are the primary focuses of Mark's practice., Best, Corporate LiveWire Global Awards, 2016
  • Best Family Law Attorney - Pasadena, Corporate LiveWire Global Awards, 2015
  • Southern California "Super Lawyer" 2012–2016

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • California, License No.: SBN 152512, 1991

Scholarly Lectures and Writings:

  • In this article, I explain why better decisions occur when we don’t let our emotions get the best of us.  , Author, Don't Let Emotion Choose You, Psychology Today , 2017
  • In this article, I explain why empathy is the key to conflict resolution and lack of empathy is the source of great conflict., Author, Authoritarianism Comes with a Huge Price, Psychology Today , 2017
  • In this article, I discuss navigating the treacherous waters created by attorneys for whom the practice of law is nothing more than a game to be won is no easy feat., Author, Are Illusory Agreements The New Trend?, Psychology Today , 2017
  • In this article, I explain that one of the infinite number of choices we make is how we deal with conflicts and disputes and why such a decision deserves a great deal of thought. , Author, The Choices We Make Create History, So Choose Wisely, Psychology Today , 2017
  • In this article, I explain why litigation is a form of violence. , Author, You Think You’re Helping, Do You?, Psychology Today , 2017
  • In this article, I ask who is responsible when the public fails to understand the different dispute resolution processes and types of attorneys and mediators available, even after they retain someone., Author, When Hiring a Lawyer or Mediator, Buyer Beware, Psychology Today , 2017
  • In this article, I examine how people's misguided biases, beliefs, assumptions, expectations, and values are causing harm., Author, How Are False Beliefs Harming People?, Psychology Today , 2017
  • In this article I explain why lawyers could more effectively represent their clients if they understood the art of persuasion.  , Author, Shouldn't Lawyers Understand the Art of Persuasion?, Psychology Today , 2017
  • In this article, I examine why family law attorneys ignore the research which supports the benefits of a facilitative over an adversarial approach for divorce and family law., Author, Is Willful Ignorance a Good Quality in an Attorney?, Psychology Today , 2017
  • In this article, I explain judicial bias is a variable that is often overlooked, despite the fact that it leads to injustice., Author, Injustice at the Hands of Judges and Justices, Psychology Today , 2017
  • In this article, I explain that falling into the common trap of defining emotional intelligence much too narrowly can lead to low levels of Collaboration Essentials.  , Author, The Passion of Anger Can Be Used in a Constructive Manner, Psychology Today , 2017
  • In this article, I explain that what's "better" or "best" in any situation is a matter of perspective, and the perspective that matters most is that held by the individuals in need of a given product or service., Author, What's "Best" Varies, Depending upon the Needs Involved, Psychology Today , 2017
  • In this article, I explain the interconnection of expectations, gratitude, happiness and empathy., Author, Unrealistic Expectations Impede Happiness and Empathy, Psychology Today , 2017
  • In this article, I explain why empathy is the key to conflict resolution., Author, Empathy Is the Key to Conflict Resolution or Management, Psychology Today , 2017
  • In this article, I explain that there is a strong connection between certain personality traits, emotional intelligence and collaborative potential., Author, Personality Traits, Emotional Intelligence and Collaboration, Psychology Today , 2017
  • In this article, I explain how anxiety from a lack of toleration for ambiguity leads to binary thinking., Author, When Binary Thinking Is Involved, Polarization Follows, Psychology Today , 2017
  • In this article, I explain why empathy toward others is a precondition to an ethical life.  , Author, The Connection Between Empathy Toward Others and Ethics, Psychology Today , 2017
  • In this article, I explain how empathy conversations in which the participants are their authentic selves and feel safe to share their vulnerabilities are extremely powerful in changing hearts and minds. , Author, Protests and Force Don't Change People's Hearts and Minds, Psychology Today , 2017
  • In this article, I explain why death and divorce have more in common than one might think.  , Author, As Debbie Reynolds Tragically Reminded Us, Stress Kills, Psychology Today , 2016
  • In this article, I explain that unless justice and fairness are signs of weakness, people's perceptions of empathy as such could not be more wrong, Author, If You View Empathy as a Sign of Weakness, Think Again, Psychology Today , 2016
  • In this article, I explain why empathy gleaned through perspective taking is essential to critical thinking., Author, Empathy Can Lead to Profound Insights, Psychology Today , 2016
  • In this article, I explain why it's extremely harmful when respected news sources convey false and misleading information to the public., Author, Beware of Criticizing Concepts You Don't Fully Understand, Psychology Today , 2016
  • In this article I explain why believing that the power of empathy can be harnessed by perspective-taking alone is itself a false belief., Author, Not All Empathy Is the Same, Psychology Today , 2016
  • In this article, I explain why a great many conflicts and issues stem from the irresponsible exercise of our rights., Author, Along With Rights Come Responsibilities, Psychology Today , 2016
  • In this article, I explain that thhe terms we use to describe others significantly impacts how we relate to them., Author, Don't Fall for Political Propaganda, Psychology Today , 2016
  • In this article, I explained why solving problems facing our nation requires empathy and emotional intelligence. Bridging divides requires humanizing "the other" by discovering our shared humanity in spite of our different lived experiences., Author, Bridging Our National Divide Demands Empathy and Compassion, Psychology Today , 2016
  • In this article, I explain why both spouses are equally responsibile for the decicision to handle their family law matter through combat (litigation), as opposed to cooperation (mediation or collaborative law).  , Author, Cooperation or Combat? The Choice Is Yours!, Huffington Post, 2016
  • In this article, I discuss how the media's coverage of adversarial conflict resolution (an oxymoron) for the sake of profit has resulted in the public being misinformed and advised with regard to the most appropriate ways of handling emotional conflicts and factual disputes., Author, I Call Foul on the Media’s Coverage of Divorce and Conflict in General, Huffington Post, 2016
  • Mr. Baer co-authored the first two chapters in "Putting Kids First in Divorce: How to Reduce Conflict, Preserve Relationships and Protect Children During and After Divorce", which was published on February 7, 2016.  Moreover, the book's Introduction opens with his quote, "Outcomes are typically determined by the way in which the 'game is designed."  The book has received the following reviews, in addition to those which can be viewed on Amazon: "I will be recommending Putting Kids First in Divorce to all who want to preserve their child(ren)’s sanity during dissolution." - Joan T. Daniels, Esq. "A commonly needed text of information, the newly released book, Putting Kids First in Divorce, is a child-centered guide for parents who are considering divorce or separation, co-authored by Attorney and Mediator Mark Baer. Check it out and pass it along to clients, friends, and family." - Global Association for Interpersonal Neurobiology Studies  GAINS is a Global Association of "therapists, educators, artists, community planners, scientists, health care providers, parents, spiritual directors and seekers, researchers - and individuals interested in creating a resilient, compassionate world." It is described as follows: "We promote and support the application of the scientifically-grounded principles of Interpersonal Neurobiology to the art of human relationships, across disciplines, in both our personal and professional lives, in the service of a more awake and compassionate world for individuals, families, and communities.", Co-Author, Putting Kids First in Divorce: How to Reduce Conflict, Preserve Relationships and Protect Children During and After Divorce , 2016
  • The program description was as follows:  "Learn what you can do to be an agent for social change in what has been referred to as ‘the last civil rights movement’: LGBT rights. Notwithstanding the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality, a number of states do not prohibit employment or housing discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Additionally, religious liberty laws are being enacted in various states, which permit discrimination against LGBT individuals. Panel members will share their own experiences relating to issues that members of the LGBT community face, and will assist those that attend this program to acquire an insight that will aid in the empathetic process when faced with such issues in mediation.", Moderator and Panelist , Equal Rights for the LGBT Community: The Last Frontier of the Civil Rights Movement,, Southern California Mediation Association, 2015
  • This program addressed the ethical do’s and don’ts of 3rd party involvement in our family law cases from the payment of fees to a determination of who and who is not the client—and a lot more in between., Panelist, The Ethical Do’s and Don’ts of Knowing When 3’s a Crowd, ABA Family Law Section , 2015
  • This is Part 7 of a 7-Part series describing how family law lawyers contribute to their clients' problems, rather than the solution. , Author, How Family Law Attorneys Tend to Think, Final Part, Huffington Post, 2015
  • This is Part 6 of a 7-Part series describing how family law lawyers contribute to their clients' problems, rather than the solution. , Author, How Family Law Attorneys Tend to Think, Part VI, Huffington Post, 2015
  • This is Part 5 of a 7-Part series describing how family law lawyers contribute to their clients' problems, rather than the solution. , Author, How Family Law Attorneys Tend to Think, Part V, Huffington Post, 2015
  • This is Part 4 of a 7-Part series describing how family law lawyers contribute to their clients' problems, rather than the solution. , Author, How Family Law Attorneys Tend to Think, Part IV, Huffington Post, 2015
  • This is Part 3 of a 7-Part series describing how family law lawyers contribute to their clients' problems, rather than the solution. , Author, How Family Law Attorneys Tend to Think, Part III, Huffington Post, 2015
  • This is Part 2 of a 7-Part series describing how family law lawyers contribute to their clients' problems, rather than the solution. , Author, How Family Law Attorneys Tend to Think, Part II, Huffington Post, 2015
  • This is Part 1 of a 7-Part series describing how family law lawyers contribute to their clients' problems, rather than the solution.  , Author, How Family Law Attorneys Tend to Think, Part I, Huffington Post, 2015
  • In this article, I discuss the practical and ethical problems that third party meddlers cause in divorce and other family law related cases.  , Author, When Divorcing, Beware of Meddlers!, Huffington Post, 2015
  • In this article, I explain the importance of empathy in our work as lawyers and why future lawyers should be screened and trained for empathy.  , Author, Future Lawyers Should Be Screened and Trained for Empathy, 2015
  • In this article, I explain why, if the consequences weren’t so tragic, the manner in which people tend to address their conflicts and disputes would make for great comedy., Author, The Greek Comedy We Call Litigation, Huffington Post, 2015
  • In this article, I explain why custody battles are so harmful to children., Author, Parents Should Think Twice Before Engaging in a Custody Battle Over Their Children, Huffington Post, 2015
  • In this article, I demonstrate why to resolve or manage conflict, you must address the actual cause of the problem.  , Author, To Resolve or Manage Conflict, You Must Address the Actual Cause of the Problem, Huffington Post, 2015
  • In this article, I quote various governmental entities from all over the world regarding the damage caused by litigating family law matters and the benefits of mediating such issues.  , Author, Litigation Should Come with a Warning, Huffington Post, 2015
  • In this article, I describe lawyer paternalism and explain why it is such a serious problem in the legal field, particularly in the field of family law.  , Author, Lawyer Paternalism Is A Very Serious Problem, Huffington Post, 2015
  • In this article, David Ellis, CPA and I discuss the complexities involved in family law matters and why it is essential for the legal community to embrace the power of collaboration for everyone's benefit.  , Co-Author, The Tax Consequences of Dividing Marital Property, Practical Tax Strategies, 2014
  • Author, Expose' on, Blogs on Divorce, 2014
  • "The Power of Empathy," Huffington Post, December 8, 2014, Author, 2014
  • Co-presenter at the 2013 California Psychological Association Convention with Stephen H. Sulmeyer, J.D., Ph.D. on The Cutting Edge of Psychological Practice: Mental Health Professionals and Dispute Resolution, 2013
  • Co-Presenter, Facilitating Rational Problem-Solving Into an Otherwise Destructive Divorce Process, San Gabriel Valley Psychological Association, 2012
  • Are Attorneys and the Legal System Facilitating the Creation of Post-Divorce Functional or Dysfunctional Families?, Speaker, The Financial Planning Association of the San Gabriel Valley, May 2012
  • Industry Trends and Perspective on the Future of Divorce Practice, Keynote Speaker, The Divorce Expo, Detroit, Michigan, 2012
  • Navigating the Emotional Currents of Collaborative Law, Panelist, American Bar Association, Family Law section: Spring CLE Conference, 2013, Panelist
  • "Are You Facilitating the Creation of a Post-Divorce Functional or Dysfunctional Family?", The World of Collaborative Practice magazine, May 1, 2012, Author
  • "Navigating the Emotional Waters within Collaborative Family Law," The World of Collaborative Practice magazine, March 2013, Author
  • "Inside the Minds: Strategies for Family Law in California," 2013 ed., published by Aspatore Books, 2013, Author
  • "When the Law Is Involved, Do Feelings and Notions of Fairness Matter?", DR Currents - A Publication of the Dispute Resolution Section of the State Bar of Georgia, 2013, Author
  • Heal from past relationships to help you move on and find love," ExpertBeacon, 2013, Author
  • "The Perfect Storm: Lawyer Limitations and the Adversarial Model in Family Law," The American Journal of Family Law, Winter 2014, Author
  • 12 part "Expose' on 'Divorce Corp.', the "documentary" film, Blogs on Divorce, January 2014, Author
  • "3 Things To Think About Before Filing For Divorce," MariaShriver.com, February 12, 2014, Author
  • "'Collaborative Divorce' Is Collaborative in Name Only," DR Currents - A Publication of the Dispute Resolution Section of the State Bar of Georgia, 2014, Author
  • "The Impact of Relationship Apps on Family Dynamics," Huffington Post, June 19, 2014, Author
  • "When Divorcing, Don't Hire a Pit Bull Attorney," Psychology Today, October 8, 2014, Author
  • "'How To Select The Best Mediator' Is a Must Read for Everyone," Huffington Post, November 18, 2014, Author

Newsletters:

Educational Background:

  • University of California, Los Angeles, B.A. in Economics/Business, cum laude, 1987

Industry Groups

  • Academy Of Professional Family Mediators
  • Association For Conflict Resolution
  • Beverly Hills Bar Association
  • International Academy Of Collaborative Professionals
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • Pasadena Bar Association
  • San Gabriel Valley Psychological Association
  • Southern California Mediation Association
  • Office Location for Mark Baer

    301 E. Colorado Boulevard
    Suite 320
    Pasadena, CA 91101

    Phone: 626-389-8929

     

    Mark Baer:

    Last Updated: 6/27/2017

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