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Lee M. Jacobson is a full time mediator/arbitrator and is President of Jacobson Dispute Resolution, APC. After graduating from the University of California at Davis in 1977 with degrees in Political Science and Mass Communications, Lee attended law school at the University of Santa Clara, becoming an associate editor of the Santa Clara Law Review and earning a Juris Doctor degree in 1980.

Admitted to practice law in the State of California in December of 1980, he then began his legal career working for the Ericksen, Arbuthnot law firm specializing in insurance defense litigation where he worked for 7 ½ years before starting his own law firm, Jacobson, Hansen and Najarian in August of 1988 where he continued litigating insurance defense matters.

Lee began his role as a neutral in 1995, presiding over mandatory settlement conferences in the Fresno County Superior Court. He transitioned his legal practice and became a full time neutral in 2000 and has mediated over 5000 cases. He has mediated cases venued throughout the State of California in both Federal and State Courts. He has also been selected as a binding arbitrator over 100 times.

Lee brings an evaluative approach to the mediation process, asking the parties to give strong consideration to both the evidentiary and monetary risks they will confront should their matter proceed to trial. He also brings innovative approaches to the negotiation process which go well beyond traditional concepts of distributive bargaining, reducing the likelihood of impasse.

Lee married his wife Peggy in 1985. They have two children: Ross, who is employed as a Product Marketing Manager for Vizio Television, and Laura who serves as a Guild Manager for Valley Children’s Health Care. Lee is an avid Road Cyclist and a forever Classic Rocker (often using Classic Rock song titles and lyrics during the mediation process).


  • University of California at Davis, Bachelor of Arts, 1977
  • Mass Communication and Political Science, with Honors, June 1977
  • University of Santa Clara School of Law
    • Associate Editor Santa Clara Law Review 1980
    • Juris Doctor May 1980
  • Admitted to California Bar 1980

Employment History

  • Ericksen, Arbuthnot, et al, 1980-1988
  • Jacobson Hansen and Najarian, 1988-2017
  • Jacobson Dispute Resolution, 2017-present
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rating 2005-present

Dispute Resolution Affiliations and Service

  • Distinguished Fellow International Academy of Mediators—2011-present
  • Conference Chair 2015 International Academy of Mediators Spring 2015 San Francisco Conference
  • President—International Academy of Mediators 2018-2019
  • Guest Lecturer—Pepperdine University/Caruso School of Law/Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution
  • Guest Lecturer—San Joaquin College of Law

Conferences Attended:

  • Pepperdine University Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution: Advanced Mediation
    Skills and Techniques – June 2005.
  • Pepperdine University Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution; Specialized Mediation
    Personal Injury, Employment, and Medical Malpractice Claims – October 2007.
  • Mediation Skills Workshop, Boston, Mass. – May, 2009
  • Pepperdine University Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution; Advanced Mediation
    Skills and Techniques – October, 2009
  • Pepperdine University Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution; Mediation in the Red
    Zone — October 2010, October 2011
  • International Academy of Mediators Conferences 2011-present
  • Pepperdine University Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution; Mediator Boot Camp –
    June 2013


  • International Academy of Mediators / The Hong Kong Mediation Council – October 2020 International Commercial Mediation in Asia: The Essentials for the Way Forward. “The Challenges and Opportunities which Lie Ahead for Mediators in a post -COVID world.” “Effective Distributive Bargaining in Video Conference Mediations”
  • Osgoode Hall Law School/York University, Winkler Institute for Dispute Resolution, International Academy of Mediators—May 2019—Toronto Ontario Canada 6th Annual Conference on Mediation: Mediation Styles and Processes “Interactive Process Designs in Mediation”
  • International Academy of Mediators Spring 2019 Conference Banff, Alberta, Canada – May 2019 “Evaluative Mediation Techniques and Mediator’s Proposals”
  • Pepperdine University School of Law—January 2019– Malibu, California “Reliance on the Distributive Bargaining Process in Reaching Agreement. Problems, Pitfalls and Potential Solutions”
  • Taking Commercial Mediation to the Next Level—Zurich Switzerland, November 2018 “The Importance of First Numbers in Commencement of Settlement Negotiations.”
  • Winkler Institute for Dispute Resolution — Toronto, Ontario, Canada April 2018 “The Evolution of Mediation – Where Are We Going? Mediation has Matured.
  • International Academy of Mediators — Edinburgh, Scotland, Spring 2018 “Who is the Mediator’s Client”
  • International Academy of Mediators Fall 2017 Conference Austin, TX “Could Mediation Have Saved The Beatles?”
  • Southern California Mediators Association—November 2016 “The Diplomacy of Communicating First Numbers in the Commercial Dispute: Options, Tools and Strategies Essential to Effective Mediation
  • International Academy of Mediators Fall 2016 Conference Vancouver, BC PEPP Talk— “The Rhythm of Mediation — The Mediation Process as told through Classic Rock Lyrics.”
  • International Academy of Mediators—September 2016 Vancouver, BC, Canada “Pushing to Close vs. Pushing to Continue.” When calling a time out may be in the best interests of the parties.
  • American Bar Associations Dispute Resolution Section Conference New York City – April 2016 “First Demands and First Offers… Striving for a Solid Start” 
  • International Academy of Mediators/Arbitrators and Mediators Institute of New Zealand
    Joint Conference – March 2016 “First Demands and First Offers… Striving for a Solid Start”
  • Pepperdine University/Caruso School of Law—February 2024 Advanced Mediation Workshop—Avoiding potential impasse