about mike leech

SUMMARY
For over 30 years I have been a trial lawyer handling business cases, with about half of those cases involving the employment relationship. That experience informs my understanding of the client needs of the parties and the practice realities counsel face in acting as a legal neutral.

Mediation
As a neutral mediator, my function is to help bring disputes to an efficient and reasonable conclusion for all concerned. I try to get people to “talk sense” with one another. I “talk sense” about the case with the attorneys and about the business and human decisions facing clients. I work to bring the most innovative tools developed by the mediation profession to bear on helping achieve settlement.

I appreciate that the parties are best served by listening to the counsel of their attorneys and focusing on achieving what they decide is in their own best interest. I do not judge negotiation strategies or tactics, and step in with my views only where I see an approach that may diminish the chance of reaching a settlement that might otherwise be possible.

Mediator since 1996.
Mediations conducted: 250.
Settlement rate: fluctuates between 85% and 95%.

LITIGATION EXPERIENCE

Employment: represented both individual and management discrimination consistently for 30+ years (age, disability, marital status, national origin, pregnancy, religion, retaliation and sexual orientation), racial and sexual harassment, FMLA, FLSA, ERISA, Fair Credit Reporting Act, False Claims Act, Equal Pay Act, battery, retaliatory discharge (public policy, federal statute), invasion of privacy, defamation, interference with contract, public employees, bonus and incentive compensation, sales commissions.

Complex Litigation: Class actions, multi-district litigation, injunctions, corporate deadlock/dissolution proceedings, specific performance actions, internal corporate and partnership disputes.

Investigations: confidential independent investigation of accusations of wrongdoing by high-ranking officers (public corporations, trade association, professional society, private hospitals, law firm).

Director & officer liability claims, corporate indemnification claims, partnership dissolution, buy-sell agreements, minority shareholder disputes, squeeze-outs, closely held corporate valuations.

Sale of business: letter of intent claims/breach of warranty.

Real estate: sales, long-term leases, promissory notes, mortgage liens, construction payouts.

Construction: delay claims, change orders, undisclosed site conditions, mechanic’s liens, misapplication of payouts, defective performance, suretyship (performance and payment bonds), bank seizure of funds.

Breach of contract: formation issues, contract interpretation, materiality of breach, successor liability, reformation, rescission, warranties in a wide variety of business and industry contexts.

Bankruptcy: adversary proceedings, preferences, trustee election, bankruptcy fraud, fraudulent conveyances, Chapter XI plan disputes.

Fraud: civil RICO, securities fraud, securities registration, blue sky law remedies, common law fraud, Consumer Fraud Act and Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

Business Torts: Interference with contract, interference with prospective economic advantage, non-competition agreements, trade secrets, employee duty of loyalty.

Lawyer professional issues: malpractice, ARDC investigations, disqualification, federal court sanctions, fee agreements, attorneys’ fee awards.

ARBITRATION

The arbitrator’s role is very different the mediator’s role. My arbitration philosophy is to move the case towards a quick, efficient conclusion that provides both sides an opportunity to put on their best case. Arbitrators need to make decisions, and those decisions should stand up to judicial review when it occurs. I did not like “split the baby” arbitrations as a practitioner and I don’t do that as an arbitrator.

Not licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania.

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