Binding and non-binding arbitration, consulting on dispute resolution and expert testimony.
A Focus on Efficient and Fair Results
Kathleen Smalley brings 40 years of experience – in business roles as a corporate officer, general counsel, director, and trustee; in transactional practice; in trial and appellate litigation; and in government service – to an ADR and consulting practice focused on resolution without the delay, expense, and inconvenience inherent in litigation.
WORTHY OF NOTE
Forty years of working with businesses, family business-owners, and consumers have taught me that litigation often doesn’t work very well – it’s slow to get on the docket, it’s slower to pursue to resolution, it’s expensive, and it interferes unnecessarily with the business operations and lives of the parties involved. Arbitration, well managed, can solve all of that.
In dispute resolution, Kathleen Smalley calls on her experience as a partner in law firms; as general counsel of a major private company, of a family office, and of a public company; as a pension fund trustee; and in business roles. She has executive experience in real estate (at Trammell Crow Company, Crow Holdings, and Catellus Development Corporation (NYSE: CDX)), family governance, and executive compensation. Practicing in multiple states, she was engaged in problems of national and international scope. She has served as a director of a public company (Quality Care Properties (NYSE:QCP)), a trustee of a public pension fund (CalSTRS), and on boards of several nonprofits.
As a panelist or chair, Kathleen Smalley has resolved cases involving a broad range of substantive law, including partnership and governance matters, real estate finance, executive compensation, construction, telecommunications, appeal, consumer finance, general contract interpretation, and others. She has also served in an appellate panel reviewing the outcome of a sole arbitrator determination.
As an advocate, she designed creative cost-effective contractual procedures tailored for individual proceedings. As a neutral, she understands the value of creative, tailor-made approaches. She seeks to streamline the process, limiting motion practice to situations where it truly expedites and narrows the issues, furthering a fair resolution of each case.
Serves as a solo neutral, panel member or panel chair in reaching binding resolution in a speedy, cost-efficient, and fair adjudication of rights.
Provides an arbitrator’s view of the likely outcome in a binding arbitration or court proceeding, based on a process designed by the parties to replicate as much of the actual arbitration process as is productive to their resolution plan.
DISPUTE RESOLUTION CONSULTATION
Advises on strategy in negotiation, mediation, litigation, or arbitration, as a resource to lead counsel or their clients; brings the experience of a general counsel in delivering the advice of expert outside counsel in a manner accessible and useful to the ultimate client; advises on the design of arbitration clauses and agreements.
Consults and testifies based on experience in real estate transactions, governance, and family-owned businesses where the context for business and family wealth disputes can be helpful to a generalist factfinder.
Kathleen Smalley began her career with the broad experience of serving in the federal courts, as law clerk to Judge John Minor Wisdom of the US Court of Appeals and Justice Sandra Day O’Connor of the US Supreme Court. The caseload covered everything from capital criminal cases to federal tax; First Amendment to civil procedure; bankruptcy to block grants to states. She later served as a trustee of CalSTRS.
After leaving the government, she served as general counsel of Trammell Crow Company; of Crow Holdings, the family office of the Trammell Crow family; and Catellus Development Corporation (NYSE: CDX). At both Trammell Crow and Catellus, she undertook significant business responsibilities, including brownfield redevelopment initiatives with risk-based environmental remediation, negotiation of major financings, debt restructures, and design of investor portfolios, along with the risk tolerance and management functions of a general counsel. She was responsible for executive compensation, equity participation arrangements (in both privately held and publicly held enterprises), and employment contracts for senior management, and she managed various employee benefit and labor issues for all employees. Her capital markets experience includes initial public offerings, compliance, reporting, and follow-on public offerings as well as private placements and venture capital transactions.
Returning to private practice, she represented select clients on high-stakes litigation and administrative appeals; matters relating to family wealth; internal investigations; and governance arrangements. Initially in her own practice, and then at national law firms, she appeared before administrative agencies and trial and appellate courts and negotiated transactions ranging from financings to leases to corporate acquisitions.
Her preferred case areas include:
Real Estate (Valuation, Landlord-Tenant, Development, Finance, Land Use)
Executive Compensation & Employment
High Asset Divorce
Libel & Slander
Mergers & Acquisitions
In matters administrated by the American Arbitration Association (AAA), fees are published or set by the relevant rules. All invoicing will be handled by an AAA case manager.
For private arbitrations, whether non-binding or binding, please contact my office directly for my fee schedule.
Contact Kathleen Smalley
I am located primarily in California but travel throughout the country and internationally. If I can help, please give my California office a call or send me a note directly.
Email: [email protected]