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Marisa Ratinoff, Esq. | Mediator & Arbitrator




Every decision, every move in a mediation reflects some kind of message.  What that message is and the ultimate choice to accept or reject the other party’s position is in the control of each party.  That is the beauty of mediation: The parties decide what path to take. 

Marisa does not promote a singular methodology.  Every mediation presents unique facts, unique perspectives, and unique parties.  The approach must remain fluid to allow the process to proceed, the parties heard, and the dispute resolved. 

Marisa’s substantive knowledge of employment law has been honed in the private sector, enabling her to provide parties with insight into current legal trends and holdings.  Her extensive experience with employment litigation allows her to quickly discern the legal concepts, assess the strengths and weaknesses of the merits of the dispute and ascertain how a judge or jury is likely to rule.

Marisa connects with both sides and moves quickly to understand all perspectives. Her sensitivity to the financial risks and emotional toll involved and her strong work ethic and creativity in reaching resolutions to even the most contentious disputes has resulted in an excellent success rate. She values each party’s needs and goals and works with counsel and carrier to assess their settlement positions to reach resolution during and, if necessary, after mediation.  Marisa understands the time, persistence, and commitment mediation requires and encourages the parties to make that same commitment.


Please contact Sonia Patel-Dalton directly at 1.818.788.8695 x 2 or for a rate quote or to schedule mediation.  Fourteen (14) days’ notice is required to reschedule or cancel a matter; otherwise the party requesting the change will be responsible for the full fee for the time allocated. Notice of cancellation and/or rescheduling must be submitted to Sonia in writing.

Pre-Mediation Conferences, Authority, and Briefs

Mediation briefs and chronologies are required. Parties are strongly encouraged to exchange briefs. If you decide to exchange briefs, please provide Marisa with a short brief containing information not being shared with opposing counsel. Briefs under twenty pages (including any exhibits) should be sent by e-mail directly to Marisa at with a copy to Sonia at no later than seven (7) days’ prior to the mediation date. 

We have arranged a special drop off location for larger briefs that exceed twenty (20) pages (including exhibits). Please send/deliver a hard copy to Ratinoff Dispute Resolution 17328 Ventura Blvd, #405, Encino CA 91316 to arrive by the date it is due.   

To make the mediation as productive as possible, Marisa will contact counsel for each side and conduct individual pre-mediation conferences.  Such pre-mediation communication provides the parties an opportunity to discuss logistics and any issues to be addressed before the mediation starts.  The mediation briefs are due before the pre-mediation conferences so all facts and claims are already known, and a more sophisticated strategy session may occur during the conference.

It is also critical to the success of the mediation that all named parties, counsel, insurance carriers, company representatives and any other decision-makers be present with full authority to settle the case. 

It is strongly recommended that counsel circulate a draft settlement agreement among themselves prior to the mediation or bring a draft settlement agreement to the mediation for efficiency purposes and to avoid any unknown issues following resolution.

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