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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 may 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 have resulted in an excellent success rate. She values each party’s needs and goals and works with counsel and carriers to assess their settlement positions to reach a 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, chronologies, and list of players are required. Parties are strongly encouraged to exchange briefs. If you decide to exchange briefs that differ from what you provided to Marisa, please provide Marisa with a short brief containing information not being shared with opposing counsel. Briefs should be no longer than 10 pages double spaced. Exhibits and any other supporting papers, including chronology and player list, should be no longer than 20 pages. Exhibits should be marked to highlight the important parts. Please send your briefs and supporting papers via e-mail directly to Marisa at with a copy to Sonia at no later than seven (7) days’ prior to the mediation date. 

Although not recommended, if it is absolutely necessary to exceed the page limit, a hard copy (in addition to the email copy) MUST be delivered to Ms. Ratinoff at Ratinoff Dispute Resolution 17328 Ventura Blvd, #405, Encino CA 91316 to arrive by the same due date set out above. This mailing address is open to accept packages Monday through Friday 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.

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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