As a plaintiff-side employment lawyer, I recommend Marisa without hesitation. Her approach to mediation is flexible and extremely effective. She is compassionate, able to connect with the parties in the room, and truly cares about achieving resolution in employment cases. Unlike some mediators who have a my-way-or-the-highway style, what sets Marisa apart is her ability to really work with the specific needs of a given case and the myriad factors involved, which can involve complex issues, parties, and circumstances. She can respond in the moment and moderate her style and approach to fit the needs of the parties, which is an invaluable and rare skill.
Marisa is my “go to” mediator when I am seeking to resolve particularly sensitive employment cases. She is uniquely talented at quickly digesting nuances that impact the case while effectively cultivating those nuances with other side, in confidence, fostering the parties closer and closer to settlement. She is gifted at counseling both the client and the attorney, on both sides of the table, about how to most meaningfully relay messaging in a way that keeps everyone engaged in the process. I am consistently impressed with her ability to calmly coax the client into an emotionally intelligent understanding of the weaknesses in his/her case, while conveying trust, credibility and poise.
The pleasure of mediating with Marisa is her preparation. Interacting with her during mediation is refreshing because it is clear that she has thoroughly read everything. She understands from the start the factual nuances of each individual case, how those details play into the law and increase or diminish potential exposure. That kind of attention to detail makes it so much easier to come to an early resolution of a legal dispute. Her commitment to preparation in advance of mediation also shows respect for the parties and their counsel, so that they feel like they are being ‘heard,’ which is more conducive to reaching resolution.
Marisa was put to the task of mediating an employment dispute with a highly emotional individual. We didn’t think it would settle, but Marisa was tenacious and spent an inordinate amount of time working through the person’s issues and got the deal done! I would not hesitate to use Marisa to mediate disputes for my clients.
I have worked with Marisa as an arbitrator and a mediator. As an arbitrator, she was fair and reasonable and did not require excessive briefing or lengthy conference calls in order to move the case forward. Marisa is my “go-to” mediator for employment cases. She gains the trust of the parties and then helps them see the strengths and weaknesses in their cases. She does her homework before the mediation date and hits the floor running when the mediation starts. She knows which facts are important to reach resolution and she gets to those key issues right away, so the parties can accurately assess their positions. She will stay until midnight or later in order to reach a settlement and get the settlement agreement signed. She is one of the hardest working mediators out there.
I mediated a wage and hour representative action with Marisa Ratinoff. Hours into the mediation, the Plaintiff announced that he intended to seek leave to amend the complaint to add new claims and to convert the case into a class action. At this juncture, most mediators would have thrown in the towel concluding that the parties were too far apart and would need to evaluate the new claims and re-evaluate existing claims on a class-wide basis before moving forward with mediation. Marisa did no such thing. She leaned on her experience as a former class action litigator to work collaboratively with both Plaintiff’s counsel and Defense counsel to re-examine the issues through a class-action lens, weighed in and transparently provided the plaintiff and the employer with their options — all while incessantly managing to maintain the negotiation process. She was thoughtful, creative, and diligent. It is refreshing to know that not all mediators have stopped working hard to settle cases.
Marisa has mediated two cases for me, and she managed to accomplish what I thought would be impossible. In the first case she worked with us from 9:00 AM until 10:30 PM, and finally got it done. In the second case, she was able to obtain a result that was much better than expected. She is very patient but no nonsense and simply gets the job done. I will recommend her to anyone in need of a top-notch mediator.
Ms. Ratinoff understands the legal and emotional components involved in mediating complex cases. With this knowledge, she relentlessly and effectively resolves the toughest cases.
Marisa was sharp, energetic, thoughtful, and able to quickly understand and narrow down the key legal and factual issues for everyone in the room. I was impressed with her pre-mediation discussion, in which she identified some strategic issues that positioned us well to hit the ground running on the day of mediation. I have recommended her to every employment litigator I know on both sides of the bar.
Marisa did a great job of settling a difficult sexual harassment case. The parties were far apart and barely talking with each other. The mediation lasted all day and much of the night. It took until about midnight, but her persistence paid off; she settled the case.