Over nearly two decades of practicing law, Deb long recognized the growing and dire need for a new breed of dispute resolution that involved more than shuttle diplomacy, old-school scare tactics by retired judges and the ever-present threat of further scorched-earth litigation to force resolution. Bringing her clients to mediation sometimes felt like being trapped in a bad black-and-white movie from the 1960s, where an imposing authority figure in a dark suit and shiny shoes delivered threats back and forth between the conference rooms where the participants were trapped. She and her clients oftentimes spent the day fielding threats of doom and gloom of what was to come if they didn’t capitulate. If the matter didn't settle, the mediator sometimes disappeared never to be heard from again.  After suffering through more than her share of mediations like this, she decided to dedicate her practice to mediation and started the Center to do things differently.

"Mediations felt like watching a bad black-and-white movie from the 1960s, where an imposing authority figure in a dark suit and shiny shoes delivered threats back and forth between the conference rooms where the participants were trapped."

The Graceffa Dispute Resolution Center

offers a more modern and consultative approach to resolving disputes. In addition to utilizing still-effective traditional methods of dispute resolution, the Center also provides:

  • Educational resources, training and down-to-earth content for attorneys and their clients about the mediation process so that participants can come to mediation oriented to the process, with proper expectations and well-prepared to resolve their case.
  • Pre-mediation call/ short planning session with each attorney to ensure readiness before the mediation.
  • A dedicated Case Manager for each mediation who manages communications, scheduling, billing and follow up. The mediator and Case Manager work hand in hand to bring a matter to resolution.
  • Draft settlement agreements ready before the mediation starts so parties are not attempting to draft an agreement from scratch at the end of a long day.
  • Meaningful and dogged follow-up  if the matter does not settle the day of the initial session. Our efforts to resolve the matter don’t end just because a mediation session has.
  • Expedited Resolution Programs for matters such as Earnest Money Deposit Disputes.
  • Creative resolution solutions because not every case can simply end with one party paying another.

No scare tactics. No cajoling. Preparation and perserverence.

For Attorneys

Tips For Effective Preparation for Mediation

Mediation Information for Attorneys

For Parties To A Dispute

You received a scary letter. Now what?

What to Expect from Mediation

Types of Mediation:

Residential and Commercial
Real Estate

  • Failure to Disclose Material Facts in Real Estate Transactions - Buyers & Sellers
  • Realtor/Broker Negligence Allegations
  • Earnest Money Deposit Disputes in Residential and Commercial Real Estate Transactions
  • Unlawful & Forcible Detainers
  • Wrongful & Constructive Evictions
  • Habitability
  • Owner Move-In Disputes
  • Rent Board Actions
  • Violations of Rent Control and Just Cause Ordinances
  • Lease Disputes - Residential and Commercial
  • Breach of Contract - Real Estate
  • Litigation Regarding Flipped Properties/Construction Defects
  • Disputes Regarding Private Real Estate Financing
  • Strawbuyer, Co-Borrower Disputes
  • Commission Disputes
  • Quiet Title & Partition Actions
  • HOA Disputes
  • Receiverships & Actions by Government Entities Against Property Owners
  • Foreclosure Disputes
  • Disputes Between Real Estate Brokerages and Clients Regarding Listing Agreements
  • Easement, Boundary, Trespass, Nuisance and Neighbor Disputes
  • Marvin Actions
  • Constructive/Beneficial Interest Claims
  • Co-Ownership Disputes (Real Estate)

Civil / Commercial

  • Breach of Contract
  • Embezzlement and Fraud (Business)
  •  Defamation
  • Probate Litigation & Elder Financial Abuse
  • Partnership Disputes and Dissolutions (Business)
  • Marvin Actions
  • Fee Disputes Between Attorney and Client
  • Personal Injury
  • Civil Harassment & Restraining Orders
  • Civil Assault and Battery
  • High Conflict Disputes Between Parties in Relationship (Family, Neighbors, Co-Workers, Business Partners, Employer/Employee, Property Co-Owners)
  • Diversity and Inclusion Issues and Disputes in Schools and the Workplace

Construction Defects

  • Construction Defect - Residential and Commercial
  • Contractor and Developer Disputes


Administrative Law Matters

  • Professional Liability Claims Against Real Estate Brokers/Agents and Attorneys
  • Administrative Actions by the Department/Bureau of Real Estate
wrestlers in dispute resolution