Attorney at Law Magazine sat down with siblings and co-founders Matrix “Joe” George and Valencia George of George & George ADR Group to discuss their business and their team.
AALM: What do you find most appealing about arbitration?
JG: As an arbitrator I must say that I enjoy working on complex cases where both parties are unable to come to a resolution. I enjoy helping them to find common ground that leads to a resolution they are both happy with.
AALM: What is the best part of mediation?
JG: Mediation is a voluntary process that both parties agree to partake in. The best part for me is when I open both parties’ eyes to see each other’s point of view to resolve the dispute and save the relationship whether it be business or personal.
AALM: Can you explain a little about what you do as a lead negotiator?
JG: As a lead negotiator with 10 plus years of experience in negotiating merger and acquisition agreements and due diligences, I provide negotiation and deal closing strategy and execution expertise to my clients. One of my primary focuses is to represent my clients financial and business objectives by executing negotiation strategies and using tactics that will enhance my client’s negotiation position, outcomes, and create a win-win situation for both parties. I do this by participating in face-to-face negotiations or Zoom web meetings to successfully close new business opportunities at the request of my clients.
AALM: Have you faced any special challenges as a woman or as a woman of color?
VG: As a woman and a woman of color especially with dreadlocks, I am faced with so many different challenges daily. I’m often faced with being stereotyped as uneducated, ghetto, or “the angry black woman” before anyone gets to know me as a person.
I always counteract these false narratives with persistence, dedication, commitment, determination, and plenty of patience. I always feel like I must fight harder to prove myself. Sometimes I do not get the acknowledgement I deserve because those that perpetuate this false narrative to downgrade women and women of color with dreadlocks would rather believe it than take the time to get to know me as a woman.
We often get treated as an afterthought whether it’s in the workplace or in society even if we have the credentials to back our worth. Studies have shown that people tend to relate to those who look like them. Hopefully, as the world becomes more diverse women and women of color won’t be tokens and the assumption of what an educated person should look like will evolve.
AALM: What advice would you offer other women who wish to enter the legal field?
VG: The advice I am going to offer is: Go for it! Break the glass ceiling! Know your worth and don’t settle for less. Be true to who you are.
AALM: What is unique about your firm?
VG: George & George ADR Group is a boutique firm focused on three specialized areas of the law, arbitration, mediation, and negotiation. George & George ADR Group encompass a variety of legal services that complements what we do. Some of the services we offer are notary, E-notary, paralegal, grant writing, loan signing, and immigration form service.
There are couple things unique about our firm – Our extreme dedication to our clients and their cases. We offer other service that complement our clients better. For every service we offer our clients, we are uniquely qualified because we have worked, trained, or become certified in those areas.
AALM: What do you enjoy in your time away from the office?
JG: I enjoy a good 18 rounds of golf and spending time with my grandbabies. When my daughters are in town, they twist my arm to have a spa day and shopping spree. I pretend not to like it, but I love spending time with them.
AALM: What are the advantages/challenges of working with family?
JG: One of the challenges is your sibling not seeing you as a partner, but as their little brother who they have played with from childhood. They may resent your authority or think the rules don’t apply to them. A great advantage of working with family is they’re trustworthy, they share the same vision for the business, and you’re aware of their work ethic.
AALM: What are the challenges in cannabis mediation?
JG: Great question, the cannabis industry is still a fragile and complex industry with every state having its own set of laws. One of my challenges is helping my clients understand the interpretation of the law. Also, as a certified paralegal researching the laws of multiple state with clients who have businesses in multiple states presents its own set of challenges.
Our staff is certified and trained in all levels of the cannabis industry from growing the plant to extraction and flowering. Our neutrals have extensive knowledge of industry products and the equipment that runs the industry such as Hydroponics systems, Tissue culture, Green Vault system, Damatex system, Quest Dehumidifiers, Grodan Delta Blocks, Iluminar lighting systems, and Clonex rooting gel. With this knowledge we can assist cannabis and hemp businesses nationally and settle any of their disputes as it relates to all aspects of the cannabis industry.