Tim Warner has been a practicing litigator in Cleveland for almost 25 years. He currently serves as chairman of Cavitch’s litigation group and continues to litigate complex commercial disputes. In addition to his work as a commercial and business litigator, he also has experience with employment and personal injury disputes. In addition to Warner’s litigation practice, he has been practicing as an alternative dispute resolution mediator and arbitrator for a number of years. While Warner continues to enjoy litigation, he has found he also enjoys, and has a knack for, resolving disputes on behalf of others.
AALM: When did you first know you wanted to become a mediator and arbitrator?
Warner: My first experience working as an ADR practitioner was so successful and rewarding, I was drawn to do more. That experience, as an arbitrator for one of Cleveland’s large medical providers on a complicated dispute, resulted in a consensus by the board of arbitrators and ultimately positive resolution of the dispute. I also find that I am well-suited for the mediation process; creating an environment conducive to settlement, developing trust and being persistent to move the dispute toward resolution. From the beginning, my interest in work as a mediator and arbitrator has grown as has my ADR practice.
AALM: What do you find rewarding about your ADR practice?
Warner: I enjoy resolving disputes. I enjoy reviewing the materials provided, learning as much as I can in a short period of time about the facts, the law, the parties and their lawyers and then digging in and working hard to get the dispute resolved. As all litigators know, more than 90 percent of all disputes get resolved without a trial. Some studies indicate that less than 1 percent of cases are actually tried in court. If you step back and take an unfiltered look, you see that the litigation system today is designed to have disputes resolved prior to trial. I enjoy the process of getting the parties to a place where their dispute can be resolved and everyone can move on with their lives without the additional stress and expense of going to trial.
AALM: What do you find challenging about your ADR practice?
Warner: It is always challenging when you have a complicated dispute with a number of claims and multiple parties. The initial work involved in gathering the right information and analyzing and evaluating the situation can be difficult but very rewarding when completed. It is also GLANCE a challenge when one or more parties have not bought into the process and come to the proceedings with an unwillingness to fully participate. Fortunately, I come to this field as a working litigator. I have been litigating cases for nearly 25 years; and while I can’t say I have seen it all, I have seen a lot. I face challenges by rolling up my sleeves and working extra hard. When the lawyers and the parties have put in the work needed to begin the ADR process, it is in their best interest to see the process through to the end and I stand with the attorneys and the parties to be very persistent and make every effort to get them across the finish line.
AALM: What do you most hope to accomplish in the future?
Warner: I enjoy what I do. I enjoy the practice of law and I enjoy being a mediator and arbitrator. I expect to continue to help people resolve disputes, whether as a litigator or as a mediator or arbitrator, for the rest of my professional career. I currently serve as a member of the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas court’s panel of mediators and as an arbitrator for the court. I also serve as a member of the American Bar Association’s section of dispute resolution, as a member of the alternative dispute resolution section of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association and as a member of the lawyer-client fee dispute resolution committee. I intend to remain active in these groups and on these committees while reading, studying and writing about ADR issues. As long as I can help, I will continue working as a mediator and arbitrator, as well as a practicing litigator.
AALM: What ADR events are you most looking forward to in the coming year?
Warner: I am looking forward to presenting my own program on successful mediation to a number of groups in the coming year. I also intend to remain active on the American Bar Association’s alternative dispute resolution committee, and a number of its subcommittees. I recently traveled to New York City and completed a four-day, 32-hour seminar sponsored by the American Arbitration Association and Mediation.org on mediator essentials and learned a great deal. I look forward to implementing what I learned in New York. The American Bar Association section of dispute resolution’s spring conference is coming up in San Francisco which is another great annual event to attend. Beyond that, I just look forward to continuing to help people resolve their disputes.
AALM: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Warner: I would just like to emphasize that my philosophy as an ADR practitioner is to work closely with the lawyers and the parties to efficiently mediate the dispute to resolution or complete the arbitration as an arbitrator. There will be no wasted time, no unnecessary war stories and definitely no need for excessive deference. I view myself less as a distant adjudicator and more as an objective party persistently helping all parties come to a fair resolution. I truly care about the parties, I want them to know that they can trust me and that I can help them complete the task. My idea has always been to get in, get the job done and allow everyone to move on with their lives.
AALM: What do you enjoy doing outside of work? Hobbies? Sports?
Warner: I am active in nonprofits, in my community and in my church. I have competed in several triathlons and enjoy running, biking, swimming and general fitness and have recently gotten into yoga. I also enjoy reading and writing. I’ve started blogging on various topics.