L.J. Johnson Talks to The Texas Lawbook About His Business-Minded Approach to Mediation

One of the most interesting recent developments in commercial litigation is the manner in which a new generation of mediators is using creative and business-minded approaches to resolving conflict. One of those taking a new approach to mediation is L. J. Johnson, founder of Dallas-based Johnson Conflict Resolution.

Johnson followed a non-traditional path to becoming a mediator. In an industry traditionally dominated by former litigators or judges, Johnson’s perspective is grounded in deep experience as a real estate professional and in-house counsel who has handled a wide range of issues.

The in-house perspective really comes into play in Johnson’s passion for early dispute resolution, and his pro-business philosophy that efficient resolution is often preferable to taking a lawsuit all the way to the mat for a drawn-out jury verdict or 11th hour settlement. This professional background allows him to see the field and identify often-unseen impediments that might delay resolution.

The Texas Lawbook’s Brooks Igo recently sat down with Johnson to hear how he utilizes his business and in-house legal experience in dispute resolution.

Brooks Igo: Given your real estate transactions and in-house counsel background, how did you decide to branch out into mediation and alternative dispute resolution?

L.J. Johnson: As a GC and real estate professional, I took part in numerous mediations as a client and experienced litigation from a business perspective. I saw how ongoing conflicts took a toll on a business from an emotional standpoint, as well as the negative effect it can have on productivity and the sheer economics of prosecuting or defending a lawsuit. I’ve always been intrigued with human behavior and people in general, and I’ve always loved the negotiation process. My mediation practice is a way to blend all of that together. I strongly believe conflict is not good for business and – in most cases – a speedy resolution makes the most business sense, especially in cases where parties will have a continuing relationship down the road. With that as my foundation, the idea of being a go-between to help others reach resolution really appealed to me.

Igo: How does your business and in-house legal experience help you add value to conflict resolution clients and their disputes?

A portion of the Q&A with The Texas Lawbook is above. To read the entire article, click here.