Thursday, March 22, 2007
Octogenarian Court Volunteer Honored for Service as a Mediator
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Eighty-two-year-old Los Angeles Superior Court volunteer Max A. London was honored yesterday by the court’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Department for his contribution of nearly 4,200 hours of service as a mediator.
Among other honorees at a volunteer appreciation event yesterday at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse, London was recognized for his work in aiding in the resolution of over 1,400 cases in the court’s civil, family law non-custody, probate, and civil harassment mediation programs.
A non-lawyer and former textile industry executive, London has spent many years performing four to five pro bono mediations per week for the court, the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, Los Angeles County Bar Association Dispute Resolution Services and Claremont ADR Center. In addition to his mediation work, he has donated hours mentoring mediators newly appointed to the court’s program.
The West Los Angeles resident became involved with the volunteer mediation years ago after his daughter, an attorney, suggested mediation would suit him well as a vocation. He recently asked to be placed on temporary inactive status for one month due to an upcoming knee replacement surgery.
London is a native of the United Kingdom, where he also serves as a mediator. He attended the Liverpool Institute and served in the British Armed Forces regiment that liberated the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in March 1945.
Yesterday’s celebration at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse was part of numerous events being held by other courts across the state in observation of “mediation week,” which Chief Justice Ronald M. George said was designated to recognize the role of mediation programs and their facilitators in providing “high quality justice” to the public.
On Tuesday, the county Board of Supervisors presented various awards to neutrals and other volunteers involved in mediating court cases. The board at that meeting gave London the 2007 William C. Hobbs Outstanding Volunteer Award, for which the ADR Department nominated him.
In its nomination form, the ADR Department described London as one of the court’s “most distinguished and valuable volunteers” and noted that 80 percent of surveyed mediation program participants said they were satisfied with how London handled their case. He was also described as one of the few non-lawyers repeatedly selected by attorneys because of his skill and attitude.
Also honored were UCLA law students Gilles Bessonette and Uyen Tang, who received the Outstanding Case Award for resolving a conflict between pastors. “The mediation required an Asian-language interpreter and immersion in cultural issues that included: the veneration of elders, the need to preserve each party’s honor and a desire as Christians to forgive each other,” the court said in a press release.
Special honors were presented to retired Superior Court Judges Michael Berg, Joyce Karlin Fahey, and Charles G. Rubin and retired State Bar Court Judge Michael D. Marcus.
Copyright 2007, Metropolitan News Company