Neutral Donald Cripe, appointed by the court to attempt resolution of an acrimonious family probate at the time it was called for trial, did an awesome job in crafting a settlement that responded to each party’s specific needs. One party was represented and the other parties were self-represented. Despite the painstaking care Mr. Cripe took to explain, read and secure the self-represented parties’ consent, they reneged on the settlement, denied they understood its terms (despite agreeing to it in open court) and the probate judge sided with the self-represented litigants. After so much work, it was disappointing and the parties are headed back to trial. I find this to be an insult to the mediation process, especially when Mr. Cripe did such a thorough job. Unless both sides are self-represented, or both sides are represented by counsel, mediation may not be helpful. Regardless of the outcome, the mediator did his job!
I have been an attorney for over 32 years and had the privilege of seeing Don Cripe in action in mediating and settling many cases. I worked with Don when we did mediations for the Courts in San Bernardino County and Riverside County. Don is both knowledgeable and patient. Don has a pleasant and even-handed approach to the settlement process that helps parties find reasonable ways to help themselves reach settlements with which they can be satisfied, and which are fair to all. I would, and have highly recommended Don and C.A.M.S. to many of my fellow attorneys and to clients alike.
I received mediation services from Don Cripe. His past experience and knowledge in the legal field helped answer questions that my client had regarding the benefits of settlement over trial. Don Cripe was well prepared in that he knew the issues of the case and the concerns of both parties. I will use these services in the future.