• Practice Focus

Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often the real loser — in fees, expenses and waste of time.

Abraham Lincoln

Lol Sorensen mediates and arbitrates a broad range of complex disputes.  His areas of expertise include the following:

Probate, Trust and Conservatorship

“Forgiveness is not something we do for someone else, but to free ourselves from unhealthy pain, anger and shame.”
Kenneth Cloke
Mediating Dangerously

The multi-disciplinary approach to mediation employed by Lol Sorensen is well suited to the resolution of probate and elder law disputes in which delicate relationships, as well as valuable property rights, are at stake.

Lol litigated a wide variety of probate, trust and estate cases, including matters that were heard by the California Supreme Court (Rice v. Clark (2002) 28 Cal. 4th 89; and Estate of Griswold (2001) 25 Cal. 4th 904).

He has successfully mediated a wide variety of probate and elder law disputes — many involving tens of millions of dollars — including:

  • Will and trust contests
  • Trust and will interpretation
  • Heirship rights
  • Contracts to make a will
  • Selection of conservator, trustee or personal representative
  • Decisions regarding the care of the conservatee
  • Management of the conservatorship, trust or probate estate
  • Division of assets
  • Trust, estate, and conservatorship accountings
  • Breach of fiduciary duties
  • Elder and dependent adult abuse

Toolkit for Probate Mediation

Real Estate

In his law practice, Lol specialized in handling many types of real property disputes. As a mediator, He has settled real estate cases in numerous areas of the law, including:

  • Purchase and sale contracts
  • Nondisclosure
  • Real estate broker conduct
  • Construction contracts
  • Defective construction
  • Prescriptive rights and adverse possession
  • Easement interpretation and surcharge
  • CC&R’s
  • Homeowner associations
  • Neighborhood issues
  • Road maintenance
  • Property damage and landslide
  • Boundaries
  • Partition
  • Landlord-tenant
  • Land use
  • Eminent domain
  • Foreclosure
  • View and tree ordinances

Commercial

“Any method of negotiation may be fairly judged by three criteria: It should produce a wise agreement if agreement is possible. It should be efficient. And it should improve or at least not damage the relationship between the parties.”
Roger Fisher and William Ury
Getting to Yes

Lol Sorensen has settled a broad range of commercial disputes, including:

  • Contract interpretation
  • Contract performance and breach
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Collection
  • Intellectual property
  • Insurance coverage
  • Unfair business practices
  • Class actions
  • Partnership and corporate dissolution

Business

Business disputes are best resolved through mediation, rather than litigation.

Lol has successfully mediated a wide variety of business disputes, including:

  • Governance
  • Management and control
  • Vision and direction
  • Salaries and profit distributions
  • Relationships
  • Malfeasance
  • Corporate opportunities
  • Dissolution and break-up
  • Accounting

Employment

Employment disputes are emotionally charged and require great skill to resolve. Lol has the skill, experience, and expertise to resolve employment and workplace disputes, including:

  • Wrongful termination
  • Constructive discharge
  • Harassment
  • Discrimination
  • ADA
  • Wage and hour
  • Employee-employee or employee-supervisor disputes

Tort

Lol Sorensen handled a diversity of tort actions as a trial lawyer. He has resolved hundreds of tort cases, including:

  • Personal injury
  • Wrongful death
  • Property damage
  • Fraud
  • Medical malpractice
  • Legal malpractice
  • Product liability
  • Defamation
  • Business torts

Pre-Litigation Mediation

“Contain if necessary, resolve if possible, best of all prevent.”
William Ury
The Third Side

 Alternative forms of dispute resolution are under-utilized in society. As Chief Justice Warren Burger declared:

“Traditional litigation is a mistake that must be corrected. . . . For some disputes trials will be the only means, but for many claims trial by adversarial contest must in time go the way of the ancient trial by battle. Our system is too costly, too painful, too destructive, too inefficient for really civilized people.”

It is never too early to mediate any type of dispute in which ongoing relationships are jeopardized. These include probate, trust and conservatorship matters, family business and partnership disputes, workplace disputes, supply and service contracts, homeowner’s association issues, and neighborhood disputes. In such disputes, the mere filing of a complaint can sever valuable relationships, not to mention result in enormous financial cost.

Given his multi-disciplinary training and expertise, Lol Sorensen specializes in working with parties — with or without lawyers — to resolve disputes and restore relationships before litigation is filed.

Santa Barbara Court House