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Mark B. Baer

Pasadena Mediator, Attorney & Conflict Resolution Consultant

As we know, emotionally-charged issues between parties can prevent timely and satisfactory resolution, derail settlement negotiations altogether, and worsen already fragile or dysfunctional relationships. Involving someone with the training, knowledge, skills, experience, and track record for resolving or otherwise managing conflict can be a tremendous asset.

Mark B. Baer has over two decades of experience helping to resolve highly-charged family disputes and business conflicts as a Pasadena mediator, attorney and conflict resolution consultant.

Mediator Baer's calming presence and ability to win trust from parties at a time of extreme emotionalism is an ability few possess. Mark has crafted a reputation within the industry for his psychologically-minded and relationship-centered approach. His track record in resolving matters through mediation has gained him recognition not only in California but nationally and internationally as well.

Benefits Mediator Mark Baer Provides Through His Work

  • High success record in resolving matters through mediation
  • Ability to establish rapport and engender trust from those in conflict
  • Skill in recognizing underlying sources of conflicts and issues
  • Experience in facilitating conversations that allow clients to feel heard and understood
  • Provides a non-judgmental, safe, respectful, and confidential environment where candid conversations take place
  • Ability to endure emotional firestorms and de-escalate conflict
  • Provides professionally-guided problem-solving techniques

Meet Mark Baer – The Words of Pasadena's Trusted Mediator

As a child of a very dysfunctional marriage that ended in an expensive and highly contentious and destructive divorce and related court cases, I attended law school believing that by better understanding the law and the inner workings of our legal system, I could use my knowledge to help steer people away from getting involved with such an unjust system in the first place. I was unaware of mediation at the time, so I reluctantly began my career as an attorney; however, I initially wanted to stay as far away from Family Law as humanly possible because of my experience as collateral damage of my own parents’ divorce.

However, in my fourth year of practice, I found myself working in that exact field of law. The Family Law attorney with whom I was working at the time found that the insight and perspective I had gained from my personal background and life experiences made me more compassionate, child-centered and adept at helping settle my clients' cases.

At the time, I had convinced myself that I could represent people in family law matters and do so in a manner that would reduce the harm and trauma that the children might otherwise experience if a lawyer with a different approach and mindset were instead involved.

However, over time our society became increasingly more contentious, as did the legal community overall. I came to realize that I had been fooling myself because it only takes one parent and/or their attorney to sink the family ship. In other words, cases proceed in accordance with the lowest common denominator. It increasingly caused me a great deal of pain representing people within our “justice system”, a system I found to be incredibly destructive and unjust before ever entering law school.

Then, in 2006, after the death of my mother, I found myself involved in litigation pertaining to her estate in my capacity as Successor-Trustee of her Trust and Executor of her Will. I learned new life lessons from that experience that I again would not wish on anyone. Among other things, I learned how it feels when actual facts and evidence are excluded based upon legal technicalities that result in judges and juries making decisions based upon a false reality. I also learned how it feels when judges rewrite history by making factual findings consistent with perjured testimony.

"The greatest lesson I learned was that after more than fifteen years of working within the legal field, I was unable to prevent the legal injustice that occurred at trial."

When I realized that my legal knowledge couldn’t prevent me from experiencing yet another injustice at the hands of our “justice system”, I couldn’t get myself to continue working within that system. After all, if every experience I personally had with the legal system had led to an injustice, how could I believe otherwise with regard to my clients?

I’ve personally experienced injustice at the hands of our “justice system” in family law, domestic violence, criminal law, personal injury law, bankruptcy, and probate law. For those interested in a deeper understanding of my experiences, they were described in great deal in my article titled “What Drives Your Passion? I Certainly Know What Drives Mine.” In any event, it’s impossible that every time I find myself involved in any aspect of our “justice system,” I experience such injustices and the same isn’t true for others.

I don’t know what motivated any of my mediation colleagues to pursue mediation – and I don’t mean the type of mediation I encountered in my mother’s probate case with a retired judge engaging in soft-arbitration, something I no longer consider mediation, but I most certainly know what motivated me. I also know from where my passion comes and why I spend the time I spend doing the research and writing I do, using the social media, and otherwise trying to constantly gain more knowledge and improve my skills, while also working tirelessly to try and educate people about the realities of our legal system and the available alternatives.

Had I known about true mediation before ever applying to law school, there’s no question I would have pursued a career in mediation at that time. After all, as a mediator, among other things, I'm doing exactly what I set out to do when I decided to attend law school - I'm using my personal background and life experiences along with my deep understanding of the law and the inner workings of our legal system to steer people away from getting involved with that system in the first place.

When someone walks into my office, they can expect to find a competent, caring, and compassionate professional who is determined to assist them in resolving their conflicts and disputes constructively, rather than destructively.

"I assist clients in solving their problems, rather than merely brokering deals on the legal issues."

The more I understand the nature of human conflict and what makes people tick, the better able I am at helping them resolve their differences. This involves a lot of empathy (the core of which is perspective-taking) and understanding how others think. It’s impossible to be empathic toward someone you’re judging.

Whether in my work as a mediator, attorney, or conflict resolution consultant, I am committed to assisting people in resolving or otherwise managing their conflicts and reaching agreements that are in their best interest and that of their children. In my practice, I try to capture the essence of a conflict and move people to a place of empathy and compassion. By de-escalating conflict, building trust and actually heading and understanding each other, people are better able to resolve their differences in a constructive manner. I help people to see things from different perspectives and to focus on the bigger picture.

Working as a mediator closely aligns with my core values and how I define them. Two of the values that speak to me the most and without which I would not be who I am are “fairness” and “making a difference.” In addition, I define mediators as “peacemakers”, not “deal brokers”, and litigation attorneys as “warriors” and “gladiators.” As I began realizing that “legal justice” is not the same as “fundamental fairness”, I lost my passion “making a difference” through it.

Mediator Mark Baer is committed to helping individuals and families resolve their conflicts through mediation.
He has mentored hundreds of individuals facing difficult family law issues, and can do the same for you.

Contact the service provider today to enlist the help of our compassionate and experienced mediator.

"Mark earns trust from everyone involved and guides you through the process with complete expertise and overwhelming compassion.” – David K
"Mark’s style and expertise brought fairness, integrity, and clarity to a very thorough process so we were able to sort through details in a dignified manner and end with a sense of closure. The most powerful element was his ability to direct our energies towards empathy for one another, which made all the difference." – Jason F
"Mark is an excellent mediator with a talent for recognizing people’s emotions and feelings, helping them work through issues with a quiet compassion that makes the process a little easier." – Lauren C
“I appreciated how Mark led us through our negotiations ensuring that we were making informed decisions, as well as his intuitive knowledge of when to sit back and allow us to find our way through to a decision. It’s pretty awesome to be on the other side of a scary and emotional process with legal matters settled to our mutual satisfaction.” – Chris D
“Mark’s empathy toward others, combined with his incredible understanding of the process tools available to mediators, his intelligence and insight into human behavior and psychology, makes him, in my estimation, one of the most effective mediators I’ve known. He’s able to discover and effectively deal with, not only the obvious issues, but also those below the line issues, which often makes the difference in conflict resolution.” – Len Levy, Esq., Mediator

Accomplishments & Awards

  • Panelist: American Bar Association Section of Family Law, 2015 Fall CLE Conference, "The Ethical Do's and Don'ts of Knowing When a 3's a Crowd," and 2013 Spring CLE Conference, "Navigating the Emotional Currents of Collaborative Law."
  • Co-author of two chapters in: Putting Kids First in Divorce: How to Reduce Conflict, Preserve Relationships and Protect Your Children, During and After Divorce, MOGULY Media, 2016.
  • Author of a chapter for: Inside the Mind: Strategies for Family Law in California, (Aspatore Books, 2013), "A Comparison of Dispute Resolution Methods Available in Family Law Matters."
  • Columnist (September 2008 - Present) on psychology, family relationships and the law in the San Gabriel Valley Psychological Association's award-winning newsletter.
  • Huffington Post Blogger (May 2013 - January 2018) on subjects pertaining to resolution of interpersonal conflict, mediation, and family dynamics to produce the best possible outcome.*
  • Psychology Today Blogger (November 2016 - Present) blog column titled "Empathy and Relationships: Fostering genuine open-mindedness."

*A number of his HP blogs have been cited in reports, books, law review articles, and dissertations pertaining to conflict resolution:

- Think Tank Study: Australia21, 2016, "Empathy Conversations, Testing Their Effectiveness as a Policy-Making Instrument, A Pilot Study"; Dr. Lynne Reeder;

- Wake Forest Law Review, "Litigation as Violence," Vincent Cardi 2014;

- CUNY Law Review, "Moving Toward a More Perfect World: Achieving Equal Access to Justice Through a New Definition of Judicial Activism," Fern Fischer, 2013/2014;

- The Mediation Handbook: Research, Theory and Practice, "Brain science behind mediating relational conflicts," Thomas DiGrazia's chapter in book edited by Alexia Georgakopoulos (Routledge, 2017)

  • Co-presenter: 2013 California Psychological Association Convention with Stephen H. Sulmeyer, J.D. Ph.D. on The Cutting Edge of Psychological Practice: Mental Health Professionals and Dispute Resolution, April 13, 2013.
  • Co-presenter: 2012 California Psychological Association Convention with Linda Bortell, Psy.D. on What About Family Values? Facilitating Rational Problem-Solving In an Otherwise Destructive Divorce Process, April 20, 2012
  • Elected a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation in 2017.
  • “Family Lawyer of the Year” - North America in the Corporate Live Wire 2017 Global Awards.
  • Southern California "Super Lawyer" 2012–2018.

CA License: SBN 152512, June 1991

  • JD Degree Loyola Law School - College
    Los Angeles , CA
  • BA Degree in Economics/Business UCLA - College
    Los Angeles , CA

Mediation, Not Litigation

Contact Mark to learn how conflict management through mediation can help you

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