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Culturally Sensitive Mediations

Wawra Business Mediation Services – Culturally Sensitive Mediations

When your clients are from a culture other than the U.S. and are directly involved in the mediation of a dispute, it is very helpful to have a mediator with the ability to relate to the person in a culturally sensitive way.

Showing an understanding of the party’s stated and unstated communication develops rapport – a trust and respect that often facilitates a resolution of the dispute in a more efficient and acceptable manner.

Steve is highly experienced in culturally sensitive negotiations and mediations.  As a result of a lifetime exposure to foreign cultures, especially with his tenure as general counsel of Japanese company Mitsui Real Estate Sales, U.S.A., Steve has developed a sensitivity to cultural nuances which is applicable no matter which culture is involved in the dispute.  Steve has worked in several international capacities, specifically with Asian, French and British organizations in the Real Estate and Finance sectors.

From these professional, educational and family experiences with international parties, Steve has developed a deep cultural understanding when it comes to mediating and negotiating conflicts and disputes that develop in various size organizations.

The following are the professional, educational and family experiences which have developed a deep cultural understanding:


  • General Counsel and Senior Vice President of Mitsui Real Estate Sales U.S.A., Co. Ltd. involved in corporate issues and the negotiation of real estate acquisitions, leasing and joint venture agreements from a Japanese perspective
  • Attorney with Graham & James (merged with Squire, Sanders & Dempsey), participating as legal counsel for Bank of Tokyo of California (now Union Bank of California), Marubeni America Corporation and other Japanese trading companies
  • Representation (as attorney with a NY law firm) of a Swiss public company in the acquisition of a U.S. company
  • Commercial real estate broker in leasing and acquisition activities for Japanese, UK, French and U.S entities
  • Mediations conducted with Japanese, Korean, Indian and other foreign parties in disputes involving real estate, business entity and other commercial disputes
  • Member of business development efforts in Tokyo, one for a publicly-held mutual fund corporation, and the other with a real estate industry team of various professional practices led by the Mayor of Los Angeles

Presentations to various organizations relating to cultural understanding, including:

  • Presenter, “ADR Conflict Across Cultures”, Diversity Development Program, University of California, Irvine, Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity, May,2017
  • Panel Chair, Beverly Hills Bar Association, Mediation Section, entitled “The Impact of Culture on Communication, Negotiation and Mediation”, 2017
  • Panel Member, Orange County Asian American Bar Association, “Mediation and Settlement from an Asian Perspective”, Orange County, November 2010
  • Panel Chair, Orange County Bar Association, International Section, “ABC’s of  International ADR”, March 2004


  • French language and cultural courses at the Sorbonne and Monterey Institute of International Studies


  • Living in France and life-long visits to family in Switzerland, France and Italy. His parents were first generation from Switzerland

For additional information, please see Steve’s profile containing a Professional Resume and CLICK HERE to read an article about him in the Los Angeles Daily Journal.

To read additional articles related to this area, please click the following links below:

Wawra Culture Program – Face Saving
Wawra What’s a Cross-Cultural Mediator to Do
Making Empathy Central to Your Company Culture

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