Dr. Aikins' preparation for mediation includes his background as an educator, a college dean, a real estatebroker with over 300 listing and sales of homes that involved win-win mediations, twenty-five plus years of law practice and trials in the areas of employment law, real estate, personal injury, police misconduct and twelve criminal trials since 1991. His education includes a B.A. and MA in Political Science from California State University, Los Angeles, an Earned Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Southern California and a J.D. Degree from Western States University College of Law.
He has completed over 1500 hours of MCLE in legal and mediation matters.
His preparation to become a mediator includes completion of Pepperdine University’ s Straus Mediation Course, “Mediating the Litigated Case,” “Basic Mediation Course of 30 Hours” from Los Angeles Bar Association, and an “18 Hour of Practicum” course from the Los Angeles Bar Association and many other ADR/mediation sessions at conventions. He has counseled hundreds of college students, mediated real estate matters and voluntarily mediated employment cases.
Dr. Aikins approaches each mediation with specific and flexible plans to get the job done. Ultimately, Dr. Aikins believes that when parties find themselves in litigation, it is best to focus on the positive and to constantly remind the parties that they are different sides of the same coin and despite the frequent power imbalance they may have come to the table, “in different ships but they are all in the same boat now.”¹
Selling over 300 single family houses, Dr. Aikins learned the beauty of negotiating where the outcome is a win-win situation and not a zero sums game as it is so many times in the practice of law. At its core, mediation may be defined as a mutual face-saving device where the mediator nudges, pushes, pulls, kicks, jumps and skips to coax the parties to a place where they are able to avoid the worst outcome of a situation, the ultimate zero sums game: trial.
¹Attributable to Rev. Jessie Jackson.