Wawra Dispute Resolution

Steven Wawra

About Steve > Professional Resume

Professional Resume


  • Conducted over 1000 mediations and mandatory settlement conferences
  • Mediator since 1997 on numerous mediation panels including Agency for Dispute Resolution,  IVAMS, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)/National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD), Superior Court-affiliated civil mediation panels in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties, United States District Court Attorney Settlement Panel, Orange County Bar Association Mediation Panel, and U.S. Postal Service Redress EEO Complaint Panel
  • For the period 2001-2009, conducted a substantial number of the civil mandatory settlement conferences held in the San Bernardino County Superior Courts in Barstow and Victorville, and more recently conducted settlement conferences for the Superior Courts in the City of San Bernardino and Rancho Cucamonga
  • Arbitrated over 50 cases since 1997 on various arbitration panels, including FINRA/NASD, IVAMS, Los Angeles Court-Affiliated Civil Arbitration Panel, and Orange County Bar Association Mandatory Fee Arbitration Panel
  • Acted as administrative hearing officer for several Southern California cities


  • Real Estate General
    Suit by lessee against lessor for refusal to consent to assignment of commercial lease without large transfer fee and increase in security deposit
    Suit for breach of purchase and sale agreement on sale of lots on lake against real estate tract developer with defense of sale conditioned on government approvals of a certain improvements
    Suit for breach of contract by purchaser for non-disclosure and delays in escrow on the sale of commercial property
    Suit by purchaser of residence against developer for non-disclosure of Mello-Roos lien
    Suit by purchaser against developer on residential home purchase prior to obtaining subdivision approval
    Suit by purchaser against savings and loan association relating to an REO residential property over certain contingencies not communicated to purchaser
    Mother’s suit against son as co-owner of residence for breach of agreement to pay mortgage and ruining her credit
    Suit by uncle against nephew as co-purchasers for breach of agreement to purchase residence
    Tenant suit against landlord for falling tree branch on property hitting tenant causing injuries
    Suit by lessee against landlord for breach of agreement relating to option to purchase residence
    Suit by lessee against landlord for breach of option agreement contained in lease for purchase of residence; parties are friends and neighbors
    Suit by purchaser on a land sale contract
    Suit by purchaser of lot in development claiming fraud
    Suit under CAR form residential purchase agreement regarding wife’s authority alone to form agreement on behalf of husband and wife
    Suit involving major shopping center owner and existing anchor tenant, a major grocery company, over terms of a lease agreement
    Suit by a purchaser of a residence under a CAR residential purchase agreement for fraud and return of deposit
    Suit involving sale of residence where buyer occupied residence before close of escrow and performed work and seller then cancelled escrow
    Suit by purchaser under residential purchase agreement involving lack of authority of seller under trust agreement and cancellation of escrow
    Suit by purchaser for breach of a CAR form agreement by seller related to septic tank inspection
    Suit by purchaser against seller for misrepresentation related to sale of residence under a residential purchase agreement
    Suit by landlord against tenant for breach of lease agreement related to a lease of office space
    Action by owner of residence against lessee for termination of a residential lease containing ambiguous terms related to right to extend
  • Real Estate Broker
    Suit by purchaser of residential real estate for alleged non-disclosure of major defects in framing and foundation against real estate agents and seller, with defendants stating that purchaser was aware and no damages because of intention of purchaser to undertake reconstruction of house
    Suit by purchasers against real estate brokers and seller for non-disclosure related to the sale of the operations and land of an existing major franchised hotel
    Suit by real estate agent against his brokerage company over agreement related to commission split agreement
    Suit by real estate broker for commission on property listed for sale and then withdrawn from the market
  • Title and General Insurance

    Title insurance company suit to recover payments made on a title claim of a bona fide purchaser of a home who received a forged deed
    Homeowner suit against escrow and title insurance company for error in paying off of loan on residential property rather than commercial property of homeowner
    Suit by insurance company for pay-off on fire destruction of home under construction against homeowners insurance of home owner whose child allegedly caused the fire
  • Construction

    Homeowner suit for breach of contract and negligence against a contractor regarding construction of a pool, and resulting collapse of wall and water intrusion into the home
    Subcontractor suit for non- payment against general contractor for supplying concrete to project with defenses by general contractor of defective work and costs to replace contractor
    Suit by homeowner against contractors for alleged negligent clean up of water damage from pipe break and reconstruction and mold remediation issues
    Suit by subcontractor against general contractor for non-payment; defenses claimed of abandoning job and work deficiencies
    Suit against contractor for breach of contract due to defective roof repair and leaks causing water damage
    Suit by contractor for unpaid work done on retail center
    Suit by owner of residence for defective work under construction contract against contractor friend
    Suit by carpenter for negligence against general contractor for instruction to perform certain work on roof and falling through sustaining injuries; issues of no workers compensation and employee vs. independent contractor arguments
    Suit by subcontractor against general contractor as a result of injuries sustained from a falling wood beam from roof under construction
  • Business/Securities

    Suit by public entity law firm for alleged sale of unsuitable security to elderly investor against major securities firm with defenses stated by firm of full disclosure and document back-up
    Suits by investors brought under Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA formerly NASD) jurisdiction based on alleged violations of securities laws and industry rules
    Action for losses on a currency trading alleging negligent oversight against international trading company
    Suit by seller for non-payment of promissory notes related to an asset purchase agreement; purchaser claims fraud in value and condition of inventory and violation of non-compete clause
    Dispute between equal owners of a business including claims of breach of fiduciary duty and need for an accounting
    Suit by purchaser for breach of agreement demanding specific performance against seller franchisee to sell two gas stations with issues of fault in not obtaining franchisor approval
    Suit by seller of wire products for non-payment; defendant alleges defective product
    Breach of contract suit of purchaser against owner of rock quarry relating to the right to multi-year supply of rocks with owner claiming illusory contract
    Suit by consultant for breach of contract for non-payment of commission claimed due for baked goods introduction and sales to retail vendors
    Suit for collection of amounts owed for leased equipment; issues of overcharging and lack of accounting records
    Suit by supplier of electric equipment for amount owed
    Suit by contractor for collection on work related to supply of steel to jobsite with defenses of poor quality
    Suit by consultant for breach of agreement for non-payment of fees and commissions against corporation
    Suit related to purchase of dental practice involving business broker and guaranty of lease
    Suit involving termination of partnership agreement and accounting of assets and liabilities
    Suit by contractor for non-payment on a supply of trees contract to a municipality with defense of defective trees
    Action by Japanese contractor for non-payment of development fees relating to a software package developed for a subsidiary of a major Japanese corporation with defenses of defective product
    Action for breach of contract for non-payment of percentage of earnings by a publicist of a musical production against production company
  • Personal Injury
    Personal injury suit involving oil tanker truck hitting auto on right side of small two lane road resulting in major injuries; trucker claims auto turned across road in front of him causing accident
    Personal injury suit involving auto being hit and pushed by truck across freeway into oncoming traffic resulting in major injuries ; trucker says turn indicator was on to move into plaintiff’s lane and plaintiff tried to speed past in front of truck
    Suit against municipality for trip and fall on sidewalk claiming dangerous condition
    Suit by customer against major fast food chain for a slip and fall and resulting injuries
    Suit for personal injury and property damage as a result of metal object flying off trailer and hitting auto windshield
    Personal injury action by bus driver hit by auto in a chain reaction accident
    Personal injury action by motor cyclist against a municipality for injuries sustain as a result of a road hazard due to failure to maintain road
    Suit for personal injuries against major auto manufacturer by owner of vehicle due to molding on auto pulling away and resulting fall
    Suit by subcontractor against general contractor for major injuries due to fall from scaffolding as a result of wetness and not being sufficiently lit for working on a high ceiling and walls inside a dark building
    Action for personal injuries and property damage to auto, boat and trailer as a result of being struck by an auto 
  • Trespass and Property Damage 
    Suit by 1st floor tenant against 2nd floor tenant without insurance coverage for flooding caused by lack of repair of pipe and resulting vacating of premises by business and water damage to records
  • Dog Bite  
    Suit by elderly woman for injuries from an attack by a neighbor’s large dog with medical complications and hospital stay
    Suit for negligence against city police for not controlling police dog let out of patrol car after high speed chase resulting in attack and major injuries
    Suit against owner of dog for a dog bite causing substantial injuries
  • Attorney Fee Dispute

    Legal fee dispute between client and attorney under mandatory fee dispute rules
    Dispute between attorney and client over legal fees under mandatory fee arbitration rules
    Suit by one attorney against another attorney over split of attorney fees on a case
    Dispute mediated between attorney and client regarding legal fees charged under the mandatory fee arbitration/mediation rules
  • Employment 
    Suit by employee against school district for wrongful termination and discrimination
    Suit by university professor over termination of employment agreement by university
    Suit by high school teacher against school district for employment leave and medical issues
    Wrongful termination and false imprisonment action involving multi-million dollar claim by associate attorney against major law firm
    Suit by senior employee of major Japanese auto manufacturer sales department for wrongful termination
    Suit by employee for discrimination and harassment against employer
    Numerous mediations of claims under United States Postal Service REDRESS Program involving employees represented by union representatives and management


  • Executive Director from 1998- 2000 of then largest Orange County-funded non-profit organization providing mediation services and training to businesses, schools, governmental entities and individuals in Orange County


  • Mitsui Real Estate Sales USA Co., Ltd., Los Angeles, CA (1988-1996)
    General Counsel and Senior Vice President of U.S. subsidiary of Mitsui Real Estate Sales Ltd., a leading real estate brokerage, syndication and financial services company in Japan.
  • MacFarlane, Lambert & Company, Inc., Los Angeles, CA (1986-1988)   
    Director of International Operations for combined full-service real estate brokerage company and law firm.
  • Real Estate Broker, Orange County, CA (1981-1986)
  • Vidal Sassoon, Inc., Los Angeles, CA (1978-1981)                              
    Associate General Counsel of international hair and skin care products company.
  • Private Law Practice, Orange County, CA (1975-1978)
    Established and operated West Coast office of Delson & Gordon, a then prominent New York law firm. 
  • Shareholders Capital Corporation, Los Angeles,CA (1970-1975)  
    Assistant General Counsel, Corporate Secretary and Assistant to the President of a then major publicly-held mutual fund and real estate syndication corporation
  • Graham & James (now Squire, Sanders & Dempsey), Los Angeles, (1967 -1970)                             
    Associate attorney in the Los Angeles office of a major San Francisco-based international law firm. Assignments included legal counsel for Bank of Tokyo of California (now Union Bank of California), Marubeni America Corporation and other Japanese trading companies.


  • Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine University School of Law, courses and seminars: Negotiation and Settlement Advocacy, 1995; Mediation and Settlement Skills, 1997; Mediation Advocacy, 2002; Advanced Mediation, 2003; Settling Difficult Cases, 2004; Advanced Mediation Strategies, 2005; Advanced Mediation: Getting to the Heart of the Matter in Mediation, 2006; Advanced Mediation, 2008; Advanced Mediation Skills 2009; Advanced Mediation Skills, 2010
  • Arbitration training courses: University of California, Irvine, Extension; National  Association of Securities Dealers (NASD)/FINRA; and Council of Better Business Bureaus, 1997-2009
  • Numerous additional mediation and arbitration skills training courses, 1995-2011


  • University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law, J.D., 1967
  • Recipient, American Jurisprudence Award, Family Wealth Transactions 
  • University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), B.A. Economics, 1964
  • Monterey Institute of International Studies, French Language and Cultural Studies, 1961
  • University of Paris (Sorbonne), French Language Studies, 1960
  • California Real Estate Broker
  • State Bar of California
  • Orange County Asian American Bar Association
  • Southern California Mediation Association


  •  Instructor, Certificate Program in Conflict Management and the Use of Alternative Dispute Resolution, University of California, Irvine, Extension (courses in arbitration and survey of alternative dispute resolution methods), 1998-2004
  • Presenter, Professional Fiduciary Association of California 17th Annual Educational Conference, "Restoring Relationships - A Mediator's Perspective", April 2012
  • Co-Presenter, USCIB Arbitration Subcommittee to ICC, Review of California, Federal and

    Various International Arbitration Standards, November 2011 
  • Seminar Presentation, Istanbul, Turkey, Fatih University Law School, History and Use of ADR inSouthern California, currently under discussion
  • Panel Member, Orange County Asian American Bar Association, "Mediation and Settlement from an Asian Perspective", Orange County, November 2010
  • Panel Member, Annual Conference of the Southern California Mediation Association at the Straus Institute at Pepperdine University Law School," Use/Benefits of Mediation Certification in Choosing International Mediators", November  2009
  • Panel Member, Loyola Law School, Law/ADR Career Development, 2009
  • Keynote Co-Presenter, Annual Training Conference of California Caucus of College and University Ombuds, "Mediation Tools and Confidentiality for Use in Ombuds Process", Pacific Grove, CA , November 2007
  • Panel Chair, Orange County Bar Association, International Section, ABC’s of International ADR, March 2004        
  • Class Presentation, Chapman University Law School, Mediation Experiences and Challenges, June 2003 and June 2004
  • Panel Member, University of California, Los Angeles Law School, Career Development, 1997


430 Vista Grande
Newport Beach, CA 92660-4004
Phone: (949) 640-4500