Lance A. LaBelle, Esq.

Profile

Lance A. LaBelle, Esq. is a highly regarded mediator and arbitrator. Prior to joining ADR Services, Inc., Mr. LaBelle practiced as the principal of LaBelle Arbitration & Mediation, LLC. Before embarking on a career as full-time neutral, he practiced law as an AV-rated attorney for over 30 years, handling a wide variety of matters and specializing in insurance cases.

Mr. LaBelle tries to never lose sight of the goal of dispute resolution – to assist the parties in reaching an agreement. He carefully listens to the parties in order to gain a thorough understanding of their positions and real interests. While Mr. LaBelle takes an evaluative approach, he also focuses on building trust and a productive working relationship with counsel and their clients. He looks for ways to “expand the pie” and employ creative solutions to reach a settlement.

Mr. LaBelle believes that mediation does not begin or end on the date of the mediation. He endeavors to discuss the case with counsel before the date of the mediation and follows up with counsel after the mediation if necessary. He does this at no additional expense and matters often settle as a result of these continuing efforts. Mr. LaBelle cares deeply about the outcome of your case, and truly appreciates the parties and their counsel placing their trust in him to assist in the resolution of their disputes.

Mr. LaBelle is available for both mediations and arbitrations through ADR Services, Inc.

AREAS OF EXPERTISE:

  • Business, Breach of Contract, Real Estate and Commercial Disputes
  • Insurance: Property, Casualty, and Extra-Contractual*
  • General Negligence and Defamation
  • Homeowners Association Disputes
  • Landlord-Tenant, Neighbor-Landowner, and Habitability Matters

*Mr. LaBelle is a recognized insurance expert with experience handling all forms of insurance matters.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE:

  • Panelist – ADR Services, Inc., 2018-Present
  • Principal – LaBelle Arbitration & Mediation, 2016-Present
  • Panelist – American Arbitration Association, 2009-2017
  • Principal – Berger Kahn, 1986-2016
  • Associate – Hagenbaugh & Murphy, 1985-1986
  • Judicial Clerk – Hennepin County District Court, Minnesota, 1983-1985

ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION TRAINING:

  • American Arbitration Association:

AAA Best Practices in Commercial Arbitration, 2016; AAA Conducting Research and Investigations ~ The Arbitrator’s Authority (ACE009), 2015; AAA Webinar, Effective Mediation – From A Mediators Perspective, 2013; AAA Safeguarding, Deciding & Writing Awards, 2009; AAA Fundamentals and Best Practices for New Arbitrators, 2009

  • Association of Attorney Mediators:

Business Mediation, 2016; Personal Injury Mediation, 2017

  • Orange County Bar Association:

Getting To Know FINRA, 2011; Law Students and Mediation, 2011; Reel ADR: A Review Of Negotiation Techniques, 2011; Disclosure and Disqualification/Mediation, 2010; The Mortgage Financial Crisis, 2010; Co-Mediation Approach To Resolving Litigated Disputes, 2009; The Financial Meltdown-Insurance and Dispute Resolution Issues and Techniques, 2009; Using Decision Tree Analysis, 2009; Using and Reading Nonverbal Communications, 2009; Deal or No Deal – A Summary of Case Law, 2008, 2009

  • UC Irvine: Conflict Management and the Use of Alternate Dispute Resolution Program:

Certificate of Completion awarded in August, 2005. Courses completed: Arbitration Training, 2005; Civil Advanced Mediation, 2005; ADR Training, 2005; Group Facilitation and Meeting Management, 2005; Negotiation Skills, 2004

EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL LICENSES:

  • Admitted to the California Bar, 1984
  • Admitted to the Minnesota Bar, 1982
  • Hamline University School of Law, J.D., 1982
  • University of Minnesota, B.A., 1978

DISTINCTIONS:

  • Chair, Orange County Bar Association ADR Section, 2008 and 2015
  • AV-Rated Preeminent, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Best Lawyers of America, Southern California
  • California Super Lawyers including an inclusion in the Orange County “Top 50” list; AVVO rating: 10 (“superb”)

PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS:

  • Orange County Bar Association
  • The State Bar of California
  • Minnesota State Bar
  • Association of Attorney-Mediators

Representative Cases

BUSINESS & BREACH OF CONTRACT

  • Mediation where departed employee and officer of company alleged company's wrongful refusal to honor departed officer's interest in the company and properly compensate him for his interest
  • Mediation of dispute between a church and school management company with respect to lease obligations and obligations under a school management agreement
  • Arbitration involving law firm and client based on client's failure to pay legal fees
  • Arbitration where claimants sought to rescind contract with timeshare resort group
  • Arbitration where purchaser of racetrack alleged breach of contract against seller
  • Arbitration where insurance producer alleged former principal owed chargebacks pursuant to a commission repayment agreement
  • Arbitration where medical imaging center brought claim against medical center alleging hospital wrongfully competed with imaging center in breach of partnership agreement

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HOMEOWNERS' ASSOCIATION

  • Mediation of water damage claim brought by unit-owner against HOA for damage to interior of unit arising out of common area water leak
  • Mediation of property line dispute involving neighbors and HOA

INSURANCE

  • Mediation of breach of contract and extra-contractual claims based on carrier's refusal to defend and indemnify a technology company under a D&O policy where technology company was under Government investigation and was served with multiple search warrants and grand jury subpoenas
  • Mediation of breach of contract and extra-contractual claims arising out of carrier's refusal to pay for the cost of the insured's remediation of a contaminated site
  • Mediation of action for equitable indemnity and contribution between carriers arising out of the carriers' defense and indemnity of underlying action involving competing pawn broker businesses
  • Mediation of insurance reimbursement action brought by carrier against its insured to recover alleged uncovered settlement paid by carrier on insured's behalf
  • Mediation of breach of contract and extra-contractual claims brought by company against carrier based on carrier's refusal to pay under an employee dishonesty coverage for a loss arising out of employee theft
  • Mediation of breach of contract and declaratory relief action brought by company against insurer based on insurer's failure to defend an underlying wage and hour matter
  • Mediation of breach of contract and extra-contractual claims alleged by university against carrier with respect to carrier's refusal to fully reimburse defense fees and costs incurred by the university relative to underlying suits and arbitrations brought by students against university
  • Arbitration involving medical center and professional liability carrier with respect to contractual and extra-contractual claims arising out of carrier's failure to defend medical center as to underlying personal injury suit
  • Arbitration where owner and operator of ranch brought contractual claim against crop insurer with respect to alleged losses to citrus crop due to wind and excessive heat
  • Arbitration where law firm brought fee claim against carrier pursuant to Civil Code §2860 for services rendered as "Cumis counsel"

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LANDLORD TENANT, HABITABILITY

  • Mediation of lease dispute between a landlord and restaurant tenant involving issues of past and future rent and potential eviction
  • Mediation of landlord-tenant dispute involving single family home where tenants alleged constructive eviction based on condition of premises
  • Multiple habitability mediations where groups of tenants living either in apartment or other rental dwelling units pursue claims against landlords based upon mold, vermin and various other conditions at the premises

NEGLIGENCE

  • Mediation where fire at a motorcycle shop and repair facility caused a total loss to structure and twenty-eight customers' motorcycles along with insurance coverage issue related to insufficient policy limit
  • Malpractice action brought by business against accountant including claim for recoupment of fees paid

NEIGHBOR/ LANDOWNER DISPUTES

  • Mediation of claim for encroachment and property damage brought by three downslope landowners against uphill landowner with respect to a 175 foot garden wall that ran along the uphill landowner's rear property line where the wall became destabilized and ultimately encroached on the properties of the downhill landowners
  • Mediation of neighbor property line/encroachment dispute involving multi-million dollar residences