Jan Frankel Schau, Esq.



Jan Frankel Schau is one of the leading mediators in the profession, named by the Daily Journal as one of the 50 “Top Neutrals” in California, recognized as a Distinguished Fellow by the prestigious International Academy of Mediators and recently included as one of Super Lawyer’s Top 16 Women Mediators.

Ms. Schau settles litigated cases arising out of employment, business, real estate and tort disputes with humanity and intelligence. With over twenty years of experience as a litigator – 10 years in Insurance Defense and 10 years representing Plaintiffs in employment, business and personal injury – Jan has an unique ability to understand and evaluate both sides of every claim.  Jan gets to the heart of every conflict and helps lead the disputants towards a satisfactory resolution efficiently, effectively and fairly.  In the past 16 years, she has settled over 1200 cases.


  • 2007-Present  ADR Services, Inc., Mediator & Arbitrator, Panel Neutral
  • 2005-Present  Civil Service Hearing Officer, County of Los Angeles
  • 2006-Present  Civil Service Hearing Officer, City of Los Angeles
  • 2000-2007  Private Mediator, Arbitrator, Valley Mediation Services
  • 1995-2001  Law Offices of Jan Frankel Schau, General Civil Litigation
  • 1981-1995  Litigation Practice at various Law Firms in Los Angeles – Condominium and Homeowners Law, Real Property Sales, Construction Defect Litigation, Insurance Defense, Coverage, Personal Injury, Employment, Business Litigation, Hospital Staff Privileges, Professional Negligence and Torts

Professional Panels, Appointments, Honors

  • 2016  Named One of Top 16 Women in ADR by Super Lawyers, California
  • 2013  Named One of Top 50 Neutrals by California Daily Journal
  • 2013-2014  Beverly Hills Bar Association, Labor & Employment Section, Chair
  •  2010-2017  California Super Lawyer in Alternative Dispute Resolution
  •  2010  Board Member, Women Lawyers of Los Angeles, ADR Section Chair
  • 2009-Present  Distinguished Fellow of the International Academy of Mediators
  •  2008  Member, California State Bar Committee on ADR
  •  2007  President, Southern California Mediation Association
  •  2002-2004  Chair, ADR Section, San Fernando Valley Bar Association, Board Member

Formal Education

  • 1981  Loyola Law School, J.D.
  • 1978  Pomona College, B.A. in International Relations

Highlights in Teaching/Lecturing

  • 2017  Lecturer, “Ethics in Mediation:  When Confidentiality, Neutrality and Ethics Collide, Century City Bar Association
  • 2016  Appointed Adjunct Faculty at the Straus Institute of Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine University
  • 2016  Lecturer, “Micro-Interventions in Mediation”, International Academy of Mediators, AMINZ, Wellington, New Zealand
  • 2016  Beverly Hills Bar Association, “Your Employment Case is in Arbitration:  Now What?” Panel Member
  • 2015  Eastern Bar Association, “Negotiation Ethics and Confidentiality”
  • 2015  Orange County Bar Association:  “Looking at Substance Abuse Through a Different Lens”
  •  2014  Beverly Hills Bar Association, Barristers, “Top 12 Tips for Negotiating Anything”

ADR Training


  • 2016  Straus Institute, Pepperdine University, Summer Intensive:  “Mindfulness in Mediation”
  • 2015  Professional Skills Advanced Training Straus Institute, Pepperdine University (2003, 2007)
  • 2007  EEOC Training, 40 hour Course
  • 2005-2006  Arbitration I and II, American Arbitration Association
  • 2005  FINRA Neutral Training
  • 2005  County Personnel Hearing Officer Training
  • 2001  Western Center for Law & Disability, Advanced Training, Disability Mediation
  • 2000 Los Angeles County Bar Association, Dispute Resolution Program Act ADR Training

Most Recent Articles

  • 2016  “Pushing Past Impasse”, Consumer Attorney’s Advocate Magazine
  • 2016  “Add OODA Loop to Your Mediation Strategy”,  Los Angeles Daily Journal
  • 2016  “The Tail that Wags the Dog:  Strategies for Overcoming Barriers to Settlement, Especially Attorneys’ Fees When They Become an Issue”, Advocate Magazine (CAALA)
  • 2015  “In Defense of Mediation Confidentiality”,  Los Angeles Daily Journal
  • 2015  “Move Mountains in the Workplace with Mediation”, Los Angeles Daily Journal
  • 2015  “When Investigation Reports Meet Mediation:  A Mediator’s View”, Association of Workplace Investigators, Inc.
  • 2015  “Six Ways in which Mediators Don’t Lie”, Los Angeles Lawyer, Closing Argument

Books/Other Publications

  • 2016  Contributing Author, “Lawyers as Changmakers”, Edited by J. Kim Wright, Published by ABA Dispute Resolution Section, 2016
  • 2013  View from the Middle of the Road:  A Mediator’s Perspective on Life, Conflict and Human Interaction. (AuthorHouse, 2013)
  • 2012  “The Bad Boy Who Almost Got Away”, “Stories Mediators Tell”, Editors, Eric Galton and Lela Love, Published by ABA


Follow Jan’s Blog:  http://schaumediation.com/mediation-insights/

Representative Cases


  • Arbitration of sexual abuse by co-worker (against employer)
  • Sexual harassment: allegation of supervisor attempted sexual abuse with defense of consensual affair in restaurant setting
  • Age discrimination: long time manager replaced by younger person in alleged reduction in force at major automotive center
  • Wage and hour: 6 restaurant workers alleging violation of meal and rest breaks
  • Wage and hour: arbitration of overtime and meal and rest break violations against major retail chain
  • Partnership dispute between brothers/owners of insurance business
  • Male victim of sexual violation by male supervisor/executive following a holiday party
  • Overtime claim and retaliation for complaining against a studio executive after being transferred out of state
  • Wrongful termination of long-time disabled teacher whose contract was not renewed after a full year on disability before the next academic year began
  • Race discrimination alleged against an African-American owned security company
  • Wrongful termination in retaliation for whistleblowing against a large, national Charitable organization
  • Wrongful termination based upon age discrimination brought by a Sheriff against a governmental agency
  • Pregnancy and gender discrimination brought against a major engineering firm where the Plaintiff was in an extreme minority as a woman

view all


  • 52-year old Vietnamese CPA “downsized” alleging age & ethnic discrimination.
  • Lesbian woman executive over 40 sued government agency for wrongful termination and discrimination; defenses included wrongdoing at work regarding protecting her lover’s employment.
  • Several cases involving disabled employees suing employers (including governmental entities) for wrongful termination in retaliation for taking time off for disability.
  • Two Hispanic executives claiming ethnic discrimination and wrongful termination at an agricultural manufacturing company.
  • “Failure to accommodate” claim against school district by deaf school teacher.
  • Wrongful termination from pregnancy, and other pregnancy discrimination matters.
  • Wrongful termination/discrimination on the basis of gender orientation.
  • Wrongful termination against a major charitable organization based on a claim of age discrimination.
  • Misclassification and overtime by a marketing agent who had an oral contract to represent a physician but claimed to be an employee who worked independently many hours without compensation as an employee over a period of years.
  • Disability discrimination based upon replacement of a long-time employee suffering from stress after one year’s leave of absence.
  • In-house employment grievance against public carrier for refusal to grant a bonus in the customary amount based upon a finding that the team on which he worked had falsified documentation at the direction of a supervisor.
  • Wage and hour claim brought by a ranch hand who lived on the ranch full time and did not document hours in any way.
  • Gender discrimination by a young woman against an older female supervisor on grounds that the older supervisor did not permit younger (or any) women to show their “feminine side”/emotions at work resulting in multiple complaints and a constructive discharge.
  • Age discrimination against a major tech company for wrongful termination of a 58 year old woman with 17 years experience by her 32 year old supervisor.
  • rongful termination in pregnancy discrimination based upon termination after 4 months leave of absence prior to delivery and then a requested 4 months baby bonding time.
  • Current employee brings claim for retaliation for complaints of failure to engage in the interactive process against County.

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Wrongful Termination

  • Wrongful termination in violation of executive compensation agreement.
  • Wrongful termination based upon foreign ancestry.
  • Wrongful termination based on immigration status.
  • Wrongful termination against a public entity based upon civil rights investigation.
  • Wrongful termination following allegedly inaccurate positive drug test.
  • Major litigation against governmental entity for wrongful termination in violation of public policy as a result of controller reporting money management violations on a major construction project.

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  • Veterinarian who alleged wrongful termination in retaliation for reporting violations regarding animal care practices.
  • Religious discrimination.
  • Pregnancy discrimination.
  • Major litigation against public entity for demotion of high level police officer in retaliation for whistleblowing.
  • Wrongful termination in retaliation for bringing lawsuit against co-franchisee.
  • Retaliation for bringing lawsuits previously against major communications provider.
  • Wrongful failure to hire in retaliation for recurrence of cancer (as litigator).

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Wage & Hour

  • Hispanic dishwashers who alleged wage & hour violations against restaurant. Defenses included claim that one woman was the victim of domestic violence and therefore took refuge at the restaurant, even while not working.
  • Mulit-party wage and hour against a national retail chain.
  • Construction laborers alleged they were retaliated against based upon complaints of failure to comply with wage & hour requirements on a construction project.
  • Wage & hour case against employer of “domestic”, including “slavery” allegations.

Torts & Personal Injury

  • Legal Malpractice arising out of alleged bad advice in drafting will, resulting in substantial and avoidable tax consequences to heirs.
  • Legal malpractice arising out of failure to ensure confidentiality in the settlement of an employment dispute—resulting in the employee/Plaintiff’s having a negative employment record.
  • Auto v Auto where personal injury belatedly discovered and minimal insurance policy only available.
  • Auto v Auto where defense disputed causation of the injury alleged by a young woman who was an attorney for the insurance company who insured the adverse driver.
  • Defamation where a woman claimed her reputation had been harmed by a false posting on social media regarding her personal extra-marital affairs.
  • Legal malpractice and Fee dispute arising out of a divorce with allegations of over-charging without achieving desired result.
  • Dog bite.
  • Motor vehicle.
  • Defamation.
  • Business torts, including trade secret and unfair competition.
  • Wrongful death of young woman who took her own life after allegedly being discharged prematurely from a residential treatment facility, resulting in a multi-million dollar settlement.
  • School yard battery arising out of alleged lack of proper security.
  • Traumatic injury to adult arising out of bicycle accident on public property.
  • Sexual assault and battery as well as emotional distress against a theme park for the alleged touching of a member of the public by an employee in a seasonal “fun house”.

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  • Air conditioning manufacturer v. auto sales establishment who claimed they loaned equipment which was neither returned nor paid for during the repair on the auto company’s equipment, resulting in substantial interest and penalties.
  • Franchisor v. Franchisee dispute regarding marketing assistance and franchise fees.
  • Breach of contract for alleged unlawful copying of jewelry design for retail sales.
  • Sales of Business and Lease which was allegedly based upon fraudulent accounting.

Real Estate

  • Neighbor/neighbor dispute where elderly neighbor claims abutting neighbor has destroyed her right to light, air and security by allowing their hedges to grow beyond the city ordinance (pre-litigation).
  • Commercial landlord and tenant dispute arising out of permissible use of parking area adjacent to leased property.
  • Alleged misrepresentation of square footage on residential real estate against owner and broker.
  • Construction defects and financial overruns on public works project.
  • Residential real estate sales transaction arising ut of allegations of fraudulent misrepresentation as to lot line.

Product Liability

  • Home Products including Subrogation.
  • Brain injury due to hypoxia allegedly resulting from cosmetic surgery.
  • Accounting Malpractice resulting in legal defense costs in business action.

Civil Rights

  • Use of excessive force by police resulting in gun shot to leg of convicted felon.
  • Use of excessive force by police and alleging false imprisonment for gang-related congregating.
  • Wrongful arrest of youth for possession of marijuana with medical prescription.


  • Jan Schau also serves as an Arbitrator through ADR Services, American Arbitration Association and Kaiser Permanente. A sampling of arbitrated matters includes:

    • Wrongful Termination in retaliation for Whistleblowing
    • Wrongful Termination in Retaliation for reporting Sexual Harassment
    • Breach of Revolving Credit Card Debt
    • Wrongful Death of an Infant in Hospital (Medical Malpractice)
    • Pre-litigation real estate sales transaction
    • Auto v Auto (and Subrogation)

Articles / Publications