Phyllis W. Cheng, Esq. has excelled at every stage of her career. For nearly seven years, Ms. Cheng was Director of the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), the largest state civil rights agency in the United States. As Director, Ms. Cheng oversaw six and seven-figure settlements, including the largest settlements in DFEH history. She was also a Senior Appellate Court Attorney; a Deputy Attorney General with the Civil Rights Enforcement Section of the California Department of Justice; a partner with DLA Piper’s employment practice; and a two-term Commissioner and Vice-Chair of the Fair Employment and Housing Commission.
Recognized as the 2012 Ronald M. George Public Lawyer of the Year, Ms. Cheng brings her unwavering work ethic and extensive experience to her dispute resolution practice. As a private mediator and as a panelist for the U.S. District Court and the California Court of Appeal, Ms. Cheng has settled significant matters in the areas of employment, including discrimination, harassment, and retaliation; wage and hour; class actions; civil rights; attorney’s fees; housing discrimination; and public accommodations and disability access. For more information, including case summaries, please visit her website at www.mediate.work.
Chinese (Cantonese, Shanghai, Mandarin dialects)
As a leading scholar in California employment law, Ms. Cheng has made over 500 keynote, panel, webinar, and other multimedia presentations to bar, business, human resources, employer, employee, housing, realtor, apartment, homeowner, condominium association, mediation, civil rights, education, private and public sector groups.
Ms. Cheng is a prolific writer and has been published numerous times in various law treatises, legal publications, and law journals. She is the Co-Editor of California Fair Housing & Public Accommodations, part of the Rutter Group California Civil Litigation Series, and Attorney Editor of several chapters of Employment Litigation, the Rutter Group California Practice Guide. For a complete list of her publications, please visit her website at www.mediate.work.
“The appeals and cross appeals arose from a verdict after an 8-week jury trial. Everyone appealed everything. This was a very complex case. We already had three failed mediations with other mediators over the course of the five years the case was litigated. Once a verdict was obtained, neither my client nor I were very excited to settle anything. Prior to trial, the other side had drawn its ‘line in the sand.’ After we obtained a multi-million-dollar verdict, which was unanimous in most respects, my client and I did the same. The mediator was able to coax both of us into reconsidering our positions. Without her, this case almost certainly would have gone another 5 years.”
“Thank you for your superb efforts on this successful mediation. I spoke to counsel for the defendants as well as for the plaintiffs the week prior to the mediation and all were very pessimistic to any type of settlement. In fact, the reason the mediation was scheduled for only 3 hours was because the plaintiffs thought this was a wasted exercise and did not want to invest any further time or expense. I spoke to the plaintiffs after the mediation and they thought your insightful evaluation was the key to the settlement. As you may know, we tried unsuccessfully for a year to settle this matter through a prior mediation and numerous private discussions. I eagerly look forward to your assistance in future cases.”
“I can’t thank Ms. Cheng enough for all of her diligent hard work, getting up to speed so fast, and making everyone feel heard. I deeply appreciate her help in this case and am so grateful that we had the best possible mediator to settle such a tense case.”
“Ms. Cheng accomplished more in two hours than I was able to accomplish in the past 6 months. Kudos to her, her dedication and her empathy for my clients’ position.”
“Although she was kind of low key, she was able to put on the pressure that was necessary for us to understand that the best course of action was a resolution. She was firm and convincing, yet she did not talk down to anyone.”
“Ms. Cheng is an excellent mediator. We were extremely pleased with her professionalism and willingness to engage the parties through a number of difficult mediation sessions.”
“Thank you so much to Ms. Cheng for mediating this case. She is calm, brilliant, and inspiring, and made an extremely difficult day doable.”
“Ms. Cheng works really hard to establish rapport with the parties and thinks outside the box to get the case settled.”
“Phyllis was great. Smart, well prepared, reasonable, persuasive. I would happily use her for other mediations.”