John Golper, Esq. is one of the preeminent labor and employment litigators in California, bringing over 48 years of unparalleled expertise to the dispute resolution arena. Since 2019, he has spent as much time mediating employment disputes as he has as an advocate. Mr. Golper is now dedicated to fostering resolution as a full-time neutral at ADR Services, Inc. focusing on resolving all types of labor and employment law and business disputes.
Mr. Golper’s decision to become a full-time neutral was driven by his realization of the profound satisfaction derived from helping litigants and their lawyers resolve disputes. He has been incredibly active as a Mediator serving on the U.S. District Court ADR Mediator Panel since 2019 and has garnered a dedicated following from labor and employment lawyers – both plaintiff and defense – who seek his expertise as a private mediator.
What sets Mr. Golper apart is his wealth of practical employment law experience, having spent almost half a century as a legal luminary in California. A rarity among employment mediators, his background encompasses significant jury trial experience, offering a unique perspective that translates into a mediator with a strong command of employment law. His decades of hands-on experience allow him to swiftly assess the nuances of each case, providing a candid evaluation of strengths and weaknesses.
Mr. Golper embarked on his career as a labor lawyer after graduating from UCLA Law School in 1975, where he served as a Research Assistant to the esteemed Labor Law Professor, Ben Aaron. In his first three years as a lawyer, Mr. Golper worked in a well-recognized boutique litigation firm which specialized in sophisticated business litigation and represented numerous labor unions in the telecommunications and entertainment industry, in addition to individual employees. He then began his long illustrious career on the management side of labor and employment law matters.
In 1986, Mr. Golper played a pivotal role in establishing Ballard Rosenberg Golper & Savitt, a prominent 26-attorney firm specializing in labor and employment law and related litigation. Over the years, he has consistently earned individual Best Lawyer rankings every year since 2003 and has been recognized as a “Super Lawyer” in Employment Litigation every year since 2004. He has been peer-reviewed as the highest possible “AV Preeminent” rating from Martindale-Hubbell since 1987.
Mr. Golper’s practice expertise runs the gamut of every kind of matter involved in labor and employment law, from traditional labor/management issues involving union contracts and cases under the pertinent grievance and arbitration procedures to representing clients on human resource matters and in court as well as before numerous administrative agencies. He is one of only a few labor and employment lawyers who not only has expertise in traditional labor law but is also a highly experienced jury trial lawyer. His trial experience ranges from smaller wrongful termination cases to multi-week trials addressing systemic discrimination and harassment. His appellate prowess is equally impressive, contributing to major legal precedents and securing victories as lead or amicus counsel. He was inducted into the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) in 2009.
Now, having successfully mediated over 100 cases, Mr. Golper eagerly anticipates continuing his legacy of service to the legal community as a full-time neutral at ADR Services, Inc. His commitment to facilitating resolution and drawing on his wealth of legal experience positions him as a sought-after mediator in the complex landscape of labor and employment disputes.
ADR Services, Inc., 2024-Present
United States District Court, ADR Panel, 2019-Present
1986-2023 Ballard Rosenberg Golper & Savitt, LLP
Of Counsel, 2017-2023
Senior Partner, 1986-2016
1978-1986 Parker, Milliken, Clark, O’Hara & Samuelian
Partner, Labor Department, 1983-1986
Associate, Labor Department, 1978-1983
1984-1986 California Comparable Worth Task Force
Appointed by Governor Deukmejian as one of three gubernatorial appointees to eleven-member task force and wrote Minority Report to the California Legislature regarding proposed changes to Labor Code Section 1197.5.
1974-1978 Bodkin, McCarthy, Sargent & Smith
Associate, Labor and General Litigation Departments, 1975-1978
Summer Law Clerk, 1974
1974 California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, Division 3
Extern Law Clerk to Honorable Winslow Christian
1973-1974 Whittaker Corporation
“John served as our mediator in a multi-defendant discrimination case. The parties were fairly far apart after a day’s mediation, but John continued working the phones and pushing the parties to compromise. Almost two months after the initial mediation, John eventually settled the case. His perseverance and case evaluation were critical in achieving the settlement. John zeroes right in on the strengths and weaknesses of the parties’ positions.”
“Mr. Golper was very effective in helping get resolved a very contentious matter. His calm knowledge of the law, extensive litigation experience as a trial attorney, as well as his demeanor and persistence were essential in gaining my clients’ trust and getting our case settled.”
“John is as good of a mediator as I have come across in 35 years of practice. In my opinion what sets John apart from other mediators is his wealth of actual employment law experience. As a lawyer he practiced nearly 50 years and was one of California’s preeminent lawyers. It is rare to find an employment mediator with John’s experience which includes significant jury trial experience. This experience translates into a mediator who has a command of employment law and the ability based on decades of practical experience to quickly get a good handle on the matter he is mediating and shoot straight on the strengths and weaknesses of the case. Mr. Golper gets my highest recommendation as a mediator and I have mediated at least 500 cases. He settled all my cases he mediated.”
“Mr. Golper had the perfect demeanor and patience for our case, and he was instrumental in settling it. He helped make it more understandable to my clients, and showed them respect they appreciated. I think the resolution was fair for both sides. I would definitely use John Golper as a mediator in another case, where his broad knowledge, patience and subtle strategic control would be assets to point us toward resolution.”
“I had the pleasure to have Mr. Golper mediate two of my cases and in both, I was very happy and impressed with the way he handled them. He is an excellent mediator; he went above and beyond to achieve a workable and reasonable result for both parties. When the mediation was over, he made sure that he was available for further questions and concerns and if we did not call him, he would take the time to call to make sure we were not needing any more assistance from him. I felt that he was truly caring about my clients and that meant a lot to me because that is exactly what they need, someone that hears them with compassion regardless of the outcome of the case. I would recommend Mr. Golper to anyone that needs a caring and hardworking mediator.”
“John successfully negotiated settlement in a sexual assault and sexual harassment case. There were multiple plaintiff’s counsel and multiple defense counsel as the individual defendant was represented through his homeowner’s policy and both his counsel and the carrier’s counsel were not familiar with employment law issues. In addition, the plaintiff’s counsel were personal injury and workers’ comp attorneys, and they were also not very familiar with employment law. John patiently worked through the employment, PI, workers’ comp, and insurance issues to weave together a comprehensive settlement that was fair and reasonable to all. It was my second mediation with John, having used him a prior time from the federal court panel, and I’m thrilled he is now available for private mediation. Can’t recommend him enough.”
“It was a great pleasure to mediate the case with John. Both my client and I much appreciate his professional help in exploring the possibility of settlement. Thank you!”
“John did a great job on these mediations. My client and I appreciate his tenacity and attention. I hope we can work with him in the future.”
“John’s calm demeanor and litigation experience helped my client come to the right conclusion. I will be sure to have him on my short list of mediators moving forward.”
“I’ve known John Golper for many years. He came to mediation after developing a wide breadth of experience as a practicing labor and employment law attorney in Southern California. I’ve had occasion to work with Mr. Golper as a mediator on multiple occasions arising from federal court litigation. While on their face the matters were lawsuits involving two parties, the underlying facts in each were far more complicated, with construction businesses, multiple unions, multiple fringe benefit trust funds, and interested businesses all having conflicting positions and goals to be considered. There were related matters pending with grievance/arbitration machinery and administrative agency proceedings. In each situation, Mr. Golper took time to listen to the parties. He studied and developed an understanding of the facts, issues, and goals of the parties, as well as to determine how best to work with the parties on proposals toward constructive resolution. In these situations resolution required not just finding a mutually agreeable dollar amount but also an understanding giving the parties a viable path forward. Mr. Golper was pleasant and effective, but firm when necessary, in helping the parties navigate through the weeds to resolve these complex and multi-layered disputes. I would be happy to work with him again as a mediator in future cases.”