Profile

Ana Sambold is one of California’s leading figures in the field of ADR. She is a fully bilingual Attorney, Mediator, and Arbitrator. Ms. Sambold has successfully conducted, in English and Spanish, over a thousand mediations and arbitrations involving complex matters, multicultural parties, and highly contentious issues. Her unique background and fluency in Spanish allows her to understand the cultural and legal nuances that facilitate the resolution of disputes in multicultural settings and between parties of different nationalities.

She consistently achieves outstanding results by virtue of her remarkable tenacity, unique approach, and unmatched commitment to each case. Ms. Sambold has been recognized as a Diplomat Member of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals, an International Mediation Institute certified mediator, and a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

Ms. Sambold is also a Negotiation Professor at University of San Diego School of Law and has taught extensively in conflict resolution and ADR in Europe, Asia and the Americas. As a devoted and proven leader, Ms. Sambold serves as the San Diego County Bar Association ADR Section Chair, ABA Section of Dispute Resolution Vice-Chair, ABA Advanced Mediation and Advocacy Skills Institute Co-Chair, and President of the San Diego Law Library Foundation. She is a former Co-Chair of the California Lawyers Association ADR Committee and Board Member of the Southern California Mediation Association.

Ms. Sambold is available to conduct remote mediations worldwide via Zoom and other remote access means.

AREAS OF SPECIALIZATION

  • BUSINESS, COMMERCIAL, INSURANCE: Resolution of disputes arising out of the purchase and sale of businesses, disagreements in the management, dissolution of partnerships, valuation, accounting, tracing and distribution of assets between former partners; joint ventures; non-compete agreements; banking; intellectual property; misappropriation of trademark and trade secrets; unfair competition; franchise agreements; breach of contract; licensing; distribution rights; bankruptcy; royalties; commercial transactions; debtor/creditor; consumer matters; vehicle manufacturer’s warranties: Lemon Law; professional negligence, fraud, misappropriation, and alleged misrepresentations.
  • EMPLOYMENT: Disputes involving claims for wrongful termination, civil rights violations, discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, disabilities and failure to accommodate; retaliation, wage and hour, sexual harassment, hostile work environment; COVID-19 related claims; intentional infliction of emotional distress claims; independent contractors; misclassification; Fair Employment and Housing Act (FIHA), Family and Medical Leave (FMLA), Private Attorneys Act (PAGA), Whistleblowers, denial of promotion, failure to hire, and negligent supervision.
  • REAL ESTATE: Resolution of cases arising out of the purchase and sale of real estate; partition, title, easements, boundaries, silent ownership; claims of nuisance; necessary disclosures; loan refinancing and foreclosures; broker/agent/client disputes related to commission, procuring cause; landlord/tenant disputes involving breach of implied warranty of habitability, quiet enjoyment of property, property damages, bad faith retention of security deposits, unpaid rent and utilities, water intrusion, mold related claims, constructive eviction, detainer, property management, trespass; neighbor disputes over property lines, fences, trees, view, encroachments, drainage issues, use and access to property; construction defect; civil harassment cases between neighbors; Homeowners association disputes regarding compliance with CC&Rs, fees, liability for repairs, restoration of property, unauthorized improvements and breach of fiduciary duties.
  • TORTS, PERSONAL INJURY: Personal Injury: Disputes resulting from motor vehicle accidents, tripping hazards, slip and fall, and premises liability claims; wrongful death; claims regarding injuries caused by medical and dental malpractice alleging improper diagnosis, treatment and surgery; COVID-19 related claims; insurance coverage and subrogation matters, claims of insurance bad faith, duty to defend, indemnity, uninsured motorists; civil assault and battery claims; legal malpractice; attorney fees disputes; infliction of emotional distress; invasion of privacy, defamation and slander per se.
  • WILLS, TRUSTS, ESTATES: Disputes among family members involving administration of family trust, estate, will/trust beneficiaries, appointment of trustees, validity of testamentary bequests, trustee and estate administrator breach of fiduciary duties; partition actions; constructive trusts; accounting, inventory, appraisal and distribution of assets among trust beneficiaries, claims of undue influence, elder abuse; caretaker and competency issues between adult siblings and their parents.

MEDIATION & ARBITRATION EXPERIENCE

  • Mediator, ADR Services, Inc. (2017-Present)
  • Arbitrator, American Arbitration Association (AAA) (2016-Present)
  • Mediator, San Diego Probate Court Mediation Panel (2018-Present)
  • Arbitrator, International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution
  • Mediator, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (2018-Present)
  • Arbitrator, Better Business Bureau (BBB) (2016-Present)
  • Neutral, Mediation Works Incorporated (2012-2013)
  • Mediator, San Diego Superior Court Civil Mediation Panel (2012-Present)
  • Mediator & Trainer, National Conflict Resolution Center (2011-2017)

EDUCATION & ADR TRAINING

  • Columbia Law School & Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Comprehensive Course on International Arbitration
  • Harvard Law School, Program on Negotiation, Advanced Mediation Training: “Mediating Complex Disputes”
  • Pepperdine University School of Law, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution: “Mediating the Litigated Case”
  • American Arbitration Association (AAA), “Arbitration Fundamentals and Best Practices for New AAA Arbitrators”; “Deciding and Writing Awards”
  • National Conflict Resolution Center, “Mediator Credential”; “Advanced Mediation Skills”
  • Better Business Bureau (BBB), “Auto Line Arbitrator Training”
  • University of San Diego School of Law, LL.M.

PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS AND LEADERSHIP

  • Chair, San Diego County Bar Association ADR Section (2021-Present)
  • Co-Chair, State Bar of California, Civil Litigation Section’s Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution (2017-2018)
  • Vice-Chair, American Bar Association DR Section (2021-Present)
  • Co-Chair, California Lawyers Association ADR Committee (2018-2020)
  • Negotiation Professor, University of San Diego School of Law (2021)
  • Co-Chair, ABA Advanced Mediation and Advocacy Skills Institute (2019-Present)
  • Board of Directors member, Southern California Mediation Association (2016-2019)
  • President, San Diego Law Library Foundation Board of Trustees (2020-Present)
  • Mediators Beyond Borders (MBBI) (2012-2018)
  • Professor of Law, California Western School of Law (2016-2018)
  • Lawyers Club of San Diego (2013-Present)

Representative Cases

BUSINESS, COMMERCIAL, INSURANCE

  • Business: Claim arising out of the purchase and sale of a restaurant. Plaintiff/purchaser sued for fraud and misrepresentation alleging Defendant fraudulently misrepresented the financial condition of the business by providing false and misleading financial records and concealing relevant information to Purchaser.
  • Business: Pre-litigated dispute between several bishops over the control and management of a non-denominational religious congregation. After several mediation sessions, they were able to resolve their differences and design a plan of action to effectively manage the organization.
  • Breach of Contract: Dispute arising out of the sale and installation of a security system. Plaintiff refused to pay outstanding balance alleging system malfunction and sued for reimbursement of payments made to a second company for installing a new system.
  • Breach of Contract: Plaintiff contracted with Defendant to design his company website. It allegedly had numerous problems and was not designed as specified in the contract. Defendant agreed to redo website and extend period of maintenance.
  • Breach of Contract: A bakery sued its main supplier for failure to fulfill his contractual obligations on time. Plaintiff sought to recover for loss of earnings and damages caused by delays. Speculative damages, litigation costs motivated settlement.
  • Partnership Dissolution: Dispute between former partners over distribution of partnership assets, claims of unfair competition, misappropriation of proprietary information and customer database. The mediation process assisted in preserving their friendship.
  • Lemon Law: Plaintiff purchased a used vehicle. After having numerous mechanical difficulties, placing it out of service for many days, and expending significant amounts in repairs, Plaintiff sued for fraud, misrepresentation and breach of warranty.
  • Creditor v. Debtor: Defendant borrowed $300,000 from his elder relatives (monolingual Spanish speakers) to invest in his furniture business. After a few payments, Defendant defaulted. Settled for outstanding balance plus attorney fees. Mediation helped to mend and reestablish family relationship.
  • Insurance Subrogation: Tenant allegedly committed suicide at the leased property. Body was found weeks later. Police prohibited access to property for months and rental property was vandalized. Plaintiff, the landlord’s insurance company, sued the tenant’s estate seeking reimbursement for amounts paid to the insured landlord for the cost of repairs, cleanup and for loss of income while the unit was being prepared for rent again. The mediation process assisted the defendant’s family gain closure.
  • Insurance: Water leak coming from an adjacent property damaged a rental unit owned by plaintiff. Defendant’s insurance company alleged it was the HOA’s responsibility to pay for damages, repairs and loss of rent. Case was satisfactorily settled.
  • Construction Defect: Homeowner hired a general contractor to remodel his home. After delays and cost overruns, homeowner sued for construction defect and overcharges. As part of the settlement, Plaintiff agreed to withdraw his complaint against the contractor at the State Contractors Licensing Board.

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PERSONAL INJURY

  • Vehicle Accident: Negligence and subrogation action arising from a three motor vehicle accident. Plaintiff, the insurance company sued one of the drivers for negligence and sought reimbursement of payments made under its insurance contract. Defendant (who only spoke Spanish) allegedly was driving so recklessly on the rain-slicked road that he caused the rear-end multi-vehicle collision. Issues include apportionment of the recovery among additional insured carriers, policy limits and out of pocket expenses.
  • Vehicle Accident: Action arising out of negligent operation of motor vehicle causing property damage to Plaintiff’s vehicle. Since defendant driver was driving a company vehicle at the time of the accident, Plaintiff sued driver’s employer. Issues included whether the employer was vicariously liable and if the accident occurred within the scope of employment.
  • Auto v. Auto: Plaintiff, a 25-year-old individual, sustained serious back and neck injuries after Defendant made an unsafe and illegal turn and caused a collision. Defendant was alleged to be driving under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident. Medical bills of $18,382 and continuing; loss of earnings and earning capacity undetermined; injuries considered to be chronic and required periodic treatment in the future.
  • Slip and Fall: Negligence and other premises liability actions against a retail store resulting from a slip and fall accident that caused substantial injuries to Plaintiff. $40,503 in past medical bills; indeterminate amount for future loss of earnings plus loss of consortium claim. The case settled via a blind Mediator’s Proposal a few days after the mediation.
  • Defamation: The Defendant, a homeowner, was questioning some purchases made by the board of the homeowners association. The president of the board responded by email and copied all the 45 remaining homeowners calling the homeowner a “smuggler.” Plaintiff sued for defamation seeking to recover for damages to his reputation and loss of business.
  • Personal Injury: Claim arising out of alleged faulty mechanical work. Plaintiff alleged his vehicle caught on fire a few days after he took his vehicle to be repaired by Defendant. Settlement included reimbursement for repairs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and plaintiff agreed to remove negative postings about Defendant’s business.
  • Dental Malpractice: Claim regarding injuries caused by negligent dental malpractice. Additionally, misrepresentations, improper diagnosis, unnecessary treatment and surgery. Defendant dentist cross-complained for the cost of treatment and surgery.
  • Dog Bite: Pitbull bit the Plaintiff and his small dog. Plaintiff’s small dog subsequently died from injuries. Plaintiff sought damages for veterinarian-related bills, medical expenses and treatment. Plaintiff suffered permanent scarring.
  • Uninsured Motorist: Plaintiff sought to recover for personal and property damages.

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REAL ESTATE

  • Silent Ownership: Complicated family dispute involving issues of partition, eviction, unlawful detainer, lease, sublease, verbal agreements, a mortgage and the title of a house. Plaintiff claimed he was the owner of the house while his son-in-law and daughter lived and paid rent to him. Defendants claimed that they had made a verbal agreement with the plaintiff (the father) that he would be the one to obtain the loan for the house but they will make the mortgage payments since the son-in-law and daughter did not qualify for a loan. After a while, neither the plaintiff nor the defendant were making mortgage payments so the bank foreclosed the house and the whole family was torn apart. Mediated successfully in English and Spanish.
  • Co-ownership and Partition: Plaintiff and his parents purchased a house together. Since his parents did not qualify for a loan, Plaintiff had taken it out in his name alone and contributed to the mortgage “rent” payments. When Plaintiff got married and moved out, he initiated a partition action to have his name removed from the loan. Since parents did not qualify by themselves for the loan, they refused to sell the house.
  • Landlord/Tenant: Plaintiffs claimed they complained to the landlord about different defects on the property during the tenancy that were unresolved: Issues included no working heater, mold, no smoke detector, broken ventilation, exposed electrical wiring and sockets, etc. When the tenants were evicted, they sued their landlord on six causes of action: breach of the statutory warranty of habitability, breach of the implied warranty of habitability, negligent maintenance of premises, retroactive rent abatement, breach of written contract and negligence per se. Plaintiff sought damages equivalent to 50% rent abatement for the tenancy.
  • Landlord/Tenant: Tenants sued landlord for personal injury due to mold exposure and damages to personal property. They refused to pay rent. Landlord initiated an unlawful detainer action. In settlement, landlord agreed to pay for damages and tenant agreed to vacate the premises.
  • Habitability: Dispute arose between unit owner and a property management company over a rat infestation resulting in Temporary Restraining Orders for alleged threats of physical violence and harassment.
  • Security Deposit: Plaintiff sought to obtain three times the amount of his security deposit alleging his landlord did not reimburse his security deposit within the statutory period. Defendant alleged unpaid rent, utilities, and damages to property.
  • Breach of Lease Agreement: Landlord sued Tenant after he vacated the premises before the expiration of the lease period. Tenant cross-complained alleging he gave proper notice and sought full reimbursement of his security deposit.
  • Homeowners Association: Disputes between homeowners’ association and owners regarding compliance with CC&Rs, failure to pay HOA fees, liability for repairs, restoration of property, and unauthorized improvements.
  • Homeowners Association: Homeowner seeking damages from homeowner association claiming members breached their fiduciary duties and were allegedly negligent for engaging in contracts which were not in the best interest of the association.
  • Procuring Cause: Dispute between a real estate broker and his former real estate agent over a commission for the sale of a house made to a buyer introduced by the agent to the broker while they were working together.
  • Easement: Neighbors dispute over the use of an easement resulted in an action for trespassing, nuisance property damages, assault and battery, and a Temporary Restraining Order after Plaintiff’s dog allegedly was shot by Defendant with a BB gun. Both neighbors installed powerful lights and security cameras pointing at each other’s properties and harassed each other’s family members and guests for many years. The case settled satisfactorily after a full day mediation.

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PROBATE, ESTATES & TRUSTS

  • Case involving multiple parties , English and Spanish speakers a $7 million estate around the validity of the latest amendment to as trust. Some of the beneficiaries of the original trust were contesting the amendment alleging undue influence on the settlors and decedents testimony capacity.
    Additionally, there were allegations of fraud and undue influence on settlors request to caregivers. Successfully settled after 14 hours online mediation.
  • Living Trust: Older two siblings were named as the successor co-trustees on their mother’s living trust. After mother had a stroke, a dispute arose with father and remaining two siblings over validity and interpretation of the living trust, Settlor’s mental capacity, trustee’s appointment, determining community property assets plus allegations of undue influence, forgery, financial elder abuse. Mediated in Spanish and English.
  • Elder Abuse: Dispute between older sibling and two younger siblings involving allegations of elder abuse, mismanagement of family properties and caretaking of elder parents.

FAMILY LAW

  • Marvin Action: Plaintiff sought to enforce an oral agreement made with the Defendant, her ex-boyfriend, under which he gave her ownership rights over the house where they used to live together. After the relationship ended, Plaintiff sought to get reimbursed for half of the equity on the house and improvements she made to the property. Defendant cross-complained for conversion, property damages. Emotional issues dominated the negotiations. After twelve hours of fierce negotiation, the case settled.
  • Business: highly emotional dispute between family members over the control of the family business.

EMPLOYMENT

  • Mediation involving two plaintiffs/employees with different claims against the same defendant/ employer. First plaintiff's claims involve violations, discrimination based on sex/sexual orientation, sexual harassments and retaliation, labor code violations (wage and hour), failure to provide meal breaks, pay premium wages, negligent supervision of an employee, breach of contract, intentional infliction of emotional distress and sexual battery by a transgender coworker. The second plaintiff's claims include wrongful termination, retaliation, labor code violations, contract related claims, breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealings, promissory estoppel, promissory fraud and negligent representation.
  • Mediation involving two plaintiffs/employees with different claims against the same Defendant employer. First plaintiffs’ claims involve violations, discriminations based on sex/sexual orientation, sexual harassment and retaliation labor code violations (wage and hour) failure to provide meal breaks, pay premium wages, negligence supervision of an employee, breach of contract, intentional infliction of emotional distress and sexual battery by a transgender coworker. The second plaintiff’s claims includes wrongful termination, retaliation, labor code violations, contact related claims, breach of implied covenant of good faith and for dealing promissory, estoppel promissory fraud, and negligent representation.
  • Claims of pregnancy discrimination, unlawful termination and alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) after employee was terminated due to her perceived disability, perceived pregnancy, and after making a request for accommodations, requesting leave due to illness, and retaliating against her under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (ADA) and FEHA.
  • Case involving a transgender/transsexual employee alleging pervasive hostile work environment and harassment on basis of her gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, severe sexual harassment under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). Also, allegations of unlawful termination based on employee’s disability and sexual orientation and employer’s failure to engage in timely good faith interactive process regarding employee’s disability under FEHA. Additionally, claims of retaliation and intentional infliction of emotional distress, and wage and hour violations under Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA).
  • Claims of sexual harassment, disparate treatment from male counterparts and unlawful termination after employee reported supervisor’s sexist comments and actions to employer. Claimant alleged she was discriminated against because of her gender (female), and retaliated against for engaging in a protected activity, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
  • Case involving an age and gender discrimination claims and alleged violations of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, after failure to promote to a management position. Additionally, claims of retaliation for filing the discrimination charge.
  • Claims of constant harassment, hostile work environment, and denial of disability accommodations after employee’s report triggered an internal ethics investigation. Additionally, claims of disability and gender discrimination, retaliation and violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
  • Claims of disability discrimination, denial of reasonable accommodations and failure to engage in the interactive process involving a University instructor. She also alleged retaliation under the FIHA because of her request for disability related-accommodation, denial of work opportunities and eventual termination.
  • Claims from a former caretaker alleging employer failed to pay overtime wages, minimum wages, failed to provide meal periods and compensation in lieu thereof, failed to authorize and permit paid rest periods, furnish accurate itemized wage statements, pay “nanny taxes” and other violations of Labor Code §203 and the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA). Additionally, there were allegations of sexual harassment, negligence, hostile work environment, sexual battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, unwanted sexual advances, including unwanted touching and open sexual assault during employment.
  • Discrimination claims based on national origin (Mexico) following manager’s racist and anti-Mexican comments. Claims of retaliation after employee reported the harassment and discrimination and employee was denied reinstatement of his seniority and eventually terminated.
  • Claims of sexual harassment and retaliation involving the hostess of a restaurant and the restaurant owner. The allegations of sexual harassment included sexual comments, unwanted kissing, hugging and touching. Claimant alleged wrongful termination and retaliation after reporting the sexual harassment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
  • Claims of discrimination based on age, race/national origin, sexual orientation and retaliation involving an employee at a public agency. Allegations included harassment by the program manager, communicating in the workplace in a language the claimant did not speak, providing training opportunities and recognizing the achievements only of certain employees, assignment of an increased workload with unrealistic deadlines, work relocation, denial of opportunities to be promoted and retaliation, harassment and verbal reprimands after filing a complaint under the Age Discrimination in Employment At of 1967, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

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CLASS ACTION

  • Class action brought by legal aid lawyers against DMV for statewide driver license suspensions of California low-income drivers for failure to pay parking fines and other driving infractions. Parties to resolve prevailing party and implementation of court of appeal order regarding underlying lawsuit including attorney fee award to the prevailing party.

Testimonials

“Neutral Ana Sambold was superb”


“Ana Sambold was able to settle a highly emotional and contentious probate related case between a mother and daughter. Ms. Sambold’s professionalism and patience were unsurpassed. I really appreciate and respect her ability to work through what was a highly emotional and sometimes irrational, mother/daughter situation. I was also impressed by her ability to turn things around when it looked like the agreement was going to fall apart due to party misconceptions and back-peddling. I would highly recommend Ms. Sambold as a mediator.”