Valerie Kiffin Lewis, Esquire, offers Mediation and Arbitration services in the following areas:
Wage & Hours Dispute
First Party Disputes
General Civil Matters
Real Estate Disputes
Landlord / Tenant Disputes
One who engages in Employment Discrimination has engaged in an unlawful employment practice. Employment Discrimination is proscribed and governed by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, commonly known as the “EEOC” is the federal agency responsible for protecting an employee who is being discriminated against in the workplace because of his or her race, color, religion, sex (including, pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation) national origin, disability, age or genetic information.
Wage & Hour Disputes
Sexual Harassment is the unwelcome sexual advances of another, requests for sexual favors, and/or verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature. To be protected by law, sexual harassment claims must not be an isolated incident, but considered severe in nature. Harassment, even if not considered sexual, if severe enough, can create a hostile or offensive work environment, and is considered to be illegal as well.
First Party disputes are generally claims between the policy holder and the insurance company. The specific language of the insurance policy typically dictates the results of the dispute, however, one must be mindful that lawsuits have been pursued alleging bad faith insurance practices. Cases that involve allegations of bad faith insurance practices are quite suitable for the confidential nature of mediation.
General Civil Disputes
General Civil disputes covers a broad practice area which pertains to persons, things and relationships that develop among them. It is the area of law that regulates the non-criminal rights and duties of persons.
Commercial Disputes are, generally, disputes among two or more business entities. Although litigation is often employed to handle these disputes, other mechanisms, including mediation and arbitration have been used since these processes are less costly and less time consuming than going to court.
Real Estate Disputes
Landlord/Tenant Disputes generally arise as a result of a breach of the lease agreement, often times as a result of non payment of the leased space. The law requires a landlord to serve a tenant written notice allowing three (3) days, excluding weekends and legal holidays, for the tenant to make payment or the tenant must vacate the subject property. It is only after the tenant fails to pay the rent or to vacate the premises, can the landlord commence legal action to evict. Employing alternative dispute resolution techniques are quite effective in cases that involve Landlord/Tenant disputes.
Family Disputes are quite common in the U.S., and Florida is no exception. Florida’s divorce rates over the past few years were much higher than the average rate for couples across the United States. Family law disputes are often highly contentious because of the levels of emotion, power imbalances, and the involvement of children and property. Finding a peaceful resolution can be difficult, and parties have benefitted from the experience of a talented mediator.
Personal Injury law is the legal field that addresses harm to a person caused by another’s negligence, recklessness, or malicious intent. The injured person is then allowed to go to court and sue to recover damages sustained as a result of injuries sustained.
Products Liability comes into play when an individual encounters a defective consumer item. This type of law, generally, is associated with strict liability which means that a defendant in a lawsuit can be held liable and/or responsible regardless of knowledge or intent. Essentially, under U.S. product liability law, manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, retailers and others who make products accessible to the public can be held liable for injuries caused by those products.
Medical Malpractice claims fall under Florida Statute 95.11. Medical Malpractice occurs when a hospital, doctor, or other health care professional, through negligence, causes an injury to a patient. There are many types of medical malpractice claims, but generally, said claims involve a serious risk of harm to a patient by a health care provider.
The VKL approach
Valerie Kiffin Lewis, Esquire, offers a creative approach to the alternative dispute resolution process and strives to artfully promote the practice of self-determination and self-empowerment.
When mediating with Valerie Kiffin Lewis you realize early on that she has an uncompromising attitude – that is to meet the parties’ desire and ultimate goal- resolution. She attributes her high level of success in reaching settlements to the level of skill acquired and developed throughout her many years of experience.
I have known Valerie Kiffin Lewis for over 25 years as a colleague and a worthy adversary litigating cases with her. She has always been a consummate professional. Recently, I had the pleasure of having Valerie as the Mediator for one of my employment cases. It was a particularly difficult case with emotions running high and with not only my client (the employer) but with the former employee as well. Valerie navigated this mediation in such a masterful way to achieve a resolution to the ultimate satisfaction of both parties. Valerie is a no-nonsense Mediator that takes her job seriously and does so with compassion. She assists the parties in being the architect to their own outcome. I highly recommend Valerie for any difficult mediation.
Valerie brings professionalism, strategy, and skill to the Mediation arena. As a result of working with her, the school district has settled countless difficult mediations that mitigated the exposure of future litigation fees and costs. I am familiar with her work and have personally observed her intermediary skills and proficiency.
Valerie is approachable, always well prepared, insightful, and has a brilliant legal mind. She brings an element of expertise that is refreshing and astute.
Valerie Kiffin Lewis has the experience and tenacity you want in a mediator. I’ve used her in several “impossible-to-settle” employment law cases that settled through her efforts. I have her on my highly recommended mediator list. I wouldn’t hesitate to use her in a tough case.
Valerie Kiffin Lewis is a skilled mediator and arbitrator. She has an exceptional ability to find the “sweet spot” to settle a case. Ms. Kiffin Lewis brings with her decades of experience working with claimants and defendants, understanding uniquely what monetary- and non-monetary- terms will cause parties to reach agreement. Ms. Kiffin Lewis is inherently neutral and ensures that each side is heard, considered, and respected. This ability to show respect for each side’s position, regardless of her own opinion, while working with both sides to find their best opportunity to settle, is remarkable. I highly recommend Ms. Kiffin Lewis for her intelligence, positive attitude, and her ability to find the best opportunities for resolution.
If you need a mediator with experience necessary to settle complex employment cases, or to assist the parties in exploring the risks and benefits of litigating such cases, consider Valerie Kiffin Lewis. She is on my short list of effective mediators.
A great resource for all your Mediation and Arbitration needs. If you can’t resolve it with Valerie- then it can’t be resolved.