Jim thoroughly prepares in advance of the mediation session, including detailed review of all documents, pleadings, and pre-mediation statements and exhibits submitted by counsel, and follow-up discussions with counsel (sometimes including their clients in particular circumstances) regarding issues, objectives, and key considerations for the mediation.
MEDIATION WITH DEDICATION
Welcome to Burghardt Mediation Works, home to the mediation practice of James T. Burghardt based in Denver, Colorado. In 2018, after more than 37 years of practice at a major business law firm as a commercial, bankruptcy, corporate, and real estate attorney and mediator, Jim moved to a solo practice dedicated exclusively to mediation of complex disputes in those fields. With more than 15 years’ experience as a mediator, Jim has proven himself to be highly engaged, thoughtful, creative, respectful, and effective in helping parties reach intelligent and sustainable resolutions of complex disputes ranging in value from hundreds of thousands to tens of millions of dollars.
JIM'S PROCESS – AN OVERVIEW
Jim customizes the structure of each mediation session based on his assessment of the methods most likely to lead to a successful result. This frequently includes use of both evaluative and facilitative approaches, and use of both caucus and joint sessions. It always includes Jim’s close coordination with counsel and candid discussions in caucus with each party and counsel.
IDENTIFY AND PRIORITIZE
Jim works relentlessly with parties and counsel to identify the strengths and weaknesses of each side’s positions and to prioritize each side’s objectives, with the goal of achieving a resolution that all sides recognize as preferable to the risks and costs of continuing down the path of full litigation.
When settlement is achieved through mediation, and if the parties request, Jim will diligently follow up post-mediation to confirm that all settlement documentation has been completed and executed, that appropriate motions have been filed when litigation is actually pending, and that the settlement is moving forward to consummation. Occasionally this has included acting as escrow agent for the parties’ exchange of settlement consideration.
If settlement is not achieved during the initial mediation session, with the parties’ agreement Jim will continue to pursue settlement options via phone, email, or additional in-person meetings or further mediation sessions. This frequently has led to settlement in the days, weeks, or even months following the initial mediation session.
WHAT COUNSEL HAVE TO SAY ABOUT JIM AS A MEDIATOR
Aaron J. ConrardyPartner, Wadsworth Warner Conrardy, P.C.
“We hired Jim as mediator in a contentious and complicated fraudulent conveyance action brought by my client, a Chapter 7 Trustee, against several parties. Going into the mediation, Jim did an extraordinary job of familiarizing himself with the facts, interviewing the players, and understanding their goals. At mediation Jim was professional, candid, and pragmatic. It was clear that he had a firm grasp of the facts and legal issues, and he quickly spotted strengths and weaknesses of both sides and common ground to explore meaningful settlement. I do not hesitate to conclude that Jim’s preparation, diligence, and insights were the primary factors that drove a favorable settlement. I wholeheartedly endorse Jim and will be hiring him again.”
Cathy KrendlVice President, Krendl Krendl Sachnoff & Way
“Jim was a mediator in a very contentious shareholder dispute in which one of my clients was involved. He was impressive in that he did his homework, listened carefully, and understood the business issues as well as the legal ones. He also proposed a constructive resolution that with some revisions was adopted by both sides. Jim is also conversant with financial statements, an understanding of which is crucial to business disputes. I would highly recommend Jim as a mediator for all of these reasons, and because he is solution-oriented.”
John MoyeFounding Partner, Moye White LLP
“I have had the privilege and pleasure to be Jim Burghardt’s law partner for over 37 years. I have observed and admired his skill in resolving problems for his clients as a lawyer; that same skill has served the participants in his mediations extremely well. Jim’s temperament is ideal for mediation. He understands the need to listen to all of the facts and only to draw conclusions and recommendations when everything has been presented. His genuinely respectful attitude is his stock in trade, making all who deal with him comfortable that they are being treated fairly by a professional who is wise and thorough. I recommend Jim as a mediator without reservation.”
Clayton BaileyPartner, Bailey Brauer PLLC
“I used Jim as a mediator in a contentious case that I thought there was no way of settling. Jim did a terrific job and was a bulldog. He was prepared, knew the issues, and worked hard to get a resolution. But more important, although the case did not settle the day of the mediation, Jim kept calling and working with the parties until the matter was resolved a few days later. I highly recommend Jim. Not every mediator continues to work a case after a day of mediation fails to resolve a dispute. I will definitely use him again.”
Jeff BrinenOwner, Kutner Brinen Garber, P.C.
“After more than two years into a complex stalemated Chapter 11 bankruptcy case, I was skeptical that mediation would be of any benefit. However, Jim did a masterful job in resolving the issues, and we were able to reach an agreement to the benefit of both parties.”
Thomas KimManaging Director, R2 Advisors LLC
“Jim served as mediator in a complex avoidance action in which I, as Chapter 11 plan administrator, was plaintiff. The claims involved unusual preference claims, with significant sums of money at issue. The parties and counsel were sophisticated; the issues were well-researched, but the facts were complicated and there were no clear answers. Jim was organized and well-prepared. His pre-mediation process was straightforward, clear and contributed to the positive outcome. Throughout, Jim was balanced and forthright, providing feedback necessary to keep the parties moving forward. Jim’s persistence and patience was tangible and his manner minimized the adversity between the parties. We arrived efficiently at a settlement that was fair, but would not have been possible without Jim’s efforts.”
Jim KilroyAttorney, Snell & Wilmer
“Jim Burghardt is an excellent mediator – particularly for complex disputes that seem unlikely to settle. He is extremely creative, always well-prepared and tireless. Jim deserves my highest recommendation.”
David WarnerPartner, Wadsworth Warner Conrady, P.C.
Jim recently mediated a dispute for one of my clients. Jim didn’t let the other party’s inability or refusal to respond with a clear counteroffer deter him. When the other side wouldn’t cooperate, he helped create a framework for settlement that the parties were able to use later to come to a resolution. He followed-up several times in a helpful and results-oriented manner. Thanks, Jim!
Joe BernsteinAttorney at Law
“Jim served as a mediator in a complex and emotionally-charged case involving the management of a non-profit corporation. He was thoughtful, adaptive and highly creative in achieving a settlement that, at first, appeared nearly impossible. He even worked late into the night with the parties to help reach a compromise. The settlement agreement later collapsed (through no fault of Jim’s), which prompted him to follow-up at least a dozen times to piece an agreement back together. Jim was successful in a difficult case where few other mediators would have made any progress at all. His efforts were nothing short of heroic, and I strongly recommend him for any case.”