Daily Journal Profile: Don’t Quit Your Day Job

Louise LaMothe prepared for eight years before leaving her practice to become a full-time arbitrator and mediator.

Daily Journal Profile
July 13, 2012

Enabling Discovery

FOCUS Column

By Louise LaMothe
Originally published in the Los Angeles Daily Journal, April 1, 2008

Litigators have been practicing under the changed Federal Rules of Civil Procedure relating to electronically stored information in federal courts since December 2006. A body of federal case law has mushroomed, explaining how these new obligations affect litigants, and many states have passed similar legislation.

In California, the Judicial Council is proposing both statutory and rule changes, now out for public comment. Almost unnoticed, however, the advent of e-discovery and the handling of ESI in general also have brought challenges to arbitration, which historically has operated in a much more limited discovery and looser evidentiary environment.

How should arbitrators handle ESI when it arises in cases before them? Which lessons from ESI in litigation are applicable to arbitration, and which are not? Read more


Remote Location

By Louise LaMothe
Originally published in the Los Angeles Daily Journal, January 10, 2008 (PDF)

One of the advantages of arbitration is its flexibility. The parties can design their own process, which may contribute to a result that is better received by the clients. Importantly, the proceeding can be flexible for receiving evidence. Most providers have a rule similar to the American Arbitration Association’s: “Conformity to legal rules of evidence shall not be necessary.” Rule 31(a) AAA Commercial Rules. As a result, the parties in arbitrations frequently request the arbitrator to allow testimony of witnesses who cannot appear in person at the hearing.

In the past, we arbitrators have been used to receiving testimony offered in the form of a declaration or affidavit, though that makes cross-examination impossible. Rule 32, AAA Commercial Rules allows this practice, though it admonishes that “[the arbitrator] shall give it such weight as the arbitrator deems it entitled to after consideration of any objection made to its admissibility.” See also JAMS Comprehensive Rules and Procedures, Rule 22(e). Read more

Top 50 Neutrals

Name: Louise LaMothe

Affiliation: Independent, American Arbitration Association

Rate: $395 per hour in Santa Barbara, $500 per hour outside Santa Barbara

Location: Santa Barbara

Areas: Mediation and arbitration of employment, entertainment, intellectual property and construction disputes

Cases: In February, LaMothe arbitrated an employment dispute involving a national retailer in which an employee claimed she was forced to quite due to same-sex sexual harassment by a woman she claimed was her supervisor. LaMothe found in favor of the retailer for an undisclosed amount. Earlier this year, LaMothe was appointed sole arbitrator in a securities class action brought by account holders seeking refunds from an investment advisor who allegedly calculated his fees illegally. That case is still pending. In January, she mediated a case pitting a 99 Cents Only store against its landlord over when the property became inhabitable. LaMothe determined the date the store should start paying rent to the landlord and awarded a settlement for an undisclosed dollar amount. Read more

The Sedona Conference on Complex Litigation

Sedona Conference Complex Litigation (PDF)


The settlement of complex disputes frequently can be advanced by the employment of an independent mediator. The skills of the mediator must go beyond the creativity of a good negotiator, shuttling offers and counter offers between two caucus rooms. The processing of the settlement of a complex case involves custom-designed, rather than off the shelf, dispute resolution. A framework must first be created in which settlement may be facilitated. The lawyers for the parties are central to the success of this process. They need to cooperate to find someone whose management skills are innovative and flexible enough to encompass a complicated case. Advance planning of the many steps involved will pay dividends. Read more

Rising Star

Daily Journal California Law Business
By  Liz Valsamis

In three short years, neutral Louise LaMothe has distinguished herself as someone with a comprehensive grasp on employment law, particularly on discrimination, disability issues.

Navigating the muddy waters of employment law in California requires the skill of a neutral well-versed in new case law. Touting her knowledge of recent decisions that have complicated employment law in California is how Louise LaMothe distinguishes herself from the hundreds of others neutrals in the state. And hooking up with a well-known case handler like New York’s American Arbitration Association doesn’t hurt either.

Nonetheless, after only three years in the field, LaMothe has won the praise of employment law attorneys on both sides of the fence. Plaintiffs’ attorney Dan Stormer of Pasadena’s Hadsell & Stormer has called LaMothe a “rising young star.” Read more

Different Worlds

Daily Journal
Verdicts & Settlements ADR Profile
By Leonard Novarro

Plaintiffs’ attorneys often select neutral Louise A. LaMothe, despite her defense background.

They said they wanted a businessman’s divorce. What they really wanted was someone to salve old wounds.

In one of the first cases Louise A. LaMothe mediated, a breach of contract dispute between twin brothers who jointly owned a retail store, they left the first session and never returned. Read more