Steve Paul has over twenty-five years of practical legal experience, including handling employment, business and operational issues while serving as in-house legal/business affairs counsel at Warner Bros. Studios.  In private practice, Mr. Paul equally represented employees and employers, as well as a wide variety of industries on transactional and litigation matters.  Mr. Paul’s prior experience both as a litigator and in-house counsel provides him with an unparalleled grasp and insight as to how an employment case may appear to a judge, jury, or arbitrator – and what it will take to reach resolution.

Prior to becoming an Adjunct Professor at the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Steve was a Fellow at Straus and received extensive training alongside some of the most esteemed mediators in the country. His in-depth ADR and psychology training furthers his overall effectiveness as a mediator, including his ability to address the underlying interests of each of the parties and relieve them of the emotional and financial burdens of litigation or potential litigation.

Steve has a balanced perspective and knows what drives highly emotional disputes and why they can be so challenging to resolve without the assistance of an experienced mediator. Steve is uniquely situated to understand and analyze the legal issues, nuances, competing emotions and dynamics that permeate employment and other highly emotional disputes – and to find agreeable and creative solutions for resolving them short of prolonged, uncertain, and costly litigation. In addition, Steve’s practical experience handling general business issues and disputes while serving as in-house counsel adds to his versatility in mediating a wide range of issues.

Personally, Steve is married to his wife Gisele and has two children in college. He is an avid traveler, skier, sports enthusiast, and was the 2012 U.S. Open Paddle Tennis Doubles Champion. Steve devotes significant time to community service, including pro bono and charitable activities.


  • UC Berkeley, B.A. Psychology 1983
  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • UC Berkeley, J.D. (Boalt Hall School of Law) 1987

Mediation/Dispute Resolution Recognition & Affiliations

  • Distinguished Fellow, International Academy of Mediators
  • Daily Journal –Top Neutral Rising Star 2012 and 2013
  • Adjunct Professor, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution 2011-current
  • Fellow, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution 2009
  • Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution LLM Program 2007-20010

Recent Speaking Engagements/Publications

  • Advanced Mediation Conference panelist, State Bar of California Labor & Employment Section (Winter 2016)
  • “Best Practices and Pitfalls in Negotiating Employment Disputes”, Southern California Mediation Association (Spring 2016)
  • “Valuation of Discrimination/Retaliation Cases in Mediation: a 360 Perspective”, Los Angeles County Bar Association 36th Annual Labor and Employment Law Symposium (Spring 2016)
  • “Mediating Amidst the Ultimate Challenge”, International Academy of Mediators Conference, Memphis TN (Spring 2017)
  • Guided Choice in ADR Workshop, International Academy of Mediators Conference, Austin TX (Fall 2017)
  • Frequent speaker, guest lecturer and trainer

Legal Career & Professional Experience



Mediation and dispute resolution practice specializing in employment, entertainment, commercial, real estate, and personal injury disputes, as well as advising businesses, employees and employers.

WARNER BROS. STUDIO FACILITIES, Senior Counsel/Director of Legal and Business Affairs (1996-2006)

Responsible for legal oversight of all aspects of studio operations including labor/employment policies and practices, arbitrations/grievances, business affairs, corporate compliance, claims supervision, negotiating and implementing operational/production agreements, construction, safety, and real estate issues.

LAW OFFICES OF STEVEN PAUL AND JON BIDDLE, San Francisco/Los Angeles (1989-1996)

Employment litigation practice primarily representing employees in discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, wage/hour, and civil rights matters in state, federal and appellate courts, including achieving several significant verdicts and settlements.

BUCHALTER, NEMER, FIELDS & YOUNGER, Associate Attorney (1987-1989)

Represented employers before state and federal courts and administrative agencies, business litigation, and advised on employment practices and policies.