Areas of Specialty


Just Resolutions mediates and arbitrates disputes in all areas of conflict. Its principal, J. Justin Ripley, has acquired a wide and diverse set of life experiences, including 19 years' service as a Superior Court Judge, presiding over thousands of cases of all kinds. Because of this, J. Justin Ripley views himself as a generalist in the fields of litigation and alternative dispute resolution. While specific expertise is always useful, with over 1,850 judicial and private mediations behind him, J. Justin Ripley believes, and has consistently demonstrated, his ability to help resolve cases arising out of legal disciplines in which he does not profess true expertise. Several specialties are listed here, but this does not preclude A.D.R. activity in other disciplines. Nor does Just Resolutions restrict its activity to Alaska or Alaskan-filed cases. We have mediated in New York, Montana, Oregon and Washington as well. Furthermore, we have mediated matters at all stages in the litigation process, from pre-filing through trial and during the appellate phase.

Admiralty/Jones Act

As a State Superior Court Judge, J. Justin Ripley was presented with relatively few of these cases. Since forming Just Resolutions in late 1993, he has mediated many cases presenting Admiralty/Jones Act issues in both Alaska and Washington with good success.

Aviation

J. Justin Ripley has successfully mediated many air crash and other aviation related incidents both in and outside Alaska. He has also performed case evaluation for leading aviation insurance companies. His background, which includes 2750 military/civilian flying hours as well as U. S. and Canadian commercial and other licenses has proven useful in mediating those cases.

Commercial

Commercial matters comprise approximately 30 per cent of the Just Resolutions' caseload. It was commercial litigation that caused your mediator, then an Anchorage Superior Court Judge, to begin emphasizing settlement in favor of litigation. The 1985-1988 flood of commercial cases flowing from the post-pipeline construction/oil price/real estate crash in Alaska and elsewhere convinced then Judge Ripley that litigation was a losing business proposition -- even for the victors. Since that time, we continue to find that business persons vastly prefer a businesslike, negotiated resolution to a trial. If parties wish, J. Justin Ripley will arbitrate disputes, but mediation, we believe, produces faster, less expensive and generally more desirable results.

Construction

Alaska, the land described as "still being built," generates a disproportionately large number of construction disputes. Just Resolutions has mediated many cases ranging from the multi-million dollar mining complex to the bathroom remodel. Construction folks being business people and realists, we find that, with our help, virtually all of these cases settle.

Domestic Relations

Because we believe that truly contested child custody matters are best resolved by the Courts, Just Resolutions rarely participates in these cases. Since its inception, Just Resolutions has mediated the division of several hotly contested, high asset ($1 million plus) marital estates. All have settled. Our present practice is to refer domestic relation cases to those who specialize in this area.

Employment

The mediation process, with its ability to craft mutually agreeable, confidential "win win" solutions which can either preserve or civilly terminate employment relationships, makes mediation vastly superior to trial or even arbitration in employment cases. Although these cases are often fraught with the emotional tensions one sees when relationships of mutual trust and reliance become non-functional, our settlement rate is very high. This is true even though past cases have contained allegations of racial, gender and social bias, harassment, and even assault. Although wage and hour cases present their own unique problems, virtually all of them settle, and we have never received notification via counsel that the settlements have been disapproved or modified by the Alaska Department of Labor to which they are usually presented.

Personal Injury

Although the percentage varies over time, we estimate that more than 50 percent of our caseload involves personal injury of some kind. Somewhat over half of these cases are third party and uninsured/underinsured motor vehicle related claims. The balance includes premises liability (personal and commercial), third party construction and industrial injuries, general liability, such as injuries attributable to governmental activity, defamations, property damage, civil assault, and yes, even several dog bite cases (all of which settled).

Products Liability

Just Resolutions' experience in this area mirrors that of the legal profession generally. We find that our products cases often involve evidence of the most severe injury and therefore the greatest potential damages. J. Justin Ripley has arbitrated and mediated products cases involving weapons, sophisticated sporting equipment, general consumer items, industrial tools and equipment, patented building construction systems, boats, aircraft and components, and land vehicles and their components. The injuries have ranged from property damage, to business loss, to the spectrum of physical and emotional trauma, to death. As in nearly all other types of claims, J. Justin Ripley believes that mediation is the most appropriate dispute resolution mode in products liability cases.

Professional Liability

Few cases evoke the tenacity of defense effort that arises in errors and omissions claims against physicians, surgeons, architects, attorneys, engineers, insurers and insurance brokers. Policy considerations, the effect of national reporting requirements, and policy holder control over case management decisions often make these conflicts difficult to settle - and some, impossible. Still, most of them do, and J. Justin Ripley has been privileged to be part of the resolution process. Although he as never been called to mediate or arbitrate disputes arising out of the securities markets or the broker/client relationship, J. Justin Ripley has been designated to a panel of neutrals formed for that purpose. The National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc., which professes to handle 80 percent of the securities disputes filed nationwide, invited and appointed J. Justin Ripley to its Board of Arbitrators in October, 1995.


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Just Resolutions · 3705 Arctic Blvd #2294 · Anchorage, AK 99503
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