The Difference between a San Diego Negotiator, Mediator, and Arbitrator

Welcome to Our Site Where We Explain How negotiation Can Provide You With Rapid, Cost-Effective Results (a week or less)

The roles of a San Diego Negotiator –  Mediator – and Arbitrator are often confused. The root word of mediation is ‘medi’ , which means “to make in in the middle”. Yes, we can mediate for you if you need that service, but very few firms can negotiate for you. In our definition, negotiation can only have one outcome. If someone kidnaps your spouse or key employee, there is only one outcome. If your career is to be destroyed by someone and you hire a negotiator, there is only one outcome. If you are being extorted, again only one outcome…you don’t want to “meet in the middle”. There are no options here. Every negotiation has one “non-negotiable”.

San Diego Negotiator

I called San Diego Biz Law and was greeted by Steven ("Stefano") Riznyk. I laid out my issue to him (employment related), and he was extraordinary in listening to me and providing excellent advice and perspective. And he talked with me for close to half an hour and encouraged me ...


Bill H.
I am working with Steven Ryznik for our immigration matter. He is amazing and I can say that with confidence since I have met with numerous immigration lawyers and had two previous lawyers screwing up our case. He is very knowledgeable, returns calls within 10 minutes, in other ...


Vicky P.
Steven is a fantastic lawyer - not just because he won me a nice settlement last year but because he never tries to nickle and dime me. He is very easy to get in contact with and has offered me plenty of free advice that has saved me a lot ...


Stephen C.
Absolutely wonderful. Was honest about my situation and didn't push me for services since I didn't need them. Helped me out with one question and didn't charge me.

- Paul F.


Paul F.
Mr. Riznyk is by far the most well rounded attorney that I have had the opportunity to meet. His experience and negotiation skills are two things you must have on your side when dealing with any business litigation matter. He was very willing to help even late in the day ...


Martin R.
I was very happy with my free initial consultation with the lead attorney at San Diego Trial & Employment Lawyers. He was very knowledgeable, and he gave me considerable useful information.

- Justin C.


Justin C.
Mr. Riznyk was very outgoing, professional and very considerate and compassionate. Handled my situation and i will never look for another attorney.

- Anthony T.


Anthony T.
A "Lawyer in Style" is probably the best way to describe my experience with Mr. Riznyk.I had an issue with my Home Owner Association, where I found them in violation of the very governing documents they are supposed to uphold. I had to get a legal advice on the ...


Garik M.
Since i moved here from Los Angeles a few years ago I didn't know many lawyers but a good friend recommend that I meet Steven Riznyk from San Diego Trial & Employment Lawyers. My meeting with Steven was excellent. He understood my problems and assured me that all ...


Ron G.
I never felt alone along the process. Whenever Mike or I had any confusion it was promptly cleared up by the lawyer’s office, by either the lawyer Steven Riznyk himself or his very capable and friendly assistant, Emily Butler. Many thanks for sticking with us throughout the application process. Since ...


Daniela G.


That’s where we come in. Not only have we dealt with extortion of a high-level political figure, kidnapping of a federal agent’s son, possible career destruction of an actor in Los Angeles with a globally recognized studio, and won every case. More importantly, money never changed hands. Anyone can exchange money with a criminal, but if there is only one outcome, you need a trained negotiator. We have negotiated hundred-million-dollar cases, and even a million-dollar divorce that was being held up because of the custody of the dogs, and it was a terrible fight as they had no children.


On an easier note, we our San Diego negotiator services many business cases such as:

  • The purchase and sale of a business
  • Partnership dissolution
  • Hiring of a critical employee
  • Separation of a partner or critical employee
  • creation of a partnership and who gets what, when, and how
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Percentage of corporate ownership and duties of individuals in a new company
  • and of course, an area in which we have spent a lot of time, marital dissolution disputes (especially when it comes to custody issues)

You may think to yourself this isn’t business law. Well, most of the marital disputes we negotiated came from our business clients. If your personal life is difficult, it’s going to affect every other area of your life. Worse yet, some of the most difficult negotiations we ever have to do are with marital issues. Emotions, past memories, and many other factors play into making this one of the most challenges areas out there. In fact, Steven Riznyk authored and produced a 5.5-hour DVD on making relationships work based on his conflict resolution model of negotiations (see

Negotiation can take place in person (preferred) or by phone (sometimes we don’t have a choice as in the kidnapping case). In negotiation, we will consider many things other than simply the person’s clothes, their value and condition. The watch, the condition of the shoes. We will also consider their demeanor and sophisticated body language movements. We will consider the speed of their speech, the rhythm, the split-second pauses, the directions of the eyeballs when a question is asked.


Here are the differences between these two often-confused services we offer:


In negotiation, we are not here to analyze facts, we analyze thinking patterns of your opponent. We try to understand your opponent fully so we can build a profile of this person. We will then use what we know in order to, for lack of a better term “speak this person’s language”. Everybody, based on their life experiences, develops an inner language. Certain things are important to them, others critical, and others have no value, even though they may have immeasurable value to someone else. In addition to understanding the person (which, if contact is limited or not available, we can create from stories you can relate to us about their behavior patterns) and their behavior, we will want to know as much as possible about them. People are betrayed by their own actions. What does it tell you if a person is well dressed but their shoes are poorly maintained? How about a messy car? What does a man’s suit tell you about him? What does a woman’s confidence level tell you about her? How can you determine her confidence level?

BENEFITS: Negotiation is fast. Although more expensive than mediation or arbitration, it usually never lasts more than a week (that is our goal). It is effective. Most of the time, after negotiations are completed the two parties are do not consider each other enemies; contrast that to litigation. It gets to the heart of the matter. Because negotiation is about people and not just facts, it is much easier to see issues clearly and clear up any secondary problems that are not normally visible in litigation or arbitration/mediation. In other words, it offers a ‘complete clean-up and resolution’ because when everyone understands each other in a way only possible with high-level negotiation, there is a meeting of the minds that is rarely possible with any other method. When you get in that situation, it actually creates a situation of voluntary cooperation and clears the air, for lack of a better term.


Our goal here is to analyze the facts. The cases can be casual or we can follow California Rules of Civil Procedure (if you have an enforceability contract or both parties agree to abide by discovery requirements). We analyze the law that applies to the issues once we have been able to filter them out. We gather all of the information we can from both parties and expert witnesses, if required.

BENEFITS: With the recent budget cuts, the judiciary in California is severely overworked. A court case can last a very long time with all the backlogs. All of the information that is heard in court is public record, so everyone can discover a lot of your personal information by just going to the courthouse and getting a copy of your file. If you are high-profile, your information and case may end up in the newspapers/magazines, which could destroy years of marketing and branding.

Mediation and arbitration are fast and inexpensive. We don’t waste time. Our goal is to get the case over with as soon as possible. The best way to enter this realm is to agree to it with your opponent. If you wait until a court orders it, you will already have spent a lot of time and money that could have gone towards the resolution of your case. Moreover, the damage that litigation does to your soul, and therefore your life and business are severe, and what it does to your confidence and outlook are sometimes irreversible. We do not believe in litigation as the first line of attack. Sometimes you have an opponent who listens to nothing else, then you have to do what you have to do (read Sun Tzu or Thick Face Black Heart), but where possible, argue peacefully (ie with mediation or arbitration) because Iwe have witnessed cases where two opponents later worked together and other cases where one opponent even bought the company of the other and the two opponents worked together as friends.


Sure, we may come across as a very personable law firm, and we like to think we are. However, when it comes to negotiations, nothing states it has to be hostile, you can smile and still win. Make no mistake, we get the job done. However, the flip side of it is, we don’t handle every case we get. Despite all of the psychological and neurobiological tools and knowledge base we have, some people are stuck in the “I’m always right” zone and are virtually impossible to communicate with. We don’t want to take your money without providing the results you are hiring us to achieve. We will be able to ascertain a lot more when we have had a chance to talk to you about your opponent and what has taken place. For a complimentary consultation with Steven Riznyk regarding your issues, feel free to call (619) 793-4827 whenever you like; our firm often works late so you can sleep soundly!