OMBUDSMAN MediatorDr. Francine Schlaks

Wooden blocks with word Mediator and conflict. Settlement of disputes. Conflict resolution and mediation. Third party, intermediary. Solution problem.

ABOUT OUR PRACTICEMeet Francine D. Schlaks, M.Sc., Ph.D., J.D.

Dr. Schlaks is an OMBUDSMAN and has experience as an Internal Federal Mediator for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). She also has been a Federal Mediator for the United States Post Office, HUD, and Forest Services and was a Senior State Mediator for California employee disputes, California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), Department of many State Superior Court Mediation Panels. When she was at the IRS, she built and managed OMBUDSMAN for the IRS which had over 100,000 people.

Dr. Schlaks has successfully resolved over 3,000 complex employee workplace disputes since 1992. Dr. Schlaks has been a corporate trainer and has taught Negotiations, Mediation, and Management to the U.S. Air Force. She received her M.Sc., and Ph.D. from Colorado School of Mines graduated from UWLA Law School where she was the Assistant Editor of the Law review.

Natural oil & gas expert
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Workplace disputes resolved
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Labor Management Relations
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Settlement Rate
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My Philosophy

It has been my experience as a mediator that one style is not appropriate for all types of mediations.

I use a variety of alternative dispute resolution techniques as I find various conflict issues require different types of intervention. I try to mitigate the stress and make the mediation process as painless as possible. I believe you can have a Win-Win outcome in mediation when the parties are empowered to fashion their own settlement.

As a mediator I generate an atmosphere of trust and neutrality which has given me a settlement rate of almost 90%.

My goal is to assist the parties in making a principled, durable and reasonable resolution. During the mediation we will discuss the real long-term interests, the management of risk, and the potential rewards which each of the parties can achieve. In appropriate situations, compassion, candor and encouraging mutual respect and understanding are necessary ingredients of a successful. My goal is to move the case along in a speedy and efficient manner, negotiating your settlement, thus avoiding escalating tensions and hostilities

I believe in encouraging the parties to invent their own creative solutions. I transmit all offers and demands while controlling the process by easing anxiety and establishing rapport to facilitate communication. However, it is often necessary to employ an evaluative approach to assist the parties by pointing out the strengths and weakness of their position. I take pride in my ability to assist the parties in resolving their disputes. My experience in the courts and at the EEOC have been is extremely valuable in this regard and my high success rate is evidence of this.


Dr. Schlaks has experience as a mediator with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, EEOC, HUD, working on housing and employment cases.

She was Senior Mediator for the State of California, State Personnel Board handling all their Early Intervention Employment mediations. She was also Mediator for the California Department of Insurance, Department of Agriculture Forestry Department (California, Hawaii, and Guam), the Superior Court of California, TSA, the U.S. Post Office to name a few. She has served as lead mediator for small organizations, negotiating contracts with staff, resolving disputes between contract support organizations, and mediating workplace disputes for many corporate clients. She has successfully mediated extended disputes between the U.S. Air Force and Native American tribes involving issues related to use of tribal burial grounds to build missile facilities.

She has been an expert in natural resources/oil and gas as well as environmental engineering issues for 25 years. She attended the world-renowned Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado, receiving a M.S in Geochemical Engineering and a Ph.D. in Mineral Economics/industrial Psychology. She has worked for the United States Geological Survey’s Department of Uranium and Thorium, doing cutting edge research on mineral exploration. She also served as a System Engineer with Martin Marietta Aerospace, working on their environmental impact statements and negotiating areas of impasse with the U.S. Air Force, EPA, engineers, scientists, and civilians who were impacted by the MX missile facilities at Vandenberg Air Force Base. Dr. Schlaks spent five years with the Law firm of Bartsch and Associates, conducting legal research for several law firms to support litigation focusing primarily on labor relations, real estate law, construction defect, mold, medical malpractice and personal injury. She used her engineering expertise and law degree to understand the mechanics involved in vehicle collisions and extensive medical background to interpret medical reports and evaluate the relative strengths of claims. She also worked extensively in labor-management relations during 13 years with Schlaks Consulting where she negotiated contracts, resolved employee grievances, coordinated recruitment and development of diverse workforces in engineering, real estate development, environmental and movie industry disputes. She ensured compliance with civil rights laws and affirmative employment practices.

Curriculum Vitae

Francine D. Schlaks, Ph.D., J.D.

President, A Matter of Mediation, Inc.

Francine Schlaks is a seasoned mediator with two decades of experience specializing in Employment Law. She has worked as an internal Federal Mediator for the EEOC, mediating employment disputes under Title VII, ADEA, ADA, and related laws, with a 90% settlement rate. Dr. Schlaks has successfully resolved over 3,000 workplace disputes in her career. She is also a mediator and arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association.


Federal Mediator, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Las Vegas, Nevada (2007-08); Detroit, Michigan (2005-07)

Responsible for mediating employment disputes involving Title VII, ADEA, ADA, and related laws. Mediated numerous complex, high profile, multi-million dollar cases, and garnered one of the highest EEOC settlement rates in the nation. Provided training regarding EEOC laws and alternative dispute resolution.

Lead Mediator / Arbitrator, A Matter of Mediation

Marina del Rey, CA (1990 %u2013 2005)

Contract mediation work for clients including: CA Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), California State Department of Insurance, California State Personnel Board (SPB), Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), California Superior Courts (civil), United States Postal Service, TSA and the Department of Agriculture. Provided training in Negotiations, Mediation, and Management to US Air Force Personnel.

Legal Consultant %u2013 Research and Mediation, Bartsch and Associates Law Firm

Manhattan Beach, CA (2001 %u2013 2003)

Conducted legal research in the areas of natural resource law and personal injury. As lead mediator, mediated workplace disputes for corporate clients, negotiated contracts with staff, and resolved disputes between contract support organizations.


  • J.D.  – 2013 University of West Los Angeles School of Law, Los Angeles, California
  • Ph.D. in Mineral Economics / Industrial Psychology – 2013 Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colorado
  • M.S. in Geochemistry – 2013 Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colorado
  • B.S. in Organic Chemistry – 2013 University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona


  • Senior Mediator for California State Personnel Board Early Intervention Mediation Program for employee disputes.
  • Mediation Panel for the State Court of California and Long Beach Superior Court.
  • American Arbitration Association (AAA) member for Mediation and Arbitration panels.
  • Mediator for the California Department of Insurance.
  • Mediator for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and NASDAQ Arbitration/Mediation Panel Member.
  • National Mediation and Negotiations Trainer for the United States Air Force.


  • American Bar Association %u2013 Dispute Resolution and Science & Environmental Law Divisions
  • Southern California Mediators Association / Association of Conflict Resolution
  • American Arbitration Association
  • References provided upon request.


Commissioner, James W. Hatchett

Federal Mediation & Concilation Service Daniel Garcia

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Judge, David M. Horwitz

Superor Court of California

Patrick H. Hicks, ESQ

Littler Mendelson Law Firm

Jefrey D. Winchester, ESQ

Fisher & Phillips Law Firm

Joe Starr, ESQ

Lipson Neilson Cole Seltzer Law Firm Dwayne Bartsch, ESQ

Law Office of Dwayne Bartsch

Carol Tempesta, ESQ

Harris Beach Law Firm

David Wachtel, ESQ

Bernabei & Wachtel Law Firm Yolanda Mendoza

Director of Redress USPS

Contract Work For:

The following are among those who I’ve done contract work for:

  • Internal Federal Mediator for Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
  • United States Air Force (training, mediation & management of personnel)
  • California Superior Court California Appeals Court
  • Senior Mediator, California State Personnel Board’s (SPB) State Employee Mediation Program (SEMP)Department of Fair Employment and Housing
  • Department of Agriculture
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
  • TSA

Lets us help you settle your disputes out of court.

90% settlement rate. Over 3,000 workplace disputes resolved.