April 13, 2016 at 6:00 PM Pacific
Pre-Paid (Member): $50.00
Pre-Paid (Non-Member): $60.00
Pay at the Door (Member): $60.00
Pay at the Door (Non-Member): $70.00

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The Great Debate: Arbitrate or Litigate? 

When parties are unable to resolve their business disputes voluntarily, those claims are generally resolved by either litigation or arbitration.  Often, the choice between these two processes is made at the time of forming the parties’ contract.  Other times, parties are able to choose one process over the other after a dispute arises.  So, which is better, arbitration or litigation?  Research into the topic has revealed some surprising statistics that contradict common perceptions.  In this presentation, Severson & Werson construction attorneys David Ericksen and Joel Halverson, who have handled many commercial disputes in litigation and arbitration and drafted many commercial contracts, will debate the pros and cons of each option based on their experiences and offer their opinions and insights. 


Joel Halverson is a problem solver and trial lawyer who focuses his practice in the areas of professional liability, construction, real property and general litigation.  A member of the firm's Construction and Insurance Groups, Mr. Halverson has been named among the "Best Lawyers in the Bay Area" for construction litigation based on a survey conducted by Bay Area Lawyer Magazine.

Mr. Halverson defends architects, engineers, attorneys, medical providers, real estate brokers and other professionals against allegations of errors and omissions and other claims.  In the construction and design arena, Mr. Halverson represents design professionals, developers, owners and contractors in litigation as well as transactional and risk-management counseling.  Mr. Halverson is a frequent presenter and lecturer on legal topics and has made appearances as a legal analyst on KRON 4 News, San Francisco.

Mr. Halverson has over ten years of significant experience in ADR and as a neutral, having settled numerous civil disputes involving a wide variety of substantive issues through mediation, as Settlement Conference Officer with the San Francisco Superior Court and as Settlement Panelist with the Marin County Superior Court.  Mr. Halverson is available to privately mediate civil disputes of all sizes and complexities.

David Ericksen currently serves as a Member of Severson & Werson’s Executive Committee after serving as President from 2009-2012. Since 1997, Mr. Ericksen has led the Firm’s construction/environmental litigation and transactional practice, as well as focusing on liability and insurance issues through insurers. In 2012, he represented design professionals in jury trial, bench trial, single arbitrator arbitration, and panel arbitration. He also focuses on contractual, risk management and litigation issues affecting the design and construction professional community, and provides these services as general counsel to firms.

Mr. Ericksen joined Severson & Werson in 1991, and has been a member since 1997. He has been the Firm’s lead construction trial counsel since 1996. He is a frequent speaker before construction professional organizations such as the AIA, SEA, ACEC California, CSI and others, and also provides in-house training seminars for firms. He has written numerous articles addressing issues important to the design and construction communities, such as “16 Contract Provisions You Need to Know” (PE Magazine, March 2011), The 2013 AIA Handbook chapter on “Dispute Resolutions”, “A Sustainable Standard of Care: Managing, Evolving and Innovative Products, Processes, Performance Standards in Design Delivery” by the AIA Trust, and “The Collections-Claim Connection: Getting Paid Without Getting Sued” by ACEC.

Mr. Ericksen has been named a Northern Californian “Super Lawyer” for ten consecutive years. He and his wife of 28 years live in the East Bay and have four children. Their family is active with athletics, Acalanes High School, and community theater and music.


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599 Railroad Avenue
South San Francisco, CA 94080

Phone: 650-583-8091