Buzz Wiesenfeld has been a full time mediator for over 19 years. During this time, he has resolved over 4,000 disputes involving personal injury, professional negligence, employment and commercial matters. His dedication and commitment to the art of resolution have inspired him to participate in dozens of training seminars, as well as a Master's program in conflict management. He is known for his calm, but persistent, tenacity in bringing relevant focus and risk assessment to each case. One attorney commented that "he has an uncanny ability to connect with a variety of personalities, and he brings a very high level of trial experience to the table." Another attorney said that he is "reasonable, practical-minded, and tenacious with post mediation follow up."
Buzz enjoys road cycling, golf, and hiking. He is an active supporter of students in the west end of the San Juan Unified School District through tutoring, mentoring and fundraising, and is devoted to his wife of 34 years, two sons, UC Berkeley, and his chocolate Lab, who trains him daily.
"Buzz was efficient in working towards settlement by keeping the parties talking even when far apart. It was effective in bringing us to resolution quickly, even when the parties were still far apart."
- Attorney on a Employment Wage & Hour Matter
"He had a particularly difficult matter in that the carrier had previously put up its policy and the plaintiff was developmentally disabled and he and his family had a very unrealistic view of the case, but he got it settled."
- Attorney on a Catastrophic Assault & Battery Matter
"Listening & understanding risks and solutions."
- Attorney on a Real Estate/Land Use Dispute
"Indicated non-monetary items important to other side that ultimately helped resolve the case; suggested manner of communicating offer for greatest impact."
- Attorney on an employment ADA dispute
"Buzz got to the issues right away, conveyed the other side’s points clearly and listened to us/my clients."
- Attorney on an employment wrongful termination dispute
ADA Matter: Hearing Impaired Discrimination in seeking medical fees. 6 physicians sued, all claims exposure uninsured with statutory penalties alleged. 4 of 6 cases resolved.
Complex commercial case involving environmental contamination/cleanup arising from operation of family business, in conjunction with dissolution/transfer and probate dispute.
Professional partnership dispute/dissolution resulting in buy-out for departing partner and revisions to intra-partnership management for remaining partners.
A D A
Employment, Disability Discrimination, Wrongful Termination. Project manager for school construction company with back injury/surgery - return to work and terminated for performance issues shortly thereafter.
Employment/Disability - failure to engage in genuine interactive process. Issues included details of communications between HR, employee, employee representatives and
physician, with reference to medical limitations as they related to proposed accommodations for part time work, further leave and anticipated recovery from psych condition that
triggered anxiety/panic in connection with working with the public at busy office of municipality.
Breach of Contract
Employment/accounting for expenses advanced on behalf of mental health organization by founder in pursuit of grants. Issues including resolving 3
separate forensic accounting reports/contemporaneous invoices with multi-year pattern of practice of post grant award invoicing and delayed grant payments.
Employment, wrongful termination arising from allegation of religious discrimination and dispute regarding manager of national store.
Employment, claims of constructive discharge in setting alleged disability discrimination, failure to accommodate and engage in interactive process.
Employment dispute involving alleged retaliation for complaints of differential treatment based on ethnicity. Plaintiff continued as an employee following suit. Settlement involved monetary and non-monetary consideration including resignation, letter of reference, and limited benefit continuation.
Employment: Disability discrimination/retaliation with counter allegation of time card fraud. P, had periodic time off accommodation for original disability, developed a new illness at work, made errors clocking in/out and told various stories. P immediately terminated, without consideration that illness effected memory with other factors suggesting supervisor had discriminatory motive.
Fee dispute in employment matter which resolved earlier pursuant to CCP section 998 offer. Issues included rate/hours claimed and paralegal rate/hours.
Employment, wrongful termination, disability discrimination, failure to accommodate, racial discrimination, harassment. Issues included actionability of politically divisive language used in the workplace arising from the recent presidential campaign as it related to Hispanic population.
Employment/Gender Discrimination for repeated failure to promote in Fire Department, with plaintiff still employed by municipality.
ERISA/de novo review case; Plaintiff on claim since 1999 regarding failed back surgery syndrome; challenging medical chart regarding objective evidence of disability from sedentary work.
ERISA; Breach of Disability Policy contract; Plaintiff with PTSD, no objective neurological or cognitive deficits, but disabled due to anxiety, depression, panic attacks.
ERISA death claim. Issues included representations made by decedent on application for supplemental additional coverage within a year of death, comparison with medical records after post mortem underwriting review concluded coverage would not have issued had company known.
Fed. Whistleblower - Qui Tam
Employment, public entity, allegation of harassment, and whistle blower status.
Employment, sports franchise employee, allegations of sexual harassment, hostile work environment.
Employment, constructive termination claims based upon sexual harassment by executive of high earning sales associate.
Whistleblower Wrongful Term
Employment, wrongful termination allegations based on retaliation for protected reporting to public agency with claims of public interest.
Whistle blower, retaliation, wrongful termination and violation of due process. Former HR and diversity officer, counseled other whistle blowers and alleged designation as one in large, public institution. Near retirement, opted to retire rather than take option of alternate contract position.
Employment, wrongful termination, retaliation, whistle-blower allegations with parallel qui tam action, arising from employment with job training
company. Allegations regarding fraudulent enrollment and billing practices with federal programs. Issues included whether protected act existed, potential for
intervention/consolidation, damages. Also alleged misrepresentation to induce employment.
Employment: Disability discrimination, Plaintiff was a warehouse worker; injured with workers compensation claims, took multiple leaves, and returned
to work with medical limitations. Issues included good faith consideration of disability, requests for accommodation with designated work, modifications without
affecting essential duties and availability of other positions. Plaintiff was re-assigned to another position, but arguably more strenuous, had performance issues
and was terminated following progressive discipline.
Plaintiff worked for a public entity: Allegations of retaliation for plaintiff's refusal to divulge information to publicly elected official who was direct
supervisor resulting in forced early retirement with loss of salary, benefits and emotional distress. Issues included elements of whistle blower theory, scope of protected activity and motive.
Family Business, estate and trust dispute - negotiated transfer of business to only interested heir, responsibility for business tax issues and adjustments to estate gifts for balance of heirs.
Real Estate Land Use
Land use, dispute between local city and developer of low cost housing.
Brain damage with permanent cognitive and emotional deficits from fall while in custody. Issues included standard of care, comparative,
Plaintiff's prior physical, mental status and degree of diminution in capacities given employment/medical history prior to incident.
Plaintiff fell down allegedly defective stairs and suffered brain injury, cognitive deficits and need for life care. Liability issues including
pre-fall drug, alcohol and balance issues, as well as short history of repairs in response to complaints. Considerable debate about pre/post accident prospects
for long term care, given plaintiff's checkered past.
Elder Abuse, allegations of death caused by neglect, dehydration, staffing issues.
Fall at acute care facility following below knee amputation with injury to amputation wound allegedly causing further amputation above
knee. Issues included physical therapy standard of care, medical causation given preexisting vascular disease along with other risk factors.
Significant personal injury; auto vs. parked truck accident on a snowy highway, with substantial comparative negligence arguments between drivers, and injury to fault-free car passenger. Primary issues included application of Civil Code section 1431.2, allocation of fault as to economic and non-economic damages as well as anticipated jury response to accident photos.
PI Sexual Assault
Multiple sexual assaults by cab driver on intellectually impaired adult being transported under contract with coordinator for specialized
educational programs. Driver criminally prosecuted, plead no contest and now registered as a sex offender. Suit against both cab company and program
coordinator. Few special damages and narrative focused primarily on emotional distress/general damages as Plaintiff not a candidate for conventional
psychotherapy. Legal issues included damage claims of parents, indemnity contract interpretation and absence of contracted for additional insured
status for the benefit of program coordinator that retained cab company.
Product liability, catastrophic injury alleged from defective seat belt design, installation, repair in roll over accident.
Product Liability for implanted orthopedic medical device. Issues included cause/mechanism of failure, patient's physiology, statistical percentages of failure,
surgical standard of practice as well as status of successor implanted device. Other issues included scope of product advisories and selection of appropriate surgical candidates.
Toxic mold personal injury and property claims in mass apartment complex litigation involving more than 100 claimants.
Gas Explosion, wrongful death, injury and property claims arising against public utility.