Always Prepared to Provide Practical and Creative Solutions
Eric Sternberger combines no-nonsense lawyering with an innate understanding of business and a well-rounded appreciation for different perspectives and motivations.
Any successful mediation requires that the mediator be prepared and demonstrate to counsel that he or she has done their homework, and thereby create an atmosphere of trust that permeates the proceedings. Simply put, you must know the facts and the law. If you don’t, you might as well just go home.
Flexibility is also vital. At the inception of mediation, a mediator might begin with a collaborative or facilitative style of negotiation, like in a boardroom. But as things develop, issues may dictate a more evaluative style. Maintaining an open mind and the ability to change your style to fit the needs of the participants is absolutely essential to the process. Creativity is another integral ingredient to any settlement. Active listening provides invaluable insight to shaping a workable solution that the participants may not have considered.
As a corporate lawyer, my eye is always focused on the business side of the case – the cost-benefit analysis. Any resolution has to make sense from a business/financial perspective for the parties, and the best business solution is the one that recognizes the parties' competing interests, but identifies how their common interests can be served by ending the dispute.
Eric Sternberger is a partner at Ragghianti Freitas LLP. His transactional practice includes his retention as outside general counsel to businesses in a wide variety of industries, including technology and intellectual property, shipping, advertising and branding, professional services, real estate, health care, winery and vintner transactions and angel investments. From his experience, Eric has gained an excellent understanding of business and corporate matters, including mergers and acquisitions, succession planning, joint ventures, buy-sell agreements, secured financing, bridge loan financing, securities, licensing, and real estate transactions. Along with his transactional practice, Eric maintains a complex business litigation practice dealing primarily with business disputes and shareholder disagreements, and has coordinated numerous international litigation proceedings. Eric brings a disarming approach to his ADR practice, combining a sense of humor and well developed people skills.
Memberships and Special Honors
Eric served as the Chair of the California State Bar Committee on Partnerships and Limited Liability Companies (2007-2008); has served on the Board of Directors of the Marin County Bar Association ("MCBA") for many years; is a Past-President of the Richard M. Sangster American Inn of Court (2008-2009); Chair of Bench-Bar and Administration of Justice and the Courts Committee for the MCBA, and on the Advisory Board of Heritage Bank of Commerce (North Bay Region), formally Presidio Bank (2016-present). In addition, he received the Wiley W. Manuel Award from the California State Bar for providing significant pro bono legal services. He has also served as a Marin County Commissioner, advising the Marin County Board of Supervisors on all aspects of criminal justice, prosecution and prevention as the Chair of the Adult Criminal Justice Commission.
J.D., University of California Hastings College of Law, 1998
B.A., University of San Francisco, magna cum laude, 1995