Almost 40 years of professional excellence
Mediation is an efficient and cost-effective way of using a neutral, experienced attorney like Debra Bogaards to help the parties settle their case.
“I strongly suggest that you use Ms. Bogaards for mediation. She has extensive experience on both sides of the Bar. She is compassionate and relentless. She was a volunteer mediator for a childhood sexual abuse case that we have venued in Marin County and she was excellent.”
“It’s not about winning awards, it’s about helping others get back on their feet.”
Robert Allard of the premier San Jose law firm, Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard, has exceptional courtroom savvy, multimillion-dollar verdicts, and is a consummate pro. He is a true advocate for victims of sexual abuse.
Instead of drawn-out litigation, mediation offers parties a means of settling their cases without involving the courts. Here, we will discuss why you should choose Debra Bogaards to mediate your client’s case.
Debra Bogaards has the right mix of plaintiff and defense cases in her 37 years as a trial lawyer. As a result of her experience, she can easily understand both sides of each case and has a unique ability to analyze any situation from multiple angles. Both defendants and plaintiffs are often put at ease by her diverse legal knowledge and her respectful, straight-forward approach to mediating their case.
Ms. Bogaards has the ability to talk directly with the claims adjuster on the defense side, having handled tens of thousands of insurance defense cases in her practice. While managing her prior two insurance defense law firms, she met with team managers, claim managers and claims representatives often. She gained their trust and knows what documentation a claim needs to get the highest settlement authority. After 37 jury trials — with only 1 and ½ losses and one bench trial — Ms. Bogaards knows how to calculate the budget for trial expenses and how to evaluate the risks in each case.
As a plaintiff’s lawyer, Ms. Bogaards has handled high-profile media cases and a variety of subject areas. Ms. Bogaards relates well to plaintiffs and understands how their life has been upended by their injuries, wrongful termination, eviction, loss of their parent or business dispute. As a natural storyteller, Ms. Bogaards can communicate well with plaintiffs. Her strength is being down-to-earth, approachable and friendly. Plaintiffs listen when she points to the strengths and weaknesses in their case. Through her directness, honesty and high ethics, she is able to connect with plaintiffs and achieve the highest settlement possible.
Ms. Bogaards has put in three decades of taking depositions and preparing for trials. She knows most of the experts retained by both sides. This subject matter expertise is one reason she is so successful. Read what some of her former clients had to say about her service here.
As a mediator, Debra Bogaards works diligently, making pre-mediation phone calls and other preparations for mediation. She will make charts using numbers provided in counsels’ mediation briefs and exhibits. For example, she will have a chart of the plaintiff’s self-employment income by year, before and after the accident. She will draft a medical chronology to assist with discussions in both rooms. She can also understand business evaluations and disputes. She is very good with numbers, having completed an undergraduate degree in accounting. Ms. Bogaards works hard to understand the details of your case and her rigorous preparation pays off.
Ms. Bogaards is also known for her dogged and persistent follow-up. She makes sure the defense counsel sends out the formal Settlement & Release Agreement within a week. She also follows up with the defense counsel as to the ETA of the settlement check.
Mediation is a process not limited to a half-day or full-day session. However, Ms. Bogaards has settled all of her mediations on the first day, using her mediator’s number in the most difficult of cases. When the parties are polarized on their numbers, Ms. Bogaards will offer — after first getting the consent of all counsel — her mediator’s number. Claims adjusters give Ms. Bogaards a large measure of credibility based on her experience on the defense side (ending in January of 2019) and plaintiff’s counsel and their clients are also happy with her numbers.
Ms. Bogaards helps the parties achieve the best possible outcome, sometimes using creativity to fashion a unique settlement.
In one recent case involving a landlord-tenant dispute, the defendant agreed to pay over 6 figures to the plaintiff, as well as small checks for the college fund of three children in the apartment building.
Sometimes, the plaintiff wants and deserves a formal but sincere apology.
It is her ability to be in the moment and sense if there is a creative solution that makes Ms. Bogaards stand out as a mediator.
For decades, Ms. Bogaards has volunteered in the courts to assist with mandatory settlement conferences before the trial and has mediated numerous cases. She recently was accepted into, and completed, advanced mediation training at the prestigious Harvard Law’s Program on Negotiation in Cambridge, Massachussetts (June 2019).
March 6th, 2020, Western Trial Lawyers Association Annual Seminar – Jackson Hole, WY: Mediator Bogaards To Give Tips On Mediation at the WTLA Ski Seminar
Ms. Bogaards will hold the mediation in her conference room and office, located at 48 Gold Street in San Francisco. She serves bagels, lox and cream cheese in the morning, and refreshments in the afternoon.
Should you prefer, Ms. Bogaards is also willing to travel to your office.
Her rates are $550/hr, $2,750 for a half-day and $5,000 for a full day, including preparation time.
To read more about her success as a mediator, read some reviews from former clients here.
Ms. Bogaards never backs down from a challenge, and her record shows it.
Wrongful death of the 20-year-old daughter of Renee and Israel Morales in the San Bruno PG&E gas pipeline explosion, with co-counsel John Feder. We were the second case to go to mediation resulting in one of the highest settlements in history.
Motorcyclist gets cut off by left-turning van in Capitola. Suffers below-knee amputation. Within one month of signing on with Bogaards Law, motorcyclist received a $250,000 advance from the defendant’s insurance company.
Pedro Avila was walking in a marked crosswalk, when a car took a left turn in Potrero Hill, and hit him. He suffered a broken right leg. The settlement included the $100,000 policy limits and $100,000 cash out of pocket from the motorist.
Speeding on a rented motorcycle after the Gay Pride Parade, plaintiff was hit by a Jeep making a left on Mission Street in San Francisco. Both sides’ accident reconstruction experts agreed that if plaintiff had been going the speed limit, the accident could have been avoided. Plaintiff suffered multiple pelvic fractures and underwent three surgeries. Her medical specials were $185,000. She had no wage loss claim as a Lt. Firefighter.
2019 – A petite 84 y.o.woman crossed in the middle of the street in dark clothing to go to the grocery store at night. She was hit by a car and died instantly.
Pedestrian gets hit by commuter bus making a right turn. Suffers a Lisfranc ankle injury with surgery. Medical bills were under $50,000. No wage loss.
Partial finger amputation of 8-year-old boy with comparative fault.
Customer trips and falls in parking garage. Suffers trimalleolar ankle fracture with surgery. Medical specials are $37,500. No wage loss.
Woman falls leaving a doctor’s office in SF. Suffers a complex ankle fracture. Liability is hotly contested. No wage loss.
Employee in a tech start-up makes a whistleblower claim regarding misuse of Facebook manager.
Homeowner slips on unsecured tarp in her foyer after coming downstairs and sues her general contractor doing her kitchen remodel. Homeowner suffers a severe elbow injury with surgery.
Wrist fracture arising out of pedestrian/auto accident, no surgery.
Plaintiff slipped and fell on nacho cheese on the floor at a U.S.F. basketball game, injuring his knee and resulting in arthroscopic surgery.
2014 – Mr. Dempsey was on his bicycle when he was hit by a car leaving the golf club. Liability was hotly contested. He suffered a broken right hand and cervical fractures.
Plaintiff was an 85-year-old man attending a weekly Rotary meeting at the DoubleTree Hotel in Livermore. He slipped on wet tiles and broke his femur in four places. Unfortunately, due to Alzheimer’s and life-threatening health issues, the plaintiff was unable to appear for his deposition or litigation past mediation.
Carbon monoxide poisoning case where clients, living in a ranch home in west Marin County, had only one day of exposure and no residual symptoms.
Wrongful death of 94 year old petite grandmother who ran out into traffic in the middle of the block between parked cars against a red light. Our accident reconstruction expert found no liability- zero-against the driver who hit her.
2016 – Two sisters were exposed to carbon monoxide poisoning from a faulty wall heater in a hotel that didn’t have a carbon monoxide detector. They needed 28 hours of treatment, including oxygen. Medical bills were less than $10,000.
Cyclist gets doored by rideshare car. Bruising and scarring near eye and hand.
2017 – An 86 y.o. lovely woman got on the MUNI bus, and the driver took off before she was seated. She fell and suffered a low back injury. She has a significant past medical history. Her medical bill was a mere $6,000.
Race car professional suffered neuropathic leg pain when race car driver backed up into him, while standing at metal table in hangar. Liability was hotely contested.
2016 – Ms. Guttman had a head-on collision, and suffered a sprained right ankle with surgery.
Court trial in Marin County for breach of plaintiff’s employment contract as an office manager. Plaintiff had both a personal and work relationship with employer, a medical doctor.
Female student was sexually abused by a male student at a local private middle school. The male student had abused other students in the past.
Disputed sexual molestation of high school male student by female teacher at private school.
Plaintiff was the executive assistant for the CEO of a Silicon Valley tech company for only a few years. She was fired for absenteeism and poor work performance; however, plaintiff had a personal relationship with the CEO’s family and claimed that the personal relationship both interfered with her ability to do her office work and lead to her termination.
Elder abuse case involving the death of a client’s father at a skilled nursing facility due to neglect, dehydration, and open wounds. Case settled at early mediation.
Elder abuse case involving the death of a fellow attorney’s mother within a month of moving into an upscale care facility in Marin County, because she was not given medications. Expedited settlement within three months of claim.
Wrongful death of the 20-year-old daughter of Renee and Israel Morales in the San Bruno PG&E gas pipeline explosion, with co-counsel John Feder. We were the second case to go to mediation resulting in one of the highest settlements in history. We also accompanied Renee Morales to the PG&E criminal trial over 5 years later.
Bicyclist suffered broken wrist injury requiring multiple surgeries in no liability case.
Nowhere is our passion for justice stronger than when we’re asked to help a client seek recovery for a catastrophic personal injury, or a family recover losses for a loved one’s death caused by someone else’s recklessness or negligence. Our Bay Area personal injury lawyers understand what is needed for a fair settlement.
With almost 40 years of experience in the courtroom, and having built a good reputation amongst judges and trial attorneys, Ms. Bogaards has both the tenacity and trial skills to get you a winning verdict at trial or the highest settlement either pre-litigation or after filing suit.
Ms. Bogaards has won almost all of her 38 jury trials and has had great success at mediation. Because Ms. Bogaards has both plaintiff and defense cases, she is uniquely qualified to understand what the insurance company needs to provide you with a fair settlement.
Debra loves her trial work. With over 35 years of successful trial experience, she has devoted tens of thousands of hours to the craft of taking expert depositions, selecting juries, winning trials, and telling her clients’ stories in compelling detail.
Chelsea Lewis is the newest attorney at Bogaards Law, after spending two years as a law clerk and paralegal with the firm. She has experience in employment, tenant’s rights, and personal injury litigation. Chelsea’s extensive experience as a paralegal prior to and during law school makes her uniquely qualified to take on the difficulties of litigating complex cases.
The Hastings Community Justice Clinic represented a plaintiff in an employment case that Ms. Bogaards successfully mediated in
April 2022. Professor Goishi stated about her experience with Ms. Bogaards:
“We (plaintiff and his representatives) greatly appreciated Ms. Bogaards’ optimism and enthusiasm for the mediation process. This set a very positive tone and framing for the mediation itself. We also appreciated that she was a great listener, and welcomed hearing background information and emotional content that is present in most disputes, but that is often glossed over or ignored. She also did a great job of reality-checking, gently telling us about the potential weaknesses in our case. Finally, we thought it was great that she reminded us that a successful mediation will be one where both parties are unhappy. This was a great reminder of the nature of compromise. She also reiterated the upside of settling, as opposed to taking our chances with proceeding with the litigation — helpful to remind the parties about the risks of proceeding.”
My mediation appointment with Ms. Bogaards was more than interesting as it was conducted exclusively by phone due to the health crisis. Despite this, it went smoothly and productively. The case settled within the allotted time frame due largely in part to Ms. Bogaards persistence but also her vast experience in personal injury work. It was obvious her defense and plaintiff’s background gave her credibility with both parties. All in all, it was all a very positive experience for a first-time use. She was prepared and knew the flash points needed to get this settled. It took time but it was due to the parties obstinance, which she dealt with professionally and civilly. I’ve known Ms. Bogaards over the years from having litigated with her in her role as a defense attorney. I thought this case was perfect for a Mediator with a defense background that also does plaintiff’s work, as she does. I was very impressed with her grasp of value as regards a plaintiff’s case. She was spot on regarding the values and issues. I would not hesitate to use her again and recommend her as a Mediator to all plaintiff’s attorneys who view her strictly as a former defense attorney. She is way more than that; very efficient, there was no wasted time.
Debra Bogaards is one of the most thorough, skilled and aggressive litigators in the Bay Area. She protects her clients and their interests like a mama bear to her cubs. I speak both as a client for whom Ms. Bogaards achieved an incredible result, and as a colleague who has worked beside Ms. Bogaards and has seen her diligence and thought process. Here skillset and tremendous presence and command, regardless of the forum, makes for a most fierce litigator. Ms. Bogaards is always my first recommendation to clients and friends seeking to protect their legal rights relating to personal injuries.