Bruce Edwards

“The mediation process is an extraordinarily powerful tool built on the propostion that if people are afforded the opportunity to truly listen to each other, understand one another’s needs, and participate in making decisions affecting their futures, conflicts can be de-escalated and resolved entirely.”

mediation skillsBruce Edwards was one of the pioneers in developing mediation as a tool for resolving commercial disputes. A professional mediator since 1985, Bruce has helped mediation gain widespread acceptance in the United States legal system as an alternative to often costly and time-consuming litigation.

A graduate of UC Hastings College of the Law in 1981, Bruce became a partner in the international San Francisco litigation firm then known as Sedgwick, Detert, Moran & Arnold, LLP. After being introduced to the power of mediation in 1985, it soon became the focus of his practice. Through mediation, he has brought the principles of psychology and therapeutic science to a world of traditional dispute resolution, judicial settlement conferences and trials.

Sought After Mediator

Over the last 30 years, Bruce has mediated over 7,000 disputes throughout the United States and the world. These disputes range from “simple” two party conflicts involving business disputes, personal injury and wrongful death, to more complex environmental, insurance or construction claims. Some mediations have involved more than 80 parties.

Bruce has designed a mediation process that results in quicker resolution of disputes outside the traditional court system, while providing for greater stakeholder participation, and higher satisfaction. He played a central role in establishing the largest and most successful dispute resolution company in the country, JAMS. Until 2014, he served as Chairman of the Board.


In addition to using mediation to solve real-world problems, Bruce has devoted a substantial amount of time sharing his practical knowledge with others, both domestically and abroad. For the past 20 years, he has taught advanced mediation to aspiring mediators through the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University School of Law, ranked by US News & World Report as the Nation’s top academic institution for dispute resolution programs for the past eleven years. From Hawaii to California to Vermont, Bruce has helped educate and develop advanced mediation skills in thousands of mediators.

In the past decade, Bruce has been called upon to share his mediation techniques and commercial experience with mediators in London, Vienna, Admont (Austria), Salzburg, Cairo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai and Bangalore, India. His mediation training in Bangalore, India, sponsored by the High Court of India, brought the top fifty mediators in India together for the first time so that they could learn Bruce’s advanced mediation techniques.

Bruce Edwards co-founded Edwards Mediation Academy in 2014 with his wife, Susan Franson Edwards, with the goal of raising the overall practical experience of people in the mediation industry. The Academy’s interactive online courses are taught by recognized experts in the mediation field. Along with his EMA work and other teachings, Bruce continues to offer his mediation services through JAMS.