Litigation is time-consuming and expensive. Myriad costs are involved, such as filing fees, depositions and other discovery expenses, expert witness fees, and loss of productivity and business income due to time away from work, to name only a few. Furthermore, the scales of justice can operate slowly, with many cases requiring years of investment between the filing of the complaint and the end of the appeals process. Add to these financial and temporal costs the uncertainty inherent at many stages of the litigation process.
Understandably, plaintiffs and defendants are increasingly choosing to resolve their disputes through the mediation process rather than through litigation. A good mediator helps to bring otherwise distant parties together to reach a clearly defined, mutually beneficial outcome to their dispute in an efficient and cost-effective manner.
Naomi is a practicing employment attorney with roughly twenty years of experience in employment law. She is currently a Managing Partner at Smith Moore Attorneys LLC, an employment law boutique. She attended mediation training at the University of Georgia Fanning Institute in 2008.
In addition to her training as a neutral, Naomi’s professional experience makes her the ideal mediator for employment-related disputes. Naomi has a solid business background and in-house legal department experience at The Home Depot. She also has a traditional employment law firm background where she represented both employers and employees, which has given her real-world insight into the perspectives of both the plaintiff and the defendant.
Naomi is an active mediator who assists and challenges the parties to recognize the strengths, weaknesses, and values of their cases, as well as the risks of not reaching a settlement through mediation. Her tenacity, persistence, interpersonal skills, ability to identify legal issues, and understanding of the underlying motives and concerns of the parties contribute to her success as a mediator.
If you are interested in scheduling a mediation with Naomi or are interested in learning more about her mediation practice, please e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her office at 404-378-0117.
Mediation provides the parties with the opportunity to have a neutral party challenge and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their particular case and assists the parties in reaching a resolution.
Unlike litigation or arbitration, mediation gives the parties control over the outcome of their dispute. In a mediation, the parties – not a judge, jury, or arbitrator – decide whether to settle their case or allow it to proceed through the court system. Also, any settlement reached during a mediation can be kept confidential.
By settling their dispute through mediation, all parties involved save time and money that would otherwise be spent on litigation costs and attorneys’fees.
Employment Mediation Practice November 2008 to date. As a trained employment law mediator, Naomi assists employers and employees in resolving disputes efficiently and cost-effectively. Naomi has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in employment law disputes. Her extensive employment law experience as well as the business experience she gained while working at The Home Depot instills confidence in her mediation clients as Naomi draws on this experience to assist parties in reaching settlement. Naomi attended mediation training at the University of Georgia Fanning Institute and is a registered neutral with the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution. She is also a member of Resolute Systems’ National Panel of Employment Mediators.
Smith Moore Attorneys At Law LLC (Atlanta) Managing Partner – August 1, 2012 to date. After achieving a career-long goal of opening an employment law firm, Naomi continues to provide employers with advice and counsel in all areas of employment law as well as focusing on her mediation practice. Having worked in-house at The Home Depot as well as in private practice Naomi brings a diverse employment law experience to her practice.
FSB FisherBroyles, LLP (Atlanta) Partner – April 2008 to July 2012. At FisherBroyles, Naomi’s practice consisted of representing employers from large corporations to start-ups with respect to discrimination complaints, EEOC Charges, Department of Labor complaints, wage and hour matters, issues involving wrongful classification of independent contractors, negotiating and drafting severance agreements, employment contracts and restrictive covenant agreements, conducting adverse impact analyses and reductions-in-force, conducting fact investigations, drafting employee handbooks, policies and practices, conducting management as well as employee harassment/discrimination prevention training. While at FisherBroyles, Naomi represented several plaintiffs in employment law disputes.
Home Depot, U.S.A., Inc. – Employment Law Department (Atlanta) Senior Attorney – October 2006 to April 2008; Corporate Counsel – April 2002 to October 2006; Contract Attorney – May 2001 to April 2002. While employed at The Home Depot, Naomi was the designated employment law partner responsible for providing daily legal advice to her Human Resources clients in eighteen states throughout New England and the Midwest (“Northern Division”) regarding a wide range of employment law matters, including, but not limited to, reductions-in-force, discrimination complaints, accommodation issues, leaves of absences, independent contractor matters, and wage and hour issues. Naomi was also responsible for managing employment law charges and litigation in the Northern Division, managing a litigation budget, reporting, analyzing, developing best practices, and identifying trends and responsive strategies in the Northern Division. Naomi also developed and managed a company-wide Position Statement Legal Review Process and was the employment law partner responsible for advising Human Resources with respect to investigating and responding to EEO Charges throughout the country, including requests for information, subpoenas, on-site investigations, mediations and conciliations. Her experience also included partnering with various business clients within the company and assisting them in accomplishing their business goals while minimizing the company’s legal risk. Naomi also had responsibility for investigating and negotiating settlements of pre-suit employment law claims in the Northern Division.
Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker – Employment Law (Atlanta) Associate – July 1993 to May 2001. At Paul Hastings, Naomi’s experience included all areas of employment litigation under Title VII, ADA, ADEA, FMLA, and FLSA, including working on several collective actions, testing cases, as well as representing plaintiffs. Her responsibilities included drafting position statements, pleadings, briefs, and discovery, conducting investigations, taking depositions, preparing witnesses for trial, and preparing for and participating in trials.
Naman, Howell, Smith & Lee – Litigation (Waco, Texas) Associate – August 1986 to June 1989. As an Associate at Naman Howell, Naomi gained handson litigation experience in asbestos, products liability, personal injury, construction, and insurance defense cases. Her practice included negotiating and settling cases, case management, taking depositions, trial experience, motions practice, research and brief drafting throughout the State of Texas.
Hansell & Post – Litigation (Atlanta) Associate – August 1985 to June 1986. After graduating from law school, Naomi worked at Hansell & Post, now Jones Day. Her practice included general litigation experience, research, drafting memoranda, motions and briefs.
Georgia Bar 1985 and the Texas Bar 1986
Mercer University – Walter F. George School of Law, cum laude, 1985; Law Review – 1983 – 1985; Brainerd Currie Honor Society; Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society 1985; Dean’s List; Academic Scholarship. Sweet Briar College, cum laude, 1982; Dean’s List.