James H. Gilbert
Mediator / Arbitrator
|Location:||Eden Prairie, MN|
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Meet James H. Gilbert
- What is your experience as a mediator?
- Tell us about your experience on the bench and as a practicing attorney and how that has helped to prepare you to be a neutral.
- What is the most rewarding aspect of your work as a neutral?
- How should one go about hiring a mediator – what traits and experience should one look for?
- Tell us about any scholarly lectures or writings you’ve done.
James H. Gilbert is a former Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court. He was a certified trial lawyer (1997 – 2004) and was named Distinguished Jurist of the Year for 2004 by the Academy of Certified Trial Lawyers of Minnesota. In 2000 he also received 97% of the votes in the Minnesota State Bar Association Preference Poll.
Justice Gilbert has served as mediator, arbitrator, special master, settlement administrator and consultant on case resolution involving hundreds of cases for individuals, fortune 500 companies, the State of Minnesota, municipalities, insurance companies, and partners and shareholders in Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota and Iowa. A large variety of civil cases in state and federal court were resolved including employment, real estate, banking, insurance coverage issues, anti-trust, environmental, taxes, government regulation, discrimination, shareholder and partner disputes, municipal zoning issues and many more. Justice Gilbert has also successfully mediated approximately 50 Ponzi claw back cases involving the Petters bankruptcy.
A member of Meshbesher & Spence, Ltd. from 1972 through 1998, Justice Gilbert served as the law firm’s managing partner from 1984-1992, and as its chief executive officer from 1996-1997. Appointed in 1997 by former Governor Arne Carlson as an Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, Justice Gilbert then garnered 69% of the vote in a statewide election to become elected to the position in 2000, where he served until 2004. As an Associate Justice, he reviewed more than 5,000 petitions, participated in more than 800 decisions and authored numerous opinions, concurrences and dissents.
As both a trial attorney and Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, Justice Gilbert has many years of practical experience with diverse cases including commercial litigation, real estate, corporate and business law, insurance, employment law and discrimination. He has completed both Arbitrator I – Fundamentals of the Arbitration Process and Arbitrator II – Advanced Case Management Issues with the American Arbitration Association and was a member of the American Arbitration Association National Roster of Neutrals from 2004-2008. Since stepping down from the MN Supreme Court, Justice Gilbert has mediated and arbitrated hundreds of cases in all types of civil cases.
During his long legal career, Justice Gilbert has served both the law profession and the community in a variety of ways.
- 1992-1997: Chair, Ad Hoc Committee on Appointments to the Supreme Court, Appellate Court, Minnesota Tax Court and Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals. In this position, Justice Gilbert helped to advise former Governor Arne Carlson on more than 90 judicial appointments.
- 1997-2003: Minnesota State Bar Association Certified Civil Trial Specialist.
From 1998 to 2007: Member of the State Board of Directors for MN D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education), MN D.A.R.E. Advisory Council.
- 2004-2008: Appointed by the Minnesota Supreme Court as chair of the Standing Committee on No-Fault Arbitration for Minnesota. The committee is charged with reducing caseload numbers in Minnesota courts and to speed the process of No-Fault Automobile Claim arbitration.
- Appointed Chairman of the Minnesota News Council’s hearing panel, effective January 2007 – January 2011.
- Appointed by the Minnesota Supreme Court to be acting Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, August – September 2008 to hear a contested election case.
- 2008 Minnesota State Bar Association Certified Civil Arbitrator.
- Qualified Neutral under Minnesota Rule 114.
- President and Founder of Gilbert Mediation Center, Ltd.
- Alternative Moot Court Justice, John Marshall School of Law, Chicago Illinois, privacy and information technology, 2000 to present.
In 2019, Justice Gilbert spoke on the panel entitled “Ethical and Cross-Cultural Issues in Mediation and Settlement Negotiations” at the CLS Mediation Symposium in Salzburg, Austria.
Justice Gilbert has been licensed to practice law in Minnesota since 1972. He was admitted to practice in Wisconsin courts in 1984, The United States Tax Court in 1978, the U.S. District Court-Minnesota, 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in 1988, U.S. Supreme Court in 1984, and the U.S. District Court-Arizona in 1996. He also is a member of the Minnesota State and Hennepin County Bar Associations.
Areas of Practice
- Commercial Litigation
- Real Estate
- Business Law
- Employment Law
- 35% of Practice Devoted to Litigation
Certified Legal Specialties
- Civil Trial Specialist (1997-2003), Minnesota State Bar Association
- Certified Civil Arbitrator, Minnesota State Bar Association, 2008
- Minnesota, 1972
- U.S. District Court District of Minnesota, 1973
- U.S. District Court District of Arizona, 1996
- U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit, 1988
- U.S. Court of Appeals 10th Circuit, 1988
- U.S. Tax Court, 1978
- U.S. Supreme Court, 1984
- University of Minnesota Law School, Minneapolis, Minnesota
- University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Major: Political Science
- Minor: Economics
- Numerous Opinions, MN Supreme Court
- MSBA Civil Practice Desk Book: Alternative Dispute Resolution (2009 – 2013)
Honors and Awards
- Former Certified Trial Lawyer, 1997 – 2004
- Distinguished Jurist of the Year for 2004 by the Academy of Certified Trial Lawyers of Minnesota
- 97% of the votes in the Minnesota State Bar Association Preference Poll, 2000
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Judicial Selection Commission, Chair, 1991 – 1997
- D.A.R.E., Board of Directors, 1998 – 2008
- No-Fault Arbitration Committee for State of MN, Chair, 2004 – 2010
- Minnesota State Bar Associations, Member
- Hennepin County Bar Associations, Member
- Minnesota Merit
- Minnesota Chapter, Charter Member, National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals
- American Bar Association
- American Bar Association – Section of Dispute Resolution
- Member of The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation
Past Employment Positions
- Minnesota Supreme Court, Associate Justice, 1998 – 2004
- Meshbesher & Spence, Ltd., Managing Partner and Lawyer, 1972 – 1997
- State Board of Directors for MN D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education), MN D.A.R.E. Advisory Council, Member, 1998 – 2007
- Minnesota Supreme Court, Chair of the Standing No-Fault Insurance Committee, 2004 – 2008
- Minnesota News Council’s Hearing Panel, Chairman, 2007 – 2011
Pro Bono Activities
- Drug Court Initiatives, State of MN
- Present and Lecture at Numerous CLE’S and Colleges and Universities.