Resume of Russell D. Cook

Russell D. Cook, Mediator, Attorney at Law
1233 West Shaw, Suite 100
Fresno, California 93711

Phone: 559 225 2510
Fax: 559 229 3941

Work History

Mediator - Attorney, Russell D. Cook, Mediator and Attorney at Law, 1992-present

Attorney, Mushines, Baradat & Van Doren, 1980-1989, Mushines, Van Doren, Cook & Morris 1989-1990, Mushines, Cook & Morris, 1990 - 1992.

Mediation Experience

Russell D. Cook has conducted over 600 private mediations. The cases that have been mediated are divergent. They include many complex construction cases, business cases, wage and hour (including prevailing wage claims), personal injury, real estate disputes, insurance coverage disputes, claims involving public agencies, inverse condemnation claims, and residential and commercial landlords.

Mr. Cook has acted as a Judge Pro Tem for the Fresno County Superior Court, conducting settlement conferences for the past 24 years. During that time, he has conducted well over 100 such settlement conferences.

Russell D. Cook is on the panel of mediators through the Superior Court in Fresno, Tulare, Kings and Merced Counties. He is also on the panel of mediators through the United States District Court Eastern District of California.

Mr. Cook is also on the panel of mediators through private associations, including the California Association of Realtors as well as the American Arbitration Association.

Mediation Philosophy

Russell D. Cook considers each matter unique and therefore to be mediated differently. The first job of the mediator is to provide an environment that is comfortable for the participants, and then for the mediator to listen carefully to each party and then tactfully address the issues in the case from the other parties perspective. Knowing that many parties start the mediation with considerable emotion, the job of the mediator is to diffuse that emotion to allow each party to deal rationally with the dispute. This process often takes time and patience to allow these emotions to be diffused. Many times thoughtful listening by the mediator can make this transition occur.

Litigation Experience

As an advocate, Russell D. Cook has represented a number of business, construction, insurance and individual interests.

He has tried over 100 civil cases to verdict over his 35 year career. During that same time, he has resolved or settled in excess of 3,000 cases acting as an attorney for a party. In this regard, Russell D. Cook has participated in over 1,500 mediations representing a party to the dispute.

Construction Claims

Mr. Cook has experience in both litigating and resolving disputes involving construction claims on behalf of owners, general contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers. Russell D. Cook has experience in both general engineering claims as well as both heavy and light building construction. As an associate member of the Association of General Contractors, he stays up to date on all current developments in construction.

Real Estate Claims

Russell D. Cook has experience in litigating as well as resolving disputes involving real estate matters, including boundary disputes, easements, title disputes, real estate purchase and sale claims. He has represented buyers, sellers, brokers, agents, surveyors and developers.

Business Litigation Claims

Russell D. Cook has experience in representation of individuals and businesses as follows: interference with contract claims, fraud claims, business interruption claims, elder abuse claims.

Personal Injury Claims

Mr. Cook has represented over 2,000 litigants with personal injury claims (both plaintiff and the defense). These include wrongful death and serious personal injury claims.

Employment Claims

Russell D. Cook has represented both plaintiff and defense in the following types of employment claims: wage and hour claims involving prevailing wage issues, age discrimination, sexual harassment claims and sexual discrimination.

Class Action Claims

Mr. Cook has represented plaintiffs in a class action claims. One such claim was on behalf of approximately 2,000 pensioners wherein the matter was resolved in mediation for 5.6 million.

Multi Party Mediation Experience

Russell D. Cook has mediated over 200 complex multi-party claims. A typical case is a construction claim that involved disputes between owner and general contractor wherein the subcontractors are included. Additionally he has mediated personal injury claims wherein more than one person caused the accident. He has mediated claims where there are competing claimants, such as a wrongful death claim with multiple heirs or where there is not sufficient insurance to compensate all parties who were injured. He has mediated construction accident claims wherein multiple subcontractors are alleged to have caused the condition that led to the claim. Additionally, he has mediated other real estate claims that involve buyer seller disputes wherein the broker and agent are also a party to the claim. The typical multi-party claim involves issues of indemnity, insurance as well as insurance coverages.


  • State Bar of California
  • American Arbitration Association - Arbitrator
  • American Arbitration Association - Mediator
  • Association of General Contractors
  • Southern California Mediation Association
  • Association for Conflict Resolution
  • Fresno County Bar Association
  • Eastern Madera County Bar Association
  • Panel Mediator, California Association of Realtors
  • Panel Mediator, United States District Court, Eastern District of California
  • Panel Arbitrator, Kern County Superior Court

Professional Licenses

  • Admitted to California Bar, December 1980
  • United States District Court Eastern District of California, December 1980
  • United States District Court Northern District, February 1984
  • United States District Court Central District, July, 1999
  • United States 9th Circuit Court of Appeal, May, 1998


  • California State University, Fresno BS 1976
  • San Joaquin College of Law, JD 1980

Recent Alternate Dispute Resolution Training

  • Pepperdine Strauss Institute for Dispute Resolution, It's All So Real: Real Problems for Real Mediators 14 Hours, 2018
  • Pepperdine Strauss Institute for Dispute Resolution, STAR Program 18 hours, 2015
  • Pepperdine Strauss Institute for Dispute Resolution, Preventing Bad Settlements 18 hours, 2014
  • Pepperdine Strauss Institute for Dispute Resolution, Using Practical Tools 18 hours, 2013
  • Pepperdine Strauss Institute for Dispute Resolution, Advance Mediation 18 hours, 2012

Martindale Hubbell Rating: AV Preeminent in Litigation and Personal Injury

References: Upon request