Ben is a founding partner of Lakeside Mediation Center (Galton, Cunningham & Bourgeois, P.L.L.C.) An accomplished trial attorney, mediator, and Settlement Counsel, over the past 25+ years Ben has presided as Mediator in thousands of successful mediations, nationally and internationally. Over the decades, Ben has earned the reputation as a preeminent lawyer (AV-Preeminent) and distinguished mediator (Credentialed-Distinguished Mediator, Texas Mediator Credentialing Association). Ben is also a Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation.
Ben is available to provide services as a mediator and settlement counsel throughout Texas and the United States. In addition to his hands-on experience as a mediator, Ben is also a trainer of mediators, including the training of new mediators at the University of Texas School of Law Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution, an (occasional) visiting Adjunct Professor of ADR. For more than a decade, Ben has served as a member of the Graduate Advisory Board for the Master’s Degree program in Legal Studies and ADR Studies at Texas State University-San Marcos; guest lecturer in ADR at the University of Texas; Director and Past-President of the Austin/Travis County Dispute Resolution Center; and has provided training at the Austin Police Academy for Hostage/Crisis Negotiation. Ben is also an approved Federal Court Mediator, United States District Court-Western District of Texas. Ben is a co-author of the highly-acclaimed book, “Stories Mediators Tell” (ABA Press), and author of numerous articles on mediation and negotiation practice.
A member of the Texas Bar since 1988, Ben began his legal career with the Austin firm of Bankston, Wright & Greenhill, P.C. as a trial attorney in the firm’s commercial litigation and insurance defense sections. With Eric Galton, in 1988 Ben established the first formal ADR section in a Texas law firm. From 1991 to 1996, Ben was Of Counsel with the litigation firm of George, Donaldson & Ford, L.L.P., practicing in the areas of complex commercial litigation, tort, media, intellectual property, insurance, civil rights, environmental, real estate, and personal injury litigation and ADR. In 1996, Ben joined the firm of George & Donaldson, L.L.P. as a partner, working exclusively in a broad range of complex litigation matters. In 2000, Ben resigned his law firm partnership to form the ADR firm of Galton, Cunningham & Bourgeois, P.L.L.C. (Lakeside Mediation), maintaining an Of Counsel relationship with the firm of George & Brothers, L.L.P., representing a limited number of clients in litigation and dispute resolution matters. In early 2008, Ben resigned his Of Counsel position, limiting his practice to the arena of mediation, and representing clients as Settlement Counsel in selected cases. As an attorney, Ben has represented corporations, national and international media companies, governmental bodies, small businesses and individuals in the arenas of civil litigation, arbitration, administrative law, and ADR. As a mediator, Ben has mediated matters of almost every conceivable category, and is known for his creative and innovative approaches to dispute resolution. During the past quarter century of mediating, Ben has gained a reputation as a mediator who can tackle the complex or “garden-variety” disputes with equal enthusiasm and success, and is widely known as a mediator who can effect a settlement in difficult cases.
ADR PRACTICE AREAS
All civil disputes, including commercial, business, tort, contract, employment, personal injury, technology, insurance, intellectual property, consumer/DTPA, professional liability/malpractice, entertainment, defamation, construction/real estate, environmental, probate, products liability, governmental entities, Sec. 1983 and civil rights, international commercial disputes, telecommunications, oil and gas, anti-trust, lender liability, bankruptcy, discrimination, First Amendment, media, landlord-tenant, and internal organizational disputes. Additionally, Ben is available as a settlement consultant and settlement counsel for complex disputes.
- AV-Preeminent TM, Martindale-Hubble
- Credentialed – Distinguished Mediator, Texas Mediator Credentialing Association
- Licensed since 1988
- Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation
- Founding Member, Lakeside Mediation Center
- Member and former Director: Texas Association of Mediators
- Frequent ADR Instructor, University of Texas School of Law Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution
- Member, Advisory Board for ADR Graduate Programs, Texas State University
- Adjunct Mediation Professor, Texas State University, ABA accredited program
- Member, Association of Attorney Mediators
- Approved Federal Court Mediator; U.S. District Court
- American Jurisprudence Award, ADR
- Texas Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts Advanced Mediation Training
- United States Postal System REDRESS Advanced mediation training, 1999
- Numerous speaking engagements, Advanced Mediation and Negotiation Advocacy presentations
- Lecturer and writer on Ethics in Mediation
- Co-Producer/Trainer: Preparing Clients for Mediation Video
- Graduate of South Texas College of Law and The University of The State of New York
- Admiral in the Texas Navy
- Former Peace Officer (Harris County Sheriff’s Department)
- Veteran, United States Army Vietnam (1968-1971)