Mediator Mindset.

"The job of a mediator is like being in an escape room, looking for different keys to open new doors.”    - Hon. Howard R. Broadman (Ret.)

"I don’t want to be the smartest person in room. All I want is for people to trust me that I really truly am there to help them, because you know what? I really truly am there to help them."  - Steve Rottman

Bret Geckeler understands that no two disputes are the same, and no two mediations play out in precisely the same way. A good mediator must continually ask what will help now for you, not simply tell you war stories about adjacent cases.  As Rumi said, “Don't be satisfied with stories . . . Unfold your own myth.”  This is why Bret never sacrifices curiosity in his mediations.  No one can help solve problems without first experiencing the right questions.

While each mediation is unique, all mediations are framed by Bret’s mediation principles:  curiosity, reciprocity, trust, and optimism.  Look forward to an open-book discussion of your matter.

green grass field under blue sky during daytime
green grass field under blue sky during daytime


After litigating complex cases in venues across the United States, Bret found mediation to be the most fascinating aspect of the law.  He gets an outsized sense of satisfaction from helping people find deals that are better than continued litigation.

Before starting his full-time mediation practice, Bret Geckeler completed a formal practicum of mediation skills training, mediated dozens of cases in Los Angeles Superior Court, and undertook a mediation-clerkship with master mediator, Judge Howard Broadman (Ret.) where he helped successfully mediate dozens of matters in the San Joaquin Valley.  Bret’s mediation experience includes personal injury, wrongful termination, PAGA, medical malpractice, landlord-tenant, contract disputes, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, and probate cases.  Bret is a member of the Southern California Mediation Association and the International Academy of Mediators Mentorship Program.  

His prior experience as an attorney includes work with the world's foremost litigators on the most complex legal issues.  While an attorney with Latham & Watkins LLP, Bret helped litigate securities law, shareholder derivative, white-collar, and multidistrict litigation matters.  His pro bono work earned recognition from the firm and the California Innocence Project.  Bret also has represented individual plaintiffs at every stage of the litigation process, including jury trial.

Bret and his wife have deep ties to the San Joaquin Valley where they both grew up. 


  • UCLA, 2009.

  • UCLA School of Law, 2015.

Mediation Training.

  • American Institute of Mediation, Mediating Commercial & Litigated Cases, 2022.

  • OC Human Relations Mediation, Mediation Skills, 2022.

  • International Academy of Mediators, Virtual Conference: A Deep Dive into Mediation Techniques, 2022.

  • High Conflict Institute: New Ways for Mediation, 2023.

  • Mediation Clerkship with IAM Distinguished Fellow Howard Broadman (Ret.), 2022 & 2023.