About Sonia Patel Dalton, Esq.

Sonia Patel Dalton entered the ADR field over 20 years ago, having held Assistant and Business Manager Positions at JAMS—the nation’s largest ADR firm. Later, she was tapped to spearhead the development and launch of a boutique dispute resolution firm, PMA Dispute Resolution, with several offices throughout California and Nevada.

Having successfully launched a new firm coupled with her history and understanding of what it takes to run a large ADR firm, Ms. Patel Dalton has shifted her focus to consulting with neutrals on how to launch and manage successful ADR practices. From creating the basic infrastructure to retention and growth of existing, seasoned ADR Firms, Sonia has the expertise, passion and tenacity to build and exceed growth and revenue expectations.

Sonia has learned that to have a successful ADR practice, you must not only be a good mediator but you must also be a good business person. Often, time, effort and resources are invested in becoming a better mediator without the same investment on the business/administrative side. She often presents on effective ways to manage and build your mediation practice.

Sonia graduated from UCSB and received her law degree and certificate in dispute resolution from Willamette University. She lives in Aliso Viejo with her husband, daughter and dog Kona.

Education & Legal Experience

  • Koeller, Nebeker, Carlson & Haluck, Partner
  • Kring & Brown, Attorney
  • California Bar admittance 1997
  • J.D. in 1996 from Willamette University with a Certificate in Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • B.A. from University of California, Santa Barbara

My Story

Prior to 2014, the ADR industry was well settled. If you were a neutral, you either joined a provider or handled your practice on your own or with a small group. Each option provided unique challenges; some within the neutral’s control and some not. Given an unexpected turn of events in my career, I found myself out of job and in need to support my family. I was not yet ready to exit the ADR industry and return to litigating. I had to think of something.

I was approached with the idea of providing independent neutral support to neutrals who did not wish to affiliate with a provider or handle their practices on their own. At first, I was unsure if and how to proceed. My hesitation stemmed from the fact that the ADR business was well established and had been successful as-is for decades. With more thought and truthfully, the need to support my family I began to create a mental image of what independent neutral support would look like.

I started off slow by working with a few neutrals with whom I had an established history. I took my time in not only creating and implementing individual processes, thoughtful infrastructure and effective marketing and business development methods but also determining what type of neutral would be successful with this new alternative. In time, with much patience and hard work, I am proud to say Edge Dispute Resolution is not just a new kid on the block, but a proven, viable and lucrative option for neutrals in the ADR marketplace.

Our Team

Briana Castaneda

Case Manager

Briana Castaneda joined Edge Dispute in 2020 as a Case Manager. Prior to working at Edge Dispute, she attended Orange Coast College, earning her associate’s degree in political science, and later transferred to California State University, Fullerton, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in political science. During her time at CSUF, Briana worked at the office of Congressman Lou Correa as an intern.

When Briana is not working, she loves to travel. She has traveled to 9 countries, her favorites including Costa Rica, Iceland, and Ireland. Briana enjoys baking and spending time with family and friends. Briana currently resides in Anaheim Hills, where she lives with her family and dog, Maverick.

Ronya Clause

Director, Operations

I joined Edge Dispute Resolution as Director, Operations in October 2021.  Prior to Edge, my career as a paralegal spanned over 20 years in the legal industry in Orange County, California.  My experience at law firms such as Koeller, Nebeker, Carlson & Haluck LLP, and companies such as New Century Mortgage Corporation, The Irvine Company, Stearns Lending, and Pacific Life Insurance Company included handling contract management and administration, commercial real estate leasing, mortgage lending, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, and investment management/securities.  My experience developing, automating, and implementing standard processes and procedures allows me to assist in maximizing Edge’s business strategies for the future.

During the pandemic, like so many others I worked remotely and realized the way we do business has been changed forever.  The advent of the virtual office meant no commutes to the office and more flexibility for companies and employees.  With changes to the traditional in-office work model, coupled with a need to do something different, I decided to make a change that would not only afford me the flexibility to work remotely, but also to work for a company with ambition for growth going forward.  At Edge, I have the opportunity to influence such growth by assisting with the expansion of exceptional processes and services, while being personally challenged utilizing my talent and experiences.

It’s exciting to be a part of a team with a growth mindset committed to providing excellent service specific to each of our clients’ needs and be a leader of change in the mediation arena.

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