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
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.