Miles Mediation & Arbitration Services

ATLANTA OFFICE:
6 Concourse Pkwy., Suite 1950

Atlanta, GA 30328
(678) 320-9118

SAVANNAH OFFICE:
17 Park of Commerce Blvd.
Suite 301

Savannah, GA 31405
(912) 417-2879
All Fax: (404) 389-0831

June 5, 2017 No Comments

Team Leader Greg Parent was voted the No.1 Mediator in Daily Report’s 2017 Best Of Survey for the second year in a row. The Daily Report’s Best Of Survey is a compilation of Georgia lawyers picks for the best legal services and products. Voting was conducted online and garnered several thousand responses. The Daily Report is the foremost publication for Georgia’s legal community.

“I continue to be amazed by Greg’s commitment to his craft,” said John Miles. “He works hard to be the best, and I’m pleased he has once again been selected as the best mediator in the state.”
Greg joined Miles in 2012 and quickly ascended to the level of Team Leader. He mediates and arbitrates cases involving high-end personal injury, premises liability, trucking liability, toxic torts and employment. He also manages a team of seven neutrals who specialize in mediation, arbitration and special master services.

Regarding his award, Greg said, “I am honored to be recognized by my peers as being the best while doing something that I love and work so hard to improve and study each and every day. It is humbling and something I share with everyone at Miles Mediation because I believe it is our shared brand of excellence that makes my successes possible.”

Miles Mediation & Arbitration Services was voted the Best ADR Firm for the fourth consecutive year in the Daily Report Best Of Survey. Founder John Miles was voted the No. 3 Mediator in the same survey. This is the second consecutive year John Miles was voted among the Top 3 mediators in the state.

To view the complete 2017 Daily Report Survey results, click here.

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May 29, 2017 No Comments

What made you want to become a lawyer?
I have always enjoyed problem solving.  From an early age, I would take things apart and put them back together, such as our family computer.  That curiosity fueled a need to learn how things worked, and how to come up with ways to fix things when they did not work.

After college, I was fortunate enough to get a job tasked with developing software for a company’s internal use.  The same concepts applied – take apart what was there and improve it as it was put back together.
I viewed becoming a lawyer in much the same way.  I could help people by taking apart their situations or problems, and finding solutions that add value.  I enjoy contributing to solutions, which, in turn, means I enjoy helping people.

What is your area of expertise?
I am a business lawyer.  Throughout my career, I have assisted businesses in various ways, whether through ongoing business advice or through advocating in various forms of litigation.  I enjoy contract law, which is the lifeblood of business dealings.

What are you most proud of on your resume?
I really do not have a good answer for this question.  I look at my resume as a whole, as opposed to separate parts.  Each of the experiences contributed to who and what I am today.   Overall, I am proud of my client’s achievements, as opposed to items on my resume.  I am most proud of the fact that many of my clients view me as a valued advisor to their businesses, knowing that I am truly a part of their team.

Why did you become a mediator?
Through my litigation experience, I have seen the disruption litigation causes to businesses, distracting them from what they do best.  As an advocate, I learned to appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of both sides of each dispute.  I became a mediator to assist in finding solutions to business disputes, to help minimize this disruption.  The best resolutions most often occur when they are not provided by the judge or jury, and I enjoy helping parties and their counsel find those solutions.

What is the value of Alternative Dispute Resolution?
Only what the litigants are willing to put into it.  ADR can provide litigants an opportunity to streamline their disputes.  If they come to mediation with an interest in resolving their case, mediation can offer them the opportunity to craft a resolution that would not likely be able to be done through the courts.  Moreover, a mediated resolution provides the parties the ability to control their outcome, as opposed to “taking their chances” with a judge or jury.  Arbitration provides an opportunity to minimize the public eye on disputes, and provides litigants a means and a forum to have a decision maker that has knowledge and experience in the area of law pertinent to their dispute.  Arbitration also provides a litigation format that is aimed at efficiency.

What is the most challenging part of being a mediator?
Helping come up with solutions that may not have been considered prior to mediation.

What is your mediation style/approach?
I look to facilitate solutions through understanding and applied problem solving.  I want to understand the parties’ respective positions, what they have already done to try to resolve the dispute, and what they are trying to accomplish.  I will then work to help remove the parties from the battlefield mentality so that they can hammer out the details of a deal that will allow them to get back to business.

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Sharpsville, Pennsylvania.  Sharpsville is a small town sitting on the Ohio boarder in Western Pennsylvania about halfway between Pittsburgh and Lake Erie.

What’s your favorite book?
I enjoy reading to learn something new, but also enjoy an occasional fiction.  I have many favorites, but the one that came to mind first is One Second After by William R. Forstchen.

What do you like to do in your spare time? How do you unwind?
I enjoy spending time with my family.  My wife and I are the proud parents of two little boys, ages 7 and 9, and our household is very active.  When not working, we are usually running around from soccer, to Cub Scouts, to swim team, etc.  Having the opportunity to be a part of their lives is the most rewarding part of mine.

Do you have a favorite quote?
I had a hard time picking between three of my favorites, so I provide three in response to a request for a favorite:
1.   “Everything is figureoutable.” – Marie Forleo

2.   “Start by doing what is necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” – Francis of Assisi

3.   “Be sure to put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.” Abraham Lincoln

What’s something your clients wouldn’t expect of you? 
I played the part of King Herod in my college’s production of Jesus Christ Superstar.

What movie or novel character do you most identify with?
This is “somewhat” aspirational.  I identify with the determination of Maximus from Gladiator, the loyalty of Chewbacca from Star Wars, and the adventurous intellectualism of Indiana Jones.

What characteristic do you most admire in others?
Perseverance

If you could have dinner with anyone living who would it be and why?
My dad, Robert Thiry.  My parents and grandparents are my foundation.  I have learned so much from my dad, and continue to learn from him all of the time.  Over the years, he has given me so much to look up to and be proud of.  We speak very regularly, but, because we live so far apart, we see each other infrequently.

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May 27, 2017 No Comments

Mediator Parag Shah was recently recognized as a 2017 Rising Star by the Georgia Asian Pacific American Bar Association (GAPABA). He accepted the award at GAPABA’s Annual Gala, held at Fernbank on May 27, 2017 .

Parag is member of Team Forsling at Miles and mediates primarily personal injury cases. In addition to his mediation practice, Parag also manages his own law firm: The Shah Firm, where he specializes in personal injury and criminal defense. Furthermore, he has served as a Pro Hac Judge to the City of Atlanta Municipal Court since his appointment by Mayor Kasim Reed in 2016.

Parag is also serves as an adjunct professor at Ohio Northern University Law School where he teaches jury selection and cross-examination. He is also a faculty member for the Bill Daniel Trial Advocacy Program. Additionally, he oversees a criminal defense externship program through John Marshall Law School in Atlanta.

Parag has been acknowledged as Georgia’s Top 40 Under 40 by the Daily Report, a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers Magazine & Georgia Trend Magazine. In 2011, he was featured as an expert in criminal defense on NPR‘s “This American Life”, Episode 430 – Very Tough Love. In addition, Shah regularly provided legal commentary on CNN’s Nancy Grace.

He is the author of three Georgia pocketbooks: The Code Criminal, The Code Civil and The Code Evidence. The Code is currently published by the Institute of Continuing Legal Education in Georgia.  In November 2017, Parag is planning to debut a new series of “How To” books and a book on mediation best practices.

To learn more about Parag and to view his calendar, click here. 

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May 19, 2017 No Comments

What made you want to become a lawyer?

Before going to law school, I worked for the State of Georgia, and Mike Bowers was a young lawyer assigned to me.  We got to know each other and he convinced me that I had what it took to succeed in law school and the practice of law.  What I really wanted to do was to help my friends and others with their problems.

What are you most proud of on your resume?
In addition to my family, my service to young men through baseball and Boy scouts.

Why did you become a mediator?
Litigation is expensive, time consuming and emotional draining for individuals.  For corporations and other entities, litigation drains resources and diverts litigants from their business pursuits.  I wanted to help others avoid the time, expense and risk of litigation.

What is the value of Alternative Dispute Resolution?
The emotional peace that is achieved by putting strife in the past.

What is the most challenging part of being a mediator?
Moving parties from their pre-conceived positions.

 What is your mediation style/approach?
First and foremost:  Listen.  Doing that helps me understand the parties’ contentions and motivations.  Then attempt to define common ground, and narrow the issues that are blocking agreement.  While avoiding suggesting results, I try to aid the parties to understand the legal and factual strengths and weaknesses of their positions and the positions of the opposing parties.  I also make sure that the parties understand that there are seldom winners or losers in the litigation process, and try to help them understand that settlement is not weakness.

Where Did You Grow Up?
Sandy Springs, Georgia.
What’s your Favorite Book?
Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy.

What do you like to do in your spare time? How do you unwind?
Fly my airplane, work on building my next airplane, play golf and nap.

 Do you have a favorite quote?
“God does not count against your allotted time on Earth that which you spend fishing with your son.” (Paraphrased, author unknown)

“There is nothing quite so good for the inside of a man as the outside of a horse.” (Often attributed to Winston Churchill)

What’s something your clients wouldn’t expect of you?
Being unprepared.

What movie or novel character do you most identify with?
Feeling in my soul that I was born a hundred years too late, it would have to be Kevin Costner in Open Range.  I never got over wanting to be a cowboy.

What characteristic do you most admire in others?
Equanimity.

If you could have lunch with anyone living who would it be?
The Dalai Lama.

When in your life have you had a “now or never” moment?
When I decided to quit my job, sell my house and go to law school.

 

 

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May 18, 2017 No Comments

We are proud to announce that Miles won the “Legal Organization-Total Pounds” category in this year’s Georgia Legal Food Frenzy. We finished the competition with 54,074 total pounds, the most computed pounds (including bonuses) of any legal organization.

In total, we raised $10,655 and 146 pounds of food for the Atlanta Community Food Bank and America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia. Our contributions helped the Georgia Association of Food Banks to raise a record-breaking 1.34 million pounds statewide. This record is a tremendous accomplishment that will have a real impact on the children and hardworking families served by state food banks every day.

Attorney General Carr will recognize Miles and other winners at the Annual Bar Meeting on Jekyll Island- Friday, June 9 from 9 a.m.- 12 p.m.

For more information about the competition’s final results, click here. To learn more about the Georgia Food Bank Association, click here.

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May 2, 2017 No Comments

Atlanta law firms and legal organizations raised more than $190,000 online donations over the course of two weeks for the 6th annual Legal Food Frenzy. The competition ran April 17-28.  For the past six years, the Attorney General and the State Bar have partnered with Georgia’s eight regional food banks to host the Legal Food Frenzy, a food and fund drive competition among all of Georgia’s law firms and legal organizations to see who can have the biggest impact on hunger.

Miles finished third in this year’s competition behind King & Spalding and Alston & Bird.  Other top law firms include  Troutman Sanders, Serta Simmons Bedding Legal Department, Taylor English, Smith, Gambrell & Russell, Kutak Rock, Jenkins & Roberts, and Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton.

Although this was the first year Miles participated in the Frenzy, our panel of neutrals embraced the challenge of hitting our initial online donation goal of $5,000. Not only did our neutrals surpass the $5k mark, but they rallied clients and friends to donate as well, which enabled us to raise our goal to $10,000. Mediator Parag Shah was the highest contributor at Miles, with a generous donation of $1,000. Parag’s early contribution enabled Miles to maintain the top spot for most of the competition’s first week.

Another highlight of our campaign was the unexpected donation on behalf of Attorney Tarek Aleem, of the law firm Joseph, Aleem & SlowikMr. Aleem donated $2,500 to catapult Miles into 3rd place on the final day of the competition. When we reached out to Joseph, Aleem & Slowik to offer gratitude, they responded:

“Philanthropy is a core part being for us over at the Aleem firm. Whether it’s helping the hungry or representing the underprivileged, I’ve always found it necessary to protect the rights of the less fortunate. We donate to orphanages, schools, and food banks across the Country and world and are humbled that we were allowed to participate in this cause.”

Everyone at Miles is grateful for the generosity of the law firm Joseph, Aleem & Slowik, our clients and friends. Additionally, we appreciate the opportunity to participate in this year’s Food Frenzy. We are inspired by the vision of the Atlanta Community Food Bank; Attorney General, Chris Carr; and all of the hard-working attorneys, staff, and volunteers who make this fundraiser possible every year.

For more information about Georgia Legal Food Frenzy, click here.

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