Spotlight: Douglas Wilde

By Kelly K. James


Doug WildeSpecialize or generalize? As an attorney, there are pros and cons to each option. Doug Wilde built a successful legal practice specializing in premises liability law, and now has a fulltime alternate dispute resolution (ADR) practice handling these kinds of cases.


When he started practicing law in 1985, Doug worked for an insurance defense firm. Kroger was one of the firm’s clients and he gradually came to handle much of the company’s Georgia-area defense work. In 2003, Doug opened his own practice and started doing more plaintiff’s work as well as continuing to defend premises liability cases that included slip-and-falls and trip-and-falls, negligent security claims including assaults and shootings, and false arrest and malicious prosecution cases, among others.


A Forthright Approach to Mediation

Doug took mediation training in 2013 and started working as a part-time mediator at Miles that same year. “I had been through so many mediations as an advocate — as a lawyer — and saw the benefit of mediating for both sides,” he says. “I knew that for both plaintiffs and defendants that it was going to become more and more of an option as courts were ordering more cases to mediation.”


In the mediation room, he strives to be “forthright without being too blunt,” he says. “I try to be direct, but in a compassionate fashion.” While many people, particularly the actual parties to a case, approach the various issues that arise during mediation as problems, “I like to think of them as ‘challenges’ to be overcome. I view them as challenges, rather than problems.”


Premises liability cases in particular can present some common challenges. “For example, a lot of people who are injured think that the property owner is automatically responsible because they got injured on someone else’s property, but that’s not the law,” he explains. “It’s often the flip side with the defense — a lot of defendants and insurance carriers think it’s a no-liability or summary judgment case whether it is or not. My role, and goal, is to make sure that each side understands and acknowledges the other side’s position and realizes that there usually are two sides to every dispute. Until there is that realization, resolution is hard to achieve.”


Doug’s depth of experience in premises liability law has well-prepared him for his ADR work. “I handled much of Kroger’s’ defense work for 35+ years and was the lead counsel in multiple thousands of premises cases,” he says. “I tried over 100 of these cases to juries throughout central and north Georgia.” That background and experience means that Doug is intimately familiar with the law that applies in a particular situation and the caselaw that supports it. It gives him a better idea of how to value a case or how a jury might react.


In his free time, Doug enjoys mountain biking and hiking and camping with his wife, Allison, a retired flight attendant. The couple has two married daughters — Lauren, who lives in Los Angeles and works as a special effects makeup artist, and Kendall, who has a doctorate in physical therapy and just recently moved from Austin to Charlotte.


Doug closed his law practice this past September and is now a full-time mediator and arbitrator. He’s excited about the transition. “I probably could have retired, but I wanted to keep my hand in the legal field and mediate fulltime,” he says. “It allows me to enjoy the company of lawyers that I’ve known for years, as well as the next generation of trial lawyers, and to assist them in resolving their cases.”




Miles Mediation & Arbitration is shaping the alternative dispute resolution (ADR) industry with our comprehensive professional services model that combines the expertise of our highly skilled, diverse panel of neutrals with an unparalleled level of client support to guide and empower parties to fair, timely, and cost-effective resolution regardless of case size, specialization, or complexity. For more information, please call 888-305-3553 or email