Spotlight on Mediator Gino Brogdon, Jr.
When he first started as a young attorney cutting his teeth, Gino Brogdon, Jr. received an invaluable piece of advice that he still banks on today: “Touch every case, every day.” For the past decade, Gino’s experience, expertise, and empathy on every case have gone beyond the courtroom to touch the lives of his clients who have witnessed, firsthand, the powerful methods of mediation.
As a highly experienced and rigorous mediator, Gino has much to recommend him, professionally: He demonstrates forthrightness, deliberate attention to detail, and a non-judgemental and empathetic demeanor. However, Gino’s strongest attribute is one that is entirely natural and somewhat unteachable. He is an exceptional listener. As anyone who maintains a relationship with Gino can tell you, his professional strengths are the overarching principles that guide his life. But his unique and inimitable power to listen to others in a focused manner helps him understand people on an intuitive level, translating what they say into what they need.
Early on, Gino recognized that there are people born with natural talents, but those talents would never exceed the success that comes from a commitment to intensive effort. Gino embraced the idea of hard work and developed a determination to outperform ordinary standards by challenging himself to push past his natural talents. As an athlete in his high school and collegiate years and as a lifelong health and fitness advocate, Gino disciplined himself to focus on those repeatable processes that would give him a competitive edge. Today as an attorney advocating for his clients and mediator advocating for resolution, Gino’s work-focused attitude has resulted in an impressive legal career that spans both the traditional practice of law and the future of legal resolution…mediation.
As a young attorney on the outset of a stellar legal career as a young attorney, Gino faced high-pressure situations that called for a dual commitment to effort and efficiency, achieving successful results for both his clients and his firm. This was a period of tremendous growth for Gino, an immersive experience that showed him the power of responding proactively to situations, rather than being reactive to things he couldn’t control. He tells the story of his first trial that, looking back, was the first step toward his making his mark on the legal landscape as an influential mediator.
As was his habit, Gino prepared extensively for trial, determined to provide some restitution to his client who suffered a serious injury. He felt the pain of his client’s loss and was committed to doing everything he could to make it right. The case was presented to a jury who would determine fault and compensation. Before the case went to the jury, the case settled, giving his client some measure of relief. The resolution represented a successful outcome but it was a comment by a juror that struck a chord with Gino. While the attorneys on his team were inquiring what the jury thought about the merits of the case, a juror commented on the clothing choices of the lead attorney.
This singular, offhand comment provoked a moment of absolute clarity for Gino. He could and would commit to working diligently and efficiently for his clients. But the one thing he couldn’t control in the outcome of a jury trial was juror perception. Jury trials are inherently risky because it is difficult to really know why a jury makes the decisions they do. In jury trials, the facts of the case or being right on the law is not the only thing that matters. Instead, winning or losing, he realized, often depends on juror perception.
As an empathetic advocate, Gino could not reconcile the risk of trial with his quest for justice. While trial is absolutely necessary for parties who are very far apart on resolution, Gino’s vision for effective adjudication shifted to one where there are no winners or losers and both parties are heard in a non adversarial environment. This vision, developed during the formative years of his career, led to his transformational leadership at Miles Mediation & Arbitration as a Senior Neutral.
Gino Brogdon’s fateful experience transformed Gino’s idea of justice. While his lifelong maxim of hard work beating out talent still rang true, Gino decided to eliminate risk by using mediation as an effective tool to help his clients find a middle ground that works. Through a blend of expertise and experience, Gino continues to answer the question he first asked himself during this landmark trial: How do you get someone to understand what you went through? For Gino and his clients, the answer will continue to be mediation.
Mediation is a plaintiff-focused practice that harnesses Gino’s natural talent for listening to his clients. He stresses that it’s not about imagining their pain and suffering or their loss. Rather, it’s about approaching their circumstances with emotional and human-centered empathy, empowering them to speak their story, express their pain and suffering, and receive the closure they deserve through the legal process.
Whereas trial and litigation are about winning and losing, mediation to Gino is about mitigating loss and coming to a compromise for all parties. To get his clients to a place of closure and provide for them the opportunity to feel heard and compensated, Gino’s unique approach helps him to consider the position of all parties involved. This includes fairly listening to and understanding the position of opposing parties such as insurance adjusters. For Gino, every party plays an integral role in the disbursement of compensation and justice, and, through his years of experience, Gino sees mediation as the only successful path towards both goals.
Where can you find Gino? That’s an easy one: if he’s not mediating a case, you’ll find him walking the dog, watching his favorite Indiana Pacers basketball player shoot free throws, or collaborating with his wife and business partner Melissa.