Get to Know Mediator Todd Bechtel
What was your first law job?
Crim and Bassler
What made you want to become a lawyer?
How did you decide to branch out into mediation and alternative dispute resolution? After 25 plus years, I wanted the opportunity to bring my experience as a trial lawyer to help others make reasonable and competent decisions about what to many could be one of the most important decisions in their lives.
What are you most proud of with respect to your career?
It’s very simple but the way I have treated people that I have worked with in the practice of law over the many years.
How does your experience help you add value to conflict resolution clients and their disputes?
As a lawyer I have tried numerous cases to verdict, have represented both defendants and plaintiffs and as such have empathy along with compassion for the plight of both parties.
What is the importance of Alternative Dispute Resolution?
It provides an outlet for the parties to be heard without the sometimes harsh consequences of a trial.
What do you hope to accomplish through your ADR practice?
To help people understand that they have the ability to make their own decision and a good one with the proper information.
How has your life experience made you the neutral you are today?
I have been a plaintiff in personal injury lawsuit so I truly believe this allows me a different perspective than most other mediators as to the journey that most all plaintiffs travel.
Why people like working with you?
I am compassionate, understanding, easy to get along with, have a good personality, funny at times and competent in discussing the issues. I like to think I am the type of person others enjoy spending 4 to 5 hours with trying to resolve a dispute.
How does ADR help lawyers become more successful?
Not as time consuming and the results are not as drastic or consequential as trial.
If You Had to Teach A Subject, What Would It Be?
Do you have a favorite cause?
What’s the last great book you read?
What’s the most influential book you’ve ever read?
What’s your favorite way to spend free time?
Spending time with and vacationing with family.
What makes Georgia such a dynamic state?
The people, the mountains and the coast. The vibrant city of Atlanta…….so much to see and do in the city!
What’s your favorite quote?
I have two….knowledge is power or it’s your attitude more than your aptitude that will determine your altitude.
What’s Your Favorite Holiday and Why?
Thanksgiving, I enjoy spending time with family along with traditional great food and the anticipated start of the Christmas season.
What’s something your clients would never guess about you?
I have been a plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit prior to becoming an attorney. I was represented by a lawyer and ultimately that case resolved prior to trial.
What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in your career to date?
Treat people with respect, dignity, and kindness because it is the right thing to do and it is a small, small world out there…..
If you weren’t a lawyer, what would you be?
High school coach, most likely baseball, or an accountant as I am good with numbers.
If You could have dinner with any one person, living or dead, who would it be and why?
Dwight D. Eisenhower. To hear the stories related to the many decisions that were made by him and others around him which so greatly affected our world during WWII and the beginning of the Cold War.
If you could take only three items with you to a deserted island, what would they be?
Becky my wife, Olivia my daughter and a Leatherman with matches!