Getting to Know Mediator & Arbitrator Jim Anderson

Mediator & Arbitrator Jim Anderson recently joined Miles in Atlanta. As a member of Team Wilson, Jim mediates primarily in areas of aviation, construction law, property damage, personal injury, contract law, estate, probate, and domestic relations. In addition to Jim’s law and ADR practices, he has logged thousands of miles as an experienced aviator. And as if flying national and international flights isn’t impressive enough, Jim is building an FAA-approved four-passenger airplane. Learn more about Jim’s fascinating pursuits below.



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?


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.



Click here to view Jim’s bio and online calendar.