Getting to know Mediator Leigh Wilco
What made you want to become a lawyer?
I enjoyed the analytical problem solving and the ability to help people solve their problems.
What’s your area of specialization?
I have worked on real estate disputes for the last 25 years, but I have also continued my practice in the areas of personal injury, premises liability, small business disputes and professional liability.
What are you most proud of with respect to your career?
My ability to zealously represent my clients while remaining on good terms with opposing counsel and mentoring young lawyers.
Why did you become a neutral?
I was asked by a lawyer who had been on the opposite side of a previous case if I would mediate a dispute for him. I found the experience so rewarding, I decided to make it a part of my practice.
What does ADR look like in 10 years?
It will be the norm in most disputes and may be written into agreements as a requirement before litigation.
What do you hope to accomplish through your ADR practice?
To help parties realize that it is not a weakness to make concessions and resolve issues. To redefine a “win” to be a resolution that is more favorable than protracted litigation.
What is your conflict resolution style/approach?
I believe that I am here to help the parties resolve the dispute, so I will adapt my style to meet the needs of the parties. But I am a neutral who will point out the weaknesses and problems to both sides and I am not afraid to encourage them to face the realities of litigation.
How would your clients describe you?
As a thoughtful listener and a realist who will not just be their lawyer, but will be their counselor.
Where Did You Grow Up?
I am originally from Toronto, but I grew up in South Florida.
What’s your Favorite Book?
I really don’t have one favorite, there are so many that I have loved and that have moved me in different ways at different times in my life.
What do you like to do in your spare time? How do you unwind?
I love being around water in just about any form – pools, beaches, lakes, snow. I enjoy cards and games.
What characteristic do you most admire in others?
The ability to listen and accept constructive criticism without becoming defensive. And a good sense of humor.