(415) 388-0905


*Fred Carr and Charlotte M. Venner are individual, sole mediation practitioners, and are not a partnership or other form of legal association.

Professional Profile


diving-helmut.jpgFred Carr is an international, AV® preeminent rated attorney-mediator.  With over 20 years of litigation and negotiation experience and having mediated hundreds of cases involving personal injury, wrongful death, property damage, construction defects, contract, real estate, probate, employment, sexual harassment and assault, Mr. Carr is keenly capable of maintaining control of negotiations and facilitating resolution of disputes.


Mr. Carr’s ability to connect with litigants from all walks of life, from laborers to Heads of State, creates a calm and controlled atmosphere and assures that the parties assess the strengths and weaknesses of each side’s case and weighs the costs, risks and benefits of proceeding to trial versus settlement.  Mr. Carr is highly accomplished at analyzing litigation strategies and possesses strong conflict resolution, communication and leadership skills.  Oftentimes, he is able to assist parties in creating options not previously considered.


As a litigator, Mr. Carr served as legal counsel in trials and appellate matters in both Federal and State courts in California, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii and Arizona.  He has represented a wide range of clients on both the plaintiff and defense sides of the bar, with an emphasis on maritime, personal injury, wrongful death, property damage, product liability, premises liability, construction, real estate, contract, employment law, and insurance matters.  Mr. Carr has managed litigation with sums in dispute in the eight-figure range and has a winning record in both judge and jury trials.  Having managed hundreds of cases, Mr. Carr has extensive mediation experience and has been very successful in pre-trial resolution.  Mr. Carr is highly accomplished at analyzing litigation strategies and possesses strong conflict resolution, communication and leadership skills.


Prior to entering law school, Mr. Carr acquired education and training in the fields of engineering and science.  His early career focused on landside construction and maritime operations where he served as Engineer and Captain aboard sailing yachts, commercial fishing vessels and cargo freighters, resulting in a 400 Ton Captain’s license.  Mr. Carr also worked in the offshore oil fields as a deep-sea commercial diver and one-man submarine pilot. As a result of his education and experience in the marine and construction fields, Mr. Carr’s mediation practice benefits from strong analytical and forensic engineering skills including significant catastrophic mechanical and structural failure analysis.


Mr. Carr’s mediation skills also benefit from four years in the Middle East where he served as Legal Director for the largest property developer in Abu Dhabi, and a consultant to the United Arab Emirates government.  As Legal Director, Mr. Carr’s responsibilities included over-all risk management for the Division: drafting all legal documents, contracts and Operations and Emergency Response Manuals; assuring compliance with all governmental and international regulations; development of protocols to reduce the risk of personal injury to employees and guests and damage to property (in excess of $1B USD in assets); as well as assuring the placement of all required insurance covers.


Mr. Carr also developed close working relationships with several governmental agencies at both the Emirate and National levels, and as a result, he was recruited by Good Harbor Consulting, LLC, a Washington D.C. based international consultancy focused upon emergent and post conflict governments.  As a Principal Consultant, Mr. Carr was embedded within the Abu Dhabi Maritime Security and Strategy Executive Committee to assist in the development of an overarching strategy for the nation focused upon environmental and economic sustainability, public safety and security.  This role required intense negotiations between disparate government agency stake holders with widely conflicting agendas.  Mr. Carr was applauded for his ability to bring “calm to the storm” and find acceptable and workable solutions to what initially appeared to be impossibly conflicting goals and priorities. 


Not only is Mr. Carr’s leadership skills evidenced by his years as a sea captain, and his aptitude as a “consensus builder” evidenced by his role as a consultant to foreign governmental agencies, his public service life is testimonial to his dedication to developing constructive outcomes.  While attending law school at the University of San Francisco, Mr. Carr was one of the founders of the now internationally renowned University of San Francisco Maritime Law Journal which resulted in his receiving the “Student Bar Association Award for the Most Significant Contribution to the Law School Through Outstanding Service.”  Mr. Carr was also the founding Chairman of a non-profit educational organization for grade school children, and a co-founder of one of the first trade associations formed in the United Arab Emirates.


Mr. Carr serves as a Judge Pro Tempore in the Superior Court for Sonoma County as well as a Discovery Referee in Contra Costa Superior Court. 


Mr. Carr conducts mediations at locations that are convenient to the parties and does not charge for travel time to and from any session held in the San Francisco Bay Area.


  • Northeastern University, Boston Massachusetts, Engineering Program, 1973
  • University of California, Santa Barbara, Bachelor of Arts Degree, in absentia, with Honors, 1978
  • Boston University, Bachelors of Arts in Science, with Honors, 1979
  • University of San Francisco School of Law, Juris Doctorate, with Honors, 1991
  • California State Bar Association, 1991
  • U.S. District Court Bar, Northern, Southern & Eastern Districts.
  • California Dispute Resolution Council
  • Bar Association of San Francisco, ADR and Mediation Sections
  • Contra Costa County Bar Association, ADR Section
  • Marin County Bar Association, ADR Section
  • Santa Clara County Bar Association, ADR Section
  • Solano County Bar Association, ADR Section
  • Sonoma County Bar Association, ADR Section


  • “Discovery and Demurrer Facilitator Programs” Sonoma County Bar Association
  • “Judicial Ethics for Temporary Judges” Judicial Council of California
  • “Small Claims Court: Procedures and Practices, and Consumer and Substantive Laws” - Judicial Council of California
  • “Fairness, Demeanor, and Self-Represented Litigants” Administrative Office of the Courts
  • “Fee Arbitration Training” The State Bar of California
  • “Managing the Money Dance in Negotiation and Mediation” Alameda County Bar Association
  • “Arbitrator Certificate Training” Ron Kelly
  • “Advanced Mediation Techniques” Stephen Rosenberg
  • “Handling the Emotional Mediation,” Claudia Hagadus Long
  • “Best Practices in Probate and Estate Mediation,” Jessica Notini
  • “Advanced Mediation Strategies and Ethics,” Santa Clara County Bar Association
  • “Drafting Effective Settlement Agreements,” Ron Kelly
  • “Yes Virginia, There Are Ethics Rules for Mediators,” Michael Marcus
  • “Mediating the Litigated Case,” Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine University School of Law
  • Public Education Conference, The Mediation Society
  • Over 100 hours of one-on-one mediation training with San Francisco Trial Lawyers’ Association  “Distinguished Mediator of the Year” recipient, Charlotte Venner


Recent Publications, Speaking Engagements, and CLE Courses Given

  • “ADR War Stories: When it Really is All About the Money” Bulletin – The Bar Association of San Francisco
  • “Alternative to Traditional Mediation in the Civil Context – Collaborative and Integrative Mediation, Is the time Ripe?” Marin County Bar Association 2016

  • “The Inherent Conflict of Interest in “Prevailing Party Attorney Fees” Provisions” Plaintiff Magazine

  • “Settling the “Dangerous Condition of Public Property” Claim”  Plaintiff Magazine

  • “Cultural Awareness in Mediation” The Trial Lawyer and CLE Course

  • “What’s Said in Mediation Stays in Mediation, Right?  Public Policy and the Confidentiality Shroud” Plaintiff Magazine

  • “Are You Really Ready to Mediate?” Sonoma County Bar Association CLE Course


  • Bar Association of San Francisco Mediation Services Program Panelist
  • Contra Costa Superior Court ADR Program Panelist
  • County of Solano Mediation Program Panel
  • Marin County Superior Court ADR Provider Panelist.
  • Santa Clara County Bar Association ADR Panel
  • Sonoma County Superior Court and MARS Mediation Program Panelist