Rick Gautschi spent over five decades as teacher, first as an instructor pilot in the United States Air Force, and later as a lecturer and professor at the graduate and undergraduate levels at colleges and universities in Washington, California, Maine, and Virginia.
He has taught more than 125 sections of courses including: Business, Government, and Society; Negotiation; Organization Theory; Decision Making; Business Ethics; and Introduction to Law. As a practitioner of the Socratic Method, Rick developed an acute ability to listen, facilitate, and guide discussions. In support of that commitment he applies the skills that he has acquired as a teacher, a social scientist, and a litigator in an effort to facilitate a process of creative problem solving in which the parties to a dispute are actively engaged.
Dedicated to the belief that creative options for resolution lie within the parties, Rick seeks to help the parties build on those options. In an effort to assist the parties determine how to assess the economic consequences of the uncertainty arising out of a failure to arrive at resolution, he employs principles of decision theory using beliefs about the future that the parties express. Rick recognizes that parties and their counsel speak typically in general probabilistic terms about the future, stating, for example, "I think we have a very good chance of winning at trial."
Rick helps the parties think about uncertain events, such as what could happen on a motion to dismiss or at trial, in systematically reasoned, carefully developed, probabilistic terms. Using those systematically developed estimates of the future, he helps the parties determine the monetary component of a resolution. Throughout the process he endeavors to foster an atmosphere of calm, reasoned decision making in which the parties work to achieve their own resolution with his help.
Rick has extensive employment litigation experience, including class action matters, primarily having represented employees. However, his business background ( MBA and Ph.D in business administration) enables him to effectively communicate with employers. Rick has also taught Negotiation and Negotiation Ethics at the UW Foster School of Business. He currently teaches Negotiation at the UW School of Law one of several alma matters. These practical skills are directly interlinked with Rick's successes as a Mediator and Arbitrator in various areas of legal practice.
Rick possesses superb communication skills, the self discipline one would expect form a Naval Academy alum, and, most importantly, the ability to earn and maintain the trust of all parties. His negotiation skills precede him and we are thrilled to have him join us as a Mediator and Arbitrator!