Carole Helfert Aragon, J.D., LL.M.
Attorney At Law/Mediator/Arbitrator
Master of Laws in Dispute Resolution
FINRA Roster of Mediators
FINRA Panel of Arbitrators
Attorney at Law
Mediator/FINRA Roster of Mediators
Carole Helfert Aragon, J.D., LL.M., earned her LL.M. in Dispute Resolution, with a Specialty in Mediation, from the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine University School of Law in 2015. She joined the FINRA Roster of Mediators in 2015, became a FINRA Arbitrator in 2010, and has an integrated background as a licensed attorney (State Bar of California, 1975, active), a full-time financial disputes mediator (2009), and was a licensed Financial Advisor, Retirement Planning Specialist, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management (1998- 2002).
Carole’s mediation experience includes a variety of financial disputes: FINRA customer and employment complaints; real estate and other commercial transactions; probate, trust and estate planning; consumer and business banking; entertainment industry conflicts; divorce and family law; landlord/tenant and other real estate disputes; homeowners’ associations; companion and service animals and pets; employment termination and discrimination; housing discrimination; personal injury insurance claims; maritime matters (including theft of property); and healthcare-related matters (including end-of-life issues).
She has also mediated non-financial conflicts such as civil harassment matters including restraining orders; criminal misdemeanors; community policing policies; regulatory compliance; homeowners’ association disputes; and, conflicts within non-profit organizations.
Carole Aragon has over 40 years of experience as both a litigator and transactional attorney. As a prosecutor for the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, she handled over 50 jury trials and over 150 court trials. Her transactional work included banking, secured transactions, antitrust, copyright and trademark, public financing, real estate, estate planning, animal rights and the worldwide distribution of entertainment programming. She has almost 700 hours of specialized mediation training through not only the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution but also the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, various Professional Skills programs offered by Straus, the Southern CA Mediation Association (Advanced Track program), Ken Cloke’s Center for Dispute Resolution, and Ken Feinberg’s mediated approach to resolving mass disaster claims.
Carole’s practice, although broad-based, focuses primarily on the securities industry from the perspective of the customer-broker/dealer relationship and employment disputes (FINRA and FINRA-related conflicts). By taking a four-year break from the active practice of law, she immersed herself in the securities industry while working for Morgan Stanley. Her securities expertise ranges from fixed income and equities to structured products, annuities and limited partnership investments. When she returned to the practice of law, she worked with lawyers who represented claimants in a variety of customer dispute cases as well as employment matters. Her claimants’ expertise focused on analyzing customer statements, working with forensic accountants, and drafting complex Statements of Claim along with relevant pleadings, discovery requests and other motions.
Carole’s success rate in resolving conflicts through mediation is over 90%* primarily because of a firm belief that once parties have entered mediation, they are seriously looking for a final resolution to their dispute, and are willing to work hard to resolve their conflict and end the stress associated with litigation or the threat of litigation. Although mediation styles differ to achieve equally high rates of successful settlements, Carole’s style uses a series of facilitative techniques combined with an evaluative approach to obtain a durable and final solution.
Aragon Mediation welcomes the opportunity to help you resolve your conflict. You may learn more about Carole’s mediation style here and may contact Carole here for a confidential discussion regarding your dispute.
*Past results are no guarantee of future outcomes; they reflect a continuing goal for successful resolution of disputes.
Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine University School of Law
LL.M., with a Mediation Specialty, 2015
Southwestern School of Law
Indiana University (Bloomington)
B.A. in Art History, Double Minor in Computer Science and Economics, 1970
Specialized mediation and arbitration training from noted mediators and arbitrators:
Kenneth Cloke, Ken Feinberg, Max Factor III, Thomas Stipanowich, Peter Robinson, Robert Logan, Zena Zumeta, Lela Love, and Joseph Stulberg
Additional mediation training:
Los Angeles Superior Court
Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office for Dispute Resolution
California Department of Fair Employment and Housing
California Lawyers for the Arts (Arts, Arbitration and Mediation Services)
Mediation Trainer for California Lawyers for the Arts, Basic Mediation Skills Training, 2018, 2019
Ken Cloke, Center for Dispute Resolution, Mediation and Conflict Resolution, 2012, 2018
Professional Skills Programs in Mediation, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution
Mediating the Litigated Case, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution
Advanced Mediation with Ken Cloke, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution
Southern California Mediation Association (SCMA) Conference, 2011, 2012, 2013
SCMA Conference, Advanced Track Training, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018 (Sponsor)
American Bar Association, Dispute Resolution Section, Special Series in Mediation, Practices and Procedures, 2015 - 2018
Arbitration Training, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), with Special Training in Expungement Issues
Securities Arbitration, Robert Uhl (Aidikoff, Uhl & Bakhtiari, ret.), Adjunct Professor, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, and Director, Securities Arbitration Clinic, Straus Institute
Arbitration Theory and Practice, and Advanced Arbitration (by invitation), Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution
Memberships & Affiliations
State Bar of California, Active Member
American Bar Association, Dispute Resolution Section, Securities Mediation Committee
Mediate.com, Certified Mediator, Securities Law Specialist: Area Code (310)
California Lawyers for the Arts, Arts Arbitration and Mediation Services (AAMS), Certified Mediator
Los Angeles County Bar Association
Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association, Expert Plus Member, Sponsor 2017 - 2019
SIFMA (Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association), Compliance and Legal Society Section, Special Member
American Inns of Court, Pepperdine/Straus Institute American Inn of Court
Mediators Beyond Borders International
Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Production Executives Peer Group
Association of District Attorneys (ret.)
California State Bar (since 1975)
United States District Court for the Southern District of California (since 1976)
FINRA Roster of Mediators (since 2015)
FINRA Panel of Arbitrators (since 2010)
Previously Held Securities Licenses: Series 7, 31, 63, 65 and Insurance
Mediator Profile, Los Angeles Daily Journal, December 15, 2017
Lecturer, Los Angeles County Arts Commission, “Creative Conflict Resolution”
Southwestern School of Law, Law Review, “Zoning” (SU Law Rev., Vol. 6, Number 3, 1974)
Southwestern School of Law, Law Review member, Law Review Managing Editor
Judge, Regional ABA Representation in Mediation Competition
Business Communications and Writing Skills, Southwestern Law School, Adjunct Professor
J2 Communications (NASDAQ-traded), Founding Member
The Disney Channel, Development Team Member
Walt Disney Home Video, Founding Team Member and General Counsel
United Paramount Network, Founding Team Member (now, property of Comcast)
Founder, Bank Operations Counsel Group (Los Angeles)
Member, State Bar of California Committee, Rules of Civility for Lawyers
Clerk, CA Court of Appeals, 2nd Judicial District, Justice James A. Cobey
CALI Excellence for the Future Award, Arbitration Practice and Advocacy, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution
Graduate, The Leadership Development Program for Women Leaders, Dr. Joan S. Goldsmith
Community Service/Volunteer Work
Carole is a Certified Animal-Assisted Therapy Dog Handler, volunteering with her dogs, a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier (for Love On 4 Paws), and her Coton de Tulear, at hospitals and retirement homes, including West Los Angeles Veterans (VA) Home, Kaiser Hospital (West Los Angeles), Childrens’ Hospital Los Angeles, St. Johns Hospital, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Southern California Hospital of Culver City, St. Vincent Medical Center, and White Memorial Hospital. She also speaks to groups, schools and organizations about the Benefits of Animal-Assisted Therapy