Carole Helfert Aragon, J.D., LL.M.
Attorney At Law/Mediator
Master of Laws in Dispute Resolution
FINRA Roster of Mediators
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)
- California Center for Dispute Resolution, Mediation and Conflict Resolution
- 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 and 2016
- American Bar Association, Dispute Resolution Section, Special Series in Mediation, Practices and Procedures, 2015 - 2016
Memberships & Affiliations
- State Bar of California, Active Member
- Southern California Mediation Association
- American Bar Association, Dispute Resolution Section
- Mediate.com, Certified Member
- Los Angeles County Bar Association
- Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association, Expert Plus Member
- SIFMA (Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association)
- Academy of Television Arts and Sciences
- 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 Arbitrator (since 2010)
- Previously Held Securities Licenses: Series 7, 31, 63, 65 and Insurance
- 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 dog, a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, for Love On 4 Paws (www.loveon4paws.org) at hospitals and retirement homes, including West Los Angeles Veterans (VA) Home, Kaiser Hospital, Providence Little Company of Mary Hospital, Southern California Hospital of Culver City, St. Vincent Medical Center, White Memorial Hospital.
She also speaks to groups, schools and other organizations on “The Benefits of Animal Assisted Therapy”.