Craig C. Beles, JD, LLM, MCIArb
Craig Beles has 44 years of experience as a trial attorney, commercial arbitrator, mediator, law professor and legal consultant. He has been chosen to arbitrate over 400 disputes involving commercial and international contracts, high technology, intellectual property, telecommunication, personal injury, insurance, healthcare, securities, employment and construction law issues.
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During the Summer of 2015, Mr. Beles was named a Fulbright Specialist in Peace & International Conflict Resolution to assist the Republic of Mauritius in developing a culture of ADR.
In December 2013, he was confirmed to the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals in recognition of excellence in ADR.
In April of 2013, he was awarded a 5-year appointment to the Fulbright Specialist Roster with a specialty in “International ADR.”
In 2010, he was named a Fulbright Scholar by the U.S. State Department and taught Comparative Arbitration Law and Comparative Torts in the Czech Republic.
Numerous bar associations have recognized his judicial temperament and skills as a neutral by rating him “Exceptionally Well Qualified” to sit on the superior court bench.
Since 1990, Mr. Beles has been AV Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®, the highest recognition possible in the legal industry, for his professionalism and ethics.
Past Chair of the Washington State Bar Association ADR Section and the Washington State Board of Bar Examiners.
Owner, The Beles Group, Counselors at Law, Independent Commercial ADR Advocate, Arbitrator & Mediator, Vashon Island, Washington, 1990-present.
Arbitrator and Mediator since 1980. Member of the American Arbitration Association (AAA), International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR), World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Mauritius Chamber of Commerce Arbitration and Mediation Center (MARC), Resolute Systems, LLC, FRCP 39.1 Arbitrator U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington, King County Mandatory Arbitration Panel of Arbitrators.
Of Counsel/Private Practitioner, Kargianis, Austin & Erickson, Attorneys at Law, (International business and aircraft products liability), Seattle, Washington, 1987-90.
Associate Professor of Law, (Torts, Products Liability, Constitutional Law & Forensic Evidence), Gonzaga University School of Law, Spokane, Washington, 1979 – 1987.
Administrative Law Judge, Higher Education Personnel Board, 1980 – 1985.
Washington State Assistant Attorney General, Consumer Protection, Antitrust and Education Divisions, 1977 – 1979.
Law Clerk to Chief Judge Harold J. Petrie, Washington State Court of Appeals, Div. II, 1975 – 1977.
Washington State, 1975.
U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington, 1976.
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Washington, 1978.
U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, 1988.
U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, 1988.
U.S. Supreme Court, 1988.
Berkeley Law School (Boalt Hall), University of California, LL.M., International Practice, with High Honors, 1987.
Gonzaga University Law School, J.D., magna cum laude, 1975.
University of California at Santa Cruz, B.A., Psychology, 1971.
Associations and Memberships
Washington State Bar Association:
Past Chairperson of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section
Immediate Past Chairperson of the State Board of Bar Examiners
Disciplinary Hearing/Settlement Officer
Member of the International Practice Section
Member of the Professional Development and Competency Committee
Member of the Judicial Recommendations Committee
The Voice of Vashon, KVSH 101.9 FM – Director & Producer, 2017 to Present
National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals, 2013 – Present
Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, 2012 – 2019
International Association of Boalt Alumni, 1987 to Present
ABA Dispute Resolution Section, 2010 – Present
The DoVE Project – Executive Board Member, 2012 – 2015
Northwest Folklife – Vice-President & Director, 1998 – 2005
Vashon Allied Arts – President & Director, 1998 – 2004
Vashon-Maury Island Community Council – President & Director, 1994 – 1998
Vashon Maury Island Land Trust – Director, 1990 – 1994
King County Vashon Alternative Government Committee – Chair, 1988 – 1990
Fulbright Specialist teaching seminars in International Arbitration & Mediation in the fields of Construction, Finance, International Trade and Small & Medium Sized Enterprises in the Republic of Mauritius.
Fulbright Scholar teaching Comparative Transnational Litigation & Arbitration, and Comparative Tort Law, Masaryk Faculty of Law, Brno, CZ, 2010.
Adjunct Professor of Law teaching Transnational Litigation and Arbitration, Seattle University School of Law, 2006 – 2009.
Associate Professor of Law teaching Torts, Products Liability and Constitutional Law, Gonzaga University School of Law, Spokane, Washington, 1979 – 1987.
Author & Lecturer
September 18, 2017, Chair, Arbitration: Expert Advice on Making the Most of the Process, WSBA CLE, Seattle
September 18, 2017, The Art and Method of Selecting Arbitrators, WSBA CLE, Seattle
September 18, 2017, Considerations in Choosing an Ad Hoc or an Administered Arbitration: A Frank Conversation, WSBA CLE, Seattle
March 23, 2017, Narrative Psychology to Narrative Mediation, 23rd Annual Northwest Dispute Resolution Conference, University of Washington, Seattle
March 15, 2016, ADR Practice Tips and Tricks for New Lawyers, 22nd Annual Northwest Dispute Resolution Conference, University of Washington, Seattle.
March 15, 2016, Examining Consumer Arbitration Clauses – Latest Legal Developments & Practical Remedies, 22nd Annual Northwest Dispute Resolution Conference, University of Washington, Seattle.
March 15, 2016, Settlement Conferences with the State Bar: Ethical Questions in Ethics Cases, 22nd Annual Northwest Dispute Resolution Conference, University of Washington, Seattle.
August 18, 19, 20, 2015, The Basics of Arbitration Workshop, MARC and MCCI in Collaboration with the U.S. Embassy, Mauritius.
August 13, 2015, International Trade Contracts; Why Mediation & Arbitration Are the Most Efficient Dispute Resolution Options, MARC and MCCI in Collaboration with the U.S. Embassy, Mauritius.
August 11, 2015, Mediation and Arbitration for the Construction Industry – The Experience in America & Perspectives for Mauritius, MARC and MCCI in Collaboration with the U.S. Embassy, Mauritius.
August 6, 2015, Mediation and Arbitration of Financial Sector Disputes, MARC and MCCI in Collaboration with the U.S. Embassy, Mauritius.
August 4, 2015, Dispute Resolution for Small to Medium-Sized Enterprises, MARC and MCCI in Collaboration with the U.S. Embassy, Mauritius.
July 30-31, 2015, The Basics of Mediation Workshop, MARC and MCCI in Collaboration with the U.S. Embassy, Mauritius.
June 2015, Keeping Arbitration’s Promise of Time and Cost Efficiency, Mauritius Arbitration & Mediation Center Newsletter.
May 21, 2015, Client Counseling, The First Step Toward ADR, WSBA ADR Section Panel Presentation.
March 2015, Avoiding Litigation-Style Discovery in Arbitration, WSBA ADR Section Panel Presentation.
Pros & Cons of U.S. and European International Arbitration Procedures, Charles University Faculty of Law, Prague, CZ, April 2010.
Comparative Best International Arbitration Practices, Mid-year Fulbright Conference, Velke Bilovice, CZ, February 2010.
Washington’s Uniform Arbitration Act – Ask the Experts, Pierce County Bar Association, October 2007.
International and High Technology ADR, University of Washington Executive MBA Program, Fall and Spring Quarters, 1996-99.
Truth and the Use of History to Interpret Our State Constitution, 2 DeNovo, Issue 7, March 1989.
Parody as Fair Use, Washington Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, March, 1988.
Criminal Procedure Bench Book, Washington State District Court Judges, May, 1984.
Torts and Consumer Protection, BAR-BRI Bar Review, Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1980-84.
Wrongful Birth & Wrongful Life sponsored by Gonzaga University School of Law, March 1983.
Medical-Legal Concerns of Emergency Medical Personnel sponsored by Sacred heart Hospital, May 1982.
Criteria For Determining Whether a Question of Constitutional Magnitude May be Raised for the First Time on Appeal, Washington State Appellate Court Conference, May 1982.
Graduation Address, The Importance of Police Conduct in Police/Citizen Encounters, Washington State Police Academy, June 1981.
The Future of the Washington Consumer Protection Act, Washington State Judicial Conference, May 1981.
The Washington Consumer Protection Act vs. The Learned Professional, 10 Gonzaga Law Review 435, 1975.