Conference Speakers and Biographies

Workshop 1
Establishing Trust – The Cornerstone for Mediation Success

Terri Breer, Esq., has been practicing law and mediation in Orange County for thirty-three years focusing primarily on Family Law and all forms of consensual dispute resolution. She obtained her undergraduate degree at the University of Southern California in 1981 and obtained her law degree at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California in 1985. She was admitted to the State Bar of California 1985 and the Central District of California 1986. In 1993 she completed family law mediation training at the Strauss Institute of Dispute Resolution and began her mediation practice. She has completed Collaborative Divorce Training (CDT), High Conflict Institute Training (University of San Diego) and Domestic Violence Training (Orange County Superior Court). Ms. Breer has mediated hundreds of family law disputes, including divorce, custody, property division, support, premarital agreements, domestic partnerships, and surrogacy arrangements. She also provides unbundled legal services for “pro per” clients in uncontested divorce proceedings. Her practice is focused on keeping families’ legal disputes out of court.

She was Chair of the OCBA ADR Section in 2014 and is currently serving her second term as an SCMA Board Member.

Carina Rosanna Tautu, MSc is a mediator and dispute resolution professional specializing in dispute system design, conflict consulting and leadership coaching. She is an award winning film director and a former Neuroscientist. In her journey to learn what storytelling is, Carina is grateful to have received teachings from wise women and men of rare wisdom traditions. Proud of her traditional Romanian roots, she also honors her Greek and Sicilian heritage.

Tautu has an MDR from Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution/Pepperdine Law , an MFA in Film Directing from Columbia University in New York, and an MSc in Neurobiology from the University of Bucharest.

Workshop 2
Educating the Peacemakers of Tomorrow: The Benefits of Peer Mediation in K-12 Education

Sally Patchen is a mediator in private practice specializing in small business disputes, educator and trainer, and recipient of the William C. Hobbs Award for Outstanding Adult Volunteer Los Angeles County Bar Association Civic Mediation Program for 2016. Sally is currently President of the Board of Directors for Kids Managing Kids, a SCMA Education Foundation whose mission is to support and promote programs in K-12 schools that teach students conflict management skills and enrich their lives into adulthood.

Sarai Benitez first became involved with Peer Mediation her junior year of High School, after she had gone through traumatic bullying. In her first year, she mediated over 50 students with her fellow mediators, earning her new problem-solving skills, and deepening her compassion. Wanting to help more, Sarai began to take on more referrals, including from people who felt they had a conflict with themselves. She found that students felt much more safe and comfortable speaking to a peer about their emotions instead of a staff member. By the time she graduated high school, Sarai felt Peer Mediation completely changed her life. Sarai is now pursuing a career in Music Therapy and will begin her second year at California State University, Northridge this fall.

Cynthia Sanchez, Esq., is an attorney and mediator currently serving as Executive Director of the Asian Pacific American Dispute Resolution Center (APADRC), a nonprofit organization that provides mediation and conflict resolution services to the diverse communities in Los Angeles.
Ms. Sanchez has also served as Counsel for Policy and International Affairs at the U.S. Library of Congress in Washington D.C., where she advised the U.S. Congress and executive branch agencies on domestic and international law and policy matters, and represented the Copyright Office in U.S. government delegations to international organizations as well as in bilateral meetings and negotiations with foreign governments.

Heather Schon is a guidance counselor at Palisades Charter High School, where she founded and coordinates the peer mediation and council programs on campus. Heather earned Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from CSULB and a Master of Arts in Counseling from Loyola Marymount University. She has a certificate in College Admissions Counseling from UC Riverside and is a Bully Prevention Specialist, Anxiety, and Stress Management Specialist, certified from the American School Counselor Association and a grief counseling certification from Our House. She is currently working towards a Master of Arts in Negotiations, Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding at CSUDH.

Marvin Whistler is a mediator and facilitator. Currently, he has a private divorce mediation practice in West Los Angeles. He mediates in the Edmund D. Edelman Children’s Court via Southern California Family Mediation, for the Attorney-Client Mediation and Arbitration Services of the Los Angeles County Bar, and for Ventura County Superior Court. He facilitates for the Neighborhood Justice Program of the Los Angeles City Attorney. Marvin is a member of Southern California Mediation Association (SCMA), Academy of Professional Family Mediators (APFM), Los Angeles Chapter of California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, and Los Angeles County Psychological Association. He is immediate past Treasurer and member of the board for Kids Managing Conflict. Marvin has a Master of Arts Degree in Negotiation, Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding from CSUDH.

Workshop 3
Becoming A Certified Professional Mediator

Jason Harper is the founder of Harper Conflict Resolution, LLC. He specializes in Education and Employment mediation utilizing a collaborative approach. In addition, Jason is an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) consultant, conflict management coach, adjunct professor, and trainer.
Most notably, Jason is the ADR Consultant for the Los Angeles County Office of Education, providing mediation and conflict resolution services to 18 school districts and 27 charter schools. He is a Lecturer in Law at the University of Southern California, Gould School of Law and an Adjunct Professor of Mediation at Pacific Coast University, School of Law. Jason has also provided mediation and conflict resolution training sessions for the Western Justice Center and the International Visitors Council, training adults from over twenty different countries. Jason has been recognized by the California State Senate and the United States Congress for his mediation training sessions.

Jason was the 2017 President of the Southern California Mediation Association (SCMA) and serves on the Board of Directors for Kids Managing Conflict, the SCMA Education Foundation as well as the Mediation Certification Consortium of California (MC3).

Workshop 4
Credibility Determinations For Mediators in the #MeToo Era

Sue Ann Van Dermyden, Esq., is a founding partner of Van Dermyden Maddux Law Corporation. She has been an employment attorney since 1993. Her practice focuses on conducting workplace and Title IX campus investigations, expert work and training services. Sue Ann has handled hundreds of workplace investigations on all types of employment matters. She regularly handles investigations that are complex and sensitive, and those that involve executives or high-level officials. Sue Ann is also an experienced investigator in Title IX sexual assault claims. She is a shareholder of T9 Mastered, a training company focused on educating Title IX sexual assault investigators. Sue Ann’s commitment to improving the quality of workplace investigations globally is demonstrated by her involvement in founding and leading the Association of Workplace Investigators (AWI). Over the past decade Sue Ann has held countless roles at AWI, including the position of President from 2015-2017, and immediate Past President from 2017-2019. She continues to be an active member of AWI and encourages her employees to uphold the standards of AWI.

Workshop 5
21st Century Mediation: Today’s Tests, Tradition’s Tools, Tomorrow’s Triumphs!

Jeff Kichaven, Esq. was President of SCMA in 2005. Jeff is an independent mediator with a national practice, specializing in Intellectual Property, Insurance Coverage, and Professional Liability matters. Chambers USA (2019) ranks him as one of the top mediators in the country. He is a Member of the American Law Institute. His views on mediation have been cited in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. He is an Honors Graduate of Harvard Law School (1980) and a Phi Beta Kappa Graduate of the University of California, Berkeley.

Mitch Tarighati, Esq. began his legal career working for a solo practitioner, and thereafter as an associate at a boutique firm focusing his practice on representing professional liability claims against real estate agents and brokers. In 2008, he joined a statewide law firm in California, where he developed a new practice area for the firm in the field of education and school liability law. In this capacity, he represented institutional clients in low, mid- and high exposure tort and employment cases. In 2011, he became a Partner nominee and was voted in as a Partner the following year. In 2012, Mr. Tarighati cofounded his own firm of Sepassi & Tarighati, LLP, where in addition to his mediation practice, he pursues a balanced plaintiff and defense practice.

Workshop 6
Exploration of Niche Markets in Mediation

 Liz Paris, Esq., is a Senior Associate Attorney with Van Dermyden Maddux. Her practice focuses on conducting workplace and Title IX campus investigations. She also acts as a hearing officer in Title IX campus sexual assault matters. Trained in Trauma Informed Forensic Interviewing, Liz is an experienced investigator in Title IX sexual misconduct claims. Liz understands best practices in the Title IX arena, and the challenges facing schools and parties when sexual violence allegations surface. She has conducted investigations for K-12 Districts, as well as higher education institutions. Liz frequently serves as an Appeal Hearing Officer for Title IX cases. In this role, Liz reviews campus responses to Title IX allegations within the framework of the individual school’s appeal process. Liz has overseen cases involving dating violence, drug abuse, sexual assault, and incapacitation. She has experience questioning parties using trauma-informed techniques, making admissibility and relevance decisions, and issuing well-reasoned, thorough decisions. Liz serves on the faculty of T9 Mastered, a training program for college and school district officials involved in Title IX compliance and investigation.

Kristin Rizzo, Esq., is an employment attorney, mediator, conflict resolver, and impartial workplace investigator. As a neutral, Kristin helps people and companies uncover answers, find truth, and resolve employment issues and disputes in creative and meaningful ways. Kristin started Rizzo Resolution after many years representing employees, managers and companies, both through her own company and at the law firm of Higgs, Fletcher & Mack. Kristin holds two Bachelor of Arts degrees, one in Political Science –International Relations and one in Spanish Literature, from the University of California, San Diego, graduating cum laude. She also holds a Juris Doctor from the University of San Diego School of Law. Kristin has received many notable achievements, including, having been recognized in the San Diego Daily Transcript and San Diego Super Lawyers as a top employment law attorney, by the San Diego Metro Magazine as a top community leader under 40 years old.

Kristin values service to the legal community and giving of her time to helping others in the development of their legal careers. She has served on several Boards in many volunteer capacities, including the University of San Diego, Board of Visitors and Law Alumni Board of Directors and most notably, as the President of the San Diego County Bar Association, a multi-million-dollar organization representing approximately 10,000 attorneys and legal community members and leading a Board of nineteen volunteer attorney Directors. Kristin is Co-Chair of the Lawyers Club of San Diego’s Mediator Taskforce to advance the status of female mediators and is an avid mentor to law students and new attorneys.

Kimberly Schulist, Esq., represents school districts and county offices of education throughout California with a focus on special education, student discipline and related education law matters. She represents districts in IEP team meetings, mediations and due process hearings. She also handles all aspects of special education matters from counseling clients on matters prior to the start of litigation, during litigation and post-litigation. Kimberly has presented on several education law topics throughout California. Her passion is in the field of Alternative Dispute Resolution/Mediation. She is also currently a 2020 LLM Candidate at the Pepperdine University School of Law, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution with an emphasis in Mediation. Her focus on dispute resolution/early resolution leads her to collaborate with clients and families to identify possible solutions early in the process. She especially enjoys “teaching” novel dispute resolution strategies she has learned throughout her courses at Pepperdine to her clients and colleagues.

Rodney Collins, Sr., Human Resources Manager, County of Los Angeles, Department of Human Resources, serves as the County’s Lead Civil Service Advocate and Administrator over the Mediation and Dispute Resolution Program. He has worked in Human Resources for 14 years and developed an expertise in the areas of employee performance, administrative actions, equity and administrative hearings, dispute resolution and mediation services. Prior to joining the County of Los Angeles he worked for a private law firm and for the City of Los Angeles as an Arts Manager and Senior Legislative Deputy responsible for the Arts, Health and Humanities and Budget & Finance Committees. Rodney is an alumnus of UCLA and Southwestern University School of Law.

Richard Erhard sits on the Board of Directors of the SCMA and served public education agencies for nearly three decades in two states, culminating with his position as an assistant superintendent of student services. He is currently President | Principal of the consulting firm, Richard Erhard and Associates, LLC, which he formed to provide mediation and consultation services focusing on educational disputes. Mr. Erhard is a frequent presenter at educational conferences on the use of alternative dispute resolution in public education and is a member of the part-time faculty of the University of Southern California, Gould School of Law, as a Lecturer in Law, where he teaches a course in special education dispute resolution.

Workshop 7
What Makes a Great Mediator?

Wendy W. Kramer, Esq. is a exceptionally effective full-time mediator and arbitrator. Formerly a partner with Kramer & Kramer handling a wide variety of insurance-related matters, she has developed particular expertise in matters involving personal injury, business disputes, professional malpractice, landlord tenant disputes and complex litigation.

In addition to serving as the 2013 President of the Southern California Mediation Association, Ms. Kramer has served as the ADR Chair for the Santa Monica Bar Association, a panel neutral for Kaiser Permanente, the Los Angeles and Ventura Superior Courts ADR Programs, and a Fee Dispute Mediator/Arbitrator for both the Beverly Hills and Santa Monica Bar Associations. Ms. Kramer currently serves on the Board of Governors for the International Academy of Mediation. She has mediated over 2,000 matters and arbitrated over 300 matters. She is known for her ability to deal with difficult personalities, multi-party matters and complicated legal issues.

Workshop 8
Reality Testing Around The Grid

Professor Stephanie Bell Blondell is an assistant professor of law and practice and associate director of the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University School of Law. She directs the Mediation Clinic as well as reaching Mediation Theory and Practice and Psychology of Conflict. Prior to joining Pepperdine, Blondell served as the manager of the King County Alternative Dispute Resolution Program and Interlocal Conflict Resolution Group, a tri-county labor-management and public policy mediation program in the Seattle area. In the Straus Profession Skills Programs, she currently teaches Mediating the Litigated Case, The Womens’ Negotiation Academy and leads the Conflict Resolution initiative between the Los Angeles Police Department and the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution. Prior to this she was the alternative dispute resolution coordinator for the City of Seattle where she designed and implemented a labor and employment mediation program for city government. Before joining Straus full time, Blondell served as an adjunct at Straus, Seattle University School of Law, and the University of Washington Master’s in Public Administration Program. She earned her B.A. with Honors in American Civilization from Brown University, and her J.D. from the University of Washington School of Law.

Workshop 9
Using Dispute Resolution Skills to Improve Leadership

Kara Dellacioppa is the Director of the Faculty Development Center and former Chair of the Sociology Department at California State University, Dominguez Hills. She is a political theorist focusing on social change and organizational leadership and development. She is currently working on a project focused on Women and Social Entrepreneurship. She is also currently the Principal Investigator of a National Science Foundation grant focusing on improving faculty retention rates for under-represented minority faculty in STEM fields using Gallup Strength based coaching.

Jameson Lingl is a conflict researcher, practitioner, and graduate student at California State University of Dominguez Hills in the Negotiation, Conflict Resolution, and Peacebuilding program. Before going into academia, Jameson spent more than 10 years in political management and legislative advocacy at the local, state, and federal levels, including work for disability civil rights and against war profiteering.

Currently, Jameson is a partner at LINGL ADRS with his father and serves on the Conflict Resolution Institutes Board of Directors in Ventura County.

Professor Elika Dadsetan is currently the Director of Title V at Los Angeles Harbor College, a community college within the Los Angeles Community College District, and an adjunct professor in the NCRP program at CSUDH. Elika comes with more than seven (7) years of experience in both development (World Bank, UN) and humanitarian contexts in Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia, and 12 years in education and protection, including juvenile justice, restorative practices, and psychosocial programming. Elika has also held the Director of Programs position for the Community Conferencing Center, a NPO in Baltimore, Maryland, focusing on restorative practices, primarily around court diversion, and IHERC, a global impact NPO based in Los Angeles, focusing on violence prevention.

Elika has her law degree (JD), and her Masters in Conflict Resolution and Human Rights Advocacy, where her dissertation looked at the indigenous practices of conflict resolution around the world, including diversion from the formal justice system in Sierra Leone. Elika is currently finishing up her EdD from Northeastern and her MSW from USC, is a member of Mediators Beyond Borders (MBB), and co-leads the Children and Youth in ADR Working Group.

Angel Roman is a senior at California State University, Dominguez Hills studying Negotiation Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding. He is currently the Vice President and Financial Director of Peace Club at CSUDH. He is also the Vice President of Fraternal Development for the California Colony of Phi Kappa Theta Fraternity. Angel hosted three Conflict Resolution seminars in association with the Peace Club and the NCRP department. He interned with the California Conference of Equality and Justice to improve his practical skill set in Restorative Practices and to give back to his community. Angel started his own business called Evolution of Leadership where he teaches practical leadership and conflict resolution skills to people living in underserved communities. His ultimate goal is to make Evolution of Leadership the leading organization in teaching community leadership and conflict resolution. Angel aims to run for public office after receiving his M.A. in Negotiation Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding as he is passionate about serving the people.

Dr. Brian Jarrett, Department Director, with the Program on Negotiation, Conflict Resolution, and Peace-building at California State University Dominguez Hills (CSUDH). Dr. Brian Jarrett, is a lawyer and professional mediator and arbitrator in both the United States and Canada. He also holds a Ph.D. in Sociology. His interests include Mediation, Arbitration Dispute Systems Design (DSD), Restorative Practices and Therapeutic Jurisprudence (TJ). In recent years he has originated work in Integral Mediation, which promotes interdisciplinary practices in mediation. His practice ranges from work with local communities to international organizations. In both his written work and classroom teaching, Professor Jarrett works to bridge theory and practice in the field of Dispute Resolution.

Workshop 10
A Framework for Effective Mediator Management of Strong Negative Emotions Encountered in the Process

Professor Richard Peterson is Director of the Judge Judith O. Hollinger Program in Alternative Dispute Resolution and Adjunct Professor of Law. Previously at USC he served as a Lecturer in Law, and as Senior Director for Experiential Education prior to his current appointment.

Before coming to USC, Richard was on the faculty of the Pepperdine University School of Law for 15 years, including the faculty of the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution. While at Pepperdine, Richard also served as Director of the Special Education Advocacy Clinic, and as Director of Externships.

Richard has served as Chair of the Disability Law Section and the Law and Mental Disability Section of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) as well as a member of the Board of Directors of a number of non-profit corporations including the Regional Center of Orange County, Down Syndrome Association of Orange County and as a member of the Professional Advisory Board of the Epilepsy Alliance of Orange County. His scholarly publications include articles on the topic of Therapeutic Jurisprudence. Before beginning his teaching career in 2002, Richard worked as a consultant to school districts across the nation, teaching dispute resolution and anger management.

Workshop 11
The Future is Online and You Can Be Too!

Susan Guthrie, Esq., a nationally recognized family law attorney and mediator, has been helping individuals and families navigate separation and divorce for 30 years. Susan is an online mediation expert with a fully online practice. She founded Learn to Mediate Online which provides training in the ethical and practical considerations of implementing an online platform to other mediators and other professionals. In addition, as a leading dispute resolution professional, Susan is proud to be the incoming Co-Chair of the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Section of Dispute Resolution’s Mediation Committee and to serve on the Board of Directors of the Southern California Mediation Association (SCMA).

Susan founded Divorce in a Better Way, Inc., a family law mediation firm that assists divorcing parties world-wide by providing online mediation services and online legal coaching services Susan is also the co-host, with Rebecca Zung, Esq., of the iTunes Top 10 podcast, Breaking Free: A Modern Divorce Podcast, which approaches divorce from a fresh new forward thinking perspective. The podcast has had more than 1.5 million listens in a year!

Workshop 12
Operational Side of Running a Mediation Practice – Tips and Lessons Learned

Mark Lemke, Esq. is a highly-experienced commercial mediator with well over 1,000 mediations to date. He brings a unique combination of experience, having served as plaintiff counsel, defense counsel, and insurance coverage counsel. He specializes in personal injury, catastrophic personal injury wrongful death, and all facets of employment cases. In addition, he serves on the Adjunct Faculty for the Straus Institute, and USC Law School’s Employment Mediation Clinic. Mark holds an LL.M. from Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, J.D. from USC Law School, and B.A. from UC Berkeley. He serves on panels for the EEOC, Central District Court, Court of Appeals, Beverly Hills Bar Association, and Los Angeles County Bar Association. He also serves as a Temporary Judge. Mark is a frequent speaker on mediation topics. He also serves on the Board for the SCMA, and LGBT Bar Association of Los Angeles.

Pashtana Abedi was born and raised in sunny Calabasas, CA. She attended the University of Southern California where she earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology. Thereafter, she worked as an auditor in the banking industry, which led to her role as a mediator between different departments within the company. The position called for a close attention to detail, strong communication skills, and the ability to maintain composure under highly stressful and emotional situations. Pashtana was consistently recognized for her mediation skills and was selected to hold mediation training workshops for the department.

Being the daughter of an international mediator, Pashtana knew she wanted to help make a difference in people’s lives on a grand scale, but had not figured out how. She decided to attend law school in order to fulfill her passion of doing so. However, the program diverted her attention toward possibilities that were better suited for an aspiring lawyer. She realized that she could be on the forefront of peace processes through different means.

Pashtana then applied and was accepted to Pepperdine School of Law’s world-renowned Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution in Malibu, California. She successfully earned a Master of Dispute Resolution and learned the ins and outs of conflict resolution, negotiation, and mediation, and the importance of confidentiality, true neutrality, and mediation ethics. Furthermore, Pashtana worked at the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, and developed a mediation program for the community to benefit from. Pashtana’s passion for mediation led her to author a book on faith-based mediations entitled Mediation & Islam.

Jim Sullivan has more than 30 years of experience in commercial real estate brokerage. He has been a member of the board of directors of AIR CRE, a nationally recognized real estate brokerage trade organization for more than 25 years. He has been co-chair of the organization’s Dispute Resolution Committee for more than 10 years handling commission disputes between members. The fee disputes range between low five figures to well into mid-six figures and more. He enjoyed the process and found he was successful in resolving the disputes.

Just three years ago, it occurred to him that there might be a second career in dispute resolution, specifically in mediating litigated cases in the commercial real estate space. Jim learned the USC’s Gould School of Law was launching a Master’s program in ADR. He applied (was accepted!), enrolled and graduated with an MDR in 2018, as part of its inaugural class. He continues his brokerage practice while in launch mode with his mediation practice.

Judith M. Weigle has been a mediator for 10 years and in private practice family law for over seven. Her company, Divorce Resource, Inc., provides both mediation and a filing service for divorces, legal separations, paternity cases, and post-judgment revisions of settlement agreements as a Legal Document Assistant (a paralegal on steroids).

Judy is one of those rare individuals who can make you laugh while you’re going through a painful experience. Her ability to see through the complexities of emotion in order to help people think through and reach a negotiated settlement is unparalleled in the field of divorce mediation.
Weigle’s mediation experiences include Divorce and Family Mediation, Community and Personal Mediation with the Dispute Resolution Program at the Office of the Los Angeles City Attorney, and Mediator and Arbitrator with the Los Angeles County Bar Attorney-Client Fee Dispute Program. She is also an author of the Internet sensation My Office Is a 3-Ring Circus! Must I Take Orders From Clowns, Toastmaster, and Podcast Host of Constructive Uncoupling.

Judy’s Philosophy: Be Honest and Authentic, Speak From the Heart, and Take Responsibility for Your Actions.

Closing Plenary


Harold Coleman, Jr. Esq., is Senior Vice President for Mediation at the American Arbitration Association… the global dispute resolution leader (AAA), and Mediator/Executive Director for AAA…an AAA technology innovation that trains and develops mediators, promotes their mediation practices, and connects mediators with a diverse community of mediation users and ADR thought leaders worldwide. Coleman also trains new AAA arbitrators and aspiring mediators in basic/advanced arbitration case management techniques and basic/advanced mediation skills. A former multi disciplinary project manager and complex litigation attorney, Coleman has mediated and arbitrated multiplied hundreds of litigated and non-litigated disputes over a 30-year legal and ADR career. His formal education encompasses studies in civil engineering, business, real estate and law, leading to the academic degrees of Bachelor of Science and Juris Doctor. He is a former member of the AAA’s international board of directors, a Fellow of the College of Commercial Arbitrators (CCA), and currently officer/director for the International Mediation Institute (IMI). He is co-chair of the American Bar Association’s 2018 Advanced Mediation & Advocacy Skills Training Institute. He is a recipient of the State Bar of California’s Distinguished Service to the Legal Profession citation and was nominated, vetted for, and profiled in the National Law Journal’s Legal Times as an ADR Champion for 2017. Most recently, Coleman was conferred the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution’s 2018 Chair’s Distinguished Service Award.

Michael R. Powell is the Vice President of the American Arbitration Association’s (AAA) Los Angeles office. He is primarily responsible for expanding the use of AAA construction, real estate and environmental ADR services in the Western Pacific and Pacific Northwest states. In this capacity, he assists the corporate, legal and public sector communities on dispute avoidance and resolution techniques, and in designing dispute resolution systems to meet their specific needs. He manages and oversees recruitment to the Panel and case administration for all large, complex cases in his 11-state region for construction, real estate and environmental disputes.

Mr. Powell is a graduate of California State University, San Bernardino and is a frequent trainer, speaker and writer on the subject of alternative dispute resolution. He serves on the Board of Directors of the California Dispute Resolution Council, working with state legislators to educate and improve the quality of alternative dispute resolution, and is currently serving as its interim president.


Kenneth Cloke is Director of the Center for Dispute Resolution and a mediator, arbitrator, attorney, coach, consultant, and trainer, specializing in communication, negotiation, and resolving complex multi-party conflicts, including community, grievance and workplace disputes, collective bargaining negotiations, organizational and school conflicts, sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuits, and public policy disputes. Ken also specializes in designing preventative conflict resolution systems for organizations and has done work in conflict resolution all over the world. He is a former President and co-founder of Mediators Beyond Borders and a nationally recognized speaker and a prolific author of many journal articles and books, including Mediation: Revenge and the Magic of Forgiveness, Mediating Dangerously, The Crossroads of Conflict, and Conflict Revolution. In addition, Ken is co-author with Joan Goldsmith of a number of books, including Resolving Conflicts at Work, and The Art of Waking People Up. His latest book, Politics, Dialogue and the Evolution of Democracy was featured at last year’s conference in 2018.

Carrie Menkel-Meadow is Distinguished Professor of Law and Political Science at the University of California, Irvine and A.B. Chettle Jr. Professor of Law, Dispute Resolution and Civil Procedure Emerita at Georgetown University Law Center. She is one of the founders of the modern legal dispute resolution field and has been teaching negotiation, mediation and related subjects for over 35 years.

She has published over 15 books and 200 articles in the field. She was the first recipient of the American Bar Association’s Award for Scholarly Excellence in Dispute Resolution (2011). In February 2018 she was awarded the American Bar Foundation’s Award for Outstanding Scholar. Menkel-Meadow has taught law and dispute resolution to diplomats, lawyers, law students, mediators, government officials and ordinary citizens in 26 countries (on seven continents).

She has mediated and arbitrated hundreds of disputes in the United States including commercial, arts, and education cases, as well as many general civil litigation matters. She has also mediated and arbitrated cases outside of the United States.

Leonard L. Riskin was appointed the Harris H. Agnew Visiting Professor of Dispute Resolution at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law in 2015, where he has been a visiting professor since 2010. He also has been the Chesterfield Smith Professor of Law at the University of Florida College of Law since 2007. He previously served as Director of the Center for the Study of Dispute Resolution and Isidor Loeb Professor of Law at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He teaches and writes about mediation, negotiation, and alternative dispute resolution, and has led a major project to integrate dispute resolution into standard law school classes. He also works at integration of mindfulness into the education of lawyers and other dispute resolution professionals. Professor Riskin has published several books and numerous articles in scholarly journals, as well as essays in popular publications; has led training workshops around the world; and has won numerous awards for his work, including the Award for Outstanding Scholarship from the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution in 2013.

Ana Sambold is a bilingual attorney, mediator, and arbitrator based in San Diego, California. She is a mediator for the San Diego Superior Court Civil Mediation panel and the West Coast Resolution Group. Ana has successfully conducted over 600 mediations of litigated and non-litigated cases. Her subject matter expertise involves the mediation of business and contract disputes, personal injury, real estate transactions, employment, insurance, and family cases. She is a lead trainer in negotiation, conflict resolution, and intercultural diversity for the National Conflict Resolution Center (NCRC). Ana serves as the legislative liaison for the San Diego County Bar Association to the California Law Revision Commission (CLRC) on issues related to mediation. She is also devoted to promote and implement mediation and conflict resolution projects internationally with Mediators Beyond Borders (MBB). Ana is licensed to practice law in California, Federal Court Southern District and Colombia. She received her credentials in dispute resolution from Harvard Law School, the American Bar Association, and Pepperdine University School of Law. Ana is fluent in Spanish.

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