APFM 2021

A New Beginning: Reimagining the Art and Science of Family Mediation

Conference: October 15-16, 2021
Preconference Institutes October 14
online via Zoom


Susan Guthrie 2021 keynote

Featuring Keynote Address by Susan Guthrie, Esq.

Presenting Now that We Have a Choice: What Does the Future Hold for Family Mediation?

We are so excited to announce this year's keynote speaker— Susan Guthrie—nationally recognized as one of the Top Family Law and Mediation Attorneys, who provides divorce mediation, legal coaching, and mediator training exclusively online. Susan's keynote, Now that We Have a Choice: What Does the Future Hold for Family Mediation?, is one not to be missed.

Learn more.

Schedule at a Glance

Schedule table is best viewed on a large screen or, if on a phone or tablet, in landscape mode.

All times Eastern time zone.

Download a PDF version of the schedule.

Schedule subject to change.

The Preconference Institutes, which require separate registration, are listed here as a convenience.

DayStartEndTitlePersonnel
Thursday Pre Conference - Requires Separate Registration
Thursday (Pre Conference)1:00P4:00PA Fresh Take on Debriefing Mediations: A Reflective Approach for Practitioners, Teachers, and Trainers

Program Description:
Role plays, a central part of every training course, provide trainees with a chance to test out and learn to apply the skills of a mediator. These exercises are opportunities to learn how to think about why they do what they do—to make a connection between thinking and action. Reflective debrief helps mediators reflect on the choices they made during a mediation and examine those choices in light of the values and beliefs they hold. Learning the method of reflective debrief is a discipline that requires practice. That learning is enhanced by working with others committed to this approach. Those who teach people coming into the field and those who present workshops can benefit from learning to teach and manage reflective debriefs. This exploratory workshop looks at a method that has been evolving over the last 20+ years as a way of using both instruction and reflection in order to increase the capacity of new mediators to become reflective practitioners.

Presenters' Biographies:
Ellen Waldorf is an attorney who has worked as a divorce and family mediator since 2001. Ellen and Attorney Justin Kelsey co-lead Divorce Mediation Training Associates. Ellen also has coached new mediators at Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education and area law schools. Ellen has spoken on a variety of topics to the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation, the Academy of Professional Family Mediators, and the Massachusetts Bar Association. Ellen has taught conflict resolution skills to after-school directors, special education professionals, aging life care experts, and home care coordinators. Ellen is a co-founder of Clergy Works Institute, an organization training clergy in mediation and negotiation skills. Ellen serves on the board of the Community Dispute Settlement Center, a non-profit community mediation program in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Prior to mediating, Ellen worked for a private investor, practiced corporate law, clerked for a federal appellate court judge, taught English in China, and interned for “Late Night with David Letterman.” Ellen has a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. from the New York University School of Law.

Susan Terry has pioneered mediation and conflict education in the state of Vermont. One of the first mediators and conflict educators in the state, she created the Mediation Program of Woodbury College which later moved to Champlain College and became a highly respected graduate degree program. This program was nationally recognized as the first skills based education program in the country and was long recognized for the high-quality of its educational program. Susan has had a diversified practice of mediation and facilitation which includes work with families, organizations, environmental issues, education, community, and human rights.

Susan’s mediation style is known for its common sense and thoughtful approach. She works with parties to assist them to find agreements that work for their particular family circumstances and that will hold up over time. She has been recognized for excellence in her work both within the state of Vermont, in New England having received the New England Association for Conflict Resolution Pioneer Award, and nationally through her leadership work in the Association for Conflict Resolution.
Facilitators: Ellen Waldorf, Susan Terry
Thursday (Pre Conference)1:00P4:00P“So You Want to Get Married”
Strategies for Reframing the Dreaded Prenuptial Agreement Into a Strategic Roadmap for Marital Financial Relationships

Program Description:
Nothing throws a wet blanket on an engaged couple’s excitement like either party bringing up his or her desire for a prenuptial agreement. The emotional “We/Us/Ours” feeling of togetherness instantly devolves into an emotional marker that broadcasts “Me/Mine/Yours”. This workshop will discuss mediation frameworks, strategies, and techniques that will help educate the engaged couple and help them create a fundamental basis for relationship success in handling their assets and finances. Adding pre-marital mediation to your services allows you to expand the clients you work with while changing the stereotyping around these agreements.

Presenters' Biographies:
Chip Rose is a highly experienced divorce mediator previously based in Santa Cruz, California and recently moved to Bend, Oregon. Chip founded The Mediation Center in Santa Cruz in 1980 and is certified as a Specialist in Family Law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. In a client-centered process that is completely confidential, Chip has successfully mediated more than 5,000 cases to successful and affordable agreement. He continues to serve clients in California through video conferencing, text and email communications.

Chip has pioneered client-centered dispute resolution services for more than 3 decades. Chip's primary emphasis is on offering top flight divorce and family mediation services for marriage and domestic partnerships.

Chip also provides facilitative services for pre-marital and domestic partnership agreements, family business and business succession, business partnership formation and disagreements, and negotiation and mediation consultation for pro se litigants.

Chip is recognized internationally as an innovator and expert in the field of mediation and collaborative dispute resolution. He is currently on the Board of the International Association of Collaborative Professionals (IACP), and a former Board Member of the Academy of Family Mediators (AFM), which subsequently merged with other dispute resolution organizations to become the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR). As an adjunct faculty member at the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at the Pepperdine University School of Law, he teaches workshops in basic and advanced mediation, as well as Collaborative Law. Chip is the author of Collaborative Family Law Practice and is a regular columnist in both The Collaborative Review, the Quarterly publication of IACP, and Mediation News, the quarterly publication of the Family Section of ACR. Since 1994, Chip has also been providing training throughout the United States and Canada in the rapidly emerging movement of Collaborative Law.

Amanda D. Singer, Esq., MDR, CDFA is a professional family mediator and co-owner of San Diego Family Mediation Center. She is also a licensed attorney and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst. She works to help families improve communication, solve problems and reach agreements while staying out of court. Amanda is on the board of Academy of Professional Family Mediators and is the co-chair for this year’s conference. She is a member of the State Bar of California and actively involved in Lawyers Club of San Diego. She earned her JD from Chapman University School of Law while completing her Master’s Degree in Dispute Resolution from The Straus at Pepperdine University School of Law. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Brandies University and has completed her courses as a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst. San Diego Family Mediation Center works with families dealing with various family issues, including divorce mediation, premarital mediation, blended families and parenting plans.
Facilitators: Chip Rose, Amanda Singer
Thursday (Pre Conference)1:00P4:00P21 Truths of Divorce and Family Mediation

Program Description:
Becoming an effective “client-centered” mediator begins by looking deeply within yourself.

Who you are at your core—mind, heart, and soul—determines how positively you can affect your clients’ futures, how strategically you can develop and approach your process, and how successfully you can master being mindfully aware. The big question is not “What am I doing?” The big question is, “Who am I becoming?”

You can seek your full potential as a masterful mediator by working from the inside out. By centering around core beliefs and embracing essential attitudes you can align your techniques with philosophies that positively shape your thoughts, actions, and feelings inside the mediation room.

We will engage in an interactive, action-packed discussion of 21 powerful lessons on these foundational mediator attitudes, beliefs, and techniques that will inspire your practice, stimulate new ways of thinking and being, and reinforce principles that you have sincerely believed all along—all of which will prepare you to best support your clients.

Presenters' Biographies:
Michael Aurit
Education
Pepperdine University School of Law (J.D.)
The Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University School of Law (M.D.R.)
The Boston Conservatory of Music at Berklee College (B.F.A.)
Leadership
Nationally recognized divorce and family mediator
President, The Academy of Professional Family Mediators (APFM)
Adjunct Professor, Pepperdine University School of Law, The Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution
Adjunct Professor of Law, Arizona State University, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, The Lodestar Dispute Resolution Center
Ethics Chair, Maricopa County Association of Family Mediators
“10 Best” Arizona Family Law Attorneys, American Institute of Family Law Attorneys
Arizona Supreme Court, Certified Legal Document Preparer

Karen Aurit, MA, is Director of Mediation Services and co-founder of The Aurit Center For Divorce Mediation. She is a member of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts. She holds her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Arizona State University and Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology, Marriage and Family Therapy from Antioch University in Los Angeles. She also holds her Mediation Certification from The Straus Institute For Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine Law. Karen background is informed by mindfulness theory, which focuses on stress reduction. She can be reached at [email protected]

Donald T. Saposnek, Ph.D., is a clinical-child psychologist and family therapist in practice since 1971, a child custody mediator, trainer and consultant since 1977, and is a founding board member of the Academy of Professional Family Mediators, Editor of The Professional Family Mediator, and Editor-in-Chief of Publications of the Academy of Professional Family Mediators.

Don has published extensively in the professional literature on child custody and child psychology and is on the editorial boards of the Family Court Review and the Conflict Resolution Quarterly journals. He is the author of Mediating Child Custody Disputes: A Strategic Approach, and co-author of Splitting America: How Politicians, Super Pacs and the News Media Mirror High Conflict Divorce, and co-author of The Child Support Solution: Unhooking Custody From Support.

Don has taught on the psychology faculty at the University of California, Santa Cruz, for 41 years, and is Adjunct Professor at Pepperdine University School of Law, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution. His website is: www.mediate.com/dsaposnek.

Susan Guthrie, nationally recognized as one of the Top Family Law and Mediation Attorneys in the United States, has been helping individuals and families navigate separation and divorce for more than 30 years. Susan is passionate about helping people to find a better path through divorce than the traditional adversarial litigation method and is one of the leading divorce mediators in the country. Susan has also recently partnered with mediation legend, Forrest “Woody” Mosten, to create the Mosten Guthrie Academy to provide cutting edge gold-standard trainings for attorneys, mediators and other professionals.

As one of the best known names in the divorce world, Susan also recently launched a membership community to accompany her top podcast, The Divorce & Beyond Podcast with Susan Guthrie, Esq., which provides subscribers with additional support, resources and advice from the voice you can trust. The podcast is one of the top divorce podcasts on the air and has reach millions of listeners.

As a leading dispute resolution professional, Susan is honored to serve on the Executive Council of the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Section of Dispute Resolution as the Budget Officer (2021-2022) and to be the Chair of the Inaugural Practice Development Institute coming virtually in 2022. Susan is also honored to serve on the Board of the Southern California Mediation Association and to be an honorary member of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals (NADN.)

Susan is also an internationally well-regarded expert in online mediation and has been training colleagues and other professionals in the practical and ethical considerations of conducting their mediations online with her innovative programs and webinars for more than two years. To date, more than 17,000 dispute resolution professionals have benefited from her program and she has trained mediators in countries all around the world including programs for the American Bar Association (ABA), the Alternative Dispute Resolution Institute of Canada (ADRIC), and the National Association of Distinguished Neutrals (NADN) among others. Susan founded Learn to Mediate Online™ in 2018 and now offers more than 7 programs for professionals all designed to help them to advance their skills and their practice to new heights.

Susan was recently awarded the prestigious L. Randolph Lowry Award from the Southern California Mediation Association for 2020 which is presented to a member of the dispute resolution community who has honored and inspired us through their passion and dedication to education in the field of dispute resolution. In addition, Susan was named to the Executive Committee of the newly formed Online Mediation Training Task Force, created to make recommendations regarding standards and practices in the field.

Susan has been featured in and on media outlets such as CNBC, Market Watch, Forbes, Eye on Chicago, WGN, the ABA’s Just Resolutions Magazine, Thrive Global, The Nook Online, Medium, Authority Magazine and She Knows among others.

She is licensed to practice law in the States of California and Connecticut as well as before the Supreme Court of the United States.
Facilitators: Michael Aurit, Karen Aurit, Don Saposnek, Susan Guthrie
FridayConference
Friday9:50A10:40AADR Notable presents Data Security for Dispute Resolution Practitioners: Practical Tips to Protect Yourself and Your Clients

Program Description:
This presentation covers ethical obligations and data protection tips for the dispute resolution practitioner. Data security is an increasingly significant challenge in our online world. The Founder and Managing Director of ADR Notable will share standards, suggestions, and practical solutions from a non-technical perspective. ADR notable is the first company to provide technology specifically designed to work alongside the listening and communication skills of mediators and other dispute resolution professionals.

Presenter Biography:
Before launching ADR Notable. I have been a part of the senior executive team in two startups with successful exits and worked with a third ongoing company through seed and Series A financing. I am an experienced former general counsel in both U.S. and international businesses, and from startups to publicly traded corporations. I have an entrepreneurial background having served as the first General Counsel for the travel website Orbitz, which was founded in 2000 and completed its first IPO in 2003 and acquisition in 2004. I Co-founded and served as General Counsel for Accertify, Inc., now a wholly-owned subsidiary of AMEX. I served as VP and General Counsel through the launch and initial capitalization of Journera, a travel industry tech startup. My international experience comes from three years as General Counsel for the International Air Transport Association, the global trade association for the world's airline industry. After three decades of experience managing legal issues and disputes in a wide variety of contexts and helping launch three startup companies, I became the Founder and Managing Director of ADR Notable, the first company to provide technology specifically designed to work alongside the listening and communication skills of mediators and other dispute resolution professionals.
Gary Doernhoefer
Friday11A12:45PWelcome Plenary: Reimagining the Art and Science of Family Mediation

Program Description:
This plenary will explore the art and science of family mediation and how they "fit together" to produce the best possible outcomes for families. Specifically, we will explore the evolving nature of the art and science of mediation based on new ways of thinking, novel techniques, emerging models of mediation and advances in science and technology.

Presenter Biography:
Michael Aurit, JD, MDR, is a nationally recognized professional divorce and family mediator, attorney, author, and Founder of The Aurit Center. He serves of the Board of Directors of The Academy of Professional Family Mediators. He is a Fellow of The American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution, and has served as ABA National Conference faculty. Michael is also an active member of The Association for Conflict Resolution, and Ethics Chair of the Maricopa County Association of Family Mediators.

He is a member of the State Bar of Arizona and State Bar of California. He holds his Juris Doctorate from Pepperdine University School of Law and Masters of Dispute Resolution from the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine.
Host: Michael Aurit
Friday12:45P1:00PBreak
Friday1:00P2:30PMoving Beyond Screening: Mediation and Intimate Partner Violence

Program Description:
Historically, divorce mediators have been encouraged to screen out cases involving intimate partner violence. This approach presumes that mediation would harm rather than benefit victims of intimate partner violence. During this workshop we ask that you come with an open mind and to hear from a panel including mediators, legal services attorneys, and attorneys who work in both criminal defense and family law around what mediation might look like if we started to mediate some cases involving intimate partner violence. The panelists will share their thoughts on what would be necessary to do this work: screening tools to identify appropriate cases; training of mediators, attorneys, and victim advocates; safety protocols; and other standards needed to provide families who have experienced the trauma of intimate partner violence the same process choices as families who have not experienced intimate partner violence at the time of a divorce. Together we have the knowledge and power to help these families heal and to find their voices outside of the court process.

Presenter Biography:
Jennifer Hawthorne is a collaborative attorney and mediator. She works with her clients by helping them to come to an agreement that will allow them to navigate life during and after some of the most challenging situations life can throw at a person. During this process, she always strives to resolve disputes rather than escalate them. She works to ensure that her clients are able to find a solution that works for both parents and any children in a manner that promotes ongoing communication and minimizes the emotional and financial toll these situations can often take on a family and the individuals involved.
Moderator: Jennifer Hawthorne
Panelists: Jennifer Hatch, Victoria Spetter, Ellen Waldorf
Friday1:00P2:30PHow to Build a Successful Mediation Practice

Program Description:
How to build a successful mediation practice will be a workshop for participants who are either just starting out as a mediator and looking to establish a new mediation practice or mediators who have already established a mediation practice and are looking to grow and be successful. There are many trainings that one can take to learn how to mediate, but learning how to run your own practice is something completely different especially to be successful. The moderator and panelists will discuss ways in which they built their own mediation practices, how they began, how they grew and share information and advice for mediators looking to establish a successful mediation practice. Panelists have a wide variety of education, experience and practices to show that there is not one way to do this. The workshop will discuss everything from business plan to marketing to growth.

Presenter Biography:
Amanda D. Singer, Esq., MDR, CDFA is a professional family mediator and co-owner of West Coast Family Mediation Center. She is also a licensed attorney and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst. She works to help families improve communication, solve problems and reach agreements while staying out of court. Amanda is on the board of Academy of Professional Family Mediators and is the co-chair for this year’s conference. She is a member of the State Bar of California and actively involved in Lawyers Club of San Diego. She earned her JD from Chapman University School of Law while completing her Master’s Degree in Dispute Resolution from The Straus at Pepperdine University School of Law. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Brandies University and has completed her courses as a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst. San Diego Family Mediation Center works with families dealing with various family issues, including divorce mediation, premarital mediation, blended families and parenting plans.
Moderator: Amanda Singer
Panelists: Justin Kelsey, Melissa Kucinski, Crystal Thorpe, Michael Aurit, Alice Shikina
Friday2:30P2:40PBreak
Friday2:40P3:30PAnnual Meeting & Award PresentationHost: Michael Aurit
Friday3:30P3:45PBreak
Friday3:45P5:15PExploring the Impact of Polyamorous Relationships and Consensual Non-Monogamy in Divorce Mediation

Program Description:
Polyamory and, more broadly, consensual nonmonogamy are becoming increasingly common. These nonnormative relationships represent a different set of challenges in divorce mediation. Author and therapist, Dr. Magdalena Fosse will explain the difference between various forms of consensual nonmonogamy, elaborating on their impact on families. Panelists will discuss how the related family dynamics emerge in the mediation process and explore how to address them.

Presenter Biography:
Beth L. Aarons, JD, MSW, principal of Aarons Law & Mediation, and Of Counsel to Skylark Law & Mediation, both based out of Southborough, MA, has focused her practice on dispute resolution for family law and trusts & estates for the last 20 years. While her career is focused in law, Beth’s background in psychology and social work have enhanced her connection with clients, child-focused family law work, and ability to finesse complex family dynamics. She is active in the dispute resolution community, as the Mass. Collaborative Law Council Past President (President 2020-21 term) and on the Board of the Mass. Council on Family Mediation. Beth also teaches Mediation at Suffolk Law School in Boston, MA.
Moderator: Beth Aarons
Panelists: Magdalena Fosse, Jennifer Hawthorne, Rebecca Neale
Friday3:45P5:15PThe Art (and Science) of Parenting and Custody Mediation

Program Description:
After presenting a brief overview of the history, issues, and research behind child custody mediation and parenting plans, our panel will engage in a rich discussion of a series of issues, such as: How is Custody/Parenting Mediation different from other areas of family mediation (e.g., financial aspects)? What is the knowledge-base (the “Science”) required to specifically conduct competent child custody mediation? What could be considered the “Art” skills needed to conduct competent child custody mediation? Is mediator neutrality compromised by giving parents child development information? Should the custody mediator be a child advocate?, as well as many other pertinent issues.

Presenter Biography:
Donald T. Saposnek, Ph.D., is a clinical-child psychologist and family therapist in practice since 1971, and a child custody and family mediator, and a national and international trainer and consultant in child psychology and mediation since 1977. He was director of the family courts services in Santa Cruz County for 17 years and has mediated over 5,000 custody disputes. He is the author of the classic text, Mediating Child Custody Disputes: A Strategic Approach (1983/1998 Rev., Jossey-Bass/Wiley), co-author of Splitting America: How Politicians, Super Pacs and the News Media Mirror High Conflict Divorce (2012, HCI Press) and co-author of The Child Support Solution: Unhooking Custody from Support (2019, CSS Press). He serves on the Editorial Boards of several international journals of conflict resolution, is Editor-in-Chief of the Academy of Professional Family Mediators’ publications, and has published extensively in the professional literature on child psychology, divorce and mediation. He taught on the Psychology Faculty at the University of California, Santa Cruz, for 41 years, and is an Adjunct Professor at Pepperdine University School of Law, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution since 2009. His website is: www.donsaposnek.com.

Dr. Saposnek is the recipient of several recent awards. These include: *The 2002 international Association for Conflict Resolution's JOHN M. HAYNES DISTINGUISHED MEDIATOR AWARD. This prestigious award is presented in recognition of an individual's outstanding contributions to the field of mediation. The individual is selected from more than 7,000 members of the association, representing 47 countries and 18 different areas of mediation practice. *The 2002 Monterey Bay Psychological Association's OUTSTANDING PSYCHOLOGIST AWARD, presented in recognition of his exceptional contributions to the field of psychology and to the development of model court mediation and parent education programs benefiting children of divorce, both locally and nationally. *The 2003 California Psychological Association's AWARD FOR DISTINGUISHED CONTRIBUTION TO PSYCHOLOGY AS A PROFESSION. This prestigious award is presented in recognition of an individual's outstanding contributions to expanding the areas of influence by psychologists in our society.
Moderator: Don Saposnek
Panelists: Alex Glassman, Robin Deutsch, Bill Eddy, Lorri Yasenik
Friday5:15P5:30PBreak
Friday5:30P7:00PKeynote: Now that We Have a Choice: What Does the Future Hold for Family Mediation?

Program Description:
Once upon a time, virtual mediation was an interesting, but not a mainstream, option for some professionals. Then, along with Covid came a mass transition to online mediation. For many of us, this transition was necessary, but brought fear as we faced the unknowns of practicing online. Now, we find ourselves at a new beginning, with a world of options and a great deal more knowledge and insight into what works and what does not for family mediation practitioners and our clients. Is now the time for mediators to collaborate and reinvent the art and science of family mediation? It has been said that, as a result of Covid, the mediation field jumped forward 10 years, in the space of just one year. We will explore what this means for the profession, as we emerge into the post-pandemic world.

Presenter Biography:
Susan Guthrie, nationally recognized as one of the Top Family Law and Mediation Attorneys in the United States, has been helping individuals and families navigate separation and divorce for 30 years. Susan recently partnered with mediation legend, Forrest “Woody” Mosten, to create the Mosten Guthrie Academy to provide cutting edge gold-standard trainings for attorneys, mediators and other professionals.

As a leading dispute resolution professional, Susan is honored to serve on the Executive Council of the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Section of Dispute Resolution as the Budget Officer (2021-2022) and to be a Co-Chair of the Mediation Committee and Annual Advanced Mediation Skills Institute (November 4-6, 2021)

Susan is also an internationally well-regarded expert in online mediation and has been training colleagues and other professionals in the practical and ethical considerations of conducting their mediations online with her innovative programs and webinars for more than two years. To date, almost 20,000 dispute resolution professionals have benefited from her program and she has trained mediators in countries all around the world including programs for the American Bar Association (ABA), the Alternative Dispute Resolution Institute of Canada (ADRIC), and the National Association of Distinguished Neutrals (NADN) among others.

Susan founded Learn to Mediate Online® in 2018 and now offers more than 7 programs for professionals all designed to help them to advance their skills and their practice to new heights.

Susan was recently awarded the prestigious L. Randolph Lowry Award from the Southern California Mediation Association for 2020 which is presented to a member of the dispute resolution community who has honored and inspired us through their passion and dedication to education in the field of dispute resolution. In addition, Susan was named to the Executive Committee of the newly formed Online Mediation Training Task Force, created to make recommendations regarding standards and practices in the field.

Susan is also the award-winning creator and host of two popular podcasts, The Divorce & Beyond® Podcast and The Learn to Mediate Online® Podcast, both available on all major podcast outlets and in video format on YouTube. Susan's podcast have over 4 million listens to date and counting!
Susan Guthrie
Friday7:10P8:10PHappy Hour and NetworkingHosts: Ken Neumann, Amanda Singer
SaturdayConference
Saturday9:50A10:40AOurFamilyWizard: Improving Outcomes for Children and Families with Structured Co-Parenting Communication

Program Description:
OurFamilyWizard.com and its mobile applications are often made part of the parent agreement in an effort to reduce litigation and improve co-parent communication. Learn how parents and professionals utilize its features to manage and document communication. Learn who may access the family's activity and obtain declarations on authenticated records.

Presenter Biography:
Michelle N. Barr is an experienced family law attorney with a deep commitment to serving children and families. She has experience representing clients in all family law matters, with an emphasis on serving as a court appointed GAL in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Ms. Barr graduated with high honors from Rutgers University School of Law and began her legal career as a law clerk to the Honorable Lee B. Laskin, J.S.C. in Camden County, New Jersey. Following her clerkship, Ms. Barr represented the New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety as a Deputy Attorney General. She also served as an Assistant Deputy Public Defender and as a Court Appointed Law Guardian for the state of New Jersey. Following these roles, Ms. Barr represented abused and neglected children as a GAL for KidsVoice in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

As a New Jersey AOC trained mediator with collaborative training and certification as well, Ms. Barr has the unique ability to effectively manage the heightened emotions often found in family law matters. She is respected by her peers and recognized for her zealous advocacy. Ms. Barr’s empathizing nature allows her to build a strong trusting relationship with clients, ultimately leading to a more comprehensive understanding of each particular situation. Clients value her logical thinking, perseverance, kindness and unwavering commitment.

Currently, Michelle serves as a pool Law Guardian on conflict cases for the New Jersey Office of Law Guardian and as a GAL in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In addition to these roles, Ms. Barr is a professional liaison for OurFamilyWizard. As a liaison, she educates judges, lawyers, and other family law professionals on the online tools that are used to reduce conflict and increase accountability in high-conflict co- parenting situations. She frequently travels across the U.S. to represent the company and speak at key events such as industry conferences and continuing legal education seminars.
Michelle (Elle) N. Barr, Esq
Saturday11:00A12:30PApplying Family Therapy to Family Mediation

Program Description:
There is legitimately some confusion in differentiating Family Therapy from Family Mediation. This is particularly evident when it comes to differentiating Marital Therapy from Marital Mediation. We will first explore both the similarities and the differences between these two areas of practice. We will then explore the range of situations where Family Mediation can be applied. This will be a highly interactive workshop and we invite people to bring in actual cases where they weren't sure how to proceed.

Presenter Biography:
Kenneth Neumann is an expert in the field of family and divorce mediation. He is a founding board member of numerous professional associations, and a frequent presenter at professional conferences. Ken is trained as a family therapist and a Clinical School Psychologist and has been working with parents and children going through the divorce process for over 40 years. Since 1984 Ken has trained and supervised more than two thousand mediators. He recently received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy of Professional Family Mediators.
Moderator: Ken Neumann
Saturday11:00A12:30PTilting the Scales of Justice: Reconciling Bias and Triggers in Mediation

Program Description:
As Mediators, we have an ethical duty to be impartial and to foster an atmosphere of trust and self-determination. Explicit or Implicit bias of the participants or the mediator substantially impairs the ethical standards required in mediation.
Workshop participants will learn to recognize bias, microaggressions, and triggers in mediation and develop skills 1) to reduce the impact of bias in session, 2) to rebalance themselves, if triggered, and 3) to make an intentional decision about their response in the presence of the perpetrator and target.

Presenter Biography:
Darcia C. Tudor JD, LMHP, CWM is an experienced attorney, mediator, and forensic evaluator. Raised in a military family, she lived a significant portion of her life abroad.

Graduating from the University of Puget Sound Law School in 1981, she received the American Jurisprudence Award. She accepted an associate position with Gordon, Thomas, Honeywell, and O’Hern and became one of few African American women working at large firms in Washington. In 1984 she and her husband, Gary A. Tudor, established their firm, Tudor & Tudor, PS. She enjoyed advocating for individuals and small businesses, litigating discrimination, real estate, and personal injury cases. During that time, she and her colleague, Gerry Bopp, won a significant settlement for one of the first minor head injury cases in the United States. And she represented and won her first discrimination case for her sister against Roffe Sportswear.

In the late 80’s she was the first African American to host a local television program, “Know your rights, and was a frequent guest on “Celebrate the Differences,” a KING 5 local diversity program sponsored by Lori Matsukawa. In 1991, her alma mater recognized her legal expertise and community service as a Distinguished Resident Alumni.

In the 90’s domestic violence became a national focus. Darcia promoted free legal assistance for victims and funding for research to understand the impact of family violence on children. In 1998 she helped found the Eastside Legal Assistance Program and became its first director. This program continues today and has helped thousands of domestic violence victims with legal representation and advocacy.

In 2001 her practice emphasis pivoted to advocating for children in crisis caused by divorce and substance and mental health impairment.

In 2005, she obtained a Master’s in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis on child development, family systems, psychological assessments, and resiliency in children post-divorce. She received her license as a therapist in 2008. She has used her dual degrees to help clients pursue interest-based parenting plans and settlement agreements and reduce conflict through child-focused mediations. In 2013 she founded Eastside Mediation & Arbitration. Mediating cases involving family legal disputes where maintaining the personal relationships were essential to the interests of all involved.

She has served on numerous professional and charitable Boards and Legal Committees supporting children, public education, and professional development. Nevertheless, what she enjoys most is working with and mentoring teenagers and young adults. She has mentored more than 30 individuals. Some have worked in her office as interns, and others she assisted through one-on-one meetings and other means of emotional or financial support.

She is currently serving as Treasurer of the Board of the Academy of Professional Family law Mediators, a volunteer attorney with the King County Bar Association and the Eastside Legal Assistance Program.
Moderator: Darcia Tudor
Panelists: Alice Shikina, Joanna Roth
Saturday12:30P12:45PBreak
Saturday12:45P2:15PBeyond Zoom: Digital Tools for an Innovative Practice

Program Description:
In this panel, we will explore different tech solutions that professional family mediators are using to enhance our mediations and practice management.

Some of the topics will include secure and user-friendly methods for intake and disclosure, use of a CRM or other platform for practice management, and automation/integration of apps.

Presenter Biography:
Max Markin is a professional mediator and Development Director of the Aurit Center for Divorce Mediation. Max is driven by a belief that all of humankind is united in our desire to be happy and reduce suffering. He is dedicated to the study and practice of conflict management, peacemaking, and nonviolent action.

As Development Director at the Aurit Center, Max works to integrate new technology with the Aurit Center's strategic approach to mediation to provide the most effective and efficient process for our clients and staff.
Moderator: Max Markin
Panelists: Clare Fowler, Dina Haddad, Todd Singer
Saturday12:45P2:15PFinancial Issues that Make Mediators Uncomfortable

Program Description:
Do you ever have a client that raises a complex financial question and you get that awful feeling in your gut? Not this again! Well you aren't alone. Our panel of experts across a variety of financially relevant fields are here to raise these issues and help you better understand how to help your clients address them. These issues can have a critical, longstanding impact on your clients' lives. And we want to help you feel confident in understanding them.

Presenter Biography:
Kristyn Carmichael is an Arizona licensed attorney and CDFA. She is the Director of Mediation Services and a Professional Mediator at The Aurit Center for Divorce Mediation, where she specializes in divorce and parenting mediations.
Moderator: Kristyn Carmichael
Panelists: Bob Bordett, Laurie Itkin, Rhonda Noordyk, Donna Petrucelli
Saturday2:15P2:30PBreak
Saturday2:30P4:00PFishbowl Mediation: Observing and Debriefing a Live Mediation (Role Play)

Program Description:
Woody Mosten will serve as mediator with two high conflict parties dealing with complex assets and income. Following each segment of the simulation, those in attendance will be invited to offer comments, ask questions, and otherwise learn from the mediation interaction.

Presenter Biography:
Forrest (Woody) Mosten has been in private mediation practice in Los Angeles and San Diego since 1979 and teaches mediation, Lawyer as Peacemaker, and Family Law Practice as Adjunct Professor at the UCLA School of Law. He trains professionals in mediation from basic to advanced courses and is in constant demand worldwide as a conference keynote speaker and expert witness on mediation.

In 2019, Woody received a Life Career Achievement Award from APFM and in 2020. APFM established the Forrest (Woody) Mosten Mediation Training Scholarship to enhance diversity and inclusion.

Woody is the Co-Founder of Mosten Guthrie Academy that offers online mediation training worldwide.
Mediator: Woody Mosten
Saturday4:00P4:15PBreak
Saturday4:15P5:15PClosing Plenary: Mediation’s Renaissance: Our Biggest Opportunity Ever Is Right Now

Program Description:
The development of online capacities over decades
Zoom and other rich media platforms are the "holy grail" for many.
Professional and consumer attraction to online mediation
Elevated access, reduced costs for services
Benefits for Online Mediation Training, even for "face to face" mediators
Every case is now an online case

Presenter Biography:
Jim Melamed co-founded Mediate.com in 1996 and served as CEO of Mediate.com through June 2020 (25 years). During Jim's tenure, Mediate.com received the American Bar Association's 2010 Institutional Problem Solver Award. Before Mediate.com, Jim founded The Mediation Center in Eugene, Oregon in 1983 and served as Executive Director of the Academy of Family Mediators (AFM) from 1987 to 1993. Jim was also the first President and Executive Director of the Oregon Mediation Association (1985-86). Jim's undergraduate degree is in psychology from Stanford University and his law degree is from the University of Oregon.

Jim has received the following awards: The Oregon Mediation Association's 2003 Award for Excellence; The Oregon State Bar's 2006 Sidney Lezak Award of Excellence; The Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR) 2007 John Haynes Distinguished Mediator Award; The 2012 Academy of Professional Family Mediators (APFM) "Getting To Yes" Award; The APFM's first Outstanding Mediator Award (2018); and the Oregon Mediation Association's 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award.
Host: Jim Melamed

Thank you Conference Sponsors!

APFM Sponsors 2021

Premier Conference Sponsor

Mediate.com

Presenting & Keynote Sponsor

ADR Notable

Presenting Sponsor

Our Family Wizard

Plenary Sponsor

Vetting the House, Inc.

Annual Meeting Sponsor

Soberlink

Conference Sponsor

High Conflict Institute

State and Local Partners

  • Arizona State University's Lodestar Dispute Resolution Center at The Sandra Day O'Connor School of Law
  • The Family Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario
  • Florida Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts
  • Heartland Mediators Association
  • Indiana Association of Mediators
  • The Maricopa County Association of Family Mediators
  • Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council
  • Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation
  • The Mediation Center of the Pacific, Inc.
  • North Carolina Association of Professional Family Mediators
  • Pennsylvania Council of Mediators
  • Southern California Mediation Association

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