The APFM Outstanding Professional Family Mediator Award
Since 2018, the APFM Outstanding Professional Family Mediator Award is presented annually to a professional family mediator who is a leader and innovator in the family mediation field, and whose imaginative ideas and creative approaches to mediation and to public awareness advance the practice of family mediation. The recipient has developed unique concepts and techniques that have addressed challenges in mediation and improved the quality of family mediation services. The recipient demonstrates excellence in professional family mediation and outstanding personal qualities that mirror the highest levels of professional standards, including integrity, trustworthiness, and compassion.
2023 Awardee: Darcia Tudor
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. She met her husband, Gary A. Tudor, working at the King County Juvenile court. They married in 1977 and entered law school together in 1978.
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.
View the Awards Ceremony Video
This award presentation begins at 1:50.