'Mediator Relationships' is the topic of June 7 ADR Section webinar

The Alternative Dispute Resolution Section of the State Bar of Michigan will present a webinar Tuesday, June 7, from noon to 1:30 p.m. on “Mediator Relationships: To Disclose Or Not to Disclose, That Is The Question.” The ADR Section has an answer. This webinar will discuss a proposed revision to the Standards of Conduct for Mediators regarding mediator disclosures.

An Attorney Discipline Board decision bemoaned that the current Standards of Conduct are not clear in helping mediators determine whether a relationship might appear to be a conflict of interest to mediation participants. So, the ADR Section went to work, developing new tools to guide mediators in what to disclose – and what they don’t need to disclose. Members of the drafting committee will describe their process and demonstrate how the new standard will guide mediators on the thorny path of disclosure.

This webinar will teach mediators how to protect themselves from conflict claims, as well as to ensure the integrity of their process.

Presenters will include:

• Anne Bachle Fifer, a mediator, facilitator, arbitrator, and mediation trainer based in Grand Rapids. Her mediation experience includes business, family, and workplace disputes, as well as church-based conflicts integrating Christian principles in the mediation process. She frequently conducts basic and advanced mediation trainings, and has taught biblical peacemaking on four continents. She served two terms on the State Bar’s ADR Section Council and received its Distinguished Service Award for her contributions to the profession.

• Mathew Kobliska, a private practitioner representing parties in family law matters for more than 30 years. Kobliska also is a domestic relations mediator and arbitrator. He is a Certified Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, and is rated “AV-Preeminent” by Martindale-Hubbell. He is also trained in Collaborative Law, and is a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. Kobliska serves on numerous family law-related committees and in professional organizations, including nine years as a council member of the State Bar of Michigan Family Law Section, and he continues to be active on the Legislative and Court Rules & Ethics subcommittees. At the State Bar level, he is a member of the Representative Assembly for the Sixth Circuit, and serves on the Judicial Qualifications Committee.

• Lisa Taylor, a full-time mediator for more than 14 years, focusing on empowering families to settle their disputes early in the litigation process or prior to filing in court.  She is also active in the ADR community, serving as secretary of the ADR Section Council for five years, receiving the ADR Section’s “George N. Bashara Jr. Award” and its “Hero of ADR” Award, and now chairing its Legislation and Court Procedures Action Team (LCPAT). The Supreme Court Administrative Office appointed Taylor to serve on the Collaborative Law Court Rules Committee that drafted the Collaborative Law and Consent Judgment court rules adopted by the Michigan Supreme Court. Lisa also chaired the LCPAT subcommittee that drafted the disclosure proposals.  She has published articles on ADR in the Michigan Lawyer’s Weekly and at Mediate.com and presented at the ADR Section Annual Meetings. Lisa is also a member of the State Bar of Michigan’s Family Law Section and is a professional with Professional Resolution Experts of Michigan (PREMi).

• Marty Weisman, a neutral and party appointed arbitrator, mediator, and/or case evaluator in numerous commercial matters where claims were in the millions of dollars. These have included claims for breaches of many differing types of contracts, shareholders and/or partnership break-ups and/or oppression matters, fraudulent dealings, attorney and accounting malpractice, security disputes, purchase and sale disputes, commissions, real estate, construction, employment, automobile dealership and supplier issues, and merger and acquisition issues. These have been court and/or party appointed positions as well as AAA and/or PREMi matters. He has been named a Michigan Top Lawyer by DBusiness magazine each year since 2009, a Michigan Super Lawyer by Michigan Super Lawyers each year since 2007, a Martindale & Hubbard Preeminent and AV rated attorney, and served as the Chair of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section of the State Bar of Michigan for 2014-2015 after serving on its Council for 7 years. Within the last year alone, Weisman served as the sole arbitrator in a $108,000,000 employment case and as member of the three person arbitration panel for a $58,000,000 Medicare fraud matter. Weisman has been designated as a mediator and as an arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association’s complex commercial panels. He has also served extensively as an ADR trainer, lecturer and author.

• Robert E. L. Wright, an attorney/mediator/arbitrator considered a Michigan pioneer in mediation and ADR.  He formed The Peace Talks PLC in 2000. Leaving a large Michigan firm to pursue his passion for mediation. He is a member of Professional Resolution Experts of Michigan (PREMi) and anchors its Grand Rapids office. Recently named Grand Rapids Mediator of the Year by Best Lawyer™, Wright has more than 40 years of experience resolving disputes as a negotiator, mediator, arbitrator and litigator in ADR proceedings.  As a neutral mediator and arbitrator, he has assisted more than one thousand individuals and businesses peacefully resolve disputes. In addition to his wealth of practical experience, Wright trains other mediators in both basic and advanced courses and is a member of the ADR Section of the State Bar of Michigan (past chair); ACR; ABA DR Section; and regularly volunteers as a pro bono mediator.

To register, visit https://connect.michbar.org/adr/home. After registering, attendees will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting via Zoom.