Meet Our Mediation Trainers
Edwards Mediation Academy courses incorporate the skills and expertise of the leading commercial mediators and other experts from the related disciplines of neurobiology, communication, psychotherapy and insurance. We are proud to work with these exceptional leaders.
John B. Bates, Jr.
Attorney John B. Bates, Jr. has been practicing law since 1974 and began mediating in the mid 1980’s as part of his litigation practice. With Bruce Edwards, John co-founded The Bates Edwards Group, one of the first commercial mediation companies in the United States. A full time mediator since 1991, John has mediated several thousand matters in 30 states. His mediations have involved: aviation, business, civil rights, class action, consumer, construction, employment, environmental, franchise, government/public agency, healthcare, insurance, intellectual property, personal injury, professional liability, real estate, patent and trademark, securities, toxic torts and wills. John has conducted workshops, trainings, and lectures on all aspects of mediation.
Niranjan J. Bhatt
Niranjan J. Bhatt is a senior lawyer and mediator in Ahmedabad, India and a widely acknowledged pioneer of mediation in India. He is the founder and Managing Trustee of the Institute for Arbitration Mediation Legal Education and Development (AMLEAD) and a Convener of the Ahmedabad Mediation Centre, the first lawyer-run Mediation Centre of India. As an advocate for expanding the practice of mediation throughout his country, he has taught more than one thousand lawyers in the mediation process. Mr. Bhatt received advanced mediation training from Harvard Law School in 2001.
Daniel Bowling is a mediator and mediation teacher in Sausalito, California. He was formerly ADR Program Staff Attorney for the US District Court for Northern California. Daniel co-founded the first mediation organization in South Carolina, the Low Country Mediation Network in 1983. As Executive Director of the Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution, he managed the merger among SPIDR, the Academy of Family Mediators, and the Conflict Resolution Education Network. He served as the first CEO of the Association of Conflict Resolution. Along with David Hoffman, Daniel co-edited and co-authored Bringing Peace into the Room:The Personal Qualities of the Mediator and their Impact on Conflict Resolution (Jossey-Bass, 2003)
Attorney Dana Curtis is a pioneer and leader in the California Bay Area alternative dispute resolution field. She was among the first attorneys in the US to devote her career exclusively to mediation, beginning her full-time mediation practice in 1991. Her practice spans a wide range of subject matter, but emphasizes the resolution of disputes that involve both complex legal issues and challenging emotional dynamics. Dana has been a teacher of mediation, negotiation and other conflict management programs throughout the US and internationally for over 25 years. She taught mediation and negotiation at Stanford Law School’s Martin Daniel Gould Center for Conflict Resolution for 10 years. Since 2013 she has co-taught Mediating Disputes in Harvard Law School’s Program on Negotiation. Dana has published numerous articles and books about mediation, including Appellate Mediation: A Guidebook for Mediators and Attorneys (with Brendon Ishikawa, ABA Publishing, forthcoming in December 2015).
Gerald Hüther is Professor of Neurobiology at the University of Goettingen and one of the most renowned brain researchers of the German-speaking world. In his scientific publications he focuses on the influence of early experiences on the development of the brain, the effect of fear and stress on decision-making, and the significance of emotional reactions. He is well known for his ability to simplify complex neurobiological concepts while integrating the knowledge gained by modern brain science research into everyday life’s lessons. He is a sought after lecturer at the International Summer School on Business Mediation in Austria where he regularly shares his insights on the brain and neurobiology with mediators from around the world.
Michael K. Lewis
Having been in the dispute resolution field for close to 30 years, attorney Michael K. Lewis is widely recognized for his extraordinary ability to resolve the most complex disputes in virtually every area of law. He has successfully mediated and arbitrated hundreds of complex, multi-party, high profile matters including: business/commercial, public policy, employment, environment, and governmental matters. Michael has advised dozens of organizations as an ADR consultant, including the Manville Personal Injury Settlement Trust, ABA’s Mental Health Disabilities Project, ABA’s BASICS Program, National Institute of Corrections, National Association of Attorneys General, several federal agencies, National Clients’ Council, Council of Better Business Bureaus, federal and local courts around the country, as well as numerous law firms and companies.
Hon. Harry Low
Hon. Harry W. Low (Retired) has over 35 years of dispute resolution experience as a sitting judge and JAMS neutral. His expertise includes employment law, business litigation, sexual harassment, insurance disputes, personal injury, real or personal property disputes, and environmental law. With over 25 years of judicial experience in civil, criminal, and government law, he has authored opinions on virtually every area of California law. He has conducted a wide variety of mediations, arbitrations, and settlement conferences and has extensive experience in handling wrongful termination, sexual harassment, breach of contract, insurance coverage issues, tort claims, and medical and legal malpractice cases.
Janet Martinez is Director of the Gould Negotiation and Mediation Program, Co-Director of the Gould Alternative Dispute Resolution Research Initiative, and Senior Lecturer in Law at Stanford Law School, where she teaches advanced negotiation, dispute system design and alternative dispute resolution law & policy. Her current research and consulting focus on dispute system design (with Lisa Amsler and Stephanie Smith: Dispute System Design, Stanford University Press forthcoming 2016), sustainable groundwater management in California, public policy negotiation, online dispute resolution, international comparative dispute resolution, and negotiation curriculum development for clients in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. Martinez is also a Senior Advisor with LaxSebenius –The Negotiation Group, in Massachusetts.
Attorney Nina Meierding has mediated over 4,000 disputes in her 30 years in the conflict resolution field and has conducted training in 45 states and throughout the world, including: Canada, Sweden, Ireland, England, Scotland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and India. She has consulted and trained court systems, corporations, medical agencies, governmental agencies, small and large business entities, and individuals in the areas of conflict resolution, cross cultural issues; communication, management and negotiation skills. She was awarded the Peacemaker Award in 1992 by the Southern California Mediation Association for her outstanding work in the conflict resolution field. In 2005, she was awarded the John Haynes Distinguished Mediator Award, an international award given annually by the Association for Conflict Resolution. Nina has been an Adjunct Professor at both Pepperdine University School of Law in Malibu, California and Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas for over 20 years.
Attorney Chuck Numbers is a partner in the law firm of Meredith, Weinstein & Numbers, LLP. The majority of his practice is devoted to resolving complex insurance coverage disputes arising from intellectual property, trademark infringement, copyright infringement, piracy, misappropriation, construction defect, environmental and broker negligence matters. His experience includes Federal anti trust litigation involving the electrical contracts at the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant, several nuclear power plants in Washington State and the Washington, D.C. Metro System. In addition to being one of California’s leading insurance coverage experts, Chuck has participated in over 1,000 mediations, most involving complex insurance issues.
Sriram Panchu is a senior advocate and mediator, as well as an acknowledged pioneer of mediation in India. In law practice since 1976, he founded the Indian Centre for Mediation and Dispute Resolution and was instrumental in creating India’s first court-annexed mediation center, a model replicated by other Courts in the country. In 2013, he founded the Association of Indian Mediators. Mr. Panchu has trained over one thousand mediators, as well as written two books on mediation: Settle for More – The Why, How and When of Mediation and Mediation Practice and Law. He regularly speaks on issues regarding law, mediation, governance and public interest.
Mario Patera is a social scientist and psychotherapist in Austria. He is the first and, currently, the only professor of mediation in German speaking countries. Through his habilitation thesis, he successfully established mediation as a scientific subject for the first time at an Austrian university. He co-founded Konfliktkultur-Kulturkonflikt in Vienna (teaching mediation competencies to businesses and corporate executives) and has been a co-mediator for family and business mediation, and a mediation coach. He works as an international trainer for mediation in Europe and in the U.S., where he has been a lecturer at Harvard Law School and a co-lecturer at Stanford University. He has led several research projects regarding business mediation, including “Business Mediation for Small and Mid-Sized Enterprises in Austria” and “Conflict Costs in Family Enterprises.” Recently, he introduced mediative competencies® to doctors, nurses and management at Stanford Medical Center.
Attorney Peter Robinson is Managing Director of the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine School of Law. Known for his humor, energy and ability to provide real world lessons from his mediation experience, he is a popular lecturer and trainer. Peter has presented advanced negotiation and mediation skills courses in more than thirty states as well as Argentina, Canada, England, Holland, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Mexico, France and Rwanda. He is an honorary fellow of the International Academy of Mediators. The California Dispute Resolution Council recognized Peter as Peacemaker of the Year in 1999. The Los Angeles Magazine has recognized him as a Southern California Super Lawyer in the area of mediation, intermittently since 2006.
Hon. Daniel Weinstein
Hon. Dan Weinstein (Retired) is a former California Judge and a founder of JAMS, the World’s largest provider of mediation and arbitration services. He is recognized as one of the premier mediators of complex, multi-party, high-stake cases, both in the United States and abroad. Since 1997, he has mediated cases with aggregate values of billions of dollars annually and designed innovative processes tailored to unique, complex, and highly sensitive cases. Dan is a pioneer in the development of mediation, and teaches and lectures to fellow mediators and lawyers throughout the United States. In 2008 he started the Weinstein JAMS International Fellowship Program which provides opportunities for qualified individuals from outside the United States to study dispute resolution processes and practices in the U.S. to assist them in their efforts to advance the resolution of disputes in their home countries.
Hon. Rebecca Westerfield
Hon. Rebecca Westerfield (Retired) has settled and arbitrated over 2,500 cases throughout the United States and internationally. A full-time JAMS panelist since 1992, Rebecca is widely perceived as a tenacious mediator. She is known for her ability to grasp legal and factual issues quickly, as well as reading the personalities involved. Rebecca is particularly adept at dealing with matters that involve cross-cultural dynamics and high emotional content. She has extensive mediation experience in a large variety of complex cases: accounting, financial markets, banking, business/commercial, civil rights, class action/mass tort, employment, entertainment, estates/probate/trusts, franchise, government public agency, healthcare, insurance, personal injury, professional liability, real property and securities. Rebecca has conducted mediation trainings throughout the US and overseas.
Attorney Vivien Williamson has been a mediator since 1987 and has assisted in resolving thousands of cases, including employment, landlord-tenant, real estate, construction, insurance, breach of contract, personal injury and malpractice disputes. Vivien conducts mediator and mediation advocacy training seminars and has made numerous presentations on ADR and related issues to bar associations, universities, law firms, professional societies and other organizations across the country. She has also consulted with corporations, law firms, governmental agencies and other organizations on the design and implementation of conflict management systems. Vivien is the founding chairperson of the Bar Association of San Francisco ADR Section and has served as a mediation training designer and trainer for the Bar Association. She has taught mediation and negotiation at Hastings College of the Law and other law schools and universities.
Vic Schachter has served extensively as a mediator and as an advocate, representing clients in numerous mediations and arbitrations over his fifty-year career. He is the founder and president of the Foundation for Sustainable Rule of Law Initiatives, an NGO that creates sustainable mediation centers in developing countries. He has led and participated in rule of law initiatives promoting judicial reform and alternative dispute resolution in India, Brazil, Turkey, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Republic of Georgia and Malaysia, among other countries. In 2008, Mr. Schachter was recognized as a California Lawyer Attorney of the Year for his service in judicial reform, rule of law, and mediation building. His work has been reported and cited in numerous publications.