Association of Attorney-Mediators

Advanced Attorney-Mediator Training

April 20 & 21, 2018

Indianapolis, IN

Speakers and Panelists


Courtenay Bass is a full-time mediator and a charter member of AAM. She has conducted more than 5000 mediations. Courtenay was the 2004 recipient of AAM’s Brutsché Award. She has been on the faculty of many mediator training programs in the U.S. and in New Zealand and Buenos Aires, Argentina, including the ABA Institute on Jury Persuasion, the faculty of the Texas College for Advanced Judicial Studies (Mediation Program for Judiciary), and various Dallas Bar Association and National Institute of Trial Advocacy mediation and ADR training programs. Courtenay also taught mediation with both the American Academy of Attorney Mediators and the Attorney Mediators Institute.  She has been honored multiple times as a Texas Lawyer Super Lawyer, as well as by D Magazine and Best Lawyers in America and multiple other organizations.  She is a full time mediator with Gilbert Mediation Group in Dallas, TX.   

Trey Bergman, J.D. has practiced complex commercial litigation since 1980 at all levels of state and federal court, is Board Certified in Civil Trial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and has mediated and arbitrated more than $95 Billion in disputes since 1990.  Trey is a past national president of the Association of Attorney-Mediators and a Steve Brutsche’ Award recipient. Trey is a frequent speaker and author for the State Bar of Texas, American Bar Association and numerous national and local bar associations and organizations throughout Texas and the nation, has trained more than 5,000 attorneys, judges and law students to mediate throughout the United States, England, Mexico and Turkey and is a former adjunct professor at South Texas College of Law and Pepperdine Law School teaching classes in mediation and negotiation.  Trey is incoming Chair of the Texas State Bar ADR Section, currently serves on the Texas State Bar CLE Committee, and has served as Chair of the Texas State Bar MCLE Committee.  As President of the Bergman ADR Group in Houston, Texas, Trey now devotes his practice exclusively to serving as a mediator and arbitrator. Trey is a Fellow, Board member and tutor in the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a Fellow and Board member in the College of Commercial Arbitrators, a panelist with the American Arbitration Association Large Complex Case Panel, is AV-Preeminent rated by Martindale-Hubbell, has been named “Texas Super Lawyer” by Texas Monthly Magazine every year since its inception in 2003 and has been voted #1 Best Individual Mediator/Arbitrator in Houston by U.S. News-Best Lawyers Survey. Trey is also a certified cave diver, licensed skydiver and licensed sailplane pilot.

Mari Frank, Esq. has been an attorney/mediator since 1985 and is a Certified Privacy Expert and a MCLE Trainer for the State Bar of California.  She teaches conflict management courses at Brandman University, the University of California, and trains lawyers and other professionals in negotiation, mediation and effective communication skills.  She mediates for the Orange County, California Superior Court Civil Mediation Panel, the Orange County Bar Mediation Fee Dispute Panel, and privately for family law cases as well as business, privacy, probate and other civil cases. She’s sits on the Judicial Mediation Committee of the Orange County Superior Court, the Executive Committee of the ADR Section of the Orange County Bar, and she’s an advisor to the Executive Committee of the California State Bar Law Practice Management and Technology Section.  She’s the author of the textbook, Negotiation Breakthroughs, and she co-authored Stepping Stones to Success and wrote several other books  Mari is  the radio host of  Fighting for Love: Turn Conflict into Collaboration on KUCI, 88.9 FM in Irvine California  streaming on every Monday morning at 8:30 AM Pacific Time.      

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Ernest “Hank” Jones, II, primary area of practice, since admission to the Bar in May of 1974, has been insurance defense litigation.  He has represented insurers and insured in over 90 of Kentucky’s 120 counties and tried cases in more than 60 of Kentucky’s counties.  Additionally, Hank is certified by the Kentucky Administrative Office of the Courts as a mediator and has been mediating cases in the above areas of practice since 1999.  Hank is a frequent lecturer for CLE programs sponsored by the Kentucky Bar Association, the Kentucky Defense Counsel and the National Business Institute, on topics such as insurance coverage, declaratory judgment actions, voir dire strategy, trial tactics and mediation best practices.  Most notably, Hank was named Lexington’s 2014 Insurance Law “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers of America.  He is the Best Lawyer in America and a Kentucky Super Lawyer in the areas of Insurance Law and Personal Injury Defense.  Hank achieved an AV “Preeminent” rating from Martindale-Hubbell and is a Litigation Counsel of America Fellow.  

Laura A. Josephson-Bernat is an attorney-mediator-arbitrator in the Chicago metropolitan area concentrating her practice solely on alternative dispute resolution.  She is a guest instructor for Loyola University Chicago School of Law, a judge for the INADR International Law School Mediation Tournament, and a certified mediator and arbitrator for Illinois’ Nineteenth Judicial Circuit Court.  Laura began her legal career as a prosecutor in Cook County, Illinois where she honed her appellate and trial practice.  She then transferred to the private sector at the Chicago office of Rudnick & Wolfe (now DLA Piper) counseling clients in complex business transactions and franchising, and advocating for clients in litigation.  Moving to Boulder, Colorado, Laura represented entrepreneurial clients in various industries from technology to the outdoors at Chrisman Bynum & Johnson (now Faegre Baker Daniels).  At Chuhak & Tecson, Laura counseled family owned business and closely held business on a wide range of legal and business issues.  She studied business and law in London, Maastricht and Rome.  In 1990, Laura attained a BS with high honors from Indiana University’s Kelly School of Business, and in 1993, Laura earned a JD cum laude and an MBA from Loyola University Chicago. 

Jeff Kilgore was a trial lawyer when he decided the disputants could benefit greatly from crafting their own settlement with the help of their attorneys. He started focusing on mediation and arbitration in 1998 and has continued to grow his practice and training by participating in seminars and courses on a regular basis. He also has taught mediation courses at the University of Houston AA White Dispute Resolution Center and has chaired and co-chaired mediation trainings in advanced family mediation. He has completed over 1900 mediations in contracts disputes, construction, insurance issues, property law disputes, securities, probate and family law matters.  His primary office is in Galveston, Texas and he works out of the Greenway Mediation Center, Houston, when requested.  Jeff is married to Mary Kilgore and has three children Chris, Adam and Kelsey, and grandchildren, Tierney and Aislynn. He enjoys sailing, boating, nature photography, and cooking for friends and family, instead of grilling opponents in court.   He has been in law practice 45 years in April 2018.  Jeff has been a member of AAM since 1999 and is a past board member and immediate past president of AAM (2017-2018).

Kimberlee Kovach has been a leader and visionary in the modern mediation and dispute resolution movement for over thirty-five years.   She is a leading teacher, trainer, scholar and practitioner in the fields of mediation, negotiation, arbitration and neutral case evaluation as well as in the design of dispute resolution processes and systems. She has nearly forty years of experience as a mediator in a wide variety of cases.  She has also been an arbitrator for over twenty-five years.  Kim is an expert in process design, and possesses the unique ability to recognize and design innovative approaches to dispute resolution. Kim is focused on finding ways which will most effectively solve problems and assist the parties in reaching a final resolution. Professor Kovach created and conducted the first mediation training in the state of Texas, and has continued to teach and train mediators around the globe.  She has taught a variety of ADR courses in legal education for over twenty-five years, and was a leader in the creation of mediation clinics.  She has also taught numerous courses in negotiation, arbitration, as well as specialized trainings for private organizations and institutions. Kimberlee authored the first widely adopted mediation textbook, Mediation: Principles and Practice (3rd Ed. 2004) as well as Mediation In A Nutshell (3rd ed. 2014). Kim is a current AAM member.  

Michael Leech is a full-time neutral mediator and arbitrator.  Mike is a past President of the Association of Attorney-Mediators. He has successfully conducted hundreds of civil case mediations involving employment and commercial disputes. He conducts mediations in Philadelphia and Chicago, where he practiced in employment law and commercial litigation for over 30 years.  Mike co-authored the legal treatise Holloway & Leech, Employment Termination: Rights & Remedies (BNA 1985; 2d ed. 1992; Supp. 2002).  A distinguished fellow in the International Academy of Mediators, he is also a longtime fellow of the College of Labor & Employment Lawyers and was its liaison for the Restatement of Employment Law project. Mike received his B.A. (1973) and J.D. (1976) from the University of Virginia.  He can be reached at (215) 642-8776 or by e-mail  

Randall (Randy) Rapp has practiced law in Chicago since 1976, most of it as a litigator in construction and commercial disputes. Randy also served for 10 years as General Counsel and business executive for a mid-sized manufacturing company. As a member of the management team, he was among a small group of decision-makers for all aspects of the business with specific responsibility for human resources, product safety, litigation, and corporate governance.  In 1982, he was first appointed to the American Arbitration Association construction industry panel and later to the commercial panel.  Randy is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. Randy serves on the Illinois State Bar Association Construction Law Section Council. Randy began actively mediating cases in 2012. He is certified as a mediator in Cook, Lake, and McHenry counties in Illinois, as a mediator for the Domestic Relations Division of Cook County, and as a foreclosure mediator in Lake County, Illinois.  You can learn more about Randy’s alternative dispute resolution practice at

Rebecca Simpson is a partner with the law firm of English, Lucas, Priest & Owsley LLP, where she represents clients in all areas of family law including divorce litigation, collaborative divorce, child custody, child support, domestic violence, adoption, and alternative reproductive technology. Simpson is also a family law mediator recognized by the Kentucky Administrative Office of the Courts’ Roster of Court–Approved Mediators, as well as the Warren County Family Court’s Mediation Roster. Simpson is the current Chair of both the Alternative Dispute Resolution and the Family Law Sections of the Kentucky Bar Association, and she is an active member of the Warren County Family Court Mediation Committee. Simpson is also trained in Collaborative Family Practice and currently serves as the President of the Southern Kentucky Association of Collaborative Professionals.  Throughout her career, Simpson has been committed to professional excellence, to public service and to the improvement of the practice of law. To that end, in collaboration with her local family court judges, Simpson initiated a volunteer mediation project in Warren Family Court to help low income families develop their own resolutions to disputes outside of court without resorting to litigation. In 2012, the Bowling Green-Warren County Bar Association presented Simpson with the Gwyneth B. Davis Outstanding Public Service Award in recognition of her commitment to public service and dedication to the principles of community spirit, and, in 2017, Simpson received the Pro Bono Publico Award for her dedication and commitment to the principles of pro bono services in an effort to make equal justice for all a reality. 

Ross W. Stoddard, III is an attorney-mediator with a full-time mediation practice, based in Las Colinas in Irving, Texas.  Since 1989, he has conducted 5,000+ mediations involving $28+ billion in aggregate claims.  Ross also served as faculty for the Effective Negotiations course in the SMU Executive MBA Program for 12 years and for 45+ mediation training programs offered through various bar/ADR associations.  He authored the chapter on the use of ADR in tort disputes in The Litigator’s Handbook, published by the ABA Section of Litigation.  Ross was a founding director and officer of AAM and the American Academy of Attorney-Mediators, Inc., and served on the Council of the State Bar of Texas ADR Section.  Prior to becoming a mediator, his experience as a lawyer was in a broad range of transactions and litigations, primarily in business and contract matters.  Ross earned a JD from University of Texas School of Law following a BBA from Southern Methodist University.

John C. Trimble is a partner in the Indianapolis law firm of Lewis Wagner, LLP. In a 36 year career John has been admitted in State and Federal Court in more than 30 jurisdictions where he has litigated complex and catastrophic tort, insurance coverage, and business litigation. He began his career as a mediator in 1988, and through the years has mediated cases of all sizes and complexities. John lectures and writes on mediation for law schools and bar association groups and as part of his practice serves as a negotiation consultant. In 2014 he was invited by the Federal Judicial Center to teach mediation and settlement technique at the U.S Magistrate Workshops. John is also a member of the Board of AAM. 

John R. Van Winkle has been involved in ADR generally since 1985, acting as mediator, arbitrator and trainer. His primary focus is mediation of commercial, contract, insurance coverage and class action cases.  Mr. Van Winkle has written numerous articles and law journal articles on ADR and mediation and is author of West Publishing Company’s Indiana Practice: Rules of Alternative Dispute Resolution Annotated and Mediation: A Path Back for the Lost Lawyer (1st and 2nd Editions). Mr. Van Winkle has conducted numerous seminars and training programs in ADR and mediation for state, local and national groups, including training of Civil Judges in Budapest, Hungary.  John was also the second chair of the American Bar Association's section of dispute resolution. He is on the panels of AAA, CPR and FINRA.  

Karen L. Vervaecke has over three decades of experience as a lawyer, mediator, arbitrator, and guardian ad litem.  Karen utilities her education, training, life experience and abilities to help couples, families, and businesses to resolve their issues amicably.  Her practice encompasses the emotional and financial aspects of divorce, paternity cases, parenting act cases, elder law cases and all types of business mediation. She specializes in high conflict situations. Karen mentors and trains mediators throughout Nebraska. She mediates privately; and for the Douglas County Conciliation Court, Concord Mediation Center; the Resolution Center and the Mediation Center in Nebraska. Her practice also includes mediating for the United States District of Nebraska Bankruptcy Court.  Karen is the chair of the Nebraska State Bar Association ODR Committee. For more information please see 

Thomas R. Woodrow has practiced for over 30 years on litigation matters, consisting primarily of complex product liability, toxic tort, and commercial cases. He has handled and tried cases in several state and federal trial courts and has supervised and coordinated local counsel in numerous venues across the country. Mr. Woodrow has also developed an active settlement counsel practice in which he represents and counsels clients in settlement strategies and negotiation. He helped design and implement a settlement program in multi-tiered litigation for a particular client that received the CPR Center for Dispute Resolution’s Outstanding Practical Achievement Award in the area of dispute resolution. He has attended hundreds of mediations and settlement conferences as settlement counsel, and routinely develops and implements settlement strategies for complicated, multi-party cases. Mr. Woodrow has also written and spoken on the topics of product liability and settlement strategy.  He has lectured and made presentations to a number of domestic and international organizations, including the ABA Dispute Resolution Section, the San Antonio ACCA Chapter, the Houston Bar Association, the CPR Center for Conflict Resolution, the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, the International Academy of Mediators, the Danish-American Business Forum, and the Brazil-US Chamber of Commerce.  Mr. Woodrow has been selected in the Best Lawyers in America guide, Alternative Dispute Resolution; Mediation, 2005-2016.  He is a member of the American Bar Association and the Association of Attorney-Mediators. 

Jay Zeleskey is married to his amazing wife, Tracy, and is the father of three kiddos: Zach (age 9), Maggie (age 7) and Jake (age 3).  He is a full-time mediator in Dallas, Texas with over 28 years of legal experience.  He has conducted over 3,000 mediations and has completed over 500 hours in mediation training.  He frequently speaks and writes on mediation advocacy and conflict resolution.  He has taught Biblical conflict resolution at his church as well as in Kazakhstan, Spain and Guatemala.  Before starting his mediation practice in 1997, Jay practiced law in Dallas as a trial attorney. Jay served as the chairman of the Dallas Bar Association’s ADR Section in 2005 and also served on the board of the State Bar of Texas’ ADR Section.  He is a current board member of the Association of Attorney-Mediators. 


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