Section Events


  • ADR: Child Custody Evaluations & ADR Teleseminar

    Aug 23, 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM (ET)
    ​Register: online or by mail form PDF Registration deadline is August 18, 2017 Child custody disputes frequently end up before a judge. Courts are increasingly referring these disputes to child custody evaluators. This 90-minute interactive seminar will prepare you to incorporate these evaluations into your custody mediation, either as a mediator or a litigator. Learn what makes a good comprehensive child custody evaluation, when is a CCE appropriate and how it can be incorporated into the ADR process, and common issues in custody disputes including: Domestic Violence Move Aways Child Abuse Child Sexual Abuse Parental Alienation Panel: Ben Burgess , MA, LLP, Fountain Hill Center, Grand Rapids, and Connie Thacker , JD, Thacker Sleight PC, Grand Rapids Moderator: Robert E. L. Wright , The Peace Talks PLC, Grand Rapids About the Panel Ben Burgess is a psychologist with a practice focusing primarily on high-conflict divorce and parental separation, as well as high-conflict child custody and parenting time evaluations. Mr. Burgess received a master's degree in counseling psychology from Western Michigan University in 2006. Since 2006, he has worked in various private practices and is currently at the Fountain Hill Center in Grand Rapids. In addition to private practice, Mr. Burgess worked as office psychologist for the Ottawa County Friend of the Court, where he routinely examined complex cases involving child alienation, intimate partner violence, and other complex custody and parenting time issues. Mr. Burgess' practice has expanded to include parent-child reunification and parent coordination. Connie Thacker is a shareholder with Thacker Sleight PC. She concentrates her practice in family law, including complex divorce litigation with issues involving business and professional valuations, child custody, and parenting time. Connie is a fellow in the prestigious American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML). She has been trained in various forms of alternative dispute resolution, is a trained mediator, and has earned certification from the AAML Matrimonial Arbitration Training Institute and the Collaborative Practice Institute of Michigan. Best Lawyers named Connie Grand Rapids' Family Lawyer of the Year for 2017, 2015, and 2011. In 2017, Leading Lawyers recognized her for her work in family law and ranked her in Michigan's Top 100 Women Lawyers for 2017.​​​

  • Mediating Attorney Fee Disputes

    Sep 12, 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM (ET)
    Register: online or by mail form PDF Registration deadline is Sept. 8, 2017 Attorney fee disputes can be challenging for mediators. When the value of an attorney’s services is questioned, things tend to get contentious. Often the mediation involves parties disputing the amount of a fee after a fee shifting statute or court rule is in effect. Other times the mediation is between an attorney and former client. On occasion, a judge may have sanctioned a party or attorney, reserving the amount for a future hearing if the parties cannot reach an agreement. These disputes are difficult to resolve because of perceptions, personalities, pride, and sometimes downright bad behavior by one or more participants. To be effective, the mediator must have a basic understanding of attorney fees, fee agreements and related legal and equitable issues. The mediator must be able to marshal this understanding to identify the issues, build trust, build consensus where possible, and help develop workable solutions toward an agreement. In this teleseminar, you will learn: • How the nature of the dispute impacts the mediation • The impact of claims of malpractice, ethical violations, and fraud on negotiations • How to deal with attorney-client privilege claims and waivers • Authority to settle affected by these variables • Factors which parties need to address in fee disputes • When attorney fees may be recovered by law or court rule and prevailing standards • Common objections mediators are likely to encounter • Answers to your questions about dealing with these disputes About our Speaker Byron P. (“Pat”) Gallagher, Jr. is a graduate of the Washington University School of Law and has practiced law in Michigan since 1989. Pat frequently serves as a mediator of attorney fee, business, real estate, and probate disputes. He is an approved facilitative mediator for the United States District Court Western District of Michigan. Pat also serves as an expert witness and consultant on attorney fee, receiver fee, estate and legal malpractice disputes. His office is in East Lansing.​​ (517) 853-1515 / bpg@thegallagherlawfirm.com

  • ADR Section: Annual Meeting

    Oct 13 - 14, (ET)
    Please join us for an exciting learning and networking event! Attend the ADR Section’s 2017 Annual Meeting and ADR Conference, featuring 8-hours of advanced mediation training.* Choose from an assortment of hot topics, case law, and research updates. Engage in skill-building exercises. Discover what’s new. Add fresh skills to improve your current array of techniques. If your practice is in family law, add an optional program of domestic relations mediation topics offered by the Family Mediation Council-Michigan. Network with your friends and colleagues, all in one convenient weekend! We also invite you to attend the Section Cocktail Reception and Awards Banquet Friday night with keynote speaker Justice Bridget M. McCormack. Enjoy good food, good conversation and good cheer as we honor our colleagues who have made especially strong contributions to the field of alternative dispute resolution. (*SCAO approval will be sought for 8-hours of advanced mediation training credit. Registration fees may be refunded if not approved.) Register : online or by mail form PDF Registration deadline is October 3, 2017 ADR Annual Meeting : Saturday, October 14, 2017 8:30-9:00 a.m. View the Agenda Become a Sponsor : Sponsors receive varying levels of benefits, including: recognition in conference materials, free admission and banquet tickets. For a description and to take advantage of those benefits, please see the Sponsor Registration Form . Hotel Rooms: A limited block of rooms at The Inn at St. Johns is being held for conference attendees until SEPTEMBER 22, 2017. The special room rate is $159 per night (plus all applicable taxes). Rooms are limited so reserve early. You must make reservations directly with the hotel at (734) 414-0600 and reference “Alternative Dispute Resolution Section/State Bar of Michigan."
    Plymouth, MI, United States