About the Minnesota Alternative Dispute Collaborative Project

The History Behind the Minnesota Alternative Dispute Collaborative Project

Based on the challenges of working with high conflict families and increased ethics complaints against family neutrals, there was a perceived need for clarity and predictability of the Parenting Consultant (“PC”) and Parenting Time Expeditor (“PTE”) roles in Minnesota. In 2012, Mediation Center at Hamline University, Minnesota members of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and the Minnesota Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts convened a group of PCs, PTEs and family court/ADR professionals.  The goal of the group was to create and provide tools for judges, attorneys, and neutrals that represent high standards of practice for PCs and PTEs.  The group agreed to work with professional associations, the ADR Ethics Board and others to distribute and educate target groups about the PC role and standards.

There is growing interest in Child Inclusive Mediation (“CIM”) in Minnesota, and no standard practices.  In 2013, the collaborative reconvened and expanded to include experienced child inclusive mediation practitioners  in order to create model documents, definitions, and suggested standards for CIM.

Who We Are

PC/PTE contributors included: Ellen Abbott, Deborah Anderson, Peggy Cottrell, Mike Goldfarb, Aimee Gourlay, Karen Irvin, Caitlyn Lothian, Kevin McGrath, Mindy Mitnick, Andrea Niemi, Kelly Semler, and Nancy Zalusky Berg.

CIM contributors included: Deborah Anderson, Nancy Darcy, Mike Goldfarb, Aimee Gourlay, Karen Irvin, Jennifer Joseph, Kirsten Lysne, Mindy Mitnick, Michelle Millenacker, Andrea Niemi, Gay Rosenthal, Kelly Semler, Judy Sherwood, Matthew Shore, Kristin Woulfe, and Nancy Zalusky Berg.  Special thanks to Dr. Jennifer McIntosh in Australia for her advice and information.

How to Use This Website and Documents

This website is to serve as the host for the documents and all future updates. We ask that rather than saving the documents on your own webpage that you link to the following pages. This way, you will have access to the most accurate and up-to-date documents.

Training  http://law.hamline.edu/mediation_center/training.html

PC or PTE training is not required for neutrals in Minnesota. However, members of this collaboration highly recommend taking such a training. The members of this collaboration provide training through Mediation Center at Hamline University School of Law. For more information about training opportunities, please follow the link above.

Child Inclusive Mediation for Mediators - December 6, 2013, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm.  This course focuses on the mediator’s role and use of child inclusive practice and partnering with the child consultant.

Minnesota experts, including Mindy Mitnick, Karen Irvin, Jennifer Joseph and Nancy Berg, formed a “CIM best practices” group and developed protocols for integrating child inclusion into family mediation. They will share their experiences, forms and best practices. CE/CLE credits application will be made.

Topics include: CIM definitions, distinctions, and overview of research; screening for appropriateness of the child inclusive process; working with child consultants in mediation (role of the mediator; role of the child consultant and how they talk with kids; and partnering: building relationships, topics to discuss together); the work of the MN best practices group, protocols, forms and recommendations; role play; panel discussion with presenters sharing insights and learning from their CIM experiences; and Q and A.

Contacting Us

Questions, comments, and suggestions about this website and these documents are appreciated. Please forward them to MNADRCollaborative@gmail.com.