Gayle Nathan, Esq. Having served as a District Court Judge in the Family Division of Clark County, Nevada, Gayle Nathan is uniquely qualified to understand the benefits that alternative dispute resolution methods provide in resolving disputes.
The cost of litigation is not just financial. There is an emotional price that is paid when people who lived together and raised children bring their disputes into Court. Parents often overlook the burden their court battle puts on their children, on the grandparents, and adult siblings.
Court is not just a concept, it is an adversarial process. Litigants do not fully comprehend they are engaged in a war when they file a court action until they arrive in Court and have their first experience in front of a judge. When lawyers are involved in the process the stakes are even higher, as there are attorney fee requests and a strong desire to “win” for the client. Sadly, no one wins in Family Court, no matter who is the prevailing party.
Ms. Nathan met families where children threatened suicide; cut their wrists; ran away; and acted out in school while their parents did battle in Court. She is committed to promoting mediation to resolve divorce and custody disputes to allow litigants to quickly and successfully resolve their differences while maintaining control over the final result.
Prior to her election to the District Court, Family Division in 2010, Ms. Nathan practiced law for 22 years. She had a busy employment law practice, litigating Title VII cases in the U.S. Federal Court where she participated in the Early Neutral Evaluation program where most of her cases settled. She has substantial civil experience in contracts and personal injury. Having been an employer with her own firm for 15 years, she understands business law and the banking and tax implications for small businesses.
Ms. Nathan’s appellate practice provides another dimension to her mediation practice. Having argued numerous cases before the Nevada Supreme Court, en banc, and before three judge panels and before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals she can assess the likelihood of success on appeal in cases that are headed in that direction.
Where parties have managed to resolve almost all of their issues, but are unable to resolve a few key points, Ms. Nathan can offer her services as a private judge. She has written an article, “Alternate Trials in Nevada” that details the benefit of this option.
Gayle Nathan is looking forward to working in the alternative dispute resolution arena and offering her services as a private judge to empower people to resolve their disputes without engaging in a court battle.
Dr. Barbara Timmons Strahl is an experienced mediator, facilitator, conflict coach and educator. She has a doctorate in Conflict Analysis and Resolution and has worked in conflict resolution and transformation for more than 25 years.
Formerly at the Clark County Courts Neighborhood Justice Center (NJC), Barbara trained and mentored all of the County mediators for almost 16 years. Many local attorneys and conflict resolution professionals participated in barbara’s mediation training and continuing education for mediators.
Barbara believes mediation is preferable to litigation which can be costly, time consuming, and end in decisions parties are not satisfied with. Mediation allows participants to discuss issues in privacy and design resolutions that work with their life and circumstances. As a mediator, Barbara helps parties communicate, explore, and work toward what’s important to them. Solutions arrived at in mediation may have never be thought of before this process.
Barbara regularly mediates discrimination and multiparty cases. Her clients include the United States Postal Service, the Department of the Interior Bureau of Reclamation, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the University of Nevada Las Vegas. Her practice has included disputes ranging from business to criminal and divorce to neighbor.
Raymond W. Patterson, Esq., was the Associate Director of the Saltman Center for Conflict Resolution at the William S. Boyd School of Law (UNLV) until his retirement in 2013. He was also the founder and original director of the Strasser Mediation Clinic there, where he trained law students to mediate and supervised their mediation of cases referred by Clark County’s Family Court. He currently has his own practice, Ray Patterson Mediation (www.raypattersonmediation.com).
Ray believes that a divorce shouldn’t cost more than a wedding, and that people who were able to marry, have or adopt children, raise those children, and take care of their finances by themselves are also able to negotiate their own divorces, and anything else that may arise as they dissolve the marriage contract and start life again as single people.
Twenty years ago the term ‘family’ meant a husband, wife and, perhaps, children. The word has expanded dramatically since then. Families related by blood and marriage have now been joined by families of affiliation. Couples may be lovers, partners, in legal domestic unions, or lawfully married. Problems may arise between them, between them and one or more members of their biological families, or among the people who make up their families of affiliation. Mediation is available to all in such circumstances. As the French essayist Joseph Joubert advised, “Never cut what you can untie.”
Ray has practiced facilitative mediation for more than twenty years, meaning he does not direct his clients as to what to do, but rather assists them in finding creative and acceptable means of resolving seemingly intractable disagreements. His chief concern is that all participants in mediation feel heard and, whenever possible, leave with an agreement they can live with.
Andrew V. Hall, Esq., is an experienced mediator with an extensive background in conflict resolution. He was trained and certified in the Strasser Mediation Clinic at the William S. Boyd School of Law, where he mediated divorces and conflicts arising from other civil matters. Upon graduation from the clinic, Andrew served as an assistant professor and mentor to incoming clinic students. He also participated in mediations involving multi-million dollar civil disputes during his time in private practice.
Andrew works to help mediation participants develop solutions that may not be readily apparent on the surface of a dispute. He believes that, much like in a negotiation, many of the best solutions are found by “expanding the pie” of possibilities to avoid viewing conflicts as a zero-sum game.
Matthew S. Fox, Esq., is a trained and certified mediator who has mediated a wide variety of family disputes and has successfully helped resolve divorce actions referred by the Clark County Family Court.
Matt, a facilitative mediator, focuses on creating a mediating atmosphere that is more conducive of conflict resolution by asking participants not just what they want, but what they need and why they need it. Often, an explanation proves invaluable, and barriers to resolution fall. Accordingly, through more effective communication over the course of the mediation, Matt believes that participants are able to discuss the terms of an agreement more comfortably, which will ultimately lead to a resolution that each participant will be able to live with.
Joanna Wares founded Las Vegas Mediation because she believed so strongly in resolving differences outside of court. Her years of experience in the insurance industry only reaffirmed that belief. Joanna was a mediator for Nevada Foreclosure Mediation Program, the Clark County Courts Neighborhood Justice Center, the State Bar of Nevada Fee Dispute, the Clark County Small Claims Court, the National Center for Dispute Settlement, and the Insurance Expert Network.
Those of us who had the pleasure of knowing and working with her will always remember her positive, can-do attitude and her great generosity of spirit. Joanna retired in 2015, returning to her family in Texas. The mediators of Las Vegas Mediation miss her greatly, but wish her nothing but the best. (We’re pretty sure she’ll find some way to give back to her local community in her inimitable fashion.)
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