Speakers

Debra Dupree, Psy.D.

Known as the MINDSET Doc, Dr. Debra Dupree strives to make a difference in the lives of people she touches by providing insight and vision for leveraging the mindset for new perspectives and opportunities when it comes to resolving conflict and improving communication.

As the former Director of Training for Mediation Training Institute (MTI), she worked directly with Dr. Dan Dana, a forerunner in the field of dispute resolution, training attorneys and human resource professionals in Workplace Mediation throughout N.A. She serves as a Senior Mentor Mediator and Trainer for the DON since 2000 and on numerous mediation panels. Her niche market is workplace mediation and facilitating the interactive process for employees with medical conditions. Dr. D is on the SCMA Board of Directors, a ABA Dispute Resolution Section member, the AAA Mediator Employment Law Panel, and faculty at AAA Mediation.

Terri Breer, Esq.

Attorney and Mediator, Terri Breer, has been a licensed attorney since 1985 and has experience as a civil litigator, mediator and collaborative attorney handling divorce, family law, real estate, and business matters. Although she has conducted civil trials involving business, real estate and family law disputes, her practice has been devoted to mediation of family law disputes and other forms of alternative dispute resolution including collaborative divorce methods.  She has written several articles on alternative dispute resolution and the need for change in the current family law adversarial system.  She was Chair of OCBA – Alternative Dispute Resolution Section in 2014.  She has served as Board Member of the Southern California Mediation Association (SCMA) for two terms from 2015 to 2021.   She has led SCMA’s Orange County Professional Development Group and has chaired the SCMA Family Mediation Institute (FMI) in 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021.

Ms. Breer currently owns and manages Breer Law Offices, a solo law and mediation practice in Irvine and Palm Desert, California.  Her private practice was established first in 1988 as a civil litigation firm focusing on family law, real estate, and business matters.  In 1994 the firm expanded to include family law mediation and in 2004, Collaborative Divorce.  She has mediated hundreds of family law disputes, including divorce, custody, property division, pre-marital agreements, domestic partnerships, and surrogacy arrangements.  Ms. Breer provides legal services as a collaborative attorney in Collaborative Divorce cases and will often use a cooperative team approach when she mediates divorce disputes collaborating with financial planners, child specialists and divorce coaches through the mediation process.  

Ms. Breer is an MCLE provider for the State Bar of California and provides family mediation training for California attorneys, therapists, financial professionals, and mediators through her business, New Day Divorce.  Her training program curriculum focuses on instructing family mediators on the legal issues in divorce, relevant California Statutes, characterization and division of marital property, determining child and spousal support, preparing parenting plans, and document preparation required to process uncontested divorce throughout family law courts in California jurisdictions.

Ms. Breer is active in hosting various networking and educational opportunities for divorce professionals, including South Coast Collaborative Professionals Luncheons and Mixers from 2006 to 2016, and The Attorney Therapist Breakfast Club that was founded in 2017 and meets monthly in Orange County.  Both professional groups bring together professionals who share her commitment to helping families resolve divorce and family disputes cooperatively and outside of the adversarial court system.  

 

Chip Rose

Chip Rose has been the Director of the Mediation Center in Santa Cruz, California and certified as a Specialist in Family Law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.  Chip maintained private practices in Mediation and Collaborative Practice in Santa Cruz, California prior to retiring in 2018.

Chip is recognized nationally and internationally as an innovator and expert in the field of mediation and collaborative conflict resolution.  He is a founding Board Member and past President of the Academy of Professional Family Mediators (2015-2016) and previously was a member of the Board of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP.  An adjunct faculty member of the Strauss Institute for Dispute Resolution at the Pepperdine University School of Law, he teaches workshops in basic and advanced mediation and collaborative negotiation.  Chip authored The Creative Solution column in the quarterly Family Section Newsletter of the Academy of Professional Family Mediators (APFM); the chapter, “Mediating Financial Issues”  in Divorce and Family Mediation: Models, Techniques and Applications edited by Jay Folberg; and co-authored the chapter “Psychology and Divorce” in The Financial Handbook of Divorce, edited by Crumbley and Apostolou.  Since 1994, Chip has also been providing training throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom in the theory and application of Mediation and Collaborative Practice.

Stephanie Blondell

Stephanie Bell Blondell is an Associate Professor of Law and Practice and Associate Director of the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University School of Law. She directs the Mediation Clinic as well as reaching Mediation Theory and Practice and Psychology of Conflict. Prior to joining Pepperdine, Professor Bell served as the Manager of the King County Alternative Dispute Resolution Program and Interlocal Conflict Resolution Group, a tri-county labor-management and public policy mediation program in the Seattle area. In the Straus Profession Skills Programs, Professor Blondell currently teaches Mediating the Litigated Case, The Womens’ Negotiation Academy and leads the Conflict Resolution initiative between the Los Angeles Police Department and the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution. Prior to this she was the Alternative Dispute Resolution Coordinator for the City of Seattle where she designed and implemented a labor and employment mediation program for city government. Before joining Straus full time, Bell served as an adjunct at Straus, Seattle University School of Law, and the University of Washington Master’s in Public Administration Program. Professor Bell earned her B.A. with Honors in American Civilization from Brown University, and her J.D. from the University of Washington School of Law.

Susan Guthrie, Esq.

Susan Guthrie, nationally recognized as one of the Top Family Law Attorneys and Mediators in the United States, has been helping individuals and families navigate separation and divorce for more than 30 years.  In 2020 Susan partnered with mediation legend, Forrest “Woody” Mosten, to create the Mosten Guthrie Academy to provide cutting edge gold-standard trainings for attorneys, mediators and other professionals.  

As a leading dispute resolution professional, Susan is honored to serve on the Executive Council of the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Section of Dispute Resolution as the Budget Officer (2021-2022) and to be a Co-Chair of the Advanced Mediation & Advocacy Skills Institute for the past four years.  Susan is also honored to serve on the Board of the Southern California Mediation Association and to be an honorary member of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals (NADN.)

Susan is also an internationally well-regarded expert in online mediation and has been training colleagues and other professionals in the practical and ethical considerations of conducting their mediations online with her innovative programs and webinars for more than two years.  To date, more than 17,000 dispute resolution professionals have benefited from her program and she has trained mediators in countries all around the world including programs for the American Bar Association (ABA), the Alternative Dispute Resolution Institute of Canada (ADRIC), and the National Association of Distinguished Neutrals (NADN) among others.  Susan founded Learn to Mediate Online™ in 2018 and now offers more than 7 programs for professionals all designed to help them to advance their skills and their practice to new heights.

Susan was recently awarded the prestigious L. Randolph Lowry Award from the Southern California Mediation Association for 2020 which is presented to a member of the dispute resolution community who has honored and inspired us through their passion and dedication to education in the field of dispute resolution.   In addition, Susan was named to the Executive Committee of the newly formed Online Mediation Training Task Force, created to make recommendations regarding standards and practices in the field.

Susan has been featured in and on media outlets such as CNBC, Market Watch, Forbes, Eye on Chicago, WGN, the ABA’s Just Resolutions Magazine, Thrive Global, The Nook Online, Medium, Authority Magazine and She Knows among others.  Susan is the creator and host of the award-winning The Divorce & Beyond Podcast with Susan Guthrie, Esq. which is ranked as one of the top 1.5% of podcasts overall in the world.  The podcast is one of the most popular divorce podcasts on the air and has reached a listening audience of millions.

She is licensed to practice law in the States of California and Connecticut as well as before the Supreme Court of the United States.

Laura McGee

Laura graduated with her law degree from the University of British Columbia in 1984 and spent the first 20 years of her career as a very successful trial lawyer in Vancouver, Canada. She began to shift her focus to mediation in the late 1990s and has since acquired over 350 hours of training in alternative dispute resolution from such prestigious institutions as The Justice Institute of British Columbia and the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine.  

In addition to her robust family mediation practice, Laura is a skilled speaker, trainer and mentor.  She typically mediates over 70 divorces a year and is praised by her clients for her ability to offer up creative options, her calming presence, clear ability to educate, inform, and create a safe and productive environment for successful family mediation. 

Christina McGhee

Christina McGhee, MSW, is a divorce-parenting expert, professional trainer, coach, and author of PARENTING APART: How separated and divorced parents can raise happy and secure kids. 

While splitting up is undeniably hard, Christina believes divorce doesn’t have to equal devastation for families. She feels that with the right kind of information and support, coparents have the ability to be a child’s absolute best resource as the family changes.  

Throughout her career, Christina has educated thousands of parents and professionals on minimizing the impact of divorce on children. She has had the privilege of consulting on a national initiative in the UK for separating families, speaking as an advocate for children of divorce, and facilitating numerous trainings for family law professionals.  

Additionally, she has been involved in several other media projects as a featured expert, content consultant, and writer/producer. Currently, she serves as a creative team member for the documentaries SPLIT and SPLIT UP: the Teen Years, two compelling films about how kids really feel about divorce and its impact on children’s lives long-term. 

As a trainer, Christina has recently launched a new four-day Coparenting Specialist Certification Training (CoPS) in partnership with the Mosten Guthrie Academy. Currently offered virtually, this unique “child-focused” training helps divorce professionals engage with clients more effectively, deepen their understanding of how divorce impacts families, and use that knowledge to help coparents craft better agreements. 

During this course, Christina provides attendees with a comfortable space for multi-disciplinary exchange while practicing essential skills that maximize learning and teaches strategies participants can use right away.

She has been featured on television, radio, podcasts, and print around the US and abroad. A few places you may have seen her are TODAY Parents, the BBC, The Times, Parents Magazine, The Divorce and Beyond Podcast, and The Divorce Survival Guide Podcast. Christina is an expert in minimizing the impact of divorce on children, guiding parents on how to get it right for kids, and managing high-conflict situations.  

You can find out more about Christina at divorceandchildren.com

Forrest "Woody" Mosten

Forrest (Woody) Mosten has spent his entire career as a tireless peacemaker working for increased legal access and dispute resolution for the underserved and diverse members of our society.

He is the co-founder of Mosten Guthrie Mediation Academy for online Mediation Training which offers courses throughout the world MostenGuthrie – Mediation Training, Online Training.

Woody is in constant demand worldwide as a conference keynote speaker and expert witness on mediation. He is on the faculty at the UCLA School of Law (Mediation and Lawyer as Peacemaker) and he previously taught at Cal Western School of Law (Innovative Law Practice) and University of San Diego School of Law (Legal Ethics)

Woody is a founding member of the Southern California Mediation Association and was named by SCMA as Peacemaker of the Year and has twice served as keynote speaker at the SCMA Annual Conference. Woody is the recipient of the 2017 SCMA President’s Award. In 2020, SCMA presented Woody with its Inaugural Forrest S. Mosten Star Award for Innovation and Achievement in Mediation.

In 2019, Woody received a Life Career Achievement Award from the Academy of Professional Family Mediators.  In 2020, APFM established the Forrest (Woody) Mosten Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion Training Scholarship Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (apfmnet.org)

Woody was awarded the Lifetime Career Award by the New York State Mediation Association and has been recipient of the ABA Lawyer as Problem Solver Award, ABA Lifetime Legal Access Award, and the Los Angeles County Bar Louis M. Brown Conflict Prevention Award. 

Woody is the author of six books (two more to be published in 2022 and 2023) and numerous articles on mediation and other dispute resolution topics.  In 2020, he was named Chair of the Mediate.com Task Force on Online Mediation Training, and is the co-author of the Task Force’s Final Report OnlineTaskForceReportAug6c.pdf (mediate.com).

Since 1989, Woody has served as Chair of the International Client Consultation Competition involving 25 countries including India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Indonesia, Nigeria, and countries from Western and Eastern Europe www.BrownMosten.com.

Woody can be reached at www.mostenmediation.com for mediation services and at www.mostenguthrie.com for mediation training. Woody’s bio is also at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forrest_S._Mosten

Louise Phipps Senft

Louise Phipps Senft began as a full-time mediator and trainer over 17 years ago when she left her corporate litigation law firm and launched the first mediation firm in Maryland. She has successfully mediated over 3,500 matters, has been named on multiple occasions one of the distinguished “Top 100 Women” in Maryland, has served on Governor’s task forces, has been a close advisor to Maryland’s highest court’s Chief Judge on ADR issues, is a national panelist with the American Arbitration Association and the Mid-Atlantic Region’s EEOC mediation panel, as well as the court appointed Chair and creator of Maryland’s Family Mediation initiative. She is a nationally certified mediator by the Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation, as well as by the Maryland Council on Dispute Resolution, the only two performance-based certifications of skill level in the United States. She is an Advanced Practitioner Member, the highest designation of practitioner, with the national Association for Conflict Resolution. She also teaches at the University of Maryland School of Law, and designed the first mediation training course in 1996 which she continues to teach. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Global Negotiation Insight Initiative, an outgrowth of the think tank work at Harvard’s Program on Negotiation Insight Initiative, and is the Director of Training for Mediators Beyond Borders. She lives with her husband and five children in Baltimore, Maryland, and writes a monthly column for the state’s Daily Record on negotiation.

Kelly Myers

Kelly Myers is a Certified Divorce and Mediation Coach as well as a trained Mediator. Having been through a high conflict divorce in 2012 she realized there was a tremendous need to educate and provide support to people going through divorce. Kelly believes that helping people navigate the divorce process through managing their emotions, creating a divorce support team, and finding clarity on wants and needs allows people to use their divorce to build a strong foundation for their future. Kelly also is passionate in her advocation of developing balanced co-parenting strategies to build harmony within the new family dynamic. She is a graduate of the University of San Diego paralegal program and is a self-proclaimed training junkie with hundreds of hours of training related to offering the best support possible to her clients. You can find out more information on Kelly by visiting her website Your Divorce Advocate or following her on FacebookInstagram or LinkedIn

Fern Topas Salka

Fern Topas Salka is a sole practitioner with law offices in West Los Angeles/Brentwood, California. Ms. Salka is a Certified Family Law Specialist, former Chair of the Family Law Section of the Los Angeles County Bar, Women Lawyers of Los Angeles, Family Law Section and the CDR/ADR Sub-Committee, Los Angeles Regional Standing Committee of the Family Law Section of the State Bar of California. She is a co-founder and present Board member of the Los Angeles Collaborative Family Law Association (LACFLA) and was selected as a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. She is a frequent speaker to professional and lay audiences and has taught as an adjunct professor of law at Southwestern University and a visiting professor at Loyola Law School. Ms. Salka has been published in many professional journals and was the editor of the Los Angeles County Bar Association Family Law News for seven years. Ms. Salka has been named a SuperLawyer 2004 through the present in Los Angeles magazine.

Ms. Salka now limits her practice to non-litigated matters, including the sophisticated selection, case management and application of appropriate tools for consensual dispute resolution- from mediation, collaborative law, and coaching to limited representation, consulting, and negotiation. She also offers collaborative pre-marital legal services and specializes in issues related to step- families.

Ms. Salka was the president of University Synagogue in West Los Angeles, serving her second term in 2019-2021 after holding the position 20 years ago. In 2021, she negotiated a highly favorable merger with Wilshire Boulevard Temple, where she now serves on the Board of Directors.

Shawn Weber

As the founder of Weber Dispute Resolution, Shawn Weber is a San Diego divorce attorney who understands the human side of family law. His gifts as a peacemaker move people through emotional turmoil to successful negotiations. Shawn began meditating as a law student and is specifically trained in Divorce Mediation and Collaborative Practice. Certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization as a Legal Specialist in Family Law, Shawn has built his reputation as a skilled mediator and negotiator with a success rate of 98%.

Shawn’s efforts in dispute resolution are recognized throughout the state.  He served as President of the statewide organization Collaborative Practice California (CP Cal) from 2015 to 2016.  Additionally, Shawn was honored to receive the prestigious Eureka Award in 2015 for making “significant contributions and demonstrat[ing] an abiding dedication to establishing and sustaining Collaborative Practice in California.” Shawn regularly serves as a Judge Pro Tem with the Mandatory Settlement Conference panel for the Superior Court of California, County of San Diego. 

Shawn continues his contribution to the Mediation and Collaborative Practice fields through speaking and training.  As a co-founder of the nationally prominent mediation training company, Family Resolution Institute, Shawn provides basic and advanced training to mediators from around the country and has provided divorce mediation training to JAGs with the United States Marine Corp for the past two years. 

For more than 20 years, Shawn has worked exclusively in the area of family law.  Shawn uses great skill to resolve difficult divorce, alimony, child support, custody, and visitation issues in a non-threatening and confidential environment. Shawn specializes in helping clients reach agreements and avoid the heartache and stress of court using practical guidance and creative solutions to achieve a win-win.  Listening deeply to his clients, Shawn is a warm, genuine, empathic and compassionate person.  Clients can trust they will be heard, understood, mentored and guided.