Conference Speakers

 

Hesha Abrams
Hesha Abrams Mediation LLC

http://www.HeshaAbramsMediation.com

Hesha Abrams, a nationally acclaimed attorney mediator for over 30 years, is known for crafting highly creative settlements in very difficult cases. She has produced settlements worth over $700 million in the past year alone. She specializes in creating innovative solutions for complex or difficult matters in Commercial, Intellectual Property, and “Deal Mediation,” which is driving a complex business deal to successful signing. She has the unique ability to work with big egos and strong personalities. Hesha has successfully mediated for thousands of parties and was an innovator in the mediation field, serving on the legislative task force that drafted the landmark Texas ADR law. She mediates, consults, and negotiates on behalf of private parties throughout the country and internationally. She has worked in London, Hong Kong, Mexico, Thailand, and India and with parties from all over the globe in complex patent licensing deals. She taught mediation and negotiation at the 2001 International Symposium on Negotiation and Conflict Resolution in The Hague. She was on the national panel for Dow Corning Implant cases and was the Chair of the Texas Bar Intellectual Property ADR Committee. She was appointed as a Delegate to the Fifth Circuit Judicial Conference in 1988, 1990, and 2002, and was a speaker in 2005. Hesha was elected as a fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation in 2006 and received the Brutsché Award for Excellence in Mediation from the Association of Attorney Mediators.

Hesha Abrams will be presenting the following session:
High Conflict in Mediation
Saturday, February 24 8:30 AM to 10:00 AM
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Rehan Alimohammad
Chair of the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors

http://wongfleming.com/leaders/alimohammad-rehan/

Rehan Alimohammad is a Partner in the national firm of Wong Fleming in the Sugar Land, Texas office in charge of Immigration Law, and Tax Law. He is a CPA since 1999 and Attorney since 2001 and was listed as one of the Top Attorneys in Houston, Texas by Houstonia Magazine from 2013-2015, has a 10.0 Superb rating on AVVO, and an AV rating on Martindale Hubbell. He also was named one of the Five Outstanding Young Texans by the Texas Junior Chamber of Commerce in 2011 for outstanding legal pro bono service.

He is currently Chair of the Board for the State Bar of Texas (1st Asian to hold this position), Minority Director of the State Bar of Texas, and member of the Executive Committee for the State Bar of Texas; Legal counsel, Board Member, member of the Diversity Action Team for the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce; Board member for the Katy Bar Association and the Houston Bar Association; on the Leadership Task Force for the Katy Economic Development Council; Co-chair for Houston Bar Association’s Minority Opportunities in the Legal Profession committee; and on the Steering Committee for the Texas Minority Counsel Program.

Rehan Alimohammad will be presenting the following session:
What a Mediator Should Know About the Overlap of Immigration Law with other areas of Law, and Implications for the Parties
Friday, February 23 3:45 PM to 5:15 PM
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Sean Banks
Shell Oil Company

Sean Banks is the Corporate Ombuds for the Shell Oil Company. He joined Shell in September 2005 and has been an Organizational Ombudsman for 19 years. Under his leadership Shell’s Ombuds Services program serves as a confidential, independent, informal and neutral resource for the entire Shell Community in the US; providing dispute and conflict resolution services, communication facilitation, and recommendations and feedback on equity and fairness issues related to company policy, procedures and practices.

Sean’s Ombuds experience before coming to Shell includes serving as Director of Ombuds Services and Campus Ombudsperson for UCLA, and University Ombudsman for California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly). Prior to becoming an Ombuds he served in a variety of administrative roles in Student and Academic Affairs at UCSD, Capital University School of Law, and Cal Poly. Sean has extensive experience in mediation and facilitation, counseling and coaching, developing and implementing organizational diversity and inclusiveness enhancing programs and services, and analyzing and interpreting governmental and organizational policies, procedures and regulations.

Sean Banks will be presenting the following session:
The Role of Mediation in Organizational Ombuds
Friday, February 23 3:45 PM to 5:15 PM
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Rishi Batra
Texas Tech University School of Law

Professor Batra is an Assistant Professor of law, teaching in the areas of Alternative Dispute Resolution / Negotiation, Property Law, and Intellectual Property. He also directs the Academy for Leadership in the Legal Profession.

Professor Batra's scholarship focuses on Alternative Dispute Resolution, and in particular applying dispute resolution perspectives to novel fields such as election law and criminal procedure. His work has appeared in the Harvard Negotiation Law Review, the Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution, and the Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution, among others.

Before coming to Texas Tech, Professor Batra was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Whittier Law School, teaching courses in Real Property and Negotiation. He was previously the Langdon Fellow in Dispute Resolution at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. At Moritz, Professor Batra taught Mediation and Negotiation courses and supervised students mediating hundreds of cases including small claims, landlord-tenant, and criminal matters. He is the co-founder and was the first director of the Ohio State Student Mediation Program.

Professor Batra earned his J.D (cum laude) from Harvard Law School, where he served as Training Director for the Harvard Mediation Program and as a teaching assistant in Harvard's Program on Negotiation. Upon graduation he worked as a management consultant for McKinsey & Company, where he advised executives at Fortune 500 companies on strategic business decisions.

Professor Batra did his undergraduate work at the University of California, Berkeley, where he received a B.S. (honors) degree in Electrical Engineering Computer Science and a B.A. (high honors) degree in Cognitive Science. Prior to law school, he worked at the Microsoft Corporation, focusing on software and user design as well as engineering excellence

Rishi Batra will be presenting the following session:
Non-verbal Communication in ADR in an International World
Saturday, February 24 8:30 AM to 10:00 AM
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Sharon Bayus
Innovative Alternatives, Inc.

http://innovativealternatives.org/

Sharon Bayus is the founder, President, and CEO of Innovative Alternatives, Inc., a nonprofit agency that serves our community through mediation and counseling programs.

Sharon Bayus will be presenting the following session:
Family Reconciliation & Intervention Mediation
Friday, February 23 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM
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Joe Bontke
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Joe Bontke is the outreach manager and ombudsman for the Houston District office of U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Joe has been in the field of Human Resources & Civil Rights for the past 27 years and has experience in employment law and adult education. With a Bachelor's in Philosophy and a Masters in Education, he has been a Human Resources Director, a Training Coordinator for the American Disabilities Act (ADA) Technical Assistance Center for Federal Region VI, was appointed as Assistant Professor at Baylor College of Medicine and recently has been named Chair of the Governors’ Committee for People with Disabilities by Governor Rick Perry. Using his entertaining style, Joe has educated groups throughout the country and most recently, his work at the EEOC has enabled him to empower employers and employees with the understanding they need to work effectively at their jobs. Joe's philosophy of education is - that 90% is knowing where to find the information ... when you need it.

Joe Bontke will be presenting the following session:
Diversity in Mediation
Friday, February 23 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM
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Anamaris Cousins Price
Halliburton

Anamaris Cousins Price is president of the International Ombudsman Association, which has a little over 700 members. She's also an organizational ombudsman at Halliburton.

Anamaris Cousins Price will be presenting the following session:
The Role of Mediation in Organizational Ombuds
Friday, February 23 3:45 PM to 5:15 PM
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Nancy Ferrell
Mediation and Training Services

http://www.conflicthappens.com/

Nancy Ferrell will be presenting the following session:
The Intersection of Mediator Ethics, Disputant Ethics, and Self-Determination
Friday, February 23 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM
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Pam Friedman
Divorce Planning of Austin

http://divorceplanningofaustin.com/

Pam Friedman has over 20 years of financial planning and investment experience. Prior to partnering with Silicon Hills Wealth Management, LLC, Ms. Friedman was on Wall Street in both New York and London structuring and raising capital for both public and private companies. Upon her return to Texas, Ms. Friedman spent six years on the faculty of the Finance Department in the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin.

As a financial planner and analyst, Ms. Friedman educates clients who may be unfamiliar with financial issues and investing, particularly during and after divorce. In her book “I Now Pronounce You Financially Fit: How to Protect Your Money in Marriage and Divorce” available on Amazon, Ms. Friedman uses stories from her practice to explain how to plan for the risk of divorce and what can go wrong when you don’t.

In divorce, Ms. Friedman assists men and women in identifying all the assets of the marriage, including those that potentially may be hidden or under reported. She also provides detailed budgets and projections that demonstrate how different financial settlements will impact the client’s family for the short and long term. Lastly, Ms. Friedman helps ensure that other financial areas are addressed such as life insurance, beneficiaries, estate and college planning.

Ms. Friedman has been featured in national publications and on- air with New York Times, NY Daily News, Elle Magazine, U.S. News and World Report, Self Magazine, Estate Planning Magazine, ABC News Radio, Daily Finance (AOL), and the Divorce Financial Analyst Journal. She is a founding member of The Center for Integrated Divorce, an Austin, Texas-based network of mediators and other consultative professionals in divorce. Ms. Friedman is a trained financial neutral for collaborative divorce cases and a member of Collaborative Divorce Texas. Pam is also a trained family law mediator.

Ms. Friedman earned the designation CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) in 2006 and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA™) in 2011. Pam holds an MBA, BBA and BA in Finance and Economics from The University of Texas at Austin.

Pam Friedman will be presenting the following session:
I Now Pronounce You Financially Fit
Friday, February 23 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM
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Eric Galton
Lakeside Mediation Center

Eric Galton is considered by many to be a pioneer and defining force in the field of Alternative Dispute Resolution. Since 1989, he has mediated over 7,500 cases, employing a variety of mediation styles, and consistently maintains a 91% settlement rate. Over the past five years, Galton has mediated over 100 complex Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) cases throughout Texas and has resolved 85% of those cases. Galton is Past President and Knight of the International Academy of Mediators and has published five books about mediation. Mr. Galton is highly versatile; he mediates disputes ranging from a half day to two weeks in length, in cities all over Texas and elsewhere in the country, involving anywhere from two to 125 parties from a broad spectrum of ethnic, socioeconomic, political, and business backgrounds. He mediates disputes in over 17 areas of law. In addition to his wealth of practical experience, Mr. Galton inspires and motivates participants through his uncompromising ethics, incisiveness, compassion, and genuine love of the mediation process.


Eric Galton practiced law from 1976-1985 with Hancock, Piedfort, Galton & McGill. From 1985-1997, he was a shareholder at Wright & Greenhill. Mr. Galton became a partner with the firm of Graves, Dougherty, Hearon & Moody in 1997 until leaving the firm to establish Galton, Cunningham & Bourgeois, P.L.L.C. Prior to becoming a full-time mediator, Mr. Galton was a litigator in the areas of personal injury, commercial, and consumer litigation. He represented both plaintiffs and defendants and handled in excess of 80 trials before the court and more than 40 jury trials. Mr. Galton has mediated disputes in all of the following areas: medical negligence, construction disputes, intellectual property disputes, legal malpractice, employment disputes, personal injury, environmental disputes, products liability, consumer disputes, complex and class FLSA actions, Deceptive Trade Practice Act disputes, labor disputes, race/sex/age discrimination, Americans with Disabilities Act disputes, family law, suits involving government entities, international commercial disputes, and oil & gas disputes.

Eric Galton will be presenting the following session:
Advanced Training on Effective Joint Sessions
Friday, February 23 3:45 PM to 5:15 PM
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Kimberlee Kovach

http://kimkovach.com/

Kimberlee Kovach has been a leader and visionary in the modern mediation and alternative dispute resolution movement for over thirty-five years. She is a leading teacher, trainer, scholar and practitioner in the field of mediation and other dispute resolution processes. Kovach was a founding officer and served as Chair of the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution. She also served as Chair of the ADR Sections of both the Texas and Houston Bar Associations.

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 nearly twenty-five years, and was a leader in the creation of mediation clinics. She authored the first widely adopted mediation textbook as well as "Mediation In A Nutshell" (3rd ed. 2014). Kovach has published numerous articles and book chapters on a variety of ADR related topics, several of which are cited by scholars, courts and practitioners.

Kovach was the first recipient of the Evans Award for contributions to ADR in Texas. She was also awarded the Cloke-Millen Peacemaker Award by the Southern California Mediation Association and was recently honored with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award by the International Academy of Mediators in recognition of her long time work in the field of mediation and ADR.

Kimberlee Kovach will be presenting the following session:
The Art of Transformative Moments in Mediation
Friday, February 23 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM
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Amy Lieberman
Insight Employment Mediation LLC

http://www.insightmediation.com

Individuals and organizations challenged with resolving high stakes conflict fortunate enough to enlist Amy Lieberman’s assistance will attest that Amy’s mediation skills were the secret to their success.

Among the “Best Lawyers in America” in ADR for more than ten year’s running, this experienced and sought-after mediator, trainer, and speaker enlightens, inspires and brings opposing parties together to ease tensions, protect capital, and restore balance.

Amy has mediated and resolved over 1500 conflicts. She is the author of the highly-acclaimed book, "Mediation Success: Get it Out, Get it Over, Get Back to Business", is a regular contributing writer for various legal, HR and business publications, and has appeared as a featured guest on nationally-syndicated radio programs.

Amy is in high demand as a speaker and mediator. Her conference presentations have motivated and influenced thousands internationally to peacefully resolve their conflicts and enjoy the high-value benefits that flow from successful closure.

Amy’s niche expertise and rare ability to handle both legal and interpersonal disputes sets her apart, enabling her to provide peace of mind, and enhanced business, personal, and community relationships.

Resolving tensions, preserving dignity and enabling people to move on with their lives and businesses is her highest priority. Amy’s worldwide goal is to change the paradigm of conflict resolution, one person at a time, so that no one is afraid to facilitate the most challenging disputes, and no one fears participating in the process.

Amy Lieberman will be presenting the following session:
The Great 8: Conflict Currencies and the Resolution Ratio
Friday, February 23 9:15 AM to 10:45 AM
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Barbara Manousso
Manousso Mediation & Alternative Dispute Resolution, LLC

Barbara Sunderland Manousso, Ph.D., is the founder of Manousso Mediation & Alternative Dispute Resolution, LLC. She is a TMCA Credentialed Distinguished Mediator and has been training mediators, practicing mediation, coaching clients, arbitrating civil cases, and lecturing internationally in an active alternative dispute resolution practice since 1993. Dr. Manousso is the current Chair of the Education, Research, and Training Section of the Association for Conflict Resolution International as well as the President of the Houston Gerontology Association. Dr. Manousso was the former president of the Association of Conflict Resolution (ACR) Houston Chapter and is a current board member, has served as a co-chair of the Training Committee of the International ACR Workplace Section, is a Founding Member of the Elder Mediation Section Standards Committee, and is Immediate Past Chair of the International ACR HealthCare Section. Dr. Manousso has specialized in elder mediation for over 20 years and has been influential in shaping the practice of elder mediation through the World Symposium on Elder Mediation as well as the ACR International, Care for Elders, Federal and Texas Arbitrator for Long-term Care Facilities, and UT Department of Gerontology. In 2008 she was appointed by Governor Perry as Commissioner on the Nursing Facility Administrators Advisory Committee and continues to serve in this role. Dr. Manousso received a bachelor's degree from Brown University; a Master of Public Health from The University of Texas School of Public Health; and a doctorate in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from Nova Southeastern University. Her dissertation research focused on conflict management skills in long-term care facilities and their administrators. She also holds a certificate as a collaborative law mediator. She serves on many boards and works on various professional and political committees in support of aging projects. In December 2010, she was recognized as one of Houston’s 50 Most Influential Women by Houston Woman’s Magazine.

Barbara Manousso will be presenting the following session:
Elder Mediation Workshop
Friday, February 23 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM
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Cecilia Morgan
JAMS

https://www.jamsadr.com/morgan/

Cecilia H. Morgan, Esq. is adept at reconciling the irreconcilable and a highly sought after neutral. Her cases are often hotly contested, multi-party matters pending in multiple courts. Known for her follow-up, one client describes her as a "tireless worker who intuitively knows when and how to apply pressure to obtain the deal." She has conducted more than 2,200 sessions of civil cases and arbitrated over 900 cases throughout Texas and 31 other states. Ms. Morgan was named one of Texas' Best Alternative Dispute Resolution Lawyers by The Best Lawyers in America in 2008 through 2017. Ms. Morgan also has over 38 years of experience as an attorney and ADR professional and is a respected member of the JAMS employment, energy, health care, and financial services practice groups.

Cecilia Morgan will be presenting the following session:
Why Mediations Fail
Friday, February 23 3:45 PM to 5:15 PM
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Jennifer Ortiz Prather
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Houston District

Jennifer Ortiz Prather is a Supervisory Attorney and ADR Program Manager for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC) Houston District Office. She mediates private sector employment discrimination disputes and oversees the ADR/Mediation program for Houston and New Orleans.

Under her leadership, the mediation program has conducted over 3,000 mediations, with an average settlement rate over 74% and achieved over $34 million dollars in monetary settlement benefits for charging parties. In 2014, Ms. Prather received the prestigious EEOC Chair’s Award for her work creating a Pro Bono Mediation Program, which has conducted over 230 mediations and accomplished over $1.5 million in monetary benefits through settlement agreements. Since she joined the EEOC in 2010, Ms. Prather has been active the ADR professional community. She is a Board Member for LERA Houston, the Texas Labor Management Board, and previously for ACRHouston. Currently, she serves as the Past-President of the Texas Association of Mediators (TAM) and as a Co-Chair for Diversity in the ABA’s Dispute Resolution Section.
Prior to joining the EEOC in Houston, Ms. Prather served as a Commissioner with the U.S. Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service (FMCS) in Washington, DC. For 9 years, she worked in the Office of International & Dispute Resolution Services. In addition to private and public sector workplace dispute mediations, Ms. Prather provided ADR consultations, systems design, conflict training and mediation/facilitation for both domestic and international clients.

Ms. Prather has mediated hundreds of labor, EEO, and workplace disputes involving multi-national corporations and various Federal government agencies, including NASA, FBI, Department of Veteran’s Affairs and the Small Business Administration. In addition, she has conducted hundreds of workshops, trainings, and conflict intervention programs for domestic and international audiences. Her international travel as a US representative includes projects with the 21 pacific-rim economies of the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the International Labor Affairs Bureau of the U.S. Department of Labor, and work with the U.S. Embassy in Bridgetown, Barbados, the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade, Serbia and mediation training in Beijing and Shenyang, China in 2009.

Ms. Prather received her B.A. at the University of Southern California in International Relations with a minor in Environmental Studies and her J.D. from Vermont Law.

Jennifer Ortiz Prather will be presenting the following session:
Diversity in Mediation
Friday, February 23 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM
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Anna Rappaport
Excelleration Coaching

https://www.excellerationcoaching.com/

Anna Rappaport, JD, PCC, is a former lawyer with 15 years experience coaching attorneys and 11 years experience mentoring and training other coaches. As an executive coach, Anna serves as a sounding board, focusing partner and strategic resource. She assists clients to create strategic, business and career plans suited to their strengths and preferences; find the time and energy to implement these plans, and enhance business communications. Anna has spoken at numerous conferences and provided workshops to law firms both in the U.S. and abroad. She is a contributor to "The National Law Review" and "Law Practice Today".

Anna has a strong international background, having lived abroad for over 9 years, in total, including in Japan, Thailand, Canada and most recently Turkey, where she where she coached Turkish lawyers on business development and taught corporate law at Yeditepe University. She has also worked in Trinidad and Tobago and the country of Georgia.

Prior to becoming a professional coach, Anna had a varied career. As a lawyer, Anna’s main focus was litigation, though she also managed international nonproliferation programs for the U.S. Department of Commerce, coordinated with foreign governments, worked as a consultant analyzing U.S. policy, and was a snowboarding instructor in Tahoe.

Anna received a J.D. from The George Washington University Law School, a B.A. in Political Science from Tufts University and is a member of the Maryland and Washington, D.C. bars. Anna is located in Washington, D.C. but coaches lawyers, neutrals and other professionals around the U.S. and abroad.

Anna Rappaport will be presenting the following session:
Pathways to Success: How To Avoid Mistakes and Create Thriving Practice
Friday, February 23 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM
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Victor Voloshin
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

Victor Voloshin is the Chief Mediation Officer at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). In this capacity, Victor helps federal agencies design and improve their internal workplace programs using Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).

Victor also directs EEOC’s internal ADR program that addresses individual concerns and systemic workplace problems by mediating complaints, offering informal dispute resolution, designing climate assessments, conducting group facilitations, and providing conflict-resolution training.

Prior to EEOC, Victor served as the ADR Director and EEO Officer for the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board, an independent mayoral agency responsible for handling complaints against the New York City Police Department.

Victor holds MBA and JD degrees from the College of William and Mary, and is licensed to practice law in New York State. He can be reached at victor.voloshin@eeoc.gov or 202-663-4095.

Victor Voloshin will be presenting the following session:
Addressing Power Imbalances and Bias in Employment Mediation
Friday, February 23 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM
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