Arbitration and Mediation Office of Lee Hornberger
6730 Mission Ridge
Traverse City, Michigan 49868-6131
“In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.”
Mediation is an effective tool for resolving disputes. It provides a confidential and informal process that is consistent with the parties' interests and needs to resolve a dispute. Mediation provides confidentiality, collaboration, mediator neutrality and impartiality. As opposed to arbitration or court litigation where an arbitrator or a judge makes the decision, in mediation, the parties can craft their own resolution. Mediation can resolve existing disagreements while preserving and strengthening the relationships between the parties.
Process is important in mediation. Patience, curiosity, and imagination are important. The participants should be willing to listen, consider compromise, and be reasonable. The parties have interests in settlement. The focus is on the future, not the past. The parties are at mediation to listen to each other in a safe, mutually respectful environment. In addition, in mediation the parties can frame a mutually agreeable resolution that provides elements and remedies that a contested court decision might not provide.
Mediation includes (1) having an open mind, (2) taking sufficient time to let the process work, (3) careful listening, and (4) using the opportunity to directly persuade the other side of the merits of the case while keeping an open mind to the other party’s viewpoint.
Hopefully the mediation results in a mutually acceptable solution to the dispute. If not, the mediation can end with an understanding of what will happen next. There might be another mediation session, a partial agreement, a reconsideration period, or selection of an alternative method to decide the remaining issues.
Mr. Hornberger invites you to read his "Mediation for the General Practitioner" article published in The General Practitioner.
He is included in The Best Lawyers in America in 2018 and 2019 for his work in arbitration and on the 2016 and 2017 Michigan Super Lawyers lists for alternative dispute resolution. He has received Conflict Resolution Services' "Pinnacle Award" and Community Mediation Services' Certificate of Appreciation.
He has spoken on mediation ethics at the Community Mediation Services' Annual Dinner and Awards Ceremony. In addition, he has spoken on arbitration and mediaton case law to the ICLE Family Law Institute, the State Bar's ADR Section's Annual Meeting and ADR Conferences, the State Bar's Family Law Section's Mid-Winter Conference, and others.
He is a mediator with Michigan Circuit Courts, American Arbitration Association, Community Mediation Services (Alpena, Gaylord, and Grayling), Conflict Resolution Services (Traverse City), and Northern Community Mediation (Charlevoix and Petoskey).
His mediation training includes Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University School of Law, Specialized Mediation: Handling Difficult Employment, Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Cases.
His mediation training also includes American Arbitration Association, Ensuring That Your Clients' Interests Are Addressed in Mediation; Forty Hour Divorce and Custody Mediation; Domestic Violence Protocol; ICLE Advanced Mediation; NCM Advanced Mediation; Central Michigan Dispute Resolution Center Advanced Mediation; ICLE Advanced Dispute Resolution; ICLE Forty Hour Civil Case Mediation; Hamilton County, Ohio, Common Pleas Court, Mediation; U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan Advanced Mediator; and Collaborative Law.
He has been a Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians Hearing Officer; on the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians Hearing Officer list; and a Michigan Civil Rights Commission Hearing Referee. He is a member of The National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals and Professional Resolution Experts of Michigan (PREMi).
His other mediation experience includes Volunteer Mediator, Hamilton County, Ohio, Common Pleas Court.
His publications include "Michigan Arbitration, Case Evaluation, and Mediation Case Law Update," Labor and Employment Lawnotes (Spring 2010); "Michigan Family Law Arbitration and Mediation Case Law Update," Michigan Family Law Journal (March 2010); "Settlement Agreements For Employment Termination Cases (With Sample Clauses And Forms)," Practical Litigator (March 2010) (co-author with Kiffi Ford); "Recent Developments in Michigan Arbitration, Case Evaluation, and Mediation Law," Labor and Employment Lawnotes (Fall 2009); Contributor, Defusing Workplace Time-Bombs: Drafting Employment Agreements and Policies to Prevent Disputes, Avoid Tax Traps, and Settle Cases (ALI-ABA 2008); "Mediation and Arbitration for the Enterpreneur," Your Chamber News (April 2007); "Mediation for the General Practitioner," General Practitioner (Nov-Dec 2006); "Effective Mediation Preparation," Michigan Lawyers Weekly (Sep 4, 2006); "Some Reflections on Mediation," ADR Newsletter (Aug 2006); "Unemployment Compensation Noncontest Provisions in Settlement Agreements," Labor and Employment Lawnotes (Spring 2006); "Police-Fire Department Arbitration," Michigan Lawyers Weekly (March 6, 2006); "Settlement Agreements (Part II)," Labor and Employment Lawnotes (Winter 2006)(co-author with Kiffi Ford); "Settlement Agreements (Part I)," Labor and Employment Lawnotes (Fall 2005)(co-author with Kiffi Ford); "Disclosure of Mental Health Records in Mediation," ADR Newsletter (Oct 2005)(co-author with Robert Tremp); and "Overview of a Pre-Dispute Employment Resolution Process," ADR Newsletter (Feb 2005).
His presentations include Michigan Arbitration and Mediation Domestic Relations Case Law Update, ICLE Family Law Institute (2016); Michigan Arbitration and Mediation Case Law Update, State Bar of Michigan ADR Section Annual Meeting and ADR Conference (2015, 2016, and 2017); How Judges Treat Mediated Settlement Agreements, Conflict Resolution Services (2012); Mediation Ethics, Community Mediation Services (2010); Arbitration and Mediation Law Developments, GTLA Bar Association (2010, 2009, and 2008); ADR: Resolving Disputes Without Litigation, Northwestern Michigan College and Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce (2007); ADR Trends and Tips, GTLA Bar Association (2007); Mediating Employment, Malpractice, and Personal Injury Cases, GTLA Bar Association (2005); and Settlement Agreements, ICLE Annual Labor and Employment Law Institute (2005).
He has served as a mediator in abuse of process, administrative, age discrimination, assault and battery, bailment, business dissolution, buy-sell agreement, collection, compensation, condominium, conservatorship, construction, contract, conversion, defamation, disability, dog-bite, domestic relations, due process, easement, entertainment, equal pay, False Claims Act, family law, fiduciary duty, foreclosure, fraud, insurance, invasion of privacy, land contract, landlord-tenant, landscaping, legal malpractice, logging, mechanic's lien, medical malpractice, Michigan Consumer Protection Act, mold, national origin discrimination, no-fault, nuisance, over-payment, parenting time, partition, personal injury, personnel, pregnancy discrimination, probate, property division, quiet title, receivership, religious discrimination, restitution, retaliation, sex discrimination, sexual harassment, shareholder rights, sovereign immunity, spousal support, time-share, tortious interference, trade secret, transportation, trespass, tribal, Truth in Lending Act, unfair labor practice, veterinary, whistle blower, and zoning cases.
He has completed ICLE Family Law Certificate Program cosponsored by Family Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan.
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