November 2020
We hope you enjoy this edition of the Texas Mediator. Our goal is to provide members with the latest "news you can use" about mediation. In this issue, you will find:
  • A Message From the President -- Kimberly Sullivan
  • TAM: The Early Years Past Presidents' Recollections, Part I -- Linda Gibson
  • The Costa Rica Bar Association and Its Center for Arbitration and Mediation -- Walter A. Wright
  • Memorial to Judge Frank Evans -- Submitted by Albert Amado
  • Request for TAM Board Nominations -- Mark W. Sims, Nominations Committee Chair
  • TMCA Virtual Symposium Reflection -- Melanie Grimes, TMCA Vice Chair
  • Coping with the Pandemic: Resources for Mediators
  • Members on the Move
  • The Spirit of TAM Award Presented to Laury Adams
  • Save the Date for TAM's Annual Conference!
  • Membership Information

Be aware that this newsletter might be clipped in your email due to its length - be sure to expand so you can read it all!
A Message From the President
Kimberly Sullivan
This challenging year is in its waning hours. For some, it cannot conclude fast enough, while for others, it is far from over as we enter this final push to 2021. 
Being the year 2020, I couldn’t help but think about the concept of vision. If we all learned one thing from 2020 it is to keep our eyes set and focused on what really matters to us and what is really important. 

What is really important? For some, the changes to how and where we perform our work has helped crystalize professional goals and interests now and into the future. Others have examined their environment and surroundings to determine where they want to spend their time, and ultimately live, in a new virtual and remote world. Finally, and for many, the people we surround ourselves with, and who our true communities are, have come into greater focus. On behalf of the entire board, we hope TAM is one of those sacred communities for all our members.

TAM: The Early Years
Past Presidents' Recollections, Part I: 1985-1999
Linda Gibson, TAM Historian
Note from Linda: In celebration of TAM’s 20th Anniversary in 2005 I emailed as many of our Past-Presidents as I could find contact information for and asked them to send me recollections of their presidential years. Their memoirs were printed in the November 2005 issue of the TAM newsletter, The Texas Mediator, and republished in 2015 as part of our 30-year celebration. I have again contacted every former president I could this year and included any updates below. I was not always able to get updated information. The year the memory was written is noted following each entry.

1985 TAFM’s First President
Gary Kirkpatrick, Dallas 
Adams Award 2006

In 1985 it occurred to me that as mediators had national organizations, we in Texas should have an organization of our own for two reasons. First, we were then clarifying issues particular to Texas. Second, we needed to encourage participation by those who might not be able to travel to national meetings and conferences. I got names and numbers and started calling to find what level of interest there was. After many favorable responses, we called our first meeting, which took place at a hospital meeting room in Austin..

Contributing Past Presidents
Gary Kirkpatrick, 1985 (Self Portrait)
Florence Kusnetz, 1990
Laury Adams, 1991
Suzanne Mann Duvall, 1994
Michael J. Schless, 1995
Carol Hoffman, 1996
Wendy” Trachte-Huber, 1997

Maureen Peltier, 1998
(Photo Not Available)

Virginia Bowers, 1999
(Photo Not Available)
The Costa Rica Bar Association and Its Arbitration and Mediation Center
Walter A. Wright
A friend of mine from Costa Rica, Diego Quirós, co-hosts a radio program in San José called En Mi Trabajo (In My Work). Quirós, who has a background in psychology and a strong interest in the peaceful resolution of workplace disputes, wanted to interview me about workplace mediation. In 2019, he and his co-host, Ghaudy Castillo, invited me to an interview during their regular broadcast in San José...
From Left to Right: Édgar Brenes Mora, Laura María Ávila Bolaños, Walter Wright, Diego Quirós, and Ghaudy Castillo
Walter lectures at the Center for Arbitration and Mediation.
Memorial to Judge Frank Evans
Submitted by Albert Amado
Judge Frank Evans, who passed away November 9, 2019, was recently honored with the installation of a monument at Texas State Cemetery.

Judge Evans taught ADR classes at South Texas College of Law Houston and was a founding member of the ADR center that is now named after him: the Frank Evans Center for Conflict Resolution. During his career, Frank became widely known as the “father of alternative dispute resolution,” because of his groundbreaking work developing conflict resolution processes and programs outside the usual legal system throughout Texas. He was instrumental in developing many ADR “firsts,” including creating a judicial, appellate, settlement conference program; implementing juvenile justice peer mediation in schools; and sponsoring and drafting the Texas ADR financing and court referral statute. He was also a principal draftsman of the 1987 ADR Procedures Act that established a new policy in Texas courts encouraging voluntary, peaceable resolution of civil disputes.

Thanks so much to Albert Amado for sharing these photos of the new monument recently erected in Judge Evans' honor.

Request for TAM Board Nominations
The Texas Association for Mediators (TAM) is seeking nominations for election to the 2021 TAM Board of Directors, to be announced at our Annual Membership Meeting held during the annual conference which will be held virtually on February 19-20, 2021. All newly elected members begin their service at that point.

Prospective board members must be TAM members in good standing and maintain their membership during the time they serve. Currently, the following positions are open for nominations:  

One At-large director to serve for one-year unexpired term; 

Four At-large directors to serve for three-year terms; and

Newsletter Editor, Social Media Chair, and 2022 Conference Chairs. 

To nominate yourself or a fellow TAM Member to the board, email the information listed below to TAM Board Nominations Committee Chair and President-Elect, Mark W. Sims at by January 15, 2021.

TMCA Annual Symposium Held Virtually This Year
Melanie Grimes
Thank you to all 255 folks who registered for TMCA’s 2020 Symposium held Live via Zoom Webinar on Saturday, October 24th. It was a different kind of event for all of us, given how much we have valued our in-person events over the years. And, in this virtual event, the participants used the chat to connect and the Q&A to add value to all the presentations.
Your TMCA Board of Directors thoroughly enjoyed the day and, based on the survey sent afterward to all attendees, 91% of those who responded to our survey rated the Symposium as either “Excellent” or “Very Good.” We loved this Snapchat that TMCA Credentialed Mediator Carla Renee Eastwood sent us the next day!

John P. Palmer, who has been a long-time and very involved TAM member, was named TMCA’s Outstanding Credentialed Mediator for 2020. When C. Bruce Stratton presented this award to John during the Symposium, he started with: “This award recognizes past and current TMCA Credentialed mediators in Texas who exemplify the finest qualities one could expect of an outstanding mediator who adheres to the highest level of ethics, and who is dedicated to making extraordinary contributions to the promotion of quality mediation throughout Texas. These qualities are recognized in leadership, professionalism, and friendship. We find all of these and more in John Palmer.” All of us who know John certainly agree!
Based on the high interest in our online recordings of all the Symposium presentations and panels, the TMCA Board has agreed to make the recorded version of TMCA’s 16th Annual Symposium available for purchase by new Symposium registrants through March 31, 2021, for a registration fee of $75 for Credential holders and $100 for non-Credential holders. The videos would be available for viewing through April 30, 2021. In light of this, we have also extended the availability of all recordings to previous Symposium registrants through April 30, 2021. All registrants who did not participate fully in the live event have the option to watch in calendar year 2021 the videos of any sessions they haven't viewed in 2020 and use such hours as Continuing Education toward a 2022 Credential renewal IF the registrant has not used such hours for her/his 2021 renewal.
To register for access to the online recordings of TMCA’s 2020 Symposium through April 30, 2021:

Current credential holders, please click here to login and register.

Non-credential holders, please click here to complete our online registration form.
For more information about our Symposium, click here.
Please mark your calendars for TMCA’s 2021 Symposium scheduled Saturday, October 23, 2021, at the Renaissance Dallas Addison Hotel. We truly hope we see you there, literally!
Coping with the Pandemic: Resources for Mediators

If you're looking for information on remote Zoom mediation, tips and tricks for online mediation, and more, check out the resources available on the State Bar of Texas ADR Section Website.
Members on the Move
Fran Brochstein is Now Writing a Monthly Mediation Column!
Check out her column at

Fran has also joined the board of the Marble Falls Rotary Club, where she serves with several other TAM members: Dr. Barbara Manousso, Judge Josefina Rendon and Danette Ross Watson.

Updates From Gayle Kamen-Weinstein, LMSW

Gayle has been a student at Hebrew University in Jerusalem studying conflict resolution and teaching mediation at the Rothberg International School. Last December, she also gave a talk on mediation to the Deaf Persons Association, with an Israeli sign language translator. Gayle shares: 

“Israel is ground zero to me. Coexistence and peacebuilding have been going on in Israel and Palestine. Mediation is the technique that is utilized and successful around the country. Sometimes it is loosely defined and used in the context of negotiations but most of the conversations use mediation as the technique of bringing people to the table and working together on a plan.

"Storytelling" is now the "narrative". Finding common ground, building a bridge, developing consensus works well in these sensitive negotiations.

Im looking forward to returning to my work in Israel after covid lockdowns are lifted and planes will once again land at Ben Gurion Airport.”

Steve Flynn Completes a Graduate Program at SMU

Steve finished up a dispute resolution graduate program, with curriculum including study in the areas of Mediation, Arbitration, Generational Conflict, Negotiation etc. Steve shares that this graduate degree will help further his commitment to the field of mediation and build on his 15+ years experience. 

Mediator and Parenting Coach Judith Swinney Returns to Texas

After 25 years in Oregon, attorney and mediator Judith Swinney has recently returned to her Native Texas and settled in El Paso. She mediates child welfare cases with New Mexico Children’s Court Mediation Program, and for the State of Oregon. She still facilitates the Parenting Beyond Conflict class for divorcing/separating parents, now in its 19th year, and is a board member of Oregon AFCC. She serves on the Oregon State Family Law advisory Committee's Parenting Involvement and Outreach Sub-Committee.

Michael A. Hawash Elected to EDR Institute Board

Mediator, Michael A. Hawash, has been elected to the Board of Directors of the EDR Institute.
The EDR Institute is a non-profit corporation dedicated to promoting the ethical and professional practice of early dispute resolution (“EDR”) to resolve civil disputes quickly, economically, and fairly; training lawyers and neutrals in EDR’s use; educating the public as to EDR’s benefits; and preserving integrity of EDR by maintaining the Early Dispute Resolution Protocols.
Michael Hawash, Esq. is the founder of Hawash Houston Mediation in Houston, Texas.

The Spirit of TAM Award Presented to Laury Adams at the October TAM Talk
The TAM Board presented Laury Adams with the Spirit of TAM award at the 35th Anniversary celebration TAM Talk on October 22, 2020. Laury Adams has been a loyal member of TAM for all 35 years of its existence. She has supported TAM with her heart, her mind, and her entire being. The Spirit of TAM Award thanks Laury for “embodying the spirit of TAM through [her] loyalty, generosity, guidance, professionalism, passion, and overall graciousness.” There would be no TAM without people like Laury Adams. She is definitely the embodiment of the spirit of our organization.

Laury holds a mediation brochure created back in the early 1980’s when it was necessary to include the diacritic pronunciation and definition of the word MEDIATION to distinguish it from meditation.
Mediation in the New Frontier
The TAM Board and Conference Committee are working diligently to create a virtual conference that encompasses the high-quality standards you have come to expect for TAM’s annual event. As always, we aim to provide relevant content, inspiration, connection, and may even be able to offer new flexibility with enhanced session participation options.

We look forward to your virtual participation in TAM’s 35th Anniversary Conference!
Go to the TAM website for a list of of our confirmed speakers.
For inquiries about the TAM conference please contact
Ken Cloke
Friday Plenary Speaker
Ken Cloke is a world-recognized mediator, dialogue facilitator, conflict resolution systems designer, teacher, public speaker, author of numerous books and articles, and a pioneer and leader in the field of mediation and conflict resolution for the last 37 years.
TAM Membership
TAM Is Rolling Back the Cost of Membership Dues for 2021!

In honor of our 35th year and in light of the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, TAM’s Board of Directors has voted to roll back the membership dues to pre-2005 rates!

If you are not a current member of TAM, please JOIN now or RENEW your TAM Membership for 2021!  

Full Members
(annual dues will return to $75.00 for membership year 2022)

Candidates for Membership and Friends of TAM
(annual dues will return to $50.00 for membership year 2022)


Dues paid in the last quarter of the year (October - December) will carry over to 2021.

Questions? Email
Why should mediators be TAM members?
TAM is the ONLY multi-disciplinary networking and education-oriented organization for all Texas mediators.
TAM Members...
  • have access to monthly TAM Talks on Zoom        
  • are listed in a searchable online Membership Directory available to the public with the option to include a bio, photo, and list areas of practice.
  • receive discounted fees for the annual conference featuring workshops taught by experts of national and international stature.
  • have access to malpractice insurance designed especially for mediators available through Complete Equity Markets
  • are featured in the TAM newsletters
  • are a statewide network of mediators who support TAM’s mission
 Show your support of TAM by renewing your membership for 2021.