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Advanced Mediation CLE - Mediating in Kansas Federal Court
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Mediations in any setting have similarities. Mediating in Federal Court, however, often involves more complex legal issues and dynamics. Hear from the best-of-the-best on mediating cases in Kansas Federal Court. This is considered an advanced-level program where attendees are presumed to have some working knowledge and experience in mediations and Federal Court practices, however, all attorneys and mediators wanting greater insight into mediation and ADR practices are welcome to attend.

When: Friday, December 1, 2017
Check-in & Continental Breakfast start at 8:15 am. CLE begins at 9:00
Where: Kansas Law Center
1200 SW Harrison St.
Topeka 66612
United States
Presenter: The KBA & The ADR Section
Contact: Nancy Burghart

Online registration is closed.
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 Approved for 6 hours of CLE credit including 1 hour of ethics in Kansas & Missouri
 Approved for 6 hours of CME credit in Kansas

Advanced Mediation – Mediating in Kansas Federal Court

Mediation in any setting have similarities.  Mediating in Federal Court, however, often involves more complex legal issues and dynamics. Hear from the best-of-the-best on mediating cases in Kansas Federal Court. 

This is considered an advanced-level program where attendees are presumed to have some working knowledge and experience in mediation and Federal Court practices, however, all attorneys and mediators wanting greater insight into mediation and ADR practices are welcome to attend.

Program Agenda:

8:15 AM  • Check-in & Continental Breakfast

8:50 AM  • Introduction & Welcome
                  Henry Cox,
Attorney at Law, ADR Section President

9:00 AM  •  Strategic Decision-Making in Preparing to Mediate Multi-Party Disputes
                 Larry Rute, Associates in Dispute Resolution LLC., Topeka
                 Multi-party disputes are not necessarily more difficult to resolve than traditional two-party disputes.
                   However, they require more intensive preparation by the mediator in advance of the mediation session(s).
                   We will discuss communication and meeting to identify key issues in advance of the mediation; timing of
                   mediation litigator's preparation for mediation; and, the benefits of co-mediation.                                  

9:50 AM   • Federal Court Mediation in Bankruptcy and All Things Tax
                Susan Berson,  Berson Law GroupLLP., Overland Park
Bankruptcy court, beneficiary disputes over estates, and IRS enforcement matters are three common
                   resource-restrictive battlegrounds where the interplay of the Internal Revenue Code and mediation can
                   be effective to removing what was otherwise an impasse to resolution among or between sparring
                   parties. This presentation will discuss mediation considerations in these three venues. Techniques and
                   opportunities for maximizing favorable settlements will be presented, as well as tips on common
                   mistakes to avoid. 

10:40 AM • Break

10:50 AM •  Anatomy of Mediating Cases in Federal Court from the Mediator's Perspective
                    Dennis Gillen, Depew Gillen Rathbun & McInteer LC., Wichita 

11:40 AM  •  Lunch (Provided)

12:30 PM  •  Anatomy of Mediating Cases in Federal Court from the Litigating Attorney's Perspective
                     Steve Six, 
Stueve Siegel Hanson LLP., KCMO     
Diane Sorensen, Morris Laing Evans Brock & Kennedy Chtd., Wichita
This segment will discuss consideration in selecting the right mediator for your case, how to prepare your
                     client, the importance of evaluating weaknesses in your case, the impact of insurance on the employment
                     case mediation, creative non-monetary solutions that can help achieve resolution.

1:20 PM    •  A Bench Perspective on Mediation in Kansas Federal Court
                  Hon. James O'Hara, Robert J. Dole US Courthouse, Kansas City
                     Hon. Teresa JamesUS District Court of Kansas, Kansas City
                     Mediation formally entered the Federal Court system 25 years ago. During this time the concepts of 
                     mediation have gone through various rule changes and judges have developed an increasing knowledge
                     about mediation and the impact of encouraging mediation in the pretrial process. The judges will discuss
                     how mediation impacts dockets, pretrial processes and the parties themselves. 


2:10 PM    •  Break

2:20 PM    •  Dungeons, Dragons and Lots of Gremlins - Ethical Dilemmas for the Mediator
                  Henry Cox, Henry Cox Law Office, Shawnee
Truly focusing on self-determination in the mediation process often brings the Mediator face-to-face with
                     numerous ethical dilemmas.  Parties indicate overlapping settlement amounts, a desire to hide critical
                     information, seek legal advice from the mediator, attorneys want to persuade and control the mediator, and
                     there is also the pro se litigant.  The potential ethical issues a mediator confronts becomes an endless list.
                    This presentation will attempt to identify and unravel some of the more common ethical dilemmas and deal
                     with the principles and rationale for dealing with or avoiding ethical issues in the mediator’s role.
                     Litigating attorneys will benefit by better understanding and identifying these ethical pitfalls and enhancing
                     their results in the mediation process.


3:10 PM    •  Adjourned


Registration Information:

KBA ADR Section Registration    $210
KBA Member Registration           $240
Non-Member Registration           $300
Paralegal Registration                 $180
Registration                        $170 

Paper Materials:  (Optional)    $30


Presenters Information:


Larry R. Rute, Associates in Dispute Resolution LLC.,Topeka
Larry is a partner and co-founder in Associates in Dispute Resolution, LLC, Topeka, Kansas.  This firm provides a wide range of alternative dispute resolution services, including commercial mediation and arbitration, private judicial proceedings, and conflict resolution systems design. ADR, LLC offices are located in Topeka and Lawrence, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri.  He is a Mediator and Due Process Hearing Officer for the Kansas Department of Education.  He serves as an Adjunct Professor at Washburn University School of Law, Teaching Dispute Resolution Techniques and Negotiation Strategies.



Susan Berson, Berson Law Group LLP., Overland Park
Susan is a practicing lawyer, certified mediator and FINRA arbitrator. She has over 25 years experience as an attorney in state and Federal tax matters, has been certified in mediation for 16 years, and arbitrator for nearly 7 years. A former U.S. Department of Justice trial attorney, she entered private practice in 1998 to help clients with state and Federal tax matters. Other attorneys, accounting and financial service professionals, routinely retain Susan to consult about their clients’ tax matters as well. She is the author of many articles and four books, including Federal Tax Litigation (Law Journal Press), which she is responsible for updating twice-a-year. An attentive listener, Susan’s mediation style is to diligently work with disputing parties to develop options, and move disputes toward a resolution. She and her husband, Dave, are co-founders of their own law firm. Dave practices in business, banking and securities law. Susan is also active in several community and professional organizations, including serving on the Kansas Bar Foundation Board of Trustees and KBA Law Practice Management Committee. For Susan’s complete bio, please visit


Dennis Gillen, Depew Gillen Rathbun & McInteer LC., Wichita
Dennis Gillen specializes in business and business litigation, construction, health care, individual representation and general civil litigation. He also frequently serves either by court appointment or agreement of the parties as a mediator or arbitrator in civil disputes. Dennis was born in Kingman, Kansas, and received his B.A. degree (magna cum laude) from Washburn University in 1969 and his Juris Doctor degree (cum laude) from Washburn University in 1972.Dennis has been active in Kansas Bar Association, being twice elected to the Kansas Supreme Court Nominating Committee and serving as a member of the Board of Governors, Secretary-Treasurer, Vice President and as President of the Kansas Bar Association in 1994. He is a member of the National Health Lawyers Association and a fellow of the American and Kansas Bar Associations. Dennis has also been a member of the Board of Governors and Vice President of the Wichita Bar Association. He has been recognized by his peers for his expertise in commercial litigation with his listing in “The Best Lawyers in America.” He has also been recognized in Chambers “America’s Leading Business Lawyers” for his work in commercial litigation and alternate dispute resolution and was selected for inclusion in the “Missouri and Kansas Super Lawyers” listing, designated as one of the top 100 lawyers in Missouri and Kansas.



Steve Six, Stueve Siegel Hanson LLP, Kansas City, Mo
Steve is an experienced trial attorney and has successfully tried complex cases before juries in state and federal court. He has tried cases to verdict in a wide variety of areas including product liability, professional liability, commercial cases and consumer fraud as well as prosecuting criminal cases.  Steve has litigated cases before the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation and has significant experience in multi-district litigation. In addition to his litigation work, Steve serves as a mediator in a variety of matters including complex commercial, antitrust, and tort cases. Steve maintains an active appellate practice and has successfully argued before state appellate courts in Kansas and Missouri, the federal appellate courts, and before the United States Supreme Court.
Steve  joined Stueve Siegel Hanson following his term as the 43rd Attorney General of Kansas.  As Attorney General, Steve represented the State of Kansas in complex cases in various areas including healthcare, antitrust, environmental resources and consumer protection.  Steve successfully prosecuted capital and first-degree murder cases and was the first Attorney General in more than 35 years to personally prosecute these cases before juries.  Steve represented the State of Kansas in  multi-million dollar water disputes with the States of Nebraska and Colorado in the United States Supreme Court.


Diane H. Sorensen, Morris Laing Evans Brock & Kennedy, Chtd., Wichita
Diane H. Sorensen is a shareholder at Morris, Laing in Wichita, Kansas, where she has been practicing employment law for well over 25 years.  She is also a frequent mediator of employment litigation, and is a panel member of the the American Arbitration Association.  Diane authored the Title VII chapter for for the 3d Edition of the KBA’s Employment Law Handbook.






Hon. James O'Hara, Robert J Dole US Courthouse, Kansas City
James P. O’Hara was appointed as a U.S. Magistrate Judge in 2000.  Judge O’Hara handles the pretrial aspects of both civil and criminal cases and, upon consent of the parties, frequently presides over civil jury trials.  He has extensive experience managing MDL and class action litigation, and also serves as his court’s ADR coordinator.  He was designated as Chief Magistrate Judge of the District of Kansas in 2013. 
O’Hara obtained his B.A. degree from the University of Nebraska in 1977.  He attended the Creighton University School of Law, where he was elected to the Moot Court Board and also served on the Editorial Staff of the Creighton Law Review.  He earned his J.D. degree, with honors, in 1980.
Following law school, O’Hara served a clerkship with U.S. District Judges Robert V. Denney and C. Arlen Beam (D. Neb.).  From 1982 until his appointment to the federal bench, O’Hara was in private practice as a partner in a large Kansas City law firm.  He primarily represented clients in commercial cases in federal and state courts in Kansas and Missouri.  At the time of O’Hara’s appointment to the bench, he was serving on his firm’s Executive Committee and as managing partner of its Overland Park, Kansas office; previously he served on the Hiring Committee and as the partner in charge of the Associates Committee.
While in private practice, O’Hara served on the Ethics & Grievance Committee of the Johnson County Bar Association, the Kansas Board for Discipline of Attorneys, the Bench-Bar Committee of the U.S. District Court (D. Kan.), and on the boards of several civic and church organizations.  Since joining the bench, O’Hara has remained active in several bar, continuing legal education, and church-related endeavors, including the Earl E. O’Connor American Inn of Court (president 2007-08), teaching Trial Advocacy as a member of the adjunct faculty at the University of Kansas School of Law (2003-14), and serving on the Board of Editors of the Journal of the Kansas Bar Association (1983-2007) and the Board of Editors of the Federal Courts Law Review (2014-present).  By appointment of the Chief Justice, O’Hara served as the only Magistrate Judge representative on the U.S. Judicial Conference’s Committee on Judicial Resources, which formulates personnel-related policy recommendations for the federal court system (2004-10).  Currently, O’Hara serves as the only Magistrate Judge representative on the Budget and Finance Advisory Council for the U.S. Courts


Teresa J. James, Magistrate Judge, US District Court, District of Kansas, Kansas City
The Honorable Teresa J. James was appointed on January 16, 2014 as a United States Magistrate Judge for the District of Kansas in Kansas City.  Judge James received her undergraduate degree from the University of Kansas in 1981 and her Juris Doctor from the University of Kansas in 1984.  Following graduation, Judge James engaged in private practice in Wichita until she joined the Overland Park branch of Martin, Pringle, Oliver, Wallace & Bauer, LLP in 2003.  At Martin Pringle, Judge James was a partner and specialized in Energy, Oil and Gas, Condemnation and Complex Litigation.  Prior to going on the Bench, Judge James served on the board of the Kansas Bar Association’s Continuing Legal Education Commission, on the Bench-Bar Committee for the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas, and on the Kansas Appleseed Foundation Board.  She is a member of the Johnson County, Wichita and Kansas Bar Associations.  She is also a Fellow of the Kansas Bar Foundation and the American Bar Foundation, President-Elect of the Earl E. O’Connor Inn of Court, and a member of the Federal Magistrate Judges Association. 



Henry Cox, Henry Cox Law Office, Shawnee
Henry Cox has been a labor/employment, and civil rights litigator for over 30 years and a solo practitioner since 2002. A significant part of his practice involves serving as a mediator, arbitrator and hearing officer. Henry was Staff VP/ Senior Labor Attorney for TWA, and a partner in major law firms representing large and mid-sized companies, as well as individual plaintiffs. As one of the original trailblazers in the Midwest, to bring mediation into the court systems, in 1992, Henry co-developed the first 40-hour civil mediation-training program in the region and has provided more than 1,000 hours of mediation and arbitration training to attorneys, judges and business professionals. He has served as Chair of the Dispute Resolution Committee for the KCMBA and twice served as Chair of the Kansas Bar Association ADR Section. Henry is devoted to mediation and facilitative, conflict management strategies that allow parties the best opportunity to exercise self-determination in resolving their disputes.  He also promotes a process that allows parties to continue and hopefully enhance relations and conflict avoidance. Henry earned his B.A. degree from Baylor University and J.D. degree from Washburn University School of Law where he was admitted into the Order of Barristers, and was Moot Court Council President. He has been continuously selected to "Best of the Bar" by the Kansas City Business Journal since 2002, and he's been selected as a Super Lawyer in Kansas and Missouri by Law & Politics Publications. Henry was an adjunct professor for over ten years teaching master’s courses in law, business ethics, labor law and conflict management.  He is a former committee member of the American Bar Association's Law of Collective Bargaining Committee and a contributing author of "Discipline and Discharge in Arbitration" ABA/BNA (1998).  Henry is appointed to the Kansas Civil Service Board, and he is admitted to the National Association of Distinguished Neutrals.