Day One - Welcome and Overview

  • Introductions
  • Group Introductions, Interests and Desired Outcomes
  • What is Probate and Elder Issue Mediation?
  • Probate & Elder Mediation Resources
  • Mediation Overview and Themes
  • Your Mediator Opening Statement(s)
  • Mediator Opening Exercise

Day Two - Becoming a Mediator
Today’s ACTEC Fellow Commentators: Mary Radford, Atlanta, GA and Susan Gary, Eugene, OR

  • Debrief Mediator Opening Statement Exercise
  • Questions for ACTEC Commentators
  • Maximizing Mediation
  • Key Agreement Creation Concepts
  • Facilitating the Sharing of Perspectives Exercise

Day Three - A Problem-Solving Framework
Today’s ACTEC Fellow Commentator: Hung Nguyen, Coral Gables, FL

  • ACTEC Fellow Commentator: Hung Nguyen, Coral Gables, Florida
  • Debrief: Sharing Perspectives Exercise
  • De-positioning to Interests and Positive Intentions
  • Getting Current and Easy Points of Agreement
  • Resolving Pressing Issues
  • Problem-Solving Structure
  • Problem-Solving Exercise

Day Four - Mediation Strategy
Today's ACTEC Fellow Commentator: Margaret E.W. Sager, West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania

  • Debrief: Problem Solving Exercise
  • Mediator Strategy
  • Interest-Based, Option Development
  • Hypothesis Generation & Testing
  • Doubt & Dissonance
  • Indirect Techniques 
  • A Theoretic Model
  • Joint and Caucus Meetings
  • Urgent Mediation Exercise

Day Five - Preparing to Practice

  • Debrief: Urgent Mediation Exercise
  • Sample Agreement to Mediate and Ground Rules
  • Your Mediation Practice Development - Getting the Most from
  • An Open Discussion About Practice Development and the Future of Probate, Legacy & Elder Mediation
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Testimonials About the Training

The training was excellent both for those with experience and those just learning. Ten hours is not enough, but it certainly was worth the time and effort. "

"The ACTEC mediation training is an important step for any ACTEC Fellow wanting to move into mediation of trust and estate disputes."

Very well done program. Lots of information, some exercises and insightful comments."

"You made the technology easy to use even for techno-idiots like me! Appreciated the excellent e-mail reminders the day before, and links to the day's materials and Zoom sessions that actually worked. Well done!"

"This was an excellent course. Great presentations and materials. Good feedback from the presenters."

"This course offers practical assistance to develop a mediation practice. I felt it was the most valuable course I have taken in this regard."


James Melamed

Jim Melamed co-founded in 1996 and served as CEO of until 2020. Before, Jim founded The Mediation Center in Eugene, Oregon in 1983 and served as Executive Director of the Academy of Family Mediators (AFM) from 1987 to 1993.

Clare Fowler

Dr. Clare Fowler is Executive Vice-President and Managing Editor at, as well as a mediator and trainer. Clare received her Master's of Dispute Resolution from the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at the Pepperdine University School of Law and her Doctorate in Organizational Leadership, focused on reducing workplace conflicts, from Pepperdine University School of Education. Clare also coordinated the career development program for The Straus Institute dispute resolution students. In 2023, Clare published Rising Above Office Conflict: The Light-Hearted Guide for the Heavy-Hearted Employee.

Bruce Ross

Preeminent in the realm of trust, estate and conservatorship disputes, Bruce S. Ross provides mediation and arbitration services that are strengthened by his decades of experience as a trial lawyer. He has more than 45 years of experience with high-value fiduciary litigation and the resolution of estate, trust, protective and financial elder abuse proceedings and disputes. Bruce is ranked by Chambers High Net Worth 2017 in its highest tier, Band 1 in Private Wealth Disputes, across the United States of America.