Mediation Conference
Virtual Midwest Mediation Conference
NOVEMBER 4-5, 2022
David Hoffman

David Hoffman

Founding Member of Boston Law Collaborative, LLC / Mediator, Arbitrator, Collaborative Law Attorney / Harvard Law School Professor – David is the John H. Watson, JR. Lecturer on Law (Mediation; Diversity and Dispute Resolution; Legal Profession – Collaborative Law)

David was named Boston’s “Lawyer of the Year” for 2022 in the field of Arbitration by the book Best Lawyers in America and U.S. News & World Report.

2022 Virtual Midwest Mediation Conference: Advanced Skills for the Workaday Mediator


The purpose of this training is to advance the frontiers of skill and knowledge for civil and domestic mediators from all backgrounds (including lawyer, therapist, financial professional, educator, and other occupations). The training will include lectures, smallgroup discussions, and a few role plays.

Day 1 — Friday, November 4th, 2022

9:00am – 9:30am Introduction and Overview
9:30am – 11:00am The Psychology of Mediation

Mediators are beginning to use a variety of psychological perspectives in our work (e.g., neuroscience, cognitive biases, behavioral economics, etc.). We will begin by surveying those that attendees have found useful. Our focus will then shift to the Internal Family Systems model created by psychologist Richard Schwartz, which focuses not on families but rather on the family-like relationships that our internal “parts” have and how those relationships affect us (and the people with whom we mediate). We will also consider how ethical issues (particularly the duty of competence) are impacted by our knowledge of the psychology of mediation.

11:00am – 11:15am Break
11:15am – 12:30pm Diversity Issues and the Problem of Unconscious Bias

Unconscious bias is ubiquitous – a feature of the human condition – and yet mediators have a duty to be unbiased. Fortunately, bias is malleable. We will consider how we can identify unconscious biases in ourselves and others, how biases show up in our mediation work, and how we can skillfully respond when biases are present. In addition, this workshop will provide participants with techniques we can all use to reduce our unconscious bias. We will also consider the legal and ethical dimensions of our duty to treat all mediation participants in a non-discriminatory manner.

12:30pm – 1:30pm Lunch
1:30pm – 3:00pm Diversity Issues and the Problem of Unconscious Bias, Continued
3:00pm – 3:15pm Break
3:15pm – 4:45pm Ethical Issues: Impartiality, Confidentiality, and Informed Consent Under Indiana Rules

In small-group discussions, participants will tackle ethical dilemmas and report their conclusions in a plenary session. Impartiality dilemmas will address the psychological and bias problems discussed earlier in the day. Confidentiality dilemmas will focus on private information communicated in caucuses. And informed-consent problems will focus on situations in which the parties lack legal advice, have inadequate advice, or there’s an asymmetry in the parties’ knowledge. We will also consider what legal and malpractice issues arise for mediators in handling these three areas of our practice, with specific reference to the Indiana ADR Rules.

4:45pm – 5:00pm Summary of Day One

Day 2 — Saturday, November 5th, 2022

9:00am – 9:30am Welcome and Check-In
9:30am – 11:00am The Art of Asking Questions in Mediation

Mediators have enormous power to direct mediated discussions simply by posing questions. Our questions can direct people toward shared interests, shared values, or a focus on the future. Our questions may focus on emotions, facts, or options. Often, however, we do not fully appreciate the emotional impact of our questions. Working in small groups, participants will interview each other and learn more about that impact. David will present examples of questions that can profoundly impact the mediation process in a positive way. We will also consider how overly intrusive questions from the mediator can be harmful and inconsistent with legal and ethical responsibilities.

11:00am – 11:15am Break
11:15am – 12:30pm Impasse-Breaking Techniques

David will present a list of 25 impasse-breaking techniques (such as case evaluation, mediators’ proposals, and range bargaining), and then we will break into small-groups to discuss (a) which additional techniques mediators should consider using, (b) what are the most effective techniques, and (c) what are the pitfalls of some techniques. This session will conclude with a fishbowl demonstration of several impasse-breaking situations. We will also consider the legal, ethical, and malpractice implications of various impasse-breaking techniques – particularly those that have more evaluative and directive (as opposed to facilitative) elements.

12:30pm – 1:30pm Lunch
1:30pm – 3:00pm The Personal Qualities of the Mediator

In the book “Bringing Peace into the Room,” David and his co-editor Daniel Bowling suggest that a mediator’s personal qualities can exert a powerful influence on the peacemaking process. Working first in small-groups and then in plenary session, we will explore what those personal qualities are and how we can cultivate them. We will also consider what the ethical duty of a mediator may be with regard to cultivating these qualities.

3:00pm – 3:15pm Break
3:15pm – 4:00pm Questions and Answers
4:00pm – 4:30pm Depictions of Mediation in Popular Media

This two-day program will end on a humorous note, as David presents excerpts of his collection of mediation videos from movies and television. We will then discuss the popular misconceptions of mediation shown in these vignettes and also what violations of mediation ethics may be reflected in these excerpts.

4:30pm – 5:00pm Summary of Day Two and Closing Comments
Mediation Conference
CLE / CME Credit
Attending the IAM's Virtual Midwest Mediation Conference will award you nine CLE (continuing legal education) credits, including two ethics, three NLS (non-legal subject matter), and 10.5 CME (continuing mediation education). Credit for Licensed Social Workers and Therapists currently are pending.

Register Now

Attendance is limited to 125 participants, so we advise that you register as soon as possible to ensure a spot at the conference. We invite any and all interested professionals to attend the conference, especially mediators, judges, social workers, therapists, school mediators and real estate professionals. Note: Registration closes at 12pm EST on November 3, 2022.

If you are not a current IAM member and wish to join, your conference registration fee includes membership in the Indiana Association of Mediators for the rest of this year and all of next year.

Current Members

$199 Friday AND Saturday

New Members

$299 Friday AND Saturday

For new members, registration includes IAM membership for 2022 and 2023!


$299 Friday AND Saturday

For non-members who do not wish to join the Indiana Association of Mediators.


The IAM is offering five (5) $100 scholarships for 2-day attendees that may be applied to the cost of registration. The scholarships are for students, new mediators, and those with a valid financial need for assistance. Please contact us for additional scholarship information and to apply. If registration for the Conference is completed online and you are subsequently approved for a scholarship, a reimbursement check will be given to you at the Conference. If you have already been approved for a scholarship, the amount of the scholarship can be deducted during registration.

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