Mediation Conference
Virtual Midwest Mediation Conference
CLE credit has been approved by Indiana Supreme Court Office of Admissions and Continuing Education.
9.0 hours of general credit INCLUDING 1.5 hours of ethics, 3.0 hours of NLS and 10.5 hours of CME. 12 NASW-Social Work Continuing Education Hours.
OCTOBER 22-23, 2021
Bill Eddy

Bill Eddy, LCSW, Esq.

Bill Eddy is the co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer of the High Conflict Institute in San Diego, California. He pioneered the High Conflict Personality Theory (HCP) and has become an expert on managing disputes involving people with high conflict personalities. He was the Senior Family Mediator at the National Conflict Resolution Center for 15 years, a Certified Family Law Specialist lawyer representing clients in family court for 15 years, and a licensed clinical social worker therapist with 12 years’ experience. He serves on the faculty of the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at the Pepperdine University School of Law in California and is a Conjoint Associate Professor with the University of Newcastle Law School in Australia. He has been a speaker and trainer in over 30 U.S. states and 10 countries. He is the author or co-author of twenty books and has a popular blog on the Psychology Today website with over 4 million views.

In recognition of his lifetime of contributions that have shaped the family mediation field, The Academy of Professional Family Mediators (APFM) presented Bill with the APFM Lifetime Achievement Award at the APFM Conference on October 16th, 2021.

Books Written by Bill Eddy

  • 5 Types of People Who Can Ruin Your Life
  • High Conflict People in Legal Disputes
  • Managing High Conflict People in Court
  • Mediating High Conflict Disputes (co-author Michael Lomax)
  • It’s All YOUR Fault! 12 Tips for Managing People Who Blame Others for Everything
  • It’s All Your Fault at Work (award winner) (co-author Georgi DiStefano)
  • BIFF: Quick Responses to High Conflict People, Their Personal Attacks, Hostile Email and Social Media Meltdowns
  • BIFF for CoParents (co-authors Annette Burns and Kevin Chafin)
  • BIFF at Work (co-authors Megan Hunter and Shiv Martin)
  • Why We Elect Narcissists and Sociopaths and How We Can Stop (award winner)
  • SPLITTING: Protecting Yourself While Divorcing Someone with Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorder (co-author Randi Kreger)
  • So, What’s Your Proposal?
  • Don’t Alienate the Kids

Courses Developed by Bill Eddy

  • Dealing with High Conflict People in Family Law Cases
  • BIFF Response® for Lawyers
  • Dealing with High Conflict Opposing Counsel
  • ‘So, What’s Your Proposal?’ Using Proposals with High Conflict Clients
  • Understanding & Managing High Conflict People in Legal Disputes
  • Dealing with Narcissistic Personalities: The Arrogant Players of Divorce
  • Borderline Personalities in Divorce: Managing Mood Swings & Rage
  • Dealing with Sociopaths: The Con Artists of Divorce
  • Mediation in Domestic Violence Cases
  • Skills for Peace: Understanding & Managing High Conflict People in Law Enforcement
  • Personality Disordered Parents & Alienated Children
  • Working with High Conflict Litigants – 10 Tips for Judges
  • Writing for Court – 10 Tips for Persuading Decision Makers
  • The Brain 101 – How to Communicate Effectively

His website is:

Mediating High Conflict Legal Disputes: A Paradigm Shift and New Ways for Lawyers to Handle High Conflict Mediation


In this two-day training, attorney, mediator, and therapist Bill Eddy, will present his method known as New Ways for Mediation® – meaning new skills for clients to use and a set of skills for attorney-mediators to emphasize during high conflict mediation.

Day 1 — Friday, October 22nd, 2021

9:00 AM Understanding High Conflict Personalities in Legal Disputes

An overview will be provided of five personality patterns and their common high conflict behavior in litigation and mediation, including: Borderline, Narcissistic, Histrionic, Antisocial, and Paranoid. We will address their preoccupation with blaming others (their “targets of blame”), how they often draw others into their conflicts (“negative advocates”), a bit about brain science that impacts these personalities, and recognizing them early in a case.

10:30 AM Break
10:45 AM Managing High Conflict Individuals in Any Legal Setting: The CARS Method®

Four key skills will be presented for managing high-conflict individuals in any legal setting (with a focus on the mediation setting), including Connecting with empathy, attention and respect; Analyzing alternatives with choices and proposals; Responding to hostility and misinformation by being brief, informative, friendly and firm; and Setting Limits with empathy, attention and respect, while educating about consequences.

12:15 PM Lunch
1:15 PM BASIC SKILLS of the New Ways for Mediation® Method Specifically for Attorneys Mediating High Conflict Cases

Skills for Attorney-Mediators: Connect, Structure, Educate

  • Managing client emotions and responsibility
  • Educating parties about standards and reality
  • Dealing with resistance to resolving disputes

Skills for Clients:

  • Asking More Questions, Making Process Decisions
  • Making Agendas
  • Making and Responding to Proposals
  • Finalizing Agreements
2:45 PM Break
3:00 PM STRUCTURING the New Ways for Mediation Process Specifically for Attorneys Mediating High Conflict Cases

  • Step 1: Establishing the structure
  • Step 2: Guiding the parties to make their agenda
  • Step 3: Guiding the parties to make and respond to proposals
  • Step 4: Finalizing and revising their agreements

Fishbowl Demonstration

Practice Exercise

4:30 PM End of Day

Day 2 — Saturday, October 23rd, 2021

9:00 AM Pre-Mediation Coaching for Attorneys; and Mediation Practice

There will be an explanation of individual and joint pre-mediation coaching, screening, and related issues that attorneys should be aware of in high conflict legal disputes. There will be a brief coaching exercise in which participants will practice coaching.

Full mediation practice exercise with family law and civil law examples.

10:30 AM Break
10:45 AM Continue mediation practice with feedback and discussion
12:15 PM Lunch
1:15 PM Communicating with Mediation Clients: BIFF Communications Coaching and Practice Exercise

Attorneys are often are too directive, too passive, or too reactive in their communication, especially with high conflict clients. Much of today’s high conflict communications can be redirected using the BIFF Response® method for written (and verbal) communications, thereby enabling the attorney-mediator to facilitate problem-solving rather than getting drawn into an all-or-nothing battle between parties.

BIFF stands for: brief, informative, friendly and firm. Coaching clients and colleagues for using BIFF Communications will be explained with ten questions to help structure their communication. There will be 1-2 practice exercises for coaching clients or colleagues with this method. Attorneys around the world use this communication method successfully with clients.

2:45 PM Break
3:00 PM Ethical Issues

High conflict clients present the most difficult ethical dilemmas for those in the legal profession, from pressuring lawyer-mediators to take sides, to breaching confidentiality, to alleging bias, to questioning mediator competence, to claiming the mediator pressured them to accept bad agreements. This session will include one hour of ethical issues, based on the Indiana Rules for Alternative Dispute Resolution, emphasizing Rules 2, 7 and 8.

4:30 PM End of Day

Conference Location

The 2021 Midwest Mediation Conference has been changed to a virtual event to ensure the highest level of safety for all attendees.
Although we will miss gathering in person, we will have virtual networing opportunities available throughout the conference as well.

Mediation Conference
CLE Credit
CLE credit has been approved by Indiana Supreme Court Office of Admissions and Continuing Education.
9.0 hours of general credit INCLUDING 1.5 hours of ethics, 3.0 hours of NLS and 10.5 hours of CME.
12.0 NASW-Social Work Continuing Education Hours.
2021 Annual IAM Member Meeting
Thursday October 21st at 7:00pm (via Zoom)

All IAM members are invited to attend.
Make sure to indicate if you'll be attending when you purchase your conference registration.

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 October 21, 2021.

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 2021 and 2022!


$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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