One of the most important considerations in choosing a mediator is trust. You will be talking to the mediator about some very important details of your life, and you will need to feel comfortable being completely open so that the mediator can provide maximum help in resolving your conflict. There are two levels of trust: one is that the mediator is competent and experienced; the other is that private information you give the mediator will remain confidential unless you give him permission to talk about it. This page is designed to give you some information about me that will help you determine if I am the right mediator for you.
I have been a practicing attorney in Atlanta since 1970 as a general practitioner. During that time I have handled almost every legal issue that individuals and small businesses typically face. They range from family law issues such as divorce, child custody, modifications of divorce decrees and family violence to business disputes, workplace issues real estate matters, and the division of estates. Many of those cases were settled through negotiation, but a significant number went to trial or were finally settled after extensive litigation. I have also worked with a large nonprofit organization and have been involved as an owner in several small businesses. A summary of my qualifications and education is listed below.
In 1994 I closed a successful law practice in order to work full time as Executive Director and General Counsel of a nonprofit organization serving thousands of people each year in over 50 countries. It was a wonderful experience. I got to travel a lot, met interesting people from all over the world, and learned valuable lessons about business operation and fundraising in a multicultural environment. I helped people improve relationships close to home and across cultural lines, which led to my transition into mediation. After several years with the nonprofit, I realized that the mission of that organization, as fine as it was, was not my passion and that my calling for the remainder of my career was elsewhere
I didn’t want to return to litigation. I realized that resolving disputes through the courts, although sometimes necessary, often leaves people wounded and bitter and consumes critical financial and emotional resources, which are better used to improve family or business relationships.
That’s when I began to look seriously at the process of mediation, which at that time was just coming into its own. I saw that a great majority of disputes can be resolved by the people involved with the help of a trained professional who can arrange the proper forum for them to talk, facilitate the conversation between them, and help them find creative solutions to their problems. I was fortunate to have some close friends who were nationally recognized leaders in the mediation field who served as my mentors; and I completed some excellent specialized training. Each year I supplement that training by taking courses in various aspects of mediation. I have mediated and settled well over 1,000 cases covering a broad array of subjects from business and employment disputes to complex divorce and child custody cases. Helping people resolve conflict without going to court has become my passion and my full time vocation.
I have been married to Rae Lyons for 44 years. We have three adult children and ten grandchildren. We have attended North Avenue Presbyterian Church during our entire marriage, where I have served in a number of leadership positions and have taught an adult Bible class for more than 25 years.
I believe that my experience has given me a unique perspective on applying proven techniques and principles to reach a practical and wise resolution of difficult conflicts. If you or someone you love is experiencing conflict, give me a call and let’s explore somepractical solutions.