My name is Richard Erhard. My background is in Educational Leadership, Management and Development. I am a retired Assistant Superintendent of Schools and currently have a mediation practice based in San Diego, CA focusing on public policy issues predominately in education.
Early in my professional career, I became involved in mediation and other forms of ADR as an alternative to litigation to resolve disputes. Due to this involvement, I also became a student of ADR and over the span of nearly 30 years have sought out training and trainers to enhance my ADR skills.
Several years ago I attended a 3 day training at the Strauss Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine Law School taught by Lee Jay Berman. After three days with Lee Jay, I knew that at some point I needed to come back to him for more. Not only was the training he provided of the highest quality, in a field dominated by attorneys and retired judges, Lee Jay was an extremely successful non attorney mediator. Being a non attorney myself, however also having previously decided that upon retirement I would open a mediation practice, I knew I would come back to Lee Jay for additional training.
This past December I had the pleasure of attending a 5 day intensive training for Commercial and Litigated Cases at Lee Jay's office in LA. The benefits of this training are numerous and certainly more than what time will allow for here. However, the following aspects are some of the reasons I believe this training is beneficial for anyone interested in improving there ADR skills:
First, the class size is small and therefore intimate with plenty of opportunity for personal interaction with Lee Jay and the other participants. I don't know the cap Lee Jay puts on the courses. However, they are small by design. Our class had nine participants and Lee Jay...all sitting at the same conference room table...similar to a mediation.
Second, Lee Jay's personal approach to mediation and to training mediators is to be, and become, a "complete" mediator. By complete, I mean he doesn't just focus on one approach,
I.e., facilitative, evaluative, transformative, narrow or broad. He incorporates all aspects of conflict resolution theory and management. With mastery, this approach will allow the "complete" mediator to move the parties toward agreement as the climate in the room shifts during the mediation...as it will.
Finally, and this may be the most beneficial aspect of Lee Jay's trainings in my opinion. He not only provides the participants with the technical skills required to move the parties, he provides the language, questioning strategies, pacing and the insight he uses with these tools to move the parties toward agreement.
Given my professional background, I recognize that just as in Educational Leadership, where my primary objective was to effectively lead staff in the management and development of educational programs culminating in student success, Lee Jay is training mediators to effectively lead the party's in the management of conflict and their development of a durable agreement.
If you would like to hear more about Lee Jay's trainings, please contact me, either through Lee Jay's office, or my website at Mediate.com