Upcoming MNF

March 23 - Is Mediation Dead? with Cindy Mazur and John Settle 

June 22 - Following the Growth of Mediation in Civil Litigation with Professor Autherine Smith Scholl 

July 27 - Anger and ADR with Candice Allgaier 

August 24 - "Get it in Writing": A Scrivener Skills Session for Mediators with Ken Rosenbaum

September 28 - How Dispute Resolution Professionals Can Harness "Teachable Moments" with Julia Morelli and Geoff Drucker 

October 26 - Movement, Mediation and Mindfulness with Julia Morelli 

November 23 - TBA

Would you like to suggest or present on a topic of choice? Contact our office at 703.865.7261 or

Monday Night Forum


Monday Night Forum (MNF) is a monthly in-service training program delivered by mediators for mediators. Advanced practice topics provide learning opportunities and a great place to network with others. Topics include mediation practices, ethics, theory, and collaborative processes. MNFs are held on teh 4th Monday evening of select months. 

Note: Select MNF may be certified for Continuing Mediator Education (CME) credits. 

Time: 7-9pm (7-7:30 networking; 7:30-9 presentation)

Cost: $25 NVMS Members/ $35 General Public


March 23: Is Mediation Dead?

Facilitators: Cindy Mazur and John Settle

Time: 7:30pm - 9pm 

Cost: FREE

Networking: 7-7:30pm (coffee, soda and light snacks will be provided)


The leaders of this session will facilitate and contribute to a discussion of the following questions, and related ones as they arise:  
 Some perceive that there is a growing movement toward “multi-disciplinary” ADR practice.  What is your experience with, and your view of,  this trend – resist or join?  What are the impacts of our ethical responsibilities – both as mediators, and otherwise?
What’s the best way to explain and/or “sell” mediation to a new potential client?  How do we determine the appropriateness of mediation, both ethically and as a matter of practicality, vis-à-vis other forms of ADR?
•What is the best way to respond to the client with a “little knowledge” (which may be the proverbial “dangerous thing”) who wants a certain intervention methodology?


About the facilitators: 

Cynthia Mazur is the Director for Alternative Dispute Resolution at the Federal Emergency Management Agency. She is a mentor/mediator in the Federal Shared Neutrals Program. At the D.C. Superior Court she mediates domestic cases and child abuse and neglect cases. She arbitrates legal malpractice and fee dispute cases for the D.C. Bar and mediates these cases, as well. The D.C. Bar gave her a Special Merit Award in 2005. Ms. Mazur has been with FEMA since 1991. She most recently was the Associate General Counsel for Program Law. FEMA OCC awarded Cindy the Shirley Levy Award in 2007. Before coming to FEMA, Ms. Mazur was awarded a Teaching Fellowship at Georgetown University Law Center. She taught in the Appellate Clinic for two years, handling prisoner civil rights and criminal defense cases. She earned her L.L.M. in Appellate Advocacy. Prior to that, she was an Associate, practicing employment law at the D.C. firm of Akin, Gump, Straus, Hauer & Feld. She came to D.C. from a Judicial Clerkship in the Fourth Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals, working on prisoner civil rights cases. Ms. Mazur received a scholarship to attend the International Institute of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France in 1991. She received her J.D. from Syracuse University in 1986 and was a member of the Justinian Honorary Law Society. She earned an M. Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary and served a bi-racial church on Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota as an ordained minister. This created an interest in Indian law. She graduated cum laude with her B.A. in English/Education from Hartwick College in New York. Ms. Mazur is licensed to practice law in Virginia, the District of Columbia, Maryland, and New York.

John Settle has over twenty years experience as a mediator and trainer.  He is certified as a mediator and Mentor Mediator by the Supreme Court of Virginia, and he holds Advanced Workplace Mediator status from the Association for Conflict Resolution.  He heads his own mediation and consulting firm (SETTLEment Associates, LLC) and is among the cadre of consultants for several national firms providing ADR services.  He has been a trainer and mediator with the Northern Virginia Mediation Service since 1998.  He is a contract mediator for three offices of EEOC (including EEOC’s internal “Resolve” program) and has mediated and trained for many federal agencies.  He served as the contract Ombudsman for the U.S. Architect of the Capitol.  Mr. Settle is on the faculty of George Washington University’s Center for Excellence in Public Administration, teaching conflict management and negotiation skills, and has taught negotiation skills at GWU Law School.  He is a retired member of the Virginia Bar. Mr. Settle formerly held senior federal management positions, and he received the Presidential Award of Meritorious Executive in the Senior Executive Service. 


October 27: Using Technology in Mediation 

Speakers: Julia Morelli and Dan Rainey

Time: 7:30pm-9pm

CME: pending 1.5 General and Family CME

Cost: $25 Members/ $35 General Public

Networking: 7-7:30pm (coffee, soda and light snacks will be provided)

Technology will continue to play an important role in our lives, and mediation is no exception.  Participate in this interactive session and become more aware of the practical and ethical issues related to ODR (online dispute resolution).  Learn what you need to consider when deciding if and how to include technology in your mediation practice.  This workshop includes cautionary tales about email, Skype and use of the telephone, and recommendations for best practices.



About the Speakers:

Julia Morelli has over fifteen years of experience as a mediator, facilitator, manager and consultant. She is the Director of Operations for the George Mason University (GMU) Instructional Foundation and President of Holistic Solutions, Inc. Her practice includes mediation and facilitation, organizational assessment and development, strategic planning; and training related to conflict management, the use of technology in dispute resolution, diversity and cultural issues, and communication. Julia provides the GMU community with conflict management training, workplace coaching and group facilitation; and serves as mediator for individual and group mediations for state agencies through the Virginia Department of Employment Dispute Resolution. Her private practice includes work with government, private and non-profit organizations. She received an M.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on Organizational Conflict and Diversity Management. She has also received a Professional Certificate in Human Resource Management.

 Daniel Rainey is the Director of the Office of Alternative Dispute Resolution Services (ADRS) for the National Mediation Board (NMB), and he is the agency’s Ombudsman. He directs the NMB’s alternative dispute resolution (ADR) program, which includes: 1) an ongoing training program offering courses in Facilitated Problem Solving and Grievance Mediation; 2) specialized training in topics such as teambuilding and System Boards of Adjustment; 3) third party work in grievance mediation, interest-based contract negotiation, and group facilitation; and, 4) Online Dispute Resolution (ODR). The ODR program includes the use of technology for contract negotiations, grievance mediation, arbitration hearings, and other work with parties in the airline and railroad industries. He is a member of, an online dispute resolution organization addressing issues of justice involving cyber-law and cyber-transactions, he is a member of the planning committee for the United Nations Fifth ODR Conference (2007), and he is a Fellow at the Center for Information Technology and Dispute Resolution (CITDR) at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and at Southern Methodist University.


September 22: Creative Settlements Inside and Outside the "Legal Box"

Speaker: Larry Gaughan

Time: 7:30pm-9pm

CME: 1.5 Family CME

Cost: $25 Members/ $35 General Public

Networking: 7-7:30pm (coffee, soda and light snacks will be provided)

The misconception that there may be a fixed "legal" solution for many mediated divorce cases has created unnecessary difficulties in communication between mediators of different professions. A proper understanding of how the formal system of divorce law works (and often doesn't work) may help to bridge these gaps. This article is intended to enable mediators who are not attorneys to be more comfortable with some useful concepts and guidelines inside the legal box. It is also intended to enable mediators who are lawyers to expand the scope of their skills and knowledge into the important areas of divorce settlements outside of the legal box.




About the Speaker

Larry Gaughan graduated from Montana and Virginia Law Schools and was admitted to the Virginia State Bar in 1967.  He was a full-time faculty member at Virginia, Washington & Lee, and George Mason Law Schools, being a tenured full Professor at that latter two.  From 1975-1999 he gave the annual Recent Developments in Virginia Family Law lecture at the Virginia State Bar annual convention.  He was a member of the first Board of Governors of the Family Law Section of the Virginia State Bar from 1978-1982.  During the academic year 1979-1980 he was Scholar in Residence at the Georgetown Family Center, which at that time was in the Department of Psychiatry at Georgetown Medical School.  In 1980 he founded Family Mediation of Greater Washington and has continued as its Professional Director to the present time.  Larry has handled approximately 3,000 cases as a mediator, mostly dealing with divorce settlements.  He was one of the founders of the Academy of Family Mediators in 1981.  He is a founding member – advanced mediator of the Academy of Professional Family Mediators, and is a member of its Certification Committee.  Larry is a certified senior mediator  As an attorney he is rated by Martindale-Hubbell, the national rating service for lawyers, as "AV® Preeminent™".  They describe this as meaning the "Highest Possible Rating in Both Legal Ability and Ethical Standards".  He has numerous endorsements on LinkedIn. 


July 28: Working with Metaphors in Mediation: Beyond Feedback and Reframing

Speakers: Julia Morelli and John Settle

Time: 7:30pm-9pm

CME: 1.5 General or Family

Cost: $25 Members/ $35 General Public

Networking: 7-7:30pm (coffee, soda, and light snacks will be provided)


This workshop integrates research and theory related to metaphors and translates them into practical tools that can be applied across practice areas. Participants will learn to recognize ways in which metaphors can influence the mediation process, understand how these key elements of language can aid them in their role as a mediator and develop effective reframing and feedback skills by working with metaphors creatively.


About the Speakers:

Julia Morelli has twenty years of experience as a mediator, facilitator, manager and consultant. Her practice includes organizational assessment and development, strategic planning, and training related to conflict management, the use of technology in dispute resolution, diversity and cultural issues, and communication. She is President of the non-profit George Mason University Instructional Foundation and Holistic Solutions, Inc.

John Settle has over twenty years of experience as a mediator and trainer. He is certified as a mediator and mentor mediator by the Supreme Court of Virginia and holds Advanced Workplace Mediator status from the Association for Conflict Resolution. He heads his own mediation and consulting firm, SETTLEment Associates, LLC and is among the cadre of consultants for several national firms providing ADR services.


June 23: Maximizing Team Performance under Pressure: Strategies to Resolve Conflict when Working in Groups/Teams

Speakers: Andy Pizzi, Izabela Solosi and Megan Johnston

Time: 7:30pm-9pm

CME: 1.5 General

Cost: $25 NVMS members / $35 General Public

Networking: 7-7:30pm – coffee, soda, light snacks will be provided

We’ve all experienced the frustration of working on a project while part of a team. Work styles and personalities clash, misunderstandings set members at odds, and goals become lost in the midst of it all until we’re pushing against the deadline.  Could there be ways of improving performance towards better results by alleviating team pressure caused by conflict?  In this interactive workshop, Mr. Pizzi, Ms. Johnston and Ms. Solosi will engage the participants with cases studies and exercises to practice identifying sources of team conflict and selecting appropriate strategies.

Learning Objectives/Take Aways:

  1. Understand the sources of team conflict
  2. Gain strategies  to improve team performance
  3. Learn tips on how to adjust strategies when team is under stress


About the Speakers:

Andy Pizzi

Andy Pizzi is an independent contractor who specializes in conflict resolution and labor-management relations. He was a federal employee for 32 years where his main area of expertise was alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and labor-management collaboration initiatives.  His experience as a former union official, agency representative and dispute resolution specialist has given him knowledge and insight in helping federal agencies and unions resolve dispute and develop more collaborative approaches.  Andy has mediated over 400 workplace disputes, facilitated over 150 meetings dealing with labor-management issues, provided numerous training sessions in conflict resolution and developed several alternative dispute resolution programs.

Andy earned his BA from the University of Massachusetts in Political Science, and a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership from Norwich University.  He is also a Certified Mediator through the Supreme Court of Virginia and the Mediation Training Institute.

Megan Johnston

Megan Johnston is Executive Director of Northern Virginia Mediation Service (NVMS), a 501©3, nonprofit dispute resolution and training center. She is a certified mediator, knowledgeable ADR program manager and process consultant. Megan is experienced in team development, leadership and problem solving. She is Board President of the Virginia Association for Community Conflict Resolution and member of the Association for Conflict Resolution and the Virginia Mediation Network. Megan earned her Master of Arts in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of Ulster in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, and her BA in International Affairs from The George Washington University.

Izabela Solosi

Izabela Solosi is the Training Program Manager at Northern Virginia Mediation Service (NVMS). She is also a Court Certified Mediator through the Supreme Court of Virginia and a certified Level 1 Strength Deployment Inventory trainer. In collaboration with other experienced practitioners, she designs and delivers in-house and off-site trainings on a variety of conflict resolution topics and provides facilitation and mediation services. Izabela received her BA in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University.