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


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. 


April 28: Co-Mediating Effectively: Going Beyond the Process

Speakers: Julia Morelli and Jim Meditz

Time: 7:30pm-9pm

CME: 1.5 General and Family 

Cost: $25 NVMS members/$35 General Public

Co-mediation poses particular challenges for mediators.  How can we work more effectively and seamlessly with each other and the parties?   Nuances can be significant, and to what extent might it be appropriate for co-mediators, whether highly experienced or not, to be expansive in pre-mediation preparations?  This interactive program is intended to benefit all mediators.  To develop self-awareness, discussions will go beyond process and explore the deeper subjective aspects of mediator-preferred practices, and in-the moment reactions. 


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. 

 Jim Meditz is a Supreme Court of Virginia certified mentor mediator.  He also provides services as a facilitator, instructor/trainer, consultant, and conflict management coach for diverse clients, including cases before Virginia courts; parties in employment and EEO disputes; and commercial and community entities.  


(FREE) March 24: Peacemaking in Mediation - From a Christian Conciliator's Perspective

Speaker: Ronald C. Zabel, Director of the Conflict Resolution and Conciliation Center, Inc.

Time: 7:30pm-9pm

CME: 1.5 General

Cost: FREE

Peacemaking seeks to help parties identify and deal with root causes of conflict as an essential element in reaching a lasting resolution of the current conflict as well as reducing the potential for future conflict. The vast majority of conflicts involve an underlying relationship component in addition to the apparent substantive issues. This program covers how Christian Conciliation address both relationship reconciliation and substantive dispute resolution in the mediation process in helping parties achieve a lasting peace with each other and the outcome.  The program will also explore opportunities for churches to have a role in fostering peacemaking vs litigiousness.


Learning Objectives: 

(1)  Understand development of Christian Conciliation and difference from other styles of mediation.

(2)  Understand role of and process of incorporating faith based values in the Christian conciliation process (theory and interactive discussion of case examples).

(3)  Increase mediator awareness of how biblical dispute resolution principles can break impasse, particularly where strong relationship related issues from a family, business, or workplace relationship have a role in the impasse.

(4)  Explore the opportunities churches have to foster peacemaking vs litigiousness by being a venue for mediation and conciliation.