President’s Message – February/March 2020

PCBA President Donna Miller

New Family Law and Guardianship Mediation Training Program

For our members who practice in family law, juvenile and now guardianship cases, mediation is a significant (and often required) component of their cases. The right mediator can mean the difference between an effective resolution or ongoing disputes that further harm families. The Supreme Court rules require all family law mediators to complete forty hours of training specifically focused on family law. The new statute governing minor guardianships also includes a mediation component that requires specialized training.

We are excited to roll out a new mediation training program this March. Participants will learn through in-class presentations, shadowing experienced mediators, and “live” mediation training. Ashely Tollakson and Amy Skogerson, who also teach mediation at Drake Law School, will be joined by Rob Evans to provide class participants with mediation basics and skills. With three experienced mediators, and their professional “war stories” (grandma’s cake plate? — it happens), the class will provide the right balance of presentations and hands-on learning. Participants who complete the training are automatically qualified for addition to the PCBA roster of mediators.

The family law class will begin in late March with in-class days March 30 through April 1 at the Bar building. In a separate session, attorney Kristin Hall will be providing guardianship-focused training for those involved in minor guardianship cases. Look for more details and registration options soon.

The PCBA roster of mediators includes 150 attorneys and non-attorneys who specialize in the areas of family law, guardianships, civil and real estate. The program facilitates the scheduling of over 100 mediations a month and administrative fees provide funding for VLP cases. We look forward to adding skilled and talented attorneys to our roster. And, as always, we appreciate your continued support of the program.


For more information, click here. To register, send an email to