Jen Norlund: How Do Foreclosure Mediations Differ from other Mediations?

May 4-5, 2012
19th Annual Northwest Dispute Resolution Conference

6.2 How Do Foreclosure Mediations Differ from Other Mediations?

Jen Norlund, Case Manager Pierce County DRC, Tacoma, WA; Carol Grandmontagne; Doug Brown; Maralise Hood Quan (Moderator)

Saturday, May 5, 2012 3:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.

In 2011, Washington mediators began providing foreclosure mediation services under the new Foreclosure Fairness Act. Under the statute mediations must conform to a specific agenda, they are not confidential, and the mediator must certify the parties’ good faith participation. Presenters will discuss: Can one use the facilitative/evaluative models? Do the facilitative and evaluative mediation models fit foreclosure mediation cases? How do foreclosure mediations differ from other mediations?

Jennifer Norlund is presently the Settlement Conference and Foreclosure Coordinator for the Pierce County Center for Dispute Resolution. She is responsible for case management, attorney-mediator training, and working both directly and indirectly with the local courts to provide dispute resolution services through small claims, and district and superior court settlement conferences. She is also a facilitative and foreclosure trained mediator. She holds an MS in Negotiation and Dispute Resolution from Creighton University and certificates in International Conflict Negotiation from The Institute for International Mediation and Conflict Resolution, and the United Nations Advanced Facilitation Training Certification. Her background includes community outreach and professional lobbying for the WA State Chiropractic Association; training as a union field organizer; and volunteering as an online facilitator for Soliya, a UNAOC-sponsored program that brings college students in “the West” and in the “Arab-Speaking world” together for open dialogue. In her spare time, she has been a long-time volunteer diversion board member with Pierce County Juvenile Court, and a delegation travel leader for People to People Student Ambassador Programs.

Carol Grandmontagne was an administrator, in a variety of responsible positions, with a large state agency for 30 years. After retiring from state service, she became interested in becoming a certified mediator. She completed the Dispute Resolution Center Training Programs and Practicum and became a Certified Professional Mediator. She began volunteering at the Volunteers of America Dispute Resolution Center of Snohomish, Island, & Skagit Counties office by assisting clients with information concerning the mediation program and the initial intake process. She has experience in family mediations, small claims court actions, neighborhood disputes and all areas of mediation services that the DRC offers.

Last July, Ms. Grandmontagne became certified as a Foreclosure Mediator with the Department of Commerce. She has done approximately 40 foreclosure mediations and is one of the most experienced mediators in that area of mediation. Ms. Grandmontagne has served as a mentor to other foreclosure mediators to adapt their skills to this unique type of mediation. She led a self directed study group for mediators to further their understanding of the Foreclosure Fairness Act and prepare for mediation. She has been instrumental in developing practical applications for the unique foreclosure mediation environment. She is currently working as the Foreclosure Mediation Program Coordinator for the Dispute Resolution Center. In that capacity she assists clients to prepare for mediation and facilitates all activities before and after the mediation.

Doug Brown's law career began in 1977 in the Pierce County Prosecutor’s office where he did criminal jury trials for three years before transitioning to the Prosecutor’s civil division where he advised county agencies and school districts on a variety of issues including employment law. In early 1983 he went into private practice doing primarily personal injury litigation representing injured plaintiffs, and also participated in trials involving construction and contract litigation. Doug initiated and developed the Early Resolution Program for the Attorney General Torts Division as part of an overall ADR effort for the Attorney General’s Office. Since it began in 1996, the Early Resolution Program has become a well-documented success at achieving the Attorney General’s goals of reducing litigation costs to state agencies and reducing litigation caseloads in the AG torts and employment divisions. In the past 15 years Doug has negotiated settlements in more than 600 cases or claims, and represented numerous state agencies in more than 200 mediations. He has made several presentations to state agencies on negotiation strategy, mediation skills and use of Alternative Dispute Resolution to reduce litigation costs. Doug is on the Arbitration panels in Pierce, Thurston, and Mason Counties and has arbitrated more than 100 cases in the past 25 years. He participated in the Pierce County Superior Court’s pro-tem judge program from 2000 to 2003 where he presided over both jury and bench trials and conducted numerous settlement conferences resulting in settlements. Doug has received extensive formal mediation training including 40 classroom hours at CDR (Collaborative Decision Resources) Associates in Boulder, Colorado and 54 classroom hours including Advanced Mediation Training (2009) at The Strauss Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine Law School in California. He received additional training in ADR methods at the Defense Research Institute’s three day training program in Chicago. He has attended training sessions in Collaborative Law at the Seattle University School of Law and Mediation Techniques at the University of Washington Law School, as well as numerous CLE’s on negotiation and mediation. Additionally, he was on the WSBA’s mediator panel for resolving disputes involving WSBA members. Doug has served two terms on the Judicial Qualifications panel of the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar, and on the Bench-Bar Liaison committee. Doug was also a member of WSTLA (Washington State Trial Lawyers Association) for more than 20 years as well as ATLA (The American Trial Lawyers Association). Doug retired from active practice in 2010.

Maralise Hood Quan (Moderator) brings a breadth of experience in the field of conflict resolution to the Pierce County Center for Dispute Resolution as the Executive Director since May 2007. Before earning her BA in International Relations and Conflict Management, Maralise had worked in intercultural and nonviolent conflict resolution settings in her native Washington State. In 1985, Maralise was the Coordinator of the Conflict Resolution Program at the United Nations University for Peace. There she was instrumental in the success of such projects as the Central American Peace Education curriculum, World Conflict Resolution Center and multiple trainings for parties involved in national peace negotiations.

After years of working together as consultants to help resolve conflict, Maralise and her husband, Julio Quan, returned to Washington in 2000. Her work as a professional mediator in a small firm focused on land use, state agency mediations, and problem solving services led her to pursue her long-time interest in the law-making process. She became Chief of Staff to State Representative Dennis Flannigan, serving the people of the 27th Legislative District for five years. In her spare time, she went to law school, receiving her Juris Doctorate in 2008. She serves as Chair of the board of both the Fund for Women and Girls and the Lea Armstrong Social and Community Scholarship Fund as well as the Vice Chair of Resolution Washington and actively participates in Pierce County Housing Justice Project, Conexion Latina, Walk the Waterfront, among others.

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