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2014-2015 Officers

Samantha Shepherd

Vice Chairs: 
Kara Burgess
Barbara Gilchrist
Connie Haden
Jessica Kruse
Erin Merkle

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Contact Information

The Missouri Bar
326 Monroe
Jefferson City, MO 65102
Phone: (573) 635-4128

Getting to YES!

By Christine A. Gilsinan, St. Louis, MO

Christine GilsinanAs the Missouri population ages, questions (and disputes) will occur with more frequency as family members struggle with issues of the aging population. Mediation is one answer to avoid clogging the court system with additional litigation. Missouri’s Supreme Court Rule 17 encourages Alternative Dispute Resolution.

Committee member Stephen Stark (Jefferson City) received his LL.M. in Dispute Resolution in 2000 and has been a mediator meeting rule requirements for years. He also is the president of the Association of Missouri Mediators.

Recently, other members of our committee completed required training under Rule 17 to be able to assist elders by mediating disputes. Martha Brown, Christine Gilsinan and Dan Reuter, experienced elder law attorneys in St. Louis, participated in “Mediation Training for Civil Cases” at MU Law School, Columbia, Missouri, June 6 through June 8, 2012. The bonus: they earned 23 hours of MCLE credit in addition to qualifying under Rule 17.

In addition to basic mediation for civil cases, the following members received specialized training in “Elder Care/Adult Guardianship Mediation” in Chicago, IL, on June 10-12, 2012, offered by the Mediation Training & Consultation Institute: Martha Brown, Christine Gilsinan, and Tim Murphy (Kansas City).

The following quote seems to capture the benefits of mediation in our work in elder law, “By managing the process, mediators provide a safe space for family members to face disagreements, hear what is important to each participant, find common ground, and brainstorm new creative solutions that may meet everyone’s interests. Often, the family generates imaginative solutions that only they could craft with their intimate knowledge of their own situations.” (Rick Larsen and Crystal Thorpe, Elder Mediation: Optimizing Major Family Transitions, 7 MARQUETTE ELDER’S ADVISOR 293, 295 (2006)). 

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