Basic Summary of Credentials:
I am a certified mediator with the following additional qualifications which are described in more detail in the “My History Section” below: law degree, psychology degree; certified domestic relations mediator, trained Restorative Justice facilitator; certified crisis counselor; certification in parenting coordination, extensive training in various communication techniques including Motivational Interviewing; extensive experience and training in mental health matters, including, but not limited to, depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, trauma, personality disorders, executive processing, addiction and substance abuse, and the effects of such concerns on decision-making and life skills. I have specific experience and training in divorce and family mediation and I am qualified to serve as a court appointed parenting coordinator/decision maker. I am a professional member of MAC (the Mediators’ Association of Colorado) and a member of the Maryland Bar Association, District of Columbia Bar Association (presently non practicing), and Boulder Bar Association
I was born in Baltimore, Maryland. I received my undergraduate degree cum laude in Psychology with a concentration in English from Bucknell University in Pennsylvania. Following undergraduate school, I went directly to George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C. I enjoyed a wide and varied career as a practicing attorney. I worked with the Public Defender Service in Washington, D.C., served as a federal prosecutor for the Criminal Division of the United States Department of Justice, was appointed as a Special Assistant United States Attorney for the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, and did civil litigation for a large private law firm and for the Commercial Litigation Branch of the Civil Division of the United States Department of Justice. In addition, I was trained as a crisis counselor and performed extensive volunteer work with the Montgomery County Sexual Assault Service in Maryland. I also represented “children adjudicated in need of assistance” on a pro bono basis and served as a long term mentor in a program for underprivileged teens in inner city high schools in Baltimore.
In 1998, I moved out to Colorado and enjoyed several years in this beautiful state as a stay at home mom. During this time, I volunteered in the public schools as an elected board member, classroom teaching volunteer, and assistant in gifted and talented classes. I also helped start the first Boulder-based water polo club which continues to thrive to the present day. I pondered whether to continue my legal career as a litigator or shift gears and do something else with my life. I reflected upon my prior professional life and decided that some of my finest moments were those where I helped negotiate a good agreement and everyone walked away satisfied. I know firsthand the emotional drain and financial devastation litigation brings. Over time, I developed a strong belief in more friendly and cost effective dispute resolution. Consequently, I became a certified mediator and started my own practice, Bright Side Mediation, LLC. I believe that almost any conflict can be resolved amicably if the parties involved have an open mind and truly want to resolve their differences.
I have expanded upon my knowledge to include extensive training in a powerful collaborative communication technique called Motivational Interviewing which helps people develop their own intrinsic motivation for change and can also be used in mediation to help people understand their motivations, needs and interests. I also got involved in the practice of Restorative Justice and received specialized training in facilitating family, community and victim/offender restorative justice circles. I volunteered as a facilitator and community member with the Office of Student Conduct at the University of Colorado at Boulder in their Restorative Justice Program and also as a community member with the Diversion Program at the Boulder District Attorney’s Office and the Boulder County Probation Office, Boulder County. I presently offer among my services, a restorative justice practice for families and communities. I am also trained in Mindfulness, an approach to living which focuses on being actively present in the moment and is used to help reduce stress and increase appreciation of the inherent beauty and value in life itself.