News & Events

Judges Needed!

There are two upcoming opportunities for ADR professionals to serve as judges in ADR competitions:

ADR Regional Negotiation Competition

Regent University School of Law will be virtually hosting the American Bar Association (“ABA”) Law Student Negotiation Competition on Friday and Saturday, November 5-6, 2021.These competitions simulate legal negotiations in which law students, acting as lawyers and operating in teams of two, negotiate opposing interests in a series of legal problems. The judges will grade participants based upon their legal analysis, poise, creativity, communication, and negotiation skills. The teams receiving the highest scores on Friday, November 5, will advance to the final round on Saturday, November 6. The winning teams will advance to the National Negotiation Finals Competition.

They are seeking individuals to serve as judges for the competition.  Interested members can sign up using this Google Form.


ADRS Board Regional Arbitration Competition

The ADRS (Alternative Dispute Resolution Society)  Board at Richmond Law is hosting a regional Arbitration competition on November 12-13. They are currently in need of judges for the following sessions: 

November 12 (Fri.) 8:45am - 11:45am

November 12 (Fri.) 1:45pm - 4:25pm

November 13 (Sat.) 8:45am - 11:45am

November 13 (Sat.) 1:45pm - 4:25pm

This year's competition is entirely virtual over Zoom. Moreover, a scoring sheet will be provided to judges before the round that will assist in rating each competing team's performance. 

Each round consists of a 120 minute Arbitration Hearing with a 35 minute evaluation and summation period. Judges must be available for all 3 hours in a round.

Within a week of the competition date, a competition packet will be disseminated to each judge, which will consist of the session's Zoom link, scoring sheet, and competition problem set. Each session will also have a trained student bailiff who can help work out any basic technological issues. 

If interested, please contact Logan Brunette:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Potential Scam Directed at Mediators

DRS has been made aware of a potential scam involving fake checks that is directed at mediators.    

The initial email to a Virginia certified mediator was similar to the email on p. 17 of the following Manitoba Law Society article:  See pp. 14-19 for the entire article. 

A 2011 article warns of similar online scams:

The following reporting information is from the Virginia Attorney General’s Office, Consumer Protection Scam Alert webpages, where you can also find Red Flags and Tips to protect against scams and archived scam alerts.

If you believe you or someone you know has been the victim of this or any other scam, please reach out to Attorney General Herring’s Consumer Protection Section:

  • By phone: 1 (800) 552-9963
  • By email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Online Complaint Form
  • Online Contact Form

Announcing New Membership Categories

If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it is that we need to be adaptable, innovative and connected.  To that end, the Virginia Mediation Network, Virginia’s membership organization for ADR practitioners, has introduced new membership categories, with accompanying discounts, to connect more people to the VMN family. 

Along with VMN’s Enhanced ($200), Basic ($150) and Student/Newly Certified ($25) memberships, the following new membership categories have been added.

Institutional Membership: $500.00

An institutional member represents an interest group, an institution of higher education, or a governmental institution.  Institutional Membership includes membership benefits for five individuals associated with the institution and use of the VMN logo.  Additional memberships are $100 each. 

Community Mediation Center Membership: $225.00

Community mediation center membership is for Virginia’s non-profit ADR centers.  It includes membership benefits for three individuals associated with the centers.  (Centers are encouraged to provide at least two of the memberships to center volunteers.)

Community Mediation Center Volunteer: $75.00

This is a discounted Basic Membership for individuals who serve as an unpaid volunteer at a Community Mediation Center in Virginia. 

VMN memberships can begin at any time during the year to receive a full year’s worth of benefits. 

To join or renew your VMN membership click here and go to “Join Us” at the bottom of the page.

These new categories qualify for VMN’s basic benefits, including

  1. Networking opportunities with attorneys, mediators, other ADR and service providers (discounted conferences)
  2. Marketing opportunities with attorneys, mediators, and other ADR providers (“Find a Mediator” listing on the VMN website, discounting advertising in conference programs and use of the VMN member seal)
  3. Discounted ADR education/continuing education with mediator continuing education credits (conference sessions and webinars)
  4. Representation and liaison for mediation issues with the VA Legislature, VA Courts, VA Bar Association and Virginia State Bar (Joint ADR Committee), Universities and more
  5. Discount of $50 for MC3 Certification
  6. Opportunities to help chart the future of ADR in Virginia by serving on VMN committees and/or Board of Directors.

As the Virginia Mediation Network we can chart the exciting future of alternative dispute resolution in Virginia.  We hope you and your organization will join us.

GMU & NAFCM Offer Graduate Certificate in Contemporary Dispute Resolution

The Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University is working with the National Association for Community Mediation (NAFCM) to co-create the Graduate Certificate in Contemporary Dispute Resolution, and they are offering a discount to NAFCM members (see below for more details).  The certificate is intended to enhance the mediator’s skills at initiating, educating, and facilitating processes that address conflict collaboratively, revealing opportunities to effect positive systems change. The system may be the family, the workplace, the neighborhood, institutions such as local government, public safety, education, or any setting where two or people connect.

The Graduate Certificate in Contemporary Dispute Resolution will provide space to explore the nexus between larger social structures that currently facilitate economic and racial inequalities, unequal access to justice and educational systems and our work as community mediators. This will be a time to sharpen your skills, within a small group setting, for:

  • analyzing the factors underlying disputes,
  • recognizing power differentials among disputants,
  • applying appropriate processes that will assist those in dispute to create choices that may revolutionize their conflict, and,
  • using mediation, negotiation, coaching and facilitation to assist people.

To strengthen their work, The Carter School is offering the certificate to NAFCM members at a reduced rate.  While NAFCM has four levels of membership (institutional, program, associate, student), to receive this benefit you must be a program member or associated with the community mediation center and volunteering at least 70 hours a year at the center.  Out-of-state NAFCM program members will save a minimum of $3,000 from the current standard on-line cost. NAFCM program members who are residents of Virginia will save a minimum of $1,700 from the current standard on-line instate cost.  Your estimated total credit hour tuition cost will range between $7,150 (if you already have your mediation certification) to $8,250 (if you need to obtain your mediation certification)!   The application fee will be refunded on the first semester’s tuition bill. 

You can learn more about the certificate program here: Certificate Program   
You can verify your NAFCM membership here:  NAFCM Verification

You can learn more about a NAFCM Program Membership for community mediation centers here ($200/year): Member Categories & Benefits - National Association for Community Mediation (

Please be aware that only up to 15 applicants will be accepted into this certificate program, and the deadline for Fall 2021 is May 15, 2021 (this Saturday!). So, if this is of interest to you, don’t hesitate!

George Mason logoNAFCM logo

MC3 Expands its reach in Agreement with VMN

Mediator Certification effort extends to East Coast with new alliance


LOS MC3 RecognizedProvider forWebsitessANGELES, Calif. (November 17, 2020) – MC3, the Gold Standard for Mediator Certification, and the Virginia Mediation Network (VMN) have entered into an agreement whereby MC3 and the VMN have agreed to work cooperatively in support of the MC3 Certification Standards.  The agreement further establishes the VMN as an Allied Organization of MC3, encouraging VMN members to apply for MC3 Mediator Certification, a benchmark for mediator training, education, practical experience and continuing professional activity and development.  Mediators in California, Oregon, Utah and Virginia have qualified to be MC3-Certified Mediators in the eleven months since MC3 first launched.

The agreement, announced jointly by Dr. Jack R. Goetz, President of MC3 and by Dr. Pam Struss, President of VMN, was shared as a statement of mutual support.  MC3 and VMN will reciprocally link their respective websites.  Additionally, MC3 has further agreed to provide a rebate a portion of the cost of initial certification to VMN members.  Finally, as an Allied Organization of MC3, VMN recently invited MC3 principals to present and discuss mediation, professional standards, ethics and other topics related to the practice of mediation at the annual VMN Fall Conference, which took place in late September. The agreement also designates VMN as an Education Provider to offer virtual webinars that meet CME/CLE requirements. 

“MC3’s ability to act as a neutral in certifying mediators on standards and values held universally in our field made a difference for us,” said Pam Struss, in support of the newly announced agreement.  “The other certifications we researched primarily ensued from the completion of education offered by the certifying organization, whereas MC3’s own bylaws prevent them from offering educational programs.  From education and training to practical mediation experience, to continuing professional development, the MC3 Certification is a model that we believe can benefit our Virginia mediation community as well as our field as a whole.”

Jack R. Goetz, MC3 President, added, “MC3 is an effort to more firmly establish mediation as a profession; A profession guided by rigorous professional and ethical standards and committed to upholding those standards for all of the work we do and the communities we serve.  We are very appreciative that VMN has agreed to support that standard and look forward to welcoming qualified VMN members to our expanding directory of MC3-Certified Mediators.”  

About MC3

MC3 is nonprofit organized to ensure user and public confidence in the mediation process by setting standards for mediator training, education, and ethics and by maintaining those standards through its certification program. MC3 has set a higher standard of review than other credentialing agencies in mediator education including an ongoing requirement for continuing education as well as a requirement that MC3-Certified Mediators have a basic understanding and familiarity with legal/litigation terminology and California courtroom procedures as well as understanding of the ethics that guide mediation practice and policy. All MC3-Certified Mediators complete employment background checks and have agreed to a Quality Assurance program that provides disputants with an opportunity to address any ethical concerns that may have arisen during the course of a mediation.  To learn more about MC3, visit the MC3 website at:

About VMN

The Virginia Mediation Network (VMN) is a multicultural organization whose mission is to promote public understanding of conflict resolution services and provide its members with interdisciplinary knowledge and skills and a community to enhance their professional success.  The VMN envisions a Commonwealth where people choose peaceful ways to resolve conflict assisted by conflict resolution professionals who practice strong ethical values and deliver the highest quality services.  To learn more about the VMN, visit the VMN website at: