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    A warm welcome from the Maryland Council for Dispute Resolution!  We are an organization dedicated to imaginative, empowered conflict resolution.

    Our outreach promotes and educates residents to a diverse set of non litigated solutions that can provide real benefits to the psyches of those in conflict, as well as to their wallets!  Our programs for professionals, including a nationally-recognized certification process, ensure that parties to conflict will have deeply knowledgeable professionals to guide them to creative, value-driven and mutual agreements.  We also serve as a guiding hand to new mediation practitioners as they navigate the field, and search for ways to build skills.

    Whether you are a practitioner, or seeking mediation services, we invite you to explore all the services of  MCDR as we build a better world -- one mediation at a time.

   A Message from Stirling Phillips, 2019 President

    It is my pleasure to serve as the 2019 MCDR President.  Working together with the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors we will build on the efforts of our past presidents; I thank them for their service.   I have served as a volunteer mediator for over eight years, a court family mediation administrator and recently began a private mediation practice. Prior to that, I worked as an attorney for the federal government, in house counsel and as a management consultant.

    We seek to realize the vision of MCDR promoting cooperative non-adversarial approaches as a first resort rather than the last.  By utilizing education, training, promoting mediator standards through the certification process and partnering with other organizations, we will work to fulfill the mission of MCDR promoting and expanding the use of ADR throughout the state of Maryland.  

    At MCDR, our primary goal is to successfully mentor practitioners within three seemingly disparate aspects of individual development: Business, Spiritual, and Professional. One way we will accomplish this goal is to expand the use of Master classes refining the skills of our members.  We strongly believe in the certification process and hope to expand the number of mediators taking MCDR certification assessment. We plan to vigorously make the case that certification is an important part of professional development and germane to the bottom line of the private practitioner.    

    Another key goal is marketing MCDR more broadly so that other organizations that may need its services and that of its members are sufficiently knowledgeable of how MCDR can serve as a resource.  As a state-wide organization, we will continue making efforts to provide services throughout the state of Maryland and act as an advocate before state bodies promoting the interests of the MCDR community.

   Going forward we will need your help achieving these and other goals. We must work as team. I invite you to take the next step, making the most of your membership by getting involved. Please contribute to our efforts by participating in MCDR programs such as marketing and membership, serve on one of our several committees, volunteer.  Please let us know how you would like to help in an email to

   Finally, please remember MCDR in your giving.  Funds are needed to help support our programs, outreach, and advocacy efforts.  Remember, since MCDR is a 501(c) (3) organization your donations will be tax-deductible.  We offer two ways to donate:  Send us your check payable to Maryland Council for Dispute Resolution at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 247, Bethesda, MD 20817, and on the Home Page of this website please click the Making a Donation tab.

Thank you. We look forward serving MCDR, the community and our stakeholders

Stirling Phillips, 2018 President                 

December 7, 2018:  MCDR is one of many exhibitors at the bi-annual Maryland Mediators Convention sponsored by the Maryland Judiciary, MACRO/MPME.

A Major "Thank You" Goes Out....

     To all our colleagues who stopped by speaking with us about Trainings, Certification, our Mentor/Mentee Initiative, upcoming Programs, Master Classes, and our soon to be scheduled Sharon Pickett Award celebration!

     To all those mediators signing up as new members of MCDR.  And to those renewing their memberships. 

     To Janne, MCDR's Membership Chairperson & Barry, Treasurer for their work at the exhibit table.  To all MCDR past presidents, Stirling Phillips our current president, and past & present board members who stopped by to help.  We are especially pleased that so many MCDR members were in attendance. 

    To Officense and Minnesota Lawyers Mutual (MLM) for exhibiting at the convention and for their supporting MCDR by offering benefits to our membership.

     To all those individuals at MACRO for their exhaustive work over the past year creating and executing such a sophisticated, wonderful and exciting event.  You made us all proud.  Thank you.    

MCDR is proud to have sponsored via the Sarah Grebe Fund

three fully registered participants to the convention:  

     The Sarah Grebe Fund provides needs-based scholarships to those who might want to enroll or participate in ADR or mediation classes.  Sarah Grebe Fund can also be used for specific or special ADR mediation projects.  Each grant request made to the Sara Grebe Fund is reviewed and approved by a vote of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors. 

     Contributions can be made using the "How to Make a Donation or Leave a Legacy" tab shown above or by sending your check to our Bethesda office.



Barry Weissman, CDFA and Treasurer of MCDR was invited by Heather Fogg with MACRO to guest the June 19 Mediators Confidential webinar.  The topic of the day was Building Your Professional Practice based upon his popular workshop having the same title.  An active Q&A followed Barry's brief presentation.  Some 45 ADR professionals covering the entire state anonymously participated in the webinar. 

Earlier this year Ellen Kandell was nominated by her peers to join the National Association of Distinguished Neutrals. To see her profile go to:

Martin Kranitz, Ramona Buck and Ellen Kandell will be speaking next week at a joint program of the Baltimore City and County Bar Associations.  Come learn about mediator certification and MCDR’s performance based system on October 3, 2017 at 5pm in the Grand Jury Room, Circuit Court, 401 Bosley, Towson.  This Program is free.

Save the Date for the next MCDR Certification Day event to be held on Sunday, November 12, 2017 in either Bethesda or Annapolis.  More details on this event to follow.  For more information about the Certification process, please visit the Certification tab shown above.

Ellen Kandell, past president of Maryland Council for Dispute Resolution just had a chapter published in an ABA book, "Mediation for Estate Planners, Managing Family Conflict", edited by Susan N. Gary.    Ellen’s chapter is: "A Mediator's Perspective: Situations mediators May Face" with an Appendix:  "Helpful Tips for Counsel to Assist with Facilitating Mediation".

In Vienna, Austria this summer Ellen F Kandell, Esq. will be one of 70 international dispute resolution professionals who have been selected by the International Bar Association to participate  as an assessor in the 2016 Mediation and Negotiation competition.    Ellen is one of several MCDR members who are certified by both MCDR and the International Mediation Institute (IMI).

On April 14, 2016, several of your board members represented MCDR at the annual Maryland District Court ADR Volunteer Appreciation Dinner. Harold Cohen, Tim Stranges, Malie Beers-Arthur, and Ed Ketchen interacted with many judges, district court staff members, and fellow ADR practitioners during this evening.

Are you interested in becoming certified internationally?  Alternative Resolutions LLC is delighted to announce that Ellen F Kandell, Esq. is one of the 70 international dispute resolution professionals selected by the International Bar Association to participate as an assessor in the 2016 Mediation and Negotiation competition.  The competition will be held in Vienna, Austria this summer.  Ellen, certified by MCDR, is one of several MCDR members who are certified by the International Mediation Institute (IMI).  Please contact us for more information about IMI certification.

Were you at our recent Quarterly meeting?  Almost a dozen extra chairs had to be brought into the room!  As the evening drew to a close, we wished we had more time....  Jonathan S. Rosenthal, Esq., Director of MACRO is a truly dynamic speaker. A lot of good information was shared; a lot of good questions were asked.  We wish again to say thank you to Jonathan.  Note:  Jonathan successfully completed the process and is Certified in Mediation through MCDR.  

For Our Members:  Please be sure to visit our Members' Benefits tab for information about a new option for Long Term Care; Mass Mutual, another highly respected company is offering MCDR members and their families an even greater discount!  As with all of our member benefits, these are your benefits; MCDR receives no compensation whatsoever.  If you have any questions about these benefits please contact our Director of Member Benefits, Kevin Peters: 1-301-770-5243  

Early March, 2016 Barry Weissman, MCDR Treasurer, was invited to speak at the Bethesda/Chevy Chase Business Networking Association (BNA).  Over 50 small business owners were in attendance.  Given this opportunity, Barry presented a statement from David Zoll, Chairman of the Marketing and Outreach Committee.  Please take a moment to read the statement about the media and high profile disputes that could and should be resolved in mediation.  Please contact David for more information.

Are you thinking about MCDR Performance-Based Assessment and Certification?  Are you nervous or have concerns?  A Certification day is coming up soon!  Please read this important testimonial.

And just a couple of years ago: 

       The MCDR Certification Committee has been collaborating with the Talbot County Circuit Court to ensure mediator quality. Rob Ketcham, Chair of the Certification Committee, reports that the Talbot County Circuit Court project is entering its second phase.  On October 24, 2013 Judge Bo Earnest sent out a memo to Talbot County Roster Mediators which reads as follows:                      

       “Talbot County ’s program of mandatory mediation in civil cases has now been in place for approximately six months.  I  am happy to report that at this point we have a settlement rate of close to 50% for the non-domestic civil cases that have gone to mediation.  We are also having success with domestic cases.  These results are similar to, or better than, the settlement rates in counties that have had mediation in place for many years.

        In January, 2013, twenty three of our roster mediators participated in the advanced training that we offered.  At this time, ten of our thirty seven roster mediators are certified through a performance based assessment, either by Community Mediation Maryland or the Maryland Council for Dispute Resolution (MCDR).  

        I believe that the quality assurance provided by certification is critical where the Court is requiring mandatory participation in mediation for all litigants.  Accordingly, in order to remain on the Talbot County Roster, all mediators will need to be certified by May 1, 2014.  To that end, the County will offer another certification training on January 27 and 28, 2014.  This advanced training will emphasize the mediator skills required to pass a performance-based assessment and will be free of charge.  Shortly after the training, representatives of MCDR will come to Easton to do mediator assessments." 

         Thank you all for your assistance in making this program a success.     Donna Duquette, J. D., Past President


The Maryland legislature has passed a bill correcting problems with the Maryland Mediation Confidentiality Act. The changes are designed to keep intake conversations confidential and to ensure that participants may decide if they want to exempt some but not all communications from the Act. The Maryland mediation community, including MCDR, worked together to get the bill passed. 



The Mediation Confidentiality Act passed on April 9, 2012.

This act extends confidentiality protections to cases which are not court referred.

MCDR participated in a collaborative effort with  other mediation organizations to get this important bill through the legislature.

Maryland Council for Dispute Resolution
10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 247
 Bethesda, Maryland   20817

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MCDR is the oldest membership-based organization in Maryland dedicated to promoting the use of mediation and supporting

the mediation profession.  We have a proud history of successfully advocating for allowing multiple professions to practice mediation,

halting attempts to restrict the practice some fifteen years ago.  MCDR is the first organization to establish performance based criteria

now in use as a national model, part of an ongoing dialogue on quality assurance and mediator credentials.

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