By the Book: Avoiding Trouble Spots in Your Mediation Practice CLE/CME

Eventbrite - By the Book: Avoiding Trouble Spots in Your Mediation Practice

180427 CME CLE Pic

Friday, September 14

11:00 a.m. – 2:15 p.m.


*We are offering this 2018 program again in September for those who did not attend in April.

This seminar will address a range of issues relating to the various rules, statutes and case law relating both to pre-litigation mediation of disputes, as well as to cases pending in North Carolina state and federal courts. Family financial mediations will also be covered.  The course will include the applicable requirements set forth in the Dispute Resolutions Commission’s advisory opinions and standards of conduct for DRC certified mediators.

3 hours Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credit and 2 hours Continuing Mediator Education (CME) credit


Starting with the 2017-2018 fiscal year, every active MSC and FFS mediator certified by the North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission (DRC) must annually complete 2 hours of continuing mediator education (CME) certified by the DRC. As this credit is not permitted to roll over to subsequent years, this course is approved by the DRC for only two hours of CME for FY 2018-19. Review the DRC rules here.

Light snacks, coffee, and water are included. Add a boxed lunch to your registration for $10 if you register by 4/24/2018. You are welcome to bring your own lunch.

Eventbrite - By the Book: Avoiding Trouble Spots in Your Mediation Practice

Presenter: Cynthia Vardiman

This segment will focus on mediations conducted under the Family Financial Settlement rules, and will address topics including: How an FFS mediation is initiated under the rules, who may be designated as mediator by the parties or appointed by the court in FFS cases, when and where an FFS mediation is held, duties of the mediator and the parties in FFS mediated settlement conferences, attendance issues, mediator compensation and mediation reporting requirements under the FFS rules. 

12:15 to 1:15 p.m.  

Presenter: Sharon Tracey Barrett

This segment will focus on the obligations imposed upon all DRC certified mediators in accordance with the Standards of Conduct, including discussion of the mediator’s duties of competency, impartiality, confidentiality, consent, self-determination and protection of the integrity of the mediation process. This session will also address mediator conflicts of interest and disclosure requirements under the Standards of Conduct. 

1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. 

Presenter: Frank Goldsmith

This segment will compare and contrast the differences in governing law, rules and procedures for mediations in different settings, including contrast between court-ordered mediations and pre-litigation mediations in North Carolina, and comparison between mediations of MSC cases pending in Superior Court and cases pending in federal court in the Western District of North Carolina. The topic will cover, among other issues, how confidentiality and mediator immunity rules apply and mediator compensation issues. 


Sharon Tracey Barrett is a retired Superior Court Judge and a former Buncombe County District Court Judge. Through a practice called Barrett Resolutions, Sharon currently works as a mediator and arbitrator. She also serves as an Associate Judge and Justice for the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians and as an Emergency Superior Court Judge. She received her J.D. degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 1986 then practiced law in Asheville with the firm of Patla, Straus, Robinson & Moore for nineteen years before becoming a judge. She serves as President of the Board of Directors of The Mediation Center. 

Frank Goldsmith operates a mediation and arbitration practice under the name Goldsmith Resolutions, based in Buncombe County. He received his Juris Doctor degree with honors from UNC-Chapel Hill. Frank was certified as a mediator in 1996 and has mediated many state and federal cases in the past 21 years. He has been listed in “Best Lawyers in America,” “Super Lawyers,” and “North Carolina Legal Elite” in the fields of alternate dispute resolution and employment law. Currently, he serves on the boards of the North Carolina Justice Center and Carolina Public Press, an investigative news organization based in Asheville. 

Cynthia Vardiman is a family law attorney and NCDRC certified FFS mediator. She practices in the areas of prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, separation agreements, divorce, alimony and support, child custody, child support, property division, adoption and domestic violence. She is a graduate of Wake Forest University and the UNC School of Law and has practiced law for over 25 years, focusing primarily on family law practice and mediation.

Click here for directions to Western Carolina University at Biltmore Park. Click here for a map of Biltmore Park, which includes instructions for free parking.

Please find our refund/cancellation policy here.

All registration fees benefit The Mediation Center.

Eventbrite - By the Book: Avoiding Trouble Spots in Your Mediation Practice

Buncombe County

40 N. French Broad Ave., Suite B
Asheville, NC 28801


fax: 828-232-5140

Henderson/Polk Counties

103 South Grove St.
Hendersonville, NC 28792


fax: 828-232-5140

Transylvania County

137 North Broad St., Suite 1
Brevard, NC 28712


fax: 828-232-5140