28th Annual ADR Institute and the 2021 Neutrals’ Conference
November 19, 2021
via Livestream

Co-sponsored by the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution & the Dispute Resolution Section of the State Bar of Georgia

Welcome to the 28th Annual ADR Institute and 2021 Neutrals’ Conference, co-sponsored by the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution and the Dispute Resolution Section of the State Bar of Georgia. The conference planning committee has been diligent in organizing an agenda packed with great programming. This year’s conference will be presented in a live, virtual medium that is both accessible and interactive, while allowing you to re-watch recorded sessions that you find extra helpful.

Thank you for your service and dedication to the field of ADR. We will “see” you soon!

Accessing the conference:
This year’s conference will livestreamed on November 19, with a recording made available through December 31. Streaming information will be sent to ticket purchasers the week of the event. 

CE/CLE Information:
This conference is approved for 6 hours of CE for registered neutrals. It is also pending approval by the State Bar of Georgia for 6 CLE hours, including ethics, trial, and professionalism credit. 

All CE for neutrals registered with the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution will be automatically applied by December 3. 

Georgia Attorneys who purchase the appropriate ticket will have CLE hours automatically reported to the State Bar of Georgia. The fee for CLE hours is included in the ticket price. 

Attorneys from states other than Georgia: Upon request, we will be happy to assist you with needed documentation to self-report hours to your local State Bar. Please reach out to us at gaodr@georgiacourts.gov. 

Ticket Information:
Pay close attention to the ticket type! 

$150  Registered Neutral (w/GODR) + GA CLE Hours: This ticket is for attorneys who are also a registered neutral with the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution. Ticket price includes CLE fees. 

$125 Registered Neutral (w/GODR): This ticket is for registered neutrals with the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution (non-attorneys). Attorneys that are not seeking CLE hours may also purchase this ticket type. 

$200 Non-Registered Neutrals + GA CLE Hours: This ticket is for attorney-neutrals who are not registered with the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution. Ticket includes CLE fees. 

$175 Non-Registered Neutrals (Non-attorney): This ticket is for non-attorney neutrals who are not registered with the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution. Attorneys from out-of-state should also purchase this ticket type. 

Refunds:
Tickets for this conference are non-refundable. If you experience an issue with your purchase, please reach out to us at gaodr@georgiacourts.gov. 

 

Conference Agenda & Session Information

2021 Neutrals’ Conference Agenda

Session I: Easiest Catch: Don’t Be Another Fish in the Dark ‘Net

 

Speaker: Mark Lanterman

Mark Lanterman is the Chief Technology Officer of Computer Forensic Services. Before entering the private sector, Mark was a member of the U.S. Secret Service Electronic Crimes Taskforce. Mark has 28 years of security and forensic experience and has testified in over 2000 cases.

Mark is faculty for the Federal Judicial Center in Washington, D.C., the National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada, the University of Minnesota and the Mitchell Hamline Law School. Mark is a professor in the cybersecurity program at the St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Mark has provided training in digital evidence, computer forensics and cyber security to the United States Supreme Court. He has also presented to the 8th and 11th Circuit Federal Judicial Conferences as well as numerous State and Federal Judicial Conferences across the United States.

Mark completed his postgrad studies in cybersecurity at Harvard University and is certified as a Seized Computer Evidence Recovery Specialist (SCERS) by the Department of Homeland Security.

Mark is a member of the Minnesota Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board and serves as Chairman of its Opinions Committee.

Sasan Nematbakhsh

Mark Lanterman

Session II: How the Rise of Technology & Advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) Affects Conflict Resolution

Sasan Nematbakhsh

Shane Mulrooney

Sasan Nematbakhsh

Dr. Anna Plevri

Sasan Nematbakhsh

Sasan Nematbakhsh, Esq.

Panelists: Marcie Dickson, Shane Mulrooney, Dr. Anna Plevri, and Jack Russo
Moderator: Sasan Nematbakhsh, Esq

Co-Founder & Head of Growth and Customer Experience at New Era ADR

Shane is a Co-Founder and the Head of Growth and Customer Experience of New Era ADR. Prior to joining New Era, Shane was Of Counsel at Litwin Law Firm where he provided outside general counsel consulting services to entrepreneurs, startups, and small businesses.

Before working at Litwin, Shane was the Vice President and Head of Legal at Home Chef, a leading U.S. meal-kit delivery company, where he built the legal department as the first in-house hire and ultimately guided the company through a $700M acquisition by The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR). Prior to that, Shane was a Tax Associate in the Corporate group at Kirkland & Ellis LLP, where he primarily focused on Private Equity M&A and investments into private funds and U.S. real estate.
 

Assistant Professor, School of Law, University of Nicosia, Lawyer, Dispute Resolution Expert 

Dr Anna Plevri obtained a law degree (LLB), an LLM (Hons) on Civil, Civil Procedural and Labor Law  and a Doctorate (Hons) on Civil Procedural from the Law School of AUTH (Greece). From the Law Department of the University of Thrace (Greece), she has obtained another LLM on International Law. She has been trained in various law and ADR trainings abroad, such as in Italy, in Germany, in the United Kingdom, in Switzerland, in the USA and in Dubai.
She is an licensed Attorney at law, member of the Bar Association of Thessaloniki (Greece) on going) and member of the Cyprus Bar Association. She is very much involved to the arbitration practice both as counsel and arbitrator.  

She is an Assistant Professor of Civil Procedure, Private Law and ADR at the University of Nicosia (2014 – on going), an accredited Mediator on Civil, Commercial, Family, Workplace, Financial Disputes and ODR, a certified Mediator’s Trainer and an Arbitrator (MCIArb), member of Arbitration and Mediation Committees of ICC Hellas. 
She is a member of the Mediator’s Registry of both the Greek and Cypriot Ministries of Justice.
She is a legal scholar, author of two monographs in Greek, one regarding civil procedure, (2014) and one on Arbitration in Energy Disputes (European and Greek Framework), (2018),  editor and author of one collective work (kommentar) on mediation in Greece  (2021) and of several papers in Greek and in English. She has delivered several lectures and trainings and has presented several papers in international conferences in Greek and/or English language in Greece, Cyprus, the UK, Switzerland and Austria.
She has been a visiting professor in LLM programs of the International Hellenic University and the University of Western Macedonia. 

Her areas of concentration and research interests are Civil Procedural Law, Arbitration, Mediation, Law of Contracts, Law and Technology, Comparative Law, Justice Systems and Private International Law. She works in Greek and English and speaks German and Spanish. annaplevri@gmail.com 

 

Jack Russo is the founding partner in the Palo Alto law firms of Computerlaw Group LLP and of Russo & Hale LLP(www.computerlaw.com). The firm’s focus is in representing entrepreneurs and early and growth stage companies in the protection of their ideas, inventions, and businesses. The firm specializes in the areas of Internet, e-commerce, software and other intellectual property protection, infringement, and licensing.

Mr. Russo originated some of the early thinking on IP protection of the “look and feel” of computer software and he has been involved in a number of software cases. His 1985 article, Copyright in the “Look and Feel” of Computer Software published in The Computer Lawyer pioneers the subject.

Mr. Russo is a member of the State Bars of California, New York, and Washington, D.C. He holds his JD from UCLA School of Law as well as dual M.B.A. degrees from Columbia University and from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business; he also holds a joint Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from City University of New York in Urban Administration and Computer & Information Science. Before becoming an attorney, Mr. Russo worked full-time as a computer programmer and software analyst in New York.

Mr. Russo is a Judge Pro Temp for the Santa Clara Superior Court and an Arbitrator and a Mediator for the United States District Court for the Northern District of California as well as for the American Arbitration Association. He has an active alternative dispute resolution practice and has acted as a neutral in over 100 cases in many diverse intellectual property and business law cases in the federal and state civil litigation contexts.

Mr. Russo is a frequent speaker and has presented often to the ABA, PLI, and Computer Law Association; he is Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Foundation for Creativity in Dispute Resolution, a non-profit organized to assist in the research and study of resolutions of complex multi-party disputes in the federal and state courts nationally as well as internationally. Mr. Russo has been repeatedly names as a Super Lawyer by that prestigious organization (www.superlawyers.com). More information about Mr. Russo and his firm can be found at www.computerlaw.com.

Sasan Nematbakhsh is an attorney, mediator, arbitrator and the managing partner of Nemat Law Firm LLC. Former Atlanta BeltLine Housing Policy and Development Fellow specializes in representing commercial landlords & tenants and he is also a commercial real estate developer. 

Having mediated over 2,000 lawsuits, Sasan is currently serving as the Chair of the Dispute Resolution Section of the State Bar of Georgia. Traveler of 25 countries, he routinely provides cross cultural ADR consultancy for disputed matters involving parties of diverse nationalities and backgrounds. 

Sasan is an active member of the community currently serving on the boards of the National Iranian American Bar Association, Southeast Iranian American Bar Association and FC Rovers Football Club, a semi professional soccer team competing in the fourth division of USA Soccer.  

Session III: Professionalism for Arbitrators

Presented by: Ty Holt, Esq.

Session IV: Culture and Mediator Competency

Sasan Nematbakhsh

Sasan Nematbakhsh, Esq.

Sasan Nematbakhsh

Reginald F. Williams

Sasan Nematbakhsh

Emily Yu

Raytheon “Raye” M. Rawls

Raytheon “Raye” M. Rawls, Esq

Rebecca Zimmerman, Esq.

Rebecca Zimmerman, Esq.

Panelists: Sasan Nematbakhsh, Esq, Reginald Williams, and Emily Yu
Moderator: Raye Rawls, Esq. & Rebecca Zimmerman, Esq

Sasan Nematbakhsh is an attorney, mediator, arbitrator and the managing partner of Nemat Law Firm LLC. Former Atlanta BeltLine Housing Policy and Development Fellow specializes in representing commercial landlords & tenants and he is also a commercial real estate developer. 

Having mediated over 2,000 lawsuits, Sasan is currently serving as the Chair of the Dispute Resolution Section of the State Bar of Georgia. Traveler of 25 countries, he routinely provides cross cultural ADR consultancy for disputed matters involving parties of diverse nationalities and backgrounds. 

Sasan is an active member of the community currently serving on the boards of the National Iranian American Bar Association, Southeast Iranian American Bar Association and FC Rovers Football Club, a semi professional soccer team competing in the fourth division of USA Soccer.  

ADR EXPERIENCE:
Mr. Williams has over eighteen years of mediation experience, and actively serving on the roster of or in a contract capacity with the following: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development, Georgia Department of Education (GDOE), Georgia Office of Community Affairs, Fulton County, Dekalb County, Clayton County, Gwinnett County, Sixth Judicial Circuit, and Seventh Judicial Circuit, and Tenth Judicial Circuit. Mediation experience includes, but not limited to: personal injury, divorce, contracts, collections, landlord/tenant, foreclosure, HOA, revolving credit, domestic issues, special education, and a number of other issues.

Areas of training and experience include, but not limited to: Domestic Relations, Specialized Domestic Violence, Deprivation (Dependency), Special Education, Juvenile, 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abductions.

Emily Yu is an expert Litigator, Mediator, Guardian Ad Litem, and founder of Yu Family Law. Ms.Yu practices exclusively in Family Law, focusing on contested and complex cases surrounding litigation of child custody, modifications, contempt of court, and high asset divorce cases. Emily Yu received her Bachelor’s Degree from Columbia University and is a proud Alum of Emory School of Law, where she obtained her J.D. 

Emily is a certified Alternative Dispute Resolution trainer and is also involved with several other organizations, including the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation, the Georgia Asian Pacific American Bar Association, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, and the Hope and Healing Foundation, where she serves as Chair of the Board.  

Raye is senior public service faculty at the J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development at the University of Georgia.  Her focus is in mediation and other alternative dispute resolution processes as well as Reflective Structured Dialogue. She is an attorney, a member of the State Bar of Georgia and has mediated and arbitrated thousands of cases in government institutions, court systems, corporations and with private parties. In 2018, she received the Chief Justice Harold G. Clarke Award in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the field of alternative dispute resolution in Georgia.  Prior to joining the Fanning Institute in 2004, Raye worked in the private sector teaching and providing services in mediation, arbitration and other forms of dispute resolution and conflict management. She also served as an Administrative Law Judge in the State of Georgia and a former assistant dean of the Georgia State University College Law.  

Currently, she is also a Senior Associate with Essential Partners.  Essential Partners, founded in 1989, teaches a dialogue approach that equips people to live and work better together in community by building trust and understanding across differences.  EP’s trademark methodology helps communities and institutions have healthier, more complex, more inclusive conversations about polarizing differences of values, beliefs, and identities—whether the issue is law enforcement/ community relationships or supporting the efforts of journalists to engage with communities in more positive ways. 

Rebecca Zimmerman is founder and owner of KEYSTONE CONFLICT SOLUTIONS LLC, which provides conflict resolution services to individuals and companies.  These services include Mediation, Conflict Management Consulting and Conflict Management Team Building.  
 
Ms. Zimmerman is privileged to offer both private Mediations and court ordered Mediations involving work-place disputes, elder care disputes, estate conflicts, general civil disputes, and contractual disputes.  In addition, Ms. Zimmerman provides Conflict Management Consulting to individuals seeking guidance on handling stressful conflicts in their personal or work lives.  Finally, Ms. Zimmerman has developed Team Building exercises based on a conflict resolution model to assist teams of all sorts function in a productive and effective manner. 
 
Ms. Zimmerman’s background, experience and personality merge to make her extraordinarily effective when providing these services.  As an attorney practicing bank regulatory and general corporate law for 12 years, Ms. Zimmerman frequently advised her clients regarding conflict resolution situations.  Whether involving claims of discrimination, contract negotiations, or regulatory discipline matters, Ms. Zimmerman’s strength was always in seeing and presenting a wide variety of choices to her clients.  
 
In her role as Co-Team Leader for Nationwide Studios, Inc., one of the nations’ premier children’s portrait companies, Ms. Zimmerman shared credit for developing and managing one of the company’s largest territories, ultimately generating in excess of $1m/year.  Her responsibilities included hiring, training, motivating and developing a staff of 7 to 10 employees to their highest potential.  Her unique contributions to this enterprise included leadership by example, business development, problem solving, customer service, coaching, managing and motivating staff, analyzing and evaluating the data associated with the successful operations of the territory.   As a floating retail operation, the opportunity for conflict with home office staff, employees and clients was frequent.  Ms. Zimmerman developed superior skill in working through these conflicts. 
 
Ms. Zimmerman graduated from New York University (1970) and Emory University School of Law (1980).  Ms. Zimmerman’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Training includes: 1987-Arbitration Training at The Justice Center; 1995-Mediation Training at American Arbitration Association; 1995-96-Divorce Mediation Training at Atlanta Divorce Mediators, 2014-General Civil Mediation Training with Dr. Rick Voyles of The Center for Conflict Solutions; Domestic Relations Mediation Training with Dr. Susan Raines at Kennesaw State University.  
 
Ms. Zimmerman has served as an Arbitrator for Fulton County State and Superior Courts, as a Mediator for Cobb County Magistrates Court and Superior Court, DeKalb County State and Superior Court and Gwinnett County Superior Court.  
 
Ms. Zimmerman is currently on the Mediation Training Team for The Center for Dispute Solutions and offers training on Conflict Management to businesses and civic organizations.  
 
As a trainer for The Center Dispute Solutions, Ms. Zimmerman has presented each training module for the General Civil Mediation 28hour training since 2015 and has overseen the General Civil Mediation 12hour Practicum numerous times. 

Session V: Georgia UMA Enacted: What it Means for Neutrals

Panelists: Mary S. Donovan, Esq., Shelby S. Guilbert Jr., Esq., and Stacey Hornsby, Esq., Tracy B. Johnson
Moderator: Hon. Charles E. Auslander III,

Mary Donovan is a member of the Georgia Commission on Dispute Resolution where she serves on the ethics committee, as well as the State Bar of Georgia Dispute Resolution Section. She is a registered neutral in civil and domestic mediation. She was the founding president and former board member of the Federal Defenders for the Middle District of Georgia. She is a board member of the Atlanta International Arbitration Society, member of the State Bar of Georgia, and a Master with the Bootle Inn of Court. She is presently on a working committee with members of the Georgia Commission on Dispute Resolution and ATLAS. The committee’s focus is on new legislation that would improve mediation confidentiality, improve business opportunities in Georgia, and benefit the citizens of Georgia.   
 
 Ms. Donovan began her career as an attorney with the Department of Housing and Urban Development in Atlanta. She worked as an attorney with the Federal Defender Program and practiced criminal defense in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia in Atlanta, as well as appearing before the Fifth and Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Later, she was in private practice with a concentration on state and federal criminal defense work and post-conviction remedies.   
 
Ms. Donovan previously served as Assistant Dean for Student Affairs at Mercer Law School, where she was responsible for many programs and initiatives that led to student success in and outside the classroom. She has wide experience handling higher education matters and resolving conflicts. She is also a certified Title IX investigator and hearing officer. 
 
Ms. Donovan is an Adjunct Professor at Mercer Law School, and she has previously taught federal criminal law as an elective and leads and teaches in the introduction to dispute resolution course, required for all third-year students. 
 
Her recent presentations include: 
ADR Program Directors Conference (Georgia Commission on Dispute Resolution) “Uniform Mediation and Georgia”, Athens, Georgia, September 2018 
ADR Education series: Coming to the Table (Georgia Commission on Dispute Resolution) “Ethics in Mediation”, Macon, Georgia, November 2018   
 
Ms. Donovan completed the courses on negotiation and mediation at the Program on Instruction for Lawyers at Harvard Law School. She is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Emory Law School. 

Shelby represents businesses, financial institutions, and healthcare providers in insurance recovery actions, high-stakes contract disputes and cross-border litigation. He has recovered over a billion dollars from insurance companies in the U.S. and international markets on behalf of his policyholder clients. 

Shelby has handled matters in state and federal courts around the country at the trial and appellate levels. He routinely handles cross-border disputes in domestic and international arbitration, and he has substantial experience advising clients on claims arising under policies issued by the London and Bermuda markets. 

In addition to helping clients pursue all types of first- and third-party insurance claims, Shelby regularly advises companies on risk management needs arising out of insurance policy renewals, mergers and acquisitions and IPO transactions. Shelby has assisted dozens of companies with D&O and cyber insurance reviews and has helped Fortune 500 companies recover hundreds of millions of dollars of cyber insurance following some of the highest-profile data breach incidents on record.  

Shelby is a frequent author and speaker on topics relating to insurance, finance, ADR and other business issues. He has also been listed as a Georgia Rising Star in Insurance Coverage by Super Lawyers. 

Stacey Hornsby is an Attorney, Arbitrator, Professor, and Entrepreneur. She serves as the Director of the Lemon Law Administration and Dispute Resolution for the Georgia Office of the Attorney General, Consumer Protection Division.  She is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Georgia Law School and John Marshall Law School, a visiting Professor at Morehouse College, and she is a Founding Partner of ADR Atlanta.  Stacey is admitted to the practice of law before Georgia’s  State, Superior, and Supreme Court, the Northern District of Georgia, as well as the United States Supreme Court. 

Stacey earned her Bachelor of Arts from Spelman College and her Juris Doctorate from Georgia State University College of Law. Stacey is a past Chair of the Dispute Resolution Section of the State Bar of Georgia.  She is President of the International Association of Lemon Law Administrators (IALLA) and she is Secretary of the National Association of Motor Vehicle Boards and Commissions (NAMVBC).   

Tracy Johnson is the Executive Director for the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution.  Tracy has been a registered mediator since 1996 and previously served for 17 years as the Director for the 6th District ADR Program.  From December 2013 until June 2016, Tracy served as Director of the Fulton County Superior Court Family Division. She has a Master of Science in Judicial Administration from Michigan State University and has attained her Master Certificate in Court Administration from the Georgia Council of Court Administrators (GCCA). Tracy is also a past president of GCCA. 

Charles Auslander has served Athens-Clarke County as a judge of the Magistrate Court from 2002–2011 and then as a judge in the State Court from 2011 to present. In 2006, the Supreme Court of Georgia selected him to serve as a member of the Georgia Commission on Dispute Resolution and to be the chair of the Commission from 2012 to 2019. He currently serves the GCDR’s Rules Committee and Domestic Violence Rules Committee.

Mary S. Donovan, Esq.

Mary S. Donovan, Esq.

Shelby S. Guilbert Jr., Esq.

Shelby S. Guilbert Jr., Esq.

Stacey Hornsby, Esq.

Stacey Hornsby, Esq.

Tracy B. Johnson

Tracy B. Johnson

Hon. Charles E. Auslander III

Session VI: A Brave New World-Challenges and Experiences in the Virtual Environment

Gino Brogdon Jr

Gino Brogdon Jr., Esq.

Patrick T. O'Connor

Patrick T. O’Connor, Esq.

Raymond Chadwick Jr., Esq.

Bonnie O. Powell, Esq.

Raymond Chadwick Jr., Esq.

Raymond Chadwick Jr., Esq.

Panelists: Gino Brogdon Jr., Esq., Patrick T. O’Connor, Esq., and Bonnie Powell, Esq.
Moderator: Raymond Chadwick Jr., Esq.

Gino has handled hundreds of mediations at Miles Mediation and is a member of the National Academy of Distinguished neutrals. He is skilled in engaging clients that are new to the mediation process and parties especially resistant to resolution. He specializes in personal injury including complex automobile and trucking cases, premises liability, medical malpractice, wrongful death, nursing home, and business disputes. 

Gino is a trial attorney who specializes in litigation of complex disputes through the Brogdon Firm, LLC. In addition to mediating, his passion for justice leads him to try cases all over the State of Georgia.  Most recently, the Brogdon Firm was recognized on the 2020 and 2021 Bulldog 100 list for fastest growing businesses led by University of Georgia alumni. Gino is the Co-Founder and CEO of Fourth Party, a startup providing digital practice management solutions specifically tailored to neutrals.   

An Atlanta native, Gino attended Morehouse College and is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. He also earned his law degree at the University of Georgia, School of Law. Gino continues to support the University as a volunteer with the School of Law’s mentoring program. 

Patrick T. O’Connor is managing partner of  Oliver Maner LLP in Savannah, Georgia. His practice concentrates on business litigation, the defense of civil rights claims and the defense of legal malpractice and other professional negligence claims.  

 Mr. O’Connor served as the 54th President of the State Bar of Georgia from 2016-2017.  Mr. O’Connor previously served as President – Elect and Treasurer of the State Bar of Georgia (2015-2016). 

Mr. O’Connor is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America (in the categories of commercial litigation, legal malpractice law and alternative dispute resolution) since 1997. He has twice been listed in the annual Top 10 Georgia Super Lawyers by Atlanta Magazine and 14 times has been listed in the Top 100. He has been recognized as Savannah Lawyer of the Year in Mediation (2019, 2021) and Bet-The-Company Litigation (2020).  

Mr. O’Connor is a mediator and arbitrator registered with the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution and The American Arbitration Association, and has served as a mediator or arbitrator in more than 1,200 cases, primarily involving personal injury, professional malpractice claims and commercial disputes. He has been registered with the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution as a mediator since 2000 and is a founding member of the Georgia Academy of Mediators and Arbitrators. In 2016 Mr. O’Connor was appointed by the Georgia Supreme Court to the Georgia Commission on Dispute Resolution.  

 

Mr. O’Connor has obtained favorable results for his clients in numerous reported appeals. Notable decisions include: Drumm v. George, 345 Ga. App. 760 (2018); Mayor and Alderman of Garden City v. Harris, 302 Ga. 853 (2018);  City of Richmond Hill v. Maia, 301 Ga. 257 (2017);  Garden City v. Herrera, 329 Ga. App. 756 (2014); We, The Taxpayers v. Board of Tax Assessors of Effingham County, 292 Ga. 31 (2012); Pollman v. Swan, 289 Ga. 767 (2011); King v. Toler, 296 Ga. App. 577 (2009); Mayor and Aldermen of the City of Savannah v. Stevens, 278 Ga. 166 (2004); CSX Transportation, Inc. v. City of Garden City, 277 Ga. 248 (2003); Cameron v. Lang, 274 Ga. 122 (2001); City of Tybee Island v. Godinho, 270 Ga. 567 (1999); Bacon v. Mayor and Aldermen of the City of Savannah, 241 Ga. App. 211 (1999); Hunter, Maclean, Exley & Dunn, P.C. v. Frame, 269 Ga. 844 (1998); Mayor & Aldermen of Savannah v. Radford, 261 Ga. 129 (1991); Banks v. Patton, 202 Ga. App. 168 (1991); Cyr v. Mayor and Aldermen of Savannah, 188 Ga. App. 261 (1988); Shuman v. Mayor and Aldermen of Savannah, 180 Ga. App. 427 (1986); and Sammor v. Mayor and Aldermen of Savannah, 176 Ga. App. 176 (1985). 

Mr. O’Connor has received several law related honors including the Savannah Bar Association’s Judge Frank Cheatham Award (for professionalism) (2009), and the Georgia Legal Services’ Champion of Justice Award (2019). 

After graduating from Statesboro High School in 1973, Mr. O’Connor received his B.A. degree from Auburn University in 1978. He attended the University of Georgia Law School and  received his J.D. degree from Georgia in 1981.  

Mr. O’Connor served as Chair of the Savannah Country Day School Board of Trustees from 2014-2016, served as a member of the Georgia Southern University Foundation Board of Trustees (2006-2016) and is a member of the Auburn University Dean’s Advisory Council for the School of Liberal Arts. He served as a member of the Board of Directors of Horizons Savannah, and as President of the Savannah Civitan Club, as Captain of the Savannah Quarterback Club and as Chairman of Deacons for the Ardsley Park Baptist Church. He has served as President of the Coastal Empire Council of the Boy Scouts of America and received the Boy Scouts’ Silver Beaver Award. Mr. O’Connor is a member of the St. Andrew’s Society and The Hibernian Society of Savannah. He is a graduate of the Leadership Savannah Program and is a member of Savannah’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee. Mr. O’Connor is a past National President of Theta Chi Fraternity, which has more than 150 chapters nationwide. He now serves as litigation coordinator for the Fraternity.  

Mr. O’Connor is married to the former Carol Darby of Statesboro, and they have three children, Daniel Tyler (Maggie), Thomas Patrick (Kelly), and John Tate (Mary Grace). Mr. and Mrs. O’Connor have six grandchildren, Liam Patrick O’Connor, Daniel Tyler O’Connor, Jr., Margaret Grace O’Connor, John Tate O’Connor, Jr., Carolyn Joy O’Connor and Banks Monroe O’Connor. 

Bonnie Powell is a practicing mediator, trainer, and attorney. She directs the Landlord-Tenant Mediation Clinic, which allows students to receive training approved by the Supreme Court of Georgia, and work directly with disputing parties in a mediation setting in Fulton County and DeKalb County.

Powell’s work in alternative dispute resolution includes a private practice as a mediator in workplace and domestic disputes. Since 2002, she has served as the director of the Fulton State/Magistrate Landlord/Tenant Mediation Program, training and mentoring law students from Emory University School of Law, Georgia State University College of Law and Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School. Broadening her scope of ADR, Powell served as a consultant with the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution on matters related to training policies and procedures.

Powell is an adjunct professor at Georgia State University and Emory University. She is a mediator for various court-connected programs in metro Atlanta and is an active participant in the organization and management of Georgia’s annual ADR Institute and Neutrals’ Conference. Powell is a past chair of the State Bar of Georgia Dispute Resolution Section. Prior to assuming this role, she was a member of the executive committee as secretary/treasurer and vice-chair.

Powell is a graduate of Georgia State University College of Law. While in law school, she served as a graduate research assistant for the Consortium of Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, where she participated in numerous research projects, organized events for ADR practitioners, and served as a coach and facilitator for Georgia University System Mediation Training.

Ray began his practice as a full time neutral in 2010 after over 30 years of litigation practice.  His firm, Chadwick Mediation & Arbitration, LLC, is located in Augusta, Georgia, however, he has mediated cases filed in various courts across Georgia.  

Following graduation from Emory University and the University of Virginia School of Law, Ray was a Captain in the United States Air Force and served as a JAG for four years.  He then became the third lawyer in the firm Knox & Zacks in Augusta, which later merged with Kilpatrick & Cody, which subsequently merged with Petree Stockton to become Kilpatrick Stockton (now Kilpatrick Townsend).  Ray had a varied litigation practice as lead counsel in medical malpractice, products liability, commercial, business and personal injury cases in which he represented both plaintiffs and defendants.  As a trial lawyer having experienced some “surprises” (both good and bad) in jury verdicts, as well as having represented clients in mediations, Ray is a believer in litigants controlling their own destinies through mediation, not leaving those destinies to unpredictable strangers in a jury box. 

Some of Ray’s professional and academic services include: 

  • Member of the Georgia Academy of Mediators, a chapter of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals 
  • Past member of the Supreme Court of Georgia’s Commission on Dispute Resolution 
  • Past chair, and member of the executive committee, of the State Bar of Georgia Dispute Resolution Section 
  • Program chair for nine years, as well as author of numerous papers and presenter, for the Georgia Institute of Continuing Legal Education’s annual program “Dispute Resolution for Trial and Non-Trial Lawyers” 
  • Providing continuing education presentations for the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution, the Fulton County, Augusta Judicial Circuit and Ogeechee Judicial Circuit, ADR programs 
  • Serving as a member of the planning committee for the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution’s “Annual ADR Institute” 
  • Past adjunct professor for the James M. Hull College of Business, Augusta University, teaching business law. 

Ray is the author of the book “SUCCESS AT MEDIATION, How to Define and Achieve It,” available through Amazon in paperback and Kindle format.