2019 Keynote Conference Speakers

Helping Self Represented Families Find CDR Solutions: Navigating a Difficult Road


Bernie Mayer, Ph.D., Professor of Dispute Resolution, The Werner Institute, Creighton University, is an icon in the field of conflict resolution. Bernie has worked in child welfare, mental health, substance abuse treatment, and psychotherapy. With over a quarter century of experience in the field, he was a founding partner of CDR Associates, the internationally recognized mediation and conflict resolution organization, and originally trained as a psychotherapist.

Bernie has provided conflict intervention for families, communities, universities, corporations, and governmental agencies throughout North America and internationally for over 35 years. Bernie’s latest book is The Conflict Paradox, Seven Dilemmas at the Core of Disputes. Earlier books include: The Dynamics of Conflict, Beyond Neutrality, and Staying With Conflict.

Bernie has worked across the globe as a mediator, facilitator, teacher, trainer, dispute systems designer, and program administrator. He is a true scholar as well as leading practitioner in the field, He earned his Ph.D. in Social Work with an emphasis on conflict resolution.


Julie Macfarlane, B.A., LL.M. (London), Ph.D. (C.N.N.A.)

Dr. Julie Macfarlane is a Professor of Law and a Distinguished University Professor at the University of Windsor and an experienced mediator, facilitator and conflict resolution educator who is committed to access to justice, the modernization of the justice system and public engagement in legal system reform. Julie has researched and written extensively on dispute resolution and in particular the role of lawyers. She has published widely in the area of conflict resolution, mediation, and legal practice. She is the author of the bestselling "The New Lawyer: How Settlement is Transforming the Practice of Law" (University of British Colombia Press 2008). Her student textbook "Dispute Resolution: Readings and Case Studies" is in its 4th edition (Emond Montgomery 2015). Both these texts are used widely in law schools throughout North America.

Julie became interested in learning more about the personal experiences of self-represented litigants as they become a increasingly significant interest group in the justice system, leading to the National Self-Represented Litigants Research Study (2013) and the National Self-Represented Litigants Project established at Windsor Law in the wake of the momentum created by this national study.

Julie is also an active mediator and dispute resolution consultant to a wide range of organizations and government agencies.