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ABOUT OUR FOUNDERS

We are lawyers, settlement judges, mothers, daughters, dog lovers, and nature enthusiasts. We are also seasoned mediators who firmly believe in the power of mediation as an alternative to litigation. We each came to mediation after decades of legal practice and have experienced firsthand the power of mediation as a tool to improve outcomes. Having seen the ways in which mediation can restore relationships within families and communities, we strive to expand the field of mediation by bringing high quality training to the incredible mediator community that is doing this important work.

 

Melissa Mangiaracina

Melissa received her law degree from the University of Denver, where she graduated with honors and received the Melanie Hardaway Award for Academic Excellence.  As an attorney, Melissa represented children in foster care, victims of domestic violence, seniors, and low-income individuals in Nevada. Melissa has worked in a number of quasi-judicial roles, including a Justice of the Peace Pro Tempore, a Court-Annexed Arbitrator, and an Administrative Hearing Officer. These experiences led Melissa to the field of mediation, where she now focuses her practice.

Melissa mediates private disputes for her other business, Sierra Mediation LLC, child protection cases for the Nevada Juvenile Dependency Mediation Program, and custody and guardianship cases for the Second Judicial District Court of Nevada. Melissa also mediates appellate cases as a Settlement Judge for the Nevada Supreme Court. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Melissa served on the Nevada eviction mediation panel.

Melissa discovered her love of teaching in 2013 when working at the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence: Child Protection and Custody. There, Melissa trained professionals working at the intersection of domestic violence, child protection and custody as adjunct faculty for the University of Nevada, Reno. Melissa has served as faculty for the American Bar Association, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, the Center for Court Innovation, the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, and the Zero to Three Conference. Melissa has also developed customized courses for the Nevada Juvenile Dependency Mediation Program, the Imperial County Child Protective Services Agency, the Eighth Judicial District Court of Nevada, Washington State's Administrative Office of the Courts, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Margaret Crowley

Margaret received her law degree from the University of California, Davis in 1991.  For over 15 years, Margaret served as a Civil Deputy District Attorney for Washoe County (Reno), Nevada. During that time, she practiced in multiple areas, including labor/employment law, contract law, litigation and administrative law, and in multiple settings such as mediations, arbitrations, administrative hearings and state and federal courts.

Margaret has extensive training and experience as a mediator and mediation trainer. She has mediated approximately 1,200 cases in a wide variety of areas.  She owns Crowley Mediation, LLC, which focuses on mediation, mediation training and conflict resolution techniques.  

Margaret served for 5 years as the Program Administrator for Nevada's Juvenile Dependency Mediation Program, a unique statewide mediation program she helped build.  In addition to serving as a Nevada Supreme Court Settlement Judge, Margaret has mediated for many court-annexed programs in addition to her private mediation practice.

Margaret has taught hundreds of people basic and advanced mediation skills, from judges, lawyers and law students to HR professionals, therapists and people from all walks of life.  Margaret serves as an adjunct professor for Boyd Law School and the National Judicial College and also teaches for the University of Nevada Reno and the Nevada Supreme Court.  Margaret writes regularly about mediation and has authored several published articles on mediation.  She received the 2020 Impact of the Year Award from the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges for her work in dependency mediation.

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