Practice Areas


 Mediation  is an informal  settlement process conducted by  Vanessa as a  true neutral.    Vanessa serves as a catalyst to engage  the parties in  an exploration of their  respective and shared interests and  needs.   Vanessa guides parties  toward understanding and enhanced  perspectives  which leads parties  to engage in a free and open exchange of  ideas to  reveal fair, reasonable and  sustainable options for resolving any   conflict situation.   

Settlement Conferences

Vanessa  has served since 1992 as a  Montana District Court Settlement  Master  and an Appellate Mediator for  the Montana Supreme Court.    Settlement  conferences are an  evaluative process, involving parties  and their  attorneys.  Vanessa has  developed a settlement process that  merges the  facilitative nature of  mediation with the evaluative nature of   settlement conferences to achieve high  settlement success rates with  parties  otherwise bound for trial.  Individual  and joint sessions are  used to engage  the parties and their legal counsel in  negotiations  with a commitment by the  participants to find fair, reasonable and   sustainable solutions.

Divorces ​Start to Finish

Through  mediation, Vanessa guides  people through the transition of   termination of a marriage partnership.    The family benefits from  working  together to safeguard family relationships  and amicably settle  disputes that often  arise between parties to marriage.  The  parties  are able to develop all agreements  necessary to process a legal  dissolution  of marriage, including property  settlement, parenting  plan and support  agreements.  Mediation allows the parties  to mitigate  the potential harm to the  spouses and their children often caused  by  the legal process of dissolution of  marriage.  The parties also  save time and  money,  avoiding stress and delays.  Vanessa assists the  parties in the drafting  of all requisite legal documents to  complete a divorce in accordance with  the laws of Montana.

Parenting Plans


 People  who work with Vanessa are  committed to protecting their   minor children from the harmful nature  of an adversarial legal  process.  Vanessa's clients recognize that  children are a most precious  resource  and deserve parenting plans that are  child-focused,  providing for the  children's best interests.  All relevant  parenting  factors are considered. As  children age and mature, parenting plans   may require modification.  Vanessa  assists families with the design   and development of formal written  parenting plans from birth to  college.    

Property Settlements

Whether an estate has been inherited or   the property and assets  belong to  married  parties who are divorcing,  individuals to  estate  conflicts use  mediation to  fairly establish each party's  rights in   an estate, including real and  personal  property.  Division of  property  oftentimes  is the financial centerpiece of  personal  welfare  and wealth.  Vanessa  conducts  mediation sessions to  enable parties  to  discover how  to  make reasonable  provisions for  the parties and minor  children   through the division of property.    Parties are able to achieve  lasting  divisions that are equitable, fair  and  reasonable.  

Moderator/Facilitator Keynote/General Speaker

Vanessa  is available by appointment to  conduct and moderate public and private   meetings.  As a neutral, Vanessa helps  groups discover and define  their mission  and purpose, and evolving objectives.  Vanessa leads  meetings with a  commitment to focus on principles rather  than  personalities.  Vanessa is also    available as a public speaker,  key note    speaker or  as a presenter of select  conflict  resolution topics (recommend

 90-days  advance scheduling).

Mediation Coaching


Vanessa is available to provide  individual  and group coaching  sessions  for  practicing attorneys and other ADR    professionals  who wish to enhance their  mediation skills and develop an  independent  style.  Vanessa welcomes all  who wish to learn more about service as  a  neutral peacemaker and who wish  to become more involved in conflict   resolution for their clients, communities,  families and world.