Academy Member Inducted 2017

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Robert E. L. Wright, Mediator & Arbitrator, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Robert E. L. Wright

The Peace Talks, PLC
25 Division Avenue, South, Suite 500
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Tel: (616) 682-7000
Fax: (616) 676-2772
Website: www.thepeacetalks.com
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Recognized to Michigan Chapter for Mediation & Arbitration Other ADR Services: ADR Training/CME, Discovery Referee, Early Neutral Evaluation, Facilitation & Systems Design, Fact Finding, Med-Arb
Video Conferencing
Available
  • Practice Commenced: 1987
  • Total Mediations (as of Jul 2022): 2000
  • Total Arbitrations (as of Jul 2022): 1500
Practice Percentages

Biographical

After over 30 years in alternative dispute resolution (ADR), Robert “Bob” Wright is a leader in mediation and arbitration, resolving a wide array of disputes involving business, bankruptcy, personal and public policy issues. Bob inspires and motivates participants through his insightfulness, empathy, compassion, and genuine love for the mediation process. He is approved to mediate for all of Michigan’s federal courts, including the bankruptcy courts, and is qualified to mediate any civil or domestic matter in Michigan state courts.
 
Among other accolades, in 2016 Bob was voted BEST LAWYERS' ADR Lawyer of the Year by his peers and in 2022 was named BEST LAWYERS' Best Lawyer-Mediator in Grand Rapids, MI . He received the Distinguished Service Award from the ADR Section of the State Bar of Michigan for exemplary service to the citizens of Michigan. When not mediating or arbitrating, he provides both basic and advanced ADR training on behalf of the University of Michigan’s Institute for Continuing Legal Education (ICLE), other universities, law schools, civic and professional groups dedicated to ADR.
 

Case Experience

  • ADA Disability
  • Agricultural
  • Appellate
  • Automotive
  • Aviation
  • Banking & Finance
  • Bankruptcy/Creditors
  • Business Dissolution
  • Civil Rights
  • Commercial/Business
  • Condominiums
  • Construction
  • Contract Disputes
  • Debt Collections
  • Discrimination
  • Divorce (High Asset)
  • EEOC
  • Eminent Domain
  • Employment
  • Family Businesses
  • Franchise
  • Industrial
  • Insurance
  • Intellectual Property
  • Internet
  • Land Use/Planning
  • Landlord/Tenant
  • Legal Malpractice
  • Lemon Law
  • Libel & Slander
  • Mortgage Foreclosure
  • Partnerships
  • Personal Injury
  • Postal
  • Premises Liability
  • Probate
  • Professional Fees
  • Professional Liability
  • Professional Malpractice
  • Professional Negligence
  • Property Damage
  • Public Policy
  • Real Estate
  • Religious Institutions
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Shareholder Disputes
  • Taxation
  • Technology
  • Telecommunications
  • Title Disputes
  • Torts
  • Trusts / Estates
  • Unfair Competition
  • Wage & Hour/FMLA

Education

  • Juris Doctorate - Wayne State University 1980
  • Masters in Psychology - University of Santa Monica 2001
  • Bachelor of Arts, Magna Cum Laude Western Michigan University 1976

ADR TRAINING:  Intensives (10-40 hours each; 361 total intensive hours)

  • Harvard Program On Negotiation: Mediation Workshop – Sander, Lewis & Singer, 40 hours, October 2004 (for mediation of disputes in litigation)
  • Community Dispute Resolution – Anne Bachle Fifer and Deborah Zondervaan, 40 hours June 2000 (neighbors, contracts, etc.)
  • Family & Divorce Mediation – Zena Zumeta, 40 hours, August 2001 (divorce and child custody)
  • Transformative Mediation: Principles and Practice, Sally Ganong Pope, 16 hours, July 2001 (general mediation training at Hamline University Law School)
  • Advanced Transformative Mediation Skills for Mediators, Fox & Charbonneau, 24 hours, June 2003 (transformative mediation for US postal service employment discrimination claims)
  • Public Policy Mediation – Thomas Taylor, 30 hours, December 2002 (facilitating resolution of public policy issues)
  • Permanency Planning Mediation – Kathy Lame and Laura Bassein, 20 hours, April 2002 (mediation of child abuse and neglect cases)
  • Adult Guardianship Mediation – Susan Butterwick and Susan Hartman, 16 hours, January 2007 (mediation of disputes involving disabled adults and their families)
  • Unity Peaceworker Consultancy Training – Gary Simmons, May 2004, August 2007, 62 hours total, (mediation of church conflicts)
  • BePeace/NVC Mediation Training – Rita Marie Johnson, January 19-23, 2009, 40 hours (NVC techniques and their use in mediation)
  • Arbitration Fundamentals, American Arbitration Association, May 6-7, 2009, 16 hours
  • Non-Violent Communication in Mediation, Center For Non-Violent Communication, Jim & Jori Manske, 18 hours, February 18 – April 1, 2010
  • NVC Mediation Skill Building, Jori Manske, 15 hours, April 14 – June 23, 2010

Miscellaneous Advanced Trainings (less than 10 hours each) -- too numerous to list; total is over 1,000 hours


Memberships & Affiliations

  • Professional Resolution Experts of Michigan (PREMi)– invitation only group of Michigan’s top 20 mediators
  • MWI (College of Bankruptcy and Financial Mediators)
  • American Bar Association - Dispute Resolution Section 
  • State Bar of Michigan - Alternative Dispute Resolution Section – past Chair and Secretary 
  • Kent County Circuit Court – ADR Plan Oversight Committee – 2003-2009
  • Grand Rapids Bar Association –Alternative Dispute Resolution Section – Chair – 2008-2009 & 2016-2018
  • Association for Conflict Resolution – since 2001 
  • Dispute Resolution Center of Western Michigan – past president 

Rates Information

$350/hour for arbitrations and mediations conducted in person or $300/hour for mediations conducted via Zoom. I have found meeting via Zoom saves time and money for all concerned. 

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