Mediation Locations
United States - MD
Mediation languages
English
Current position and background
President, Alternative Resolutions, LLC.

Ms. Kandell has over 30 years of diverse legal experience in private and public sector law practice. She is the owner and president of Alternative Resolutions, LLC. The company provides dispute resolution services and training. Her practice is dedicated to serving as a full time neutral. In addition, Ms. Kandell is an adjunct associate professor at the University of Maryland University College and Catholic University of America, where she teaches Negotiation and Conflict Management.

She has mediated over 500 cases, served as an arbitrator in over 100 cases and is a certified mediator in Maryland. She is on the roster of numerous Maryland Circuit Courts, the District of Columbia Superior Court, numerous federal agencies and third party dispute resolution contractors. She is a frequent presenter at business and professional conferences and speaks throughout the United States. She is a well known mediation and conflict management trainer who has worked with diverse audiences ranging from state highway workers to Maryland Circuit Court judges. Ms. Kandell is one of eight Maryland mediators invited to be featured on a statewide demonstration tape of good mediation practice. Finally, Ms. Kandell is a leader in the dispute resolution field in Maryland, having served as President of the Maryland Council for Dispute Resolution for two years and as co-chair of the ADR section of the Montgomery County Bar Association.

Before opening her firm in 1999, she served as attorney advisor for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for nine years where she developed an interest and passion for ADR and helped manage the ADR program. Prior to EPA, she held several positions. She was an associate working on business and environmental compliance matters and served as chief assistant city solicitor in the environmental division for the Philadelphia Law Department. She was with a general civil practice in Philadelphia, where she specialized in complex litigation, estate and trust and general corporate practice. Finally, her first job after graduating from Temple University Law School was Legal Counsel for the Senate of Pennsylvania where she authored a law review article about ground-breaking legislation which became law.
Main mediation practice areas
Business, Employment and Labor, Environmental, Estate and Trusts, Family, Professional Practice disputes.
Mediation experience
Ms. Kandell has been mediating for 20 years and serves as a full time neutral. After her initial training at the Harvard Law School Program on Mediation she took a year leave of absence from EPA to begin to build case experience. She volunteered for the Civil Division of the DC Superior Court MultiDoor program where she mediated personal injury, business, landlord tenant and other general civil matters. She also volunteered for the Montgomery County State's Attorney's Office program, where she mediated private criminal complaints and misdemeanors. Ms. Kandell returned to EPA where she convened environmental disputes and facilitated large workgroup meetings.

Ms. Kandell's mediation experience falls in several areas:
- Workplace and employment cases: have experience mediating informal and formal EEO matters and served on the roster for the Baltimore field office of the EEOC. Mediate in union and non-union environments.
- Estate, trust and probate cases: have experience mediating issues between sibling/heirs and between heirs and estate attorneys. Have mediated family decision making meetings concerning care of disabled adult sibling as well as divorce. Handled estate matters in private practice.
- Professional practice disputes: have experience working with physicians and accountants negotiating workplace issues and separations.
Environmental and public policy cases: have experience convening and mediating hazardous waste matters.
Description of mediation style
It is my passion and belief that my job as a mediator is to stand for the possibility of settlement and to help the parties develop a solution that is in their mutual best interests. When developing settlement options, I only make suggestions if the parties are unable to formulate options themselves. I use different techniques to help parties overcome impasse. My approach in mediation is to help parties candidly evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their case and assess the benefits of settlement, the risks of litigation and the costs of prolonging the dispute. I may suggest a specific solution or give an assessment, so long as it doesn't impinge upon my duty to remain neutral.
Code of professional conduct
American Arbitration Association, Model Standards of Conduct for Mediators; Association for Conflict Resolution, Standards of Practice; Maryland Standards of Conduct for Mediators, Arbitrators and ADR Practitioners.
Complaint process
I am a member of the Maryland Program for Mediator Excellence (MPME) which has an ombudsman program for handling complaints against mediator members of MPME.
Professional indemnity insurance
Professional liability insurance through the Association of Conflict Resolution.
Columbia Casualty Insurance, $500,000/$1million.
Feedback Digest
Reviewer: Ms. Buck Ramona ( rbuck@fmcs.gov )
Latest Update: 2017-05-24 17:08:16

This Feedback Digest is based on 10 mediation participation feedback forms in 10 mediations, initially submitted on Wednesday 9th April 2014.

Ms Kandell's level of mediation skills and abilities are consistently rated by mediation participants as a “5” on a 1 to 5 scale, with 1 = low and 5 = high. They also consistently say that they would recommend her as a mediator to others.

In terms of participants’ satisfaction with the whole mediation process, they mostly rate this as 5 with a few ratings of 4. So, with no exceptions, the participants’ satisfaction levels with the mediation process as facilitated by Ms. Kandell are quite high.

Ms. Kandell’s mediation participants say that she is very knowledgeable and works well with both sides. One participant explained that in his case, she helped the parties understand that she supported them and the process, but that she wasn’t taking either side. Instead, she tried to help them understand the situation as a whole and to see the perspective of the other party in the mediation. One person in another case described this same situation by saying that she tried to help them find common ground.

Phrases that participants use in describing Ms. Kandell as a mediator include: graceful persistence, an excellent communicator, a quick study, focused on both parties, very reasonable, very skilled at mediation, very knowledgeable, and that she uses effective listening skills.

Several say that in the mediation she helped them to stay focused on the relevant issues and is efficient in using her time well with each party. And, participants indicate that she was very helpful in their cases in supporting them in finding a solution to their conflict.

There is common agreement in the Feedbacks received that she is able, even though meeting participants for the first time, to clearly explain the mediation process, and to quickly form a collaborative mediation relationship with the parties so that they can all work to find an appropriate resolution, if that is possible. And, in addition, most participants indicate that they would use this mediator again. The ones who did not were only those who indicated that this question was not applicable because they were mediating through an institutional setting.

There were no reportable negative comments in the Feedbacks.

Update for Ellen Kandell as of May 24, 2917:

There were four additional surveys submitted and reviewed for this update:

All said they would be likely to use Ellen’s services as a mediator again. And they would all recommend her services to others. They all rated her skills very highly and were very satisfied with her mediation services.

Comments included:

Ellen was capable, knowledgeable and highly experienced. She was also personable, which I didn’t necessarily expect in a mediator.

She was tactful, fair and astute at knowing when to press a party for movement/concessions. She facilitated dialogue on the issues that mattered.

She had the ability to give both sides a reality check and an objective assessment.

Her employment law knowledge was crucial to the case. She was also very patient with the attorneys, which I think helped in this case.

Professional affiliations
Association for Conflict Resolution, Maryland Council for Dispute Resolution, Maryland State Bar Association.
Fee rate
Hourly rate plus expenses are usually divided by the parties.
Contact details for references/recommendations
Available upon request to ek@alternativeresolutions.net. Testimonials may be found at www.alternativeresolutions.net.
Mediation education and training
I have over 250 hours of advanced and continuing ADR training including the following programs:
Harvard Law School Program on Mediation, Basic Mediation
Superior Court of the District of Columbia Mediation Program Basic Mediation
USPS Transformational Mediation training, Basic and Advanced
CDR Associates, Mediating Environmental & Public Policy Disputes
International Ombudsman Association, Basic Ombudsman course
Mediation of ADA and Rehabilitation Act disputes
Child Access and Family Property mediation
Mediation teaching and mentoring
Teach basic mediation to diverse private professionals as well as retired circuit court and current administrative law judges
Teach conflict management, communication and negotiation programs for agencies and private organizations.
Mediation publications
Diverse business publications. See http://www.alternativeresolutions.net/conflict-resolution-publications/ for most current list.

 

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