| Practice Description: |
Ms. Gaffigan is a mediator of family, workplace and community matters. Her clients include private individuals, businesses and government agencies. She is also an experienced teacher and trainer of conflict resolution skills for attorneys, collaborative professionals, mental health professionals, financial advisors, educators, clergy -- individuals interested in enhancing their knowledge base and their skill in constructively addressing conflict.
Her education program at Gaffigan Mediation targets those who aspire to start their own mediation practice as well as attorneys and other professionals who wish to apply conflict resolution skills in their current practice. Her 40-hour Family and Divorce Mediation Certificate training is accepted by family courts toward requirements for appointment as a court-approved mediator. The program also explores professional opportunities within the broader scope of conflict resolution.
Ms. Gaffigan's skills-focused curriculum incorporates nationally recognized professional standards of practice and also her own effective mediation approaches. It highlights legal aspects of practicing mediation, and distinctions between mediation, the practice of law and therapy. She has offered the Certificate program, and advanced mediation courses, for more than 14 years.
An important aspect of Ms. Gaffigan’s process is respecting the value of everyone involved in conflict, including legal and professional advisors.
Ms. Gaffigan’s credentials include:
- Appointed to the Mediator Screening Committee for the Circuit Court of Cook County Domestic Relations Division.
- Advanced Practitioner member of the Association for Conflict Resolution.
- Past president of the Association for Conflict Resolution Chicago-area Chapter (formerly SPIDR).
- Former co-chair of the Chicago Bar Association ADR Committee.
- Lead faculty, DePaul University Continuing Professional Education mediation programs for more than 14 years.
- Former adjunct faculty, DePaul University College of Law, teaching courses in family mediation and mediation in the health care industry.
- Teaching hypotheticals cited in the Harvard Negotiation Law Review (with John Cooley and Russell Hattis)
- Experience as a volunteer mediator, peer reviewer and training coach for the Center for Conflict Resolution in Chicago.
Year of Birth: 1955
Law School: Emory University School of Law, J.D., 1990
Undergraduate School: University of Colorado at Boulder, B.A., psychology, 1977
Ms. Gaffigan’s legal experience includes employment, product liability and general business litigation with King & Spalding in Atlanta and Music Peeler & Garrett in San Diego, followed by a family law and mediation practice with Brigitte Schmidt Bell, PC, in Chicago. Ms. Gaffigan has taught courses in family mediation and mediation in the health care industry as a member of the adjunct faculty of the DePaul University College of Law, as well as the 40-hour Family and Divorce Mediation Certificate Program, and advanced mediation courses, through DePaul University Continuing and Professional Education. Prior to attending law school, Ms. Gaffigan was a management and training consultant to financial institutions across the United States. In that capacity, she conducted workshops on communication, customer relations and management skills.
Bar/Professional Association Involvement:
Circuit Court of Cook County Domestic Relations Division, Mediator Screening Committee
Association for Conflict Resolution, Advanced Practitioner member
Chicago Bar Association
ADR Committee, previous co-chair
Association for Conflict Resolution Chicago-area Chapter (formerly SPIDR), previous president
Center for Conflict Resolution, former volunteer mediator, peer reviewer, training coach
Awards; Honors; Distinctions:
Leading Lawyers, Law Bulletin Media, 2004-present
Published Legal Writing:
"Child Custody Mediation, Child Custody Litigation," chapter 5, Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education, 2004 (supp 2013)
"Mediating Employment Disputes, Alternative Dispute Resolution," co-author, with Lynn P. Cohn, chapter 14, Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education, 2000
Ms. Gaffigan is a frequent speaker on topics related to conflict management and dispute resolution