Simon Mediation - Dan Simon, M.A., J.D.


Dan Simon, M.A., J.D.

Minnesota & Los Angeles Mediation Training:
Learn Transformative Mediation

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Transformative mediation addresses conflict at its most important level. Rather than imposing a settlement on the parties, the transformative mediator supports parties in their own efforts to improve their interaction as they discuss their conflict. The United States Postal Service and the Transportation Security Administration have chosen transformative mediation as their preferred method for addressing employment discrimination claims. And over 90% of employees and over 90% of management officials report being satisfied with the process. I’ve used this approach in hundreds of family cases, as well as many business partnership, inheritance, family business, and employment disputes.

All of my trainings are interactive, fun, and pre-approved for continuing education credits.


I’m Dan Simon, MA, J.D. – the first certified transformative mediator in Minnesota. I have trained mediators nationally for the U.S. Postal Service, for the Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation and as an Adjunct Professor at the Hofstra University School of Law. I provide transformative mediation of all types of disputes, including family, employment, and business. I received my B.A. with Honors, from UC: Berkeley; my J.D. cum laude, from the University of Minnesota School of Law; and my M.A. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Minnesota. I have been licensed to practice law in Minnesota since 1992, but have practiced and taught only mediation since 1998.

Guest Instructors & Guest Coaches

Past guest instructors have included: Dr. Bill Doherty, Professor and Director of the Marriage and Family Therapy Program in the Department of Family Social Science, College of Education and Human Development, at the University of Minnesota; Jim Coben, former director, Hamline University School of Law and Senior Fellow, Dispute Resolution Institute; Sharon Press, Director of Hamline University School of Law’s Dispute Resolution Institute; Honorable Bruce Peterson, Judge in the District Court in Hennepin County; Honorable Sue Cochrane former Chief Referee of District Court in Hennepin County; Ken Fox, professor, Hamline University School of Business, director of Conflict Studies and Senior Fellow, Dispute Resolution Institute, Hamline University School of Law; Steve Harris, Chair of the University of Minnesota’s Graduate Program in Marriage and Family Therapy; Aimee Gourlay, director of The Mediation Center and a Senior Fellow of Hamline University School of Law’s, Dispute Resolution Institute; Jessica Kuchta-Miller, Associate Ombuds, University of Colorado Boulder; Dave Decker, Licensed Psychologist; Leslie Sinner McEvoy, arbitrator, mediator, and adjunct professor at William Mitchell College of Law; Kristine Paranica and Sarah Bernhardt Prom of UND’s Conflict Resolution Center; Greg Heberlein, Licensed Psychologist; Deb Clemmensen, Licensed Psychologist. Past coaches have included Rabbi Shosh Dworsky, Attorney Änna Hagstrom, and Mediator Carey HeartBorne, Director of HeartBorne Mediation.

What Past Training Participants Have said:


This is a fabulous course that I have already recommended to colleagues. Molly Nefstead, LICSW, School Social Worker, Jordan, MN.

Transformative, educational, uplifting, and encouraging.  This approach could really make the world a better place by making it easier for people to find solutions to their conflicts. 10 out of 10. Barbara Engen-Mangskau, Attorney, Saint Paul, MN.

Revelatory. Empowering. Transformative mediation is the best hope for improving human relations and resolving disputes and the issues underneath. 10 out of 10. Karen Calcaterra, Law Student, Minneapolis, MN.

An eye-opening foray into a better way to help people with their conflict. Dan has a gift.  I’m better for having had this experience. 10 out of 10. Pamela Steckman, Attorney, Saint Cloud, MN.

Challenging.  Thought-provoking.  Challenged basic assumptions. An excellent course. 10 out of 10.  Josh Casper, Attorney, Saint Paul, MN.

The core concept is spot on in identifying the source of conflict and the potential for resolution of all conflict! The course was mind-expanding.  10 out of 10. Theresa Bofferding, Attorney, Saint Paul, MN.

Very engaging. The feedback was very helpful and encouraging. Pamela Kigham, Attorney, Saint Paul, MN.

I’ve had a couple transformative trainings now and I’m completely sold on the method of transformative mediation. 10 out of 10. Melissa Maher, Attorney, Lino Lakes, MN.

I really learned a lot and I improved my listening skills greatly. Michelle Brunt, Attorney, Cambridge, MN.

My favorite thing about the course was Dan’s passion about the transformative approach.  10 out of 10.  It was a very enjoyable experience. Jennifer Sharp, LMFT, Elk River, MN.

Transformative. Empowering. Hope-inducing. Refreshing. Relevant. 10 out of 10. Amy Isenor, Attorney, St. Cloud, MN.

Terrific course. I learned a ton that I will apply in my family law practice. 10 out of 10 (honestly). Jason C. Brown, Brown Law Offices, Champlin, MN.

Empowering. Awesome. 10 out of 10. Betsey Mjos, Therapeutic Foster Care Provider, Minneapolis.

Informative. Empowering. 10 out of 10. Dax Stoner, Neutral Financial Expert, CPA, Bloomington, MN.

Invigorating, informative and fun. 10 out of 10. Jerry Bottelberghe, Mental Health Therapist, Minneota, MN.

I liked everything about the course.  You did a great job. Felix Ricco, Attorney, Cargill, Inc.

Informative & transforming. 10 out of 10.  Kasey Yoder, Hockey Coach, St. Paul.

Insightful. Thought-provoking. Innovative. John Boyle, Moss & Barnett, Minneapolis.

11 out of 10.  I liked the approachable way the entire workshop was held. . . all were treated as colleagues and fellow mediators. You were totally consistent in your workshop style and what you believed and your experiences around the transformative model. I was validated in my approach to mediation, which can (and will) definitely benefit from this model.  Pat Nelson, Mediator, Minneapolis.

Very useful for everyday application.  John Lang, Attorney, Messerli and Kramer, Minneapolis.

An unexpected learning experience that will allow me to be a better mediator and will improve my relationships. Well thought-out schedule. Out-of-the-box thinking, relationship-building, very useful professionally and personally.  I will use what I have learned here. 10 out of 10. Medical Leadership Consultant and Retired Neurosurgeon, FL. 

Career-enhancing, mind-stretching, enlightening. 10 out of 10.  This will help me tremendously in my job in the federal government conducting hearings for sick and injured claimants. David Howell, Administrative Law Judge, Washington, D.C.

Very thorough, comprehensive course.  It gave me what I needed to understand the gaps in my training as a person and as a lawyer. 10 out of 10. Carelle Stein, Probate Attorney, St. Paul, MN.

This class was incredibly eye-opening for me.  On a scale from 1 – 10, I rate it 100. I’ve shared with many people just how powerful I’ve found this approach to be.  The class was illuminating, challenging, and transformative.  Dan, you are a gifted, knowledgeable, worldly and very talented person.  The world could use more of you. Tim Simonson, Attorney, St. Paul, MN.

I enjoyed all of this course.  It opened my mind to the reality of how difficult conflict is for our clients, and how little I (we) know about what’s best for people. 10 out of 10. Jaci Hettig, LMFT, Burnsville, MN.

I loved that this course gave me the opportunity to ask anything without feeling the need to censor my true thoughts.  100% worthwhile.  Perfect pace and organizing of material.  10 out of 10. Dan is a humble pioneer of a method of creating peace and resolving disputes, a method that I find remarkable and effective, despite defying traditional mediation methods. Heidi Pliam, Attorney and Coach, Minneapolis, MN.

Intense, thorough, relevant introduction to a new way of conflict resolution. The legal world needs more of this. Attorney, Stillwater, MN.

Wonderful. Basically the best CLE course I’ve taken. I’m grateful for your presence and your integrity. 10 out of 10. To me this was REAL mediation training. Stephen Sage, Attorney, St. Paul, MN.

This was an excellent course.  Dan is a masterful transformative mediator and ambassador for this constructive approach. The training has proven helpful to both my professional effectiveness and personal interactions. Cynthia Scott, Leadership Coach, Eden Prairie, MN.

Phenomenal class! I highly recommend this class, especially for those who may have had other trainings in mediation. Dan is an engaging, knowledgeable instructor.  I learned more than I expected. Truly illuminating. 10 out of 10. Jess Birken, Attorney, Minneapolis, MN.

Transformative.  Eye-opening.  Empowering. An alternative and convincingly common sense approach to durable mediation that enhances parties’ ability to move forward with their lives.  10 out of 10. Jim Cohen, Attorney, Executive Director of Access Justice, Minneapolis, MN.

Informative, enlightening, well-taught, inspiring and fun. A terrific course.  I would recommend it to my colleagues. Eva Goldfield, Mediator, Agora Hills, CA.

Much better than expected. Great experience overall.  Will recommend to others. 10 out of 10. Lisa Martin, Professor of Nursing, Minneapolis, MN.

Very interesting & challenging. Jennifer Waletzko, Mediator, Forest Lake, MN.

Wow!  It was great! Very engaging!  Dr. Jeff Dorman, Pastor/Mediator, White Bear Township, MN.

Excellent.  10 out of 10.  Kristen Froebel, Writer, Musician, Educator, Minneapolis, MN.

Mind expanding. Great job. 10 out of 10. A Retired Minnesota Judge.

Inspiring, invigorating, intense!  14 out of 10!  Teresa Kusch, Attorney, Minneapolis, MN.

Awesome.  Exciting.  Englightening. 10 out of 10. I felt re-charged and inspired. Heather Martin, Mediator, South Pasadena, CA.

Educational, eye-opening. 10 out of 10.  Bette Nelson, Attorney, Rogers, MN.

Loved the course. Excellent, interesting, educational and informative. Sue Gramacy, Mediator, Granada Hills, CA.

Enlightening, challenging, liberating. 10 out of 10. Your style and the content of the class are right on. I will definitely recommend your course to colleagues. Carl Lehmann, Attorney, Gray Plant Mooty, Minneapolis, MN.

Empowering!  Insightful, transforming, fulfilling. Heather Klindworth, Maple Grove, MN., MA in International Peace and Conflict Resolution.

Eye-opening, perspective-changing, invigorating. Jim Mayer, Attorney, Fredrikson & Byron, Minneapolis, MN.

Fun, insightful, transformative. 10 out of 10. Mark Delehanty, Attorney, Rochester, MN.

Transformative. And definitely valuable for all fields. Diana Bird, Human Resources, Target Corporation, Minneapolis, MN.

Loved the content, humor, pacing, and guest appearances.  I felt like I was well taken care of and learned many valuable things. 10 out of 10. Jonathon Swanson, Student.

Nice balance of practice, conversation, and observation. Interesting, inspiring and fun! Great job engaging all of us! Your passion for the transformative mediation model is even dint throughout the course. Paula Foley, School Principal, St. Cloud, MN.

Many helpful tools and skills for my practice. Very helpful, very well thought out, entertaining and interesting. Expertly presented. Jon Lilleberg, Attorney/Mediator, Omeara, Leer, Wagner & Kohl, Minneapolis, MN.

 A thorough introduction to an alternative way to mediate that acknowledges the human conflict aspect of disputes. 10 out of 10. Julie Sprau, Attorney, Chanhassen, MN.

Helpful, fun, interesting, memorable, influential. Get this in law schools! 10 out of 10. Kate Norris, law student, University of St. Thomas.

Great experience. Very helpful in practice and life. 10 out of 10. – Jim Michels, Attorney, Minneapolis, MN.

This is a progressive, ground breaking movement that is overdue. This should and will shift the stigma of mediation away from being similar to arbitration. – Steve Wickelgren, MA, LMFT, Police Sargent, Minneapolis, MN.

Transformative! 10 out of 10. Excellent instructor and co-instructors. Dawn Buttera, Yoga Instructor, Rochester, MN.

I would not trade this experience for anything. I believe I have found the mediation I truly want to get myself involved in. – Tim Mulligan, Cambridge, MN.

Dan, thanks for delivering all you promised – and so much more. Each of the five days was enlightening, productive and fun. This seminar definitely was a week well spent. 11+ out of 10. – Larry Green, Attorney, Stillwater, MN.

Fascinating. It opened me up to a new way of thinking. – Mark Pryor, Attorney, Brown & Carlson, PA, Minneapolis, MN.

10 out of 10. Practical, experiential, balanced. – Nicole Concordia, Attorney, Minneapolis, MN.

Engaging, dynamic – a change in perception, an example of a paradigm shift that works for all. 10 out of 10. – Bob Speeter, Attorney, Minneapolis, MN. 

Best CLE credits I’ve ever earned! Great job!  Thoroughly engrossing! Effective, transcendent process – sophisticated – deep.  Great alternative in intractable cases. – Joan Engstrom, Deputy General Counsel, General Mills, Minnetonka, MN.

Best course I’ve attended in years! It has opened my eyes to conflict resolution that goes beyond just resolving the immediate issue but that instead can transform the underlying conflict, so that the change is longstanding. – A Minnesota Judicial Officer.

Extremely interesting!  Super instructors! Transformative – really! Not only on a purely personal level but also in the value I see in it on a legal and court level. – Christine Umhoefer, White Bear Lake, MN

Transformational!  Excellent!  Life changing! You provide hope and vision and real tools for a better way.  – Laura LaBlanc, Professional Facilitator and Consultant, Saint Paul, MN.

10 out of 10, seriously. More people should be exposed to this methodology. – Todd Wadsworth, Professor and Philosopher, St. Paul, MN.

Best CLE credits I’ve ever earned! Great, educational, insightful, valuable. – Dianna Cusick, Director of Legal Affairs, Minneapolis Community and Technical College.

Optimum setting for learning! This was a terrific course that challenged me to become a better listener. Dan is a WONDERFUL teacher who models transformative mediation techniques throughout the course. 10 out of 10. – Nancy Leba, Educator, Minneapolis, MN.

A great combination of practical skills and introduction to a new way to view conflict. Very useful! – Anna Hagstrom, Attorney, St. Paul, MN.

This course was a challenge, a joy, and a privilege! – Nan Thompson, Musician, Minneapolis, MN.

Dan is a skilled, comfortable teacher.  I was very happy with the instructor and the course. 10 out of 10. – Tom Larson, Attorney, Briggs and Morgan, Minneapolis, MN.

My favorite aspect of the course was the variety of teaching methods – including simulations. The course was fun, informative, challenging and supportive. 10 out of 10. – Andrea Warda, law student, Saint Paul, MN.

Fun, interesting, helpful, useful, philosophical, deep, theoretical, honest, meaningful.  I looked forward to coming every day! – Molly Dworsky, University of Minnesota Family Social Sciences student.

Enlightening! – Renée Zirbes, Attorney, Eden Prairie, MN.

Inspiring!  Useful in my job and throughout my life. – Lianne Guenther, Attorney, Apple Valley, MN.

Great training – everything from the daily agenda to the role plays, to the facilities and lunch were wonderful. – Leigh Campbell, Attorney, St. Charles, MN.

Enlightening. Challenging. Innovative. -Eddie Glenn, University of Minnesota Law Student.

Innovative!  Interesting! – Jim Hanvik, Attorney, St. Louis Park, MN.

Because of my position, you can’t use my name, but you can quote me anonymously.  I will recommend this training to my colleagues on the bench.  I rate it a 10 out of 10.  I’d describe it as enlightening, insightful, and terrific.  – a Minnesota Disctrict Court Judge.

Truly transformative. . . such an inspiring instructor!  I learned a valuable skill and I feel as though I learned from the best. – Jeannie Zaikaner, Attorney, Saint Paul, MN

I learned more about human nature in this seminar than in any course I have ever attended. – Jeffery Mintz, Attorney, Rochester, MN.

You are enjoyable and non-threatening as a teacher.  Your candor is refreshing; I like your objectivity and flexibility. – Richard DeBeau, LMFT, Shakopee, MN.

Kept my rapt attention from early morning to evening five consecutive days.– Melvin Ogurak, Ogurak Family Law & Mediation, P.A., Minneapolis, MN.

Very enlightening. I’m excited to use these skills in my practice.Kathleen Flynn Peterson, Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, LLP., Minnapolis, MN.

This was fabulous!  10 out of 10! I think this model is the key to more effective communication in our culture. The interactive nature of the course was excellent. – Susan Shehata, Healer of Home, Body and Spirit, Minneapolis, MN.

Remarkable. . . I really value the skills I learned from Dan. – A Minneapolis Family Lawyer.

10 out of 10! Thought provoking, informative and fun!  A great experience! – Pat Beety, Attorney, Saint Paul, MN.

Enlightening.  I know I’ve grown so much with this way of thinking. – Linda Morrison, Attorney, North Saint Paul, MN.

Dan Simon’s tailor-made mediation approach is where collaborative, mediated conflict resolution will be twenty years from now if we’re lucky. . . most highly recommended!!! – John G.E. Thompson, Attorney, St. Cloud, MN.

10 out of 10! – Tou Lee, Business Owner, Woodbury, MN.

Interesting! Informative! Fun!  – Lisa Porthan, Caregiver Consultant, Ely, MN.

Energizing!  Thought-provoking!  – Eric Johnson, Attorney, Bloomington, MN.

Interesting!  Innovative mediation approach! Very useful in dealing with conflicts! – Bruce Johnson, Attorney, Minneapolis, MN.

Dan’s ability to teach in a transformative way is amazing. –  Tamerin Horstman, M.A., Mediator/Consultant, Minneapolis, MN.

Dan teaches not from the top down, but from the inside out. – Janet Collins, Mediation Unlimited, Minneapolis, MN.

I enjoyed this course as much as any CLE I’ve ever attended. – Kris Svingen, Attorney, Fergus Falls, MN.

Dan is energetic and engaging. I found the course very informative and thought provoking. I will use Dan’s techniques in my practice. – Jim Killian, Maslon, Edelman, Borman and Brand, LLP., Minneapolis, MN.

Informative and unique. New way of resolving conflict. Learned new skills to apply to my practice. – Leah Loomis, Attorney, Chaska, MN.

The skills I learned will affect every aspect of my family law practice. – Dana McKenzie, Saint Paul, MN, Family Law Attorney.

Revolutionary, insightful, useful, impactful, inspiring, fun, comfortable and welcoming. – Katie Clower, University of Minnesota Ph.D student in Conservation Biology.

This course exceeded my expecations. – Jamie Johnson, Attorney, Lommen Abdo Law Firm.

Upcoming Events

Take a look at the trainings planned for the next 3 months. Call with any questions.

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