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Community Dispute Resolution Program Grants

OCDR administers an annual grant program to nonprofit organizations that provide free and low cost mediation and other dispute resolution services in their communities. To qualify, the organization must be certified by the Minnesota Supreme Court, having demonstrated a commitment to abide by Minnesota Statute 494 and its operational guidelines which ensures high quality mediation services. The total amount of the annual award is $160,000.

In 2016, these funded organizations provided conflict resolution services to more than 9,000 Minnesotans in the middle of neighbor, family, school, housing and many other types of disputes. View the Grant Application.

To learn more about community mediation programs or to find a program in your area visit: http://communitymediationminnesota.org/

Grant awards are made by a grant review committee:


Steve Marchese

Steve Marchese

Steve Marchese brings to his work over two decades of experience in the legal profession.  A graduate of New York University School of Law, Steve draws on a broad base of experiences, including former director of the Career and Professional Development Center at the University of Minnesota Law School, practicing attorney at major law firms in Minnesota, Michigan and New York, and former full-time legal writing faculty at Syracuse University College of Law. For the past 7 years, he has served as the Pro Bono Development Director for the Minnesota State Bar Association, providing statewide leadership and support for pro bono at civil legal aid organizations and in the private bar throughout Minnesota.

Larry McDonough 

Larry McDonough

Larry was a legal services housing litigation attorney for 30 years until June 2013, when he joined Dorsey and Whitney as the Pro Bono Litigation Counsel. He has represented thousands of clients and litigated hundreds of cases in state and federal district courts and state appellate courts, and contributed to almost all of the landlord and tenant statutes enacted since 1986. He co-founded Minnesota's Annual Housing Law Institute and authored Residential Eviction Defense in Minnesota through many editions, and has written many journal articles on landlord and tenant law. He also has taught at all four law schools in the Twin Cities, and regularly presents at seminars both in the state and around the country. A complete bio along with a list of publications, presentations, litigation, legislation, media appearances, and awards is posted at http://povertylaw.homestead.com.

Marilyn McKnight photo

Marilyn S. McKnight

Marilyn S. McKnight, MA is a mediator, trainer and author who has practiced exclusively in the field of mediation since 1977 after an extensive career in public social work.  She received the Bush Leadership Fellowship Award for the study of mediation in 1987 and is a leader in promoting the Client-Centered model of mediation.  In 1988, Marilyn was elected to the Board of the Academy of Family Mediators where she began the movement toward the certification of mediators and later served as President of the Academy. Marilyn is an active member of the ADR Section of the Minnesota Bar Association and has taught courses as an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota – School of Social Work, at William Mitchell College of Law and in the Master of Arts in Leadership program at Augsburg College.

Linda Mealey-Lohmann 

Linda Mealey-Lohmann

Attorney Linda Mealey-Lohmann is an experienced Mediator and Arbitrator who practices exclusively in the area of ADR, handling primarily employment and commercial disputes. She is a co-author of The Minnesota ADR Handbook: A Guide to Mediation, Arbitration, and Other Processes for Advocates and Neutrals (MN CLE 2011). She is an Adjunct Professor at William Mitchell College of Law, where she teaches ADR (negotiation, mediation, arbitration, and other Rule 114 ADR processes) (since 2006). Linda is the Chair of the ADR Section of the MN State Bar Association (2013-2015 terms), a member of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals, and a frequent presenter on ADR, mediation, and employment law topics. She is on a number of ADR panels, including as a mediator for the EEOC and USPS and as an arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association and Better Business Bureau.

Kelly Wilder

Kelly Wilder 

Kelly is general counsel and engagement director for 106 Group, a St. Paul-based cultural resources consulting company. A Rule 114 qualified neutral and member of the National Roster of Dispute Resolution and Consensus Building Professionals, she is experienced in cross-cultural conflict resolution, multi-stakeholder negotiation, and facilitation methods. Kelly leads planning projects that guide clients and empower communities to envision creative, durable solutions to complex public issues. She has facilitated collaborative efforts among federal, tribal, state, and local governments and diverse stakeholders on a variety of natural and cultural resource issues. A graduate of Mitchell Hamline School of Law, Kelly serves on Conflict Resolution Minnesota’s Mentorship Committee, previously served as a district court mediator, and has presented on topics including cultural competency, tribal consultation, and negotiation in the workplace.



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