Mediation + Montana = On Fire!

Mediation + Montana = On Fire!

Sure, it’s cold, grey and wet outside, but mediation is on fire in Montana and keeping us all warm and bright!

Read on for all of the latest:



Russ Fagg was a State District Court Judge for 22 years, handling over 25,000 cases. Judge Fagg has seen it all, and now has his own law firm specializing in litigation resolution, primarily through mediation.

Russ’s mediation philosophy is to let the parties tell their story, making sure to understand the nuances, then begin piecing together a roadmap to settle the case, often using both monetary and non-monetary motivators. Russ will draft and make sure a settlement agreement is signed before the parties leave, after achieving settlement.

(Interested in being profiled as a featured mediator? Contact Connie Anderson Herbst at

The MtMA is currently working with mediators in the Kalispell area to establish a formal mediation program or center to serve the courts and communities in the Flathead Valley. If you are interested in being involved in the planning process for this endeavor, please email the MtMA.


  • The New York Law Journal published an article on important steps for lawyers to take when preparing for mediation. One of their main recommendations? Consider Selecting an Expert Mediator Rather Than an Expert in Subject Matter: “…Most parties initially seek an expert in the subject matter in question, but an experienced mediator is often equally, if not more, valuable…a facilitator with well-honed mediation skills is usually adept at becoming familiar with new subject matter rather quickly…It is worth considering whether you really need someone familiar with the subject matter to understand the issues. Most of the time, you will find yourself better served with a proficient mediator.” We couldn’t agree more!
  • Michael Lewis (author of Moneyball, The Big Short, & other great books) has a podcast called Against the Rules, which is about fairness and disputes. He has an excellent episode dedicated to neutrals and mediation. Give it a listen.


Getting Comfortable with Conflict (Missoula)

  • Empower MT is presenting this skill building workshop on Friday, February 21​st​ from 9AM-Noon
  • Attendees will develop conflict resolution skills, cultivate a healthy relationship with conflict, and build emotional intelligence and resiliency skills
  • More details here

20-Hour Advanced Divorce Mediation Training (Spokane, WA)

  • April 17th (4-8 PM), April 18th & 19th (9AM–6 PM)
  • Take your family mediation skills and practice to the next level with this 20-hour advanced divorce and separation mediation training with a nationally-recognized expert in the field, master trainer Robert Kirkman Collins
  • Prerequisite: Completion of a 36-40 hour Basic Mediation Training course
  • For more information or to register, go here or call: 509-456-0103

Mediation Fundamentals Training (in-person/online)

  • The Billings Mediation Center will once again host this affordable blended (in-person/online) training in the Spring of 2020 (February, March and April)
  • This training can be taken anywhere in the state. All you need is an internet connection and (ideally) some local partners with whom to do role plays
  • This training has received approval for 40 hours of CLE from the State bar of Montana. The 40 hours includes 2.5 hours of ethics
  • Click here for more information
  • Reach out to the center if you are interested:

MtMA members and the general public are welcome to attend all MtMA board meetings, which occur via video call monthly, and in person quarterly. We are always happy to meet folks, answer questions, and tell you anything you’d like to know about the MtMA.

If you are interested in attending our next board meeting, please reach out to for details on how to participate.

We are here to serve mediators and mediation in Montana, so if you have any thoughts, suggestions, questions, needs or feedback about how we can do our work better, we are all ears! You can always reach us via email or over the phone: 406-579-2371