THE MEDIATION GROUP
MARIETTA SHIPLEY retired in September 2006 after 16 years as Judge of the Davidson County Second Circuit Court in Nashville, Tennessee, where she presided over civil jury and non-jury trials and family cases. During that time, she was a leader in promoting mediation in the court system. After her retirement Judge Shipley founded The Mediation Group of Tennessee, LLC, a state-wide network of mediators and arbitrators who handle all types of mediation and arbitration.
While on the bench, Judge Shipley mediated numerous civil matters from personal injury cases to malpractice cases in settlement conferences. In divorce cases, she also provided case management conferences which often led to settlement. Judge Shipley was Chair of the Judicial ADR Committee which primarily brought education to judges statewide so they were ready to respond to this helpful tool in resolving disputes. Many jurisdictions now either exchange cases for settlement or routinely send them out for mediation, resulting in cases moving forward more quickly. During her judgeship, Judge Shipley made the court system more accessible to parties to determine their own decision.
Now Judge Shipley has invited the best professionals in Tennessee to join her in expanding the use of quality civil and divorce mediation and arbitration not only in civil and family court cases but in business and government as well. She believes that through mediation one can "...seek consensus, find solutions and get lasting results."
The Group's goal is to provide quality mediation and arbitration through training, evaluation and constant feedback from clients. Judge Shipley believes that through the use of a group, one can monitor the quality of mediation or arbitration, keep abreast of current law and trends and provide training that is most up to date. Judge Shipley's goal is to make mediation a way of resolving conflict in all aspects of life.
Judge Shipley is a Supreme Court Rule 31 listed Civil/Family Mediator, on the Middle Tennessee Federal Panel of Mediators and a Mediator with The American Arbitration Association.
In 1992, Judge Shipley was appointed to the TBA ADR Committee and became a charter member of the Supreme Court ADR Commission.
In 1996, the Supreme Court passed Rule 31. Judge Shipley was one of the pilot judges for the Parent Plan Legislation, which provided a structure for divorcing parents to plan for the future of their children. She served as a member of the Appellate Mediation Task Force which developed an appellate mediation model. During her judgeship, she served on the Board of Directors of the Academy of Family Mediators (now Association of Conflict Resolution).
In 2006, Judge Shipley helped found the Tennessee Association of Professional Mediators. She is the immediate Past President since March 2008.
Prior to her 1990 election to the Circuit Court, Judge Shipley was in private practice with Shipley & Behm for 10 years. She had a general litigation practice emphasizing family, employment, probate and personal injury law.
Judge Shipley began her law practice in the Nashville, Davidson County District Attorney General's Office in 1977, where she founded the Child Support Division with Tom Thurman, Deputy District Attorney.
Judge Shipley graduated from the Nashville School of Law in 1976. While attending law school, she taught German for six years, after having obtained B.A. and M.A.T. degrees from the University of Kansas. She received her original mediation training with Colorado Dispute Resolution, sponsored by the ABA at Stanford University Law School. At that time, there were only five mediators in the State of Tennessee. She served as an Assistant for Mediation Training at Judicial College in 1994 and 1995. She received further training from David Strawn of Florida and from Nina Meierding of the Pepperdine University Law School Strauss Institute at several trainings for judges. She has attended numerous AFM and ABA conferences on mediation, and has been a frequent presenter at seminars for the Tennessee Bar Association, Nashville Bar Association, Tennessee Association for Justice, M. Lee Smith Conferences, Paralegal and Legal Assistant Associations, the Tennessee Attorney General's Office. She has also served as a trainer for Rule 31 Family Law Training at Lipscomb University. In 2009 she received the Grayford Gray Award for Highest Contribution to the Mediation Field.
In 2009, Judge Shipley co-hosted a two-day collaborative law training at Vanderbilt University Law School. Presently she is a part of the Mid-South Collaborative Divorce Group, offering collaborative divorce services as well as mediation to divorcing couples. She also serves on the Supreme Court Pro Se Access to Justice Mediation Committee.
Judge Shipley is married to Dr. David McMillan, a psychologist and member of The Mediation Group of Tennessee, who both mediates cases and serves as a parent coordinator. His website is www.drdavidmcmillan.com. They have a dog, Greta, and a cat, Sable, who get along extremely well.