The Wisconsin Special Education Mediation System helps parents and schools work together to resolve disputes about special education.
We do not provide legal advice or advocacy for either parents or districts.

Leo G. Stern, Bayfield, WI

Leo-G-Stern-Mediator

Name: Leo G. Stern

Location: Bayfield, WI; travel statewide

My Mediation Experience:  I have worked for over 35 years in the field of dispute resolution, and I have mediated and arbitrated well over 1,000 cases. In addition to my private practice in mediation and arbitration, I am mediator for both Minnesota and Wisconsin Special Education Mediation systems. I am also a mediator on the panels of many other dispute resolution providers. Annually, I have been chosen by my peers as one of the top lawyers in Minnesota and the U.S. in the practice of mediation and arbitration (2006-present).

My Perspective on the Mediation Process: I recognize that parties can have different solutions to any issue. My goals as a mediator are for the parties to understand the perspectives that each might have, for them to identify their differences, and for them to agree on reasonable approaches to meet each other’s needs. I bring a wide background to the discussion: my skill as a mediator; my knowledge of special education; my life challenges as an attorney with dyslexia and as the father of two children who struggled with dyslexia in school; and my recognition as an educator of the complex special education issues facing teachers, administrators, parents, and students. My experience on both sides of the issues gives me an insight that helps guide the parties into a meaningful conversation that can lead to a resolution of their differences.

Education:

  • J.D. cum laude (law school), University of Minnesota Law School (1970)
  • B.A. (Bachelor of Arts), Political Science, University of California at Davis (1967)
  • Mediation Training: Over 500 hours of extensive dispute resolution training and seminars, including Special Education Mediation & IEP Facilitation Training in Wisconsin and Minnesota and advanced mediation training through numerous organizations

Current Positions: Stern Law Office, private practice of law, mediation, and arbitration; The June Stern Family Foundation for Children with Dyslexia, Board Member and Treasurer, 2001-present.

Past Positions: International Dyslexia Association, Past Board Member; Commissioner on Minneapolis Civil Rights Commission; Adjunct Professor in dispute resolution courses at William Mitchell College of Law and University of St. Thomas Law; Visiting Professorships at law schools in Hungary, Croatia, and Kosovo; Board Member and Chair of Neighborhood Involvement Program, a social service nonprofit providing a medical clinic for the uninsured, support services for seniors, and tutoring for youth.