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, and we do not mediate 504 plan disputes.

Michael D. Rust, Oshkosh, WI

Photo of Michael Rust

Name: Michael D. Rust

Location: Oshkosh, Wisconsin – Available Statewide

Website: http://www.mediationwcrc.org/about-us/about-director

Education:

  • Juris Doctor Law Degree, Marquette University, Wisconsin;
  • Bachelor of Arts in Neuroscience and Psychology (double major), Carthage College, Wisconsin

Current Positions:

  • Executive Director of Winnebago Conflict Resolution Center, Inc., Oshkosh, WI;
  • Mediator for Winnebago Conflict Resolution Center;
  • Eastern District of Wisconsin Bankruptcy Court
  • Private mediation practice

Perspective Regarding Mediation and Facilitation:

I transitioned my legal practice to focus on conflict resolution because I saw the legal system failing participants and I wanted to support processes that would help people engage and resolve their conflict.

I believe that mediation offers an opportunity for parties to resolve conflict and prevent future disputes from occurring (or at least be able to handle them better when they do come up). At its core, mediation is facilitated negotiation. My role in mediation is to facilitate a conversation and assist the parties in developing their negotiation and guide them towards possible resolution. In IEP facilitations, my role is still to facilitate a dialogue and to assist whenever the parties are having difficulty in communicating effectively.

I have significant experience in very emotionally charged mediations with complex relationship and legal issues. This experience has trained me to be comfortable working in delicate environments, supporting the full expression of the concerns and to fully facilitate the mediation towards a resolution.

Mediation/Facilitation/Special Education Experience:

  • Mediated over 1,000 cases including complex business disputes, restraining orders, foreclosures, bankruptcies, small claims, divorce, variable expenses, coworker, issues effecting the elderly, and more
  • Trainer of over 250 mediators
  • Oversee a roster of 40+ mediators, including providing annual trainings and continuing education
  • Frequent presenter at state and national conferences on mediation and mediation ethics
  • Author of several articles and publications on mediation
  • Speaker at TEDxFondduLac on conflict in digital communication (link: https://youtu.be/EalMVQ4TcUw)
  • Taught mediation, communication, and dispute resolution at several colleges and universities
  • Past-President, Wisconsin Association of Mediators (awarded the 2016 President’s Award)
  • Past-Chair, Dispute Resolution Section of the State Bar of Wisconsin
  • Received recognition for my work in mediation from the American Bar Association and International Chamber of Commerce, Paris, France

Mediation Training:

  • Marquette University Law School – 40-hour mediator training program, including study of mediation styles, communication and resolution strategies
  • Marquette University Law School – Restorative Justice Initiative, including Victim-Offender Mediation training and support
  • Co-Facilitator for Mediation Center of Greater Green Bay – 40-hour mediator training program (2009, 2010)
  • Co-Facilitator for Winnebago Conflict Resolution Center – 40-hour mediator training program (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)
  • Co-Facilitator for Winnebago Conflict Resolution Center – 21-hour elder mediation training program (2014, 2015, 2016)
  • Wisconsin Special Education Mediation System annual mediator training and 5-day mediator training program (2017)

Disclosure: I grew up with family members who had orthopedic impairments and other health impairments.