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.

Danielle Carne, Madison, WI


Name: Danielle Carne

Location: Madison, Wisconsin – available statewide


  • Law Degree, University of Iowa College of Law, Iowa City, Iowa (2002);
  • Bachelor of Arts Degree, Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa (1996).

Mediation and Special Education Experience: I am a full-time dispute resolution professional who has been mediating since 2006. I began my work as a neutral with the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission by mediating disputes between employers and employees. Since then, I have developed a private mediation and arbitration practice.

I have mediated many conflicts, including disputes related to disability benefits and disability discrimination. I also have extensive experience resolving disputes involving Wisconsin school districts administration and staff, so I am familiar with how schools operate. Some of these disputes have involved special education issues.

Much of my mediation work has involved the dynamics that are present in special education disputes: I work with disputing parties who need to have an ongoing relationship; I work with complex disputes involving multiple, connected issues; I work with disputes involving issues that are personal, emotional, and confidential; and I work with disputes involving legal restrictions and requirements.

I am a member of the Wisconsin Association of Mediators, the American Arbitration Association Panel of Mediators, the Dane County Case Mediation Program Panel of Mediators; the Dane County Housing Project Panel of Eviction Mediators; a mediation panel maintained by the Financial Industries Regulatory Authority, and many state-based mediation panels.

Mediation Perspective: As a mediator, I believe in being responsive to the needs of the parties. For that reason, I am flexible in the skills I apply. In some instances, parties need a mediator who will help them talk to each other; and in other instances, parties need a mediator who will help them analyze their interests and priorities. Many cases require a mixture of approaches. Sometimes I work with the all parties in the same room, and other times I meet with them separately. In all cases, I listen carefully to the parties, because the Information they share with me gives me ideas for how to help them. I gather this information by talking with the parties over the telephone before a mediation and in-person during the mediation. I work hard to balance between the need to work through the emotional parts of a dispute, while always efficiently moving toward practical solutions. Further, I believe it is my job to make sure all participants understand the mediation process, so they are comfortable and able to fully participate in it.

Current and Past Positions:

  • Carne Dispute Resolution, as a private Mediator / Arbitrator (2012—Present);
  • University of Wisconsin Law School as an Adjunct Professor (2016—Present);
  • Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission, as a Mediator / Arbitrator / Administrative Law Judge (2006-2013; 2016—01/17/2018);
  • Wisconsin Office of State Employment Relations, as General Counsel, Deputy Director (2013—2015);
  • University of Oshkosh School of Business, as an Adjunct Professor (2014);
  • Hawks, Quindel, Ehlke & Perry, S.C., as an Attorney in private practice (2003-2006).