Michael D. Rust, Oshkosh, WI

Picture of Michael D. Rust

Name: Michael D. Rust

Location: Oshkosh, Wisconsin – Available Statewide

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


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

Current Positions:

  • Chief Executive Officer 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 engage in a supportive process 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 the dialogue and to assist whenever the parties are having difficulty in communicating effectively.

I have significant experience in very emotionally charged mediations with complex legal issues and relationships. 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 2,500 cases including complex business disputes, restraining orders, special education, foreclosures, bankruptcies, small claims, divorce, variable expenses, coworker, issues effecting the elderly, and more
  • Facilitated hundreds of group discussions for groups from 5 to more than 50.
  • Trainer of over 500 mediators
  • Oversee a roster of 40+ mediators, including providing annual trainings and continuing education
  • Former Mediation Partner of Wisconsin Special Education Mediation System
  • Speaker at TEDxFondduLac on conflict in digital communication (link: https://youtu.be/EalMVQ4TcUw)
  • Speaker at TEDxEustis on resolving conflict in a polarized society (link: https://youtu.be/WFXBurIRopA)
  • Past-President, Association for Conflict Resolution (international association of conflict resolution professionals)
  • Past-President, Wisconsin Association of Mediators (now the Association for Conflict Resolution – Wisconsin)
  • Past-Chair, Dispute Resolution Section of the State Bar of Wisconsin
  • Received recognition for work in mediation from the Wisconsin Association of Mediators, the American Bar Association, and the International Chamber of Commerce, in Paris, France
  • Frequent presenter at state and national conferences on mediation
  • Author of several articles and publications on mediation
  • Taught mediation, communication, and dispute resolution at several colleges and universities

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)
  • Facilitator for Winnebago Conflict Resolution Center – 40-hour mediator training program (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, ongoing)
  • Co-Facilitator for Winnebago Conflict Resolution Center – 21-hour elder mediation training program (2014, 2015, 2016, 2021)
  • Facilitator for University of Wisconsin – 40-hour mediator training program (2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, ongoing)
  • Facilitator for University of Wisconsin – 40-hour divorce and family mediator training program (2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, ongoing)
  • 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.