MICHAEL E. BALLACHEY
Judge of the Superior Court (Retired)
P.O. Box 7421
Berkeley, CA 94707-0421
AMERICAN ARBITRATION ASSOC.
CENTER FOR MEDIATION
March 20, 2000
I write to thank you for the excellent experience I enjoyed at the recent 40-hour mediation training I completed with you. And I emphasize "enjoyed". At once entertaining and informative, the training never dragged, was continually stimulating, and practical.
First, you are a gifted "teacher" in the best sense of the word. Your sense of humor, your energy, intelligence, obvious commitment to the concepts of mediation, and your respect for the students, all combined for a remarkable educational experience. I especially appreciated your knack for encouraging participation from all of the students and your ability to turn even "dumb" questions into valuable learning points for all in the class.
As a recently retired trial court judge who has handled innumerable civil settlement conferences, I came to the training with some skepticism. How quickly, and gently, I was disabused of any feeling that I had any special insight into this process. The insights I gained from the training, coupled with what I learned had value from my judical experience, will, I hope, make me more effective in the next phase of my career.