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BOARD OF GOVERNORS

Rebekah Smith - President

Rebekah has provided exclusively neutral legal services since 2005, serving as a mediator, arbitrator, independent investigator, and administrative hearing officer. She has mediated hundreds of disputes to successful resolution in a variety of settings from family inheritance disagreements to human rights violations. In addition to providing mediation services for private parties, Rebekah serves as a neutral for several state agencies, including the Maine Department of Education, the Maine Labor Relations Board Fact Finding Panel, the Maine Human Rights Commission, the Maine Department of Professional and Financial Regulation, and the Maine Public Employees Retirement System.

Nelson Larkins - Vice President

Nelson is a partner at Preti Flaherty in Portland, Maine.  He has over thirty years of experience as a litigator with an emphasis on workers’ compensation, longshore, general litigation, and family law.  He was the Editor in Chief of the Ohio State College of Law Dispute Resolution Journal and has been involved in mediation since 1984.  He is the immediate Past President of the Maine Association of Mediators.


John Lemieux - Treasurer

John is a Portland native and a graduate of Cheverus High School, College of the Holy Cross and Boston College Law School. He has been practicing law in Maine since 1980. After starting out as a community organizer and attorney for Pine Tree Legal Assistance, he spent 11 years, primarily as Chief Legal Counsel, with the Maine State Employees Association in Augusta. To be more available to raise his sons, he managed his own law office based in Readfield for several years. After practicing with respected firms in Gardiner and Westbrook, Attorney Lemieux decided to open his office in the Woodfords Corner area of Portland in 2011. During his years in private practice, John was engaged in civil litigation of a variety of disputes including employment, business, probate, real estate and family law cases. Since acquiring his Mediation Certificate from USM in 2012, John has focused upon expanding his mediation practice. He currently serves on the CADRES Family Law panel and the Department of Education panel. 

Pamela Waite - Secretary

A graduate of Smith College and the University of Maine School of Law, Pam represented the State of Maine as an Assistant Attorney General primarily in employment and tax matters for over 30 years. A skilled negotiator, she trained to become a mediator and now mediates privately; serves on the court rosters for family matters and foreclosure cases; and also is on the roster as a mediator for the Maine Human Rights Commission. Pam believes strongly in party selfdetermination  and the importance of trying to resolve disputes by agreement as an alternative to engaging in lengthy and expensive litigation.

Terri DeCoster

Terri is a mediator and parent educator and co-parenting consultant with a private practice in Falmouth, ME. Terri has a Master of Counseling Psychology from Alaska Pacific University and BA from Syracuse University. She has been involved with the Kids First Center in Portland, ME for over 20 years; as a founding member, past Board President, and current program facilitator. She is an experienced facilitator of psycho-educational groups for children, adults going through separation and divorce, and parents with new partners and stepparents. In May of 2018, Terri was honored with the Kids First Center Outstanding Service Award. She was also active in The Opportunity Alliance Mediation Services Program. Currently, Terri serves on the court roster for family matters in Portland and Biddeford, ME. She specializes in supporting families and individuals in transition through education, effective communication, parenting, and compassion giving special consideration to the experience of the child.

Karen Groat 

Karen, Director of Family and Community Mediation (FCM), formerly with the Opportunity Alliance, has worked closely with mediators, families, communities and organizations for over 18 years specializing in complex family matters and multi-party disputes in over 3500 mediations. As an experienced Transformative practitioner, trainer and conflict coach, Karen combines research from neuroscience, trauma-informed care, and relational practice to assist families as they navigate the many life transitions often exacerbated by other crises in physical or mental health, and the experience of loss or grief.  In 2018, FCM expanded statewide servicing Maine’s Agricultural Mediation Program in partnership with University of Maine Cooperative Extension addressing issues impacting Maine’s agriculture and rural communities including farm succession planning. Karen also provides private and court-related services since 2002.

Norma Murray

Norma, Case Coordinator of Family and Community Mediation (FCM). Norma's practice areas include Mediation and Guardian ad Litem, with a focus on children, families, domestic violence, substance use disorder, mental health, and cross cultural communication, including over a decade of practice in the Probate, Juvenile, Protective Custody, Family, Protection from Abuse, Mental Health, and Criminal Courts. Norma worked as a Mediator and Project Coordinator at the Community Mediation Programs at the Volunteers of America Northern New England and the Opportunity Alliance from 2015 until 2019. Norma also provides private services.

Peter Schroeter

Peter is a Mediator and Arbitrator with the firm of Shaheen & Gordon. Peter has over 35 years of experience as a trial attorney and 20 years of experience as a mediator and arbitrator. Peter has successfully resolved over a thousand cases, including business, employment, personal injury, construction, real estate, insurance and probate disputes. He is a member of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals and recognized by Best Lawyers in America and New England Super Lawyers in Mediation.

Peter has taken an active leadership role in alternative dispute resolution and civic organizations. He currently serves as Chair of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section of the Maine State Bar Association and is a Past President of the Maine Association of Mediators. He previously served as the Chair of the Saco Planning Board and the Southern Maine Fee Arbitration Commission.

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P.O. Box 8187, Portland, ME 04104, Click to Email. 

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