3rd Annual Advanced Combined Divorce & Civil Seminar

 Registration is closed for this event
The 3rd Annual Advanced Combined Divorce & Civil Seminars are being held concurrently on April 1, 2017 at the Imperia in Somerset, NJ





Featuring Jeff Thompson, PhD, Hostage Negotiator

April 1st, 2017


NJAPM is pleased to present its combined Third Annual Advanced Divorce & Civil Seminar on Saturday, April 1 from 8 AM to 4 PM at The Imperia in Somerset.

            Katherine Newcomer, Esq., chair of the NJAPM Annual Divorce Seminar, and Nicholas Stevens, Esq., chair of the NJAPM Annual Civil Seminar will open the program. Then NJAPM president, Karen Sampson, Esq., APM, will update members on NJAPM’s goals and plans for the coming year.

            Featured speaker, Jeff Thompson, PhD will present Crisis Communication: Understanding the Skills of Crisis/Hostage Negotiators.

Jeff is a law enforcement detective and hostage negotiator, mediator, crisis communication trainer, and researcher.conducts research and training in a variety of contexts. He has been engaged in a range of crisis incidents from barricaded perpetrators, large-scale incidents, and terrorist incidents. He is based in New York City

            Jeff will also present The Effective Skills of Mediators: Rapport, Trust, Professionalism and  the Impact of Nonverbal Communication.

            Following a networking lunch, Jeff will conduct a hands-on workshop on mediation and de-escalation techniques.

            For mediation ethics, Robert Lenrow, Esq., APM, Nicholas Stevens, Esq., will focus on both divorce and civil mediation issues.

            The seminar will close with a panel discussion including audience participation on Common Mistakes in Divorce and Civil Mediation Practices — Learning from 20/20 Hindsight with Joan Geiger, Esq, APM, Anju Jessani, MBA, APM, Nicholas Stevens, Esq., and moderator Katherine Newcomer, Esq. Brave members will share their mistakes and remedies in areas such as email, scheduling, social media. 

            The seminar qualifies for 6.7 CPE and MCLE credits, including 1.0 ethics credits. NJAPM APMs receive NJAPM CE hours. The conference also fulfills the AOC’s 4.0 hour annual requirement for mediators.

            The cost of the seminar is $140 for members and $155 for non-members, with a member early registration discount of $20 before March 24.  The seminar fee includes breakfast and lunch. For more information or to register, visit www.njapm.org


To Register:

LOG-In before registering online.

Where: The Imperia, 1714 Easton Avenue, Somerset, New Jersey, 08873.
When: Saturday, April 1st, 2017 from 8:00 AM. to 4:00 PM

NJAPM Credits: 5.58 (Pending Approval)


NJAPM Members - Early Bird Cost Until March 24, 2017: $120.00 4:00 pm
NJAPM Members After 4:00 pm March 24th, 2017: $140.00
Non-NJAPM Members and All Walk-Ins: $155.00 (If you register before March 24th, $30.00 can be applied to a new NJAPM membership.  If you register afterwards or are a walk-in, $15.00 can be applied to a new NJAPM membership.)

Presenters and Volunteers: (Pre-approval required)  $50.00

Students: (with valid student ID) $65.00

Registration Closes on March 29th at 4:00 pm

Refund Policy:  Full Refund less $50.00 Administrative Fee before Tuesday, March 28th by 5:00 pm

No refunds after March 28th, except under exceptional circumstances


Program Agenda

Divorce and Civil – Combined Morning Session

  • 8:00 - 8:45  Registration and Healthy Breakfast Refreshments
  • 8:45 - 9:00  Welcome and Introductions

                            Katherine Newcomer, Esq., Chairperson, Annual Divorce Seminar
                            Nicholas Stevens, Esq., Chairperson, Annual Civil Seminar
                            Karen P. Sampson, Esq., APM, President, NJAPM  

  • 9am-10:30 am 
  • Crisis Communication: Understanding the Skills of Crisis/Hostage Negotiators
  • Law enforcement crisis/hostage negotiators and other police personnel use highly effective communication and de-escalation techniques to help calm people in tense, unpredictable and anxiety-filled situations.  In the conflict resolution field, parties can become very emotional, and anger can quickly get out of control.  During this presentation, you will learn specific skills that can easily be incorporated into one’s conflict management practice.
  • Jeff Thompson, Ph.D.  will discuss how crisis negotiators and other law enforcement officers have de-escalated tense situations, demonstrated empathy, built rapport and trust, and successfully influenced others.  Learn specific skills on how to defuse highly emotional situations and become more sophisticated in resolving conflict situations. 

Short bio: 

Jeff Thompson, Ph.D., is a law enforcement detective and hostage negotiator, mediator, crisis communication trainer, and researcher. He conducts research and training in crisis communication in a variety of contexts including policing, terrorism, international kidnapping, and mental health. As a practitioner he has been engaged in a variety of crisis incidents ranging from barricaded perpetrators, large-scale incidents, and terrorist incidents. He is based in New York City and can be reached at mediator.jeff@gmail.com.

  • 10:30 - 10:45 Break
  • 10:45-12:00   
  • The Effective Skills of Mediators: Rapport, Trust, Professionalism & The Impact of Nonverbal Communication
  • What really makes a mediator effective? Are the skills you use as a mediator the same that other people use? Do you try to specifically do certain actions while also avoiding others? Drawing on his doctoral research, Jeff Thompson addresses the complexity of these questions.
  • Central to his work are understanding the development of rapport, building trust, and the display of professionalism. Each is examined through nonverbal communication.
  • The building blocks of effective mediators are offered through three studies Jeff conducted. First, a survey of almost 400 mediators worldwide provided both quantitative and qualitative data, giving insight into a variety of topics related to nonverbal communication. Second, ethnographic interviews of mediation trainers and professors were conducted to find out how mediators are being taught nonverbal communication, rapport, trust, and professionalism. Third, mediators were observed to understand what they actually do, with specific emphasis on the mediator’s introduction.
  • In his presentation, Jeff will discuss the interplay of all this research, and explain not only what actually works in mediation, but also how much of what ADR professionals accomplish is done through nonverbal communication.
  • 12:00 – 12:50 Lunch – and Networking

Divorce and Civil Sections Combined – Afternoon Session

  • 12:50 – 1:50 More Intensive Work with Jeff Thompson, Ph.D.    
  • 1:50 -  2:00 Break
  • 2:00- 2:50 Two Presenter Panel on “Ethics for Civil and Divorce Mediators.” The discussion will focus on Ethical Issues in Mediation with relevant materials.
  • Panelists:  Robert Lenrow, Esq., APM, Nicholas Stevens, Esq.
  • 2:50 - 3:00 Break
  • 3:00 – 4:00 Three Presenter Panel On “Common Mistakes in Divorce and Civil Mediation Practices – Learning from 20/20 Hindsight.” We all make mistakes and now some of our very own members are brave enough to share theirs in public so you can learn from them! The discussion will include insights and audience participation.  
  • Panelists:  Joan Geiger, Esq., APM, Anju Jessani, MBA, APM, Nicholas Stevens, Esq.
  • Moderator: Katherine G. Newcomer
  • 4:00  Adjourn


Biographies of our Presenters:

Jeff Thompson, Ph.D., is an NYPD Detective and is member of the NYPD’s Strategic Communications Unit, Crisis Intervention Team and Hostage Negotiation Team.  He also is a researcher, mediator, and trainer.  He was a recent Research Fellow at Columbia University Law School researching law enforcement crisis and hostage negotiation in terrorist incidents. He received his doctorate from Griffith University Law School having researched the impact nonverbal communication has in conflict situations with respect to developing rapport, building trust, and displaying professionalism.

Dr. Thompson promotes conflict resolution skills in his various NYPD roles.  This has included designing training for officers to use mediation and negotiation skills when engaging the public to build police-community relations as well as means of gaining voluntary compliance during crisis situations.  His trainings were implemented to teach more than 20,000 NYPD police officers, police executives, and recruits. 

Additionally, he has presented and trained on the topic of conflict, mediation, (crisis and hostage) negotiation, communication and nonverbal communication internationally for a variety of audiences including police personnel, government officials, judges, attorneys, physicians, sales people, business professionals, and both graduate and undergraduate students.  He has also been published in numerous professional and academic publications.

Dr. Thompson is the co-chair of ACR's national Crisis Negotiation Section, and is an ad-hoc reviewer for multiple academic journals. He received his MS in Negotiation and Dispute Resolution from the Werner Institute, Creighton University School of Law.

Joan Geiger, Esq., APM Joan is an experienced and skilled mediator dedicated to helping people resolve disputes with care and consideration for the highest good of all concerned. She is one of a few individuals in New Jersey earning a living as a mediator. An Accredited Member of the New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators, Joan has 25 years’ experience as a mediator. She has served as a Court appointed Mediator for the Custody/Timesharing, Economic, and Civil Probate Mediation Programs. She is a frequent Presenter on Mediation Topics for the New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal Education, the New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators, the Somerset County Bar Association and the New Jersey Community Associations Institute. Joan has also taught the NJAPM Divorce Mediation Training Course together with many of the states top mediators. She has been a Licensed Attorney-at-Law in New Jersey since 1983. 

Anju D. Jessani, MBA, APM Anju D. Jessani, MBA, APM, founded Divorce with Dignity Mediation Services in 1997, following a career in financial services that included positions as Vice President at JP Morgan and Chase Manhattan Bank, and Manager of Consulting Services with Price Waterhouse.  She has offices in Hoboken (Hudson County), and Clinton (Hunterdon County), New Jersey. 

Anju is on the New Jersey Administrative Office of the Courts’ roster of Family/Divorce, Foreclosure, and Business/Civil Mediators.  Reflecting her high level of training and experience in the field of mediation, Anju is an Accredited Professional Mediator by the New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators (NJAPM), and an Advanced Practitioner Member of the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR). She is also a member of the member of the multi-disciplinary organization, the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC). 

Anju served on the NJAPM Board of Directors from October 2000 to September 2010, including holding the office of President from 2005-2007.  She is an instructor for both NJAPM's and the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education's 40-hour divorce mediation training programs, and is editor for NJAPM's newsletter, Mediation News. In addition to contributing to professional journals including the American Journal of Family Law, CPA Journal and New Jersey Law Journal, she is the author on divorce planning for the book Financial Planning for Physicians and Health Care Professionals.

Robert Lenrow, Esq., APM Mr. Lenrow is private practice in Employment Law; Litigation; Business Law; Commercial Law; Real Estate Law.  He graduated from Kenyon College, A.B., 1970, and Rutgers School of Law, Newark, N.J., J.D., 1973. He was admitted in 1973, New Jersey; 1975, New York; 1977, District of Columbia.  Please look for more information about Mr. Lenrow to follow. 

Nicholas Stevens, Esq. Mr. Stevens is a partner and member of the executive committee at the law firm of Starr, Gern, Davison & Rubin, P.C., in Roseland, New Jersey (www.starrgern.com).  He chairs the firm's Employment Department and co-chairs the firm's Alternative Dispute Resolution Department.  He has been selected as a “Super Lawyer” since 2005.   

Mr. Stevens is a member of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals. He also is vice president of the Justice Marie L. Garibaldi ADR Inn of Court and co-director of Programming.   He authored, organized, and moderated an employment mediation role play for the Inn, which received the “Award of Excellence” from the American Inns of Court.  Mr. Stevens served as a mediator and mentor for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for 15 years, 1999-2014.  He mediates and mentors for the Superior Court of New Jersey and was selected by the N.J. Department of Banking and Insurance to mediate Superstorm Sandy insurance coverage disputes.  Mr. Stevens was a director for the New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators (www.njapm.org), and continues to coordinate NJAPM’s Advanced Civil Training Seminar.  Mr. Stevens also mediates private employment disputes.  

Mr. Stevens concentrates his law and mediation practices in the areas of employment law, litigation, and counseling, trade secret and non-competition litigation and counseling, labor, complex commercial litigation, and biopharmaceuticals.  He practices in federal and state courts and agencies throughout the United States.  He also frequently lectures on both employment law and mediation


Katherine Newcomer is a member of the New Jersey Bar, but is currently in retired status.  When she practiced law, her experience was in general law. Currently, her practice primarily deals with high conflict mediation, and arbitration. She is on two New Jersey Court Rosters involving mediation: Custodial and Economic.  Her settlement rate of court based mediations is approximately 95%. 

Her experience in Dispute Resolution and Arbitration is extensive.  She has decided well over three hundred cases for Net Neutrals through DeMars Associations. She has also conducted hearings and written decisions for CAP Motors, as well as written decisions for CAP Homes.   Two of these awards were published by Thomson Reuters Westlaw Classic. 

She graduated cum laude from Drew University, Madison, New Jersey as a double major. She spent her senior year abroad at Oxford University, United Kingdom.  She graduated from Rutgers – The State University, School of Law, Newark, with a J.D. in 1978 and was admitted to the NJ Bar the same year.


Advertise in our Seminar Book!

Outside Back Cover:            $400.00  Online only!

Inside Front Cover:              $325.00  Online only!

Full Page:                               $225.00

Half Page:                              $130.00

Quarter Page:                        $  65.00

1/8 Page or Business Card   $  35.00


Please email your copy to NJAPM at NJAPM@c3workplace.comor katherinenewcomer@comcast.net BY March 20th, 2017

By mail, please send registration and advertising checks to NJAPM, 26 Park Street, Suite 2041, Montclair, New Jersey, 07042.


Continuing Legal Education Credits: 6.7 (Pending Approval)
With one Ethics Credits: 1 (Pending Approval)
The Seminar meets the Rule 1:40-12(b)(2) requirement for 4 hours of continuing education for court roster mediators.
"To meet the requirement, this continuing education shall include instruction in ethical issues associated with mediation practice, program guidelines and/or case management and should cover at least one of the following: (A) case management skills; and (B) mediation and negotiation concepts and skills."
April 1st, 2017 8:00 AM   through   4:00 PM
1714 Easton Avenue
The Imperia
Somerset, NJ 08873
United States
Phone: 800-981-4800
NJAPM member $ 140.00
Non - Member $ 155.00
Seminar presenter $ 50.00
Student (student ID required) $ 65.00