“The Mediation Project” at the Norfolk Probate and Family Court Departments.

The next four-month program will start with Orientation during November of 2019. Contact Josh Hoch at 617-895-4028 for more information or to begin sooner than November. 

“The Mediation Project” is designed to provide mediators with divorce and family mediation case experience in a supervised setting. Cases include: divorce, never married parents, child support, guardianship, paternity, and other related family law cases.

What the Program Provides

  • Divorce & Family Mediation Experience – Each participant will provide screening and co-mediation services to parties during the pre-trial stage of cases 
  • Mentoring – In groups of three, two co-mediators and a mentor, participants will receive mentoring and feedback from an experienced mentor in order to build skills and best practices.
  • Ongoing Divorce Mediation Opportunities – Following successful completion of the mentoring sessions, mediators may schedule additional opportunities to screen and co-mediate cases during the four-month program.
  • Peer Supervision Groups – Program participants will meet for three peer supervision group meetings.
  • Court Observation – While in court, participants sit up near the judge to benefit from hearing the proceedings.

Program Requirements

Participants must meet the following requirements to participate in the program:

1. Basic Training: Participants must have completed at least 30-hours of basic mediation training in accordance with M.G.L. Chapter 233 section 23C (Confidentiality Statute).

2. Advanced Training: Participants must have completed at least 20-hours of advanced divorce and family mediation training.

3. Experience: Participants must have experience mediating at least ten cases within the past year. Trained mediators without case experience may participate with additional mentoring for an additional fee. Contact Josh Hoch at 617-895-4028 for details.

Registration and Cost

  • $1725 – for mediators with less than 10 cases of mediation experience
  • $925 – for mediators with at least 10 cases of experience
  • $425 – for experienced mediators who do not wish to receive mentoring
  • $350 – for returning mediators

To register for the next program, contact Josh Hoch at 617-895-4028. Limited discounted spaces are available through MWI’s Work Exchange Program.

As part of the program, all mediators may also:

  • Participate in Peer Supervision Groups. Groups meet monthly via phone and share experiences, network, and learn from each other;
  • Observe Court. Program participants are able to sit up front in court, next to the judge to hear what is being said. Past participants have found great value in this;
  • Attend monthly continuing education programs at MWI. For a list of programs and to RSVP view the schedule here;
  • Be part of the MWI community by providing mediation services to the Trial Court.


Denise Earl is an MWI mediator and mentor with extensive district, family, probate, and small claims court experience. She has helped hundreds of people resolve divorce, elder, parenting, housing, and business disputes. Denise has worked as a court coordinator, community meeting facilitator, case manager, and investigator for a number of non-profit organizations and in state government. She has advanced training in divorce, small claims, eviction, elder mediation, and as a conflict coach. Denise holds a master’s degree in conflict resolution from the University of Massachusetts Boston and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Bard College.

John Fiske is an award winning family mediator and mediation trainer. He is a founder, past president, and member of the board of directors of the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation. He is also Life member of the Association for Conflict Resolution.  His awards include: Massachusetts Mediation Week Recognition Award (1999), and the First winner of the John Adams Fiske Award for Excellence in Mediation.

Dr. Carmel Gurucharri is a mediator and mentor with MWI. She provides mediation services in the areas of family, divorce, and residential housing disputes. She also works in community mental health as a bilingual licensed psychologist. She previously worked as a clinical specialist and psychologist with Boston Public School special education students and their families.

Josh Hoch is a mediator, trainer, mentor, and is MWI’s Director of Mediation Services. He has been teaching and mentoring mediators for over 15 years. He has mentored over 100 mediators helping them to provide more effective mediation services. Josh is also an active divorce mediator, often co-mediating divorce and family cases with mentees or having mentees observe his sessions.

Nnena Odim has been mediating divorce cases since 1987 and is the Associate Director and Clinical Instructor of the Family / Domestic Violence / GLBT Law Clinics at the WilmerHale Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School where she mentors law school students. She is a lead training instructor for MWI’s Divorce Mediation Training Program.

Vicki L. Shemin, J.D., LICSW, ACSW, is mentor and advanced mediation training with MWI. She is also a partner at Fields Dennis Cooper LLP. She has been consistently recognized on a national and state level for her dedication, compassion, leadership and excellence in family law and alternative dispute resolution. For the past two years, she was named a “Top Ten Attorney in Family Law in Massachusetts” and this year has again been named “Top Rated Lawyer: Women Leaders in the Law.” She brings more than 35 years of family law/therapy experience to distinguish herself as the “go to” professional to offer clients ADR options including mediation, collaborative law, family law consultation/coaching, parenting coordination, GAL evaluations, pre-marital/post-nuptial agreements – and mediation to stay married.

Kim Whalen is a family mediator in private practice and has been mentoring with MWI since May of 2014. She has mediated over 200 cases with MWI, including over 100 cases in the Norfolk, Brockton, and Plymouth Probate and Family Court Departments. She has been a role play coach at the Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation, Suffolk Law School, and at Community Mediation training programs. Kim serves on the board of the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation (MCFM).

Additional mentors may be added. If you are interested in serving as a mentor, contact Josh Hoch. Mentors are paid for their work teaching others to mediate more effectively.

For more information, please contact Josh Hoch at 617-895-4028 and watch this video: