Experienced. Effective. Fair. 

Our diverse panelists offer a wide range of backgrounds and specialties

Our diverse panel includes neutrals from around the U.S. with a wide range of professional experience and areas of expertise. Get to know us below, and click below to let us know if you are interested in joining our panel, or having our neutrals mediate your case

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Mike LiffrigMike Liffrig

Mike is an attorney, mediator, and expert jury consultant. Mike graduated from the University of Michigan Law School in 1985. He started his career at a prominent North Dakota insurance defense firm, and eventually went on to start his own law firm specializing in plaintiff's personal injury work. As a mediator, Mike has settled over 1,200 cases. Mike founded First Court in 1989. Over the years, First Court has produced hundreds of mock trials in over 40 states. Mike excels at crafting jury research projects to provide realistic, high-quality feedback on the most important issues in a case.

On the personal side, Mike ran for the United States Senate in 2004. Mike and his wife Julie have nine children, and live on a 500-acre ranch in beautiful western North Dakota.


 

Joe and Rachel (2)Joe Liffrig

Joe graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, and served tours of duty in San Francisco and New York where he worked as a commercial shipping inspector and accident investigator. This work led Joe to work hand in hand with risk management and legal professionals, developing regulatory solutions to improve safety and business outcomes for the industry.

This experience building consensus between adverse parties inspired Joe to seek out opportunities as a peacemaker, leading him to resign from the Coast Guard and join First Court as a mediator and manager. Joe currently lives and works in the Denver metro area with his wife, two children, and german shepard.


 

perezGabriel Perez

Gabriel is an attorney and mediator with First Court. He is a graduate of North Carolina Central University and Michigan State University School of Law.  Prior to joining First Court, Gabriel was a Senior Associate for a general practice firm in Raleigh, North Carolina. Gabriel’s area of practice included criminal defense, worker’s compensation, and personal injury litigation. Gabriel lives in the Denver metro area with his wife and two children.


 

Paula HoltPaula Holt

Paula began practicing law after graduating from University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Before becoming a litigator, Paula was a district court clerk, where she gained valuable behind the scenes experience on how to effectively facilitate negotiations in the context of litigation. 

Paula also teaches as an Assistant Professor of Business Ethics and Legal Studies at the University of Denver. Paula currently teaches the Foundations of Business Law, Alternative Dispute Resolution, and Contract law. A Colorado native, Paula resides in Denver, Colorado, and works hard for her clients.


 

Ryan Liffrig (2)Ryan Liffrig

Ryan is an attorney, mediator, and jury consultant for First Court. He attended the University of Notre Dame prior to earning his J.D. from Vanderbilt Law School. Before joining First Court, Ryan worked in Indianapolis for six years as an attorney representing businesses, schools, and individuals. As an attorney, Ryan's practice included litigation, business advising, and IP work. Ryan's focus with First Court is on creating, organizing, and analyzing excellent jury research projects for our clients across the country.

Ryan lives in the Denver, Colorado, area with his wife and two young boys. Ryan enjoys outdoor activities of all sorts-from skiing to biking to rock climbing, as well as building towers and tunnels with his two-year-old.


 

JHWilsonJohn WIlson

John H. Wilson was elected to the Civil Court, Bronx County in 2004, and served as a Judge in New York City for ten years.  He also served as an Assistant District Attorney in Bronx County, NY. He was a trial attorney for the in-house counsel for a major insurance carrier, and has also managed both a private practice and a boutique law firm, handling both plaintiff's personal injury and criminal defense matters.

For more than 30 years, John has participated in all phases of the litigation process, from being counsel for both the plaintiff and defense in personal injury matters, to the prosecution and defense of criminal matters, to being the court itself.   Most recently, he served for four years as the Chief Prosecutor for the Standing Rock Reservation, Fort Yates, ND.

John has also published in various Law Reviews, written a series of articles for the New York Law Journal, and published numerous decisions.


 

Bruce HaskellHon. Bruce Haskell

Bruce was born and raised in Breckenridge, MN.  He earned a BA degree in anthropology and archaeology from University of North Dakota in 1980, and his JD from the UND Law School in 1983. Bruce was a Law Clerk for the United States Department of Justice, Bureau of Prisons in 1981, and a Law Clerk for the South Central Judicial District, in 1982. He then served as the Assistant Attorney General for the North Dakota Securities Commissioner's Office from 1983-84, followed by a position as  the Assistant Morton County States Attorney from 1984-87. Bruce was the Assistant Burleigh County State's Attorney 1987-94, before he was first elected as a North Dakota District Judge in 1994. Bruce was reelected in 2000, 2006, 2012, and retired from the bench in 2018. Bruce lives in North Dakota with his wife and two sons.