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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barnes-tl Timothy L. Barnes

Tim has practiced law in New York and New Jersey for over 40 years, specializing in the areas of medical malpractice, personal injury, and crime victims rights. He has published and spoken on these topics, received numerous recognitions and awards throughout his career, and is recognized as a leader in his field.  Tim has moved to an Of Counsel role with his firm and moved to South Carolina. 


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.


MariaHall12 (1)Maria Hall

Maria Hall has over 16 years’ experience litigating cases in both state and federal courts involving discrimination and harassment in employment and housing, as well as company-to-company business and real estate disputes. She earned her law degree from USC Gould School of Law in 2003, and in 2012 earned a Certificate, with Distinction, in Mediation and Conflict Resolution from the Tseng School at California State University Northridge.

 Maria has a pragmatic approach to conflict resolution. She is candid with parties about the high-cost of litigation. She has anecdotes about the risks of proceeding to trial. She is skilled at teasing out the parties’ aligned interests, and inviting them to imagine a better future for themselves, one in which the heavy burden of a lawsuit has been lifted, and is in the past.

 In addition to maintaining her practice in Beverly Hills, since 2015, Maria has been on contract with UCLA, Loyola and Southwestern Law Schools to coach new solo lawyers in a legal incubator program. In this capacity, she has the opportunity to strategize about thorny issues in dozens of different areas of practice. She also helps the new attorneys develop subtler skills such as cultural competency, effective communication, and leadership. 

When she is not working, Maria loves to sing, play guitar and write songs. She also enjoys activities that reduce stress, including yoga and hiking in Griffith Park with her dog.


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.


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.


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.



JHWilsonHon. John H. 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.



Joe Rose

 Joseph Rose

Joe Rose has extensive and diverse experience as an attorney representing clients in civil litigation and transactions throughout the state and federal courts of Florida and has litigated pro hac vice in jurisdictions throughout the country. As a litigator, Joe has assisted plaintiffs and defendants in property damage and insurance claims, personal injury cases, labor and employment matters, and a wide array of business and real estate disputes, and has served as outside general counsel for small and medium-sized businesses in a variety of industries. 

Joe brings to First Court his philosophy of litigating and negotiating aggressively but always with an eye toward achieving client-focused goals and outcomes; in mediation, this means optimizing the chances of a successful resolution by creating an environment for objective reflection and deal-making using his breadth of courtroom and practical experience.

A dedicated father to four energetic boys and husband to an accomplished physician. Joe also enjoys weightlifting, Georgetown Hoyas basketball, and dogs of all kinds.


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Marisela Maddox

Marisela Maddox is a licensed Texas attorney and a certified mediator. She is committed to a party-driven, mediator-facilitated approach to mediation. Marisela currently serves on the board of the Austin [TX] Mediators Association and volunteers with three Dispute Resolutions Centers in Central Texas.  She manages the largest online retailer of imported Japanese sake, a business she started over a decade ago with her husband.

For fun, she is an avid runner, collector of mid-century modern jewelry, keeper of a small urban home-zoo, and referee to her two young sons. 



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Jeff Husserl

Jeff Husserl is the Managing Principal of Centrum Associates, LLC. He offers thirty years of business experience as a mediator, consultant, and former Human Resources executive. Jeff is a highly-skilled mediator who utilizes facilitative, evaluative and transformative approaches to resolve employment and workplace disputes as well as a variety of commercial and family business matters. In addition to his private mediation practice, he currently serves as a contract mediator for the Los Angeles Office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) as well as for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). In 2018, he was named the Pro Bono Mediator of the Year for the Los Angeles District Office which also includes locations in San Diego, Fresno, Las Vegas and Honolulu.

Jeff and his wife Valerie have two boys and split time between Southern California and Chicago. A long time and no-longer-suffering Chicago Cubs fan, he loves baseball, running, biking and collecting art. 300