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Engelmeier & Umanah Recent News

Mediation Services In The Minneapolis-St. Paul Metro And Outstate Minnesota

E&U attorneys Sheila Engelmeier and Ivory Umanah serve as Rule 114 Qualified Neutral Mediators for disputes.

“Sheila [Engelmeier] is remarkably knowledgeable as an employment mediator. Her preparation, her focus, and her follow through are at the highest level. Sheila does a fine job of working with both the individual bringing the case as well as the corporate perspective from the litigation context. Her experience and her insights are most valuable.” — William Martucci, Partner, Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P.

“Sheila [Engelmeier] mediated a difficult retaliatory discharge case (federal and ND law) for my client and the opposing party… She is highly intelligent and skilled in mediating. She has a down-to-earth style and knows which buttons to push and whenthat’s a gift!” — Jeff Weintraub, Regional Managing Partner, Fischer & Phillips, LLP

Mediation As A Method For Effective Dispute Resolution

Mediation is a very powerful tool because it allows people to resolve their disputes creatively on their own, without being directed by a judge or jury. Essentially, it empowers the participants with a significant amount of control over the outcome.

In order to achieve the best outcome in mediation, it is important to have an experienced and creative mediator.

Others have described the E&U approach to mediation as creative, persistent, insightful and flexible. We draw on our extensive legal knowledge, common sense, business savvy, persistence and humor to help clients settle cases outside of court.

What is mediation? Mediation is essentially negotiation, but it is facilitated by a neutral third party. The third party does not make decisions, but instead guides both parties through the negotiation process and helps them find common ground. The parties most often have their own lawyers advising them throughout the process. Resolutions that emerge in mediation often are more meaningful than those achieved in court.

While mediation is not appropriate in all situations, with the help of a skilled mediator it can often be very effective, even for those clients who are having problems communicating. Sheila and Ivory take pride in empowering opposing parties to reach agreements cooperatively through mediation when facing:

Interested In Mediation? Schedule A Confidential Consultation.

If you or your client is in need of a mediator or legal representation during mediation, please contact us to schedule a confidential consultation. Call 612-455-7720 to reach our Minneapolis office or 320-230-0375 for our St. Cloud office, or contact us online.


“To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing to provide a letter of reference for Sheila Engelmeier as a mediator in cases involving complex and/or difficult employment claims. In March 2019, I had the opportunity to participate in the mediation of an employment lawsuit involving various claims of disability discrimination, workplace harassment, and retaliation. Our law firm represented the defendant-employer in that litigation, and while we felt that the Plaintiff’s claims were overreaching and speculative, our client was well aware of the time, expense, and distraction involved in any case such as this.

I was very impressed with Sheila as a mediator. She is extremely knowledgeable with respect to employment law issues and analysis; in addition, and probably more important in the long run, she has a good feel for how to work with the parties to keep them committed to the ultimate goal of resolving the litigation. She did not simply “carry offers and demands” back and forth between the parties, and she did not resort to weak exhortations to us to offer money simply to keep our client engaged in the process. She was thoughtful and persuasive, without being overbearing.

One of the unique aspects of our case was an extremely difficult Plaintiff. Although I obviously was not in the room when conversations took place between Sheila and the Plaintiff, it is my understanding that she did a good job of explaining the realities of the case to him, without causing the mediation process to breakdown. This takes some skill and experience, and I appreciated the fact that Sheila carried difficult messages to the Plaintiff in a productive manner.

As a result of Sheila’s efforts, we were able to resolve this difficult litigation in. the course of a single-day mediation. At the conclusion of the mediation process, moreover, she was able to quickly resolve things and reduce our agreement to written form. In my experience, at the close of a mediation the parties are ready to move on (and get out of the building); as such, it is often frustrating to sit for an extended period of time while the terms of the agreement are reduced to writing. In our case, this was done in an expeditious manner, something that I greatly appreciated.

As a side note, the facilities provided by Sheila were professional, comfortable, and confidential. She made sure that we at all times had everything that we needed. In fact, it often felt as though the process was accompanied by a seven-course meal; as a result, there was never a time when our client felt the need to step out of the room to get something that was needed, either personally or for a business purpose.

I would certainly contact Sheila Engelmeier for any employment-related mediation, and I believe that we can be confident that she would bring experience and skill to the negotiation process.”

-Sincerely,
Maury Nicely

“Sheila has successfully mediated countless cases for me and my clients over the years, many of which I firmly believed could not be resolved. Sheila has the unique ability to relate to both sides of a dispute and come up with creative solutions that work. Sheila’s direct, insightful and honest approach is refreshing and very effective. I highly recommend Sheila to anyone who has a tough case who needs a tough and determined mediator. “

-Gregory J. Stenmoe, President and Managing Partner,
Briggs and Morgan, Professional Association

“Sheila’s diverse history and perspective allows her to view a legal problem from multiple perspectives, resulting in an uncanny ability to see the situation in a context that includes all of the facts and legal considerations. I do not believe I have met another attorney with Sheila’s unique ability to so quickly process and apply mountains of facts to the complicated legal issues that exist in every employment case. I highly recommend Sheila as a mediator.”

– Nicholas May, Employment Law Attorney

“I want to highly recommend Sheila Engelmeier’s services as a MN Rule 114 Qualified Neutral in employment cases. I am the Regional Managing Partner in the Memphis Office of Fischer & Phillips LLP, a national labor & employment firm. I have practiced as a management-side L&E attorney for 33 years and, as an advocate, am often involved in Mediations; I also am a Certified Mediator in my home State (although I don’t practice as a Mediator). Recently, Sheila mediated a difficult retaliatory discharge case (federal and ND law) for my client and the opposing party. We gave her only a few days’ notice of the Mediation, yet she was able to read through most of the case exhibits and deposition transcripts — frankly, I was amazed at how prepared she was on such short notice! She is highly intelligent and skilled in mediating. She has a down-to-earth style and knows which buttons to push and when — that’s a gift! With her help and at the end of a long day, we got our case settled — as difficult as the case was, she refused to give up. I am very pleased to give my highest recommendations of Sheila as a Qualified Neutral.”

Jeff Weintraub, Regional Managing Partner, Fischer & Phillips, LLP

“Sheila:
I did want to give you a heartfelt thank you for all of your smart and hard work on this case. It was obviously a very tough situation with high emotions and legal issues on the margin and when, at the end of the mediation, I said I could not easily imagine someone who could hold all of those spinning plates in the air at the same time and simultaneously command an impressive ownership of the problem, I meant it. I am excited to work with you in the future, I congratulate you on all of your accomplishments and I thank you for being such a brilliant and industrious colleague.”

– Christopher D. Jozwiak, Baillon, Thome, Jozwiak, Miller & Wanta

“Sheila, I want to thank you for all your help in getting our dispute resolved. I think we truly ended up with a ‘win-win’ result due in large measure to your realism, practicality and good grace.”

– General Counsel, A college in Minnesota

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Engelmeier & Umanah Recent News