Trial Lawyer Makes Career Change To Teach Peace Making Skills Through Mediation

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"It is now time for US and world negotiators to create cohesive peace making policies, learn mediation strategies, and work within the framework of long term goals," Douglas E. Noll says in reference to the US policy of spending trillions of dollars in areas of conflict on military exercise plans.

Douglas E. Noll, professional mediator and author of Elusive Peace: How Modern Diplomatic Strategies Could Better Resolve World Conflicts, teaches the dynamics of mediating world peace after leaving a successful career as a trial lawyer. Noll sends a warning to International Criminal Court. “In issuing arrest warrants for Moammar Gadhafi and his son on charges of crimes against humanity, the peace process is compromised. Someone engaged in gross human right abuses will not want to negotiate as long as they face criminal liability. We just lost an important mediating chip,” Noll explains.

As a peace maker Noll teaches mediation techniques with leaders in areas of instability and conflict and has a personal mission. Besides negotiators needing to understand the concepts of peace making through mediation, I am committed to educating US citizens about our deeply unsettling, and dangerously expensive policy of spending military dollars in areas of unrest without a cohesive plan that is congruent with the goals of this country. Noll tirelessly conducts book tours, writes blogs, and teaches in classroom settings to convert complex issues into understandable language. “I want soccer moms and dads to understand that their children’s future depends on a paradigm shift in thinking, strategies and implementation” Noll says.

“Peace making is not as sexy as guns and missiles, and doesn’t make front page news. The mediation process involves patience, tedious and insightful work. We must break language and cultural barriers and ‘get inside’ the other guys head. The problem doesn’t lie only in language barriers. Concepts, values and integrity have different meanings in different cultures. And, justice does not have the same meaning for all people. While I don’t advocate turning the other cheek when horrendous crimes are committed, mediation must include a cohesive plan without inconsistent and opposing goals,” Noll advises.

“While the International community wants to hold war criminals accountable, the cooperation of those criminals is necessary to secure peace. Gadhafi’s options are now reduced to run, hide, or fight. Putting him in this position does not serve the US goals of dissuading civil war, and ending the financial drain of spending $100 million or more a month on Libya,” Noll warns.

After a successful 22 year trial career, Doug decided that litigation was a wasteful way to resolve conflicts, and earned his Masters Degree in Peacemaking and Conflict Studies. Since then, he has dedicated his life to mediation and peacemaking. Today, Doug is a nationally recognized mediator, trainer, and speaker. He has hosted a weekly radio show dedicated to giving a voice to international peacemakers for over five years. His current pro bono project is training murderers committed to life sentences in the largest women’s prison in the world to become peacemakers and mediators (go to for more information this project).

Professionally, Doug is a Distinguished Fellow of the International Academy of Mediators, a Distinguished Fellow of the American College of Civil Trial Mediators and on the American Arbitration Association panel of mediators and arbitrators. Doug was one of the first U.S. mediators certified under the international mediator standards established by the International Mediation Institute based in The Hague, Netherlands.

He is an author of the books Elusive Peace: How Modern Diplomatic Strategies Could Better Resolve World Conflicts (Prometheus, in press for release Spring 2011), Sex, Politics & Religion at the Office: The New Competitive Advantage (Auberry Press 2006), with John Boogaert, and Peacemaking: Practicing at the Intersection of Law and Human Conflict (Cascadia Publishing House 2002), and numerous chapters and articles on peacemaking, restorative justice, conflict resolution and mediation. He is a sought after mediator trainer, lecturer, speaker, and continuing education teacher. Doug has been recognized as one of the Best Lawyers in America by U.S. News & World Report and is a Northern California Super Lawyer in Alternative Dispute Resolution. He has mediated over 1,500 conflicts, including business disputes, clergy sexual abuse cases, victim-offender criminal cases, and large litigated cases. His particular interest is in deep, intractable conflicts where emotions are running high.

As he became interested in international mediation efforts Noll observed that international mediators, for the most part, were inexperienced in the science and art of mediation. Their rookie mistakes were making things worse, often leading to genocide or further war. Unfortunately, political leaders, diplomats, special envoys, and retired generals are often appointed to a job for which they are not trained nor have sufficient aptitude. Elusive Peace shows why we can no longer afford to allow political, diplomatic, and military leaders mediate peace accords. They simply don’t know what they are doing. For more information visit For media inquiries contact Diane Dennis, Inspired Media Communications at 503-678-1356 or dianeden(at)


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