Call with any questions!

Hi, I’m Dan Simon

I’m the co-author, with Tara West, of Self-Determination in Mediation: The Art and Science of Mirrors and Lights, published by Rowman and Littlefield in 2022. Since 1998 I’ve mediated all types of disputes, including divorce, parenting, adult sibling, workplace, real estate, personal injury, business contract, relationship, business partnership, estates, eldercare, and many others. I’ve also trained hundreds of mediators at the law schools of Hofstra University and the University of North Dakota, for the US Postal Service, and through my own organization. I’m committed to supporting my clients in making all of their own choices about how they handle their dispute, without any manipulation or coercion from me, just pure support. Here’s my CV.

I practice and teach transformative mediation in Minnesota and Southern California. I’ve lectured at law schools and counseling programs, and trained hundreds of mediators. My book, which I wrote with co-author, Tara West, Mirrors and Lights: The Art of Supporting Self-Determination in Mediation, is now available for pre-order.

Self-Determination in Mediation: The Art and Science of Mirrors and Lights

My book (with co-author Tara West) is available for pre-order! “Self-Determination in Mediation: The Art and Science of Mirrors and Lights.”


Transformative Mediation

Transformative Mediation* supports clients in gaining the clarity and confidence to pursue what they need while they increase their capacity to understand each other. It’s incredibly efficient because it helps clients focus directly on the heart of their conflict. Clients most often reach solutions that they feel genuinely good about in a matter of hours. Transformative Mediation inspires clients to stand up for themselves, while facilitating their understanding of each other. This is because transformative mediation addresses conflict at its most important level—its core reason for being. Rather than imposing a settlement on the parties, the transformative mediator supports both parties in their own efforts to improve their interaction. As they discuss their conflict, they can either uncover and address underlying issues, or they can proceed directly to working out the terms of an agreement. Transformative mediation is the approach that is most likely to lead to settlement of the dispute.


Transformative Mediation is used to resolve cases of highly emotional conflict, as well as cases that are all about money. Hiring Simon Mediation saves you or your company time, money, and stress, and is the next-level in conflict resolution. Dan Simon also teaches transformative mediation to attorneys, therapists, and mediators who wish to become certified in Transformative Mediation.

*Transformative Mediation was first articulated by Robert A. Baruch Bush and Joseph P. Folger in The Promise of Mediation (Jossey-Bass, 1994). Dan Simon is grateful for their revolutionary insights into the most meaningful aspects of human conflict. Dan has been closely involved with Bush and Folger’s think tank, The Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation, since 1998


Frequently Asked Questions

How long have you been mediating?

I dabbled in it starting in 1996. I started doing it full time in 1998. And I started teaching it in 2004.

Are you a lawyer?

I’m licensed as a lawyer in Minnesota, but I do not practice law. My approach to mediation is also very different from many lawyers’ and retired judges’. I assume my job is to help you have a conversation. I focus on helping you make all the decisions about how to handle your situation the way you want to. The approach leads to a process that clients find empowering.

What sort of training have you had?

In addition to law school and being licensed to practice law, I also have a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology. More importantly, I have been studying the art of transformative mediation since 1998. I’ve taken and taught countless classes on it. And with co-author Tara West, I wrote a book called “Self-Determination in Mediation: The Art and Science of Mirrors and Lights,” in which we try to help other mediators improve their ability to provide an empowering process.

Where are you available to mediate?

I can easily schedule in-person mediations in Southern California (including, L.A., Santa Barbara, and Orange County), as well as in Saint Paul and Minneapolis. And I can mediate anywhere via Zoom.

Will you explain to us what the law says about our situation?

No. I generally find there’s no simple answer about what the law says. That’s why lawyers can always argue either side of the case. Instead, I think it’s most helpful to support you and the other party in having a conversation. If you think the law is relevant and helpful, you’re welcome to bring that up (or even to bring your lawyer with you to the mediation), but I won’t have an opinion about the law.

Have you handled my type of case before?

Probably. I’ve handled cases about just about every subject. But your case is unique, and I’ll want to support you in talking about it on your own terms, based on your prospecting and what matters to you. It’s not that I have any expertise that tells me what you should do in any particular situation -but I do have great comfort with helping you talk about it, whatever it is.

What are the first steps in scheduling mediation?

Give me a call.

How do I get the other person to participate?

Give me a call to discuss that (and you can also encourage the other party to give me a call).