Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
Meet the ADR Staff
Jonathan S. Rosenthal
Jonathan S. Rosenthal, Esquire, is the Executive Director of Alternative Dispute Resolution Programs for the District Court of Maryland. He is responsible for increasing the profile and the understanding of the use of ADR in the District Court, educating both those within the Judiciary and the general public on the benefits and appropriateness of ADR, and ensuring access to high quality ADR programs for the general public.
Prior to working for the District Court of Maryland, Jonathan was the Court ADR Resources Director at the Maryland Judiciary’s Mediation and Conflict Resolution Office (MACRO). While at MACRO, Jonathan worked with all 24 Circuit Courts around the state to help them create, expand, improve and/or evaluate court ADR programs. He helped create the Consumers Guide to Mediation Services in Maryland, has worked on MACRO’s poster public awareness campaign, and has served as a staff member to the Conference of Circuit Courts’ Business and Technology and Health Care Malpractice ADR Subcommittees.
Jonathan started practicing law in 1991, and opened his own law office in 1994, adding mediation in 1997. Since diving into the ADR world, Jonathan has been very active with both local and national ADR practitioner organizations. Jonathan has served on the executive committees of all three local ADR practitioner organizations and he has served the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution and the Courts Section of the Association for Conflict Resolution.
Jonathan helped create and teach a full day course on effective attorney advocacy during mediation, and he has presented on a wide variety of ADR topics to numerous organizations, law schools, and others, both nationally and locally. Currently he also serves as a Visiting Assistant Professor teaching the Mediation Clinic at the University of Maryland School of Law.
In addition to being an MCDR certified mediator, Jonathan is trained in facilitative and transformative mediation, collaborative law, arbitration, large group facilitation, dynamic governance processes, and other collaborative processes.
Maureen A. Denihan
Maureen A. Denihan is the Deputy Director/Program Development and Community Outreach Director with the District Court of Maryland ADR Office. In that capacity, she works with judges, court staff, interns, volunteers and community partners to build, maintain and strengthen existing ADR programs in the District Court. In managing ADR programs, Maureen is responsible for drafting internal and external policy and procedure manuals, developing training and orientation programs, and oversight of the ADR internship program. She works collaboratively both within the ADR Office and with external partners to develop, implement, evaluate and improve programs and to assist neutrals that provide services.
Maureen has been with the ADR since January 2004, and formerly served in the capacity of Coordinator of ADR Volunteers, and then ADR Manager, before being promoted to her current position. Maureen is a mediator, is licensed to practice law in Maryland and is a member of the Maryland Chapter of the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR).
Maureen has presented at national and local ADR conferences including the ACR’s Annual Conference, the Maryland Mediator’s convention, the Maryland Program for Mediator Excellence (MPME) Member’s Only Synergy Session, the Center for Alternative’s Dispute Resolution Annual Conference, the Maryland ADR Roster Manager’s Conference on topics including: Ethics; Agreement Writing; Getting Plugged In: Going Beyond the 40-Hours of Mediation Training; Dealing with Sticky Situations (as a Roster Manager); Making the Most of Your MPME Membership; and, others.
Shannon M. Baker
Shannon M. Baker is the Regional ADR Programs Director for the District Court of Maryland ADR Office in Baltimore City and Harford County. In this position, she directs and provides support for the Day of Trial mediation and settlement conference programs, pretrial mediation programs, and develops and maintains partnerships with local law schools and community mediation centers. Shannon is a 2007 graduate from Susquehanna University with a B.A. in French and a B.S. in Business Administration, with an emphasis in Global Management. She also interned and studied abroad in Paris, France. Shannon is in her fourth and final year of the evening program at the University of Baltimore School of Law. While attending UB, Shannon has served as a Teaching Assistant, Teaching Scholar, President of Parents in Law School, and has participated in the Mediation Clinic for Families. In her “free” time, Shannon enjoys acting, singing, running, and volunteering at her local theatre. Shannon, her partner Chris, and stepson Chance will be welcoming a new member to their York, PA household in December 2013.
Leona S. Elliott, Director of Roster Management, has been with the District Court of Maryland ADR Office since April 2008. In this position, she is responsible for scheduling over 300 ADR Volunteers across the State for the Day of Trial Mediation and Settlement Conferencing programs on a quarterly basis. She is also responsible for reviewing ADR Practitioner Activity Reports and other forms. She also reviews incoming ADR volunteer applications of potential volunteers to determine if there is a need to add new volunteers in specific districts and if they are ready to go through the orientation program for mediation and settlement conference neutral programs. She also works with the Executive Director, Deputy Director, and the Regional ADR Program Directors to conduct orientation training and volunteer appreciation events.
Leona has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Virginia Union University. Leona was first introduced to mediation as a participant in 2004. Several months later, she completed the training to become a volunteer mediator and has been a volunteer with Community Mediation in Baltimore City since 2004 and is a former Board Member. Her training in mediation includes the Basic Mediation (inclusive model), Parenting Plan Mediation and Re-entry Mediation at Community Mediation. She also has received training in the Transformative model with Louise Phipps-Senft and facilitative training with Cecilia Paizs, Esq. She has also conducted workshops highlighting the experience of both the Participant and the Mediator at the mediation table which she refers to as a “gift at the table.”
Cindy holds a BA degree in Political Science from Virginia Tech and a BS degree in Paralegal Studies from the University of Maryland. Prior to joining the District Court of Maryland ADR Office, she was a paralegal with an insurance defense firm. Cindy joined the District Court of Maryland ADR Office in April 2004 as Regional ADR Coordinator and completed the 50 hour Basic Mediation Training, offered by MACMC (now Community Mediation Maryland) in October 2004 and 20-Child Access Mediation, offered by Mediation Matters, Inc., in July 2005. Cindy currently holds the position of Regional ADR Program Director with the District Court of Maryland ADR Office managing programs in Baltimore, Carroll, Howard, Frederick and Washington counties.
Gretchen is the Regional ADR Programs Director in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties. Her background prior to this position includes working as a Family Mediator in Baltimore County, serving as a Voc Rehab Counselor in Europe for Disabled American Veterans, and helping abused and neglected children as a Guardian ad Litem in Florida. She spent eight years in the US Air Force as a Morse Code Operator. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Maryland and a Master’s degree in Human Relations from the University of Oklahoma. Gretchen is passionate about traveling, delicious food, self-growth opportunities, exercise, and helping other humans live full lives. She lives in Mount Rainier, Maryland with her partner, Tony; and occasionally, her two amazing stepsons, Chris and Nick, come up from Florida and hang out, too. High-five!
Sarah is currently the Data Management and Public Information Director for the District Court of Maryland ADR Office. Before holding this position, she was both the Administrative Assistant and a full-time intern for the ADR Office. Sarah holds a B.A. in Communication and Conflict Resolution from Juniata College and a M.S. in Negotiation and Conflict Management from the University of Baltimore. Sarah lives in Pasadena, Maryland with her husband Justin, son Jaxson, and cat.
Kate received a Bachelor’s degree from Georgia State University in June, 1980, and a J.D. from Emory University School of Law in May, 1983. She worked as an attorney at Georgia Legal Services and in private practice in Florida from June, 1983 through May, 1990. After staying home for a number of years with young children, Kate began working at the District and Circuit Courts in Calvert County from August 2002 through December, 2007. Along with other duties at the court, she assisted in developing a mediation program for CINA cases (Child in Need of Assistance). After leaving the courts, she started a private practice that included mediation and collaborative law, as well as volunteering as a community mediator and Board member.
Kate came to the District Court ADR Office in January, 2010. She is the Regional ADR Program Director for Southern Maryland (Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s Counties) and Anne Arundel County. She is involved in the MPME as the co-chair of the Self-Awareness Task Group, and represents that Task Group on the Mediator Excellence Council. She is also on the MSBA ADR Section Council (2012-2015).
Kate lives in Huntingtown, Maryland with her husband and son, and has two grown children, a daughter, Allison, and a son, Daniel. She enjoys cooking, yoga, and traveling with her family.