Professor John Feldman

Contact Information

Ph.: 505-277-0677
Fax: 505-277-5024
Office: 1319

John Feldman

Visiting Professor
Alternative Dispute Resolution Program Coordinator

B.A. 1978, University of New Mexico
M.A. 1982, Hebrew Union College
J.D. 1989, University of New Mexico School of Law
Certificate in Dispute Resolution 2001, Pepperdine University School of Law

Profile

John Taichert Feldman coordinates the UNM School of Law’s Alternative Dispute Resolution programs and teaches practical problem-solving skills. He teaches Interviewing, Counseling and Negotiation, co-teaches the externship class with Associate Dean Barbara Bergman, and co-teaches Poverty Law In Practice with Sandi Gilley (`86) of Law Access New Mexico.

He has taught mediation at the UNM School of Law since 1998.

Prior to moving into the ADR position in 2012, Feldman managed the Career Services Office at the UNM School of Law from 2002 to 2011. In 2005 he received the Student Services Award from the University of New Mexico.

Feldman began his law career as a judicial law clerk for Justice Seth D. Montgomery on the New Mexico Supreme Court. He served as full-time mediator at the New Mexico Workers’ Compensation Administration from 1990 to 2000. He was an assistant district attorney in Bernalillo County before joining the UNM law school administration in 2002.

Feldman is the commissioner representing the UNM School of Law on the New Mexico Supreme Court Statewide Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission. He is a member of the New Mexico Bar Association, the Albuquerque Bar Association and serves on the New Mexico State Bar ADR Committee. He is a board member of the New Mexico Mediation Association.

Courses

Family Mediation

Family Mediation Training

Course Description

Prerequisite: Basic Mediation

This two-credit course will be held over two weekends. It is a demanding and intensive 40-hour training which is co-offered to lawyers, judges, therapists, administrators, and other professionals for CLE credit. The focus of skills development will be on the mediation of parenting, support, and property issues in divorce and post-decree cases. Simulations of family mediations will be the primary training tool. Classroom focus will be on analysis of the mediation process and psychological issues of parenting and divorce in the context of New Mexico's legal structure. Journal or reflective papers will be required. This course will be graded on a CR/C-, D+, D, D-, F basis.

Basic Mediation is a prerequisite for Family Mediation. And, as such, must be taken in a prior semester. Basic Mediation cannot be taken in the same semester as Family Mediation.

The course will be scheduled on two weekends beginning at midday Friday, running all day Saturday, and through the afternoon on Sunday. See schedule for exact times. Attendance during all scheduled class time is mandatory. There will be no exceptions to the attendance requirement.

If you have a conflict with another course that meets on Friday afternoon, you will have to make arrangements with the professor to miss those classes that conflict with the two Fridays that Family Mediation is scheduled. If those arrangements cannot be made, you will not be able to take Family Mediation. These arrangements must be made at the very start of the semester, so that another course can be scheduled if you are unable to get the excused absences that are necessary to attend Family Mediation.

Interviewing, Counseling & Negotiation

Interviewing, Counseling and Negotiation

Course Description

Interviewing, Counseling & Negotiation (ICN) is a seminar that gives students a chance to analyze in depth the relationships between attorney and client and between attorney and opposing counsel. It is a practical course that will teach students skills that are essential in virtually all areas of the practice of law. Too often attorneys fail to appreciate how difficult it can be to conduct a meaningful interview of a client or to understand the professional and ethical issues that may arise when interviewing and counseling a client or negotiating a successful resolution of a case. This class will give the students a practical framework that will serve them well throughout their legal career.

In this class, students will examine and practice interviewing skills and will explore the role of the attorney as counselor. Students will learn about theories of decision-making in the lawyer/client relationship and how to identify client values. They will look at negotiation theory in depth as well as techniques for conducting a successful negotiation. Throughout the course, students will observe and practice interviewing, counseling, and negotiation. Guest speakers will bring their expertise to a variety of discussions, including client intake, interviewing different types of witnesses, and the attorney-adjuster relationship.

Mediation

Basic Mediation Training

Course Description

This training seminar provides people with the opportunity to learn how to negotiate effectively and understand the theory and practice of mediation as a method of alternative dispute resolution. We will use simulations, small group exercises, and concept presentations based on realistic problems to provide an intensive, practice-oriented experience. Topics covered include:

  1. tools for analyzing the dispute and selecting the best interventions
  2. dealing with resistance and gaining commitment to constructive negotiation
  3. mediating multi-party disputes
  4. ethical dilemmas
  5. strategies for balancing power
  6. techniques for breaking impasses
  7. reframing
  8. assessing mediator competency
  9. mediation as assisted decision-making

Journal or reflective papers will be required. This course will be graded on a CR/C-, D+, D, D-, F basis. The course will be scheduled on two weekends beginning at midday Friday, running all day Saturday, and through the afternoon on Sunday. See schedule for exact times. Attendance during all scheduled class time is mandatory. There will be no exceptions to the attendance requirement.

If you have a conflict with another course that meets on Friday afternoon, you will have to make arrangements with the professor to miss those classes that conflict with the two Fridays that Basic Mediation is scheduled. If those arrangements cannot be made, you will not be able to take Basic Mediation. These arrangements must be made at the very start of the semester, so that another course can be scheduled if you are unable to get the excused absences that are necessary to attend Basic Mediation.

Basic Mediation is a prerequisite for Family Mediation and must be taken in a prior semester. Basic Mediation cannot be taken in the same semester as Family Mediation.

Poverty Law In Practice

Poverty Law In Practice

Course Description

Poverty Law In Practice is a course designed to expose law students and lawyers to the basic substantive laws and procedures associated with areas where attorneys are needed, and expertise is required. Areas to be covered initially will include: Benefits law (social security benefits--SSDI/SSI, Medicaid, LIHEAP, etc.), Landlord-Tenant/ Public Housing, and Consumer Debt Collection Practices and Used Car Sales Fraud.

Three substantive areas will be covered in a given semester, with changes in the topics covered in the course based on needs for training in the community and availability of poverty law experts to serve as trainers.

One goal of the class is to give students an introduction to the need to provide pro-bono and low-bono services. A second goal is to give practitioners competence in these areas of the law so that they can take on as clients, and adequately represent, under-served people. Attorneys who take the class will be asked to take on a pro-bono case in the area covered, and attorneys will be able to take segments for free CLE credit. Students will be required to attend all sessions, observe an attorney who practices in this area, and provide documentation of that observation, in order to earn credit for the course.

John Feldman will coordinate the class and Sandi Gilley, of Law Access New Mexico, will be the lead instructor. Local attorneys with expertise in the relevant areas of law will also assist in instruction.

The class will address the need to provide students with a chance to learn about pro-bono work, as required by the American Bar Association, and provide a core of additional attorneys to serve the needs of people as referred by legal services providers and the courts. The class will be set up for distance learning, allowing attorneys throughout the state to take this training.

As an example of what would be covered in a four hour block on Landlord-Tenant/Public Housing law, students will study the New Mexico Uniform Owner-Resident Relations Act and the rules from the Magistrate and Metro courts flowing from the Act. Students and attorneys would be given a benchbook for landlord-tenant practice, which students can use when they take clinic or graduate and take clients, and practitioners can use to bridge the gap that keeps them from taking on clients with these types of legal problems.