NASHVILLE, April 11, 2016. On April 8, 2016, as part of the celebration of Mediation Day proclaimed by Gov. Haslam, Margaret M. (Marnie) Huff was honored in Nashville for her pioneering and lasting contributions to the field of mediation. A Nashville-based mediator, Huff spearheaded formation of the Coalition for Mediation Awareness in Tennessee and is a Founding Member of the Tennessee Association of Professional Mediators. The Nashville Metro Council also issued a proclamation celebrating Mediation Day.

The Coalition for Mediation Awareness in Tennessee presented the ninth annual Grayfred Gray Public Service in Mediation Award to Huff at the Lipscomb University Institute for Conflict Management in Nashville. Other distinguished guests included past award recipients Marietta Shipley, Steve Shields, and Carol Berz, and author/mediator/collaborative attorney Forrest (Woody) Mosten from Beverly Hills, California.

“I’m honored to receive this award named after Professor Emeritus Grayfred Gray,” said Marnie Huff. “All Tennesseans benefit from the peace-making work of mediators, including the volunteer mediators giving their time and talent at community mediation centers across the state.”

 “Mediation offers a unique opportunity to resolve disputes efficiently in terms of both time and money, which results in a greater sense of satisfaction to the parties involved,” said John Duval, President of the Tennessee Association of Professional Mediators (TAPM). 

“Every year, TAPM and the Coalition bring education, mentoring, and collegial discussion to mediators across Tennessee. By spreading awareness, we remove barriers to mediation services so ordinary people in both rural and urban areas can find mediators to assist them. Our legal system is overburdened and sometimes unresponsive. Those in conflict can use mediation to deal with difficult situations in a safe and cost-effective way,” said Jackie Kittrell, TAPM’s immediate past President.  

Governor Haslam proclaimed April 8, 2016 as Mediation Day in Tennessee, in recognition of the contribution of mediation and to encourage its further growth in the State. More than 1,200 mediators listed by the Tennessee Supreme Court assist the courts in resolving disputes. Additional trained mediators volunteer their time at community mediation centers across the state. Per the Tennessee Commission on Alternative Dispute Resolution, mediators self-reported 5,377 mediated cases in 2015.

About CMAT and the Grayfred Gray Public Service Mediation Award: The Coalition for Mediation Awareness in Tennessee (CMAT) was formed in 2006 to maximize the resources and expertise of various groups who provide alternative dispute resolution services. The Coalition assists the courts and community organizations in providing programs and activities that educate the public and the legal profession about the benefits of mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution.

CMAT presents the annual Grayfred Gray Public Service in Mediation Award to persons who make innovative and lasting public service contributions through alternative dispute resolution in Tennessee. The award is named after its first recipient, Grayfred Gray, Emeritus Professor, University of Tennessee College of Law, and founder of UT’s outstanding Mediation Clinic. Past recipients of the award also include Janice Holder, Marietta Shipley, Shelby R. Grubbs, Robert P. Murrian, Jocelyn Wurzburg, Larry Bridgesmith, Carol Berz, Jean Munroe, Anne Sides, and Stephen Shields.

More about honoree and her public service:

Margaret M. (Marnie) Huff. A graduate of Smith College and Vanderbilt University School of Law, Marnie Huff established her independent mediation practice in 2004. Marnie has an enduring interest in teaching a wide range of people. In addition to frequent presentations on mediation and conflict management to attorneys, she teaches Legal Writing and Research at Middle Tennessee State University, and previously taught ADR and Mediation Procedure courses at MTSU. She has coached Magdalene House residents on workplace conflict management skills. For the past ten years, Marnie has taught English as a Second Language to immigrant children and adults at her church. She recently completed training at the Tennessee Foreign Language Institute to become a certified ESL Teacher.

Marnie serves on the Nashville Bar Association Board of Directors and is past chair of the Tennessee Bar Association ADR Section. She served as an elected member of the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution’s Council and held various leadership roles in the Section. She is a Fellow of the Nashville, Tennessee, and American Bar Foundations. Marnie is Community Relations Committee Co-Chair for the Lawyers' Association for Women, whose projects include a Win/Win Negotiation patch training for Girl Scouts in the 4th and 5th grades. She volunteers as a pro bono mediator and mentor for the Nashville Conflict Resolution Center.