René Stemple Ellis has devoted her professional career to alternative dispute resolution, serving as a mediator, arbitrator, and special master in diverse subject areas of the law for lawyers and judges throughout the Southeastern United States, principally in North Carolina.
Her experience as a mediator has covered litigation in these fields: construction, business disputes, products liability, insurance coverage, employment discrimination, wrongful termination, retaliatory termination, environmental disputes, medical malpractice, nursing home negligence, wrongful death, and other catastrophic personal injury cases. These mediations frequently arise in multiple-party contexts, including class actions, and lawyers have called upon her as "the second mediator," following a first mediation that did not succeed.
Her experience as an arbitrator includes service on three-member panels and as sole arbitrator, including the current arbitration of a class action of a computer industry dispute. The subject areas of her arbitration service also include professional malpractice, construction defects, products liability, and personal injury
In addition to her service as a mediator and arbitrator, the federal and state judiciary have appointed Ms. Ellis as Special Master in several complex litigations, including a national class action proceeding in a products liability suit, a multi-party CERCLA dispute in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, and a class action settlement in Florida involving claims of property damage and personal injury.
A companion to her experience in alternative dispute resolution is Ms. Ellis' service as an educator in this field. She has been a lead faculty member for mediation training in North Carolina for over ten years. In addition, she has been a senior lecturing fellow at Duke University School of Law, teaching negotiation and mediation advocacy since 1992. She has spoken on alternative dispute resolution at seminars across the nation and is the author or co-author of numerous seminar manuscripts and scholarly articles in the field.
From 1990- 2002, Ms. Ellis served as Executive Director of the Private Adjudication Center of Duke University School of Law. In that position, she designed, implemented and directed the administration of nationally recognized ADR programs for settlement of class actions and mass torts. During this service, Ms. Ellis also led the Center's mediation training and administered the Center's dispute resolution programs.
The Best Lawyers in America 2007, 2008 and 2009 (Copyright 2007 by Woodward/White, Inc., Aiken, SC) lists Ms. Ellis in the Alternative Dispute Resolution specialty.
Ms. Ellis is a co-founder and partner of Beason & Ellis Conflict Resolution, LLC. She graduated cum laude from West Virginia University in 1983 and in 1986 from Duke Law School.