ICLEF Speaker Spotlight – Michael P. Bishop

The Speaker Spotlight focuses on a selected member of the ICLEF faculty, providing a closer look at the impressions and experiences of those who provide the building blocks of the organization.

Our featured speaker on this occasion is Michael P. Bishop, Cohen Garelick & Glazier, Indianapolis. We are pleased that he agreed to take some time recently to talk about his ICLEF involvement and share some personal reflections on his career.  This is the third in this speaker series, but it includes the introduction to our video segment of the Spotlight.  You will find interspersed within this article Michael’s personal thoughts on-camera.

ICLEF appreciates the many-faceted contributions of Michael Bishop.  He provides CLE in mediation, arbitration, trial advocacy and other practice areas. For example, in 2011 he was a member of the faculties of Probate Litigation,CME for Civil Mediators,  Master’s Series Conference, Advanced Negotiation Strategies Within Mediation  and the Indiana Trial Advocacy College. In addition to his CLE efforts, he has served for two terms on the Board of Directors of ICLEF.

But, how did this happen? Why the law and why this path? Michael Bishop’s decision involves family and first-hand experiences.  He was exposed as a young man to the legal arena by his uncle, Ben Weaver, who was a respected member of the Bar and who provided him with a clear picture of the day-to-day practice.  It was this exposure that helped him to identify his love of being an advocate.  After receiving his J.D. from Indiana University Law School-Indianapolis in 1980, he clerked for the Hon. James E. Noland at the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. Then he became immersed in the everyday practice of law at the Weaver firm, learning what areas most appealed to him by handling various types of cases.



Over the past 30 years he has built his practice concentrating in the areas of mediation and arbitration, probate and trust litigation, civil litigation and adoption law.  While growing his practice, he also took the teaching road in the mediation and trial skills area.  And he became an author with the publication of “Civil Mediation, Indiana Alternative Dispute Resolution Practice Guide.”  This publication was influenced by his involvement in the development of Indiana’s ADR rules in the early 1990s and his dedication to the concept. In 2008 Michael was selected as one of only 40 lawyers from Indiana who are members of the American Arbitration Association National Roster of Neutrals.

In his CLE presentations Michael reminds lawyers that although the Indiana ADR Rules govern the process of all mediations, there is a great deal more involved.  Mediators must recognize and deal with the delicate balance of the law as it involves the personalities in each representation, honing their  skills of perception.  He commented during our conversation about the value of mediation training: “Many of the lawyers who attend these sessions are involved in a minimal number of actual mediations.  Yet they use the skills that are learned from the training in many areas of their practice……ADR provides an opportunity for people to step back from the problems or disputes.”



Michael Bishop also identified early in his legal career that there were rewards, personally and professionally, from being involved in his community.  ICLEF is fortunate to have been a means for him to do that.  He enjoys the opportunities to pass along his expertise and to mentor fellow members of the Bar.  Michael mentioned especially the importance to him of the camaraderie with lawyers and judges that comes with his ICLEF participation.  One of his ongoing valuable contributions to ICLEF is through the advanced training for civil trial mediators. Michael developed ICLEF’s annual program and remains the primary trainer.  He had some insightful thoughts to share about his ICLEF experiences.



Michael welcomes the new challenges that appear on the landscape in the legal profession. One aspect he mentioned was the modification of the ways attorneys use technology, for communication in general, as well as legal marketing: ”I am fascinated to see where it will lead.” Regardless, in looking to the future in his career, he seems to heed the advice he gives to lawyers in mediating cases: ”Be prepared. Be flexible. Be creative. Be patient.”

Of course, there are other angles to Bishop’s career and life.  Among them are that he is married to a lawyer, MaryEllen Kiley Bishop. He is also an amateur musician, enjoying the relationships formed in that realm. We delved briefly into perhaps one of the more unusual aspects of his practice, Adoption Law.  If you’d like to hear Michael’s additional comments, click on the video below.



Thank you again to Michael Bishop for fortifying our CLE endeavors and for taking the time to be a part of our Speaker Spotlight here at ICLEF.   We look forward to more years of educational projects and camaraderie.

There is an opportunity for you to get a step ahead on mediation training by reserving your spot now for the September 27 CLE/CME program CME for Civil Mediators. Click Here

ICLEF • Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, Indianapolis, IN

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