Elaine Talley

(530) 304-0090

Elaine Talley has dedicated her professional career to Alternative Dispute Resolution in special education. She is a mediator, facilitator, and coach, having conducted several thousand mediations/facilitations since becoming a mediator in 1995. Elaine’s experience is varied and expansive. She conducts local and state-level mediations, and mediates cases pending appeal in Federal Court. In addition, she has expertise in coaching mediators. She served as California’s Mediation Coordinator, supervising all state-level due process mediators and she trained the Administrative Law Judges at the Office of Administrative Hearings. She is excited to join the ADR Coaches Program.

Elaine provides training to parents and school district employees on various topics including how to communicate effectively in IEP team meetings, navigating disputes, preparing for mediation, and dealing with difficult people. As Mediation Coordinator, Elaine oversaw the California Special Education Hearing Office mediation system. In addition, she designed and supervised the implementation of two new mediation systems in California; one providing mediation for the Regional Centers and the developmentally disabled people they serve, the other providing mediation for the California Department of Rehabilitation and the people they serve. She has also served as a mediator for the State Employee Mediation Program of California. Elaine has been an invited speaker at the Association for Conflict Resolution national conference, the American Bar Association Section on Dispute Resolution national conference, California’s SELPA Directors Meetings, and the Consortium for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education (CADRE) National Symposium. Elaine holds a Bachelor of Science from U.C. Berkeley, and a Master of Education and a Law degree, both from U.C. Davis. While studying law she emphasized alternative dispute resolution and was a Public Interest Law Scholar. Elaine is a member of the State Bar of California and the Association for Conflict Resolution, an international group devoted to mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution. She completed the National Judicial College’s Advanced Course Conducting an Administrative Hearing.

Areas of Expertise

  • ADR
  • ADR Best Practices
  • Changing the School Culture for ADR
  • COVID-19 Related Issues
  • Communication & Collaboration
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Creating Systems (e.g., ADR Continuum)
  • Due Process
  • Facilitated IEPs
  • Facilitation
  • Learning Loss
  • Mediation
  • Parental Relationships & Advocacy
  • Professional Development
  • Resolving Complaints (e.g., Resolution Sessions)
  • Training Parents for ADR Processes