Sharon is an experienced mediator who combines the right temperament, maturity, and sensitivity with a unique background in both psychology and law. Her mediation approach reflects her background and beliefs:


Developmental Psychologist: Sharon brings to the mediation table an understanding of human interaction, the outgrowth of years of studying and teaching psychology. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology and minor in biology from the University of Delaware and earned a Masters of Science degree in psychology from Tufts University. Sharon taught general and developmental psychology in colleges in Indiana and Maine for ten years. Her Developmental Psychology courses examined the stages of both child
development and adult development. Sharon taught over 800 students, ranging in ages from 18 to 63 years old, who needed a good understanding of psychology to complete their education as nurses or teachers. She was often sought out as a counselor by her students for both education related and personal issues.

Lawyer/Problem Solver: Sharon is a problem solver, trained by the study of law and the rigors of 10 years of practicing law. After graduating from the University of Maine School of Law in 1983, she worked for thirteen judges in the busiest Superior Court of Maine as the Law Clerk. As the judges' Clerk (assistant) she was immersed in the litigation process and had the opportunity to become familiar with the court's workings from within the system. She practiced law for nine years, mostly in a medium sized Portland firm, in the areas of real estate, family, and environmental law.

Sharon L. McHold, Esq.
Tel:  207-846-5128

In this work, Sharon had extensive experience in negotiation. She learned how damaging, difficult, and expensive litigation can be for the persons who initiate or get caught up in a law suit. She observed how family, community, and/or business relationships suffer when people are involved
in lawsuits. With her background in child development, Sharon understood how children often pay a high price when divorcing parents look to the courts to settle
their differences. Consequently, she turned to mediation as a way to lessen the turmoil and animosity of conflict which is moving towards or already in the courts.

Mediator: Since January, 1994, Sharon has worked at Conflict Solutions as a full time mediator with a very high success rate. She has handled over 500
mediations, primarily in the area of real estate and family law, including divorce, paternity, and parental rights and responsibility cases. Increasingly, Sharon is being asked to mediate post-divorce disputes relative to children issues and also to serve as an ongoing mediator who meets with ex-spouses on a regular basis in high conflict cases. Beyond divorce and post divorce cases, she has worked with families when conflict has arisen in the distribution of estate assets, in family shared real estate, and in family run businesses. She serves as mediator or arbitrator due to her expertise in real estate matters such as boundary disputes, construction problems, and municipal/permitting disputes.

Training: Sharon began her training in mediation at Harvard Law School (40 hour course). She completed the University of Southern Maine Mediation Certificate Program and has 100�s of hours in one to three day training in advanced mediation workshops. Additionally, she has had an extensive apprenticeship with Patrick Coughlan of Conflict Solutions. She has observed or co-mediated over 180 hours with Mr. Coughlan. She continues to attend programs on mediation and seminars for lawyers on family and real estate law. Although most of her work has been in the mediation context, she can be appointed by the court to serve as Referee (arbitrator) to decide matters when
the parties do not reach a settlement.

Facilitation and Conflict Management: Sharon has facilitated a number of meetings/retreats, primarily for nonprofit organizations or governmental agencies, as well as conducted approximately 200 hours of conflict management workshops. These workshops include understanding conflict and looking at individuals' personal work and communication styles. The workshops also include learning ways of communicating which clarify issues while reducing the destructive aspects of conflict and enhancing the positive aspects of conflict.

Published Articles: "Private Mediation in Divorce and other Civil disputes" , "Mediation: One More Hoop or Resource for Positive Progress", "Mediation in Real Estate Disputes", "Creative Solutions Through Mediation" and "Private Mediation: A Tool for Managing Caseloads and Serving Clients Well", all in Maine Lawyers Review; "Bulldozers or ADR" in Bearings, the publication of the Maine Land Surveyors Association.

Professional Affiliations: --Admitted (1983) and active in the Maine State Bar
--Admitted (1983) and now inactive in the Massachusetts Bar
--Maine State Bar Association
--Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR)
--Maine Association of Mediators

Personal: In addition to her experience as a teacher, lawyer and mediator, Sharon's background includes the following: raising three children; a long term marriage; divorce; remarriage; personally building two houses; obtaining Army Corp., Department of Environmental Protection, and Land Use regulation permits in conjunction with creating a land use plan and community for an island; and serving since 1977 as president of the island landowners association which makes all decisions through a consensus process.

Comments from clients:

"We believe this...would not have happened without your ability to navigate this difficult situation." E.S.

"I am so very grateful for all that you juggled to help us through such a trying time...Thanks again for all your very fine assistance." N.L.

"...and I wanted to take the time to thank you for all your help in resolving this difficult case." W.H.

"Thank you very much for your stabilizing presence and input. It was most helpful having you there and, I believe, gave us the sense of safety we all needed in order to express some of our feelings." L.

Conflict Solutions - Portland, Maine
75 Pearl Street, Suite #430
Portland, ME 04101
Tel: 207-655-6677
Toll Free: 800-762-5582
Conflict Solutions - Naples, Florida
1540 Star Pointe Lane, Naples, Florida 34112,
Tel/Fax: 239 - 417 - 5969
Toll Free: 800-762-5582
Conflict Solutions - West Palm Beach, Florida
301 Clematis Street, Suite 3000,
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
Tel: Devon G. Coughlan, Esq. direct 561-308-9494
Toll Free: 800-762-5582
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