MIAMI (April 21, 2023) – Retired Judge Ellen L. Leesfield, who has established a thriving career as a professional neutral since she left the Miami-Dade Circuit Court Bench in 2013, has joined the panel of Upchurch Watson White & Max Mediation Group.

For 10 years, she has run her own alternative dispute resolution practice, offering services as a mediator, arbitrator, private judge and umpire. This practice has included over 150 arbitrations and 1,000 mediations in the areas of business disputes, construction, employment, franchise, health care and insurance disputes “payor/payee,” personal injury, products liability, and real estate.

“Ellen Leesfield brings a creative energy to her work that inspires all around her,” John Upchurch, UWWM’s CEO said. “We are proud that she selected our firm to support her formidable neutral practice and are indeed fortunate to add her to our distinguished panel.”

Ms. Leesfield also served as special master in a hotly litigated dispute brought by the Miccosukee Indians and positioned it for final resolution.

While on the bench, she served as an administrative chief, a judge in the civil lengthy and complex trial division and a judge in the general and criminal divisions. She presided over hundreds of trials, including the civil trial against the government of Cuba for the execution of an American businessman; the trial of the infamous “Spider Man Cat Burglar” and countless commercial, professional malpractice, products liability, construction, employment, partnership, franchise and real estate cases.

As a panel member of the American Arbitration Association, Ms. Leesfield has been admitted to the distinguished International Panel, as well as the Healthcare Panel, the Lengthy Complex Commercial Panel, the Employment Panel, and the General Civil Panel.

Ms. Leesfield has been honored with numerous awards including the Judge Steve Levine Award for Integrity, Fairness and Professionalism; the Justice Gerald Kogan Judicial Distinction Award; and the Judge Mattie Belle Davis Award for Community Service. Throughout her tenure on the bench, she trained incoming judges at the Florida Judicial College and her colleagues at judicial conferences. She also taught for over 10 years at the University of Miami Litigation Skills Program.

She was the founding president of the Miami chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers and is a member of the board of directors of Legal Services of Greater Miami.

For details or to engage Ms. Leesfield as a mediator, arbitrator, private judge or umpire, please contact case manager Heather Lariscy at [email protected] or (800) 264-2622.

About Upchurch Watson White & Max

A nationally leading mediation specialty firm, Upchurch Watson White & Max is known for facilitating reasonable agreements to resolve complex issues. From 11 offices in Florida and Alabama, state Supreme Court-certified attorney mediators with wide-ranging specialties serve as court-appointed and privately employed mediators, arbitrators and third-party neutral case managers, implementing innovative methods of alternative dispute resolution across the country. On the web:

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