Eva M. Soeka

Eva M. SoekaEva was the founder and director of the Marquette University Graduate Program in Dispute Resolution and Center for Dispute Resolution Education from 1995-2015. She maintains a private practice as a mediator and dispute resolution consultant. She developed the certificate and master’s degree in dispute resolution as well as founding the Center. She taught Advanced Mediation, Dispute Resolution Systems Design, Dispute Resolution Theory, and Dispute Resolution and Education as well as supervising students in practica in the circuit courts of Wisconsin. Marquette was the 17th university nationally to offer a master’s degree in dispute resolution. The Center for Dispute Resolution Education had received over $1M in governmental and private grants since 1993, offering students real life opportunities to practice their skills.

Eva designed the Archdiocese of Milwaukee Clergy Sexual Abuse Mediation System. That independent dispute resolution system has resulted in over 160 resolutions of claims by victims of clergy sexual abuse against the Archdiocese of Milwaukee in the past four years. The system also received a commendation from the auditors of the National Conference of Bishops.

In 1996 Eva designed, along with a group of stakeholders, the Wisconsin Special Education Mediation System. The Center administered the system from 1997-2007 under her guidance. During this time she also served as a senior consultant to the United States Department of Education CADRE (Consortium for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Education) and was a featured speaker at its biannual conference in Washington, D.C. She also served as a consultant to the states of Ohio and Nebraska on their special education mediation systems.

Eva has consulted with Wisconsin Lutheran College and the City of Wauwatosa regarding its zoning dispute, the city of Franklin regarding its smoking ordinances, and the City of Butler regarding its economic development. She also has consulted with the Midwest Express Center, the Miller Stadium, and the Marquette Interchange (an $880M federal highway mega project) on dispute resolution issues. In 2007-2008, she worked with the City of Milwaukee Fire Department, through a Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services grant, to train 950 members of the department in cultural competency and conflict.

In 2007-2008 Eva convened a facilitation process among the City of Milwaukee, the Milwaukee Fire Department, and four private contractors of emergency medical services. She facilitated the process for several months before it was continued by the City Attorney’s office. In 2009, she mediated a case between parents and a school district over emotional distress caused to their child by alleged cyber bullying by another child in the school system.

Eva served as the first female chair of the Wisconsin Judicial Council. In that capacity, she also served as chair of the drafting committee of Wisconsin’s alternative dispute resolution statues, Wis. Stat. 80.12 and Wis. Stat. 904.085.  These statutes were enacted in 1993 and 1995 and served as the basis for the court-connected civil case referral process to mediation in the State of Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Bar Journal selected her as one of the 20 Leaders in the Law of 2008.

From 1999-2013, she designed and presented a seminar for African leaders sponsored by USAID on public policy disputes. In 2008, she spoke to the National Association of College and University Attorneys and the American Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section on dispute resolution issues. In 2010, she presented a one-day seminar in Washington, D.C. on conflict prevention and management to 125 members of the Project Management Institute, a 500,000 member international organization of project managers from multi-national corporations. She frequently speaks nationally on issues related to negotiation, mediation, and dispute resolution systems design.