Melissa Mangiaracina, J.D.
Melissa received her law degree from the University of Denver College of Law, where she graduated with honors and received the Melanie Hardaway Award for Academic Excellence. As an attorney, Melissa represented children in family law cases, provided free legal services to low-income Nevadans and victims of domestic violence, and served as the Co-Directing Attorney of the Washoe County Senior Law Project.
In addition to Melissa's legal experience, Melissa has worked in a number of quasi-judicial roles, including as a Justice of the Peace Pro Tempore, a Court-Annexed Arbitrator, and an Administrative Hearing Officer. Melissa also spent five years at the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, where she provided technical assistance and training to professionals working on custody, child protection and domestic violence cases.
Melissa now focuses her practice on mediation. In addition to her private practice, Melissa serves as a Settlement Judge for the Nevada Supreme Court, mediates child protection cases for the Nevada Statewide Juvenile Dependency Mediation Program, and mediates custody and minor guardianship cases for the Second Judicial District Court of Nevada. When Melissa is not mediating, she trains mediators and legal professionals for the Mediator Training Center.
Karen Zavora, J.D.
Karen returned to her home state of Nevada after graduating summa cum laude from Seattle University School of Law in 2005. As an attorney, Karen dedicated her career to representing children in foster care as a Child Advocate Attorney for Washoe Legal Services; senior citizens as the Co-Directing Attorney of the Washoe County Senior Law Project; and victims of family violence as a Program Attorney with the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.
Always a mediator at heart, Karen often used mediation and communication skills in her cases and found that helping the parties find resolutions outside of the courtroom generally created better results. Karen now focuses her career solely on mediation. Karen has served as a mediator for the Nevada Statewide Juvenile Dependency Mediation Program and the Second Judicial District Court Custody and Guardianship Mediation Panels.
Karen is on the Board of Directors of the Nevada Dispute Resolution Coalition and was previously a board member with the Child Assault Prevention Project. She has also volunteered as a mediator for the Neighborhood Mediation Center. When not mediating, Karen enjoys spending time with her family and friends and singing with the High Desert Harmony Chorus.