News - Capital University Law School

CapLaw Represents: Kathryn L. Wollenburg, L’05, Creates Compromise Through Mediation

11/15/2018  -  Kathryn L. (Kate) Wollenburg, L’05, became the Circuit Mediator for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in March. Prior to assuming this role, she served as the Mediation Director and Staff Counsel for the Union County Court of Common Pleas in Marysville, Ohio, for 12 years.

As a Circuit Mediator, Ms. Wollenburg typically handles at least 1-2 negotiations each day. Because the Sixth Circuit covers Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee, most of the negotiations take place via telephone. When not working directly with parties, Ms. Wollenburg spends her time researching,strategizing and figuring out the best way to approach the negotiation and positions of both litigants. She also participates in monthly meetings with the 3 other mediators for the court. Her job allows her to explore all areas of law.

“There is never a dull moment,” she says.

Ms. Wollenburg became interested in mediation while at Capital University Law School when she studied Negotiation and Mediation under Professors Terry Wheeler & Scott Dewhirst. Previously, she had every intention of becoming a litigator, but once she studied mediation, she felt compelled to pursue a career that at least included some opportunities to mediate.

“Whether in litigation or everyday life, compromise is a necessity,” she explains. “Because it may be difficult for individuals to engage directly with another in direct opposition of their position, a facilitator can ease the tension, assist in identifying underlying interests, rephrase potentially harmful communications, and assist in crafting an agreement that is mutually satisfactory to those involved in the dispute.”

Ms. Wollenburg is originally from the Fairview Park/North Olmsted area (West side of Cleveland) and has lived in the Columbus and Dublin area for the last 20 years. However, due to her new job, she will be moving to the Cincinnati area. She is married and has a 2-year-old daughter. Her husband is a musician and directs the Ohio State University Jazz Ensemble.

Ms. Wollenburg has a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Performance (flute) from the Ohio State University and her law degree from Capital University Law School with a Concentration in Alternative Dispute Resolution.

When asked about her fondest memory of law school, she said: “Graduation day!”

A few favorites:

Favorite book: Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox (I have a 2 year old!)
Favorite movie: Fun with Dick and Jane
Favorite local restaurant: Indian Oven.
My Indulgence: Homemade sugar cookies & Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate/Caramel Squares.
My Escape: Gardening, music, quality time with my family.
My Favorite Quote: “One's philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes ... and the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.” Eleanor Roosevelt