Richard Erhard served public education agencies for nearly three decades in two states as a special education teacher, coordinator, special education local plan area (SELPA) director and finally, as an assistant superintendent of student services. He is President | Principal of the consulting firm Richard Erhard and Associates, LLC, which he formed to provide mediation and consultation services focused on conflict resolution.
As a mediator, Erhard utilizes a continuum of alternative dispute resolution techniques, including neutral fact-finding, evaluation and negotiation to help facilitate the management and resolution of disputes between parties. He provides consultation, coaching and professional development workshops to assist organizations and individuals with identifying and effectively communicating their areas of agreement and disagreement to reach mutually agreed upon solutions. His clients include school districts and private individuals throughout Southern California.
Mr. Erhard held public education administrative licensure in both New Mexico and Washington and currently holds Clear Administrative Licensure in California. He holds a BFA from the Santa Barbara Art Institute, an MA in special education as well as an MA in educational management and development from New Mexico State University.
Mr. Erhard is a frequent presenter on the use of alternative dispute resolution in public education, speaking at educational conferences and, while serving on the State SELPA ADR Steering Committee, twice hosted the California Special Education Annual Alternative Dispute Resolution Conference. In 2018, he was invited to present in Dallas, Texas, at LRP’s National Institute on Legal Issues of Educating Individuals with Disabilities on the topic of “Resolving Special Education Disputes without Litigation.” He has completed more than 400 hours in formal dispute resolution certificate training programs from agencies and institutions of higher education including New Mexico State University, the University of California, Irvine, and Pepperdine University, School of Law, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution.
Erhard’s affiliation with the American Bar Association spans over two decades, dating back to law school, when he held the position of external vice president of the Student Bar. He is currently an associate member of the American Bar Association, Dispute Resolution and Senior Lawyer sections and most recently joined the San Diego County Bar Association, Alternative Dispute Resolution Section as a Law School Faculty member. He also serves on the board of directors of the Southern California Mediation Association and currently is chair of its program committee. In January 2019, Mr. Erhard joined the part-time faculty of the USC Gould School of Law, Center for Conflict Resolution, as a lecturer in law, where he teaches a course in special education dispute resolution.