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 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, Mr. 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 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 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, Mr. Erhard 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.
Mr. Erhard has a twenty-year affiliation with the American Bar Association, dating back to law school when he held the position of External VP of the Student Bar. He is currently an Associate Member of the American Bar Association, Dispute Resolution and Senior Lawyer Sections. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Southern California Mediation Association and currently is Chair of their Program Committee. In January 2019, Mr. Erhard will join the adjunct faculty of the Judge Judith O. Hollinger Alternative Dispute Resolution Program at the University of Southern California, Gould School of Law, as a Lecturer in Law, where he will teach a course in special education dispute resolution.