Over the years since 1965, Mr. Bellman has mediated in nearly every category of dispute. His work has ranged from the most ordinary civil and labor matters to international diplomacy. A significant portion of his practice has included high-profile, multi-party cases of public concern such as controversial land-use determinations, large-scale environmental remediations, school district desegregation, state-wide education financing litigation, and Indian land claims. He has been appointed as a Master, or other court adjunct, by Federal and State Courts, including the Supreme Court of Ohio. He received the 2003 Lifetime Achievement Award of the American College of Civil Trial Mediators.
Mr.Bellman has mediated in rule-making negotiations for a number of States as well as the US EPA, Department of Interior, Department of Agriculture, Department of Education, Federal Trade Commission and Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Recent mediation cases include Kalamazoo River Superfund Site Cleanup Negotiations, Klamath River Hydroelectric Facilities Relicensing Negotiations, negotiations in the Clergy Sexual Abuse Mediation System of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, employment discrimination litigation settlement negotiations in an urban police department
As an arbitrator, Mr. Bellman’s practice has been mainly, although not exclusively, labor arbitration under collective bargaining agreements. He has served as a "permanent umpire" specified by a number of such agreements.
Mr. Bellman has lectured at universities and conferences throughout the US and abroad. He has served as adjunct faculty at the University of Wisconsin, providing courses in Labor Law and Dispute Resolution at the Law School, and is currently Distinguished Adjunct Professor in Dispute Resolution at the Marquette University Center for Dispute Resolution Education. During 2006, Mr. Bellman presented at an international symposium on mediation and led seminars on mediation in employment, dispute resolution in environmental conflicts, and the comparison of mediation to jazz performance at the University of Kobe, Japan. He has been a Senior Fellow of the Conservation Foundation (Washington, D.C.), The Western Justice Center Foundation (Pasadena, CA), and the National Policy Consensus Center of Portland State University in Oregon. He has authored and co-authored a number of published articles, appearing in The Negotiations Journal, The Journal of International Arbitration, and other periodicals. Recent publications include a chapter in The Negotiator's Fieldbook (American Bar Association, Section of Dispute Resolution, 2006), Improvisation, Mediation, and All That Jazz (22 Negotiation Journal 3, 2006), and Improvisation and Mediation: Balancing Acts (21 Negotiation Journal 4, 2005).
Mr. Bellman has been a member of the National Academy of Arbitrators since 1972. He has served as Co-Chair of the American Bar Association, Dispute Resolution Section, Task Force on Credentialing; and a member of the Board of Directors of The State Bar of Wisconsin, Dispute Resolution Section. He chaired the American Arbitration Association, Global Center for Dispute Resolution Research, Research Advisory Committe, and the Labor Law Section of The State Bar of Wisconsin. He was a member of the Board of Directors of The Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution; and of the CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution/Georgetown University, Commission on Ethics and Standards of Dispute Practice. Mr. Bellman received the 1995 Distinguished Service Award of The Wisconsin Association of Mediators.
Mr. Bellman has been profiled in a number of publications including Consensus (Consensus Building Institute & MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program) and When Talk Works: Profiles of Mediators (Deborah M. Kolb, Jossey-Bass Inc., 1994).
Mr. Bellman was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio. He received B.A. (1959) and Law (1962) degrees from the University of Cincinnati; and an L.L.M. (Labor Law, 1963) from New York University.
During 1963-1965 he was a Field Attorney at the Regional Office of the National Labor Relations Board in Detroit, Michigan. In 1965 he moved to Wisconsin to join the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission as a mediator, arbitrator, and administrative law judge. Wisconsin was pioneering in the field of public-sector labor relations regulation and dispute resolution. In 1973 the Governor appointed Mr. Bellman to membership on the three-person Commission.
In 1976 Mr. Bellman resigned from the Commission to initiate the private mediation and arbitration practice he currently maintains and to participate in the founding of The Wisconsin Center for Public Policy where he led research and experiments in innovative applications of mediation and other dispute resolution processes. A grant from the Ford Foundation placed him at the leading edge of mediation of environmental conflicts.
During 1983-1986 Mr. Bellman served as Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Industry, Labor and Human Relations. This cabinet-level appointment placed him in charge of unemployment insurance, labor exchange and employment and training programs, workers’ compensation, labor standards, occupational and building safety, and employment and housing discrimination protection, among other responsibilities. In 1986 Mr. Bellman received the Outstanding Government Servant award of the Wisconsin Center for Public Representation. He returned to private practice in 1987.