Experienced, Fair, Effective




General Background/Experience

          Rich Krambeer actively practiced Law for over 30 years, representing clients and conducting trials in Family Court as well as in Criminal and Civil cases.  Twice named a Minnesota Super Lawyer by his peers, nationally recognized lawyer peer rating service Martindale Hubble has also long rated him “AV 5.0 Pre-eminent” - their highest rating for competence and ethics.  Several times, he was a presenter at the Annual Family Law Institute on the topic “Real Estate Issues in Family Law”.


          While he tried cases when necessary, his preferred outcome was always obtaining the best settlement possible for clients.  After decades of successfully negotiating hundreds of settlements for clients, Rich became a Qualified Neutral on the Minnesota Supreme Court roster for Civil cases in 2003 and for Family cases in 2004.


          He has served in his private practice as a mediator, and as an evaluator in Social and Financial Early Neutral Evaluations (ENE’s).  He also has voluntarily done church-related mediations and been a volunteer mediator and Parenting Time Expeditor for Community Mediation and Restorative Services, Inc., has participated in training other mediators and has presented a day-long seminar on Church Conflict to seminarians.


          As a school board member and in the State Legislature, Rich skillfully dealt with a variety of controversies  He typically took the lead in bringing disputing factions together to resolve difficult community issues.

Serving as a Neutral Decision-Maker


          Rich is also well suited to serve as a Consensual Special Magistrate in contested cases.  He has successfully briefed and argued Minnesota Court of Appeals cases, including a case in which he established the method for valuing the seller’s interest in an ongoing Contract for Deed that is still good law today.  He has prepared dozens of sets of proposed Findings of Fact and Order or Judgment and Decree documents.  He has served as a school district labor grievance hearing officer.  His written Decision as a hearing officer in a dispute over a student’s athletic eligibility was upheld by the State High School League.


Cases Involving Children - Unique Qualifications/Experience


          In cases involving children, Rich has unique qualifications.  While, most important, he is a father and a grandfather, for several years, he and his wife were foster parents.  They did short-term emergency shelter care for adolescents, cared for young children of parents with chemical abuse problems, and provided the family of a mentally challenged child regular respite care.  Their training included child development, family systems, alcohol/drug issues, teen suicide, etc.  He has also been court appointed to perform custody evaluations.


Other Real Life Experiences/Qualifications

          A Vietnam veteran, he has insight into problems faced by veterans and their families.


          A former prosecutor with both a close relative and a close friend in law enforcement, he has represented many law enforcement officers or their spouses in Family Court.  He knows the unique issues that arise in their lives.


          He knows many people in various medical professions and related fields and has been the attorney for physicians, nurses, dentists, and other medical professionals, or their spouses.  Rich is well suited to help resolve disputes in which someone in those professions may be involved.


          A former school board member, he personally knows many teachers or teachers’ spouses.  He has had many cases involving teachers or professors and their employment benefits.  This gives Rich much insight into those types of cases.


          Whether parties have an eighth grade education like his own farm-born parents or a Ph.D., Rich feels comfortable assisting and communicating with people of every background.  He has lived in the city and has lived in rural areas


          Rich has represented clients whose financial situation qualified them for legal aid, those whose net worth was more than a million dollars, and those in between.  He has experience problem-solving a broad range of financial issues.



Rich Krambeer's real life and professional background is why the Krambeer Mediation, LLC motto is:  EXPERIENCED, FAIR, and EFFECTIVE.




          Krambeer Mediation offers several options to effectively meet the Alternative Dispute Resolution needs in your case.  Choose from:

  • Traditional Mediation


  • A Mediation/Arbitration hybrid, with the third party neutral authorized to make a decision if mediation is not successful


  • Social or Financial Early Neutral Evaluation in Family Court Matters


  • Parenting Consultant Services

  • Consensual Special Magistrate Services


  • Non-binding Advisory Opinion or Mini-Trial


  • Arbitration


  • Creative Case-Specific Methods Developed by the Parties and the Neutral


  • Christian Conciliation


          Parties to a dispute can voluntarily choose to have a neutral third party help them resolve it so they can stay out of court or can avoid going to trial if court action has already started.  No one can be forced to reveal information in mediation, but each party is asked to agree that whatever information they do share will be truthful.

          It is also a confidential process – nothing said in mediation can be used in court, nor can the mediator or their notes be subpoenaed into court.  (However, if something said in mediation leads to one party further investigating the other party’s financial situation, in accordance with Court Rules, the information produced by the investigation might be admissible.)

          Where financial and/or contract issues are involved, the mediator helps the parties put together the information and documents needed to first get the proper foundation in place for discussing what’s at issue.  That way, the parties and the mediator can all be using the same information as they work to resolve the dispute.

          In some cases, it’s helpful to have input from a neutral accountant, appraiser, business valuation expert, tax expert, or other outside professional.  The parties may agree to jointly hire one to share their input and opinions with them and the mediator.

          The mediator guides the discussion and helps the parties explore options and find common ground about what’s in dispute.  Once agreement is reached, or when another mediation session is scheduled, the parties can have the mediator prepare a Memorandum as to what has occurred in the mediation.  This document is not intended to, nor can it be, filed with the Court, however.

          In some cases, a binding mediated settlement agreement may be prepared, but it will likely still need to be approved by the Court in the form of a more formal court document.  In other instances, the parties will just have an attorney for one of them draw up a formal settlement document based on their agreements in mediation to be presented to the Court for approval.  (The mediator cannot give legal advice to the parties, and each is urged to seek their own legal counsel.)

          If the mediation is not successful, the Court can only be told that mediation occurred and was not successful, or that partial agreements were reached that the parties want the Court to approve, with the unresolved issues to be decided by the Court.

          A hybrid process called mediation-arbitration (“med/arb”) starts out as traditional mediation.  However, if the mediation process is not successful, the parties give the third party neutral authority to actually make a binding decision to resolve their dispute.  That avoids the necessity for starting all over again in court, or if a case has already been filed, going to trial.  The parties receive a written decision from the neutral.


          Family Courts in many counties have a process in place called Early Neutral Evaluation (ENE).  The Court can only order parties to participate if they agree to do so.  There are variations from county to county, but what follows applies in most cases.

Social Early Neutral Evaluation (SENE) - a process in which the parents (and a parent’s attorney if they have hired one) meet with two neutral Evaluators, one male and one female, to present their position on custody and/or parenting time (visitation).  It’s strictly a voluntary process that a party or the Evaluators can terminate.  It’s also a confidential process, and nothing discussed during SENE sessions is admissible in court, nor can an Evaluator or their file be subpoenaed into court.

          Each parent gives her/his preferences and reasons as to why theirs should be adopted by the Court and answers clarifying questions.  If there are any partial agreements, those are noted as well.  Then, the Evaluators meet privately to discuss the information and arguments presented.

          They and the parents then get back together.  The Evaluators state how they believe the Court would decide unresolved issues.  A parent who has an attorney meets separately with them to discuss what the Evaluators have stated.  Each party then says whether they are willing either to agree with the Evaluators’ opinion or are willing to use that opinion as a framework for discussing settlement.  If both parties agree to continue the process, mediation takes place.

          Once an agreement is reached, it is put in writing and signed by each party and their attorney and forwarded to the Court.  If no agreement is reached, the Court may only be told the parties met for SENE and were not able to reach an agreement.

Financial Early Neutral Evaluation (FENE) – is a process in which the parties (and a party’s attorney if they’ve hired one) meet with a neutral Evaluator to present their position on how property and debts should be divided and, where it applies, what should be done as to child support and/or spousal maintenance (alimony).  It’s strictly a voluntary process that a party or the Evaluator can terminate.  It’s also a confidential process, and nothing discussed during FENE sessions is admissible in court, nor can the evaluator or their file be subpoenaed into court.

          Each party gives her/his position and reasons why it should be adopted by the Court and answers clarifying questions.  If there are any partial agreements, those are noted as well.  The Evaluator then takes time privately to review and process the information and arguments presented.

          The Evaluator and parties get back together, and the Evaluator states how they believe the Court would decide unresolved issues.  A party who has an attorney meets separately with them to discuss what the Evaluator has stated.  Each party then says whether they are either willing to agree with the Evaluator’s opinion or are willing to use that opinion as a framework for discussing settlement.  If both parties agree to continue the process, a mediation phase takes place.

          Once an agreement is reached, it is put in writing, signed by each party and their attorney, and forwarded to the Court.  If no agreement is reached, the Court may only be told the parties met and were not able to reach an agreement.



          If parents can’t resolve disagreements regarding visitation, school attendance, children’s activities, or other co-parenting issues, we can be hired to provide Parenting Consultant services.  Ideally, the parties will reach agreement with the help of the PC.  But, if that doesn’t happen, the PC is given the authority to decide the issue, with a written Decision provided to the parties.  Unless agreed by the parties, a PC may not change custody of children, however.

          A written Parenting Consultant Agreement is signed by both parties, and satisfactory financial arrangements are made in advance.  The Agreement is approved by the Court, and a Court Order confirming the arrangement is entered.

          This process helps the parents stay out of court and do everything possible to reach an agreement instead.



          As permitted by Court Rules, we can provide CSM services where the expertise of an experienced attorney as decision-maker is sought, or where the parties want their case going to trial sooner than waiting their turn on the Court’s calendar.

          A Pre-trial hearing is held first to narrow the issues to be tried, explore settlement possibilities, and put any partial Stipulations on record.  Detailed Findings of Fact will be part of a written decision, which will be rendered on a timely basis.  This process is binding and includes the right of appeal to the Minnesota Court of Appeals.


          The parties may want input from an experienced third party as to how they believe it is likely a court would decide their dispute.  Information about the dispute and each party’s position and the basis for their position are presented to the neutral.  After privately considering the information and arguments offered, the neutral advises the parties how they believe the Court would decide the issues presented.

          While not binding, an advisory opinion can often be a springboard for the parties entering into settlement discussions.

          The parties agree in advance that the process is confidential, and that neither anything presented or said nor the Advisory Opinion itself is admissible in court, nor can the neutral or anything in their file be subpoenaed into court.

          A mini-trial is a more formalized form of advisory opinion and is used to develop a basis for settlement negotiations.  The neutral’s advisory opinion is not binding unless the parties agree it’s binding and enter into a written settlement agreement.



          Arbitration is a process in which a neutral third party renders a specific decision on all issues after presiding over an adversarial hearing at which each party presents their position. If the parties agree in writing the arbitration will be binding, the proceeding is conducted pursuant to the Minnesota Uniform Arbitration Act (Minn. Statutes Sec. 572.08 to 572.30).  If the parties don’t agree arbitration will be binding, the proceeding is conducted pursuant to Rule 114.09.


          In certain cases, there may be unusual aspects to the dispute or elements of the dispute that require the parties and the third party neutral to come up with a dispute resolution process unique to that situation.  If a lawsuit has been filed, Court Rules require that the parties explain their agreed-upon process to the Court.


          Christian Conciliation is a process involving a third party neutral helping parties to a dispute resolve it using scriptural principles.  The processes available are similar to those set out above for more traditional dispute resolution.  However, a binding result cannot be an outcome unless all of the requirements of Court Rule 114 and other applicable Rules and Statutes are followed as part of the process.  The processes and principles used are generally those taught by Peacemaker Ministries (see ), through which Rich has received training.