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Who We Are

Kinyon Mediation Services is a joint mediation practice comprised of father and son duo, Richard and John Kinyon (bio information below). Kinyon Mediation Services focuses on helping fiduciaries and beneficiaries of trusts and estates (and their respective lawyers, if any), resolve conflicts with respect to the interpretation, administration, and distribution of the trust and/or estate property. The mediation is conducted using an empathic communication and tax-advantaged technique, bringing together a unique set of skills, experience and expertise which help parties resolve interrelated personal and legal issues.

John Kinyon

John is an empathic communication and conflict coach, mediator, and trainer. He is co-creator of the international Mediate Your Life training program, based in the work of Nonviolent Communication (NVC). He has been a conflict coach and mediator since 2002. John has been a certified trainer of the Center for Nonviolent Communication (CNVC) since 2000. For more information see

Richard Kinyon

Richard is a certified as a specialist in Taxation Law by the California Board of Legal Specialization of the State Bar of California. He has over 50 years of experience as a practicing California lawyer specializing in tax, estate planning, and trust and estate administration and litigation matters. In addition to mediating trust and estate disputes with John, Richard continues to practice law as a partner at Shartsis Friese LLP in San Francisco. His biographical information can be found at

The Mediation Experience

  • Each party feels heard and understood to their satisfaction at a level of empathic connection on their experience and perspective of the situation.
  • From over 50 years of experience in this area, a depth and breadth of information on the relevant trust, estate and tax law is provided for your particular situation.
  • Methods that support collaborative discussion, creative problem solving, and the generation of new possibilities and agreements that meet the needs of all involved are provided.
  • Skills and distinctions of empathic communication are used to diffuse the triggering of conflict reactions and behavior when they arise, and help parties return to the process of connection and cooperation.
  • The complexity of the tax and other legal issues involved
  • The amount and history of emotional pain, reactivity, and conflict that one or more parties carry in relation to others in the mediation process, and the capacity for empathic understanding (even if there is strong disagreement) of one another’s experience.
  • The ability of parties to be flexible and open to the multiple and varied perspectives related to the situation, and an openness to multiple possibilities for creative resolution.
  • One or more individual preparation sessions with each person involved in the mediation process. These can be done by phone, video conferencing, or in person.
  • Depending on the situation, the facilitation of one-to-one mediation conversations between at least some of the parties involved. These also can be done by phone, video conferencing, or in person.
  • One or more whole group mediation sessions with all the parties involved. These sessions are generally done in person and scheduled for a full day of mediated conversation each meeting.

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