It’s True: You Are Known by the Company You Keep

By: Diane McGaha, WAMS Attorney Director

The well-known title above from one of Aesop’s Fables (The Ass and His Purchaser  ) comes to mind when describing the newest members of the WAMS panel of professional neutrals.

BesanteMonte Bersante was a cardiopulmonary technologist before obtaining his law degree and joining the Davies Pearson firm in Tacoma. Monte had several excellent mentors at Davies Pearson, including Larry Levy. Monte was aware of Larry’s progression from litigator to mediator, so it’s no surprise that he chose to affiliate with WAMS as a neutral. According to Monte, “Having performed as an advocate on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants over the past 20 plus years, it became a natural transition and desire for me to enter the role as mediator where I could assist parties in finding their mutual interests to resolve their disputes.” WAMS is honored to have Monte join the company of neutrals at WAMS, where he will be mediating and arbitrating throughout the Puget Sound region.

corsiMichelle Corsi has spent her career as a litigator with the Lee Smart firm in Seattle, handling commercial matters for plaintiffs and defendants. Michelle’s interest in ADR has evolved over the years from that of advocate to neutral, as she explains: “Approaching twenty years in practice, I have accepted an invitation to join the WAMS panel to expand my practice by using my extensive litigation experience to mediate and otherwise facilitate the voluntary resolution of disputes. The WAMS panel has always exemplified a judicious commitment to resolution of legal disputes whether in arbitration or mediation. I look forward to maintaining that tradition.” There’s no question that Michelle will be an asset to the WAMS panel, particularly in Snohomish, Whatcom and King counties.


Brad Maxa has a litigation practice with Gordon Thomas Honeywell in Tacoma that emphasizes insurance coverage matters. As a result, Brad has spent a lot of time as an advocate for one party of many involved in multiple-party CD and serious personal injury disputes. Partially because of his repeated involvement in mediation of such cases by Bill Joyce and Tom Harris, Brad developed an interest in becoming a neutral. According to Brad, “As I looked to expand my mediation and arbitration practice, I wanted to be associated with the very best. I did not even consider going with any group other than WAMS.” WAMS is very pleased that Brad chose to join the club at WAMS and make himself available to mediate in Pierce and Thurston counties.

FollisJack Follis became a litigator at Anderson Hunter in Everett while Scott Holte was a member of the firm, so it’s only natural that Scott advocated for Jack to become a neutral with WAMS. Since Jack had been a WAMS client over the years, the decision to have him join the WAMS panel was logical for WAMS and for Jack. In Jack’s words, “You are known by the company you keep. That is why I have chosen to be a mediator with WAMS. Being part of such a diverse group of skilled professionals will help me to keep improving my skills.” WAMS is excited to add Jack Follis to its panel as another neutral available to clients in need of dispute resolution services in Snohomish and Whatcom counties.

The addition of Monte, Michelle, Brad and Jack to the WAMS panel in 2013 will expand the dispute resolution options available to our clients. We welcome them and hope our clients will find an opportunity to do the same in the very near future.

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