Karl grew up in a small East Texas towns with two sisters, a father who was a Methodist minister, and a mother who was a teacher. Karl graduated from Rice University in Houston with a B.A. in electrical engineering in 1971 and went on to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he earned an M.S. in biomedical engineering in 1973. His masters thesis focused on the organization of nerve fibers in the brains of turtles.
He spent some time designing radar tracking systems, and routing school buses, and then attended law school at the University of Texas in Austin while he worked full-time for Don Adams in the Texas Senate.
After completing law school at UT Austin, Karl worked for several law firms doing litigation and transactional work on both sides of the docket. Then he moved to Washington, DC, to be Congressman Kent Hance's legislative director. He litigated pesticide and toxic waste cases for the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington and then returned to Austin to work for a big firm in their environmental law section. He started his own litigation practice in 1982, specializing in plaintiff's personal injury.
In 1989, after he lost a Supreme Court race and was deciding what direction to take, Karl got a call from a district judge who asked him to mediate an emotionally charged dispute. He had no experience, no training, and didn't know you could charge for mediation, but the experience drew him further into mediation, while he maintained a gradually decreasing litigation docket.
Many clients come to Karl because his real-live-lawyer experience lives right alongside his commitment to helping people resolve disputes without the expense and uncertainty of turning their decision-making over to a judge and a jury. He has a reputation for expressing strong opinions during mediations.
Karl values everyone's right to a jury trial and knows some cases actually should be tried. But, from experience, he has learned that most cases can be resolved in a wiser and more efficient manner through appropriate methods of dispute resolution outside courtrooms. He fills a unique niche across the Austin, Houston and Dallas areas as a mediator, arbitrator, court master and technical advisor whose total life experience makes it easy for attorneys on all sides of all kinds of disputes to request his help.
Karl continues to expand his practice into more decision-making roles. He is often asked to serve as a Special Master in federal and state district courts in Texas. This service is often in the capacity of a Markman Master in patent infringement cases but he also assists judges and litigants as they wade through discovery and other pretrial procedural disputes in all types of complex litigation.
Karl and Renée counsel small businesses and individuals through the law firm KolarBayer. Renée mediates personal injury, employment, and family law cases through KolarBayer. To schedule mediations with Renée please visit kolarbayer.com/mediation. Karl and Renée also conduct mediations in Spanish and French.Writing and Speaking
He continues to write and blog on ADR topics and has spoken extensively on a wide range of legal topics at CLE programs for the State Bar of Texas and every law school in Texas. He has been a guest lecturer at the University of Monterrey Law School and Annahuac Law School in Mexico City on cross-cultural opportunities for Mexican attorneys preparing to deal with US pre-trial discovery practices, jury trials, and alternative dispute resolution processes.
Advisory Board Member, Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Energy, Law, and Business
Karl is a member of the National Association of Distinguished Neutrals
The National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals is an association whose membership consists of ADR professionals distinguished by their hands-on experience in the field of civil and commercial conflict resolution, and by their commitment to the practice of alternative dispute resolution. To learn more about the NADN, visit www.nadn.org.
Alyson Chaky is the public face of our team. She grew up in a stable, two-parent family with an older sister in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. She attended only two Catholic schools from grades K-12. After high school, she worked full-time in women's clothing and then men's clothing, while she took a few courses in business at the community college. Within three years, she was supporting two attorneys in downtown Cleveland who handled juvenile law, personal injury and divorce cases and managed their office for them. She went to school part-time in interior design during the four years she worked there.
In 2004, she started looking for somewhere warmer to live and something new to do. She and her husband, Tom, moved to Austin and in October she read a classified ad for a "dispute resolution coordinator" and found her way to Karl's office with its huge fish tank in the lobby. She still remembers wondering what she was getting herself into. Eleven years later, she's still in Austin, still feeding the fish in the huge tank every day and still sometimes shaking her head about all she's learning working with Karl.
Because she finds Karl easy to work with, Alyson is energized every day. She watches Karl work and backs him up in the office and sometimes in the field. Because Karl thinks continually of new things to do in his business, and new ways to work with people, Alyson is challenged to keep up and do the same. This makes work fun and stimulating. There's always something new to learn. Alyson has learned that even when she's not the mediator, and not in the room, she still plays a crucial role in clients' disputing processes.
When people find themselves in Karl's office for a mediation or an arbitration, they can trust 100% that everything is confidential with Alyson and that they can come to her for help or encouragement whenever they need to. If they just need a break, they can even sit with her and watch the fish! She understands that disputes are sensitive occasions and she's learned many ways to earn and keep people's trust, even when they're experiencing serious stress.
With 250 mediations and at least 75 arbitrations under her belt, Alyson has learned a lot about the process of resolving disputes outside of courtrooms. She takes her role quite seriously and works hard to provide clients with a calm atmosphere, a nice buffet lunch, and seamless access to a creative dynamo of a mediator who cares passionately about everyone leaving the office feeling as happy as possible.
Working hand-in-glove with Karl on arbitrations for four years, Alyson understands how important arbitration can be in a lawsuit. She goes the long mile to make sure that scheduling issues, filling policies, availability questions, and emergency hearings are brought quickly to Karl's attention. Because Karl can't be spoken to one-on-one during an arbitration, Alyson serves as an efficient go-between, ensuring that clients' communication gets the fastest response possible.
Alyson fills a unique niche in Austin as a dispute resolution coordinator whose total work experience makes it easy for people wound up in disputes to get the help and support they need from us.
Georgia the Dog
Georgia was rescued from a puppy mill on Super Bowl Sunday in 1996. She was as cute as any Lab ever is and she never chewed any shoes, dug any holes, or misbehaved in any other way. She's always been a well-behaved, loving, happy dog. By the time she was two, she was well-trained in all the basic commands, plus she could do double-blind retrieves of dummies on land and in the water. No matter where she goes, Georgia always finds a ball! She would rather die than not retrieve a ball that's thrown.
She retired from bird-hunting when she was about seven and started her "My Dog Georgia Mediation Service" shortly thereafter. She's driven and hard-charging when it comes to carrying offers between rooms. At least until she gets tired, which happens faster the older she gets. (But isn't that true for all of us?)
Holly Hayes Bovio
Holly Hayes Bovio received a Masters in Health Administration (MHA) from Duke University and her undergraduate degree from Southern Methodist University. She holds a certificate in mediation from Texas State. Holly brings a strong hospital operations background to healthcare mediations including a focus on clinical quality.
Beth grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska, and lived in a number of different states before finally settling in Austin, Texas in 2006. Prior to working with Karl, Beth practiced corporate litigation at a boutique firm in Austin that specializes in intellectual property law including patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets.
Beth began her legal career practicing pharmaceutical litigation at a Kansas City-based international law firm. Beth earned a B.S. degree in Public Administration from the University of Nebraska-Omaha, an M.A. in Information Science and Learning Technologies from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and a J.D. from the University of Nebraska College of Law, where she was an Eastman Memorial Law Scholar. Beth is a member of the State Bar of Texas and the District of Columbia Bar and is currently licensed to practice law in Texas. She lives in an Austin suburb with her husband Casey and their three rescue dogs.
Renée Quezada Kolar
Renée was born in Phoenix, Arizona, and moved with her family to Austin, Texas, when she was five. Before entering her senior year of high school, her father’s job took her family on an adventure to Grenoble France. Having always dreamed of living abroad, Renée decided to graduate high school early and join her family in Europe where she attended Saint Louis University’s Madrid Campus. After an extension of her father’s work contract there, she decided to make the most of her time in Europe and enrolled in a French university to finish her undergraduate studies. She bid farewell to her Spanish friends, delicious tapas, and flamenco dancing and made her way back to the French Alps to rejoin her family in Grenoble. She graduated from Université Stendhal (Grenoble 3) earning an undergraduate degree in Applied Foreign Languages with a specialization in translation.
Kristi Tonn has several years experience in the health care sector. She graduated from Duke University in 2005 with a Health Policy Certificate and completed law school at St. Mary’s in 2008 while interning with several divisions within the Texas Office of Attorney General. In addition, she interned for a federal judge in San Antonio, Texas and for a Congressman in Washington, D.C.
After passing the Texas Bar, she worked two years full time for the Texas Attorney General, including one year analyzing state legislation during the 81st Texas Legislative Session and one year prosecuting cases for the Consumer Protection & Public Health Division, where she interfaced with several state agencies within the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.
She completed her LL.M. in Health Law at the University of Houston in 2011 while interning with the Texas Hospital Association during the 82nd Texas Legislative Session. At THA, she focused on the development and implementation of accountable care organizations and state health care collaboratives, Medicaid reimbursement changes including access to Medicaid Upper Payment Limit funding, physician restrictive covenants and other health care compliance and regulatory issues.Kristi's Comprehensive CV
Nat NealeighNat is the founder and creative director for Titlegraphic, a marketing and design firm in Austin, Texas. For more than ten years, Nat has consulted on brand & marketing strategies for a global list of clients.
He's also been the head of marketing and communications for a national network provider, a photojournalist and editor for ABC News, an adjunct language instructor in Paris, France, and a creative lead and multimedia trainer for Apple Computers.
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