About TVMA


meet the people behind the idea

Our Story

Access to justice means access to all of the aspects of the legal system, especially alternative dispute resolution. The value of a case or the ability to pay should not be the deciding factors in whether a case is able to be mediated. This is the basic idea that started Texas Volunteer Mediator Association. 

In addition to ensuring access, the ADR field needs more opportunities for legal professionals to learn more about mediation as a tool, to improve and expand their mediation experience, and mentor up and coming mediators. 

TVMA’s goal is to be the bridge between the need for accessible mediation and growing the pool of exceptional professional neutrals in Texas. 


Our Directors

Denise Peterson

Founder and Chair

Denise Peterson is a full-time professional neutral, focusing her practice exclusively on alternative dispute resolution services. She mediates both civil and probate cases and is on multiple arbitration panels. Now in her tenth year of practice as an attorney, she is licensed in both the states of Texas and New York and she is a solicitor to the Senior Courts of England and Wales. 

Emily Hull

Director for Family

Licensed in 1998, Emily Hull has over twenty years legal experience in Harris, Fort Bend, and Montgomery Counties.  Emily provides advice to clients in family law matters, civil litigation, contract, will drafting, and real estate law. 

Ms. Hull be bringing her family law expertise to TVMA.

Family law matters may include divorce, custody, modification, and enforcement of prior court orders, emergency cases, name changes, and adoption.  

jessica guobadia

Director for Probate and Guardianship

Jessica Guobadia is an attorney admitted to practice in Texas and California*.  Jessica works with individual and organizational clients to ensure that their futures are protected through proper planning. Jessica has represented clients in state and federal courts, as well in various appellate matters before the Texas Supreme Court and Courts of Appeal.

She brings her expertise in guardianship and probate cases to TVMA.

Denise Adkison-brown

Director of Litigation Engagement

Denise Adkison-Brown is bringing her litigation experience having worked both in defense and now as a plaintiff’s counsel to TVMA to help us build programs and provide the servics our community needs. 

April Prim

April Prim started her legal career practicing general civil litigation. The exposure to a variety of practice areas led her to her passion for landlord/tenant law. April represents residential and commercial landlords, tenants, and property managers in negotiation, breach of contract, eviction, constructive eviction, lease termination, unlawful lockout, repair and remedy, and security deposit disputes at the justice, county, and district court levels. 

“There can be no equal justice where the kind of trial a man gets depends on the amount of money he has.”

- U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black (1964)