Trial practice has changed considerably in the last 40 years.  Today very few cases reach trial without first being mediated.  In fact, many jurisdictions require the parties to complete mediation before the court will set a trial date.  Roger Schoeni and Valerie Zummo provide mediation services on behalf of the firm.  They have successfully mediated hundreds of cases of diverse nature and complexity.  Mr. Schoeni’s and Ms. Zummo’s mediation training and varied experiences, as well their personal and professional approach to mediation, are described below.


Mr. Schoeni

  • Completed intensive mediator training program at Northwestern University in the summer of 2013.
  • Lectured at negotiating skills workshops, authored negotiating skills materials and successfully resolved hundreds of cases over the past 40 years in private practice.

Ms. Zummo

  • Successfully completed intensive mediation training involving family law, parental rights, domestic violence, and divorce.
  • Has spoken on issues related to domestic relations, juvenile court, adoption, mental health, and probate.
  • Has presented to groups including the Ohio Judicial College, the Cincinnati Bar Association, the Lawyer’s Club of Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Police Academy, and others.


Mr. Schoeni

  • Represented parties on both sides of the bar, having tried numerous cases in state and federal courts in Minnesota, Ohio and Kentucky on behalf of Plaintiffs as well as Defendants.
  • Represented personal injury claimants who have reached verdicts and/or settlements in cases totaling in excess of $21 million. Litigated cases involving wrongful deaths, quadriplegia, sexual assault, Title IX, product liability, medical malpractice, motor vehicle accidents, insurance disputes, securities fraud, legal malpractice, construction disputes, employment matters, fire losses, adversary proceedings in bankruptcy, patent infringement and others.
  • Personally mediated claims involving construction defect, employment, medical malpractice, wrongful death, breach of contract, general personal injury, landlord/tenant, commercial real estate and insurance disputes.

Ms. Zummo

  • Served as a magistrate for 22 years, both in the Hamilton County Court of Domestic Relations and in the Hamilton County Probate Court where she presided over thousands of cases including divorce, dissolution, annulment, legal separation, child and spousal support, parental rights, property disputes, domestic violence, mental health/civil commitment hearings, and adoptions.
  • Heard matters in a dispute resolution forum in an attempt to help parties reach settlement prior to litigation.
  • Was a court-appointed mediator as well as Guardian ad Litem while in private practice.

Personal and Professional Approach

Mr. Schoeni

Since graduating from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1982, Mr. Schoeni has spent nearly 100% of his time negotiating about or fighting over money.  He has appeared before judges, arbitrators, juries, mediators, litigants, shareholders, regulators, administrators, boards of directors and claims professionals.  He is well equipped to help others facing similarly stressful situations.  He has observed the substantial benefit enjoyed by parties who have resolved their claims.  The benefits are both physical and emotional.  Because he takes pleasure in helping people resolve their claims, he thoroughly studies the materials provided by the parties and discusses their positions with counsel in advance of mediation.  This allows the parties to hit the ground running and move quickly to the merits of their respective positions.  He has found preparation, perseverance and patience to be the keys to reaching good results.  He tries his best to bring these attributes to every mediation.  He looks forward to helping you resolve your dispute. 

Ms. Zummo

As a magistrate as well as an attorney in private practice, Ms. Zummo has focused her talents and education on helping families navigate issues of divorce and loss – loss of a job, a loved one, or a treasured relationship – as well as helping people recover financially from personal injuries and other stressful life events.

Ms. Zummo approaches every case with knowledge and compassion: She is dedicated to helping all parties through their difficult times.

Ms. Zummo is committed to helping the parties minimize or avoid litigation completely by helping them resolve their conflicts through mediation and collaborative law, thereby reducing the stress of testifying in a courtroom and disclosing sensitive personal and financial information in a public setting. Through the mediation process, the parties, not the courts, control the outcomes.


Kohnen & Patton offers in-building parking and spacious offices with six conference rooms, the largest of which can comfortably accommodate as many as 26 persons.