Rene Stemple Ellis

Senior Lecturing Fellow


René Stemple Trehy has devoted her professional career to alternative dispute resolution. She has served as a mediator, arbitrator, and special master in diverse subject areas of the law for lawyers and judges throughout the Southeast and principally in North Carolina. Ms. Trehy has long been a member of the North Carolina Bar Association’s Dispute Resolution Section, and she just completed two years as the Section’s Chairperson (2012-2014).

Ms. Trehy graduated cum laude from West Virginia University in 1983 and in 1986 from Duke University Law School. From 1990- 2002, Ms. Trehy served as Executive Director of the Duke University School of Law’s Private Adjudication Center. In that position, she designed, implemented and directed the administration of ADR programs for settlement of class actions and mass torts, led the Center's mediation training, and administered the Center's dispute resolution programs. In 2002, Ms. Trehy co-founded Beason & Ellis Conflict Resolution, LLC.

Ms. Trehy has mediated extensively in these and other areas of litigation: medical malpractice, construction, business disputes, products liability, insurance coverage, employment, consumer, eminent domain, environmental disputes, nursing home negligence, wrongful death and other catastrophic personal injury cases. These mediations frequently arise in difficult or complex circumstances involving multiple parties, class actions, and insurance coverage disputes.

René Trehy’s arbitration experience includes service on three-member panels and as sole arbitrator. She has arbitrated cases involving professional malpractice, construction defects, products liability, medical malpractice, personal injury and others.

In addition, federal and state judiciary have appointed Ms. Trehy as Special Master in several complex litigations, including a national class action involving products liability, a multi-party CERCLA dispute in the Northern District of Alabama, and a class action settlement in Florida involving claims of property damage and personal injury. Ms. Trehy served as a Neutral in the Individualized Claims Resolution Process established as part of the nationwide class action settlement approved by the Northern District of Illinois in McReynolds et al. v. Merrill Lynch, Case No. 05-cv-6583 (N.D. III.). She has served more recently as a Neutral in a nationwide class settlement Lance W. Slaughter, et al. v. Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, Case No. 13-cv-06368.

Ms. Trehy’s service as an educator in alternative dispute resolution complements her practical experience. She has been a senior lecturing fellow at Duke University School of Law, teaching negotiation and mediation advocacy since 1992. She has been a lead faculty member for mediation training in North Carolina for twenty years. Ms. Trehy has taught at seminars across the nation, and she is the author or co-author of numerous seminar manuscripts and scholarly articles in the field of alternative dispute resolution.

Ms. Trehy has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America in the Alternative Dispute Resolution specialty since 2007. For 2013, she was named the Raleigh, NC Arbitration Best Lawyers’ “Lawyer of the Year”, and for 2015, she was named the Raleigh, NC Mediation Best Lawyers’ “Lawyer of the Year,” and 2016 Raleigh NC Arbitration “Lawyer of the Year”; and 2017 Raleigh NC Arbitration “Lawyer of the Year.”

Ms. Trehy was awarded the North Carolina Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section’s Peace Award in March of 2017. The Section “periodically recognizes one or more individuals in North Carolina who have made a special contribution or commitment to the peaceful resolution of disputes.” Consideration is given for their “overall contribution and commitment to the field of alternative dispute resolution.”