Between 1991 and 1993 Dr. Watkins mediated as a volunteer in Los Angeles, California. After finishing his Master’s degree in Negotiation and Conflict Management in 1994 he opened Coachella Valley California’s first organization dedicated to the management and resolution of litigated and non-litigated disputes through mediation and collaborative negotiation.
Twenty-five years in the industry helping self-represented parties to resolve divorce issues (1994 - present), acting in a paralegal capacity for attorneys in litigated cases (1995 - present) and teaching sociology (Chapman/Brandman University 1997 and 2014; University of Alaska’s Distinguished Practitioner series 2000 - 2012) have given Dr. Watkins unique insight into the social and legal dynamics of resolving conflict by both litigation and negotiation. He is author of Sociological Approaches to Managing Conflict and Resolving Disputes, the text book published exclusively for his conflict management courses.
In 2014 Dr. Watkins completed his doctoral dissertation evaluating the efficacy of California family law rule changes in predicting divorce resolution and has conducted other research in the Alternative Dispute Resolution field since 1994. Dr. Watkins remains active in the field through his membership in the Self-Represented Litigant Network (SRLN).
In 2020 Dr. Watkins completed Negotiating with Your Ex: How to Settle Divorce Issues (copy written, but unpublished at the time of this writing), the first of what he hopes to be several self-help books on managing conflict and litigation.