Stephen D. Kelson, Esq.

Stephen Kelson

Stephen has practiced law in Utah for more than 20 years and is a shareholder in the Salt Lake City law firm of Christensen & Jensen, P.C. His experience includes litigating an extensive range of civil disputes from small to complex commercial and tort cases through trial on behalf of plaintiffs and defendants. His experience provides a unique and valued perspective in mediation to resolve disputes effectively and efficiently. Stephen’s resolve to best serve parties in mediation has led him to increase his skills through obtaining M.D.R. and LL.M degrees in Dispute Resolution, and his experience and skills are regularly requested in challenging disputes. He is regularly listed as one of Utah’s Legal Elite in Mediation. He has mediated hundreds of disputes involving:

  • business disputes,
  • personal injury
  • wrongful death,
  • ownership and control of businesses,
  • business sales and dissolutions,
  • product liability,
  • contracts,
  • insurance coverage,
  • professional liability
  • property and real estate,
  • construction and development,
  • probate and
  • employment disputes.

Stephen holds a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Utah, a J.D. from the J. Reuben Clark School of Law, and both an M.D.R. and an LL.M. in Dispute Resolution from the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine School of Law, America’s top-ranked ADR program.  He is rated AV Preeminent® by Martindale-Hubbell.  Aside from his practice, he is currently an Adjunct Professor at the Brigham Young University (BYU) J. Reuben Clark School of Law.

He is a Master Mediator on the Utah Court Roster of Mediators.  He is the recipient of the 2017 Peacekeeper Award from the Utah Council on Conflict Resolution, the 2011 Utah Service to the Courts Award from the Utah Judicial Council, and Utah Dispute Resolution’s Mediator of the Year (2005). He is a regular trainer and presenter on mediation topics. He has published more than 50 articles throughout the United States, and he has been both profiled and featured in the ABA Journal for his studies conducted with state bar associations. He is the President of the Board of Trustees for the nonprofit Utah Dispute Resolution (UDR), and formerly served as the Chair of the Utah Council on Conflict Resolution (UCCR) and Chair of the Dispute Resolution Section of the Utah Bar Association.

Selected Presentations and Articles

  • Presentation, It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time: How to Make Effective Decisions Under Conflict, invited to co-present (two sessions) at the ALFA International 2024 International Client Seminar, Fajardo, Puerto Rico, March 3, 2024.
  • Presentation, Basic Mediation Training Seminar, Mediation Presentation, Utah Dispute Resolution’s 40-Hour Basic Mediation Training Seminar, Salt Lake City, Utah (virtual platform), February 8, 2024.
  • Presentation, Using Mediation to Improve Court Efficiency, Judicial Session 3, Panel Presentation, 30th Annual International Law and Religion Symposium, Reuben Clark Law School, Provo, Utah, October 3, 2023.
  • Presentation, Sources of Conflict, Communication and De-Escalation in Conflict, and What to Know when Dealing with Violence, Utah Nonprofit Housing Corporation, Salt Lake City, Utah, May 17, 2023.
  • Presentation, Racial Justice Series Part II: Discussion of Solutions & Accountability to Violence and Fracturing in Our Community, invited to co-present to the Utah State Bar CLE, Salt Lake City, Utah (virtual platform), October 26, 2022.
  • Presentation, “It Was a Bad Decision in Hindsight”: Causes of Ineffective Decision-making, and How to Assist Parties in Effective Decision-making in Mediation, Utah State Bar and Utah Council on Conflict Resolution CLE, Salt Lake City, Utah (virtual platform), September 8, 2022.

Article, How to Avoid Inadequate Case Evaluation, 42 Utah Trial Journal 8 (Spring 2019).