Academy Member Inducted 2016

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Paula K. Manis, Mediator & Arbitrator, Lansing, Michigan.

Paula K. Manis

Foster Swift Collins & Smith, PC
313 S. Washington Square
Lansing, MI 48933
Tel: 517-371-8297
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Recognized to Michigan Chapter for Mediation & Arbitration Other ADR Services: ADR Training/CME, Early Neutral Evaluation, Fact Finding, Med-Arb
Video Conferencing
  • Practice Commenced2002
  • # of MEDS (as of 17/7/24)3000
  • # of ARBS (as of 17/7/24)12
Current Practice
Online / In-Person


For over 40 years, Paula K. Manis, has successfully and continuously maintained a diverse oil and gas practice. Starting out as a field landman for Amoco in Michigan, Ms. Manis has worked within and on the side of the oil and gas industry her entire legal career. 

Ms. Manis is also very experienced in alternative dispute resolution. She has conducted over 3,000 mediations and facilitations, over 22 years, including public policy facilitations and class actions. She has conducted mediations in Michigan and New York, involving all types of civil matters (except domestic relations) including, but not limited to, medical malpractice, legal malpractice, no-fault, probate matters, discrimination, Federal crop insurance and has served on arbitration panels in Michigan and New York. She has participated in hundreds of hours of advanced mediation training, including 40 hours of training at the Strauss Institute at Pepperdine Law School. She has given several presentations on mediation matters. She is a member of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section and a former member of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Council (former chair of the Government Task Force). Ms. Manis is a volunteer mediator for the Dispute Resolution Center of Central Michigan (former board member and president), and is an arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association. She was formerly a part of a mediation training team at Cooley Law School and MSU College of Law.

Ms. Manis has received the following awards in Oil and Gas, Mediation and Arbitration in recent years:  Lansing Lawyer of the Year (awarded by Best Lawyers of America), Oil and Gas Law (2020 and 2021); Lansing Lawyer of the Year (awarded by Best Lawyers of America), Arbitration (2016); Lansing Lawyer of the Year (awarded by Best Lawyers of America), Mediation (2014, 2019, and 2022); Best Lawyers of America, Oil and Gas Law (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2022); Best Lawyers of America, Alternative Dispute Resolution (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013); and Best Lawyers of America, Arbitration/Mediation (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2022). Ms. Manis was also awarded with the ‘Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers of 2013′ by LexisNexis and Martindale Hubbell. This award is exclusive to women lawyers who have achieved the highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards.

Case Experience

  • Agricultural
  • Appellate
  • Banking & Finance
  • Business Dissolution
  • Civil Rights
  • Class Actions
  • Commercial/Business
  • Community Associations
  • Condominiums
  • Construction
  • Contract Disputes
  • Debt Collections
  • Discrimination
  • Elder Abuse
  • Employment
  • Energy Sector (Oil/Gas)
  • Environmental
  • Family Businesses
  • Insurance
  • Landlord/Tenant
  • Legal Malpractice
  • Local Govt./Municipalities
  • Medical Devices
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Mortgage Foreclosure
  • Non-profit Organizations
  • Nursing Homes
  • Partnerships
  • Personal Injury
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Police
  • Postal
  • Premises Liability
  • Probate
  • Professional Fees
  • Professional Liability
  • Professional Malpractice
  • Professional Negligence
  • Property Damage
  • Public Policy
  • Real Estate
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Shareholder Disputes
  • Title Disputes
  • Torts
  • Transportation
  • Trusts / Estates
  • Unfair Competition
  • Wrongful Death


  • Thomas M. Cooley Law School, Juris Doctorate, 1979
  • Michigan State University, Post-Graduate Studies, 1975
  • Michigan State University, B.A. Social Science Multi-Discipline Program, 1973      

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Hearing Panelist for the State of Michigan Attorney Discipline Board
  • Member, State Bar of Michigan
    • Former Chair of Oil, Gas & Natural Resources Committee of the Real Property Section
    • Member of the Environmental Law Section
    • Member of the Alternate Dispute Resolution Section
    • Former Member of the Alternate Dispute Resolution Council
    • Former Chair of the ADR Council Government Task Force subcommittee
  • Member, Ingham County Bar Association
    • Member Real Property Section
  • Member, Michigan Oil & Gas Association (1981 – Present)
    • Former Chair Legislative Liaison Committee
    • Member, Legal & Legislative Committee
    • Member of the former Public Relations Committee
  • Member, Michigan Association of Petroleum Landmen (1981 – Present)
  • Member, Ohio Oil and Gas Association
  • Board Member, Dispute Resolution Center of Central Michigan, (2001 – 2010)
  • Co-President, Dispute Resolution Center of Central Michigan (2005 – 2006)
  • Neutral on the roster of the American Arbitration Association (2006 – Present)
  • Member of the Ingham County Circuit Court ADR Oversight Committee (2003 – 2012)

Rates Information

  • $425 an hour for State Court Cases
  • $450 an hour for Federal Court Cases, Class Actions and Arbitrations 

There will be a one (1) hour charge for travel time to and from mediations located within 100 mile radius of the office and a reduced rate of $150 an hour for travel outside the 100 mile radius. 

Academy Members Only