Denise Peterson is an attorney, mediator, arbitrator, and principal of her firm, Peterson ADR. Ms. Peterson has earned a Fellowship with the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CiArb), establishing her as an experienced and capable dispute resolution professional. Rounding out her practice, Ms. Peterson is an credentialed mediator and mediation instructor.

Before establishing her firm in 2015, Ms. Peterson was an associate with Morgan, Lewis, and Bockius in Houston, Texas. She was national outside counsel to the largest national bank in the United States, including providing guidance in all aspects of consumer lending during the mortgage crisis. Ms. Peterson was the lead attorney on a multi-year investigation related to claims of violations of the Servicemember’s Civil Relief Act. Her practice also included both premises and product liability cases, as well as the Deepwater Horizon.

Before her time at Morgan Lewis, Ms. Peterson was an intern at the Harris County District Attorney’s Office in the Family Criminal Law Division. Under the supervision of an experienced prosecutor, Ms. Peterson worked all aspects of the civil protective order docket, including obtaining agreed orders, default hearings, and several dozen bench trials.

Ms. Peterson is a Director-at-Large of the Association for Conflict Resolution’s Houston Chapter, Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, active member of the Houston Bar Association, Texas Credentialed Mediators, and Texas Association of Mediators.

Committed to both mentoring new attorneys and outreach, Ms. Peterson is an administrator of several attorney-only Facebook Groups, including Houston Lawyers, Attorney Mediators, and Law Firm Marketing, which together include a membership of several thousand Texas attorneys.

Ms. Peterson demonstrates her dedication to access to justice for all people by maintaining an active pro bono practice. She was honored to work with Catholic Charities in the case of a baby smuggled into the United States, not only getting special juvenile status for her but also getting her adopted into her foster family. She currently volunteers with both the Montgomery and Harris County Dispute Resolution Centers both as a mediator and a mediation instructor.

She has recently been responding to the housing crisis caused by Hurricane Harvey by volunteering at legal clinics at DeBakey VA Hospital and the George R. Brown Convention Center.

Ms. Peterson received her Juris Doctorate from South Texas College of Law in 2010 and her Bachelor of Arts in History, Magna Cum Laude,  from the University of Houston in 2007. At the University of Houston, she received the Provost’s Undergraduate Research Scholarship.

A second-career attorney, Ms. Peterson came to the legal profession after successful careers as a mortgage servicing portfolio manager and as an Information Architect for a leading technology consulting firm. Born in California, raised in Connecticut, Ms. Peterson settled in Texas twenty years ago, falling in love with the Houston area.


Areas of ADR Practice:

  •  Business
  • Construction
  • Consumer
  • Creditor/Debtor
  • Premises Multi-party
  • Construction
    • Residential Construction
    • Commerical Construction
  • Landlord/Tenant
  • Property Title
  • Insurance
  • Commercial
  • Personal Injury
  • Real Estate
  • Contract
  • Banking
  • Condemnation
  • Eminent Domain
  • Corporate Fraud
  • Partnership
  • Toxic Tort

Bar Admissions:

  • State of Texas, 2010 


  • Juris Doctorate, South Texas College of Law, Houston, Texas, 2010
  • Bachelor of Arts in History,  Magna Cum Laude, University of Houston, Houston, Texas, 2007

Speaking Engagements:

  • Houston Bar Association – Speaker’s Bureau at Covenant Capital
    • Presenter, “Pitfalls in Landlord-Tenant Law” August 2017, Houston, Texas
  • Houston Writer’s Guild
    • Presenter, “Contracts – the Power of Language” November 2016, Houston, Texas
  • Montgomery County Dispute Resolution Center – Family Law Mediation Training
    • Presenter, “Ethics in Mediating Protective Orders”
    • Presenter, “Post-Obergfell – LGBT Issues in Family Law” both November 2016, Conroe, Texas
  • Harris County Dispute Resolution Center – Family Law Mediation Training
    • Presenter, “Post-Obergfell – LGBT Issues in Family Law” October 2016, Houston, Texas
  • Montgomery County Dispute Resolution Center – Basic Mediation Training
    • Presenter, “The Terrible Three: Identifying Ethical Issues in Mediation” September 2016, Houston, Texas
  • Texas Apartment Association
    • Presenter, “Legal Updates to Landlord Tenant Law”, March 2016, Austin, Texas

Honors and Achievements:

  • Vis Moot Competition Team Brief Writer (2009-2010)
  • ABA Regional Negotiation Competition Champion (2008-2009)
  • ABA National Negotiation Competition Competitor (2008-2009)
  • Phi Alpha Theta History Honors Society