Finra has expanded its pool of arbitrators and is ready to move forward with the hundreds of complaints related to collapses in Puerto Rico bond funds, according to an announcement posted on its web site Monday. After several months of deliberation, Finra said it will resume processing investor complaints now that it has about 700 arbitrators from Southeastern U.S. and Texas who are willing to fly to Puerto Rico. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. has also resolved issues related to the language barrier as UBS AG and Bank of America Merrill Lynch agreed to pay fees for translators.
When Pietro Parolin was appointed last year by Pope Francis as the Vatican’s secretary of state, the Cardinal said he had been entrusted with a “difficult and challenging mission”. The Italian mediator’s diplomatic skills will be tested fully as he seeks to act as a “good faith witness” in talks that resume on Tuesday between Venezuela’s government and members of its opposition aimed at ending the violent unrest that has left at least 41 people dead in the country over the past two months.
The current round of peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians is on the brink of collapse, with each side accusing the other of failing to live up to previous commitments. Thus, after nine months of fruitless negotiations and the U.S.'s overly ambitious assessment that a deal could be reached within that time frame, Israel and the Palestinians are back where they began.
Forthcoming changes to the family law in England and Wales amount to a “revolution”, the President of the Family Division has claimed. In the recently published 11th View from the President’s Chamber, Sir James Munby said: “Central to this revolution has been – has had to be – a fundamental change in the cultures of the family courts. This is truly a cultural revolution.” The family courts stand “on the cusp of history” and the changes due on April 22nd mark “the largest reform of the family justice system any of us have seen or will see in our professional lifetimes.”
Two former Hall County Sheriff’s Office employees have entered into mediation with three then-inmates alleging civil rights violations in a Dec. 22, 2010, incident at the jail. Plaintiffs Devonta Wise, his brother Mautious Wise and Russell Green are suing the sheriff’s office, ex-jailer Dustin Charlton and then-Jail Capt. Mark Bandy, alleging their federal civil rights were denied. All three plaintiffs were being boarded in from Fulton County. Their suit alleges the employees were physically abusive, denied them medical care and called them disparaging names, including “trash that Fulton County did not want,” in violation of state law and the U.S. Constitution: the First Amendment right to express concerns about subpar treatment at the jail, cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment and excessive force and mistreatment based on race in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Firms in four cities have kicked off a national mediation initiative designed to help separating couples and demonstrate to lawyers the commercial viability of providing the service. Lawyer Supported Mediation has been set up by trained mediator Marc Lopatin (pictured) with ‘mediation hubs’ in Leeds, Newcastle, Manchester and London. Two more cities will join later in the year. The initiative is launched ahead of a change to the law making it compulsory for separating couples to attend a mediation information and assessment meeting (MIAM) before issuing family proceedings. The change is introduced on 22 April, under section 10 of the Children and Families Act.
UK: Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings (MIAMs), were first introduced in April 2011, but they weren’t compulsory back then and referrals to mediation have fallen dramatically since. But from 22 April 2014, if you are considering making an application to the court about your children you will most certainly need to know what they are, who can provide them and if you need to have one before issuing court proceedings (and in most cases you will). MIAMs are designed to ensure that couples are aware of mediation as a potential way to resolve their problems outside a courtroom. A MIAM is a meeting with a mediator in which the couple is provided with information about the mediation process and the legal framework that applies to their situation. It is a formal assessment of mediation’s suitability for their individual case.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has agreed to talks with the opposition – with the Vatican as mediator, Reuters reports. CNN's Christiane Amanpour asked President Maduro about this very idea - of having the pope as mediator - when she interviewed him exclusively last month in Caracas.
STB's decision announced Monday, April 14, 2014, notes BNSF filed a letter in September 2013 stating the railroad "is more than willing to engage in three-carrier discussions" to resolve outstanding access issues. STB's decision emphasizes, "The Board favors the resolution of disputes through mediation in lieu of formal Board proceedings whenever possible." STB will appoint a mediator, but notes the Class I railroads involved "may choose to hire a non-Board mediator" as long as the STB is notified within 10 days of the decision.
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Video-based mediation – it’s starting to happen. What do we need to know? (4/16/14) Noam Ebner I recently had the pleasure of writing a paper with my student-turned-teacher, Jeff Thompson (an alumnus of our Negotiation and Dispute Resolution program at Creighton and the Wizard Behind the Curtain at ADRHub). Jeff works on non-verbal communication in mediation, and is also in involved in ODR. Putting those together with my own interest in the role of trust in ODR, we mapped out some issues at the juxtaposition of trust, non-verbal communication and online, video-based, mediation. You can read this article, soon to appear in the International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, here. 1 Comment
5 Steps for Strengthening Your Marriage (4/14/14) Mary Aderibigbe You can make your marriage strong but you’ve got to acknowledge that disagreements are inevitable. Preventing conflict begins identifying what are common conflict points in your marriage. Preventing conflicts also means strengthening your marriage to withstand outside conflicts. This is a faith-based article discussing Biblical viewpoints for strengthening marriage.
The Use of Student Organizations as a Means of Conflict Resolution Education (4/14/14) Judy Rashid Student organizations offer many opportunities for students, including the chance to develop meaningful relationships, to pursue special interests, to clarify a sense of purpose and identity, and to develop interpersonal, leadership, organization, and social skills. Peaceful Approaches to Conflict through Education (P.A.C.E.), a training organization in conflict resolution education for student volunteers, was founded in 1997 by Dr. Judy Rashid at NC A&T State University. The organization seeks to promote, practice, and provide training and skill development in conflict /crisis management.
Serving the Public: The Case for Formally Professionalizing Court-Connected and Litigated-Case Mediation (4/14/14) Jennifer Kalfsbeek, Jack Goetz Recognized professions are occupations that: 1) serve the public, 2) possess common ethical codes, 3) self-regulate, 4) require specialized education, and 5) possess authority. Mediation does not meet this sociological definition, yet mediators oftentimes see themselves as “professionals.” Public accountability needs have steered court mediator panels in the United States to establish some requirements resembling those of formalized professions, and market forces are driving litigated-case mediation, as a sub-set of the entire mediation field, towards professionalization. These factors, and greater efficiency in the use of public resources, suggest that society would benefit from professionalizing litigated-case and court-connected mediation practice.
Judicial Activism Essential to Make Mediation Mainstream in South Africa (4/04/14) Jacques Joubert Courts in the UK impose cost sanctions on parties who unreasonably refuse or fail to mediate. In the US, mediation is more firmly embedded in the litigation process, the courts applying varying degrees of coercion to encourage the parties to participate in mediation. In some US states, disputes that fall in a certain category have to be mediated before being litigated. In other states, judges have the discretion to order the parties to mediate. The goal of the UK and US approaches is the same: the optimal use of mediation by litigants and less reliance on adjudication.
Mindful Listening to Enhance Leadership Performance (4/04/14) Aldo Civico I am often asked this question: how come that guerrilla fighters, paramilitary leaders and gang members sit down with you and confess to you? More often than not, I respond with a smile and a gentle shrug of the shoulders, but over the past few weeks, as I was designing a new training in effective communication, I pondered that question and wondered about the listening skills I honed in 20-plus years of conflict resolution work in hot spots across the world 1 Comment
Why Mediate.com? (4/02/14) James Melamed After 18 years as CEO of Mediate.com, I know the answer to "Why Mediate.com?" Our purpose from the beginning has been to both reflect and drive the development of valuable mediation services on a global scale.
Mediation Pioneer Richard A. Salem 1930-2014 (3/31/14) Richard Salem Dick Salem passed away on March 22, 2014 due to complications from a stroke. He was a mediation pioneer whose career took him from the city desk at the Washington Post to mediating high profile civil rights cases as the Midwest Regional Director of the U.S. Department of Justice Community Relations Service. He was also my father, and I know that it was a distinct privilege for him to serve our field for more than 40 years. 2 Comments
Yes, It Can Be Done: Ten Mediation Program Models, One Online System (3/30/14) Jennifer Shack When Resolution Systems Institute received a grant from the Illinois Attorney General to develop foreclosure mediation programs across the state, it was our opportunity to practice what we preach. From RSI’s inception, we’ve been telling courts that they need to monitor and evaluate their mediation programs to ensure that they’re providing quality services to those who come to them to resolve disputes. We’ve also been urging them to incorporate the development of a monitoring and evaluation system into their program design process.
Marriage 101 for Family Mediators (3/29/14) Larry Gaughan Those of us who have been in the trenches of family law practice for decades have lots of experience with bad marriages. We each probably know more gruesome details about marriage breakups than we care to remember. But most of us also know the details to what makes a marriage great. 1 Comment
Respect (3/28/14) Uma Ramanathan A mediator often has to deal with High Conflict people and their defensiveness, and, in the attempt to defuse the situation, the mediation often gets emotionally drawn into the conflict resolution by taking the responsibility of the outcome to be his goal. This article reminds mediators of their true purpose.
Facts, Law, and Worldview (3/28/14) Stuart M. Israel We trust that judges strive for neutrality, objectivity, self-reflection, and humility. Still, sometimes being in court feels like being Nathan Detroit shooting craps with Big Jule, with dice from which Big Jule removed the spots. Big Jule remembers where the spots used to be.
How Dating Can Cause Stress For Your Child (3/21/14) Shannon Rios Paulsen The truth about dating is that it can cause stress for your children. You impact their level of stress by your actions. It is my view that parents must do all things possible to mitigate the effects of the divorce on their children. One easy way to do this is to be conscious of your dating. Dating done wrong has the potential to cause stress for children for three crucial reasons, and they are important to understand. 2 Comments
Mediation: The Greeks Have a Word for It (3/21/14) Katherine Triantafillou Mediators are fond of pointing out the transformative effects of successful mediation in the world of peacebuilding and so it is with the formation of a new center providing services to working class communities in Greece. In fact, the group of facilitators bringing the center to life call themselves “Team Metaplasis,” meaning “transformation” in Greek. 1 Comment
Understanding Faith-Based Mediation: A Multidimensional Model (3/14/14) Ricardo Padilla This paper reflects on the necessity and efficacy of a Faith-Based Mediation approach for Dispute Resolution, and intends to answer three leading questions: First, why is Faith-Based Mediation necessary for the religious communities and people? Second, what are the fundamental referents of a Faith-Based mediated process? And third, how can a Mediator be useful in Faith-Based Mediation? 6 Comments
Mediation: A Process for Empowerment of Both Parties (3/14/14) Dr. Lynne C. Halem Mediation has long been identified as a process which promotes the self-actualization and empowerment of the individual participants. But what does empowerment mean? Clearly, it would not be a “good” outcome for mediation to encourage individuals to learn to be aggressive or confrontational or to stubbornly stand their ground, so empowered are they by their newfound self-worth or importance. Nor is empowerment akin to granting individuals his or her own bully pulpit. Rather, in mediation, empowerment represents individual growth and new found personal confidence and strength, as well as the acquisition of new skills. 1 Comment
What Movie Do You Want To Make? (3/08/14) Jeffrey Krivis The arc of a litigated case has many narratives, particularly when it comes to settlement opportunities. While some cases fall into standard, often repeated formulas, others cannot be scripted. Yet, there are moments in the cycle of a case where some litigators simply react to events as they unfold rather than actively creating the settlement drama. The drama of a case is like storytelling in a trial, where events unfold in front of an audience of people who are in a position to evaluate and put a price on the story. Knowing what scripts are available in advance will assist in being less reactive and more resilient in achieving a better process and successful resolution.
A Practical Guide to Comprehensive Conflict Management Systems (3/07/14) Carole Houk, Deborah Katz Many organizations have embraced alternative dispute resolution. Yet, they continue to search for more comprehensive approaches that help them not only to resolve conflicts that have escalated into disputes but also to manage risk, manage relationships and manage their bottom line. Is the answer to this search integrated conflict management systems (ICMS)?
Lessons in Mediation: Use Your Words (3/07/14) Gary Harper How often have found yourself in conflict with someone who you felt was “acting like a spoiled brat” or “behaving like a child”? If you have, you’re in good company. You’re also closer to understanding these situations than you thought you were, for difficult behaviour in adults often reflects strategies learned as children. 1 Comment
Bilingual Mediation, Part 2 (3/07/14) Bernard Nguyen As a dispute resolution practitioner, one must constantly assess oneself in various elements, aspects and total competency before taking a task, assignment, or mission to manage the process of mediation where parties are not able to communicate in a culturally competent level. To be an effective bilingual mediator, one should possess the cultural sensibility and linguistic competency to quickly create a rapport that subsequently opens parties up for amicable dialogue.
The Case for Forgiveness in Legal Disputes, Part 2 (3/07/14) Eileen Barker The case for forgiveness in legal disputes. Without emotional healing and forgiveness, even when a case is settled in mediation, parties are often left with more hostility and mistrust than when they began. This article discusses the importance of encouraging forgiveness in clients.
Mediation Feedback: Who is it For? (2/28/14) Michael Jacobs This article is the result of switching seats – moving from practitioner to party. Every mediation service I've worked for sends out feedback forms. Sometimes immediately after sessions, sometimes a few weeks later. This experience made me question the importance of mediation evaluation.
Bilingual Mediation (2/28/14) Bernard Nguyen Recently, numerous websites marketing bilingual mediation services in the States have appeared. To many, this may be a negligible appearance, but to some, it is a core part of their own breath and heartbeat, because they are either active amongst the community that inherited a culture and language other than English; or they are living isolated, sustained by a culture and language other than English; for instance, the deaf community and perhaps the blind community as well.
The Case for Forgiveness in Legal Disputes (2/28/14) Eileen Barker Although the notion of forgiveness may seem far afield from the world of law, forgiveness is a powerful and important tool for conflict resolution. Litigants need legal solutions, but they also need peace, healing, and closure. Forgiveness provides a vehicle for achieving all of these. 5 Comments
WYSI[N]WYG (2/28/14) Ian MacDuff In the early days of personal computing, the development of the “graphical user interface” was accompanied by the acronym, WYSIWYG: “What you see is what you get.” While some frustrated computer users know that this was never entirely true, or might only have been true for the computer boffins who designed the interface, the idea was nevertheless an important one: what was there on the surface was what you had to deal with – folder and files and trash cans were all there on the virtual “desktop.”
Best Practice Guide on the Use of Mediation in Cross-Border Disputes (2/21/14) Jamie Walker, Zeno Daniel Sustac Sometimes, the act of justice leaves one or more parties being unsatisfied with a judicial decision and generates a resolution based on the “loser-winner” paradigm. The consequence is often, in addition to the preservation of their conflicted status, the prolonging of the expensive and stressful judicial dispute. Mediation, as an alternative method of conflict resolution, starts with the principle of seeking to most capably satisfy the parties’ interests with a sustainable agreement based on free will. This approach, in the context of globalization, confers mediation with the quality of being an effective cross-border and cross-cultural method of conflict resolution. This article is an excerpt of a thesis analyzing the benefits and unforeseen consequences of mediation in cross-border disputes. This article focuses on the importance of training mediators on cross-border disputes.
Third Party Assisted Negotiation and High Pressure Settlement of Disputes (2/21/14) Rachel Virk After twenty years of marriage, two parties separate. They are each college educated and gainfully employed. The parties have two children whom they hope to send to college, ages 13 and 15. They have amassed many assets during their marriage. This articles discusses how our current legal system does not have an effective way of dividing the mutually valued sum of these two people's lives.
Compassionate or Benevolent Divorce (2/21/14) Roger Ley This is an essay on compassionate divorce and the role of lawyers in the divorce or dispute resolution process. For the parties, the core of my system is to negotiate for the welfare of both sides. For the lawyers, the core is to throw away the law books and let imagination help the lawyers find creative resolutions to their cases.
The Argument As A Persuasive Tool In Negotiation (2/16/14) Jeffrey Krivis Mediation, like the sketches in Monty Python, is like theatre. In order to succeed, the actors must keep the scene going forward without denying the other actors the opportunity to be heard. Arguments work on the stage provided they are done in a way that maintains the flow of the scene, allows conversation to be fluid, and doesn’t box in the other players. 2 Comments
Marital Mediation is Not Therapy (2/14/14) Dr. Lynne C. Halem Mediation is not therapy. Mediation is a problem solving process in which the three participants, husband, wife, mediator, determine the issues to be tackled, what information is needed to embark on the process and what were the objectives to be gained. 4 Comments