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01/25/2015

Saudi's new king, Salman, known as a mediator of disputes within royal family

Saudi Arabia's new king, Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, is a veteran of the country's top leadership, versed in diplomacy from nearly 50 years as the governor of the capital Riyadh and known as a mediator of disputes within the sprawling royal family. Salman, 79, had increasingly taken on the duties of the king over the past year as his ailing predecessor and half-brother, Abdullah, became more incapacitated. Abdullah died before dawn on Friday at 90. Salman had served as defense minister since 2011 and so was head of the military as Saudi Arabia joined the United States and other Arab countries in carrying out airstrikes in Syria in 2014 against the Islamic State, the Sunni militant group that the kingdom began to see as a threat to its own stability.


US settles case over fake Facebook page

The Justice Department has reached a $134,000 settlement with a New York woman after federal drug agents used information from her cellphone to set up a fake Facebook page in her identity, a tactic that raised privacy concerns and led to a federal government review of the ruse, according to court papers filed Tuesday. The government did not admit wrongdoing as part of its settlement with Sondra Arquiett, which comes months after a judge referred both sides into mediation. After initially defending the practice, the Justice Department said last October that it would review whether the undercover tactic went too far, and ultimately reached what one official described as a fair outcome.


Federal Judge Orders Archdiocese To Mediation With Abuse Victims

The bankruptcy filing of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis was ordered out of the courtroom and into the conference room Tuesday when a judge sent the case to mediation. The archdiocese, its insurance companies and attorneys for abuse victims will attempt to reach a mediated settlement under an order from U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Kressel. Both church and victims’ attorneys welcomed the decision, which Kressel called the most efficient way to settle the bankruptcy. Mediation also will help keep attorney fees in check, both sides stressed. However, mediation will be held behind closed doors, removing most bankruptcy actions from the public eye. Kressel named Magistrate Judge Arthur J. Boylan to oversee the mediation.


Dayton Police Hold Community Mediation On Race

Police Officers and folks just like us come together to talk frankly about race relations Friday (January 16th, 2015) night. A heated debate surrounding recent police shootings on the Dayton Police Department's Facebook page led two officers to take the conversation a step further. "When people are killed or murdered it's a tragedy and it creates tension in the community no matter how it happens," Dayton Mediation Center's Tom Wahlrab said Friday. That tension found an outlet in Trotwood Friday. Officers from Dayton, Trotwood, and Cincinnati sat down with the folks they serve and protect. DPD Officer Zachary Williams is one of the organizers who says folks have really opened up about their fears.


Detroit bankruptcy shows mediation can get the job done

The Detroit bankruptcy, which many feared would drag on for years while the city's citizens suffered, was completely resolved in 16 months on a fully consensual basis. Many have asked how this was achieved and what can be learned from the Detroit experience. Although there are no doubt numerous lessons, we believe that the most significant takeaway is that mediation — the resolution of disputes through confidential negotiations led by a neutral facilitator — can produce faster, more satisfying and less rancorous resolution of disputes, and that such an approach can and should be used in other public policy disputes.


A growing alternative to criminal trials: Mediation

Since the Idaho Supreme Court set rules in 2011, mediation has emerged as a potent way to help prosecutors and defense lawyers avoid costly and time-consuming trials - the same benefit mediators have provided in civil cases for decades. Canyon County Prosecutor Bryan Taylor started a pilot program a few years ago using mediation in Nampa misdemeanor cases. It worked so well that his office expanded the program to felony cases.

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Thomas Jefferson

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Richard Barbieri
The Police and the Public: A Mediator’s Reflections (1/23/15)
Richard Barbieri
In a society where media coverage and public concern shift rapidly from one headline to another, tension surrounding the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner seems to have exceptional durability and to be spilling into numerous venues, not least the conflict between New York’s police and its mayor. What insight can mediators offer as we seek to understand, and perhaps avoid, such escalating situations in the future?


Joint Sessions: More Arrows in the Mediation Advocacy Quiver (1/23/15)
Daniel Ben-Zvi, Caroline Vincent
While private caucuses and shuttle diplomacy successfully produce settlements, attorneys who also choose to advocate directly to their opposition in joint session are availing themselves of more arrows in the attorney’s quiver.  Mediators Daniel Ben-Zvi and Caroline Vincent encourage attorneys not to overlook this valuable tool and discuss strategies to use in conjunction with joint sessions to provide the most favorable resolution for their clients.


Recovering After Conflict - Book Excerpt (1/23/15)
Katie Carey
When people have lived with an ongoing conflict for a while, it is often hard for them to find a new identity. Conflict often becomes a part of people and fuels their fire. After conflict, it is important to take to heal and find ways to fuel a new fire. This book excerpt discusses that process.


Mediate.com Announces Mediation Futures Project (1/20/15)
Jim Melamed, Robert Benjamin, Clare Fowler
In Celebration of our 20th Year, Mediate.com has announced The Mediation Futures Project. Ultimately, our goal is to develop a set of blueprints for the mediation field most effectively moving into the future. Submit your article or comment today!

Debra Oliver
Mediation: Centerpiece of World Recovery (1/20/15)
Debra Oliver
This articles examines the future of mediation as a tool for global improvement. There are a variety of venues where mediation might prove to be the only answer for entrenched conflict.

Kenneth Cloke
The Future of Mediation: Toward a Conflict Revolution (1/18/15)
Kenneth Cloke
We evolve, not only as individuals, but as couples, families, groups, organizations, societies, economies and polities, both in the nature of our conflicts and in our approaches to resolution, moving from simple to more complex, nuanced and skillful forms. But in order to evolve, it is necessary for us not merely to settle or resolve the particular conflict we are facing, but also its hidden coda, essential nature, or binding principle, by learning the secret lesson it took place in order to teach us.

Jennifer Winestone
Best Interests and Little Voices: Child Participation in the Family Mediation Dialogue (1/17/15)
Jennifer Winestone
This article examines the circumstances in which the child's perspective and inclusion is appropriate in divorce mediation and provides guidelines for achieving a safe inclusion process.

Eduardo Andres Sandoval Forero
Educación y Paz Integral Sustentable y Duradera - en Espanol (1/16/15)
Eduardo Andres Sandoval Forero
En el presente capítulo exponemos algunas ideas sobre la paz integral, su sustentabilidad y durabilidad. Abordamos la relación de la paz integral con la educación, entendida como un subsistema en el que se presentan conflictos, violencias, variedades áulicas y dinámicas de respeto y aplicación de los derechos humanos, de tolerancia, reconocimiento a las diversidades y praxis de cultura de paz.

John Sturrock
Hope for The Future of Mediation Internationally (1/13/15)
John Sturrock
My own work has taken me into the legislatures of many of the assemblies and parliaments in the countries of the United Kingdom to train and coach members in “scrutiny skills”. I believe that many politicians do understand the real value of this training at an individual level. I believe that they wish to move away from the time-consuming, energy-depleting, morale-sapping and often futile game of positional politics. They sense that this change is what their constituents want too.

Nina Meierding
Looking to the Future: Is There Still A Place For Proactive, Early Intervention Mediation in Our Changing Field? (1/13/15)
Nina Meierding
In the author's experience as a mediator in over 4,000 cases and in almost thirty years of working with advocates, consulting attorneys, and collaborative lawyers, she believes that all forms of mediation are valuable processes which each have their place in helping parties move forward in their conflicts. She takes no position on the "best" process, only that self-determination remains the ultimate goal of any form of mediation. She is hopeful that mediators, participants, and attorneys will re-examine the trend of late intervention, lawyer-centric mediation and bring pro-active, early mediation back as one of the important focuses of the mediation field.

Robyn McDonald
The Critical Role of Mediation in Bridging the Access to Justice Gap (1/09/15)
Robyn McDonald
For more than a decade, Colorado has worked to provide access to justice (ATJ) for its indigent and modest means citizenry. Despite efforts by the bar and the courts, the state continues to struggle in its pursuit. What has been so often overlooked, however, is how mediation provides the courts and litigants an affordable, efficient option to resolving many disputes.

Cris Pastore
Alimony in PA: Friend or Foe in Divorce? (1/09/15)
Cris Pastore
Alimony has become the "black sheep" of divorce law, often viewed as evil, spiteful and punitive. In my opinion, these perceptions are greatly misguided. I see alimony as entirely moral and appropriate, but only when it is necessary. Read my article to understand why.

Jon Warner
Conflict Theory (1/09/15)
Jon Warner
Everyone experiences conflict in their life so it should be no surprise that it also occurs in the workplace. However, organizational conflict theory says there are several varieties of conflicts within a given enterprise, with interpersonal being only one type. Departments have conflicts with one another, senior managements have power struggles and teams/organizations even have conflict with other teams/organizations.

Bill Marsh
Who's Running the Show? (1/09/15)
Bill Marsh
Noted mediation thinkers such as Robert Bush and Joseph Folger write an empassioned challenge to the profession “Reclaiming Mediation’s Future: Getting Over the Intoxication of Expertise, Re-Focusing on Party Self-Determination”, arguing that mediation has shifted radically away from the party self-determination which is its essence.

Jeffrey Grubman
Why are Attorneys Afraid of Conflict in Mediation? (1/09/15)
Jeffrey Grubman
The mediation process has evolved significantly over the past few decades. Mediation was initially viewed skeptically by trial attorneys who viewed themselves as warriors who preferred to try cases rather than settle them.

Maria Eugenia Sole
Violencia Familiar y ODR - Video en Espanol (1/07/15)
Maria Eugenia Sole
¿Cómo podemos definir la violencia familiar? En primer lugar, podemos decir que la violencia familiar o violencia doméstica es cualquier forma de abuso entre los miembros de una misma familia, de un miembro a otro miembro. Este abuso generalmente causa un daño físico o psicológico a este miembro de la familia.


The Future of Mediation in Different Sectors (1/05/15)
Elinor Robin, Susan Dubow
Mediation has come a long way in the last 4 decades since it was endorsed, but this article examines all of the areas in which mediation still needs to grow.

Doug Yarn
Re-conceptualizing the Work as Something Bigger than Ourselves--Reconciliation (1/05/15)
Doug Yarn
After toiling in this field for 30 years, I have the strong sense that the patina has worn off and the institutions we have created are fraying and unsustainable in their current manifestations. I’m in good company in this perception; however, that doesn’t mean there is no future for mediation.

Zeno  Daniel Sustac
Mediation Anthem to Ring in the New Year (1/02/15)
Zeno Daniel Sustac
As the new year breaks, Zeno Sustac presents a mediation anthem and the English translation.

Ralph Kilmann
Thomas-Kilmann Instrument: A Reflection on 40 Years (1/02/15)
Ralph Kilmann
Many mediators have used the TKI to illustrate concepts of avoidance and collaboration. On the 40th anniversary of the Thomas-Kilmann Instrument, Ralph Kilmann reflects on what they've learned.

Elinor Robin
Four Things You May Not Know About Conflict Even Though You Are Already A Conflict Expert--Book Excerpt (1/02/15)
Elinor Robin
Preview an excerpt of Elinor Robin's new book. Most of its content is relevant to the work we do as mediators, but not typical of the information generally presented during a mediation training program.

Karl Bayer
How Do We Create Better Inventives? (12/26/14)
Karl Bayer
Notwithstanding rules, admonitions and the fervent desire for efficient resolution of disputes, our current system of litigation creates incentives to drive up the costs of litigation. So how do we change these incentives?

Alberto Elisavetsky
Tercer artículo colectivo producto del debate en el foro Cyberweek 2014 sobre Sistemas Normativos y ODR (12/26/14)
Alberto Elisavetsky
En casos de ODR respecto de situaciones transfronterizas, sólo tenemos las normas de Derecho Internacional Privado. Es bueno destacar que el Grupo III de la CNUDMI (Comisión de las Naciones Unidas para el Derecho Mercantil Internacional -o UNCITRAL en Inglés), está reuniéndose desde hace bastante tiempo (celebraron su 30° período de sesiones entre el 20 y el 24 de octubre pasado en Viena), a fin de elaborar un proyecto de reglamento para la solución de controversias en línea en operaciones transfronterizas de comercio electrónico.

Nicolas Ulmer
The Witness Statement as Disclosure (12/26/14)
Nicolas Ulmer
As arbitrator I often glance through the witness statements early-on in order to get a more direct “feel” for the case, its players and its history, as well as for planning purposes.

Phyllis Pollack
Mediations Are Supposed To Be Confidential... But Are They Really? (12/19/14)
Phyllis Pollack
Many times a mediator has analogized mediation confidentiality to the television ad, "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" to explain the sacrosanct nature of mediation confidentiality. But, are mediations really confidential? This article was reposted to ensure mediators are fully aware of this important topic.

Bruce Provda
6 Reasons You Need a Prenup (12/19/14)
Bruce Provda
Many divorces happen because of financial problems. A prenup forces both parties to look at — and reveal — their financial picture. An open discussion about finance may help to build a firm foundation for marriage.

Brad Heckman
Police Academy IX: This Time It’s Interpersonal (12/19/14)
Brad Heckman
The New York Peace Institute recently conducted a mediation training for the NYPD. They have kindly shared how the training went, tips and tricks for training, and some insights into the cross-over between police and mediation.

Donald T. Saposnek
Mediation Going Forward: What Do We Know? What Can We Expect? (12/17/14)
Donald T. Saposnek
The current complexity of our problems, at least in the U.S., is close to the point of overwhelm; for the individuals involved, for the governments that rule them, for the courts that adjudicate them, for the economic systems that support them, and because of the corrupted values that guide them.

Maria Eugenia Sole
Utilizing Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) for Co-parenting Issues in Families with a History of Domestic Violence (12/17/14)
Maria Eugenia Sole
This video discusses family mediation, domestic violence, and online dispute resolution. Maria Eugenia Sole discusses that different cultures have different definitions--with different understandings of what should be tolerated and what requires help. She also discusses different steps that can help.

Tom Stipanowich
Beyond “Getting to Yes:” Building Mediation Skills and Insights into Relationships (12/16/14)
Tom Stipanowich
A quarter century ago many believed we were experiencing a revolution in the way conflict was managed. Nowhere was this more noticeable than in the construction sector, the primary focus of my practice as an advocate and dispute resolution professional.


Claiming Mediation's Future (12/15/14)
Elinor Robin, Susan Dubow
Our own article on the future of mediation focuses on emerging trends and untapped potential. In addition we decided to write a response to “Reclaiming Mediation’s Future: Getting Over the Intoxication of Expertise, Re-Focusing on Party Self-Determination” which was written by the esteemed Robert A. Baruch Bush, and Joseph P. Folger for Mediate.com in November 2014. We are not submitting this rebuttal in an attempt to change any one’s mind. Instead, as mediators we are generally fascinated with hearing, and telling, the rest of the story, so here it is…..

Douglas Noll
Doug Noll Discusses the Future of Litigated and Non-Litigated Mediation - Video and Transcript (12/12/14)
Douglas Noll
Doug Noll discusses the future of litigated and non-litigated cases.

Elizabeth Kent
Agatha Christie Helped Me Be A More Effective Mediator (12/12/14)
Elizabeth Kent
This short article presents a technique that the author calls a "Miss Marple Moment." Through the use of parallel stories, a neutral may address attribution and perceived negative intentions, and assist participants in seeing their situation in a different light and help them reflect on their contributions to the conflict. Hopefully, it is a fun read, just like an Agatha Christie book.

Josefina Rendon
Mediator Ethics and Professionalism: A Recipe for Success (12/12/14)
Josefina Rendon
I attended an interesting presentation on agreement writing and other mediation issues for advocates. One presenter talked in terms of moves, strategies, bluffs and get-away-with’s. The other talked in terms of good practice and ethical standards. Though the first mediator never advocated unethical conduct, the second struck me as a professional whose values and ethical standards were at the forefront of his practice.

Jeanette Bicknell
Workplace Restoration Case Study (12/12/14)
Jeanette Bicknell
Relations between the account services team and the head of production (“Bob”) were at an all-time low. The “drama” was a distraction from business. The manager wanted people to be able to work together collaboratively as a team. She was tired of responding to complaints about Bob and wasn’t sure what to do. And she wanted a quick solution before key staff members left for vacation. So she turned to a mediator.

Jerry Barrett
The Future of Alternative Dispute Resolution (12/09/14)
Jerry Barrett
Given the creativity of ADR practitioners and scholars, the best of ADR will continue to grow and expand to new areas of practice, and unheard of new ADR practice will emerge.

Colin Rule
A Future of Social Technology In Support of Peace & Justice (12/08/14)
Colin Rule
I envision a world where our social technology is designed in a way that builds human empathy, identifies and resolves conflict early and effectively, and introduces an era of greater peace, justice, and happiness. It will take a lot of work to get there, and there will be a lot of bumps in the road, but I can see it plain as day. That’s my hope for the future of mediation.

Tammy Lenski
The Future of Mediation: Mediators As Problem Finders, Makers, and Designers (12/08/14)
Tammy Lenski
When we focus primarily on problem solving, our effort will naturally tend to revolve around pinpointing, even driving hard toward, solutions. Along with our endgame focus may come the tendency to hurry past parts of the conflict that don’t seem, on the surface, to support our goal.

Lorraine Segal
The Conflict Pivot: A Must-Read for Mediators and Coaches - Book Review (12/05/14)
Lorraine Segal
In Tammy Lenski's latest book, The Conflict Pivot: Turning Conflict into Peace of Mind, I have discovered a rich resource that I can use in the moment while I’m working with clients, and which I can give to my clients to guide them when they're in the grip of a conflict. This article summarizes the book and explains why it is so valuable.

Alicia Millán
Mobbing at Work - en Espanol (12/05/14)
Alicia Millán
Este artículo intenta abarcar tres aspectos diferenciados aunque esenciales para el reconocimiento y tratamiento de este modo de violencia que tanto el Informe sobre Seguridad en el Trabajo de la Organización Internacional del Trabajo (O.I.T.) como otras publicaciones especializadas en la materia y en Congresos y Eventos sobre el tema lo califican como “nueva plaga laboral del siglo XXI”.


Dealing with Difficult People (12/05/14)
Jon Warner, John Radclyffe
We have to face dealing with difficult people at any time in our lives (and at both work and in our home lives). But in general, it’s not so much that the people themselves are difficult (although there are exceptions to this of course), but it is more likely that we find their current behavior difficult to deal with at a particular point of time.

Sam Imperati
Our Mediation Future (12/02/14)
Sam Imperati
I have practiced ADR since 1992. I look back fondly and forward enthusiastically with great hope. In thinking about “what from our past has worked best and should be brought forward and emphasized,” I decided to review two law review articles I wrote early on in my career. What follows is a summary of what I thought then. It will be followed by summaries of two articles about what I think currently. This article will then conclude with my half-formed or mal-formed thoughts about the future.

Barbara Wilson
Revisiting Reframing: Mediation and the Impact of “Spin” (12/01/14)
Barbara Wilson
In this brief piece I argue that it is time to revisit some of the existing critiques of mediation. I look again at the function of reframing, question whether it still warrants the essentialism attributed to it in practice, and explore some alternative strategies. I also argue that, as a consequence of contemporary manoeuvring by the state and the media, disputants may perceive reframing in mediation as a form of “spin”, defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “the presentation of information in a particular way; a slant, especially a favourable one”.


Reclaiming Mediation’s Future: Getting Over the Intoxication of Expertise, Re-Focusing on Party Self-Determination (12/01/14)
Robert A. Baruch Bush, Joseph P. Folger
For us and the colleagues we’ve worked with for many years, our first premise has always been that self-determination, or what we call empowerment, is the central and supreme value of mediation – a premise probably shared by many in the field. This is what we were struck by when we began, and believed was uniquely served by mediation. We believe in the value of upholding party choice, and we also believe that increasing understanding, reaching sustainable resolution, and other goals all rest on the foundation of genuine party self-determination. At this point in the evolution of mediation, the question in our view is, what has happened to the mediator’s mission of supporting self-determination?

John Lande
Some Good Questions (12/01/14)
John Lande
In 1998, commenting on the hot controversy about the “Rand Report’s” finding that certain mediation programs did not save time or money (measured in terms of lawyers’ work hours), Professor Craig McEwen argued that it was the wrong question to ask whether “mediation works.”

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