The recent Divorced Ireland series in the Irish Times has highlighted the challenges people face in dealing with separation, particularly when children are involved. Faced with the breakdown of a marriage or long-term relationship, many people see court as being the only avenue open to them. Mediation offers an alternative to this. In family mediation, trained professional mediators assist couples in negotiating the profound changes their family is going through, with a view to reaching an agreement that will work for everyone.
Lawyers and mediators sometimes fail to appreciate that a mediation requires as much advance planning and consideration of strategy as a trial. Too often, lawyers (and some mediators) pick up the file a day or two in advance (at best) and wing it, relying on their advocacy skills and smarts to negotiate their way through the mediation day. This approach does not serve the needs of everyone involved. By using the following mediation countdown, everyone will come to the table prepared.
Israel is prepared to act a mediator between Russia and Ukraine, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Monday in an interview with the Russian news agency RIA Novosti. "Israel's neutrality in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict is the most reasonable position but neutrality does not mean inaction," Lieberman said ahead of a meeting with Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Moscow. "We have good relations with both countries. Moscow and Kiev trust us." "This is a good basis for mediation efforts. We have repeatedly said that we were ready to deploy and these are not only statements," he added. "It is precisely because we are from these countries that we can understand both parties."
New research suggests that reducing conflict between work and familial responsibilities help people sleep better. A multi-institution of researchers found that workers who participated in an intervention aimed at reducing conflict between work and familial responsibilities slept an hour more each week and reported greater sleep sufficiency than those who did not participate in the intervention.
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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it.
Without Compulsion: Teaching Mediators Empathy (1/30/15) Gregorio Billikopf When we are in conflict, our counterparts become our enemies. We block positive feelings we may have about them. We may try and bravely think of something good to say, but emotional leakage gives away the pain we are feeling. It is difficult to move our counterpart out of the enemy camp, and even more difficult to say something positive about him or her.
Technology (1/30/15) Joe Markowitz If somebody were to ask me (actually somebody did ask me) about the future of conflict resolution, my answer would have to include technology. Technology is already enabling us to do things that would have been unimaginable only, say, 20 years ago.
Beyond “Half Full or Half Empty” - Getting the Right Glass (1/27/15) John Kenyon The mediation field continues to debate its future with optimists and pessimist talking past each because fundamentally we do not agree on what constitutes mediation. The article takes a different perspective and suggests several ways to tackle the thorny issue of definitions along with using a practitioner to manage these divisive issues.
Truths in Advertising (1/26/15) Howard Gadlin Several times in the course of my life I’ve been involved with a cohort of people who envisioned themselves as a possible vanguard of fundamental social change even while they were pursuing professional careers In fact, many of the early mediation practitioners were also veterans of civil rights and anti-war activities who were drawn to ADR as an alternative path to justice, equality, and social change.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…..
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.