The goal of mediation, however, is to resolve conflict, which has nothing to do with mental health. Mediation aims to help two (or more) parties find a mutually acceptable resolution to their points of difference or disagreement. It’s all about identifying goals and finding a way to achieve them that bypasses the inherent conflict.
On the heels of their successful statewide campaign to legalize cannabis, marijuana advocates began mobilizing for another fight. They began collecting signatures for another ballot measure, this one aimed at allowing citizens to vote on whether to legalize pot smoking in many Denver bars and restaurants. To the activists’ surprise, however, the Denver City Council approached them and asked to try to negotiate a solution instead.
The Citizens’ Mediation Centre (CMC) resolved about 20,000 of the about 28,000 disputes brought before it last year, the Solicitor-General and Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Justice, Mrs. Funlola Odunlami, has said.
The number of mediation ‘starts’ increased by a third in the three months to June, the government has announced. In a new bulletin on legal aid statistics for the second quarter of 2015, the Ministry of Justice reports a 33 per cent increase in the number of times families at loggerheads began mediation, when compared to the same period last year.
A form of mediation based in Hawaiian tradition won't be an option for protesters arrested for blocking construction of a giant telescope. The state won't participate in the mediation known as hooponopono, said Josh Wisch, spokesman for the state attorney general's office. Hooponopono is traditionally used within families to work out differences, using prayer and discussion. Three defendants asked for the practice as an alternative to a trial. It seemed likely to happen after Hawaii County Prosecutor Mitch Roth supported the idea.
Yeager Airport officials are expected to begin mediation with representatives at the Keystone Apostolic Church in Charleston this week, following the massive hillside collapse that destroyed the facility earlier this year.
The presiding Family Court judge in Albuquerque has recused herself from hearing any cases involving an Albuquerque mother who was court-ordered to attend religious-based mediation services. According to a court document obtained by KRQE News 13, District Court Judge Elizabeth Whitefield ordered all other Family Court judges to recuse themselves from hearing the cases as well.
York County Board of Commissioners President Steve Chronister proposes professional mediation as an end to the budget impasse at a news conference outside the York County Administrative Center in York Monday. The President of the York County Board of Commissioners proposed professional mediation as a way to fix the budget stalemate that is in its 90th day in Harrisburg.
Dayton Police Lt. Andrew Booher says a mediation program for police officers and citizens has been helpful in resolving problems and creating better understanding between officers and citizens. The city is among a small number of U.S. communities that give citizens opportunities to meet with police when they feel officers were rude, discourteous or behaved inappropriately.
Getting “the Good Stuff” from Feedback (10/02/15) Lorraine Segal I confess that I have had a love-hate relationship with feedback. In my teaching and coaching, I am passionately committed to improving and growing. And, I always want to be a good spouse, friend, and colleague as well.
Mediations are Supposed to be Confidential… But Are They Really? (9/25/15) Phyllis Pollack Either as a participant in a mediation or as the mediator, we have all learned the cardinal rule that mediations are confidential both in terms of the statements and other communications made during the mediation and the information the mediator keeps to herself, not sharing it with the other parties. 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.
Keep it Simple. Keep it Interesting. (9/18/15) Sapna Jhangiani In an age of ever-increasing complexity, where your watch can open your garage and answer your phone (yes, the Apple watch can really do that), many of us in the international arbitration community have lost sight of the most powerful weapon in the advocate’s toolbox: simplicity.
Legal Costs and ‘Mediation Receptivity’ (9/18/15) Charlie Irvine In 2006 Frank Sander produced his ‘Mediation Receptivity Index’(22 Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution, 599-618). The MRI would be a way of discerning the extent of ‘mainstreaming’ or ‘institutionalization’ of mediation in different US states. It doesn’t seem to have caught on, but we discuss Sanders work here.
“Perversion of Law” in Chinese Criminal Law – An Indiscriminate Legal Weapon Against Arbitrators (9/12/15) Arthad Kurlekar Article 399A included in the Criminal Law of People’s Republic of China, provides for criminal liability to arbitrators for “perversion of law” (Wangfa Zhongcai Zui). The provision has been a Part of the Criminal Law since 2006. However, on 24 June 2015, the Supreme People’s Court (‘SPC’) and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP) of China have undertaken the task of interpreting Article 399A (Further information about the process may be found here).
Facilitating Disagreement (9/11/15) Michael Jacobs After twenty years practice and at the point of retirement, one of my mediator colleagues reflected on her experience of working with people in dispute. What struck her most forcefully was how rare it was for people to be able to disagree constructively. Disagreement inevitably ended up as conflict. At which point, people no longer had different points of view, they had a fight.
Scientific Mediation (9/11/15) Todd Jarvis Scientific mediators attempt to tread the path between “Merchants of Doom” and “Merchants of Doubt” as “Merchants of Discourse” using multiple working hypotheses and multiple ways of knowing as their moral compass.
Keep Mediation and Arbitration Separate? (9/04/15) John Sturrock One topic which stimulated some forthright conversation recently was the use of hybrids whereby a mediator takes on the role of arbitrator if the matter does not resolve by mediation. In particular, we discussed the transition from mediator to arbitrator with the consent of the parties.
What if Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert Reacted to Simon & Rhoades on Imperati on Bush and Folger! (9/01/15) Sam Imperati This article rebuts “Bush and Folger on Reclaiming Mediation’s Future” written by Dan Simon, Dusty Rhoades, and Vicky Rhoades for Mediate.com in 2015. Their article attempts to rebut my 2015 article, “Ironically, Bush and Folger are Evaluative,” which was itself a rebuttal to the 2014 Bush and Folger article, “Reclaiming Mediation’s Future: Getting Over the Intoxication of Expertise, Re-Focusing on Party Self-Determination.” There’s a whole lot of rebutting going on!
Unravelling Cultural Diversity in Mediation (8/28/15) Malcolm Sher What is “culture” anyway? Webster defines culture as the “customary beliefs, social forms and material traits of a racial, religious or social group.” Dutch psychologist Geert Hofstede, defines culture more generally as “the collective programming of the mind that distinguishes the members of one group or category of people from another.”
Mediation as a "Disruptive Innovation" (8/28/15) Sig Cohen Borrowing from Harvard Prof. Clayton Christensen’s 1997 classic The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail, this article examines how mediation can replace litigation to become the standard practice for resolving disputes in the U.S. While most consider mediation an ‘alternative’ to litigation, I argue it’s only a matter of time before mediation reaches ‘cornerstone status’ in our legal system. Among other things, the article focuses on how law firms and legal education may have to adapt to achieve this goal. However, the outcome can only result in a less expensive, time consuming and emotionally draining process.
Update on Mediation Confidentiality (8/28/15) Phyllis Pollack As originally drafted and introduced into the California State Assembly, it provided that mediation confidentiality would not preclude the introduction of “… communications between a client and his or her attorney during mediation… in an action for legal malpractice or breach of fiduciary duty or both, and in a State Bar disciplinary action, if the attorneys’ professional negligence or misconduct forms the basis of the client’s allegations against the attorney.” In short, mediation confidentiality would not provide a shield to an attorney in a legal malpractice action, State Bar proceeding or disciplinary action where his alleged misfeasance or malfeasance arose during mediation.
Laying the Table (8/28/15) Ian MacDuff In both practice and training, we’ve long operated on some assumed attributes of mediation – confidentiality, neutrality – and a loose consensus on at least the key elements of what mediation looks like, though without offending our other cherished values of pluralism, diversity, mediator autonomy, and context-sensitive design.
The Downside of Arb-Med-Arb Procedures (8/21/15) Gracious Timothy The AMA procedure is not the end of the line. Enforcement of settlement agreements is cited as a crucial aspect and the AMA procedure is not completely geared up for it looking at its many downsides. It would be more desirable and feasible to prepare a uniform model provision on enforcement of mediated settlement agreements that would be universally acceptable.
An Action Plan for Family Business Conflicts (8/19/15) Kathy Goodman, Karen LaRose Hurtful relationship remarks can be understood as expressions of unmet needs for respect, appreciation, autonomy and acknowledgement. Unfortunately, even mild expressions of frustrations felt in family businesses, if left unattended, have consequences. Family business disputes are especially emotional, and repeated hurts and miscommunications accumulate into grudges, damaging silence, and feelings of injustice. They can, and often do, result in costly legal actions among family members. Relationships can become difficult or impossible to heal after such ordeals.
Problem-solving Effectiveness of Sports Mediation (8/05/15) Michael Toebe Sports is a highly-competitive culture and that same commitment and drive it takes to get results can also be a strength so strong, too strong in fact, that it becomes a weakness in minimizing or resolving very costly conflicts, whether that be relationally, performance wise or financially.
Embracing "Cultural Diversity" in Mediation (8/05/15) Malcolm Sher More than seventy percent of my mediations involve parties who were born, raised, educated or lived somewhere other than the U.S. or are younger generations of people who were. Their differing “cultures” often play a big part in “who” they are and how they may behave in the face of conflict.
The UNCITRAL Convention on Enforceability of Settlement Agreements Resulting from International Commercial Mediation (7/30/15) Gracious Timothy In February 2015, the U. N. Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Working Group II (Arbitration and Conciliation) met in New York to consider the case for a Convention on the recognition and enforcement of international settlement agreements achieved through mediation. The task was to report on feasibility and the possible form of work in that area. The Working Group did receive several comments from states on the need; the status of settlements; possible exceptions; and the technical feasibility of this new convention. This article collectively summarises the questions underlying possible harmonized solutions.
How to Become a Successful Mediator (7/23/15) Bennett G. Picker The theme of today’s conference is “Succeeding in Mediation.” The simplest definition of mediation is “facilitated negotiations by a trusted individual.” If I had to define mediation in only one word, my word would be “opportunity.” The process offers the parties an opportunity to telescope issues in hours that might take years in litigation, to forge solutions based upon underlying interests, to preserve relationships and, quite obviously, to avoid the time, expenses and distractions of litigation.
The Future of Mediation: Changing the Default of Fault (7/21/15) Richard Barbieri Will the future of mediation be, as Woody Allen remarked, “much like the present, only longer”? Given what we know about human nature, systems, and the resistance of each to change, that’s perhaps the safest prediction. But it’s also a less than hopeful prognosis, because mediation has much to offer the future, far more than it has achieved at present.
Good Communication Starts With Listening (7/14/15) Nancy Foster When you are speaking and someone is not paying attention, how do you feel? Annoyed, frustrated, discounted, rejected, anxious or angry? Such feelings usually make communication more difficult. So how can we show someone who is speaking that we really are paying attention to them?
Styles of Mediation: Facilitative, Evaluative, and Transformative Mediation (7/14/15) Zena Zumeta Mediators around the country find themselves uncomfortable with what is being called mediation in their own and other areas. Accusations are made that one or another approach to mediation is not “real” mediation or are not what clients wanted. In addition, many clients and attorneys are confused about what mediation is and is not, and are not sure what they will get if they go to mediation.
Dealing With Defensiveness In High Conflict People (7/14/15) Bill Eddy When most people think of high conflict people (HCPs), they think of bad behavior. The goal seems to be to get them to STOP their bad behavior, by verbally motivating them to have insights into how bad they are acting. However, the high conflict behavior of HCPs is not driven by logic and self-awareness. If you don’t understand this and don’t accept this, you will waste your time arguing for insights and miss your opportunities to calm them down and set real limits on their behavior.
Finding a Maryland Divorce Mediator (7/08/15) Donna Duquette If you are thinking about working with a divorce mediator, then this is probably one of the more difficult times in your life. To make matters even more challenging, in the midst of this emotional turmoil you are called upon to make some important family decisions. One of these decisions is how to find a divorce mediator who will be right for you and your spouse. Here are suggestions for finding a divorce mediator in Maryland.
Seven Steps for Effective Problem Solving in the Workplace (7/06/15) Tim Hicks Problem solving and decision making. Ask anyone in the workplace if these activities are part of their day and they'd certainly answer 'Yes!' But how many of us have had training in problem solving? We know it's a critical element of our work but do we know how to do it effectively?
We Have to Talk: A Step-By-Step Checklist for Difficult Conversations (7/06/15) Judy Ringer What you have here is a brief synopsis of best practice strategies: a checklist of action items to think about before going into the conversation; some useful concepts to practice during the conversation; and some tips and suggestions to help you’re energy stay focused and flowing, including possible conversational openings. You’ll notice one key theme throughout: you have more power than you think.
Are You Really Ready for Divorce? The 8 Questions You Need to Ask (7/06/15) Bruce Derman, Wendy Gregson This article outlines what couples need to do in order to face the numerous dilemmas that are inherent in divorce. A dilemma implies that you are torn between two choices, each of which have undesirable fearful elements. If people have not resolved their dilemmas before the divorce, they go through the process trying to manage their fear in different ways by hiding their doubt, responsibility; vulnerability, or dependency.
Dear Futures Project: What I Think I Know (7/01/15) Gini Nelson We are the fortunate beneficiaries of Jim Melamed and Mediate.com's twenty years of dogged persistence in all things mediation. Here are a few things about what I think I know about the next five years or so to come.
In An Interdependent World There Is No Them And Us, Only Us (6/29/15) John Sturrock The old certainties are gone. The disruption caused by the General Election result will inevitably cause instability - and opportunity. Now is the time for new thinking, a break from the old paradigms. You don't solve your problems by using the same thinking that got you into them, as Einstein would say.
“Justice” Report for England and Wales: A Missed Opportunity for Radical Change (6/29/15) Charlie Irvine "Justice," a UK think-tank committed to legal reform, launched a new report in April 2015 entitled "Delivering Justice in an Age of Austerity". It proposes significant changes to the justice system of England and Wales, including a new character, the "Registrar", who would have powers to mediate, provide early neutral evaluation, dismiss cases or refer them to a judge. The article provides a detailed critique of the proposals, concluding that despite great merit, they extend the "shadow of the law" by making early neutral evaluation the default. A more radical and empowering change would have been to make mediation the default, with ENE and adjudication the remedial alternatives.
Avoiding the Uncertainty of a Medical Malpractice Trial (6/19/15) Richard Bone Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) provides viable and attractive alternatives to jury trials as a means of resolving medical legal disputes arising out of allegations of professional negligence. The two primary alternatives to a jury trial for medical malpractice cases are mediation and binding arbitration.