When mandatory arbitration replaces litigation, consumers lose
Legislation that would eliminate required arbitration for employee, consumer and civil rights disputes was proposed last month. It should be passed. Congress must act to restore fairness.
Big business and corporate money, along with a corporate friendly Supreme Court, have been enough in the past to defeat efforts to bring fairness back to the arena of routine consumer and employee rights. Unfortunately, the same thing is likely to happen again, and the Arbitration Fairness Act of 2013 that has been introduced in the House (and a similar bill in the Senate) will likely fail.
Arab-jewish Peace Talks Will Start Next Week in Rhodes, U.N. Mediator Announces
After an all-day conference in Cairo with the political committee of the Arab League, Count Folke Bernadotte, U.N. mediator for Palestine, informed the Secretariat here that the work of mediation and negotiation between Arabs and Jews will begin next week on the Greek island of Rhodes.
Ag mediation services available
On the face of it, the drought and late freeze in Kansas have been plenty hard enough, but the difficulties don't end with smaller yields and lack of forage. They sometimes mean struggles when the bills come due. To help farmers and ranchers, as well as lenders, work through legal and financial issues, the Kansas Agricultural Mediation Services offers free or low-cost services to farmers, ranchers and others.
Is Nevada's foreclosure program effective?
Metrics that evaluate Nevada effort being made public - slowly. Eight months after a Reno Gazette-Journal article raised transparency concerns about the state’s foreclosure mediation system, administrators for the program have started to release more data to the public.
Kilmarnock: Fans group offers mediation with chairman
Supporters Direct Scotland has offered to mediate between Kilmarnock fans and club chairman Michael Johnston over the future direction of the club.
Yachting: Kiwi to mediate in Cup row
A New Zealander is one of two sailing experts on the mediation panel which will try to get the warring America's Cup teams in San Francisco to agree on how and when the regatta will proceed - but the whole process could take at least another week.
New Mediation Program to Resolve Employment Discrimination Disputes Faster, Save Time and Money for All Parties
The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission has launched a mediation program to resolve employment discrimination complaints within a short timeframe. Trained, neutral mediators will guide the process, which aims to produce settlements agreeable to both parties.
"With mediation, everyone gets relief faster," Commission Chairman Gerry Robinson said. "People who believe they have been wronged, as well as employers facing complaints will get conflicts resolved faster, avoiding lengthy investigations, costly hearings and potential court filings."
There is no cost to those who choose mediation as a way of resolving their disputes, and they do not need to hire an attorney. The process is confidential.
Sudan agrees to AU mediation
The Sudanese government said it has no objections to meeting with African Union leaders to find a solution to outstanding issues with South Sudan.
Mediation Sought for Penn State Sanction Funds
State Senator Jake Corman (R-Centre) and State Treasurer Rob McCord have asked Commonwealth Court to place their lawsuit against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) into mediation, in the hope of deciding the use of Penn State University sanction funds as soon as possible. Their request, filed with the court yesterday afternoon, came after they received an exchange of correspondence from legal counsels for Penn State and the NCAA.
Brooklyn becomes first borough to require mediation in civil cases
Brooklyn Supreme Court ushered in a new project Thursday requiring all civil cases to pass through a mediation process before proceeding to trial. The first of its kind, the mandatory mediation project hopes to alleviate some the costs and other strains that civil litigation places on Brooklyn’s court system.
“Brooklyn has over 54,000 cases pending which is more than any other county in New York” Hon. Lawrence Knipel, Brooklyn Supreme Court administrative judge for civil matters, told the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. “Mandatory mediation will hopefully reduce to time and financial costs of a trial not only for the county but for the attorneys and parties involved.”
Mediation Underway in Dorner Mistaken Identity Shooting
A man mistakenly shot at by police during the manhunt for ex-police officer Christopher Dorner entered into mediation talks with attorneys for the city of Torrance Thursday. David Perdue, 38, was mistakenly shot at by Torrance police on Feb. 7 when officers rammed his pickup truck and then opened fire, according to his attorney.
The Boogeyman of California Family Law (6/13/13) Don Cripe People in a dispute have an increasing number of options for resolving their dispute. Those resolving family disputes have mediation as an option as well as many services provided by local courts.
What Do Our Clients Want? (6/13/13) John Wade Our job as mediators is to serve our clients. We can hope that we are meeting that goal, or we can develop ways to check-in with our clients to ensure that we are serving them well. 1 Comment
The NSA, Mediation and Digital Accountability (6/11/13) James Melamed Our society’s and the world’s reaction to the NSA’s massive data collection efforts and the ongoing evolution of the privacy vs. security debate have rather profound implications for the future of mediation. I call this concept of how we adjust our digital communications given our perception of the possible unintended exposure of those communications, “digital accountability.” The good news is that digital accountability may not all be bad.
Is Agreement the Gold Standard for Mediation Success? (6/07/13) Alan E. Gross Agreements, particularly written ones, have long served as
the most popular measure of mediation success and mediator
competence. Therefore, in those instances when participants
have fully understood each other but did not reach an accord,
advocates of the agreement criterion sometimes code their session as
a failure. On the contrary, I argue here that a lack of agreement
can often in fact be viewed as a successful and useful outcome,
especially when the alternatives are to make an untenable deal,
or to continue to tolerate a difficult conflict. 2 Comments
The Prevalence of Alternative Dispute Resolution Programs by US Small Businesses (6/07/13) Mike McMullen This article will summarize the results of a survey I sent out to see how widespread alternative dispute resolution programs are among a sample of small businesses in the United States. A questionnaire was sent to over 400 companies found on the Small Business Administration online database. Nearly 90% of HR officials responded. I found that the use of ADR is rare, and among small businesses more “traditional” methods of resolving conflict in the workplace are still prevalent (such as termination or formal grievance procedures). However, alternatives such as mediation or ombudspersons are gaining popularity.
The Power of Metaphor (6/07/13) Gary Harper In conflict, listen for word pictures. With so many people using their brains in different ways during the mediation process, it is important to find the right words and images to connect with your clients. 1 Comment
Interview with Jim Melamed (video) (6/06/13) James Melamed This interview by Dave Hilton, host of the Conflict Specialists Show, with Jim Melamed, CEO of Mediate.com, describes the development of Mediate.com, mediation marketing, Caseload Manger and the future of online dispute resolution.
Interview of Daniel Rainey (video) (6/04/13) Daniel Rainey This interview by Dave Hilton, host of the Conflict Specialists Show, with Dan Rainey, Chief of Staff of the National Mediation Board, addresses issues of labor-management mediation in the transportation sector and issues of online dispute resolution.
SYNC, UN-SYNC, RE-SYNC – An Emerging Paradigm for Online Mediation (6/03/13) James Melamed The incorporation of the Internet into mediation as an augmentation to “face-to-face” discussions or when the mediation fully takes place online calls for new understandings about how to best structure and understand both online mediation and all mediation. In fact, to some extent, all mediation is now “online mediation.” I here propose a new essential paradigm that I call “Sync, Un-Sync, Re-Sync,” and sketch out why I believe this reconceptualization of online mediation is valuable. 2 Comments
Both And Thinking (5/31/13) Juliana Birkhoff I was an excellent debater in high school and college. I do not debate anymore. In fact, I am wishy-washy. When I hear someone articulate a strong position, my next thought, is good point, but what about the other side? 27 years as a mediator and facilitator has trained me to listen and process information differently. I have learned that problems and solutions are rarely either/or. I now think both/and.
I Didn't Leave the Children (5/28/13) Michael Jacobs From a mediator's perspective, slowing down, taking care to name truly, and to value messiness, are key elements of our practice. To break the cycle of attack/defend ("You left us/I didn't leave the children") is only possible by creating a space wide enough to encompass the complexity of where they currently stand. These perspectives are gathered from 16 mediators in a recent advanced family mediation training. 2 Comments
The Family Business in Divorce: Issues for Mediators (5/28/13) Jeffrey Fink There are millions of family businesses in the US. Even a buzz-word, “copreneurs,” has been coined to describe couples who work together. Unfortunately, with up to half of all marriages ending in divorce, a significant number of these businesses will end up as a football to be tossed around between squabbling spouses.
Interview with Jason Dykstra on Social Media (5/27/13) Jason Dykstra This interview of Jason Dykstra by Dave Hilton of the Conflict Specialists Show addresses such issues as social media and conflict; relational conflict; hot buttons and listening; conflict audits; and social media strategies.
The Gray Divorce (5/25/13) Denise Tamir Though the fact that divorce has become more common and less of a stigma has some impact, that does not explain why the gray divorce rate is climbing while the general divorce rate is going down. Denise Tamir suggests a few contributing factors. 2 Comments
The world of online dispute resolution is growing rapidly and at an accelerating pace based both upon purely online initiatives and because all mediators and arbitrators are now "online mediators and arbitrators." We all now use the internet extensively in nearly every case. We hope and trust that you will gain great value from our new ODR websites.
Negotiating & Mediating Parenting Screen Time Agreements (5/20/13) James Melamed How the world has changed! It used to be that divorcing couples would fight over family pictures, music collections and fear losing contact with their absent child. Digital pictures, digital music and “Skype parenting time” have now dramatically altered this divorced parenting landscape. Compelling is the new critical need for parents to directly address screen time and digital media issues in a constructive way. These issues are challenging for any family and doubly challenging when a child is being raised between two households.
Business As Usual? Mediation and the Justice System (5/19/13) Charlie Irvine This article considers the under-use of mediation in the UK's second largest jurisdiction, Scotland. The article has three sections: a "myth buster" and two questions. The first examines three popular myths about mediation; the second addresses the question, "How does mediation add value to the justice system"; and the third presents the business case for lawyers, "Why does mediation make good business sense?"
ODR in North America (5/18/13) Arthur Pearlstein, Noam Ebner, Bryan Hanson In the chapter, the authors map out the state of ODR private market services and look at our federal government and its potential roles
as a major provider and user of ODR services. The US and Canada have not only spear-headed the offering of ODR services. North American institutions were also the first to set up research institutes in this area of dispute resolution, as well as to incorporate ODR into academic curricula.
ODR in Europe (5/18/13) Graham Ross, Marta Poblet This paper offers an overview of the present situation of ODR in Europe and discusses effective development of ODR deployments to handle online,
offline, national and cross-border disputes in Europe. To do so, we proceed by first defining the scope of ODR and reviewing existing services. We then continue by analyzing the major challenges faced by ODR in Europe and finally conclude by suggesting some future scenarios.
Expectation and Regret - A Look Back At How Mediation Has Fared In The U.S. (5/17/13) Peter Adler In May, 2013, I gave a keynote talk to the Civil Mediation Council in London for their 7th National Conference. The question I was asked to address was: “What should we in England learn from the U.S. mediation experience?” Said differently, what might others profitably take from the explosive growth of court, community and privately offered mediation over the last 25 years in the U.S.? What hind-sights can we offer now that, by some measures, both countries have succeeded in marrying mediation into their civil law systems and legal cultures and what regrets and appreciations do Americans hold? 2 Comments
ODR and e-Arbitration – Trends & Challenges (5/17/13) Mohamed S. Abdel Wahab This chapter is divided into five sections. In section 1, the author sheds
light on the conceptual framework of e-arbitration. In section 2, the issues pertaining
to the e- arbitration agreement are scrutinized. Section 3 focuses on e-arbitral
proceedings and section 4 addresses e-arbitral awards. Section 5 provides
an overview of some e-arbitration projects and initiatives. Finally, the author offers some
Lincoln Unchained: A Principled Hardball Negotiator For the Ages - Film Review (5/16/13) Robert Benjamin “Lincoln” is worthy of admission to the elite pantheon of excellent films, few in number, that focus on negotiation. More than merely a well-drawn historical drama, as some have characterized it, the film pushes beyond the simplistic mythology of Lincoln as the great emancipator and savior of the Union to examine the reality of what is required to negotiate difficult human events. Not surprisingly, little has changed in the intervening 150 years, which makes the film deserving of careful review by teachers and practitioners of negotiation and mediation. 1 Comment
eMediation (5/16/13) Noam Ebner This chapter beings with a brief discussion of the developmentof e-mediation within the wider context of ODR growth. Next, a snapshot is provided
of the field’s status quo with respect to stakeholders, modes of communication and technology utilized, as well as the prevailing trends. The third section addresses substantive and process issues in e-mediation: mediation process models, stages and issues, practitioner skills, professional issues, ethics and practitioner standards.
Dzhokar Tsarnaev (5/16/13) William Hymes As we find ourselves satiated with the lurid details of the Boston Marathon Bombing, we notice the comic relief story: “Social Media Shows Support for Alleged Bomber’s Innocence." The temptation here is to either chuckle at Dzhokhar’s supporters’ refusal to accept the incursion of reality into their lives or express anger that there is any support at all for one who seems likely to have committed such an atrocity, and utilize this as an opportunity to allow ourselves to exclude these voices and belittle their message.
ODR and eNegotiation (5/15/13) Ernest Thiessen, Paul Miniato, Bruce Hiebert Online dispute resolution (ODR) and eNegotiation are two overlapping components within
the world of electronic group decision support systems. eNegotiation encompasses all
online transactions in which two or more parties seek an agreement through negotiation.
These negotiations can range from e-Commerce to international peace treaties.
ODR and Ombudsmanship (5/13/13) Frank Fowlie This chapter focuses on the applicability of Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) for a specific
dispute resolution mechanism, the Ombudsman. The chapter is based on the experiences
and observations of Dr. Frank Fowlie, who served as the Inaugural Ombudsman for the
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
ODR and the Courts (5/11/13) Karim Benyekhlef, Nicholas Vermeys Whilst acknowledging that ODR assumes two roles as a competing and complementing
system to state courts, our focus in the following pages shall be exclusively directed to the
complementary role of ODR, and to the development of court annexed ODR schemes.
Accordingly, we shall commence by providing an overview of how states have started to
incorporate ODR into the legal process, and then proceed to shed light on possible
future paths for state-run ODR systems.
Can a Med-Arb Serve in Two Processes? (5/10/13) Laura Lozano Med-Arb is a controversial hybrid of two processes in which parties first go to mediation, and if the process is not successful, they arbitrate. In the “pure” form, the same Neutral assists both processes. But how can an arbitrator who has held discussions with the parties satisfy the requirements of “impartiality” and be a “fair arbitrator?” 2 Comments
Online Mediation: If the Shoe Fits (5/10/13) Negeen Rivani As the Internet expanded the opportunities for transactions among buyers and sellers from different counties, several roadblocks emerged during disputes, including the expense of filing a lawsuit in a foreign country, the complex jurisdiction issues, and the distances involved. In response, an online forum surfaced as the most efficient way for the two parties to resolve any potential conflicts. Skeptics of online mediation have resisted the new forum due to the inability to communicate face-to-face and the lack of familiarity with the cyber-environment. Today, however, online mediation is no longer perceived as an experiment. As a matter of fact, the cyberspace model of online dispute resolution has expanded its disputes from simple e-commerce transactions to cater to a wide array of disputes.
The Promise and Reality of Online Dispute Resolution in Australia (5/10/13) Chinthaka Liyanage, Tania Sourdin It is clear that Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) has grown significantly in response to local and international factors within Australia over the past decade. This growth is partly attributable to a healthy Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) environment within Australia. The use of ADR in Australia is widespread and all Courts and Tribunals now have the power to mandatorily refer disputes to ADR processes.