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Texas A&M DR Symposium: Two Faces of Mediation: Reasons for Worry, Reasons for Hope (video)

THE TWO FACES OF MEDIATION: REASONS FOR WORRY, REASONS FOR HOPE

Texas A&M Annual Dispute Resolution Symposium

Friday, March 1, 2024

Texas A&M University School of Law – Fort Worth, Texas

Presented by Texas A&M University School of Law’s Aggie Dispute Resolution Program, law.tamu.edu/ADR

On March 1, 2024, Texas A&M Law held its annual dispute resolution symposium, “The Two Faces of Mediation: Reasons for Worry, Reasons for Hope.”  Presenters included: Jim Alfini, Lisa Amsler, Erin Archerd, Michael Colatrella, Isabelle Gunning, Art Hinshaw, Michael Moffitt, Kelly Browe Olson, and Colin Rule. 

WATCH THE SYMPOSIUM VIDEO HERE

Nearly every one of the day’s thoughtful presenters acknowledged mediation’s many successes – its widespread adoption, its production of responsive settlements, its increased efficiencies, its ability to adapt to different institutional contexts while also satisfying parties, and its rapidly-evolving incorporation of technology.  Participants also were also treated to examples of mediation (and restorative justice) structured specifically to meet human, relational and social needs.   Some speakers urged, though, that we need to do more to be sure mediation reflects democratic governance, including “fetching” many of the social justice and participatory values that inspired the contemporary mediation movement.  Others questioned whether we can be sufficiently assured right now of mediators’ and mediation’s quality. 

In a final discussion – and acknowledging the wide variety of mediation models that exist – the presenters and participants brainstormed the elements that absolutely have to characterize every mediation.  Aggie Dispute Resolution Program Director and Professor Nancy Welsh observed: “It was a great day, as our presenters interrogated the past, present and future of this foundational dispute resolution process.”  You can find more about the symposium (including a recording and the presenters’ slides) here.

WATCH THE SYMPOSIUM VIDEO HERE

Agenda
9:00 – 9:15 am WELCOME

  • Robert B. Ahdieh, Vice President for Professional Schools & Programs, Texas A&M University; Chief Operating Officer, Texas A&M – Fort Worth; and Dean & Anthony G. Buzbee Endowed Dean’s Chair, Texas A&M University School of Law

9:15 – 9:40 am SETTING THE STAGE

  • Nancy A. Welsh, Frank W. Elliott, Jr. University Professor, Professor of Law, and Director, Aggie Dispute Resolution Program, Texas A&M University School of Law

9:40 – 11:00 am PANEL 1 – BULLISH ON MEDIATION

  • Jim Alfini, Dean Emeritus, South Texas College of Law Houston
  • Michael Colatrella, Tracy A. Eglet Chair in Alternative Dispute Resolution, University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law
  • Kelly Browe Olson, Associate Professor of Law and Mediation Clinic Director, University of Arkansas – Little Rock, William H. Bowen School of Law
  • Moderator: Cynthia Alkon, Professor of Law and Director, Criminal Law, Justice & Policy Program, Texas A&M University School of Law

11:20am – 12:40pm PANEL 2 – DIFFERENT FRAMES FOR ASSESSING WHAT MEDIATION PROVIDES

  • Lisa Blomgren Amsler, Distinguished Professor and Keller-Runden Professor of Public Service, Paul H. O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University
  • Isabelle Gunning, Mayor Tom Bradley Professor of Law and Director, Critical Race, Gender and Sexuality Studies Concentration, Southwestern Law School
  • Michael Moffitt, Philip H. Knight Chair and Professor of Law, University of Oregon School of Law
  • Moderator: Michael Z. Green, Professor of Law and Director, Workplace Law Program, Texas A&M University School of Law

1:40 – 3:00 pm PANEL 3 – WORRY AND HOPE AS WE LOOK TO THE FUTURE

  • Erin Archerd, Associate Professor, University of Detroit Mercy School of Law
  • Art Hinshaw, John J. Bouma Fellow in Alternative Dispute Resolution, Clinical Professor Law and Faculty Director, Lodestar Dispute Resolution Center and Mediation Clinic, Arizona State University, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law
  • Colin Rule, CEO of mediate.com and odr.com and Practitioner-in-Residence, Texas A&M University School of Law
  • Moderator: Peter Reilly, Professor of Law and Associate Director, Aggie Dispute Resolution Program, Texas A&M University School of Law

3:20 – 3:50 pm DISCUSSION (for all presenters, moderators, and members of the audience)

  • What do today’s presentations reveal about mediation as currently institutionalized and practiced?
  • What do mediators and the mediation process reliably offer to parties?
  • What do today’s presentations reveal about mediation’s future?
  • Does anything require further study?
  • What do we need to do – if anything – to help mediation achieve its potential and avoid dangers?

CONCLUDING REMARKS AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

  • Nancy A. Welsh
                        author

Nancy Welsh

Nancy Welsh is a recognized scholar and has been a professor of law for the last 20 years, teaching dispute resolution and procedural law. She has dedicated the better part of her career to the practice, system design and assessment of mediation and other negotiative and conflict management processes, including… MORE >

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