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05/27/2015

There Are No Do-Overs in Mediation

Most mediations begin and end in a single day. As much as the parties would benefit from a leisurely pace to explore all the factual and legal issues, today’s practice is to schedule only one day, or even a half-day, to mediate a settlement. The result is often a settlement reached when counsel and parties are exhausted.


Foreclosure Mediation Helps 172 Homeowners on Big Island

A partnership between Ku’ikahi Mediation Center and West Hawai’i Mediation Center with support from the Third Circuit Court, has helped 172 homeowners avoid foreclosure through the Hawai’i Island Foreclosure Mediation Program. The program allows lenders and borrowers to use mediation services while in judicial foreclosure. In addition, homeowners who are in pre-foreclosures can opt for mediation as an alternative to court.


Mediator appointed in lawsuit over $75M loan for 38 Studios

The judge overseeing the lawsuit over a failed $75 million state-backed loan for 38 Studios appointed a mediator on Tuesday, saying it could help avoid a trial over the deal with the now-defunct video game company owned by former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling.


GMO mediation bill encounters opposition

A bill that would encourage mediation over GMO conflicts in Oregon is now facing opposition after initially facing no controversy. After an uncontroversial start, legislation that would require mediation for disputes over biotech crops in Oregon is now facing opposition from critics of genetic engineering.


Barbershop Raid Case Settles After Full Appeals Court Orders Mediation

A civil rights case over a raid on a Florida barbershop has settled for $125,000, leaving unresolved a federal appeals question about whether law enforcement officers can be liable for constitutional violations committed by other officers. The issue was important enough that the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit heard en banc arguments in the case in February, but it promptly ordered the case to mediation.

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Alessandra Sgubini Roxanne De La Roche
Managing the Cost of Conflict (5/22/15)
Alessandra Sgubini Roxanne De La Roche
Conflict is a common occurrence in society. It arises everywhere, among different types of parties, in different parts of the world, and for different reasons. If conflict is not addressed properly it can escalate and degenerate leaving serious consequences in its wake. This article explores the true costs of conflict, methods to address conflict, and how to prevent conflicts from escalating in the first place.

Dr. Lynne C. Halem
The Good Divorce (5/22/15)
Dr. Lynne C. Halem
“What is a good divorce?” you ask. “After all, divorce is not a good or a happy event.” Correct you are. Divorce cannot be logically characterized as “good,” if we are referring to the event itself. Divorce is a time of sadness, even regret; it symbolizes the end to dreams once held. “ So,” you ask again,” how can a divorce be good?”


Bush and Folger on Reclaiming Mediation’s Future (5/22/15)
Dusty and Vicky Rhoades, Dan Simon
One of the many things that Baruch Bush and Joe Folger have contributed to the mediation community is the stimulus to engage in difficult conversation about how we support participants in conflict. What informs our practice? What does it mean when I say that I’m committed to participant self-determination? Baruch and Joe’s recent article on Reclaiming Mediation’s Future and their challenge to return to “an original vision of the mediation field” has certainly stimulated conversation and strong reaction.

Uma Ramanathan
Advocacy in Mediation (5/21/15)
Uma Ramanathan
Advocacy is recommendation of a cause. Advocacy presupposes a difference of opinion or a conflict and the need to clarify the ‘knot’, get to understand the root cause and then acknowledge consequences. Mediation advocacy pre-supposes support by the mediator for resolution and projection of a cause by the counsel/ party.

Michael Aurit
We Are The Future of Mediation (5/18/15)
Michael Aurit
How will the future of mediation matter if a new generation of young mediators is not encouraged and carefully shepherded into our profession? Here’s to a future where we all may learn from one another, unite to overcome our profession’s greatest obstacles, and create the future that we imagine.


The 2016 Global Pound Conference Series! (5/17/15)
Deborah Masucci, Michael Mcilwrath
In April 1976, an event now known as the Pound Conference ignited modern ADR in the USA, launching discussion of what might be the “greatest reform in the history of the country’s judicial system “. Forty years later, all stakeholders in the dispute prevention and resolution fields around the world are being invited to participate in a series of unique thought leadership events around the globe under the auspices of a Global Pound Conference (“GPC”) series. The GPC has a remarkable goal: to shape the future of dispute resolution and access to justice in the 21st Century.


What Is A Humanistic Approach to Mediation? An Overview (5/15/15)
Mark S. Umbreit, Ted Lewis
A humanistic approach to mediation developed in parallel to the transformative approach to mediation in the 1990's. While fully harmonizing with transformative mediation, a humanistic approach brings several additional emphases that can deepen the work of mediators in both dispute resolution and restorative justice work. The 'human-element' is highlighted by giving greater attention to several humanizing capacities in mediation.

Charles Hill
More Online Mediation Needed Before We Can Measure Effectiveness (5/15/15)
Charles Hill
The author suggests that a larger number of cases must be mediated online before determining the effectiveness of any online methodology. The author draws similarities between the advantages and disadvantages often cited for online education and online mediation and contends that what we’ve learned in education can readily carry over to mediation.


Unbroken Circles for Schools - Book Review (5/15/15)
Ken Johnson, Barb Caffrey
"Unbroken Circles for Schools" is an excellent nonfiction read about conflict, social justice, and restorative justice. Mr. Johnson's premise is that our criminal justice system is doing juvenile offenders a grave disservice. Rather than sending juvenile offenders into the prison system (where they mostly learn only to re-offend), we need to teach the principles of restorative justice instead -- and where else should these principles be taught but in the schools?

Stephen Erickson
Where We Have Been, Where We Are, and the Road That Lies Ahead (5/11/15)
Stephen Erickson
Looking back as one of the early professional family Mediators, I believe we are a movement developed out of reaction to the excesses and misadventures of the way divorce was practiced in the early 1970s. Most of the early pioneers I worked with turned to divorce mediation out of frustration with the negative results of adversarial litigated divorce.

Boroka Ganyu
Conflict and the Mediator: Peace Within – Redefining Interpersonal Conflict (5/08/15)
Boroka Ganyu
This article introduces a feminine (emotional-relational) approach to interpersonal conflict. I will redefine interpersonal conflict as a mental representation, and as a basis for defining inner peace.


Getting to Yes – With Yourself -- Book Review (5/08/15)
William Ury, John Sturrock
“In the morning when I look at myself in the mirror, I like to remind myself that I am seeing the person who is probably going to give me the most trouble that day, the opponent who will be the biggest obstacle to me getting what I truly want.”

John Lande
Minimizing Unnecessary Violence in Litigation and Other Dispute Resolution Processes (5/08/15)
John Lande
We in ADR should not undervalue, when analyzing the dispute resolution landscape, the regulatory function of litigation in the United States. A business executive may feel morally affronted by litigation, but that doesn’t mean that the litigation (and its attendant ADR processes) isn’t warranted or socially beneficial.

Sam Imperati
Video Presentation: 50 Ways to Break an Impasse: Tips, Tricks, Traps and Tools (5/08/15)
Sam Imperati
Parties and advocates can flounder in the intersection of logic and emotion. What if the parties’ goals are “distributive” and their “interests” are legal arguments? What if the participants are aggressive, intransigent and obnoxious? A “transformative” mediation would involve an exorcism, but that seems a bit “evaluative.” A “facilitative” mediation would require a PhD. This program will focus on “nuts and bolts.” Learn tips to dispense “reality therapy” and reach closure in the face of apparent impasse. Explore the psychology of decision-making, and learn practical tools for resolution. Learn tricks to reach settlement.

Robert Benjamin
Video Presentation: Game Playing in Negotiation and Mediation - Machiavelli’s Place At the Table (5/08/15)
Robert Benjamin
While often dismissed as disingenuous, irrational, or “Machiavellian,” game playing strategies and devices are a natural and necessary part of the negotiation and mediation of difficult issues and controversies. The behavior offers participants protection and provides a lubricant for collaboration which can allow difficult issues to be managed constructively and creatively. This interactive workshop will offer an inventory of common strategies and devices, their applications, benefits, risks, and ethical limits.

Jason Dykstra
When Did Asking Questions Become a Sign of Weakness? (5/08/15)
Jason Dykstra
If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably also reacted poorly to a co-worker or an individual you manage. A quote by Edgar Schein recently jumped out at me when he said, “We are biased toward telling instead of asking because we live in a pragmatic, problem-solving culture in which knowing things and telling others what we know is valued.” We don’t have to look too far or hard to see what Schein is saying. Our bosses tell us what to do, our family and friends tell us what they would do in our particular situation, and each “expert” has an answer for us at the tip of their tongue.

Marilyn McKnight
Professional Divorce Mediation and The Future (5/08/15)
Marilyn McKnight
Today it really is a “Back to the Future” for me. Divorce Mediation will become the primary way to divorce. Divorcing families will become healthy and resilient, no longer harmed by adversarial divorce.

Sam Imperati
Ironically, Bush and Folger are Evaluative (5/04/15)
Sam Imperati
There is room in our field for a broad spectrum of mediation approaches. We should celebrate innovation and a greater diversity, rather than disparage the methods of others. This article rebuts Bush and Folger’s article: Reclaiming Mediation’s Future: Getting Over the Intoxication of Expertise, Re-Focusing on Party Self-Determination. Their article attempts to redefine mediation in their own image. I push back at their attempt to elbow out any mediator that does not adhere to their transformative philosophy. No single approach has cornered the market on mediation, nor should it. Our collective approach to mediation should not be shackled by rigid doctrines; it should be varied and flexible, adapting to the desires of the parties we serve. This is real Self-Determination.

Maria Volpe
Mediation in the Future of Policing (5/04/15)
Maria Volpe
The future of policing must incorporate mediation. No other profession places its practitioners more in the middle of challenging situations; police officers are regularly expected to make difficult conversations work on the spot.

Don Cripe
Divorce: Emergency Tumor Removal Surgery (5/01/15)
Don Cripe
Analogizing health care with other emergent situations may be a stretch to some, but it is valid. Couples on the bumpy glide to divorce are almost always in pain; they are facing one of the most dramatic life changes they will ever experience (some social scientists liken divorce to the death of a family member); the finances of the crisis are always a concern; and life after divorce will be disrupted for an indefinite time.

Donal O’Reardon
Conflict and Psychological Development: “Six Stages of Conflict Reasoning” (5/01/15)
Donal O’Reardon
In the 1960’s the psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg (1927-1987) listed six stages of moral development. Kohlberg says these stages can’t be jumped, you have to go through them in order. And they are universal, they apply no matter what culture you’re in. With a little thought we can link these to conflict and conflict resolution. Kohlberg’s stages don’t only tell us about a person’s moral reasoning, they also tell us what kind of conflict they get into and how we can help them to deal with it.

Jim Melamed
Computer Uses in the Law Office - Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow (4/29/15)
Jim Melamed
With the technologic advances over recent decades and their remarkable acceleration, it is clear that the legal profession needs to play a bit of catch-up by asking ourselves how can we best utilize all available communication capacities to elevate and expand the delivery of valuable legal information, advice, and services. Dream big! The future is not what it once seemed.

Paul Monicatti
A Top Ten List of Keys to Success in Court-Ordered Mediation (4/24/15)
Paul Monicatti
In an era of the vanishing trial, mediation advocacy is gradually replacing trial advocacy as the key litigator's skill. From a mediator with nearly 30 years mediation experience, here is a concise best practice list for the mediation advocate.

Uma Ramanathan
Torch Bearers in Mediation (4/24/15)
Uma Ramanathan
Goals, predictions, vision statement. Frame it in any manner, what stakeholders are looking for is the fulfilment of the promise of mediation.

Ricardo Padilla
(Instrumental) Reconciliation Without (authentic) Forgiveness (and Social Justice): A Recurrent Paradox in Political Conflicts (4/24/15)
Ricardo Padilla
After a conflict between communities or nations has been led to an ending phase, political reconciliation requires that both parties be brought closer to the point they may have respect for each other’s rights and can live peacefully together. When the conflict passed through war or mass atrocity, reconciliation is especially hard to achieve. There are limits to forgiveness that may state significant barriers on the pathway to reconciliation.

Joan B. Kelly, Ph.D.
Family Mediation Research: Is There Empirical Support for the Field? (An Update) (4/22/15)
Joan B. Kelly, Ph.D.
The divorce rate began its sharp increase in the early 1960’s and more than doubled by the end of the 1970s.  This was accompanied by dramatic changes in cultural traditions, societal expectations, and divorce and child custody laws which led to increased reliance on the courts to adjudicate separation and divorce disputes, including decisions related to children.

Stacy Roberts
Getting on the Same Page Regarding Mediation in the Future (4/20/15)
Stacy Roberts
I agree with many other colleagues that going forward there should be a focus on public awareness, the training and licensing of mediators, but also, and maybe most importantly, the training of attorneys who will be using mediation. I say this because mediation is used when there is a dispute, so we know that litigation and mediation will almost always go hand in hand, and will therefore, almost always involve attorneys. So bear with me as I discuss the rationale for this thought process on the future of mediation and two recent observations that have led me to this conclusion.

Sherri Donovan
Family Mediation In The Digital Age (4/17/15)
Sherri Donovan
Twenty-first century technology will continue to impact family life and mediation. The family mediator’s awareness of the possible positive and inflammatory influences of the internet, may be instrumental in effectively identifying and resolving the modern family’s disputes. Social media, cyber abuse, the child’s computer voice, the use of a forensic computer expert and the futuristic divorce are factors to be considered in the practice of family mediation.

Laura Snoke
Always Expect the Unexpected (4/17/15)
Laura Snoke
As an attorney and mediator for many years, I have learned the most important lesson for mediation: always expect the unexpected. Whether the parties send formal, lengthy briefs, replete with numerous citations to both facts and legal authorities, or whether they simply show up at the mandated start time, there are always surprises. A good mediator must be ready to handle any situation that arises, with patience, flexibility and a good sense of humor.

Mary Novak
Domestic Violence Finding Overrides Agreement to Mediate (4/17/15)
Mary Novak
A case in the Appellate Division of New Jersey Superior Court stands as a reminder of the complexities of family mediation when domestic violence is involved. Indeed, the court found that a finding of domestic violence can trump a requirement to mediate.


The 2015-16 Global Pound Conference Series - Prospectus (4/15/15)
Jeremy Lack, Michael Mcilwrath
“Shaping the Future of Dispute Resolution & Improving Access to Appropriate Justice." The goal of the Global Pound Conference (“GPC”) Series is to improve access to justice around the world by generating actionable data from stakeholders in the dispute prevention and resolution fields to facilitate greater access to appropriate dispute resolution (“ADR”) processes worldwide. Please join our efforts!

Marvin E. Johnson
The Integrity of ADR Processes and the Risks of Blurred Boundaries (4/14/15)
Marvin E. Johnson
Historically, the three main dispute resolution methods used in the United States have been violence, avoidance, and litigation. Today, there are a variety of additional processes that can be used to foster the resolution of disputes. Many of these processes began gaining popularity in the early 1970s as a result of frustration with the varied human and financial costs associated with litigation.

Kristen Blankley
How to Make Mediation Safer in Cases of High Conflict (4/10/15)
Kristen Blankley
This article considers issues of safety in mediation. Mediation involves parties in conflict, and safety should be a priority of all mediators. Mediators should be aware of both participant and mediator safety throughout the process. This article considers practical advice for all mediators to consider before, during, and after a mediation session to ensure participant and mediator safety.

Michael Leathes
The Medici Effect of Mediation (4/10/15)
Michael Leathes
As the Danish mediator Tina Monberg has pointed out in The Butterfly Effect, chaos theory sits at many intersections: conflict and consensus; litigation and negotiation; problem and solution; public policy and private process, art and science, servant leadership and personal leadership, and others. Mediation is both a practice and a theory, cutting across negotiation and justice, practicality and academia, needs and demands.

John Lande
Litigation as Violence (4/10/15)
John Lande
Litigation is an important part of the dispute resolution system and it is quite legitimate for people to use it in appropriate cases. Litigation (including negotiation and mediation conducted during litigation) often functions appropriately without causing undue violence or other harm. People usually don’t pay as much attention when things work properly and this may be the case with litigation most of the time. But too often, unnecessary injury is a by-product.

Michelle LeBaron
Bodies at Work: Moving Toward Alchemy (4/10/15)
Michelle LeBaron
The single most neglected truism in mediation, whether virtual or in person, is that it does not happen without bodies. We do not mediate with beings in other realms (unless we attach a very different meaning to mediation than is contemplated in this collection of articles on the future of our craft). Thus involving those with current corporeal substance, we mobilize to engage and reach toward understanding while literally standing our ground.

Alan E. Gross
Expanding Mediation’s Future: Integrating Party Self-Determination with other Mediation Principles that can Aid Party Understanding and Truly Informed Decision Making (4/06/15)
Alan E. Gross
Bush and Folger recently contributed an article to this “Mediation Futures Project” series that advocates strongly for “Refocusing on Party Self-Determination” but also suggests that mediators should conform to orthodox Transformative Mediation practices. This partial rejoinder, while acknowledging the important contribution of the TM focus on self-determination to mediation practice, also recognizes the value of other mediation practices.

John Licciardello
National Divorce Survey Yields Surprising Insights (4/03/15)
John Licciardello
Divorce is as popular as ever in America, with over 50% of first marriages and 70% of second marriages ending prematurely. In addition to traditional litigation couples are increasingly turning to mediation and the “do it yourself” pro se divorce process in the quest to have “successful” divorces as measured by satisfactory settlements, minimal relationship damage and reasonable cost.

Gregorio Billikopf
Party-Directed Mediation. Another Step Towards Non-Directive Mediation (4/03/15)
Gregorio Billikopf
The contribution of two models is presented in this article, Party-Directed Mediation (PDM) and Negotiated Performance Appraisal (NPA) to deal with peer mediation and hierarchical mediation, respectively. Both models are especially useful for dealing with deep seated interpersonal conflict. Originally, they were used as organizational mediation models.

Ryan O'Connell
Using Mindfulness to Inform Our Responses to Conflict (4/03/15)
Ryan O'Connell
A mindfulness technique known by the acronym RAIN can be a useful tool for informing our conflict responses and transforming our conditioned, reactive conflict behaviors.

Jeffrey Krivis
Where Have All The Idealists Gone? Long Time Passing, Part II (4/03/15)
Jeffrey Krivis
Over the years, a common theme heard among litigators after a grueling case where one side loses is that there must be a better way to manage disputes. In the mid -1970s, legal scholars from around the nation came together to review ways to make the legal process more user-friendly and accessible. They concluded, among other things, that a multi-door courthouse with processes that were designed to fit the forum to the dispute might be worth considering.

Lisa Parkinson
Looking to the Future: Complexity, Chaos, and Making Connections (3/31/15)
Lisa Parkinson
Diversity matters! For mediation to develop in fresh and vibrant ways, we need to think and act creatively. Some of the best ideas come from making connections – for example, between mediation, sciences, and the arts – and through using these connections in practice. Bernie Mayer's article in the Mediation Futures series struck chords with me, with its references to complexity science, chaos, and the importance of adapting the ways we mediate to meet diverse needs, instead of expecting participants to fit in with the particular way we choose to mediate.

Noa Zanolli
Mediation is a Common Good (3/31/15)
Noa Zanolli
Mediation does not belong to professionals and specialists only. The mere thought of mediation, its philosophy, mediation’s essence, is for the common good and so the question is: How could mediation become a common good?

Jim Melamed
Now Negotiating with Iran; Remembering Senior Mediators Statement Urging Effective Negotiation Approaches (3/30/15)
Jim Melamed
This article was originally posted during October of 2006. That was a time when the Bush administration absolutely refused to talk with Iran. This outraged many Americans, including many mediators. Now, with the U.S. and Iran seriously talking, if not agreeing, it is appropriate and timely to wonder whether this example of "mediator activism," now 9 years ago, may have played a small part in encouraging the negotiations that have come to take place.


Mediation Styles (3/30/15)
Tony Belak, William Hymes
Conflict is not unique to humans, but it can be said that the involvement of third parties in conflict, for better or worse, is a distinctly human activity and it has been around since Man began speaking and walking erect. Given this history, it is unsurprising that over time, innumerable styles, techniques and customs have come into play, and it is further unsurprising that the relative merits, and applicability of of these techniques have become the topic of scrutiny, study and academic debate.

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