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READ & SEARCH NEWS
12/22/2014

'We Must Negotiate With Islamic State', Says Senior Mediator

When Padraig O'Malley says we must talk to Islamic State, he's speaking from experience. A seasoned mediator, O'Malley brought together warring parties in Iraq at the height of the sectarian conflict in 2007 and 2008, resulting in an agreement that formed the basis for political reconciliation in Iraq and helped curb the violence. He did this with the aid of negotiators from South Africa, and from Northern Ireland, where he had been instrumental in organizing the 1998 Good Friday Agreement that ended 30 years of sectarian conflict.


Mediation for pool dispute?: District backing off lawsuit; forms committee to look into city’s proposed cost-sharing

The wheels are in motion for a resolution to the dispute over usage and the funding model for the shared city and San Mateo Union High School District pool at Burlingame High School, while some are speaking out about their dismay regarding the tumultuous relationship between the two entities. The district is backpedaling on a lawsuit it threatened last week that was in relation to the city of Burlingame not responding to the district’s request for additional space in the 50-meter Olympic size pool for its teams and more payments from the city for its usage. Now, the district and city are both expressing interest in finding common ground. Trustee Linda Lees Dwyer explained the board is forming a committee to analyze the city proposal to reach an amicable resolution by early 2015.


Mediation process could avoid legal battle over West Long Beach SCIG railyard project

Long Beach city and school officials and other groups suing the city of Los Angeles over a controversial $500 million railyard project bordering West Long Beach will try to reach a settlement before the matter heads to trial next year. Three days of mediation is set to begin Wednesday in Santa Monica between the city of Los Angeles and the seven petitioners, which include the city of Long Beach, Long Beach Unified School District and the South Coast Air Quality Management District, said Michael Mais, assistant city attorney for Long Beach. The parties agreed to hire a judge with expertise in environmental matters found through a private alternative dispute resolution service that typically hires retired Supreme Court and federal court judges, Mais said.


Child & Family to pilot mediation service for veterans

Child & Family Services is launching a new mediation service aimed at veterans and their families. The program, operated by the agency's Center for Resolution and Justice, is funded by a $12,000 grant from the JAMS Foundation and the National Association for Community Mediation. It was among just six community mediation sites around the country funded through the program. Working with the five other centers, the organization will assess the need for mediation services for veterans and their families; build a pilot program; and provide leadership nationwide through training materials.


Why Are Attorneys Afraid of Conflict in Mediation?

The custom of not make opening statements in certain parts of the country and in certain substantive case types has now led to not even having a joint session during some mediations. Except in the rare situation where there is the potential for violence, this is a mistake. The parties and their counsel should at least be willing to sit in the same room with one another for some period of time while the mediator explains the process and lays the groundwork for a productive day.


IRS Expands Post-Appeals Mediation for Offers in Compromise

The Internal Revenue Service released a revenue procedure Friday providing rules for the nationwide rollout of post-appeals mediation for both Offer in Compromise and Trust Fund Recovery Penalty cases. The IRS Office of Appeals originally launched post-appeals mediation for both types of cases as a pilot program that was available in certain cities in December 2008 and is now expanding the program nationwide. Post-appeals mediation is available to help resolve disputes after unsuccessful negotiations with the IRS Office of Appeals and is available for both factual and legal issues. The mediator’s role is to help the parties reach their own agreement collaboratively, but the IRS noted that the mediator does not have settlement authority over any issue.

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Phyllis Pollack
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.

Bruce Provda
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.

Brad Heckman
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.

Donald T. Saposnek
Mediation Going Forward: What Do We Know? What Can We Expect? (12/17/14)
Donald T. Saposnek
The current complexity of our problems, at least in the U.S., is close to the point of overwhelm; for the individuals involved, for the governments that rule them, for the courts that adjudicate them, for the economic systems that support them, and because of the corrupted values that guide them.

Maria Eugenia Sole
Utilizing Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) for Co-parenting Issues in Families with a History of Domestic Violence (12/17/14)
Maria Eugenia Sole
This video discusses family mediation, domestic violence, and online dispute resolution. Maria Eugenia Sole discusses that different cultures have different definitions--with different understandings of what should be tolerated and what requires help. She also discusses different steps that can help.

Tom Stipanowich
Beyond “Getting to Yes:” Building Mediation Skills and Insights into Relationships (12/16/14)
Tom Stipanowich
A quarter century ago many believed we were experiencing a revolution in the way conflict was managed. Nowhere was this more noticeable than in the construction sector, the primary focus of my practice as an advocate and dispute resolution professional.


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…..

Douglas Noll
Doug Noll Discusses the Future of Litigated and Non-Litigated Mediation - Video and Transcript (12/12/14)
Douglas Noll
Doug Noll discusses the future of litigated and non-litigated cases.

Elizabeth Kent
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.

Josefina Rendon
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.

Jeanette Bicknell
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.

Jerry Barrett
The Future of Alternative Dispute Resolution (12/09/14)
Jerry Barrett
Given the creativity of ADR practitioners and scholars, the best of ADR will continue to grow and expand to new areas of practice, and unheard of new ADR practice will emerge.

Colin Rule
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.

Tammy Lenski
The Future of Mediation: Mediators As Problem Finders, Makers, and Designers (12/08/14)
Tammy Lenski
When we focus primarily on problem solving, our effort will naturally tend to revolve around pinpointing, even driving hard toward, solutions. Along with our endgame focus may come the tendency to hurry past parts of the conflict that don’t seem, on the surface, to support our goal.

Lorraine Segal
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.

Alicia Millán
Mobbing at Work - en Espanol (12/05/14)
Alicia Millán
Este artículo intenta abarcar tres aspectos diferenciados aunque esenciales para el reconocimiento y tratamiento de este modo de violencia que tanto el Informe sobre Seguridad en el Trabajo de la Organización Internacional del Trabajo (O.I.T.) como otras publicaciones especializadas en la materia y en Congresos y Eventos sobre el tema lo califican como “nueva plaga laboral del siglo XXI”.


Dealing with Difficult People (12/05/14)
Jon Warner, John Radclyffe
We have to face dealing with difficult people at any time in our lives (and at both work and in our home lives). But in general, it’s not so much that the people themselves are difficult (although there are exceptions to this of course), but it is more likely that we find their current behavior difficult to deal with at a particular point of time.

Sam Imperati
Our Mediation Future (12/02/14)
Sam Imperati
I have practiced ADR since 1992. I look back fondly and forward enthusiastically with great hope. In thinking about “what from our past has worked best and should be brought forward and emphasized,” I decided to review two law review articles I wrote early on in my career. What follows is a summary of what I thought then. It will be followed by summaries of two articles about what I think currently. This article will then conclude with my half-formed or mal-formed thoughts about the future.

Barbara Wilson
Revisiting Reframing: Mediation and the Impact of “Spin” (12/01/14)
Barbara Wilson
In this brief piece I argue that it is time to revisit some of the existing critiques of mediation. I look again at the function of reframing, question whether it still warrants the essentialism attributed to it in practice, and explore some alternative strategies. I also argue that, as a consequence of contemporary manoeuvring by the state and the media, disputants may perceive reframing in mediation as a form of “spin”, defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “the presentation of information in a particular way; a slant, especially a favourable one”.


Reclaiming Mediation’s Future: Getting Over the Intoxication of Expertise, Re-Focusing on Party Self-Determination (12/01/14)
Robert A. Baruch Bush, Joseph P. Folger
For us and the colleagues we’ve worked with for many years, our first premise has always been that self-determination, or what we call empowerment, is the central and supreme value of mediation – a premise probably shared by many in the field. This is what we were struck by when we began, and believed was uniquely served by mediation. We believe in the value of upholding party choice, and we also believe that increasing understanding, reaching sustainable resolution, and other goals all rest on the foundation of genuine party self-determination. At this point in the evolution of mediation, the question in our view is, what has happened to the mediator’s mission of supporting self-determination?

John Lande
Some Good Questions (12/01/14)
John Lande
In 1998, commenting on the hot controversy about the “Rand Report’s” finding that certain mediation programs did not save time or money (measured in terms of lawyers’ work hours), Professor Craig McEwen argued that it was the wrong question to ask whether “mediation works.”

Peter Adler
Predicting the Future of Mediation (11/26/14)
Peter Adler
I should know better and follow the advice a friend once gave me when he said: “Peter, a shut mouth gathers no foot.” On the other hand, who in the world could possibly resist an invitation from www.mediate.com to opine on the future of something near and dear to my heart and happily rekindle some old quarrels with colleagues?

Jennifer Winestone
The Art and Science of Mediation: How the Principles of Commitment/Consistency and Expectation May be Applied to Mediation to Help Break Party Impasse - Part Two (11/21/14)
Jennifer Winestone
This article provides a review of two psychological concepts derived from Robert Cialdini's "Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion" and Dan Ariely's "Predictably Irrational" and considers their practical and ethical implications as applied to mediation.

Richard Barbieri
Fear Comes to School: Mediating Among Parents Around Ebola (11/21/14)
Richard Barbieri
As medical personnel, emergency aid workers, and diplomatic personnel return to the U.S. from West Africa, schools must manage tensions between local families who are fearful for their own children, and parents who have been at the front lines attempting to stem the epidemic. What mediator strategies may prove useful?


Is Conflict Always Negative (or Where is the Tiger)? (11/21/14)
Mac Bogert
Once upon a time, when we lived among the tigers, we wisely kept our threat detectors on sensitive.1 With no time to think, when seconds might make the difference between having and being dinner, we reacted, and quickly. Knee-jerk made sense as time was usually on the tiger’s side.

Alberto Elisavetsky
De qué manera puede incidir e insertarse el Crowdsourcing en la Resolución Electrónica de Disputas (CORD) en un futuro? (11/21/14)
Alberto Elisavetsky
El siguiente es un artículo colectivo, producto de los aportes, comentarios y reflexiones que se realizaron en el foro de Cyberweek 2014.

Cris Pastore
10 Tips for Choosing the Right Divorce Mediator (11/14/14)
Cris Pastore
Perhaps you've come to the realization that divorce mediation is the way to go for you and your spouse, but how do you choose a divorce mediator? After all, not all divorce mediators are created equal.

Jennifer Winestone
The Art and Science of Mediation: How the Principles of Commitment/Consistency and Expectation May be Applied to Mediation to Help Break Party Impasse - Part One (11/14/14)
Jennifer Winestone
This article provides a review of two psychological concepts derived from Robert Cialdini's "Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion" and Dan Ariely's "Predictably Irrational" and considers their practical and ethical implications as applied to mediation.

Beth Graham
Arbitration in Evolution (11/14/14)
Beth Graham
The arbitration survey conducted by Professor Tom Stipanowich and the Straus Institute revealed current practices and trends in arbitration. This article specifically examines the demographics of the arbitrators and questions whether these demographics are the best for the business.

Keith Seat
Legal Mediation News Update - November 2014 (11/12/14)
Keith Seat
This is another in a series of updates on Legal Mediation News from Mediate.com News Editor, Keith Seat.

Dave Johnston
A History of Hostage Negotiation Presentation to The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators London Branch (11/11/14)
Dave Johnston
Hostage negotiators have long been used in some form or other and indeed, it is an ancient art or skill, which stretches back to at least the Greek era. Polybius, the son of an eminent Greek governor was one of the 1000 nobles who in 168 BC were transported to Rome as hostages and detained there for 17 years. I can only think in horror, of the logistics of maintaining such a negotiation.

Michael A. Zeytoonian
The Case for Dispute Resolution Clauses in Contracts (11/11/14)
Michael A. Zeytoonian
I am fortunate enough to have some great clients. They do their jobs well, they run their businesses and organizations well. Because they do things right, I have less “back end” (reactive) work from them because they don’t get many claims against them. That is partly because we work together on the “front end” (proactive) work of anticipating issues before they arise and preventively address them.

Beth Graham
Reflections on the State and Future of Commercial Arbitration (11/11/14)
Beth Graham
What may be most striking about these developments is that, until fairly recently, cost- and time-saving were often regarded as among the leading potential benefits of arbitration and a primary basis for distinguishing arbitration as an alternative to litigation. The growing prominence of these elements as perceived negatives of arbitration is therefore particularly troubling.

Tammy Lenski
Intervening in Conflict When It's Not Your Job (11/11/14)
Tammy Lenski
When you’ve got conflict resolution skills, you can’t help but notice all the situations around you that might benefit from your help. But how do you choose when to help informally and when to stay out of it?

Michael Scott
Themes in Mediation (11/10/14)
Michael Scott
Hidden beneath the arguments of a couple in mediation there is a repeating theme. The argument is like Joseph’s coat of many colors. Each disagreement on the surface appears to be about something different, like one of the many colors on the coat. Under the coat, however, there is only Joseph, who remains mostly unchanged.

Keith Seat
Update on Home Foreclosure Mediation - November 2014 (11/08/14)
Keith Seat
This is another in a series of updates on home foreclosure mediation in the United States by Mediate.com News Editor, Keith Seat.


The Urgent Need For Data: Are the Needs of Users and the Dispute Resolution Market Misaligned? (11/07/14)
Deborah Masucci, Michael Leathes
Seismic tremors emanating from London's Guildhall on October 29th 2014 are set to send change-inducing shockwaves, around the international dispute resolution community. It is widely known that dispute resolution's customers, the disputants, have different needs and interests from the supply side of the market such as external counsel, ADR providers, and educators. The shock comes from the initial data generated at this Convention, suggesting just how far out of alignment the supply side may be with the views and needs of the users. Additional data is needed on an international scale.

Jason Dykstra
Sculpting a New Dispute Resolution Field (11/04/14)
Jason Dykstra
I’ve had the opportunity to talk with lots of mediators, coaches and consultants that have lost their passion. That twinkle that existed in their eyes has been beaten out - the spring in their step, flattened. They have gone from, “Yes! I believe in the beauty of conflict transforming people’s lives!” to “Yeah, I guess I could provide you with this service.” We’ve gone from looking at our craft as an opportunity to create a better world, to looking at our job to find a resolution and a pay cheque.

Doris Tennant
Reflections on Everything is Workable: A Zen Approach to Conflict Resolution (10/31/14)
Doris Tennant
Everything is Workable (Shambhala, 2013) is Hamilton’s book about how to live consciously in a world sated with conflicts. She acknowledges that learning conflict skills asks something of us: “The more intimate we become with human suffering, the greater our compulsion to serve others.”

Cris Pastore
The Shocking Cost of Divorce in PA (10/31/14)
Cris Pastore
The added expense of living in two separate households may be obvious in a divorce case, but have you also budgeted for the cost of hiring a divorce lawyer to go to court? Read this article to gain a full understanding of the fees associated with a divorce lawyer and understand why divorce mediation may the better option for you.

Jacques Joubert
Mediation will Get its Foot in a South African Door (10/31/14)
Jacques Joubert
A fortuitous incident one Monday morning changed everything for two disputees. The two trustees found themselves in the uncomfortable position of getting into the same lift. Without acknowledging each other’s presence they watched the doors close and felt the lift slide down from the 12th floor. It stayed stuck there for two hours - perhaps the most fortuitous two hours of their lives. For in those two hours they resolved a two-year long frozen conflict by talking to each other – person to person.

Keith Seat
International Mediation Developments - November 2014 (10/31/14)
Keith Seat
This is another in a series of updates on International Mediation Developments from Mediate.com News Editor, Keith Seat.

Giuseppe dePalo
The Italian ADR Saga: a Machiavellian Plot, or Just Lawyers Without a Plan (10/24/14)
Giuseppe dePalo
Mediation has long been a matter of contention in Italy. First introduced by a government decree in 2011, mandatory mediation resulted in strikes by part of the legal profession, and was then quashed in 2012 by the country’s Constitutional Court. As the number of mediations dropped drastically after the court decision, in September 2013 Italy re-introduced the mandatory requirement. The country is still in the growing pains of a new system.

Dr. Lynne C. Halem
Dividing Stuff (10/24/14)
Dr. Lynne C. Halem
Most people do not think of their household belongings as assets. It is, after all, just “stuff”. Except, that is, if asked to view the stuff as property subject to division in divorce. Then, suddenly, even the smallest or most insignificant items are seen in a whole new light, indeed take on a whole new value.

Jon Warner
Workplace Conflict – Putting It in Context (10/24/14)
Jon Warner
Many articles on workplace conflict miss out on a key subject area and one which is often best considered first – the context within which the conflict has arisen in the first place. In other words, we cannot consider a conflict situation in isolation from the circumstances in which it has occurred, and the key to its resolution may well lie as much in this contextual realm as it does in appreciating the conflict issue and the people involved in the dispute.

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