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READ & SEARCH NEWS
03/28/2015

Fox's 'Empire' Copyright Lawsuit Best Moved To Mediation, Says Judge

With demands for millions on one side and the seeking of a court declaration that Empire isn’t violating any “purported trademarks rights” on the other, this lawsuit seems to have taken the expressive lane to a sit-down before it could blow up. Just one day after the broadcaster of blockbuster series Empire filed a complaint for declaratory relief against music label Empire Distribution, the federal court today said it wants the parties to work out their problems in mediation before going to trial. Maybe not the way Lucious Lyon does business on the fictional Empire but the ways of real-life busy courts. 


Medical Malpractice Claims in Wisconsin Fall to Record Low

Medical malpractice claims hit a record low last year in Wisconsin, according to the Director of State Courts. The number of medical malpractice lawsuits fell to 84 last year from 140 in 2013. There were 294 suits filed in 1999. The state Medical Mediation Panels got 118 complaints last year, the fewest in their history. Plaintiffs must file with the panels before they can sue.


Lawsuit against prominent Paterson imam may go to mediation

A NJ state judge has ruled that a lawsuit can proceed against leaders of the Islamic Center of Passaic County that alleges widespread misuse of the organization’s funds. Ruling on a motion by the center to toss out the lawsuit, Judge Margaret Mary McVeigh in Passaic County Superior Court on Friday said that she would consider most of the suit’s claims, but urged the parties to go into mediation.


Enormous hike in court fees - will we see a rush to mediation?

Earlier this month, the Ministry of Justice implemented massive increases in the fees the courts charge to those parties who commence proceedings. Claims for more than £10,000 now attract an issue fee of 5% of the value of the claim up to a limit of £10,000, so, for example, a claim for £200,000 will now cost £10,000 to issue in addition to lawyers’ fees. The recent hike in court fees ought to make more businesses pause before instructing their lawyers to issue proceedings. in any event, there is much to be said for embarking on a mediation prior to the commencement of proceedings.


Mediation program alternative to costly EEOC litigation

Employers were encouraged Monday to take part in the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s mediation program, with one lawyer saying the program has been successful in resolving employment discrimination cases and saving employers money and time by avoiding litigation. Speaking at the Society for Human Resource Management’s Employment Law & Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C., Whitney Warner, a founding partner with the labor and employment law firm of Moody & Warne in Albuquerque, N.M., tackled several myths about participating in EEOC mediations.


Federal Justice Dept. mediator heading to Pasco

The U.S. Department of Justice's Community Relations Service will be in Pasco next week to begin mediation talks between the city's police department and community leaders. Talks will be centered around the recent shooting of Antonio Zambrano-Montes by three Pasco Police officers, and claims the department's use of force was unjustified and it's rank and file are out of touch with the largely Hispanic community. The process, once started, is confidential and has no law enforcement attached to it, according to the Department of Justice. Action plans can come once completed, however.


In the City: Clear up disputes with neighbors in spring

Spring is time of renewal and rejuvenation. The sun is shining, plants are growing and the temperatures are rising. As you embark on this season of change and renewal, think about taking steps to reduce the impact your actions have on your neighbors and also think about how to communicate when your neighbors' actions impact you. If you aren't comfortable because you feel there is conflict, your neighbor probably feels uncomfortable too. Here are some quick steps to try to begin resolving conflict.


Manhattan Borough President Seeks Rent Mediation For Mom-And-Pop Businesses

A proposal by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer would give small businesses a year-long reprieve if their landlords try to boot them out. It’s not a new issue, and Brewer said her idea is not a new one. “Rent mediation has been bandied about for many years, decades even, but in a different way,” she said. Under Brewer’s proposal, if a landlord seeks to jack up a store’s rent, a mediator would try to work out a deal. If one cannot be reached, the business would receive a one-year extension so that it has time to find a new space. In the meantime, its rent would increase by no more than 15 percent.

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The great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do. I've written some poetry I don't understand myself.
Carl Sandburg

New at Mediate.com

Chris Poole
The Future of Mediation (3/26/15)
Chris Poole
It is impossible to talk about the future, present or past of mediation without putting some sort of definition to that term. Clearly, mediation as dispute resolution has been around as long as disputes. When defined as a process that involves a designated third-party to assist in the resolution of disputes, mediation can be considered an old process.

David Matz
On Tools and Their Dangers (3/26/15)
David Matz
We, like all professionals, focus most of our attention on making and using tools. We have jobs to do, expectations to meet, and tools are extensions of our selves. They imply a strategy for proceeding, a source of confidence that we really can make an impact on a reality that badly needs it. The negotiation literature, especially the teaching and research literature, is dominated by a focus on tools. Tools are thus essential, and also dangerous.

Howard Bellman
It’s Been A Trip and We're Not There Yet (3/26/15)
Howard Bellman
It seems I have reached the point in my career when those who would be historians ask for my recollections, assessment of the state of the art and vision of the future. Here is my polite reply, including my very personal description of our earliest days, some aspects of our evolution and the future as I would prefer it, not how I predict it. I would only add that I don’t know the dimensions of the learning curve we are on and I prefer to believe that despairing over unachieved goals is premature. Optimism, patience and tenacity ought to come naturally to mediators.

Donald T. Saposnek
Book Review: The Master Agreement by Jay Bultz (3/25/15)
Donald T. Saposnek
The Master Agreement offers a comprehensive manual of issues, clauses and phrases for use in drafting Marital Settlement Agreements. The author capably provides a collection of relevant issues and then a multitude of options for clauses to include in your divorce and separation agreements. This book is unique, of very high quality, will save you time and elevate the quality of your drafting.


The Role of Intra-Group Consensus-Building in Disarming Militant Groups in Northern Ireland (3/24/15)
Ariel Heifetz Knobel, Gary Mason, Benedetta Berti
This study examines the internal process that led combatant groups in Northern Ireland, focusing on the Loyalist camp, to relinquish armed struggle as a viable strategy to accomplish their political goals. The study focuses on internal dynamics, i.e. intra-group negotiations and consensus- building mechanisms that Loyalist militant organisations employed to switch from violence to non-violence and from confrontation to engagement with their enemies.

Jeffrey Krivis
Where Have All The Idealists Gone? Long Time Passing (3/21/15)
Jeffrey Krivis
A recent discussion among a seasoned group of neutrals about the struggles of the professional mediator caught my eye. Some complained that the trend in litigated cases was to reduce the value of the mediator to a commodity, due to the constraints put on them by the litigants who were not process oriented.

Phyllis Pollack
Article on Advocacy (3/21/15)
Phyllis Pollack
Several months ago, Joan Kessler asked that I provide an article to be included in the ADR issue of The Advocate. Since then, I have pondered on what I should write about. For inspiration, I went to my weekly blog which I have been posting since August 31, 2006. Reviewing them, I noticed a recurring theme: preparation for mediation. At least twice a year, I posted vignettes about mediations gone badly due to a lack of preparation. Because preparing for mediation is so important, I would like to share them with you, as my contribution to this ADR issue of The Advocate.

Peter Salem
The Future of Family Dispute Resolution: Mediation as a Piece of the Puzzle (3/20/15)
Peter Salem
Had I written about the future of family dispute resolution in the late 1980s, when I was a young and enthusiastic child custody mediator working for a Wisconsin family court agency, I would probably have focused exclusively on mediation rather than considering the current broad spectrum of family dispute resolution (FDR) processes that I did not anticipate at the time.

Ralph Steele
Understanding Culture in Mediation (3/20/15)
Ralph Steele
Culture is the sum total of our birth life and continuous environment. Every person has at least three (3) distinct DNA cultural ties that they are born with. There is no pure race or culture; culture is truly a human phenomenon. The problem is some people aren’t cognizant of or don’t understand their own culture.

John Lande
How Can You Get a Piece of the Action? (3/13/15)
John Lande
There is a significant problem with the traditional negotiation paradigm of two coherent models, positional and interest-based negotiation (or other labels for essentially the same models). This paradigm has been helpful in moving us forward in recent decades. But simply saying that something was a interest-based or positional negotiation not only doesn’t convey things clearly, but it actually can be misleading.

Ian MacDuff
Access to Mediation: Future Mediators (3/12/15)
Ian MacDuff
Much of the focus of the previous papers in this fascinating series on the future of mediation have, understandably, been on just that topic - that is, what will, or should, mediation look like. The questions asked have been both exercises in reflection on where we’ve been (after all, the best way to anticipate the future is to understand the past), on the coherence or not of the profession, the risk of our having been distracted from the core values and value of mediation, and - in the end - questions about what mediation really is and what we as mediators really do.

Lisa Parkinson
Family Mediation - Preface (3/12/15)
Lisa Parkinson
The Children and Families Act 2014 is focusing more attention on the role of family mediation in the family justice system. Family mediators have been given greater responsibility to encourage consideration of non-court dispute resolution processes before application is made to the family court, and to assess the suitability of mediation in particular circumstances.

Steffi Berkowitz
Future of Mediation: Uphold the Process (3/08/15)
Steffi Berkowitz
What's the down side of mediator self promotion over promotion of the mediation process? I think that the future of mediation could be put at-risk, or minimally compromised, by those in the profession who consciously, or unconsciously, leverage a belief system of "who knows best."

Louise Phipps Senft
Transforming the Adversarial Ethic (3/06/15)
Louise Phipps Senft
This article describes the differences between transformative mediation and directive mediation and posits that transformative mediation, which assists people with quality dialogue helping them to engage in meaningful explorations of the situation and possible solutions, whether they agree or not, is exactly what corporate counsel and litigators could embrace.

Elliot Platt
It's Never Just About Money (3/06/15)
Elliot Platt
This article describes the mediation process and the approach of a good mediator. It is intended to encourage litigators to utilize mediation.

John Wade
Negotiation Lessons from the Book (not the Film) of Exodus (3/06/15)
John Wade
The recent film “Exodus: Gods and Kings” has sparked some renewed interest in the actual written record of those events.So I share some of the themes which have emerged belatedly for me in this case study extraordinaire. One of the indicators from research of an “expert” modern day negotiator is someone who takes time to reflect systematically on past negotiations and attempts to record lessons from those events.

Merri L. Hanson
Back to the Future of Mediation (3/05/15)
Merri L. Hanson
For some reason, beyond my understanding, the decades old debate continues. How should mediation be defined? The better question is, “How can the practice be applied?” And herein is the genesis of the divergent paths upon which mediation has developed in the last thirty years.


The Future of Mediation - Video Interview of Ken Cloke (3/03/15)
Kenneth Cloke, Peter Adler
The use of mediation has grown and evolved over last the thirty years. As the “founders” begin to retire and new voices emerge, what is the future of mediation from a global perspective?

Leslie Short
Shaking My Magic 8 Ball Looking Into the Future of Mediation (3/03/15)
Leslie Short
I have shaken my magic 8 ball and it landed on Conflict Coaching. Some of you may say nothing “futuristic” about that I've been doing that for years. I believe it may be used in private practice, but not in community centers.

Laura Kaster
Back to the Future? – Not Likely (3/02/15)
Laura Kaster
Mediation is evolving. It should -- as many have stated in these columns -- remain connected to its routes in the joint session and party self-determination.

Forrest (Woody) Mosten
The Future of Mediation: Twenty Predictions for Mediation in 2030 (3/02/15)
Forrest (Woody) Mosten
If as Eleanor Roosevelt said, “The Future Belongs To Those Who Believe In The Beauty Of Their Dreams,” we in the mediation community have much to look forward to.

Henry Brown
Musings on Mediators, Pizza-Makers, and Humanity (3/02/15)
Henry Brown
I began this article on the future of mediation practice at what I thought, reasonably enough, was the beginning. Discussing how I came to New York in 1985 to train with John Haynes on a new approach to managing disputes that at that time had not yet found its way to the United Kingdom where I practised as a solicitor. However, In the course of writing and reviewing this piece, it began to dawn on me that while the trip was my conscious recollection of the beginning, it was not the actual beginning of my attraction, engagement and investment in what has become a personally and professionally fulfilling career.

Sandra Untrojb
The Future of Mediation: Teens and Technology (3/01/15)
Sandra Untrojb
Preparation for the future of mediation needs to focus on who will be using mediation and how. The audience in 20 years will have different expectations than the audience of today.


Mediation and the Black Belt Lawyer (3/01/15)
Andrea Maia, Juliana Loss de Andrade
The symbolism of the term ‘’black belt’’ may lead us in the first place to its meaning in the martial arts field, especially when you had your childhood influenced by the lessons from Mr. Miyagi and Daniel San’s hard path in Karate Kid. Comparatively, but differently from the Karate world, our corporate environment also has “black belts” who rely on knowledge, discipline and wisdom.

Stacy Roberts
5 Tips to Prepare for Mediation (3/01/15)
Stacy Roberts
Utah mediator Stacy Roberts shares tips on how to prepare for the best possible mediation experience.

Rafael Gonzalo Medina Rospigliosi
La Tercera Ola de los Mecanismos Alternativos de Solucion de Conflictos (3/01/15)
Rafael Gonzalo Medina Rospigliosi
Los Mecanismos Alternativos de Solución de Conflictos con su sigla MASC, engloban a un conjunto de procedimientos solucionadores de conflictos humanos, de manera autocompositiva, heterocompositiva o hibrida, sin utilizar la fuerza y ejecutados fuera del proceso judicial, es decir, con los MASC se crea soluciones no jurisdiccionales e inteligentes, caracterizados por ser no confrontacional, cooperativos, de autogestión y de protagonismo ciudadano, siendo incorporados el último decenio del siglo pasado, en los sistemas de justicia, en casi toda América Latina.

Bernard Mayer
Be Less Certain—and More Flexible (2/27/15)
Bernard Mayer
The challenge we face is how to be adaptable but still focused and effective. To meet this challenge, we need to remain clear about our fundamental purpose, to keep working on refining our skills and enhancing the range of approaches we can take to achieving those purposes, to commit to diversifying our field, and to maintain a clear hold on our values and ethical principles.

John Licciardello
Revolution Calling (2/27/15)
John Licciardello
The Need For Increased Coordination Among Divorce Professionals: The divorce experience starts early...perhaps in the therapists office and the Wednesday reading group where the decision is made...quietly... to move on. And once the papers are signed there are months of recovery, both financial and psychological, until a sense of "normal" is achieved. The whole process can take several years from start to finish, and involves a host of professionals. So it is no small surprise that the outcomes are varied and often poor.

Sandra Untrojb
El Futuro de la Mediación: Los Adolescentes y la Tecnología (2/27/15)
Sandra Untrojb
En mi opinión el futuro de la mediación se basa en dos pilares fundamentales: los adolescentes y la utilización de las nuevas tecnologías.


Don't Rush (2/26/15)
Christian Radu Chereji, Constantin-Adi Gavrila
There is a lot of talk nowadays about the apparent failure of mediation to live up to its potential. Reports published on paper and online, presented before institutions or at various conferences, point to the relatively low number of mediation cases compared to the number of lawsuits filling the logs of the courts and then draw the inevitable conclusion that mediation has missed the opportunity of (be)coming mainstream.

Larry Gaughan
Mediating Divorce Agreements: The Problems and the Potential (2/26/15)
Larry Gaughan
It was really exciting to be part of the divorce mediation movement when it became national around 1980. Almost everyone seemed to be aware of the problems with the adversarial system of divorce, and mediation held the promise of a process that was more personal and far less expensive and time consuming. Mediation training was mainly focused on divorce agreements, and those training courses rapidly became a major source of income for the trainers.

Josefina Rendon
Ética y Profesionalismo del Mediador: Una Receta Para el Éxito Profesional (2/26/15)
Josefina Rendon
Hace varios años en Houston, Texas, asistí a una interesante presentación sobre acuerdos escritos y otros temas de mediación para abogados. La diferencia entre los dos exponentes me pareció tan diferente que todavía los recuerdo después de tantos años. Un exponente habló en términos de movidas, estrategias y “trucos del negocio”. El otro habló en términos de buenas prácticas y normas éticas.

Jan Frankel Schau
Time Traveling (2/25/15)
Jan Frankel Schau
Litigation and mediation need to change in the future. People have new expectations about interacting with professionals, and the wise mediator will make note of these changes and incorporate these new trends in their practice.

Greg Rooney
Rebooting Mediation by Detaching from the Illusions of Neutrality, Just Outcomes, and Balanced Power (2/23/15)
Greg Rooney
I would submit that the next quantum leap for the theory and practice of mediation is to detach from the concept of neutrality as a core element of mediation practice. I propose to reboot the profession of mediation by championing the proposition that mediators are not neutrals. That they bring their own personal history and professional expertise to the process of assisting parties who are in dispute.

Leslie Short
Branding the Industry of Mediation (2/20/15)
Leslie Short
We were all trained to be aware of “what's in our bags” or to phrase it differently, what each person brings to the table. Then we’re told you must not bring anything to the table but the ability to listen and ask open-ended questions.

Tracy Allen
The Mediation Future (2/20/15)
Tracy Allen
So long as market users , i.e. the true decision makers, remain dependent on their legal counsel to select, direct and control the mediation/negotiation process, there is likely to be little advancement in public education about the importance and availability of mediation.

Alex Azarov
APR: Alternative Political Resolution (2/20/15)
Alex Azarov
Mediation has proven to me that adversarial litigation is an archaic way to resolve many of our conflicts. I think it's logical that we the best for the future is to use mediation to resolve the political deadlocks that are plaguing our societies, transforming democracy from the divisive popularity contest that it has become to the participatory civic engagement that so many have fought for.

Katherine Triantafillou
The Art of Conversation and The Future of Mediation (2/20/15)
Katherine Triantafillou
Although I am pretty good at envisioning the future, I don’t really have any grandiose images of the future of mediation. Rather, I have some cautionary tales and a few suggestions for how we might impact the future and avoid the pitfalls of insularity.

Zeno  Daniel Sustac
Philosophy of Mediation (2/13/15)
Zeno Daniel Sustac
When we speak about the philosophy of mediation we inherently have to relate to the philosophy of law and the philosophy of conflict. The philosophy of mediation is a present-day subject and of interest among the specialists in the Alternative Dispute Resolution field.

Jennifer Winestone
Mandatory Mediation: A Comparative Review of How Legislatures in California and Ontario are Mandating the Peacemaking Process In Their Adversarial Systems (2/13/15)
Jennifer Winestone
This article examines the evolution of two mandatory mediation programs in the state of California and the province of Ontario, how they differ, and the lessons we can take from each program's successes and failures.

John Sturrock
The Mediator's Log: A Mediation Story - Section 3 (2/13/15)
John Sturrock
The Mediator's Log gives a step-by-step diary of a mediator's day as he moves through a complex negotiations. This is the final step of the mediator's negotiations.

John Lande
We Need a Better Consensus About Negotiation Theory (2/13/15)
John Lande
In previous posts, I argued that there are serious problems with the general consensus on negotiation theory reflected most clearly in Getting to Yes. I described problems with the system of negotiation models, which assumes that most or all negotiations can fit into two models of highly-correlated variables (or a few variations of these models).

Mary Aderibigbe
The Importance of Preventive Law to the Growth of Mediation (2/10/15)
Mary Aderibigbe
We are in the information era marked by influx of ideas, data flexibility and improved efficiency. This information age has to a large extent contributed to global decline in career and employment opportunities.

Jacques Joubert
Ambiguity and Mediation (2/06/15)
Jacques Joubert
Some time ago I acted pro deo – instructed by the state but literally meaning for God – for a client who was on trial for murdering his victims with the heavy wooden handle of a pickaxe. It was a difficult case, but I learned a lot about high conflict mediation.

Becky Bartness
The Business of Mediation (2/06/15)
Becky Bartness
Many mediators are drawn to this field because they have a calling to help. This article reminds us that the work we do is valuable. It is important to see mediation as a legitimate business--and then the public will begin reflecting that view.

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