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Mediation in Today's News

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May 2015

  • 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. read

  • 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. read

  • 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. read

  • City and retaining wall owners ordered to try mediation

    The city of Moline and the owners of a crumbling retaining wall on 12th Street on Monday were ordered to mediation to try and settle the terms of its repair. The wall has been in disrepair for years, and more recently, large sections have fallen onto the sidewalk. read

  • Gearbox And 3D Realms Settle Duke Nukem Lawsuit Via Mediation

    The year-old lawsuit over an unauthorized Duke Nukem game has been settled out of court. Gearbox, which brought Duke Nukem Forever to completion after 12 years in development limbo, filed suit against 3D Realms over the announced (and since altered) Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction. According to filings, Gearbox re-asserted its legal position on May 12. That same day, the court accepted a filing indicating that a mediated settlement had been reached on May 8. read

  • Paparazzo Trial Against Justin Bieber Delayed For Mediation Attempt

    Justin Bieber’s attorneys and lawyers for a photographer suing him over an alleged attack back in May 2012 have agreed to delay the scheduled start of a civil suit trial on May 12 in order to try and settle the case. According to court papers filed by Bieber’s lawyers, a mediation session will take place on May 22 so that both parties can reach a settlement in the civil lawsuit filed by Jose Osmin Hernandez Duran in Los Angeles Superior Court in June 2013. The trial is rescheduled for June 16. read

  • A Case for Mediation

    Everyone wants to feel heard, and, particularly in conflict -- when emotions are often inflamed -- it's easy for understanding to be compromised and agreement to seem impossible. Mediation, a form of alternative dispute resolution, can remedy that. read

  • Mediation set in missing South Thomaston money case

    A mediation session between South Thomaston and two former firefighters accused of unjustly enriching themselves with nearly $15,000 earmarked for a new fire truck will be held next month.

  • Hospitals, senior communities benefitting from mediation

    Two industries that significantly benefit from the mediation boom are hospitals and senior communities. There are a number of significant reasons that these industries are starting to take notice of mediation as a standard practice. read

  • To Keep Trusts Private, Estate Planners Avoid Litigation

    When you are rich, trusts can help keep everyone from one day knowing just how rich. Of course, trusts serve a lot of other purposes, many of them related to passing wealth along to children and other beneficiaries. And when fights break out over how assets are distributed and to whom, the shield of privacy can start to crack. If a dispute makes it into court, all bets regarding privacy are generally off, estate lawyers say. “If it is going to be litigated, you can’t really protect that trust” from prying eyes, says Nancy Chemtob, an attorney specializing in family law at Chemtob Moss & Forman LLP in New York. read

5/15 5/12
  • NFLPA hoping Robert Kraft makes case for independent arbitration

    In the NFL's personal conduct policy, it is commissioner Roger Goodell who holds the last word on the disciplinary and appeal processes. And in result, it is Goodell who will hold the last word when it comes to New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's looming suspension. But a league source has told Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio that the NFL Players Association hopes Patriots owner Robert Kraft pushes for neutral arbitration in the matter. The feeling within the NFLPA is that Kraft wants Goodell to outsource the arbitration to an independent entity, according to Florio. read

  • Subcommittee recommends ending Nevada’s Foreclosure Mediation Program

    A joint money subcommittee Wednesday recommended shutting down Nevada’s Foreclosure Mediation Program, citing a recovering housing market and fewer participants than at the height of the recession when the program was established. Overseen by the Nevada Supreme Court, the Foreclosure Mediation Program was created by the Legislature in 2009 as the state’s economy tanked and the housing market collapsed. According to statistics presented during Wednesday’s hearing, completed mediations have declined from a high of 7,558 in the 2011 fiscal year to a projected low of 662 in 2017. Effectiveness is also waning. In 2010, 40 percent of homeowners who went through the program retained their homes. Projections estimate 15 percent by the end of the upcoming fiscal year. read

  • Princeton: Mediation could resolve lawsuit over university's property tax exemption

    A lawsuit challenging Princeton University’s property tax exemption could be headed to mediation, in a case with implications for the school and local taxpayers. Lawyers for the school and four Princeton residents who have sued in state tax court are seeing if they can agree on a mediator, both parties said this week. Options the university has suggested include finding a retired state appeals court or Supreme Court judge to act as a neutral third-party. read

  • Dominion opts for mediation to resolve latest NRC findings

    Dominion Resources will enter into a third-party mediation process with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to resolve issues raised by three apparent violations at the Millstone Power Station recently identified by the NRC. Ken Holt, spokesman for Millstone, said Monday that the company is seeking an “efficient and amicable resolution of the investigation findings.” The company informed the NRC Friday that it is opting for the Alternative Dispute Resolution Process in response to apparent violations the NRC found at Unit 2. read

  • Raul Castro Thanks Pope for US Mediation Role

    Cuban President Raul Castro visited the Vatican Sunday to personally thank Pope Francis for the pontiff's efforts to end five decades of tensions between the United States and Cuba, as the two countries resume diplomatic ties. The Cuban leader met with the Argentine-born Francis for nearly an hour as the two men spoke in their native Spanish. Francis, the leader of the world's Roman Catholics, was instrumental in the secret negotiations between Havana and Washington leading to the announcement in December that the two countries are taking steps to reopen embassies in their capitals and broaden economic links. read

  • Courts offer new mediation program

    The court process can be time consuming, expensive and emotionally draining. Fees may escalate well beyond the original estimate, and the time it takes to reach a decision in our busy courts can be lengthy. Many times, relationships suffer from the pressure. And once a case is submitted to a jury or judge for decision, the outcome may not satisfy any party. In recognition of these circumstances, Napa Superior Court in collaboration with the Napa County Bar Association has recently established a voluntary civil mediation program. read

  • California Justices Set to Retool Curbs on Arbitration Agreements

    The California Supreme Court may be preparing to overhaul the way it evaluates arbitration agreements for enforceability in a case over a contract that two lower courts found impermissibly harsh and one-sided. Over the past three decades, California's high court has embraced a variety of terms to describe arbitration agreements it deemed unconscionable: they were "unreasonably favorable" to one party, "unfairly one-sided," "overly harsh," "unduly oppressive" or "so one-sided as to shock the conscience." During arguments Tuesday in Gil Sanchez v. Valencia Holding, the justices invited lawyers to propose a more consistent test for unconscionability that would not unravel the court's prior holdings. read

  • Business principles 101: Settle deals with arbitration, not in court

    After the court trial I asked my attorney what I could do to prevent this from ever happening again. He said, “Simple; add a clause to your sales contract that requires the parties to settle disputes by binding arbitration. read

  • Where Does Marital Mediation Fit In?

    Where does marital mediation fit into the construct of "facilitative", "evaluative" and "transformative"? It has characteristics of all of these, as well as John Fiske's construct of "control" and "acknowledgement", depending on the situation, the mediator's preference, experience and style, and the clients' needs and visions for what the marital mediation should accomplish. read

  • 3 Business Situations That Are Ripe for Mediation

    As a business owner, you know how expensive legal fees can be, so the sooner you can settle disputes, the less costly it is. Mediation is a dispute resolution process in which parties agree to work out a legal matter themselves with the help of a third party. Mediation typically is a speedy process (certainly quicker than going to court) and can save you money on legal fees. Recommendations resulting from mediation aren’t binding on the parties, but usually are acceptable after completing the process. Here are 3 situations where you may want to consider using mediation before proceeding to litigation. read

  • Rutgers fight with Douglass alumnae may be headed to mediator

    The president of Douglass College's alumnae association will recommend Monday that the group accept Rutgers University's offer to bring in a mediator to settle a dispute with the school. Jeanne Fox, president of the Associate Alumnae of Douglass College, said she plans to ask her group's executive board to agree to mediation at an evening meeting. Rutgers officials extended the offer to bring in a mediator last week after a fundraising dispute between the alumnae group and the university ended up in court. read

  • $14 million dispute over Blackbeard pirate ship goes to mediation

    A $14 million legal dispute between a treasure-hunting company and the state over access and media rights to Blackbeard's pirate ship has been sent to mediation. The case is pending with the N.C. Office of Administrative Hearings, and as of last week was referred to outside mediation. Intersal Inc. of Florida, which discovered the wreck of Queen Anne's Revenge off the North Carolina coast in 1996, says that the state has violated the terms of a contract it signed with the company in 2013. The issues include rights related to video and photography made of the wreck and the recovery, study and reproduction of its artifacts. read

  • Police, Harvard near deal to mediate civilian complaints

    After years of false starts, the Boston Police Department is nearing a deal with its three unions and Harvard Law School to set up a simpler, speedier system for resolving many of the civilian complaints lodged against officers, police and Harvard officials say. Under the system, mediators from the Harvard Negotiation & Mediation Clinical Program at Harvard Law School would handle dozens of the more moderate disputes that clog up the department’s Internal Affairs Division, to the frustration of plaintiffs. Those grievances generally involve rudeness, unprofessional conduct, and abusive language. More severe cases would continue to be adjudicated by Internal Affairs. read

  • Judge orders mediation in ex-State Bar exec's suit for retaliatory firing

    A judge Tuesday ordered both sides to attempt to mediate a settlement in a lawsuit brought by a former State Bar executive who alleges he was fired for exposing ethical breaches within the agency responsible for the oversight of the state’s attorneys. “I would like you all to give it a shot with Judge MacLaughlin,” Beckloff said. “I’m giving you timeout to get something accomplished.” read

  • Gallup Diocese, Abuse Victims to Begin Mediation

    A bankruptcy judge has ordered the Roman Catholic Diocese of Gallup, N.M., its insurance carriers and lawyers representing 58 alleged sexual-abuse victims to begin mediation no later than July 15. Judge David Thuma, who oversees the diocese’s bankruptcy proceedings, signed off on mediation at the request of both alleged victims and the diocese, which stretches across broad swaths of northern Arizona and New Mexico. Mediation is likely the best opportunity to resolve the diocese’s bankruptcy case through a settlement that provides compensation to alleged victims and protects the church from future litigation, according to lawyers involved in the case. Other diocesan bankruptcies prompted by sexual-abuse claims have stretched out over years, racking up huge legal bills. read

April 2015

  • UK businesses must prepare for online dispute resolution, says expert

    UK businesses should prepare now for settling disputes with consumers through a system of online mediation and anticipate a further shift towards online dispute resolution in future too, an expert has said.Specialist in IT disputes resolution David McIlwaine of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind, said it was "reassuring" to see one of the most senior judges in England and Wales focus his attention on the subject of ODR in a recent speech. read

  • Lawmaker sex harassment claims go to mediation

    The longstanding, high-profile lawsuits of legislative staff members accusing state representatives of sexual harassment, retaliation and other misconduct are headed to mediation. Attorneys for three women and the Legislative Research Commission, a defendant in the cases, said Tuesday that all parties have agreed to mediation that they hope will finally resolve the cases. read

  • Use and Perception of International Commercial Mediation and Conciliation: An Empirical Study

    S.I. Strong, Associate Professor of Law and Senior Fellow, Center for the Study of Dispute Resolution at the University of Missouri School of Law, has published, “Use and Perception of International Commercial Mediation and Conciliation: An Empirical Study,” In her paper, Professor Strong examines empirical data collected about the use and perception of commercial mediation and conciliation in both the international business and legal arenas. read

  • Judge recommends mediation between mall, yogurt business

    At a pretrial hearing in a lawsuit filed by the Charleston Town Center against a West Virginia yogurt business, a Kanawha County judge on Thursday recommended mediation for the two sides and received a letter indicating bankruptcy proceedings underway for a longtime state legislator. read

  • Harding St. quadruple murder house to become center for mentoring and mediation

    The west side house where four people were found murdered in March will be turned into a center for mentoring and mediation, the non-profit Be More Positive Company announced Monday. read

  • RadioShack agrees to mediation over sale of customer data

    RadioShack has agreed to mediation with state attorneys general concerned about the electronic retailer's planned sale of customer data as part of its bankruptcy reorganization. A RadioShack attorney told a Delaware bankruptcy judge Tuesday that the mediation, which will include a consumer privacy ombudsman, will start May 14. That's after a scheduled May 11 auction for intellectual property assets including the names and addresses of millions of RadioShack customers. read

  • And What is Your Biggest Achievement in Mediation?

    Once I was informed by Nan Waller Burnett that her colleagues from the organization Mediators Beyond Borders International (MBB) were heading for Prague and that we might organize a meeting with them I did not hesitate a minute. For the work of this NGO is simply admirable. How to build a more peace “able” world. read

  • Forced Arbitration Leaving Consumers High and Dry

    Data confirm that forced arbitration gives consumers little recourse or relief. With the completion of its study of forced arbitration, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau now has the authority to prohibit the practice in the financial markets it oversees. The bureau has made a compelling case for doing so. Forced arbitration clauses, widely found in take-it-or-leave it contracts for checking accounts, prepaid cards, credit cards and other financial services, require consumers to give up the right to go to court in the event of a dispute. Instead, you are forced to bring your case to a private arbitration firm that has been chosen by the company – your opponent in the dispute. The CFPB’s data show how unfair this increasingly common corporate practice is, and how damaging it can be to the financial marketplace. read

  • Oregon GMO critics, proponents agree on mediation system

    Disputes over genetically modified crops would be mediated by Oregon farm regulators under legislation that has won support from biotech critics and proponents. Mediators from the Oregon Department of Agriculture would help resolve coexistence conflicts among growers of biotech, conventional and organic crops as part of House Bill 2509, which is headed for a vote on the House floor. A farmer who refuses to participate in such mediation and later loses a lawsuit in the dispute would be required to pay the opposing party’s costs and attorney fees. In conflicts over infringing farm practices — such as unwanted cross-pollination between crops — ODA officials would also oversee the collection of samples to establish a “chain of custody.” read

  • Dueling neighbors: It's time for mediation in a Shadyside bed-and-breakfast

    Zoning battles in residential neighborhoods have been a fact of life as long as there have been property rights. The Mansion at Maple Heights, a bed and breakfast owned and operated in Shadyside by former Steelers lineman Chukky Okobi, has generated a protracted battle with some of the neighbors. The dispute at its heart is very simple. Mr. Okobi has a large tent on the property that he would like to continue offering for social events. The neighbors insist that the party tent is a source of noise and violates the legal criteria for a permitted business “accessory.” read

  • Keeping the peace at Pine Ridge Elementary

    It’s not easy to become a Peacemaker. Anyone in the fourth grade can apply, but not all applicants are chosen for an interview with Linn and the current group of Peacemakers. Linn weighs in on who is chosen, but the kids are involved in the selection process, too. Those who make the cut get an important lesson in leadership. read

  • Secrets of a Successful Divorce Mediation

    As a former litigator turned mediator, I'm frequently asked why divorce mediation works. My response is a list of benefits: "faster, costs less, resolves conflict, calms emotions instead of amping everyone up." But today, when reading Teri McCowen's blog on about the power of listening, I realized I haven't been answering the question of why mediation works. Teri hit the nail on the head in her description of what it feels like to be with a master listener. read

  • Uber lawsuit over alleged India rape heading to mediation

    A lawsuit filed in California against Uber Technologies by a woman who alleged she was raped by a driver while taking a trip in Delhi appears to be heading to mediation. Both parties have asked the court for permission to proceed with the process, known as “alternative dispute mediation,” with a private mediator. They didn’t specify a deadline for coming up with a resolution. The filing comes just over a week after Uber petitioned the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California to throw out the complaint. It said the court in San Francisco lacked jurisdiction because the two parties are both Indian citizens and the alleged rape occurred in India. read

  • Gov. Rick Scott and Cabinet move to mediation in Sunshine lawsuit

    After weeks of behind-the-scenes legal combat, Gov. Rick Scott and Cabinet members will dispatch their lawyers to mediate differences with Florida news outlets in a lawsuit accusing all four officials of violating the Sunshine Law. The closed-door mediation session Wednesday in Tallahassee postpones a scheduled videotaped deposition of Gerald Bailey, the ousted commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Bailey's secretly hatched dismissal triggered the lawsuit and has led to a series of reforms designed to improve Cabinet oversight of state agencies. read

  • National Craft Brewery Mediation Service Debuts

    Beginning April 15th, 2015 OvalOptions for Conflict Management will offer its Brewery Mediation Network (BMN) service in areas nation-wide. The program will help connect craft breweries with local providers of mediation, facilitation and associated services to assist in resolving costly disputes, most noticeably those involving trademarks. Breweries that contact the BMN are guided through a dispute roadmap, shaped by their unique situation, examining issues ranging from inter-brewery dispute to workplace tension. Jason Gladfelter, co-owner of OvalOptions, conflict consultant and level 1 Cicerone, views trademark disputes as a threat to the industry’s image while inflicting economic damage. “Legal fees in trademark cases can cost tens of thousands of dollars and take six months or more to conclude. Mediation can produce an amicable solution in a timely manner at a fraction of the cost, which is divided between the parties.” read

  • Church of the Mediator Hosts Concert Series

    Meridian, Miss. Did you know that there is a "Church of the Mediator." Proof: The Church of the Mediator held a special concert Sunday afternoon that featured a world famous musician. Dr. John Paul is a world renowned harpsichord player and this afternoon entertained the crowd through some music. This concert is one of four that the Church of the Mediator put on to raise money for their new organ.   read

  • Ontario Securities Exchange to launch mediation program for enforcement cases

    The Ontario Securities Commission is launching a pilot program to see whether more people can resolve their enforcement cases with the help of an outside mediator. The OSC said it will test out a mediation program from May 1 until next March, giving people the option to use a third-party mediator to help them try to confidentially reach a deal with commission staff. Both sides have to consent before a case can go to mediation. The OSC said it is developing the program as a way to try to get more cases concluded more quickly, and it will not allow the mediation process to be used to delay the start of hearings in cases. “The mediator provides an informal setting for settlement discussions to occur and can assist in resolving other outstanding enforcement issues,” the OSC said in a statement. read

  • Court Bars Ordering Abuse Victims to Post-Divorce Mediation

    Divorced couples cannot be required to resolve their post-divorce disputes through mediation if there has been an entry of a final restraining order based on a finding of domestic violence, even if existing property settlement agreements call for disputes to be worked through by mediators, a New Jersey appeals court has ruled. read

  • Keeping the Confidential Arbitration Proceeding Confidential

    Courts repeatedly have held that an arbitration confidentiality agreement covering judicial documents is insufficient to overcome the First Amendment presumption of access to the courts and the common-law right to public access to judicial proceedings and records. Even in the face of a confidentiality agreement, courts have refused to seal petitions and supporting documents seeking to confirm an arbitration award where the party seeking confidentiality made broad allegations of harm unsubstantiated by a particularized showing of the injury and harm public disclosure of the information would cause. read

  • Interview With Michael Brown, UN Senior Mediation Expert in Natural Resources and Land Conflicts

    Unresolved natural resource management issues can make peace more fragile, while addressing them can act as a bridge toward cooperation. The UN Environment Program and Department of Political Affairs recently created a guide to natural resources for conflict mediators. The guide explores how natural resources can exacerbate or drive conflict and discusses best practices for mediation. It also examines instances of natural resource management as cornerstones of peacebuilding, from oil in South Sudan to shared water basins in Iran and Afghanistan. read

  • As the economy improves, divorce rate will increase

    By most measures, the U.S. economy is healthy and recovered from its recent recession. Job growth has been healthy for the past year. The U.S. Commerce Department reported on March 27 the biggest gain in consumer spending in eight years. Housing prices are rebounding as home sales are growing. Expect one more statistic to rise: the divorce rate. read

  • Mediation works in kids' custody spats

    SINGAPORE - Almost 5,000 divorcing couples have gone through a compulsory mediation and counselling programme aimed at helping them reduce the acrimony as they sort out disputes over their children. About four out of five couples agreed on key parenting decisions after attending the sessions, a Family Justice Courts spokesman told The Sunday Times. The courts had found that many couples fight over custody and care issues, such as which parent the child will live with after the divorce and how much time the other parent will get to spend with the child. The mediation and counselling programme, which involves the couples' lawyers as well, aims to protect the child's welfare. "This drastically lowers the risk of children being caught in the bitterness between warring and insecure parents," the spokesman said. "Children will be more secure and less traumatised by the breakdown of their parents' relationship." read

  • Pakistan will prefer to play role of mediator in Yemen conflict: Asif

    ISLAMABAD: Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said Tuesday that the government’s first preference would be to play the role of a mediator in resolving the crisis in Yemen. “If the sanctity of Saudi Arabia’s territorial boundaries is violated, we will stand with them,” he said. He assured that the government’s policy was in line with the military's perspective on the issue. He said that Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have decades-old defence agreements, and Pakistan will continue honouring those agreements. read

  • Mediation: Confidentiality and Enforceability

    An essential element of a successful mediation is confidentiality. Participants to a mediation must be able to rely on the confidentiality of the process if they are going to be candid with the mediator about their settlement positions, pressure points, litigation strategy and other sensitive issues. This principle is reflected in the Uniform Mediation Act, finalized in 2003 and adopted by 11 states to date.  According to the Act, “[t]his frank exchange can be achieved only if the participants know that what is said in the mediation will not be used to their detriment through later court proceedings and adjudicatory processes.” read

  • Mediation Provides Apparent Settlement of XNA Runway Dispute

    Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport officials approved a proposed settlement of a federal lawsuit related to problems with work on the main runway renovation that should allow for repairs to be completed within the next few months. "We ended up with a proposed settlement that, frankly, none of the parties are happy with but all parties can live with," Scott Van Laningham, executive director, told board members at a special meeting late Monday afternoon. "We left there with a pretty good game plan for fixing it." read

  • Maybe real mediation could solve the long-standing water crisis on the Monterey Peninsula.

    With so many stakeholders, and varied unreconciled positions, progress toward a solution has been slow. This pace could continue indefinitely with ratepayers swallowing the costs. If there was a time to take a deep breath and think outside of the box, it is now. I propose the major stakeholders consider agreeing to participation in a true mediation of the major issues that prevent achievement of a reasonable, reliable and implementable solution to the Peninsula’s water supply problem. read

  • What It Takes to Opt Out of an Arbitration Clause

    Not all companies with arbitration clauses or no-class-action provisions require employees to sign on. While companies such as Uber Technologies Inc. require drivers to agree to such contracts before joining its platform, others give employees a chance to opt out—although it can take some doing. read

  • Report: Israel Sought European Mediation for Talks With Hamas

    Israel asked European officials to serve as arbitrators in talks with the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas about the return of remains of Israeli soldiers killed in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge last summer, al-Araby al-Jadeed reported Monday. read

  • Justin Bieber Attends Five-Hour Mediation Over Alleged Photographer Assault Lawsuit

    Justin Bieber attended a mediation session in Miami, Florida, on Tuesday, in connection to a lawsuit filed by a photographer, who alleges he was roughed up by one of the singer’s bodyguards. The mediation session lasted nearly five-hours. read

  • Mass. couple’s divorce decree can’t compel mediation

    A husband and wife can not be compelled to engage in mediation at their own expense as a condition of their being permitted to file actions in the future to enforce or modify the terms of their divorce, the Massachusetts Appeals Court has found. The husband argued that his right to free access to the courts under Article 11 of the Declaration of Rights of the Massachusetts Constitution was violated by a clause in his divorce decree requiring the parties to engage in, and pay for, court-directed mediation before either could file any subsequent action in court. The Appeals Court agreed. read

  • Robin Williams's Widow and Children Agree to Mediation in Estate Fight

    Attorneys for Williams’s widow, Susan Schneider, and his three children from previous marriages, squared off in probate court in San Francisco on Monday and agreed to private mediation, hoping to settle a dispute regarding the contents of his estate. read

  • LL.M. Programs in Alternative Dispute Resolution

    Specialized programs can help lawyers with tactics like mediation and negotiation, which are increasingly used as alternatives to litigation. “When I went to law school, it was still considered fuzzy-headed fringe stuff,” says Paul Ladehoff, the director of the LL.M. program in Dispute Resolution at the University of Missouri School of Law. “Now it's a regular component of practice.” read

March 2015

  • CFPB Study: Arbitration Agreements Limit Relief For Consumers

    On March 10, 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ("CFPB") released a report which found that arbitration clauses restrict a consumer's relief against financial service providers, such as credit card companies and banks. read

  • Justin Bieber Attends Mediation Hearing On Photog's Suit

    Pop star Justin Bieber is in South Florida to handle his legal troubles – again. Tuesday morning Bieber’s security team swiftly and skillfully whisked him through the service entrance of a attorney’s office in a Brickell high rise so he could attend a mediation hearing on civil suit filed by freelance photographer Jeffrey Binion. read

  • Somali elders learn mediation to integrate community

    Confidentiality. Quality of process. Impartiality. Conflict of interest. Competence.  Those were the words scribbled across the chalkboard in a St. Cloud State University classroom March 21. In three chairs — one in the middle, two facing each other — sit a middle-aged Somali man playing a 20-something college student, a St. Cloud State communications professor playing an elderly neighbor and a Conflict Resolution Center director playing a mediator. read

  • 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.  read

  • 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. read

  • 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. read

  • 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. read

  • 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. read

  • 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. read

  • 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. read

  • 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. read

  • Liberia: Woods Leads Mediation - AFL, West Pointers Smoke Peace Pipe

    Since the shooting incident in the West Point community that led to the death of little Shaki Kamara, the relationship between the Armed Forces of Liberia and the locals has been sour, but the former Minister of Public Works Samuel Kofi Woods is doing everything to bring the army and the people together.  read

  • Mediators working to help Ferguson

    Sometimes you need a person in the middle — a mediator. Community Mediation Services of St. Louis helps people talk about and resolve their differences. On Wednesday, "St. Louis on the Air" host Don Marsh will talk to two people behind the group about their services and their recent work in Ferguson. read

  • Bill O'Reilly Attacks "Restorative Justice" Programs That Reduce Racially Disproportionate School Discipline

    Fox News host Bill O'Reilly attacked efforts to decrease school suspensions and expulsions with programs known as "restorative justice," ignoring that these traditional punishments disproportionately target students of color. read

  • ‘Office for pontifical mediation’ may be set up within Secretariat of State

    The Vatican Secretary of State suggested Wednesday that an ‘office for pontifical mediation’ may be established within the ranks of the Secretariat of State, in order to function as a link between the on-the-ground commitment of papal diplomacy and its commitment within international institutions. Cardinal Pietro Parolin said on March 11 that “facing an increase of armed conflicts — both internal and external — which are caused because of a lack of preventative actions or because of a lack in managing the post-conflict times, an attention to prevention (through the new office) will highlight the real meaning of the Holy See’s presence in the international community”. read

  • Unlocking Horns: Lender Use of Mediation for Dispute Resolution

    Lenders are often the target of litigation by borrowers, guarantors, co-lenders, and bankruptcy trustees. While a growing number of lenders include ADR provisions for arbitration in their loan documents, few are requiring mediation as a precursor to litigation. Many lenders are unfamiliar with mediation and its potential benefits. read

  • How to Win at Mediation

    Hiring a mediator can save you thousands of dollars in legal fees—and even more if a judgment goes against you, as a recent Weekend Investor story explained. Some states require divorcing couples to explore mediation first. Mediation is also an option in some disputes between investors and stockbrokers, an employer and a former employee, business partners parting ways or parties to a commercial contract. The process isn’t meant to be adversarial. “Win-lose as a bargaining model puts most of the benefits of mediation into a black hole,” says Michele Lowrance, a retired judge in Chicago who works as a mediator with JAMS, an alternative dispute-resolution provider based in Irvine, Calif. But there are still ways to protect yourself – and even gain an advantage – when entering mediation. read

  • Iran Offers to Mediate Talks Between Republicans and Obama (Andy Borowitz)

    Stating that “their continuing hostilities are a threat to world peace,” Iran has offered to mediate talks between congressional Republicans and President Obama. Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, made the offer one day after Iran received what he called a “worrisome letter” from Republican leaders, which suggested to him that “the relationship between Republicans and Obama has deteriorated dangerously.” “Tensions between these two historic enemies have been high in recent years, but we believe they are now at a boiling point,” Khamenei said. “As a result, Iran feels it must offer itself as a peacemaker.” read

  • State, Schools Continue Mediation for Inflation Funding

    The state and school districts are in legal mediation trying to agree on how much money the state should give schools for inflation back pay and when, said an attorney for the schools. Gov. Doug Ducey and the state Legislature have set aside $74 million in the state budget for the lawsuit settlement, less than a third of what a judge has said the schools are owed. read

  • Better to mediate than to litigate

    A skillful mediator can be the avenue through which parties are able to face each other comfortably. The mediator is an independent third party without any power to decide who is right or wrong. The mediator’s role is to work with the parties in a process that is broadly aimed at understanding the dispute; identifying the concerns, underlying fears and needs of each party; communicating the same to each party upon receiving a mandate to do so; and ultimately assisting the parties to negotiate a settlement themselves. read

  • Divorcing Parents: 4 Ways You Can Be Super Heroes To Your Children

    Divorcing parents: you can be super heroes to your children. Here's the plot twist: becoming their super hero means accepting that your children deserve to experience both a "Super-Mom" and "Super-Dad." Your marriage is ending, but your relationship as co-parents continues. Please consider these four commitments you can make as co-parents that will change the course of your children's lives and in the process, possibly save yours too. read

  • Cheaper, quicker way to settle disputes, save ties

    Singapore: A journey towards cheaper, quicker and less bitterly contested justice reached a "historically significant moment" yesterday when Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon launched the State Courts Centre for Dispute Resolution. The centre will seek to settle disputes across a wide spectrum of matters through mediation and neutral evaluation. It will sit at the entrance level of the State Courts, sending the signal that this approach is the "first stop" to be seriously considered in any type of conflict, said Chief Justice Menon. read

3/05 3/03
  • Federal mediator brought in to help avert MLS stoppage

    Representatives of Major League Soccer and its players union are meeting with a federal mediator this week in a last-ditch effort to complete a new collective bargaining agreement before the 2015 MLS season opens Friday. read

  • ASEAN co-mediation of child custody rows proposed

    Singapore Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon tells his counterparts in member-states of the Association for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to consider co-mediation in dealing with cross-border child custody rows. read

  • March is Mediation Month

    VA Governor McAuliffe has named March “Mediation Month” in the Commonwealth, to honor the work done in courts and other resolution centers. read

3/02 February 2015

  • Mediator’s death, Army clashes will not affect swap deal

    The sudden death of a secret middleman helping to secure the release of 25 Lebanese servicemen held hostage by Islamist militants on the Syria border and the Lebanese Army’s offensive against militants nestled in the hills on the country’s northeastern border with Syria will not affect negotiations on a swap deal, a senior security source told The Daily Star Thursday. read

  • India: An alternative to legal woes

    The author talks to the people from the Foundation for Comprehensive Dispute Resolution who strive to make mediation more accessible read

  • Courts aren’t always best place to resolve disputes

    Mediators are embracing new technology, says Graham Boyack. In today's world so much of what we do is increasingly done either on the telephone or online and that’s now beginning to happen with mediation too. In today’s justice system there are a number of good reasons to look at online dispute resolution. I’ll look at those reasons, how mediation online works and what needs to be done for it to happen. read

  • Mediator an acceptable cost for productivity

    That is too much taxpayer money at stake not to make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible. If $6,000 is what it takes, then stacked against $43.5 million, it seems like an acceptable cost for a better guarantee of productivity. read

  • Editorial: Mediation brings the right result to human rights complaints

    Resolving human rights complaints in this province once took years, and often involved ugly legal battles and plenty of ill feeling. Before the province's Human Rights Code was amended in 2011, it took an average of four years to settle complaints through a slow and often-combative tribunal system. Since then, the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission has focused on mediation, resulting in many complaints being resolved in weeks or a few months at most. read

  • South Dakota Senate OKs adding drainage mediation

    South Dakota should offer mediation services for landowners who are in drainage disputes, the state Senate decided Wednesday. Senators voted 32-2 for the legislation. Senate Bill 3 now goes to the House of Representatives. The mediation program would be operated with the state Department of Agriculture. The participants would pay for services. read

  • Can Atheistic China Play Conflict Mediator in ‘God’s Century’?

    In 2013 China shifted its principle of “non-interference in other countries” to one of active conflict resolution in some of the world’s most intractable contexts: Israel-Palestine, Myanmar, and Afghanistan. This shift reflects a growing confidence, certainly a growing need for China to be more globally engaged. But while it may be a welcome foray, its success will be muted at best unless China can overcome one major blind spot: religion. read

  • Do We Need a New York Convention for Mediation/Conciliation?

    The 1958 United Nations Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (New York Convention) is viewed by many as one of the most (if not the most) successful commercial treaties to which the United States has become a party. To date, 154 countries have signed the New York Convention. With this backdrop in mind, in July 2014 the United States submitted a proposal to the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Working Group II that it develop a convention on the enforcement of conciliated settlement agreements for international commercial disputes. In February 2015, UNCITRAL Working Group II held meetings in New York, where it considered this proposal with the goal of reporting to UNCITRAL on whether such a project was feasible. read

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