Mediation Today
November 2015

11/23 11/17
  • Mediators Facilitate Groups in Conflict

    Community mediators, many of them volunteers, help people navigate the most intractable conflicts. But when groups started requesting mediation services, Community Dispute Settlement Center realized their mediators needed some specific training. Here's how they worked with Public Conversations Project. See the video. read

  • Efforts to Rein In Arbitration Come Under Well-Financed Attack

    The ad attacks the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a federal agency created with Ms. Warren’s strong backing after the 2008 mortgage crisis. What the ad did not say: Its sponsor wants to rein in the agency in part because of its efforts to restrict arbitration — the widespread practice in corporate America of requiring customers and employees to resolve disputes not in the courts, but in private proceedings with neither judge nor jury. read

  • Resolving Emotional, Highly Charged Employment Issues With Mediation

    Whether you represent the employee or former employer (or even the new employer) in a case involving allegations of theft of trade secrets or breaches of non-competition, non-solicitation, anti-poaching, and/or confidentiality (NDA) covenants, mediation is an attractive option that should be considered as a valuable tool to help resolve a case including at its earliest stages (and even pre-suit). read

  • Weekend retreat: Dems, GOP seek to find ‘common ground’

    In an attempt to change the tone in town and eliminate social media animosity, political leaders from the Republican and Democratic parties are entertaining the concept of a “weekend retreat” that will encourage face-to-face conversations and team-building exercises between residents with rivaling bureaucratic ideologies. read

  • Alternative Dispute-Resolution Program Established

    New court fees go into effect today after the Comal County Commissioners Court last week approved the establishment of a new dispute-resolution program that will help low-income disputants obtain mediation. The fees – $15 on all civil cases filed in Comal County courts-at-law and district courts – will help offset the cost of contracting with Central Texas Dispute Resolution Center to provide mediation services for cases where the parties fall below a certain income threshold. read

  • Schools, mediation center partner for 'Restorative Justice'

    Mooresville and Iredell County schools are partnering with Piedmont Mediation Center, Inc., to offer a different way to solve conflicts like bullying, risky behavior, sexting and truancy. The program, deemed “Restorative Justice,” began last year in middle and high schools throughout Mooresville, Statesville and Iredell County. read

  • Reentry Mediation program rebuilds relationships between inmates

    Since 2008, Maryland's Reentry Mediation Program has helped hundreds of inmates while reducing recidivism rates. According to the 2014 Reentry Mediation In-Depth Recidivism Analysis report, when an inmate used mediation, the probability of an arrest post-release was reduced by 13 percent and the probability of conviction reduced by 15 percent. read

  • US court "strongly recommends" mediation despite reluctance to settle in luxury goods makers' claims against Alibaba

    A US judge has "strongly recommended" that a group of luxury goods makers, including Yves Saint Laurent and Gucci continue with attempts to mediate the group claim against China's largest e-commerce entity, Alibaba Group Holding ("Alibaba"). The claim relates to the sale of counterfeit goods by Alibaba worldwide. read

  • Chicago Archdiocese Rejects Mediation With Fired Gay Employees

    The archdiocese of Chicago has refused to participate in mediation in two cases involving human rights complaints. Two homosexual men working in different parishes were fired last year by their pastors. Colin Collette, choir director at Holy Family parish in Inverness, Illinois, and Sandor Demkovich, music director of St. Andrew the Apostle parish in Calumet City, were asked to resign when news of their same-sex weddings were made public. They both refused and were fired. read

  • US Pacific Fleet Chief Backs Manila's Call for Mediation in South China Sea

    The commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet said Tuesday that international mediation is the best way to reduce tension over disputed islands in the South China Sea, throwing his weight behind a strategy Manila has pursued in an escalating dispute with Beijing. read

  • Mediation program available for farmers

    As South Dakota farmers wrap up this year’s harvest, some know they’ll have to borrow money and hope for better next fall. The stress of trying to operate when prices received don’t meet the input costs can be overwhelming. For those facing especially tough times, a governmental mediation program can be tapped to help resolve financial disputes. In looking at current prices, it’s understandable that some producers use it. read

  • You're Getting Ripped Off By Forced Mandatory Arbitration -- Here's How to Stop It

    From Senator Al Franken of Minnesota and Congressman Hank Johnson of Georgia. Forced arbitration rigs the game in favor of big corporations and against consumers and employees. And recently, a New York Times investigation has exposed just how prevalent this damaging practice is; indeed, the story almost certainly affects you, personally. read

  • No, arbitration isn't evil, but safeguards are needed

    There seems to be a lot of confusion about arbitration. Judging by recent media accounts, it's a crooked business designed by thieves for the purpose of cheating the virtuous. But arbitration is not the problem. The situation is more complicated than that. read

  • What Makes An Effective Leader? Leadership In Animal Kingdom Gives Clue

    Researchers from the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBIOS) embarked on a study to find out the patterns of leadership existing among small-scale mammalian species, including animals and humans. The authors surprisingly found clues on being an effective leader among the members of the animal kingdom. The authors performed their investigation by studying leadership evidences in four disciplines including movement, conflict mediation within groups, food gathering and group interactions between groups. read

  • Halle Berry and Olivier Martinez plan to enter mediation

    The estranged couple – who separated recently filed for divorce after two years of marriage – are hoping to keep their split as amicable as possible for the sake of their two-year-old son, Maceo, and have already agreed to seek professional help to iron out a fair custody agreement. read

  • High Profile San Antonio Trust Dispute Sent to Mediation

    A Bexar County Probate Court Judge has reportedly asked the parties engaged in a high profile battle over a trust valued at nearly $1 billion to engage in mediation. In the case, the 88-year-old owner of the National Football League’s New Orleans Saints and the National Basketball Association’s New Orleans Pelicans, Tom Benson, and his only daughter are apparently at odds over control of the assets that were placed in trust by Benson’s late wife who sadly passed away in 1980. read

  • Helping Kids Solve Conflicts

    Cora McGibbon may only be a fifth-grader but this 9-year-old has first-hand experience at resolving conflicts among students on the Continental School campus. "I don't take sides and I listen," McGibbon said. "I stay friendly and I use my eyes." read

  • Parties in hepatitis C outbreak lawsuit schedule mediation

    Parties involved in a federal lawsuit tied to a hepatitis C outbreak in Minot that has been the largest in recent U.S. history are turning to mediation to try to reach a resolution. The case has lingered in court for a year and a half, and the attempt at mediation comes as one of the two health care facilities involved in the dispute has stepped up the rhetoric over who is to blame. read

  • Court orders mediation in Ithaca teens' racial profiling lawsuit

    A judge is ordering parties involved in a lawsuit regarding a controversial Ithaca police incident to meet in attempt to a come to a resolution. The lawsuit was filed in August -- about one year after mothers of two black teenagers say their sons were racially profiled by Ithaca police officers on the way home from a basketball game at Cornell University. read

  • Wildfire victims meet with teen who started Oregon fire

    The Corvallis teen who admitted to starting a wild fire in September 2014 is set to meet face-to-face with the homeowners and tenants affected by the fire. Salem-based Neighbor to Neighbor Inc. has been contracted by the Benton County Juvenile Court to facilitate the process between Dawson DeWolfe, 16, admitted to misdemeanor charges of reckless burning, reckless endangerment and second-degree criminal mischief in a disposition — the juvenile equivalent of sentencing. As part of the disposition, DeWolfe is required to attend restitution mediation. read

  • Legal Landmark For The Institution Of Mediation In Brazil

    A legal landmark for the institution of mediation in Brazil, Federal Law no. 13.140/2015, which establishes rights and duties for the guidance of parties, lawyers and mediators, was published on June 29, 2015 in the Official Gazette of the Union, and will come into force 180 days after its publication.  read

  • Battle Between Nightclub Owner and Residents Could Soon Be Over

    The battle between a group of Tallahassee residents and the owner of Top Flite Nightclub may soon come to an end. Last month, the owner of the nightclub, It now seems that some residents are trying to help the owner of Top Flight, instead of fighting him. In the recent mediation meeting, some even suggested a land trade in order construct the parking lot in a different area. read

  • Fayette, NAACP resume voting rights mediation Friday

    Fayette County and the NAACP are headed back into mediation Friday to try to reach an agreement over how to amicably end a contentious fight over the county’s voting system. read

  • Keys to success in construction mediation

    There is a great deal of anecdotal history and statistical evidence to suggest that properly structured timely mediation with a mediator astute in the construction industry can resolve complex construction cases. read

  • Judge suggests mediation for Palace Hotel

    At a hearing in Mendocino County Superior Court Monday, no ruling on whether it would be appropriate to have a receiver take over work on the Palace Hotel was issued, and instead the judge assigned to the case suggested strongly that both sides consider mediation. read

  • Mediators find more tools through neuroscience

    Mediators and other practitioners of alternative dispute resolution are using information gleaned from the research of world-class neuroscientists to calm emotions and help mediations resolve more easily. read

  • Families struggling to care for elderly turn to mediation

    Trained mediators increasingly are helping families at odds when it comes to resolving emotional disputes over the care and finances of aging parents. read

October 2015

  • Mediation Bucks - a facility to resolve differences between people

    Disputes, no matter how minor, have the ability to escalate. Laura Mowat speaks to a volunteer at Mediation Bucks about what they do to help people to resolve them. read

  • Mediation in Nepal

    Using mediation services incurs fewer costs, and the process protects privacy and confidentiality. The mediation allows for voluntary participation of the disputing parties in resolution process in a fairer and legitimate way  read

  • How Does a Mediator Work?

    Elizabeth Clemants, a New York City mediator and shaman., discusses the psychology of conflict resolution, how she integrates her work as a shaman with mediation, and the role that empathy plays in her work. Clemants also talks about the difficulty of coming to a solution in the “Me” generation. read

  • ADR flourishes in Francophone Africa

    This article offers an overview of the disputes markets in Cameroon and Ivory Coast, and identifies growing interest in ADR, in what are thriving markets for dispute resolution. read

  • Community mediation, restorative justice better together

    So why are Community Mediation and Restorative Justice Services merging? Both programs share the same philosophical perspective — effectively repairing harm between people — and both are considered part of the larger umbrella of highly effective conflict resolution processes. read

  • Syria's Other Casualty: Europeans' Middle East Mediation Role?

    Do Europeans still make good peacemakers? Unfortunately, just as Europe’s interest in the Middle East rises, its relevance to the region seems to be slipping. read

  • Elders challenged to include women in their councils

    Elders from various ethnic communities have been challenged to ensure women are recruited as members of councils of elders to give them a chance to participate in communities' decision making processes. Abagusii Elders Council Chairman, senior retired Chief James Matundura has underscored the importance of communities across the country incorporating women while constituting their elders councils, saying women play a critical role in mediation and peace building in communities. read

  • A cheerful goodbye

    Sheryl Hicks, director of court services for Troup County, GA and alternative dispute resolution for the Coweta Judicial Circuit, was honored Tuesday at the Troup County Government Center. Hicks received a personalized plaque in honor of her upcoming retirement on Oct. 30. She has 25 years of service as director of court services and alternative dispute resolution, also called mediation, a program that she launched in 1992. read

  • Fayette County, NAACP Enter Mediation In Voting Rights Suit

    Fayette County officials are set to meet with the NAACP on Wednesday in an attempt to settle a lengthy voting rights fight. Earlier this month, Atlanta U.S. District Judge Timothy Batton ordered the parties into mediation with Georgia State University law dean Steven Kaminshine. read

  • Five Reasons Why Divorce Mediation Isn't More Popular

    Even though we mediators love to tout the benefits of using divorce mediation over other divorce processes (especially traditional, court-based divorce) it is not the most popular process. Mediation just isn't the number one choice (yet) despite the facts that: it usually costs less, is faster and more efficient, and is a gentler and more peaceful process. read

  • New Zealand: New retirement village dispute system could be on the way

    Retirement village dispute resolution could be improved soon, after a forum in Auckland last week found a gap in the system. The outcome could be a beefed-up mediation process for the approximately 33,000 residents who live in a steadily rising number of villages, attempting to resolve issues faster between the owner/managers and the residents - and complaints might be able to be made online soon. read

  • Saints, Pelicans owner Tom Benson and daughter agree to mediation in Texas lawsuit

    Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson and his estranged daughter have agreed to work with a mediator on a possible settlement in the fight for control over the family's assets in Texas, lawyers for both sides said Monday (Oct. 19). read

  • St Mary in Jamaica Gets Mediation Centre

    Dozens of local residents in Port Maria, St Mary, celebrated alongside members of the judicial and security services last Thursday after Justice Minister Senator Mark Golding opened a spacious, new mediation facility in the town centre. read

  • Mediation often the way to go to resolve local issues

    The key to mediation is finding the underlying issues and solving them before disputes get out of hand. read

  • Peer-mediation skills taught to middle-school and high-school students

    Fifty students, from grades 6 - 12 in the Neah-Kah-Nie and Tillamook school districts, attended two full school days of peer-mediation training at the Officers Mess in the Port of Tillamook Bay on Thursday and Friday, Oct. 15 and 16. According Marie Heimburg, coordinator of Conflict Solutions of Tillamook County, who arranged the training, the skills learned will enable these students to mediate disputes that may arise among other students. read

  • Mediation, arbitration are not the same thing

    I was disappointed to read the inaccuracy contained in the Associated Press article “ Financial regulators may limit forced arbitration,” in the Oct. 11 Dispatch. The article confuses mediation with arbitration and perpetuates the notion that mediation and arbitration are one in the same. read

  • Demystifying Divorce Series, Part 1: Mediation

    Arianna Jeret walks you through a 5-part series on the most current options in modern divorce. read

10/15 10/13
  • Wichita to enter mediation with Crossland Construction over parking garage project

    The city of Wichita is entering mediation with Crossland Construction over the parking garage project at Eisenhower National Airport. The mediation is the result of a dispute over compliance with the contract and the construction schedule, said City Manager Robert Layton. read

  • India: Mediation centres gain ground, over 100,000 cases solved in 10 yrs

    Delhi has become one of the first cities in India to "effectively" reduce its pendency of cases through mediation, a procedure which is already a success in some foreign countries but is yet to gain momentum in India. The mediation centers in Delhi's six district courts have settled over 100,000 cases in the past ten years and have contributed significantly in bringing down the pendency in city courts. read

  • Singapore: New push for mediation in tenancy disputes

    Tenants and landlords of commercial premises will be encouraged to resolve disputes through mediation under a new initiative by the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) and Singapore Mediation Centre (SMC). read

  • Mediation set for Nov. in Vikings stadium dispute

    The public authority overseeing the new Minnesota Vikings stadium and the main contractor building it are headed for a three-day mediation session next month over disputed costs. read

  • A mediator is a conflict resolution specialist

    How good it is to have a mediator, a trained conflict resolution specialist, to help you talk it out with the other people involved. To get to the heart of the matter, to turn what might have been sad, an economic loss, anger, a tragedy, to something of value, to something positive. And to do it quickly, not years later. read

  • Indiana BMV lawsuit headed to mediation

    The lawsuit that accuses the BMV of overcharging drivers in Indiana for fees that include vehicle registrations is moving forward. A pair of developments could lead to a settlement in the case and as much as $50 million is on the line. That $50 million is taxpayer money that the state may be required to pay back. read

  • Mediation can help resolve business disputes

    In our weekly series on legal matters, Clare Templeton, head of the commercial dispute resolution department at Walker Legal, considers how to solve problems without court action. read

  • Editorial: Mediation isn't prohibited by state mandated process

    Although there is a formal process defined in state law concerning the revocation of a charter school's permission to operate, there is nothing to prevent a mediation process that would curtail what otherwise would be an adversarial process that could cost taxpayers millions of dollars in legal fees. read

  • AL Mediators see advantage in bypassing court action

    A mediator can provide a cost effective and quick way to resolve commercial and domestic disputes, including divorces. read

  • By mutual consent, mediation or court: the three paths to divorcing in Japan

    Here are some questions from a foreign resident here who is married to a Japanese citizen: “How does a foreigner get a divorce (no children involved) if the spouse refuses to sign a mutual consent decree? What are the fees, if any? What are the ramifications if the foreigner cannot afford the fees (if any)?” read

  • AU: Mediators to resolve toxic disputes in Victoria schools

    Toxic disputes between parents and principals could soon be resolved by independent mediators in schools. As part of a new trial being run by the Victoria, AU Education Department, professional mediators will help Victorian principals resolve complaints that are "complex, serious and involv(e) conflict". read

  • Tensions at St. Cloud VA result in call for federal mediation

    Tensions have become so high between management and workers at the St. Cloud Veterans Affairs Medical Center that two members of Congress on Friday proposed federal mediation to fix the problem. The acrimony became apparent during a closed-door meeting with workers and management at the St. Cloud facility Friday afternoon with U.S. Reps. Tom Emmer and Tim Walz. Emmer represents the district in Congress and Walz is a member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. read

  • Carter takes on peace-keeping mission, with the King siblings

    To settle a long-running ownership dispute over their father’s Nobel Prize and Bible, the children of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. have turned to a man who knows something about conflict negotiations: Jimmy Carter. The former president has agreed to serve as the King siblings’ mediator in a court battle over whether brothers Dexter Scott King and Martin Luther King III may sell their father’s possessions, Their sister, Bernice King, has argued the items are sacred and should remain with the family. read

  • Divorce Mediation Is an Appealing Alternative to a Court Fight

    Couples who decide to end their marriage are often dealing with the most upsetting, stressful time of their lives, and the prospect of fighting tooth and nail in court to decide issues like child custody, visitation, and finances only piles on the emotional trauma. That’s why divorce mediation — a less costly, less stressful alternative to a contested divorce — is gaining in popularity. read

  • Trouble in Your Marriage? Try Mediation

    The goal of mediation, however, is to resolve conflict, which has nothing to do with mental health. Mediation aims to help two (or more) parties find a mutually acceptable resolution to their points of difference or disagreement. It’s all about identifying goals and finding a way to achieve them that bypasses the inherent conflict. read

  • Negotiation Training: Turning the Lows of Colorado’s Marijuana Laws into Highs

    On the heels of their successful statewide campaign to legalize cannabis, marijuana advocates began mobilizing for another fight. They began collecting signatures for another ballot measure, this one aimed at allowing citizens to vote on whether to legalize pot smoking in many Denver bars and restaurants. To the activists’ surprise, however, the Denver City Council approached them and asked to try to negotiate a solution instead.  read

  • Apple, Samsung agree to mediate California patent dispute

    In a joint statement filed to a California district court on Monday, Apple and Samsung announced an agreement to participate in court-supervised mediation of their years-long patent dispute. read

  • Police, upset citizens mediate differences

    Dayton Police Lt. Andrew Booher says a mediation program for police officers and citizens has been helpful in resolving problems and creating better understanding between officers and citizens. The city is among a small number of U.S. communities that give citizens opportunities to meet with police when they feel officers were rude, discourteous or behaved inappropriately. read

September 2015

  • Lagos Mediation Centre resolves 20,000 disputes in one year

    The Citizens’ Mediation Centre (CMC) resolved about 20,000 of the about 28,000 disputes brought before it last year, the Solicitor-General and Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Justice, Mrs. Funlola Odunlami, has said. read

  • Mediation increase reported by UK government

    The number of mediation ‘starts’ increased by a third in the three months to June, the government has announced. In a new bulletin on legal aid statistics for the second quarter of 2015, the Ministry of Justice reports a 33 per cent increase in the number of times families at loggerheads began mediation, when compared to the same period last year. read

  • Hawaiian culture-based mediation won't be an option for those charged in telescope protest

    A form of mediation based in Hawaiian tradition won't be an option for protesters arrested for blocking construction of a giant telescope. The state won't participate in the mediation known as hooponopono, said Josh Wisch, spokesman for the state attorney general's office. Hooponopono is traditionally used within families to work out differences, using prayer and discussion. Three defendants asked for the practice as an alternative to a trial. It seemed likely to happen after Hawaii County Prosecutor Mitch Roth supported the idea. read

  • Charleston church seeks $8 million for Yeager slide damage, mediation to begin

    Yeager Airport officials are expected to begin mediation with representatives at the Keystone Apostolic Church in Charleston this week, following the massive hillside collapse that destroyed the facility earlier this year. read

  • Judges recuse themselves in court-ordered religious mediation case

    The presiding Family Court judge in Albuquerque has recused herself from hearing any cases involving an Albuquerque mother who was court-ordered to attend religious-based mediation services. According to a court document obtained by KRQE News 13, District Court Judge Elizabeth Whitefield ordered all other Family Court judges to recuse themselves from hearing the cases as well. read

  • 5 Myths About Divorce Mediation

    Divorce does not have to be a battle. The only reason that tends to be the case is that most people only know of one thing they can do when they decide to divorce — hire attorneys and go to court. read

  • PA York County Commissioner Steve Chronister proposes mediation to end state budget impasse

    York County Board of Commissioners President Steve Chronister proposes professional mediation as an end to the budget impasse at a news conference outside the York County Administrative Center in York Monday. The President of the York County Board of Commissioners proposed professional mediation as a way to fix the budget stalemate that is in its 90th day in Harrisburg.  read

9/22 9/21
  • California Supreme Court says 'yes' to arbitration clause

    A recent California Supreme Court case upheld an arbitration provision in a sales agreement, even though it contained a class action waiver and multiple arguable terms. However, the court also reaffirmed that "unconscionability," meaning a contract provision is substantially unfair, is still valid grounds to challenge an arbitration clause. read

  • Resolving public record disputes in Ohio

    Our mediation program assists (1) those who believe their request for records was improperly denied or was not responded to in a reasonable amount of time; and (2) local public officials who struggle with requests they see as ambiguous, overly broad, or difficult to fill. Anyone who has requested public records from a local public office, or a public office that has received a public records request, can apply for mediation so long as the requester hasn’t already filed a lawsuit. read

  • Frank Ochoa: Case for Alternative Dispute Resolution Often More Beneficial Than Lawsuit Route

    Mediation is a process with deep historical roots, but with a fairly recent formal acceptance into our society’s dispute resolution processes. It is the least adversarial form of ADR. A neutral is engaged to work with the parties, to identify the issues underlying the dispute, to manage the dialogue between the disputants, and to help them arrive at a mutually agreeable resolution to the dispute. read

  • Christchurch's wheelie bin dispute resolved

    An industrial dispute involving Christchurch's wheelie bin collection drivers is over. A number of wheelie bins were left uncollected for 24 hours last week when drivers refused to work overtime and clocked off at 2pm, leaving many bins unemptied. The drivers were upset about low wages and a lack of penalty rates for working more than eight hours a day. Waste Management and the Amalgamated Workers Union agreed to a resolution following seven hours of mediation. read

  • Why Mediation Helps Relationships

    When conflict escalates, it can wreak havoc on personal and professional relationships, leaving more problems in its wake. Mediation can help. Mediation offers a way to work together on a solution that is mutually fair and sustainable. It helps you develop the skills necessary for maintaining healthy relationships at home, at work and elsewhere. read

  • An Enlightening Outdoor Mediation in Pennsylvania

    Every once in a while something happens in the law so marvelous and entertaining that the first glass of wine at home in the evening is even more satisfying. That was my feeling after what may have been the first outdoor mediation in Pennsylvania's long and illustrious history. read

  • Jones-Drew civil case settled by mediation

    Scheduled for a jury trial last week in St. Johns County, the civil case involving former Jacksonville Jaguars star running back Maurice Jones-Drew was settled instead. Jones-Drew was sued by former Conch House security guard Kasim Howard after an incident in which Howard was punched in the face. read

  • Mediation set for activist, Chattanooga police officer in Facebook squabble

    A Chattanooga police officer and a local activist who got into a public squabble on Facebook late last year will sit down at the same table and talk things through. According to police records, that's part of the officer's discipline. read

  • Judge orders Utah GOP, state to find mediator in SB54 lawsuit

    Wanted: Unbiased person with legislative, political and legal knowledge to referee the dispute over how Utahns choose candidates for primary elections. A federal judge Tuesday ordered the Utah Republican Party, the Utah Constitution Party and the state to come up with a mediator in their ongoing lawsuit, and to do it quickly. read

  • BC Supreme Court refuses exemption from mediation for Aboriginal fishing rights claim

    The Supreme Court of British Columbia recently released a decision in Matsqui First Nation v. Canada (Attorney General), 2015 BCSC 1409, that has application to the resolution of Aboriginal rights claims, as well as the mediation of civil claims generally, before the Supreme Court of British Columbia. It confirms the very high threshold to be met in seeking an exemption from attendance at a mandatory mediation on the basis that it would be “materially impracticable or unfair to require the party to attend”. read