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Trinity Industries, a maker of highway guardrails that are suspected of having a dangerous defect, and a whistle-blower have been ordered to enter mediation after the company lost a $175 million verdict for defrauding the United States government. On Tuesday, a federal judge said Trinity and Joshua Harman, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of the Federal Highway Administration under the False Claims Act, must mediate their dispute by the end of the year. Last week, the company was found liable for fraud because it did not report changes to its ET-Plus guardrail system to federal authorities for years. The judge, Rodney Gilstrap, said that the mediator could invite the Justice Department and the Federal Highway Administration, which did not participate in the lawsuit, to be involved. read
Whatever the trigger for a couple taking such a step, divorce is never an easy or pleasant experience. But there are approaches which can make it more straightforward and somewhat less personally taxing, particularly if there are children involved. Mediation and collaborative law are two possible approaches. Here is a quick introduction to the areas you'll need to think about when deciding what the right approach is for you: read
Laura and Saeed discuss conflict resolution in the Arab world as it relates to political and ideological disputes. The conversation is based on a new book, "Arab Approaches for Conflict Resolution: Mediation, Negotiation and Settlement of Political Disputes." Guests include the book's authors, Director of Wayne State University's Center for Peace and Conflict Studies Fred Pearson and Adjunct faculty member at Wayne State and expert in Middle East conflict and inter-cultural conflict management Nahla Hamdan. read
Writing a persuasive brief is one of the most important things an attorney can do to prepare for mediation of a business dispute. A good brief provides the opposing side with information they need to consider. Perhaps even more important though is an excellent brief that can help the mediator assist with successful resolution. Here are six tips. read
Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring says the U.S. Department of Agriculture has recertified the North Dakota Mediation Service (NDMS) through Sept. 30, 2015. “USDA’s Farm Service Agency has informed me that the mediation service meets all federal statutory and regulatory requirements and will continue to receive federal funds for the coming year,” Goehring said. “This certification means North Dakota farmers and ranchers can call on NDMS to provide them with an affordable means of resolving disputes and often avoiding costly litigation.” NDMS handled more than 60 cases this past year. The cases included credit issues, landowner disputes and conflicts arising from energy development. read
There’s plenty of guidance available to lawyers and judges on how to deal with an unrepresented litigant but I haven’t seen much out there aimed at unrepresented litigants themselves on how to deal with your ex’s lawyer and the judge in your case. Personally I think there is a need for such advice because it is increasingly common to find yourself up against a lawyer representing your ex, especially with the effective abolition last year of legal aid for private family law matters. read
The family of a teenager who died in police custody arrived in Jacksonville Thursday for a court-ordered mediation. Nineteen-year-old Daniel Linsinbigler asphyxiated while in custody at the Clay County Jail in March 2013 in a death that has since been ruled a homicide. His family filed a wrongful death lawsuit, and Friday's mediation session will be the first time a settlement has been broached. According to police reports, the teen was picked up March 2, 2013, after barging into hotel rooms at the Stay Inn Suites in Orange Park, where he was living. He had a history of mental illness, and apparently suffered a psychotic break after smoking a once-legal convenience store drug, known as K2 or Spice. "He made a choice to use synthetic marijuana," his mom Valerie Linsinbigler told First Coast News earlier this year, "and it landed him in jail." Daniel was arrested while running around naked, proclaiming he was Jesus Christ and charged with two misdemeanors. But as his mother notes, he ended up paying the ultimate price. read
In Singapore, taxi drivers can now turn to a more structured system to help settle disputes with their taxi companies quickly and amicably. The Taxi Industry Mediation system is a collaboration between the Land Transport Authority (LTA), taxi companies and National Taxi Association (NTA). It was launched in July, and is on trial for six months. The National Taxi Association receives about 10 cases a week on a range of issues which drivers face with their taxi companies, insurance firms or between drivers themselves. A top complaint is drivers feeling they were unfairly terminated due to service lapses. read
It's just three years ago when I personally invited Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore to settle their divorce over a weekend in one of our DivorceHotels in order to avoid a never ending process. In the end they didn't take me up on my offer and as it turned out, it took 2 whole years to get the divorce finalized after they had split up. From that moment on, celebrity divorces started to fascinate me. read
A lawsuit alleging sexual assault against Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has been dismissed following mediation that lasted until 3 a.m. Thursday. In the lawsuit, former exotic dancer Jana Weckerly accused Jones of forcibly touching her genitals and kissing her on the lips without her consent more than 5 years ago. Weckery alleges that the 2009 assault took place on the night a series of racy pictures were taken. Those pictures were released last month. Jones has denied the allegations. According to a public document, the plaintiff will get nothing, as the suit was filed outside the statute of limitations. “We are pleased with the Court’s Judgment against Ms. Weckerly. Ms. Weckerly’s allegations were false. This case is over,” said Jones’ attorney, Levi McCathern. Attorney Ed Klein says that there may be undisclosed terms of the agreement. read
Why Mediation Works Michael Roberts We are in the midst of a litigation crisis. The high cost and long delays associated
with the trial of civil matters often make litigation an impractical method of resolving
disputes. It is not uncommon for the attorney's fees, expert witness fees, jury fees, court
reporter fees and other related costs to exceed the amount in dispute.
What Does A Mediator Do? Edward P. Ahrens Okay, we know you can't make decisions. We know you can't issue orders. ('I'm not a judge or an arbitrator, blah, blah, blah.') We know you can't take sides, must always remain neutral. And we know you can't give us legal advice. And then you tell us mediation is a consensual process. Bummer. Now the other side can walk at will!
"So, what in the hell DO you do?"
The “What” of Mediation: When Is Mediation the Right Process Choice? Paula Young As mediators, lawyers, and their clients gain more experience with mediation, fewer and fewer types of disputes will seem less amenable to the process. Even if mediation only succeeds in improving the parties’ communication, in identifying their underlying interests, in narrowing the issues in conflict, or in helping them more carefully evaluate their litigation option, it can move the dispute towards a quicker, more cost effective resolution. 1 Comment
Mediator Neutrality: How is it possible? Rachel Fishman Green, Esq. How could a mediator be neutral about your situation when you are getting divorced? Surely one of you is right and the other is wrong! If you know in your bones – and all of your friends agree – that you are right, you may think that mediation would not make sense for you, because you don’t want to compromise. 25 Comments
Mediation: A Process To Regain Control of Your Life Nathan Davidovich Mediation provides a method for people with disputes or conflicts to exercise their own choices and discretion and to regain a sense of control over their lives in resolving disputes. It is a means by which you can be an active participant in the decision making process and have direct involvement in the determination of your destiny.
Defining Mediation Constantin-Adi Gavrila Recently, talking to a very experienced mediator, we started to describe a particular practice of an attorney-mediator during one of his cases. At the end, we asked: was that mediation? Our friend told us that no, it wasn’t mediation. We asked why and a long silence fell over our table. Then he confessed that it cannot tell exactly why, but somehow he felt uncomfortable with the practices we described and certainly he would not attempt to use them during his own cases.
What is Mediation? Hilary Linton This rant is for those (few remaining) lawyers who discourage their clients from trying mediation with the lame allegation that mediation is too “touchy-feely.”
It is hard to believe that, in this day and age, some lawyers still have such a patronizing attitude.
Why Mediation? Lawrence A. Huerta While the benefits of mediation vary somewhat depending upon the nature of the dispute, and model of mediation applied, the following are some of the benefits typically associated with mediation.
Confidentiality Revisited Michael P. Carbone In 1997 the California Legislature enacted Evidence Code Sections 1115-1128, which established mediation confidentiality as an evidentiary exclusion in California. The purposes of this legislation were (a) to clarify and codify the law and (b) to encourage participants in mediation to be open and candid with the mediator and with each other. The central point of the law is that no communications that take place during mediation can be used in any trial, hearing, or other legal proceeding.
The Mediator's Checklist David Laufer Preparing a Mediator’s Check List (“MCL”) of Key Legal and Factual Issues will assist the Mediator to focus on the issues she must master during the Mediation Process (“MP”) to facilitate a voluntary settlement of the dispute.
Selecting a Mediator
Choosing A Divorce Mediator Julie Denny Finding and selecting a mediator can be easier if you follow some simple steps. In the best of circumstances, divorce is an uncomfortable process. Take the time to assure you have a mediator whom you like, respect and believe to be qualified to help both of you negotiate that equitable settlement.
Choosing the "Expert" Mediator Norm Brand When a dispute is truly ripe for mediation, who you choose to mediate is unlikely to affect the outcome. Frequently, however, who you choose to mediate can be critical to making mediation work.
Advocacy Skills: Tips for Selecting a Good Mediator Jerry Roscoe With several sources for professional mediators, the advocate often struggles with criteria for mediator selection. Selection criteria are all too often limited to mediation experience and settlement rate. If you are in the market for a mediator, your mediator selection process may benefit if you consider the following additional criteria:
Getting A Divorce? Why You Should Not Just Fight It Out Mimi E. Lyster Many have traveled the adversarial road, and probably for many of the same reasons.
Constant fighting, arguing and blaming in a marriage or similarly committed relationship generally leads to more of the same while dissolving it. Unfortunately, the consequences of continuing this behavior can be dramatic, including protracted litigation, escalating costs, a dramatically reduced standard of living and significant damage to your children’s emotional well-being.
Construction Mediation Really Works Gary Morgerman The use of mediation
to resolve disputes between members of the construction community is finally
taking hold in the industry as word of its effectiveness, efficiency and
economy spreads. Following is the story of a construction mediation mediated
by Construction Mediation Inc in New York City.
Estate Planning and Family Business Mediation Laura Bachle Unlike J.R. Ewing in Dallas, controversy arises among families and business owners more often as a result of misunderstanding than malevolent motives. When people get beyond the resistance and begin working together on an estate plan MOU or partnership charter, they discover that openly dealing with issues lessens the likelihood of misperception, builds trust and confidence, and improves their chances for long-term success.
The Allagash: A Case Study of a Successful Environmental Mediation Jonathan W. Reitman What are the elements which make possible the successful mediation of an environmental dispute? In this article, Jonathan Reitman analyzes what conditions led to the resolution of a 33-year-old controversy about the management of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway in northern Maine. The polarized dispute involved wilderness canoeists, sportsmen, environmental organizations, local residents and state and federal regulators. Their recent negotiated agreement was hailed as "comprehensive and visionary." The mediator who facilitated the negotiations reflects on lessons learned.
ADR in Healthcare: The Last Big ADR Frontier? Rob Robson, Ginny Morrison You are probably saying to yourself “What a strange title.” This seems especially true when you consider that dispute resolution and conflict management (DR/CM) practitioners are a fairly flexible, adaptable and imaginative group. Surely there will be lots of new “frontiers” left for us to conquer in the future?
Cyber-Mediation: Medium Massaging The Message Robin M. Kennedy, Jon Michael Gibb, Llewellyn Joseph Gibbons The course of ecommerce is not always smooth. Disputes are inevitable. These disputes will have to be resolved if ecommerce is to develop to its full potential. Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a range of processes for resolving online disputes. Businesses and consumers who engage in ecommerce are often more willing to mediate than to arbitrate their disputes in an online forum because mediation is a voluntary process in which a third-party facilitator assists the parties to the dispute to arrive at a mutually agreed upon resolution.
How Mediation Can Help Same Gender Relationships Barry Simon Since same gender couples cannot legally marry yet in most states and
foreign countries, how can they formalize their relationships? By using
a "Living Together Agreement." In this way they can couple consciously
in an attempt to create a solid foundation on which to build their
relationship. It's the perfect tool for sweeping away false expectations
and building honest, authentic communication. 1 Comment
Mediation in Sexual Harassment Cases Tim Hicks Mediation can provide an ideal setting in which the complainant can accomplish the primary aim of stopping the behavior. Without such a mechanism for dealing with the situation, the complainant has only two choices: go through the process of a formal complaint and investigation, or do nothing. These options often do not meet the needs of the employee or the organization. 1 Comment
Preparing For Your Mediation Tom Sebok It is likely that you asked for or agreed to mediation because the strategies you have already tried have not helped you resolve your dispute. The purpose of this article is to help you think - before your mediation - about what you can do as a participant to give your mediation the best chance to succeed.
Managing an Imbalance of Power Rick Voyles One technique I often get requests to train on is managing an imbalance of power. There are effective techniques for handling power imbalance, however before we go too far, let’s consider what is an imbalance of power?
A Practical Guide to Comprehensive Conflict Management Systems Carole Houk, Deborah Katz Many organizations have embraced alternative dispute resolution. Yet, they continue to search for more comprehensive approaches that help them not only to resolve conflicts that have escalated into disputes but also to manage risk, manage relationships and manage their bottom line. Is the answer to this search integrated conflict management systems (ICMS)?