Regulations that govern certified mediators in Virginia would have more teeth under changes now under consideration.
Among the changes is a provision that would allow the Supreme Court’s Division of Dispute Resolution Services to immediately suspend mediator certification if a mediator refused to respond to concerns based on a complaint about improper behavior.
The DRS has extended the deadline for comments to the proposed rule changes to Oct. 30.
Documents marked with the proposed changes are available on the Web site for Virginia’s Judicial System (www. courts.state.va.us).
A member of the ethics committee convened to recommend changes said the changes will allow the DRS to have a more immediate response when there are credible allegations of ethics concerns about a mediator. Lawrie Parker, director of the Piedmont Dispute Resolution Center in Warrenton, said the proposed standards would allow action by DRS in certain cases without having to convene the complaint review committee for guidance.
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As I keep saying, someone is going to begin regulating the practice of mediation -- let's make sure those in practice now are engaged in the nationwide conversation.