From mediation's leading insurgent, Robert Benjamin: A Tribute and Lament on the Field of Mediation - out today @ mediate.com and it's a must read.
I don't know where he's coming from when he says;
"Writing this tribute to Jim Melamed is an honor, even if a troubling one. On the one hand, there could not be a more fitting recipient for this particular award, named for John Haynes, than Jim Melamed, the CEO and co-founder with John Helie of Mediate.com. The work for which both the recipient and the namesake of this award are known highlights what has been most compelling and important about the field of conflict mediation. On the other hand, this award can also not help but highlight the ebbing of the energy that first gave rise to mediation practice and a falling away from some of the first principles"
And this comment on the Robert's article from Jan Frankel Schau;
"Thank you for posting these inspiring words in re: Jim Melamed, Robert. As I am engaged in drafting my "farewell" speech to the Southern California Mediation Association today, it is particularly timely to read that the identity crisis, and paradigm shift we are experiencing here in Southern California seems to be pervading our profession. Good thing we do conflict well!"
Come in USA ...what am I missing?
I do know where he is coming from when he says;
"When Haynes and Melamed began their practices, few courts or agencies embraced mediation. They, and a handful of others, were on their own to sell the mediation process as a viable mode of conflict management to anyone who would listen. Now, as mediation has become institutionalized, too many of us seem content to merely send out brochures to referral sources or sign up for panels and wait for cases to be sent to our door. Too often we work as agents of the establishment and not as independent, innovative professionals"
P.S. Well done Jim Melamed as the 2007 Recipient of ACR John Haynes Distinguished Mediator Award