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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
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
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 ChickChainWalkingClub.com 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Conflict Resolution Day is October 16, 2014 (10/01/14) Donald Lloyd ACR's original intention was for Conflict Resolution Day to be promoted by community centers around the country. The belief is that if the public has a better understanding and awareness of mediation, they will be more likely to hire a mediator. And the more mediators that are hired, the better for all of us!
What Happens on the Bus, Shouldn’t Stay on the Bus! (9/02/14) Patricia Porter With the start of 2014-2015 school year in full swing, children across the country will be boarding the school bus to arrive before the morning bell sounds. According to the National Highway Safety Administration, school buses are the safest mode of transportation for getting children back and forth to school. But how safe is a child from the other children inside of the bus? School bus bullying is becoming a growing concern among parents, school administrations, and bus drivers. According to the U.S. Department of Education 10 percent of school bullying occurs on the school bus. Stopbullying.gov defines bullying as “unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time.
The Paradox of Creativity with Compassion in Mediation (5/10/14) Evan Ash Turn the other cheek, give more than is required, respond to the need of another person, all these when you may be faced with pain and loss. Do crazy things like love your enemy, pray for them? The great mystery is the power that comes from the paradoxes of life.
Behind Bars and Behind the Gun (11/04/13) Ken Johnson Behind bars and behind the gun: Answers for America's juvenile justice problem and catabolic ommunity-based conflicts. With a rise of deaths, abuse cases, and other atrocities in the Juvenile Justice System there has been questioning as to whether the present paradigm of understanding is the most appropriate solution available for handling issues of wrong behavior by adolescents. Ultimately, the author urges communities to become more involved in the justice system to urge Collaborative Justice-based solutions in juvenile justice issues.
Individual Admiration for Dominant Groups (7/08/13) Nick Redding Does our admiration for powerful and dominant groups maintain the social hierarchy? This is the question explored in a recent a study. The stud authors describe previous research suggesting that emotions play a key role in the maintenance of relationships between groups, and more specifically, that emotions such as anger and admiration influence whether groups will challenge dominant groups within the social order.
Poor Behavior 12: Lack of Openness or Honesty (5/21/12) Vivian Scott When people don’t know what’s happening they often get a movie going in their head that helps them explain the situation. The film versions they conjure up are rarely romantic comedies; rather, most resemble horror movies with terrible endings. A lack of honesty or openness at work can put everyone’s mental movie-making skills to the test.
On Beating Bullies (5/14/12) Michael Jacobs Tackling bullying may involve a counter-intuitive approach. While naming and shaming may leave us feeling morally superior, it might also produce ever more subtle forms of bullying. This article argues that we need to encourage those of us who feel like kicking butts to ‘come in from the cold’. 3 Comments
Suing Over an Online Review (1/30/12) Colin Rule ‘A Dallas law firm has filed a lawsuit seeking to learn the identity of a commenter calling himself “Ben” who posted a bad online review.
The Lenahan Law Firm claims defamation and seeks $50,000 in damages, Texas Lawyer reports. Partner Wes Black says the suit will allow the law firm to subpoena Google to learn the commenter’s identity.
Dismantling Systems of Bullying (11/28/11) Peter T. Coleman Bullying is a public health problem that affects 20% to 30% of students on a daily basis and is associated with depression, suicidal thoughts, substance abuse and a decreased sense of empathy for others. It is also a common problem in other adult workplaces.
Bullying Can Cause Lasting Injury But There Is Hope (12/13/10) Lorraine Segal According to a recent article in the Boston Globe, brain scans of teens who have been repeatedly bullied revealed the same changes as those who have been physically or sexually abused. In some individuals, the negative changes persisted years later.
Dealing With Defensiveness In High Conflict People (11/22/10) Bill Eddy When most people think of high conflict people (HCPs), they think of bad behavior. The goal seems to be to get them to STOP their bad behavior, by verbally motivating them to have insights into how bad they are acting. However, the high conflict behavior of HCPs is not driven by logic and self-awareness. If you don’t understand this and don’t accept this, you will waste your time arguing for insights and miss your opportunities to calm them down and set real limits on their behavior. 35 Comments
Mishandling Bullying And Harassment Will Hijack The Diversity And Inclusion Agenda (9/13/10) John Crawley A crisis is brewing as two reports predict a potential surge in bullying and harassment grievances at work, and a lack of confidence in the ability of management (particularly in the public sector) to handle bullying and harassment, conflict and relationship issues. Bad practice on bullying and harassment and relationship issues will undermine employees’ and customers’ confidence in diversity and inclusion initiatives. The cost of mishandling these will also divert time and money away from building relationships and engagement through diverse workforces.
Bullying Responses (8/23/10) Jeff Thompson A new book by an Australian expert on bullying in schools has set out six methods used by teachers to tackle this scourge of the playground.
What Is A Bully? (8/09/10) Alan Sharland How a commonly used word is often not explored to clarify what is meant when someone uses it - and how that lack of clarity can lead to powerlessness. 5 Comments
Is It Time To Stop ‘Bullying’? (7/12/10) Tim Kingsbury I’ve been thinking for a while that the term ‘bullying’ may be becoming less and less useful. We all know it goes on around us, we all know people who have been damaged by it, and the scale of workplace bullying is worrying. To give just one indication of scale, at a recent conference Gill Dix of ACAS said that the ACAS Helpline receives 74,000 calls annually about bullying and harassment.
Yes, No or I'll Think About It (11/24/08) Bill Eddy Whether in a divorce, a workplace dispute, or a conflict with a neighbor, it’s easy to get caught up in defending our own behavior and point of view. This is especially true when we are dealing with a high conflict person.
Bullies At Work (10/14/08) Bill Eddy Workplace bullying is a growing international problem. It is more than a one-time incident. It is a pattern of behavior between a bully and another worker which can demoralize, isolate and trigger illness in the target of the bully. 38 Comments
"B" is for Bully Update: Mom Indicted for MySpace Bullying Leading to Teen's Suicide (5/19/08) Victoria Pynchon I've blogged several times about bullying, both here and over at the IP ADR Blog. We learned from Forbes.com today that federal prosecutors are seeking an indictment against the mom we wrote about here for her alleged role in an online hoax that caused a 13-year old girl to commit suicide. Here's the link with an excerpt below: Indictment sought in MySpace cyberbullying case.LOS ANGELES - Federal prosecutors are seeking an indictment against a Missouri mother for her...
"B" is for Bully: The ABC's of Conflict Resolution (5/05/08) Victoria Pynchon Here’s another familiar character. This is the kid who shook you down for your lunch money on the elementary school playground. The one who taunted you in gym whenever you failed to pass the basketball to the only guy able to sink it. The swaggering bad boy who threw the “dodge” ball in your face and then fell down laughing. But don't be fooled by ribbons and curls. Boys aren't the only bullies in town. There’s no bully quite so deadly as the high school ...
Workplace violence blog committed to making employees safer (2/11/08) Diane J. Levin PART27.com, a web site dedicated to providing resources that help organizations, companies, and agencies create safer workplaces, also publishes Workplace Violence, a blog that delivers news and links to resources for employers and others seeking ways to address and prevent violence at work.
Among the stories covered recently are:
“Bullying bad for business“
“Bullied at work: practice costs productivity, health” and
New European report highlights emerging...
The Mediator as Moralist Bully (4/30/05) Robert Benjamin As a presenter, I’d always wondered when I would be found out—maybe this audience would discover that I was living a lie: when I was a child I had been a bully. That’s not all. There are times I could qualify for being ‘abusive,’ certainly ‘passive-aggressive,’ and even that new descriptor that effortlessly rolls off the tongues of so many of my colleagues, the “Narcissistic Personal Disorder.” That fit me too. Would they see it? 6 Comments
Workplace Violence: Paranoid or Prepared? (3/08/02) Kimberly Larsen Workplace Violence costs American employers not only in dollars and cents, but also in a significant loss in productivity. It is estimated that American businesses lose approximately 36 billion dollars per year as a result of workplace violence. This figure includes monetary costs from lost productivity, legal fees, settlement costs and jury verdicts. Out-of-court settlements for lawsuits arising out of workplace violence average $500,000, with jury verdicts averaging about $3 million.
Decreasing Violence Through Conflict Resolution Education In Schools (2/15/01) Jeanne Asherman In an effort to address the fear of parents, “Zero Tolerance
Policies” are being applied in schools in such a way as to penalize minor conflicts. Research has consistently shown conflict resolution training to be a far more effective means of decreasing violence. This
article concludes that schools can not avoid being involved in teaching
children methods of conflict resolution and have a responsibility to
consciously insure that appropriate methods are being taught. 7 Comments
Talking With Kids About Violence (2/13/01) Talking with Kids Research shows that children, especially those between the ages
of 8 and 12, want their parents to talk with them about today's
toughest issues, including violence. Even when they reach adolescence,
they want to have a caring adult in their lives to talk about
these issues. 1 Comment