Today, Canadians are mediating their disputes in record numbers. One partial explanation for this phenomenon is that mediation purports to keep discussions between parties confidential, traditionally backstopped by settlement privilege. But the extent to which parties can pierce this bubble of confidentiality and use information disclosed in the course of mediation in subsequent court proceedings is an evolving issue. read
Generally speaking, mediation is unregulated, which means that anyone may call themselves a "mediator" and any process involving a "mediator" is called "mediation." On October 22, 2014, I read a wonderful eBook by Brandon S. Peters titled "How to Select the Best Mediator." In his book, Mr. Peters makes the following statement, which I agree with completely: "Your success at mediation is directly tied to your choice of mediator.... The three most important elements of selecting the right mediator for your case: (1) Approach; (2) Style; and (3) Background.... Different cases require different approaches to mediation...." read
One or both parents requiring care can create serious stresses and conflicts within families. Sometimes disagreements and misunderstandings over elder care or inheritance issues can lead families to break apart, affecting descendants for generations. To avoid this, elder mediation is available to resolve family disputes that otherwise may go unaddressed or lead to costly and traumatic litigation. A successful resolution can preserve family ties to the benefit of the entire family tree. read
The Missouri Supreme Court has overturned a St. Louis County ordinance enacted during the housing crisis to help stave off foreclosures. Adopted by the County Council in 2012, the “Mortgage Foreclosure Intervention Code” required creditors to post fees totaling $450, of which $100 was nonrefundable, to cover the cost of a “mediation coordinator.” Lenders that failed to comply with the code faced potential fines of up to $1,000. The council enacted the ordinance to keep homeowners from abandoning foreclosed properties which might then fall into disrepair. Passage of the bill came at a time when declining property values were taking a toll on county revenue from property taxes. The Missouri Bankers Association and the Jonesburg State Bank challenged the ordinance saying state law guiding real estate lending superseded the intent of the action taken by the County Council. Judge George W. Draper III, writing the majority opinion in the case, agreed with the bankers. Counties and municipalities, the justice concluded, lack the authority to enact broad legislation to address a broad “national crisis.” State law, Draper wrote “limits” the authority of local government to “participate in a mediation program prior to foreclosure … or face criminal prosecution.” read
Last month in San Antonio volunteers and lawyers honored the service of Marlene LaBenz-Hough, retiring executive director of the Bexar County Dispute Resolution Center (BCDRC). Under Marlene’s guidance, the center has led efforts in combating violence in San Antonio public schools by working in partnership with the San Antonio Bar Foundation (SABF). The BCDRC was awarded a Criminal Justice Department grant to develop and implement the “Amigos in Mediation” (AIM) Peer Mediation Program. Now in its 15th year, the AIM program helps schools establish their own peer mediation programs by teaching school faculty and students ways to resolve conflicts without violence. read
Two thirteen-year old students received a standing ovation from the assembled guests at the recent 20th Anniversary Celebration of the North Shore Community Mediation Center. Hanna Scotch and Michael Woo, two 13-year-old students at the Amesbury Middle School were recipients of the Derek Sheckman Fair Play Award for Youth Mediation. Having successfully completed the peer mediation program in their school, both young teens affirmed that the mediation training has taught them to be good communicators — and especially good listeners —which are among the mediation skills they hope to use even beyond the school day. read
Proposed changes in state rules would significantly expand the roles of South Dakota’s mediation program for agriculture borrowers and creditors. The program would be allowed to cover disputes involving federal land and oil and gas properties. The Legislature’s rules review committee will consider the proposal Wednesday. Legislators adopted changes in state law in the 2013 session on votes of 70-0 in the House of Representatives and 33-0 in the Senate. The state Department of Agriculture is bringing the rules to implement the changes 20 months later. The expansion resulted from a legislative study committee’s work on oil and gas issues in 2012. read
Medical device manufacturer Howmedica Osteonics Corp. of Mahwah, New Jersey, has agreed to pay more than $1 billion to thousands of patients who received faulty hip implants.
Local participants say the settlement is notable not only for its high value but also for its unconventional process, which focused on speed and mediation rather than litigation. read
While working late one night, Quabbin Mediation Executive Director Sharon Tracy got a call from a distraught veteran who had just come home from a tour of duty in Iraq: The mother of his child had handed their baby over to him and walked out. “So he called to find out about mediation,” she said. After Tracy described what it could provide, “he said he would think about it but never called back. I started thinking that, if I’d had a mediator who was a veteran, it might have made a difference.” Tracy decided Quabbin Mediation should provide mediation training to military veterans and their families, “so there isn’t that cultural gap” between soldiers and civilian mediators, who haven’t experienced what veterans may face after their years of service. read
South Sudan's warring parties committed to stop fighting and bring their months-long conflict to an end without conditions, the chief mediator for regional African group IGAD said on Saturday after two days of talks in the Ethiopian capital. Fighting erupted last December in South Sudan, which declared independence from Sudan in 2011, after months of political tension between President Salva Kiir and his sacked deputy, Riek Machar. Seyoum Mesfin told reporters the IGAD bloc had agreed to freeze assets and impose travel bans, among other measures, on any party that violated the agreement. "The parties commit to an unconditional, complete and immediate end to all hostilities, and to bring the war to an end," 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