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When Padraig O'Malley says we must talk to Islamic State, he's speaking from experience. A seasoned mediator, O'Malley brought together warring parties in Iraq at the height of the sectarian conflict in 2007 and 2008, resulting in an agreement that formed the basis for political reconciliation in Iraq and helped curb the violence. He did this with the aid of negotiators from South Africa, and from Northern Ireland, where he had been instrumental in organizing the 1998 Good Friday Agreement that ended 30 years of sectarian conflict. read
The wheels are in motion for a resolution to the dispute over usage and the funding model for the shared city and San Mateo Union High School District pool at Burlingame High School, while some are speaking out about their dismay regarding the tumultuous relationship between the two entities. The district is backpedaling on a lawsuit it threatened last week that was in relation to the city of Burlingame not responding to the district’s request for additional space in the 50-meter Olympic size pool for its teams and more payments from the city for its usage. Now, the district and city are both expressing interest in finding common ground. Trustee Linda Lees Dwyer explained the board is forming a committee to analyze the city proposal to reach an amicable resolution by early 2015. read
Long Beach city and school officials and other groups suing the city of Los Angeles over a controversial $500 million railyard project bordering West Long Beach will try to reach a settlement before the matter heads to trial next year. Three days of mediation is set to begin Wednesday in Santa Monica between the city of Los Angeles and the seven petitioners, which include the city of Long Beach, Long Beach Unified School District and the South Coast Air Quality Management District, said Michael Mais, assistant city attorney for Long Beach. The parties agreed to hire a judge with expertise in environmental matters found through a private alternative dispute resolution service that typically hires retired Supreme Court and federal court judges, Mais said. read
Child & Family Services is launching a new mediation service aimed at veterans and their families. The program, operated by the agency's Center for Resolution and Justice, is funded by a $12,000 grant from the JAMS Foundation and the National Association for Community Mediation. It was among just six community mediation sites around the country funded through the program. Working with the five other centers, the organization will assess the need for mediation services for veterans and their families; build a pilot program; and provide leadership nationwide through training materials. read
The custom of not make opening statements in certain parts of the country and in certain substantive case types has now led to not even having a joint session during some mediations. Except in the rare situation where there is the potential for violence, this is a mistake. The parties and their counsel should at least be willing to sit in the same room with one another for some period of time while the mediator explains the process and lays the groundwork for a productive day. read
The Internal Revenue Service released a revenue procedure Friday providing rules for the nationwide rollout of post-appeals mediation for both Offer in Compromise and Trust Fund Recovery Penalty cases. The IRS Office of Appeals originally launched post-appeals mediation for both types of cases as a pilot program that was available in certain cities in December 2008 and is now expanding the program nationwide. Post-appeals mediation is available to help resolve disputes after unsuccessful negotiations with the IRS Office of Appeals and is available for both factual and legal issues. The mediator’s role is to help the parties reach their own agreement collaboratively, but the IRS noted that the mediator does not have settlement authority over any issue. read
Major technology companies, anxious to protect their intellectual property, have generally chosen litigation over arbitration—even in cross-border disputes. But that may be changing.
Increasingly, computer, software and other tech companies are exploring arbitration as an alternative to litigation, especially in international disputes, lawyers say. “Tech companies are starting to realize they don’t have a choice,” said Cedric Chao, co-head of DLA Piper’s international arbitration practice. “They’re still wary of arbitration, but they’re coming around." read
When Wisconsin’s legislature enacted the state’s so-called “mediation privilege” in Wis. Stat. § 904.085, it expressly sought, in subsection (1) of that provision, “to encourage the candor and cooperation of disputing parties, to the end that disputes may be quickly, fairly, and voluntarily settled.” The privilege itself provides that “no oral or written communication relating to a dispute in mediation” is admissible in evidence or discoverable in any judicial or administrative proceeding. Wis. Stat. § 904.085(3)(a). Exceptions to the privilege exist, but they are few in number and relatively narrow—a point driven home in the Seventh Circuit’s recent decision in Doe v. Archdiocese of Milwaukee, No. 13-3783 (7th Cir. Nov. 5, 2014), authored by Judge Ann Claire Williams. read
The strike by 1,500 University of Oregon graduate teaching fellows ended this morning after a 22-hour mediation session. Union officials said the new contract provides the teaching assistants with fair wages and a hardship fund to provide paid medical and family leave. Access to the fund is "protected by language in the collectively bargained agreement, and can be grieved if an employee is denied reasonable access to the fund," according to a statement from the Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation. "I'm extremely proud of the graduate employees of GTFF," AFT-Oregon President David Rives said. "This contract is a monumental achievement for workers across all campuses." The union and supporters will hold a celebration rally at noon today at Matthew Knight Arena. The teaching assistants will return to work later today, union officials said. read
Pilots at Lufthansa have called for mediation to cover all areas of their dispute with the German airline's management, not only the early retirement row that has resulted in 10 strikes this year. Lufthansa offered last week to enter mediation to resolve the long-running dispute over early retirement benefits, seeking to halt the pummeling it was taking from repeated industrial action. The company estimated this week that labour strikes this year have cost it close to 200 million euros ($247.5 million) in operating profit. 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