5/21:Mediation planned in lawsuits over Wyoming plane crash
Lawyers are planning mediation sessions to try to resolve two federal lawsuits stemming from a 2010 plane crash in western Wyoming that killed a Twin Cities father and three sons. read
5/20:Mediation and divorce in Texas
Increasingly, couples seeking divorce are using alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods to resolve issues in divorce proceedings. Mediation is probably the most common type of ADR method used in divorce cases today. While not advisable in all cases, this approach to navigating the divorce process can work well when couples are on equal footing, and want to plan for the future and have a role in developing the settlement agreement that will get them there. read
5/20:Lawyer Says RCMP Refuses To Mediate Harassment Suit
A lawyer representing 300 women who worked for the RCMP alleging harassment and gender-based discrimination in a lawsuit says the national police force is declining an offer to mediate. read
5/20:Attorneys ordered to mediation in big-rig crash suit
Attorneys involved in a personal injury lawsuit filed by a family hurt in a crash that left their car suspended off a Highway 101 bridge have been ordered to mediation. read
5/20:New mediation service aims to resolve rental disputes
A new mediation service in Fargo, ND aims to prevent landlord and tenant disputes from leading to court or eviction. A mediation service for landlords and tenants was created by the Successful Outcomes for Tenants and Landlords Committee, which is made up of area landlords and representatives of housing agencies. read
5/17:Kobe Bryant Judge Orders Mediation in Memorabilia Dispute
Kobe Bryant, the All-Star basketball guard, must undergo mediation before a possible June 17 trial to resolve a dispute over whether a New Jersey auctioneer can sell his memorabilia on behalf of his mother. U.S. District Judge Renee Marie Bumb set a mediation session for May 17 in federal court in Camden, New Jersey, to try to settle a lawsuit between Bryant and Goldin Auctions LLC. Bryant, a Los Angeles Laker, seeks to block Goldin Auctions from selling 100 items consigned by his mother, Pamela Bryant. The firm estimates the auction could raise more than $1 million. read
5/17:Bishop Eddie Long Agrees to Mediation (Huff Post Opin)
With little fanfare or news coverage, the four sexual coercion lawsuits confronting Bishop Eddie Long had the first hearing recently, with both sides opting for mediation to avoid a trial.
"Bishop Eddie Long agreeing to mediation of sexual coercion charges is an end-run around the universally accepted moral and ethical responsibilities of any ecumenical leader. Mediation of sexual allegation grievances is tantamount to an admission of "some" guilt, "some" form of ministerial misconduct. Innocent folk don't make deals if the claims against them are baseless and untrue. Mediation for the accused is a forfeiture of the right to ever claim innocence, and readers should be absolutely clear on this point." read
5/13:Singapore Govt mulling mandatory mediation for some community disputes
The government aims to beef up the resolution framework for community disputes to make it more robust and effective. Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong said one possibility is to set up a body that can order mandatory mediation for difficult cases. read
5/08:Chapman Law Introduces First Peer Mediation Clinic as Part of Juvenile Mediation Clinic
This program provides an important resource for the male adolescents residing in Juvenile Hall, as they experience issues as impactful as race conflicts and gang rivalries. “Many of the minors have never been exposed to conflict resolution techniques outside of physical fighting, so providing information on how to communicate needs and interests is a new concept." read
5/06:Fresno County farmer challenges state's mandatory labor mediation
A Fresno County farming company is suing the state, saying it unfairly imposed a requirement to negotiate with a labor union on behalf of thousands of its workers. Gerawan Farming Company, one of the largest tree fruit growers in the state, is suing the Agricultural Labor Relations Board and the United Farm Workers union, alleging the state failed to meet the requirements for imposing mandatory mediation against the company. The 42-page lawsuit, filed Monday in Fresno County Superior Court, also claims the process is unconstitutional. read
Business As Usual? Mediation and the Justice System (5/19/13) Charlie Irvine This article considers the under-use of mediation in the UK's second largest jurisdiction, Scotland. The article has three sections: a "myth buster" and two questions. The first examines three popular myths about mediation; the second addresses the question, "How does mediation add value to the justice system"; and the third presents the business case for lawyers, "Why does mediation make good business sense?"
Was OJ Simpson’s Lawyer Ineffective? (5/17/13) Cynthia Alkon OJ Simpson will be back in court this week in Las Vegas bringing an appeal from his 2008 armed robbery and kidnapping conviction in 2008. He has apparently filed, through his new lawyer, a 94-page petition for a new trial—which reportedly includes 19 specific issues that the court has agreed to hear “mostly claiming that lawyer Yale Galanter provided such poor representation that Simpson deserves a new trial.”
So Who is Your Primary Care Legal Counsel? (5/17/13) Michael A. Zeytoonian In our last blog, we suggested that people approach resolving legal disputes the way they approach making medical decisions. The starting point is to have a “primary care lawyer”, a true legal counselor, just as we have a primary care physician.
ODR and the Courts (5/11/13) Karim Benyekhlef, Nicholas Vermeys Whilst acknowledging that ODR assumes two roles as a competing and complementing
system to state courts, our focus in the following pages shall be exclusively directed to the
complementary role of ODR, and to the development of court annexed ODR schemes.
Accordingly, we shall commence by providing an overview of how states have started to
incorporate ODR into the legal process, and then proceed to shed light on possible
future paths for state-run ODR systems.
ODR and Justice (5/08/13) Ruha Devanesan, Jeff Arresty In this chapter, we analyze the interaction between traditional concepts of justice and fields in which
Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) has flourished and is burgeoning. We then explore the
ways in which justice as traditionally conceptualized is adapting to the digital environment,
and ask the question: Are traditional notions of justice relevant to contemporary online
interactions between individuals, businesses, and governments?
Los Angeles Superior Court Shutters ADR Program (5/06/13) Randy Drew After more than 20 years, the largest program of its kind in the United States is calling it quits. We’re discussing the ending of possibly the largest single ADR practical training ground in the world. Could this be a "make lemonade" moment for mediators? Will this megalithic event impact mediators homogeneously, or will there be a stratification of consequences? 5 Comments
Increasing Referrals to Small Claims Mediation Programs (5/03/13) Heather Scheiwe Kulp My favorite part of new mediator training is watching the attendees discover the potential value of mediation. They nod knowingly when they realize how brainstorming creative options based on parties’ real interests may change the dynamic of winner-takes-all, money-is-everything court battles.
Fifth Circuit Upholds Arbitrator’s Decision in Employment Dispute (3/22/13) Beth Graham The United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed a lower court’s order to confirm an arbitrator’s decision in an employment dispute. In Haag v. Infrasource Services, Inc., No. 12-60159, (5th Cir. February 20, 2013), an employee, Fred Haag, was terminated from his position with Infrasource Services, Inc. for alleged gross misconduct.
Mediation Saves Mediation in Massachusetts (3/15/13) Jennifer Shack At a time when lenders are working to keep mediation from becoming law in Missouri and Oregon, lenders in Massachusetts have voluntarily dropped their opposition to a mandatory program – and they did so through appellate mediation.
Judicial Activism and eDiscovery (3/08/13) Michael P. Carbone Many attorneys shudder at the notion that the judiciary should choose (or at least strongly urge) the specific technology tools parties must use during discovery. The concern is based largely on the belief that many judges lack familiarity with the range of eDiscovery technology tools that exist today. Parties, mediators, attorneys and judges should familiarize themselves with these available tools.
Mediation Case Law Video: Including Arbitration Provision (3/08/13) James Coben In Fair v. Bakhtiari, , the appellate course reversed the trial court's refusal to enforce a mediated settlement and compel arbitration pursuant to its terms because inclusion of the arbitration provision in the settlement was "consistent solely with an intention on the part of the parties for the settlement terms document to be enforceable or binding," thereby making the settlement admissible based on a statutory exception to inadmissibility where an "agreement provides that it is enforceable or binding or words to that effect."
Compelling Mediation (3/01/13) Phyllis Pollack Everyone is waiting to see how this abolition of the Court’s mediation program will affect not only the mediation business, but the Courts in terms of case load and backlog for setting trials. If Mr. Randolph is correct; that our amygdala kicks in and prevents us from seeking a non trial by fire resolution unless we are forced to do so, then the LA County superior court system is in for a whole lot of trouble.
Court Update (2/22/13) Joe Markowitz Thanks to the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles and the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel for putting on an informative program tonight detailing changes about to take place in the LA Superior Courts due to budget cuts. Thanks especially for the plug provided for the Southern California Mediation Association's program still in development to provide a referral source for mediators.
Initiatives and Innovations for Effective, Court-Mandated Mediation (2/01/13) Uma Ramanathan Mediation attempts to use persuasion as the main tool for resolution. It is said that a Professor of Medicine taught his students to touch the patient while listening to them instead of standing by the bed. By standing near the bed, he felt that the patient would get the impression that the doctor wanted to move away, but by touching the patient, the doctor revealed special concern. Persuasive listening is said to be concerned listening as opposed to mere listening.
Mediators Who Never Say Die (1/18/13) Scott Silverman Not long ago, I conducted a mediation involving a serious personal injury. Given its severity, the plaintiff’s attorney opined that a reasonable jury could render a verdict in excess of the policy limits and therefore made a demand for them while contemporaneously threatening a potential bad faith suit. 1 Comment
New Rules (1/18/13) Joe Markowitz I find myself charged with an unexpected project, trying to figure out how to deal with the probable demise of one of the largest court-assisted ADR programs in the country. At the same time, the court system is also implementing drastic funding cutbacks that are likely to increase backlogs and reduce the availability of court services, suggesting that mediation is needed more than ever to resolve disputes that the court system is less and less capable of resolving.
Compulsory Mediation (1/11/13) Paul Randolph Protracted litigation can be one of the most destructive elements in society: it destroys businesses, breaks up marriages, and damages health. There is therefore an urgent social need to dissuade people from unnecessarily entering into prolonged disputes. 2 Comments
"Face to Face" Explores Restorative Justice - Jan. 9 & 10 Screenings in LA (1/02/13) James Melamed The award-winning film “Face to Face” will screen on January 9 and 10 in Southern California. The Australian drama deals with the concept of restorative justice, in which a mediator is appointed to resolve conflicts and legal issues. Plaintiff and defendant confront each other in a controlled, guided situation. The benefits of such an approach are obvious: Swift justice, rather than a costly protracted trial in the criminal court system: Good for the plaintiff, good for the defendant, good for the taxpaying public.
Court Mediation Programs: An Endangered Species? (12/08/12) Don Cripe The role of alternative dispute resolution has always been the ugly cousin of litigation. Lawyers were trained that the only means to a just end was a trial by jury. Of course, seasoned lawyers, particularly those who have suffered surprising and disappointing outcomes of jury trials, are slowly realizing that may not be the case.
How to Handle Expert Witnesses with Disciplinary Charges/Orders (11/30/12) John Bratt It can sometimes be difficult to locate medical providers who will treat patients who were injured in accidents or on the job. If the patient was injured in an accident, the physician may have to wait for payment until the personal injury case resolves. In the case of a work-related injury, the physician must by law accept payment according to the fee schedule set by the Maryland Worker’s Compensation Commission, which is usually far less than the rates paid by private insurers. Many medical providers aren’t willing to accept these conditions, so the few who will are an invaluable resource for Maryland personal injury lawyers and our clients.
Supreme Court Decides Yet Another Arbitration Case (11/30/12) Jill Gross The decision offers no new law: it just reiterates and reaffirms fundamental principles of the Court’s FAA jurisprudence, including broad FAA preemption, separability, and the power of the arbitrators to decide the enforceability of contracts containing an arbitration clause.
Mediation is Underused in Civil Cases (11/10/12) Don Cripe Don Cripe is a law professor and experienced attorney/mediator. He shares his point of view as a lawyer, giving insight into how lawyers view and use the mediation process.
Is Mediation Overused? (11/10/12) Richard G. Spier I recognize that there has been big growth in my industry of private mediators and that courts increasingly have mandatory settlement conferences for cases past a certain time after filing, but I still have the perception that lawyers did not take most civil actions before a mediator or settlement judge. I believe that there is value in the jury trial system and that more cases should be taken through a complete trial.
Neighbor Tree Dispute (10/19/12) Jim W Hildreth This article gives a great example of a real mediation between two neighbors. Both neighbors faced a tree dispute with very different motives for wanting the case resolved.
An Open Letter from the ABA (10/19/12) Kim Taylor Conflict is an inevitable part of life — from our jobs, to our families to our communities. Sometimes, serious situations can’t be solved by the people involved. The first place we think of going to is the courthouse. But it is not the only place. If your case could be heard fairly and resolved quickly without a judge or jury, would you consider it?
Swiss Parliament Initiates Review Process of the Swiss Arbitration Law (10/12/12) Matthias Scherer On 27 September 2012, the Swiss Parliament adopted a motion that had been introduced earlier this year tasking the Government to prepare a report on the Swiss Arbitration Law (chapter 12 of the Federal Act on Private International Law (PILA)). The objective of the report is to further enhance the attractiveness of Switzerland as a place of arbitration.
Alternatives to Arbitration (10/06/12) Michael P. Carbone The question whether arbitration is a good idea or not is constantly being debated. Those who believe that it is not a good idea should be aware that California law provides other alternatives to arbitration besides litigation.
Mass Procedures as a Form of 'Regulatory Arbitration' (9/21/12) Victoria VanBuren Commentators and counsel agree that Abaclat v. Argentine Republic is one of the most important investment arbitrations in recent years. Described alternatively as “unprecedented,” a “landmark ruling” and a “quantum leap,” the jurisdictional and dissenting awards were voted the most controversial arbitration decisions of 2011 by experts in the field.
An Update To Proposed Mediation Regulation (9/11/12) Phyllis Pollack On August 3, 2012, I posted a blog about Resolution SR-05-01-2012 that was proposed to the California Conference of Bar Associations by Bay Area Lawyers For Individual Freedom. Jo Hoenninger, Esq. is its author. The proposed resolution, if passed by the Conference at California’s Annual State Bar Convention would not only change the definition of “mediator” in California but also implement mediator regulation by the State Bar of California.