5/23:NAFCM Receives Funding for a National Training Resource Center
The National Association for Community Mediation (NAFCM) successfully applied for and will receive $50,000 from the JAMS Foundation (JAMS). The grant is for the development of the Training Resource Center for community mediation nationally. The Training Resource Center (TRC) will be the largest compilation of community mediation resources in the country. NAFCM will partner with community mediation centers across the country to collect new and existing resources including but not limited to PowerPoint, handouts, mocks, videos, and more. read
5/23:GiveForward partners with Medical Bill Mediation to help families reduce high medical bills
GiveForward, a crowdfunding leader helping families and friends raise money for a loved one's medical bills, is pleased to announce a new partnership with Medical Bill Mediation of the Karis Group, Inc., a service which helps patients consolidate and reduce their healthcare bills. This alliance stems from both organizations' shared mission of empowering patients to face the rising cost of healthcare in America. 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:Bermuda: Gang Mediation Structure Put In Place
A structure has been put in place around gang mediation and police officers will directly engage with students to stem the growth of the gang culture, read
5/17:National Association for Community Mediation (NAFCM) receives $50,000 grant from JAMS Foundation for development of national Training Resource Center.
The Training Resource Center (TRC) will be the largest compilation of community mediation resources in the country. NAFCM will partner with community mediation centers across the country to collect new and existing resources including but not limited to PowerPoint, handouts, mocks, videos, and more. 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:South Africa: Debt mediation working for the consumer
Johannesburg - Over 70% of debt mediation cases resulted in a positive outcome for consumers in the first quarter of this year, the National Debt Mediation Association (NDMA) says. "Each consumer's case is unique and requires a different solution, and the ability of the NDMA to provide expert advice and guidance has benefited consumers immensely," CEO Magauta Mphahlele said in a statement. The NDMA closed 863 cases in the first quarter of the year, up from 679 in the last quarter of 2012. read
5/06:Nicaragua: Justice through conflict mediation
About 3,000 volunteer judicial facilitators allow many cases to be settled out of court, while also working to prevent crime. Marvin Aguilar (left), vice president of Nicaragua’s Supreme Court of Justice, greets a judicial facilitator during a training event. Of the 3,000 facilitators in Nicaragua, 2,000 work in rural areas and 1,000 in urban areas. read
4/29:Lagos Mediation Centre Recovers N446 Million
The Lagos State commissioner for justice and attorney general Mr Ade Ipaye has disclosed that the Citizens Mediation Centre in the state has handled about 30,686 cases and also facilitated the collection of a total sum of N446, 407,946.00 between May 2012 and March, 2013. read
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.
Matt Phillips Is New NAFCM Executive Director (4/30/13) James Melamed Please welcome Matt Phillips as NAFCM’s new Executive Director. Matt’s most recent role was as director of the Volunteers of America Dispute Resolution Center in Everett, Washington. He was also the Chair-person for the Resolution Washington’s statewide legislative committee that was involved in raising over $12 million for conflict resolution.
The Man Who Led Us To Yes (4/12/13) Tony Dempsey The recent death of US negotiation guru Roger Fisher reminds Tony Dempsey of old confrontations and lessons learned in how to achieve creative outcomes. As he learned from Roger Fisher, “parties should focus on their own interests and developing creative options that meet those interests."
Preparing for Mediation: A Practical Guide to Saving Face (4/12/13) Greg Stone Greg Stone's latest book Preparing for Mediation: A Practical Guide provides straight-forward tips for mediators. This excerpt from his book discusses the importance of saving face. It also suggests ways for mediators to allow their clients to save face while making progress in the mediation.
Steubenville Tragedy Needs Effective Communication (3/25/13) William Hymes The divisiveness and acrimony that played out in this past fall's trial of two lacrosse players that sexually assaulted an intoxicated young lady is playing out again in Northeastern Ohio in a similar way. Because of the adversarial nature of the judicial process this has been traumatic for everyone involved, including the victim, the rapists, their friends and families the community at large and even the CNN correspondent covering the trial. The only hope of dealing and restoring the fabric of the community is a restorative intervention, which may also be useful in developing a program of prevention.
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.
Replacing the “Blame Game” with a “New Game Plan” (3/08/13) Michael A. Zeytoonian Two recent Boston Globe stories (2 21 13) stood out for their common theme – that of laying blame and finding fault. One article entitled “Not Without Blame” apportioned blame for what happened to the 2012 Red Sox. The other story was about the latest fiscal battle between House Republicans and President Obama. The article discussed the need to lay blame on the other side for the looming “sequester”, a default measure making automatic spending cuts if the powers that be in Washington, D.C. can’t come up with mutually acceptable solutions.
Puuuulllllease! (2/22/13) Cinnie Noble As we know, the word please is usually meant to be a polite statement that accompanies a request of another. With a drawn out pronunciation and sarcastic intonation, this word can turn quickly into an expression that reflects disgust, disapproval, anger, and disagreement. ‘Puullease’ may be used to dismiss the other person, to criticize, or to put them down. In any case, saying this word in the way just described typically leaves little room for conciliatory dialogue.
The World's Next Top Mediation Model (2/15/13) Dan Simon I estimate it took me 5 years of trying until I fully embraced the transformative perspective. I had started out mediating by assuming my job was to uncover underlying interests, then help both sides figure out how to get as much of what they wanted as possible, and help them accept that they couldn’t get everything they wanted. When I started mediating, I saw hostility and distrust between the parties as impediments to a solution, but they didn’t hold much interest beyond that.
Standing on the Shoulders of a Visionary (2/08/13) Jacques Joubert The article is about Mary Parker Follet’s convergence of dispute resolution, organisational development and leadership concepts. Follet integrated the idea of organisational conflict into management theory and is sometimes considered the "mother of conflict resolution." Peter Drucker called her the “prophet of management.” Drucker himself is acknowledged as a pioneer in organisational development and modern management thinking.
Clients Choose Mediation Based on Mediator’s Words and Silences (2/08/13) Mary Novak Recently, I had the good fortune to attend an outstanding webinar by Professor of Social Interaction Elizabeth Stokoe, hosted by the National Association for Community Mediation (NAFCM). Professor Stokoe performs conversation analysis on interactions between mediators and parties. In her presentation, she discussed four common problems mediators may encounter during intake calls with potential clients who are involved in a neighbor-to-neighbor dispute. The problems can lead to the potential client rejecting the opportunity to mediate.
Mending Fences (2/01/13) Cinnie Noble Some research on the expression “mending fences” indicates that the derivation is from the proverb “Good fences make good neighbours”. It is apparently listed by the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations as a mid-17th century idiom. My source states that Robert Frost gave the proverb a boost in his 1914 poem “Mending Walls” when he used the above expression to essentially mean rebuilding previously good relationships. There was a slight aberration in the late 1800’s when mending fences came to mean ‘looking after your own interests’. In the 20th century the original meaning resumed.
"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.
Silence in Sandy Hook (12/17/12) Clare Fowler When we listen we absorb a bit of each story. And as I have walked around these past few days, at the grocery store, the post office, etc. people have changed. They have sobered a bit. They might not laugh as much this week, but they hold their loved ones much tighter.
Sandy Hook: A Time for Change (12/17/12) Cherise Hairston This is a reprint of a notice that was sent to community mediators: I was moved to write something and do something regarding the tragic loss of life at Sandy Hook Elementary School. My aim in this e-mail is to reach out because to those who understand the importance of our work. We must not give up increasing awareness about community mediation and the need to support our work. I do not aim to preach or judge but to express the sorrow I feel and the frustration of the missed opportunity to support the work of community mediators who day in and day out help reduce conflict and violence in our community. Please eaccept this expression from that place of concern and love for the well-being of our human family/community that weights heavy on my heart…
Changing of the Tides (10/09/12) William Keller This mediator wonders about changing his mediation practice to reflect the changes he sees in the economy. He discusses the upsides to his clients, the downsides for him, and invites feedback from other mediators who are considering the same options. 2 Comments
Teaching Videos in Mediation Training: Why Use Them and How To Do it Well (9/21/12) Robert Smith Teaching videos are commonly used in mediation and ADR classes in law schools as a supplementary teaching method to live role play simulations, but not typically employed in community mediation trainings, which rely on live demonstrations and role plays. The author advocates for increased use of teaching videos in community mediation training, explores the advantages and disadvantages of video compared to live role plays, and presents effective teaching techniques for using videos.
Those Who are About to Mediate, We Salute You! (9/21/12) Katherine Graham Thank you, all you parties who said yes to mediation. Thank you for having the courage to try something new, for having hope for a better future. Thank you for believing that mediation could hardly make things worse, and might make things much better.
Mediation Can Be a Bitter Pill to Swallow (9/11/12) Katherine Graham The mediation process is simply the structure of a different type of meeting. In NLP terms, it is designed to allow pacing of the parties by the workplace mediator, followed by leading by the mediator. The process allows parties to visualise what may happen. Like a doctor explaining an operation, talking through the sequencing and timing, any key events and how people typically have felt in the past going through this, we as mediators need to talk through what is going to be a new and anxiety-inducing process for the parties.
Citizen Participation, Media Hype and… Dogs (8/10/12) Aik Kramer A while ago, I facilitated a public meeting about dogs in the municipality of Zandvoort (Holland), a fishermans village that, over the years, has transformed itself into a tourist beach resort. It houses approximately 16.000 inhabitants and, with the seasons, has a flow of millions of tourists each year. There are hotels, cafes, clubs, a race-circuit, and of course, there’s the beach itself.
Naughty or Nice Meter (6/18/12) Vivian Scott Santa has mad skills when it comes to deciding who’s naughty or nice, but I’ve been wondering lately how the rest of us determine such things. After listening to loads of people both in and out of conflict situations, I’ve come to the conclusion that what we do is collect lots of information and then funnel the bits into an internal meter. The device considers everything we know (and some things we don’t know) and then the arrow points in one direction or the other. Some of the criteria we consider actually aren’t very nice on our part, but that’s beside the point.
The Benefits of Mediation for Common Interest Communities (6/11/12) Laura Snoke Mediation is of particular usefulness for common interest communities; it is even required prior to filing of certain types of litigation and required for initially attempting to resolve disputes between homeowner associations and their members. The article discusses the benefits of mediation for this particular community. 2 Comments
Co-Parenting Skills: Credit Where Credit is Due (6/11/12) Nancy Hudgins I conducted a divorce mediation recently where the parties have been separated for many years but now have started the divorce process by coming to mediation. They have been co-parenting their children during the separation. We have worked through most of the issues involved and are very close to resolution. What was to be the last session turned out to be the next-to-last session.
Needs (6/04/12) Diane Cohen It is a basic principle of mediation, that mediators should focus on the needs of the parties. While the needs of parties are always relevant, in my view, focusing exclusively on the needs of the parties as the mediator understands them or as the parties express them is often insufficient.
Mediation Preparation: Selecting the Mediator (6/04/12) Nancy Hudgins It only takes 40 hours of training to become a mediator, and if you’re a judge, you get a bye. Mediators have different skill sets and varying degrees of conflict resolution training. Think about your case, your client, opposing counsel and the other side’s client before you select a mediator.
Regrets (5/29/12) Vivian Scott When it comes to conflict we probably share some regrets. Regret for the things we said, regret for the things we didn’t say, and certainly regret for more than our share of poor reactions. I saw this article a long time ago and stashed it away to share with you when it felt right. It feels right; so here’s a slightly edited version of it.
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
GenWhy--A Site for Young International Mediators (5/07/12) Aik Kramer With its platform Generation Why supports young mediators, and through its website enables them to become more visible. Also, Generation Why wants to facilitate this ‘light community’ of young mediators by organizing various kinds of activities. Generation Why is convinced that in future mediators will fulfill an important role in solving social issues. Peer mediators are, by definition, in step with their generation and can help make complex social conflicts involving youth and young adults manageable again.
Bridging the Old and the New (4/23/12) Christine Webb “New” wars in the Global South are characterized by their hybrid nature. They typically involve a variety of non-state actors, institutions, and stakeholders with equally varied motives and concerns, and highlight a chasm between modern and traditional approaches to conflict resolution.
The State of Community Mediation (3/19/12) Justin Corbett The National Association for Community Mediation (NAFCM) has released its much-anticipated new report: The State of Community Mediation. This fieldwide assessment is the most comprehensive in nearly a decade, and includes many never-before reported statistics detailing the size, scope, and impact of the the community practice area.
New York Mediation Centers Seek Restoration of Funding (1/31/12) Keith Seat
Mediation centers in Westchester and Rockland, NY, are leading a statewide advocacy campaign to restore funding for community mediation, following deep cuts during last year’s state budget crisis. The campaign is collecting online signatures, focusing on the cost effectiveness of community mediation centers where 100,000 people resolved conflicts last year, decreasing the pressure on overburdened courts. The average cost per dispute at community mediation centers is $300, far less than even minor court proceedings.