Government Mediation Section

Government Mediation Articles

The Limelight Hypothesis, Part 2

(5/05/14)Peter Adler, David Matz, Doug Thompson Being an essay of opinions and observations on sundry issues related to the practice of negotiation; politics and electioneering; dickering over debt in the nation’s capital; Otto von Bismarck’s admonition about watching laws and sausages being made; a budding theory on the effect of constant attention-mongering from MSNBC, FOX News, and other bloggers, pundits, and blabbermouths; the creation of statutes, ordinances, rules, policies, regulations, and standards; and the making of hot dogs, chorizos, kielbasas, and bratwursts.
Susan Yates

“Hot-Tubbing” and ADR?

(4/18/14)Susan Yates Did you know there is an ADR process called “hot-tubbing?” This was news to me when I heard it mentioned last week at the Court ADR Symposium (which occurs every year on the day before the ABA Dispute Resolution Section Conference). As I understand it, the process is used sometimes in arbitration when there are conflicting expert opinions. Basically, the idea is that rather than simply hear expert testimony from each side sequentially, the arbitrator questions the experts concurrently.
Jeff Thompson

“Crisis” or “Hostage” Negotiation? The Distinction Between Two Important Terms

(4/04/14)Jeff Thompson The terms crisis and hostage are commonly used to refer to intense negotiations. The distinction between the two terms is important to understand. This is a pictographic explaining the difference.
Jennifer Shack

Yes, It Can Be Done: Ten Mediation Program Models, One Online System

(3/30/14)Jennifer Shack When Resolution Systems Institute received a grant from the Illinois Attorney General to develop foreclosure mediation programs across the state, it was our opportunity to practice what we preach. From RSI’s inception, we’ve been telling courts that they need to monitor and evaluate their mediation programs to ensure that they’re providing quality services to those who come to them to resolve disputes. We’ve also been urging them to incorporate the development of a monitoring and evaluation system into their program design process.
Caseload Manager zzzzz

Caseload Manager Selected for Illinois Statewide Foreclosure Mediation Program Case Management

(3/15/14)Caseload Manager RSI has selected “Caseload Manager” to provide online cloud-based case management services for approximately 10,000 annual Illinois foreclosure mediation cases. Caseload Manager is the world's leading secure, cloud-based ADR case management service that, according to CEO James C. Melamed, J.D., “allows the right people to see the right information.”
Eileen Barker

The Case for Forgiveness in Legal Disputes

(2/28/14)Eileen Barker Although the notion of forgiveness may seem far afield from the world of law, forgiveness is a powerful and important tool for conflict resolution. Litigants need legal solutions, but they also need peace, healing, and closure. Forgiveness provides a vehicle for achieving all of these.
Chris Poole

5 Things You Didn’t Know about Class Action ADR

(2/28/14)Chris Poole For both plaintiffs and defendants, class action litigation is time-intensive, costly and requires close oversight from start to finish. As a result, parties are increasingly turning to alternative dispute resolution (ADR) providers to manage many aspects of class action litigation. The value that ADR can offer to parties extends well beyond reaching a settlement. ZZZZZ

Mediate is Top Ranked Mediation Website

(2/04/14) is ranked the top mediation and dispute resolution website by Alexa in its February 1, 2014 global website rankings. In business since 1996, has over 15,000 searchable mediation articles, blog posts, news items and videos. also hosts the most used mediator directory and offers mobile friendly website development, professional promotional services and cloud-based case management systems.

The Drama of Mediation

(11/15/13)Debra Oliver, Bathabile Mthombeni Debra discovered mediation in 1989 and knew she had found her calling. She handles complex and eventful cases many mediators only dream of - including situations like that portrayed in Robert Redford's film, The Milagro Bean Field War. From mediating with gang membes and police offices to handling explosive divorce cases, her's is an exciting and fulfilling practice.
Beth Graham

Nevada Supreme Court Protects Confidentiality of Foreclosure Records

(11/08/13)Beth Graham Last week, the Nevada Supreme Court rejected a non-profit organization’s request to examine records created as part of the state’s Foreclosure Mediation Program. Non-profit group Civil Rights for Seniors reportedly sought the records using the Nevada Public Records Act.
Jacques Joubert

Lessons in Mediation from Nelson Mandela

(11/08/13)Jacques Joubert In 1964, George Bizos, a young lawyer, probably saved his client and good friend Nelson Mandela’s life by persuading him to change his now famous speech at the Rivonia treason trial. This speech helped to usher in skills of peace and negotiation.
Martin Svatos

Mandatory Mediation Strikes Back

(11/08/13)Martin Svatos The question of mandatory mediation is an interesting issue per se. According to some, the fundamental principles are at stake once discussing the forced attendance of parties in mediation procedure. The Italian legislator is obviously of different opinion having reintroduced the “mandatory mediation” to its legal system. One has to add – for the second time.
Joe Markowitz

Crisis in the Courts: Making a Virtue out of a Necessity

(10/25/13)Joe Markowitz Crisis grips the California court system. In Los Angeles County, budget cutbacks have forced the courts to do away with court reporters, reduce clerical staff, close 10 courthouses, and assign personal injury cases to a master trial calendar system. At a time when ADR might be considered one of the solutions for relieving the increased burdens on the civil trial courts that these changes will impose, the Superior Court in Los Angeles instead took the surprising step of closing its entire court-connected ADR program.
Jeff Thompson

4 Secrets for Winning the Toughest Negotiations

(10/18/13)Jeff Thompson "Let's send Richardson," President Bill Clinton once said, according to Bill Richardson, a former Clinton cabinet member. "Bad people like him."
Chris Poole

Washington Could Use a Little More Mediation

(10/18/13)Chris Poole Most of us were at least slightly frustrated by Washington’s inability to reach agreement over budget and debt limit issues in the past weeks and months. In fact this kind of dysfunction and brinksmanship has become more of a regular pattern than an aberration. Clearly the issues are complex as in any political debate and blame can be placed just about anywhere.
Jeff Thompson

Government Shutdown Tip: Build A Golden Bridge

(10/04/13)Jeff Thompson Build a golden-what? What does a bridge, no less a 'golden' one, have to do with mediation and negotiation and congress? Well, the term is from William Ury's book, Getting Past No.
Jeff Murphy

Washington Shutdown and Divorce Mediation

(10/04/13)Jeff Murphy Most of us who are trained mediators learned the process of “Principled Negotiation”. It’s the theory behind Roger Fisher and William Ury’s Great work -”Getting To Yes”. It teaches how to negotiate without compromising principles but by examining each parties’ positions and exploring the underlying needs and interests to create options that can help reach fair and equitable solutions and settlements.
Gary Harper

The Passive-Aggressive: Terrorist or Freedom Fighter?

(8/23/13)Gary Harper Collaborative conflict resolution requires a safe space for the conflict to exist. A hostile climate drives people underground, but curiosity, respect, and a willingness to be influenced encourage open communication.
Kenneth Cloke

Conflict and Movements for Social Change: The Politics of Mediation and the Mediation of Politics

(7/07/13)Kenneth Cloke Internal conflicts are endemic and natural to progressive political and social movements, in part because it is difficult to agree on how to define and change highly complex, volatile and evolving social problems. As a result, over time, different definitions of the problem and perceptions about the nature of those who defend and represent it result in radically different notions about what needs to be done to change it. This article helps to clarify definitions of conflict and people's goals for resolving it.
Charlie Irvine

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?"
Robert Benjamin

Lincoln Unchained: A Principled Hardball Negotiator For the Ages - Film Review

(5/16/13)Robert Benjamin 'Lincoln' is worthy of admission to the elite pantheon of excellent films, few in number, that focus on negotiation. More than merely a well-drawn historical drama, as some have characterized it, the film pushes beyond the simplistic mythology of Lincoln as the great emancipator and savior of the Union to examine the reality of what is required to negotiate difficult human events. Not surprisingly, little has changed in the intervening 150 years, which makes the film deserving of careful review by teachers and practitioners of negotiation and mediation.

ODR and Government

(5/01/13)Ethan Katsh, Daniel Rainey The topic at hand is the use of the Internet to govern, and the role that ODR can play in e-government. Our discussion of e-government will be divided into three main sections: What has changed?; What must government (and e-government) do?; and Where are e-government and ODR going? ZZZZZ

NY: Gov Cuomo Assigns AAA To Mediate Hurricane Sandy Disputes

(2/25/13) Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced on February 25, 2013 that the Department of Financial Services has established a voluntary mediation process for homeowners disputing their insurance claims or dissatisfied with denials of their claims arising from Storm Sandy. “Mediation offers a speedy, low-cost resolution of insurance claims for homeowners who are unable to reach agreement with their homeowners’ insurance companies on claims from Storm Sandy,” Governor Cuomo said. “It is also much less expensive for insurers than litigation, so it’s a win for everyone.”
Jerry Barrett

FMCS History Archive Story

(1/18/13)Jerry Barrett This is the story of a career with FMCS. The FMCS historian tells of his career, successes and mistakes, and some of his most interesting experiences with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. This story should be of interest for those new to the mediation field--it tells of the difficulties, the mundane, the struggle, the determination, the hope, and finally the reward of a career in the mediation field. ZZZZZ

"Face to Face" Explores Restorative Justice - Jan. 9 & 10 Screenings in LA

(1/02/13) 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.
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