Government Mediation Articles
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.
"Let's send Richardson," President Bill Clinton once said, according to Bill Richardson, a former Clinton cabinet member. "Bad people like him."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?"
'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.
(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?
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.”
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.
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.
In this video, Princess Inaara of Jordan speaks eloquently in support of mediation for Jordanian and middle east societies. As she says: "Mediation is respectful cooperation in conflict and an intelligent and human way of thinking."
(11/11/12)F. Peter Phillips
Neither negotiation pundits nor political commentators seem very quick to pick up on an obvious fact of life: That, as negotiations continue, the underlying objective of the parties may change, and their interest may morph.
Waterway and wetland mediations involve complex issues and multiple parties. This article discusses multiple mediations where the courts helped to advance and support the mediation process.
Saposnek and Eddy offer an interesting and insightful perspective of the current American political landscape. This book offers a highly descriptive explanation of conflict, easily understood on the micro level of the dynamic between divorcing couples, which is then transposed onto the macro level of our two major political parties that are unable to resolve conflict.
Suppose the party inserting such a provision admits their deceitful intent and specifically instructs the mediator not to tell the other side of the land mine's existence. Is the mediator bound to keep that information confidential?
A federal judge in the BP gulf oil spill case has named a mediator to focus on resolving seafood claims for which $2.3 billion has been set aside in the proposed class action settlement. The seafood claims cover commercial fishing and oyster leaseholders and harvesters, but not the processing or sale of seafood. This is the only portion of the settlement that is capped, with the overall settlement estimated to be about $7.8 billion.
Nola.com (March 9, 2012)
Conflict resolution practitioners can work to design conflict management procedures which are practical, efficient and usable at every level of society, thus increasing the probabilities that humans will chose a non-violent system over war.
The next two years present Scotland and the rest of the UK with a unique opportunity. How we conduct the discussion of the constitutional question (whether or not Scotland should become an independent nation) could be as important as the outcome.
A World Bank paper discusses the effectiveness of alternative dispute resolution, looking at the empirical benefits of mediation and other forms of ADR and noting the need for additional studies outside the U.S. The short paper, by the Investment Climate Impact Project, focuses on measurable issues of cost savings and timing. It also discusses less measurable impacts, such as improving business relationships and problem-solving skills, reducing pressure on courts, and improving investors’ perceptions about the safety of business investments in emerging markets.
Settling Out of Court, Note No. 329 (2011); The World Bank Group’s Viewpoint Policy Journal
Stockton, California avoided bankruptcy by bringing in a mediator to resolve disputes with creditors and unions, as required by a California law enacted last year. Stockton is the first city affected by the law, and might be the beginning of a trend, as other cities in California are under financial stress. Twenty-four states permit municipalities to file Chapter 9 bankruptcies, with some restrictions.
Bloomberg (February 29, 2012)
The mediation center established by the Japanese government is now beginning to resolve claims resulting from the Fukushima nuclear power plant catastrophe, with three resolutions from the 600 claims that have been submitted thus far. Many more claims are likely from the 150,000 people displaced by the nuclear accident, but to begin the process each claimant must complete a 56-page form using a 150-page instruction manual and provide receipts and other documentation. The Japanese government has set up a $26 billion fund to pay damages on behalf of Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco), with another $11.7 billion approved in November and more likely to follow. Few lawsuits have been filed, although one lawyer is threatening to file a shareholder derivative action against Tepco’s corporate directors seeking $72 billion for failing to raise the height of tsunami barriers.
Law.com (January 26, 2012)
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The U.K. Government announced that it is establishing two regional mediation networks for small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) in a pilot program to reduce workplace disputes and the number of employment tribunal cases. The mediation networks will be in Cambridge and Manchester, with mediation training of employees at 24 SMEs, as smaller companies are often not aware of the benefits of mediation and rarely use it. Trained mediators will then be able to assist other organizations in their regional network. The government is seeking a provider for the first round of mediation training. The pilot program is part of the government’s reform of the employment tribunal system; in the last two years tribunal claims have risen to 218,000, an increase of 44 percent. The program will run 12 months and expand to other areas if successful.
People Management Magazine Online (January 23, 2012); eGov Monitor (January 24, 2012)