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04/19/2015

Church of the Mediator Hosts Concert Series

Meridian, Miss. Did you know that there is a "Church of the Mediator." Proof: The Church of the Mediator held a special concert Sunday afternoon that featured a world famous musician. Dr. John Paul is a world renowned harpsichord player and this afternoon entertained the crowd through some music. This concert is one of four that the Church of the Mediator put on to raise money for their new organ.  


National Craft Brewery Mediation Service Debuts

Beginning April 15th, 2015 OvalOptions for Conflict Management will offer its Brewery Mediation Network (BMN) service in areas nation-wide. The program will help connect craft breweries with local providers of mediation, facilitation and associated services to assist in resolving costly disputes, most noticeably those involving trademarks. Breweries that contact the BMN are guided through a dispute roadmap, shaped by their unique situation, examining issues ranging from inter-brewery dispute to workplace tension. Jason Gladfelter, co-owner of OvalOptions, conflict consultant and level 1 Cicerone, views trademark disputes as a threat to the industry’s image while inflicting economic damage. “Legal fees in trademark cases can cost tens of thousands of dollars and take six months or more to conclude. Mediation can produce an amicable solution in a timely manner at a fraction of the cost, which is divided between the parties.”


Ontario Securities Exchange to launch mediation program for enforcement cases

The Ontario Securities Commission is launching a pilot program to see whether more people can resolve their enforcement cases with the help of an outside mediator. The OSC said it will test out a mediation program from May 1 until next March, giving people the option to use a third-party mediator to help them try to confidentially reach a deal with commission staff. Both sides have to consent before a case can go to mediation. The OSC said it is developing the program as a way to try to get more cases concluded more quickly, and it will not allow the mediation process to be used to delay the start of hearings in cases. “The mediator provides an informal setting for settlement discussions to occur and can assist in resolving other outstanding enforcement issues,” the OSC said in a statement.


Court Bars Ordering Abuse Victims to Post-Divorce Mediation

Divorced couples cannot be required to resolve their post-divorce disputes through mediation if there has been an entry of a final restraining order based on a finding of domestic violence, even if existing property settlement agreements call for disputes to be worked through by mediators, a New Jersey appeals court has ruled.

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The Master Agreement
"A most informative site and I will definitely retain the address under 'favourites' for future reference. I specialize in the areas of property issues, conodominium issues, agricultural issues and division of family assets"
Chris Gardener


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Let us not go over the old ground, let us rather prepare for what is to come.

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Boroka Ganyu
Conflict and the Mediator: Peace Within – Redefining Interpersonal Conflict (4/17/15)
Boroka Ganyu
This article introduces a feminine (emotional-relational) approach to interpersonal conflict. I will redefine interpersonal conflict as a mental representation, and as a basis for defining inner peace.

Sherri Donovan
Family Mediation In The Digital Age (4/17/15)
Sherri Donovan
Twenty-first century technology will continue to impact family life and mediation. The family mediator’s awareness of the possible positive and inflammatory influences of the internet, may be instrumental in effectively identifying and resolving the modern family’s disputes. Social media, cyber abuse, the child’s computer voice, the use of a forensic computer expert and the futuristic divorce are factors to be considered in the practice of family mediation.

Laura Snoke
Always Expect the Unexpected (4/17/15)
Laura Snoke
As an attorney and mediator for many years, I have learned the most important lesson for mediation: always expect the unexpected. Whether the parties send formal, lengthy briefs, replete with numerous citations to both facts and legal authorities, or whether they simply show up at the mandated start time, there are always surprises. A good mediator must be ready to handle any situation that arises, with patience, flexibility and a good sense of humor.

Mary Novak
Domestic Violence Finding Overrides Agreement to Mediate (4/17/15)
Mary Novak
A case in the Appellate Division of New Jersey Superior Court stands as a reminder of the complexities of family mediation when domestic violence is involved. Indeed, the court found that a finding of domestic violence can trump a requirement to mediate.

Marvin E. Johnson
The Integrity of ADR Processes and the Risks of Blurred Boundaries (4/14/15)
Marvin E. Johnson
Historically, the three main dispute resolution methods used in the United States have been violence, avoidance, and litigation. Today, there are a variety of additional processes that can be used to foster the resolution of disputes. Many of these processes began gaining popularity in the early 1970s as a result of frustration with the varied human and financial costs associated with litigation.

Kristen Blankley
How to Make Mediation Safer in Cases of High Conflict (4/10/15)
Kristen Blankley
This article considers issues of safety in mediation. Mediation involves parties in conflict, and safety should be a priority of all mediators. Mediators should be aware of both participant and mediator safety throughout the process. This article considers practical advice for all mediators to consider before, during, and after a mediation session to ensure participant and mediator safety.

Michael Leathes
The Medici Effect of Mediation (4/10/15)
Michael Leathes
As the Danish mediator Tina Monberg has pointed out in The Butterfly Effect, chaos theory sits at many intersections: conflict and consensus; litigation and negotiation; problem and solution; public policy and private process, art and science, servant leadership and personal leadership, and others. Mediation is both a practice and a theory, cutting across negotiation and justice, practicality and academia, needs and demands.

John Lande
Litigation as Violence (4/10/15)
John Lande
Litigation is an important part of the dispute resolution system and it is quite legitimate for people to use it in appropriate cases. Litigation (including negotiation and mediation conducted during litigation) often functions appropriately without causing undue violence or other harm. People usually don’t pay as much attention when things work properly and this may be the case with litigation most of the time. But too often, unnecessary injury is a by-product.

Michelle LeBaron
Bodies at Work: Moving toward Alchemy (4/10/15)
Michelle LeBaron
The single most neglected truism in mediation, whether virtual or in person, is that it does not happen without bodies. We do not mediate with beings in other realms (unless we attach a very different meaning to mediation than is contemplated in this collection of articles on the future of our craft). Thus involving those with current corporeal substance, we mobilize to engage and reach toward understanding while literally standing our ground.

Alan E. Gross
Expanding Mediation’s Future: Integrating Party Self-Determination with other Mediation Principles that can Aid Party Understanding and Truly Informed Decision Making (4/06/15)
Alan E. Gross
Bush and Folger recently contributed an article to this “Mediation Futures Project” series that advocates strongly for “Refocusing on Party Self-Determination” but also suggests that mediators should conform to orthodox Transformative Mediation practices. This partial rejoinder, while acknowledging the important contribution of the TM focus on self-determination to mediation practice, also recognizes the value of other mediation practices.

John Licciardello
National Divorce Survey Yields Surprising Insights (4/03/15)
John Licciardello
Divorce is as popular as ever in America, with over 50% of first marriages and 70% of second marriages ending prematurely. In addition to traditional litigation couples are increasingly turning to mediation and the “do it yourself” pro se divorce process in the quest to have “successful” divorces as measured by satisfactory settlements, minimal relationship damage and reasonable cost.

Gregorio Billikopf
Party-Directed Mediation. Another Step Towards Non-Directive Mediation (4/03/15)
Gregorio Billikopf
The contribution of two models is presented in this article, Party-Directed Mediation (PDM) and Negotiated Performance Appraisal (NPA) to deal with peer mediation and hierarchical mediation, respectively. Both models are especially useful for dealing with deep seated interpersonal conflict. Originally, they were used as organizational mediation models.

Ryan O'Connell
Using Mindfulness to Inform Our Responses to Conflict (4/03/15)
Ryan O'Connell
A mindfulness technique known by the acronym RAIN can be a useful tool for informing our conflict responses and transforming our conditioned, reactive conflict behaviors.

Jeffrey Krivis
Where Have All The Idealists Gone? Long Time Passing, Part II (4/03/15)
Jeffrey Krivis
Over the years, a common theme heard among litigators after a grueling case where one side loses is that there must be a better way to manage disputes. In the mid -1970s, legal scholars from around the nation came together to review ways to make the legal process more user-friendly and accessible. They concluded, among other things, that a multi-door courthouse with processes that were designed to fit the forum to the dispute might be worth considering.

Lisa Parkinson
Looking to the Future: Complexity, Chaos, and Making Connections (3/31/15)
Lisa Parkinson
Diversity matters! For mediation to develop in fresh and vibrant ways, we need to think and act creatively. Some of the best ideas come from making connections – for example, between mediation, sciences, and the arts – and through using these connections in practice. Bernie Mayer's article in the Mediation Futures series struck chords with me, with its references to complexity science, chaos, and the importance of adapting the ways we mediate to meet diverse needs, instead of expecting participants to fit in with the particular way we choose to mediate.

Noa Zanolli
Mediation is a Common Good (3/31/15)
Noa Zanolli
Mediation does not belong to professionals and specialists only. The mere thought of mediation, its philosophy, mediation’s essence, is for the common good and so the question is: How could mediation become a common good?

Jim Melamed
Now Negotiating with Iran; Remembering Senior Mediators Statement Urging Effective Negotiation Approaches (3/30/15)
Jim Melamed
This article was originally posted during October of 2006. That was a time when the Bush administration absolutely refused to talk with Iran. This outraged many Americans, including many mediators. Now, with the U.S. and Iran seriously talking, if not agreeing, it is appropriate and timely to wonder whether this example of "mediator activism," now 9 years ago, may have played a small part in encouraging the negotiations that have come to take place.


Mediation Styles (3/30/15)
Tony Belak, William Hymes
Conflict is not unique to humans, but it can be said that the involvement of third parties in conflict, for better or worse, is a distinctly human activity and it has been around since Man began speaking and walking erect. Given this history, it is unsurprising that over time, innumerable styles, techniques and customs have come into play, and it is further unsurprising that the relative merits, and applicability of of these techniques have become the topic of scrutiny, study and academic debate.

Susan Bulfinch
Reflections on Mediation: Past, Present, and Future (3/30/15)
Susan Bulfinch
To reflect on the future, it is helpful to understand where we are and how we got here. This article gives an overview of mediation and suggests some directions for the future. Social media will help increase interest in the field and teaching conflict resolution at an early age may help reduce conflict at school, home and work.

Brendan Schutte
Gateways and Barriers to the Widespreading of Mediation and Restorative Justice (3/30/15)
Brendan Schutte
If mediation and restorative justice are such great ideas, why are they taking such a long time to spread across communities, workplaces, and organizations? Hidden human biases act against adoption of new ideas and also act in favour of aggressive or adversarial approaches more than constructive resolution of conflict. But there are also ways to help spread ideas and good news stories and increase the chances that mediation and restorative justice will flourish.

Robert Benjamin
Game Playing in Negotiation: Part 2, An Inventory of Strategies and Devices--- 2.1 Overview and Organizational Approach (3/30/15)
Robert Benjamin
The organizational approach to this inventory of game playing strategies and devices is based on the working assumptions that gaming behavior is an integral part of all negotiative processes, regardless of context; that every negotiative approach, whether reasoned persuasion, competitive, or interpersonal/relational, has a valid purpose and application in some circumstances; and, that each negotiative approach spawns and has associated with it characteristic gaming strategies and devices. This article provides an overview of the association of game playing with the five most common negotiative approaches.

Chris Poole
The Future of Mediation (3/26/15)
Chris Poole
It is impossible to talk about the future, present or past of mediation without putting some sort of definition to that term. Clearly, mediation as dispute resolution has been around as long as disputes. When defined as a process that involves a designated third-party to assist in the resolution of disputes, mediation can be considered an old process.

David Matz
On Tools and Their Dangers (3/26/15)
David Matz
We, like all professionals, focus most of our attention on making and using tools. We have jobs to do, expectations to meet, and tools are extensions of our selves. They imply a strategy for proceeding, a source of confidence that we really can make an impact on a reality that badly needs it. The negotiation literature, especially the teaching and research literature, is dominated by a focus on tools. Tools are thus essential, and also dangerous.

Howard Bellman
It’s Been A Trip and We're Not There Yet (3/26/15)
Howard Bellman
It seems I have reached the point in my career when those who would be historians ask for my recollections, assessment of the state of the art and vision of the future. Here is my polite reply, including my very personal description of our earliest days, some aspects of our evolution and the future as I would prefer it, not how I predict it. I would only add that I don’t know the dimensions of the learning curve we are on and I prefer to believe that despairing over unachieved goals is premature. Optimism, patience and tenacity ought to come naturally to mediators.

Donald T. Saposnek
Book Review: The Master Agreement by Jay Bultz (3/25/15)
Donald T. Saposnek
The Master Agreement offers a comprehensive manual of issues, clauses and phrases for use in drafting Marital Settlement Agreements. The author capably provides a collection of relevant issues and then a multitude of options for clauses to include in your divorce and separation agreements. This book is unique, of very high quality, will save you time and elevate the quality of your drafting.


The Role of Intra-Group Consensus-Building in Disarming Militant Groups in Northern Ireland (3/24/15)
Ariel Heifetz Knobel, Gary Mason, Benedetta Berti
This study examines the internal process that led combatant groups in Northern Ireland, focusing on the Loyalist camp, to relinquish armed struggle as a viable strategy to accomplish their political goals. The study focuses on internal dynamics, i.e. intra-group negotiations and consensus- building mechanisms that Loyalist militant organisations employed to switch from violence to non-violence and from confrontation to engagement with their enemies.

Jeffrey Krivis
Where Have All The Idealists Gone? Long Time Passing (3/21/15)
Jeffrey Krivis
A recent discussion among a seasoned group of neutrals about the struggles of the professional mediator caught my eye. Some complained that the trend in litigated cases was to reduce the value of the mediator to a commodity, due to the constraints put on them by the litigants who were not process oriented.

Phyllis Pollack
Article on Advocacy (3/21/15)
Phyllis Pollack
Several months ago, Joan Kessler asked that I provide an article to be included in the ADR issue of The Advocate. Since then, I have pondered on what I should write about. For inspiration, I went to my weekly blog which I have been posting since August 31, 2006. Reviewing them, I noticed a recurring theme: preparation for mediation. At least twice a year, I posted vignettes about mediations gone badly due to a lack of preparation. Because preparing for mediation is so important, I would like to share them with you, as my contribution to this ADR issue of The Advocate.

Peter Salem
The Future of Family Dispute Resolution: Mediation as a Piece of the Puzzle (3/20/15)
Peter Salem
Had I written about the future of family dispute resolution in the late 1980s, when I was a young and enthusiastic child custody mediator working for a Wisconsin family court agency, I would probably have focused exclusively on mediation rather than considering the current broad spectrum of family dispute resolution (FDR) processes that I did not anticipate at the time.

Ralph Steele
Understanding Culture in Mediation (3/20/15)
Ralph Steele
Culture is the sum total of our birth life and continuous environment. Every person has at least three (3) distinct DNA cultural ties that they are born with. There is no pure race or culture; culture is truly a human phenomenon. The problem is some people aren’t cognizant of or don’t understand their own culture.

John Lande
How Can You Get a Piece of the Action? (3/13/15)
John Lande
There is a significant problem with the traditional negotiation paradigm of two coherent models, positional and interest-based negotiation (or other labels for essentially the same models). This paradigm has been helpful in moving us forward in recent decades. But simply saying that something was a interest-based or positional negotiation not only doesn’t convey things clearly, but it actually can be misleading.

Ian MacDuff
Access to Mediation: Future Mediators (3/12/15)
Ian MacDuff
Much of the focus of the previous papers in this fascinating series on the future of mediation have, understandably, been on just that topic - that is, what will, or should, mediation look like. The questions asked have been both exercises in reflection on where we’ve been (after all, the best way to anticipate the future is to understand the past), on the coherence or not of the profession, the risk of our having been distracted from the core values and value of mediation, and - in the end - questions about what mediation really is and what we as mediators really do.

Lisa Parkinson
Family Mediation - Preface (3/12/15)
Lisa Parkinson
The Children and Families Act 2014 is focusing more attention on the role of family mediation in the family justice system. Family mediators have been given greater responsibility to encourage consideration of non-court dispute resolution processes before application is made to the family court, and to assess the suitability of mediation in particular circumstances.

Steffi Berkowitz
Future of Mediation: Uphold the Process (3/08/15)
Steffi Berkowitz
What's the down side of mediator self promotion over promotion of the mediation process? I think that the future of mediation could be put at-risk, or minimally compromised, by those in the profession who consciously, or unconsciously, leverage a belief system of "who knows best."

Louise Phipps Senft
Transforming the Adversarial Ethic (3/06/15)
Louise Phipps Senft
This article describes the differences between transformative mediation and directive mediation and posits that transformative mediation, which assists people with quality dialogue helping them to engage in meaningful explorations of the situation and possible solutions, whether they agree or not, is exactly what corporate counsel and litigators could embrace.

Elliot Platt
It's Never Just About Money (3/06/15)
Elliot Platt
This article describes the mediation process and the approach of a good mediator. It is intended to encourage litigators to utilize mediation.

John Wade
Negotiation Lessons from the Book (not the Film) of Exodus (3/06/15)
John Wade
The recent film “Exodus: Gods and Kings” has sparked some renewed interest in the actual written record of those events.So I share some of the themes which have emerged belatedly for me in this case study extraordinaire. One of the indicators from research of an “expert” modern day negotiator is someone who takes time to reflect systematically on past negotiations and attempts to record lessons from those events.

Merri L. Hanson
Back to the Future of Mediation (3/05/15)
Merri L. Hanson
For some reason, beyond my understanding, the decades old debate continues. How should mediation be defined? The better question is, “How can the practice be applied?” And herein is the genesis of the divergent paths upon which mediation has developed in the last thirty years.


The Future of Mediation - Video Interview of Ken Cloke (3/03/15)
Kenneth Cloke, Peter Adler
The use of mediation has grown and evolved over last the thirty years. As the “founders” begin to retire and new voices emerge, what is the future of mediation from a global perspective?

Leslie Short
Shaking My Magic 8 Ball Looking Into the Future of Mediation (3/03/15)
Leslie Short
I have shaken my magic 8 ball and it landed on Conflict Coaching. Some of you may say nothing “futuristic” about that I've been doing that for years. I believe it may be used in private practice, but not in community centers.

Laura Kaster
Back to the Future? – Not Likely (3/02/15)
Laura Kaster
Mediation is evolving. It should -- as many have stated in these columns -- remain connected to its routes in the joint session and party self-determination.

Forrest (Woody) Mosten
The Future of Mediation: Twenty Predictions for Mediation in 2030 (3/02/15)
Forrest (Woody) Mosten
If as Eleanor Roosevelt said, “The Future Belongs To Those Who Believe In The Beauty Of Their Dreams,” we in the mediation community have much to look forward to.

Henry Brown
Musings on Mediators, Pizza-Makers, and Humanity (3/02/15)
Henry Brown
I began this article on the future of mediation practice at what I thought, reasonably enough, was the beginning. Discussing how I came to New York in 1985 to train with John Haynes on a new approach to managing disputes that at that time had not yet found its way to the United Kingdom where I practised as a solicitor. However, In the course of writing and reviewing this piece, it began to dawn on me that while the trip was my conscious recollection of the beginning, it was not the actual beginning of my attraction, engagement and investment in what has become a personally and professionally fulfilling career.

Sandra Untrojb
The Future of Mediation: Teens and Technology (3/01/15)
Sandra Untrojb
Preparation for the future of mediation needs to focus on who will be using mediation and how. The audience in 20 years will have different expectations than the audience of today.


Mediation and the Black Belt Lawyer (3/01/15)
Andrea Maia, Juliana Loss de Andrade
The symbolism of the term ‘’black belt’’ may lead us in the first place to its meaning in the martial arts field, especially when you had your childhood influenced by the lessons from Mr. Miyagi and Daniel San’s hard path in Karate Kid. Comparatively, but differently from the Karate world, our corporate environment also has “black belts” who rely on knowledge, discipline and wisdom.

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