The apex court in its landmark decision on 7th July, 2014 held that sharia courts are not courts as Indian legal does not recognize a parallel judicial system. But then is it not a fact that privatization of justice is fact of life not only in India but in most developed countries? Does our law not recognize arbitration and other alternative methods of dispute resolution? Are not sharia courts and fatwas different and therefore should not be clubbed together? What has been the performance of sharia courts in last 94 years? Has not the latest decision given new lease of life to the sharia courts?
Divorce attorney Larry Sarezky has created a short film to stop divorcing parents from engaging in high-conflict custody battles for the sake of the kids. I saw the film, Talk to Strangers, and was dramatically impacted by its message. Larry also provides ten questions divorcing parents should ask themselves before fighting over the kids in court. His years of experience have shown him the consequences for the children involved -- effects they'll experience on a life-long basis. Here are Larry's 10 questions, along with his opening comments about high conflict divorce.
Over 20,000 cases related to family disputes have been settled in Bangalore with the help of a third party mediator over the last 7 years.
1. Total no: of cases referred to mediation: 35784
2. Total no: of cases mediated: 27915
3. Total cases not mediated and returned: 5864
4. Total cases mediated and settled: 20534
I have just returned from an enjoyable but hectic visit to the United States. During my stay, I took some time to read up on the family law situation both in the US and north of the border in Canada. It is always intriguing to see such familiar family law touchstones as legal aid and mediation in a completely different context.
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"Conflict - The Unexpected Gift" Book Review (6/06/14) Jack Hamilton, Elisabeth Seaman Conflict is a common aspect of life that is extremely difficult to avoid because each person is different from others and arrives at his or her own conclusions about the behavior of others and the events in a situation. Although conflicts may seem unavoidable, one can actually learn how to work through them and come out with a better relationship in the end. The book “Conflict—The Unexpected Gift: Making the Most of Disputes in Life and Work” presents a highly detailed and comprehensive approach to resolving interpersonal conflicts.
El Arte de la Negociación - en Espanol (6/06/14) Julian Ernesto Sccasso Losa La aplicabilidad de la negociación en la formación militar permitirá preparar al hombre de armas en los distintos mecanismos y habilidades para lograr resultados exitosos antes de llegar al conflicto. En ese sentido estoy haciendo esfuerzos para concientizar sobre la necesidad de formar al personal militar en el conocimiento y dominio de esta disciplina. Entre las actividades que he realizado al respecto está la publicación de algunos artículos en revistas especializadas (militares) que hacen referencia a la aplicación del los MARC en la actividad castrense. 1 Comment
The Art and Practice of Second-Guessing Negotiated Deals (6/03/14) Robert Benjamin The recent exchange of "the last POW " American soldier in the Afghanistan War for five Guantanomo prisoners, reported to have been mediated by Quatar between the Taliban and the United States, has drawn scathing criticism. Beyond the politics, it highlights the unique vulnerability of negotiated and mediated agreements to second-guessing. Ironically, the secrecy and informality that often make negotiative processes work also breeds skepticism and doubt. This re-published article remains timely and relevant to an understanding by all practitioners, that negotiation and mediation are risky businesses.
Book Review: Short and Happy Guide to Mediation (6/03/14) Don Philbin Will Pryor's "Short and Happy Guide to Mediation" is both. You can read it in a sitting, and probably will. But it covers the waterfront too. Pryor teaches the latest negotiation theory, but the focus is decidedly on applying it in practice. The book not only helps neutrals, it helps parties and their advocates better utilize the process to maximize results.
ADR: A Day in the Real Life of a Practicing Civil Lawyer (5/24/14) Gregg Relyea This article dramatizes the central role played by ADR in the everyday life of a civil law practitioner. The article is set in the context of a "day-in-the-life" of a hypothetical civil litigator. The purpose of the article is to focus on the pervasive and critical role played by ADR in civil law practice. 1 Comment
The Mediator, The Artist (5/23/14) Caryn Cridland Mediators can be compared to artists - they begin with a blank canvas with parties too angry to see the possibilities. They help people in conflict see the bigger picture. With each step of the process, a new view or perspective, a new colour, a new brush stroke or insight appears. At first it is only the mediator who can see the newly-formed, unique picture that has appeared through these new insights until through using their skills, those involved in the conflict begin to see the full picture too and move towards resolution. 2 Comments
When an Apology Sets the Tone of a Dispute in Mediation (5/23/14) Jacques Joubert For commercial mediators it is obvious that commercial interests such as the need to make a profit are the most important incentives for the parties to settle, in the context of course of their legal rights. But in practice and in theory, attention to psychological or personal interests (e.g. reputation, autonomy, status or acknowledgement) is often key to resolve commercial disputes. 4 Comments
Pioneer Series: Narrow v. Broad Problem Definition - Video (5/22/14) Leonard Riskin Leonard Riskin explains narrow and broad problem definitions by a giving an example of settling a case where there was a breech of a business contract. A narrow problem definition sees a legal process whereas a broad problem definition allows more room for thinking about other causes of the conflict.
Politics, Science and Collaboration (5/20/14) Robert Alm This article: “Politics, Science and Collaboration” by Robert Alm, Esq., President
of the Collaborative Leader’s Network in Honolulu, Hawaii, is from Mr. Alm's keynote presentation at the first ever Joint Fact Finding Conference coordinated by Peter Adler on March 6, 2014.
Parenting, Mediation, and Divorce: Meeting the Needs of Our Children (5/16/14) Shannon Rios Paulsen Children are a huge source of love in our lives; they can say one sentence, bring a huge smile to our face, and remind us of the innocence of childhood. Children all deserve that time of play, laughter, and fun as they grow up. This article addresses what parents and other loved ones can do for children before, during and after a divorce. You can take this information and pass it along or decide to be mentor or positive role model for the children yourself.
From Problems to People (5/16/14) Michael Jacobs My starting assumption for this article is that the work we do is largely defined by the problems we face. To put it crudely, there's a world of difference between the problems faced by a meteorologist responsible for forecasting the local weather and the problems confronting a surgeon who must decide the best place for an initial incision. And both of these are very different from the mediator sitting with a separating couple locked in conflict. 3 Comments
Do Women Shy Away From Mediation? (5/16/14) Dr. Lynne C. Halem Women believe that mediation is something like a venus fly trap. The appearance is beguiling, but the results are deadly. In mediation, couples look at the well-being of the family unit, what it will take to forge new lives. A mediator’s responsibility is to make sure that women and men have the knowledge and the know-how to make intelligent choices, that both parties understand their options and opportunities.
The Paradox of Creativity with Compassion in Mediation (5/10/14) Evan Ash Turn the other cheek, give more than is required, respond to the need of another person, all these when you may be faced with pain and loss. Do crazy things like love your enemy, pray for them? The great mystery is the power that comes from the paradoxes of life.
Workplace Violence - Part 2 (5/09/14) Ken Johnson From 9/11/2001 to 9/11/2013, approximately the same number of Americans died in the workplace due to violence as did American soldiers overseas fighting terrorists. Bullying, stress, domestic disputes, and other considerations account for this. Some researchers have suggested a new mental condition, similar to PSTD, called PTED, which workers may exhibit. Out of control catabolic (harmful) conflict poses a serious problem for both businesses and workers. This two-part series looks into this issue and suggests how ADR practitioners can work to better help businesses make the workplace safer and more productive.
Roles of Religious Culture in Peaceful Settlements (5/09/14) Larry Gaughan The area that is now occupied by the United States has always been a place of multiculturalism and religious diversity. This was the case many generations before the arrival of the first undocumented immigrants coming from Spain, England, the Netherlands, and France. Those immigrants had long been preceded by hundreds of different native tribes of somewhat diverse ethnicity, often with different languages and religious practices.
5 Steps for Resolving Conflict Within Your Marriage (5/07/14) Mary Aderibigbe Couples can resolve their grievances themselves through discussion. No marriage relationship is devoid of conflict, but if these challenges are properly managed, the marriage is strengthened. Couples should therefore show commitment to their relationships by working together to resolve problems. 1 Comment
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.
State of Maine 2014 Report on Foreclosure Mediation Program (5/04/14) Laura Pearlman In 2009 the Maine Legislature established the Foreclosure Diversion Program (“FDP”) in the Maine Judicial Branch. It affords a valuable opportunity for homeowners and lenders to consider mutually beneficial alternatives to foreclosure. The FDP continues to see a high level of activity. In 2013, the FDP conducted 2,518 mediation sessions in 1,697 foreclosure cases. A total of 4,756 foreclosure cases were filed in Maine in 2013, an increase from the 4,339 cases filed in 2012.
Workplace Violence (5/02/14) Ken Johnson From 9/11/2001 to 9/11/2013, approximately the same amount of Americans died in the workplace due to violence as did American soldiers overseas fighting terrorists. Bullying, stress, domestic disputes, and other considerations account for this. Some researchers have suggested a new mental condition, similar to PSTD, called PTED which workers may exhibit. Out of control catabolic (harmful) conflict poses a serious problem for both businesses and workers. This two-part series looks into this issue and suggests how ADR practitioners can work with other various professionals to better help businesses make the workplace safer and more productive.
Mediated Prenuptial Agreements Benefit Couples and Mediators (5/02/14) Michael Toebe The romance might be lacking in the thought and decision making but there might be relational wisdom in pursuing mediated prenuptial agreements and valuable marketing awareness as a byproduct for mediators. Couples often spend significant time planning a wedding, buying a house and cars, financial planning and how to best raise children, so a question that begs asking is why don't most marrying partners plan for better outcomes in the event a marriage eventually dissolves? 1 Comment