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A US airliner has been diverted after a row broke out over one passenger's use of a device to prevent the seat in front of him from reclining. The argument forced the United Airlines flight from Newark to Denver to make an unscheduled stop in Chicago. The passengers involved were reported to be sitting in the Economy Plus section of the plane, which already provides an extra four inches (10cm) of leg room. The fight began when the male passenger, seated in a middle seat of row 12, used the Knee Defender to stop the woman in front of him from reclining while he used his laptop. A flight attendant asked him to remove the device - a small piece of plastic costing $21.95 (£13.25) which slots onto the tray table - but he refused. The woman reacted by standing up, turning around and throwing a cup of water at him.
Court battles can go on for months or even years, and can get very ‘ugly’. All sense of civility is usually lost, and lawyers battle it out, airing the couple’s dirty laundry to be judged in court. In some cases, the litigation route is the only option – and you may need to hire a lawyer to make sure your interests are protected. However, if at all possible, you should try to go the route of mediation. This is where both parties come to a mutual agreement through a trained negotiator experienced in divorce law. It is often much quicker and far less emotionally damaging than litigation.
Despite the glut of newly-minted lawyers, millions of Americans end up representing themselves in court because they can’t afford to pay $150 to $300 an hour for an attorney. Many turn to court-based legal self-help centers intended to help pro-se litigants navigate the judicial system. Nearly 500 centers now operate since the first was launched in the 1990s, according to a new report out from the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services, which concluded they “are a vibrant and effective resource” for court users nationwide.
Palestinian officials said on Tuesday a Gaza ceasefire deal with Israel has been reached under Egyptian mediation and a formal announcement of an agreement was imminent. There was no immediate confirmation from Israel, where a spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declined to comment.
Dozens of parents have delivered a petition with more than 11,000 signatures to the BC legislature. Mother Jordan Waters says the group wants the government to join the teachers’ union in mediation. “I am disillusioned with our government and their unwillingness to make public education a priority. I think it’s really short-sighted and they don’t see how investing in children is investing in our economic prosperity in the long run.”
Who says August is a quiet month? It’s not traditionally noted for major Government statements, but this month saw one of the most significant announcements affecting family law and mediation for some time. Justice Minister Simon Hughes pledged funding for a single free mediation session for both parties where just one of them qualifies for legal aid.
One of the judicial races that will be decided in Tuesday's primary election pits a criminal defense attorney with hundreds of hours of experience in front of the bench and an attorney who runs a mediation business and teaches introductory law courses. Robin Lemonidis and Brooke Deratany Goldfarb are in the running for Brevard-Seminole Circuit Judge Group 14. Whoever takes the most votes in Tuesday's primary wins the seat and will take over the criminal cases previously handled by Judge John Griesbaum, who is retiring. Both women are well known in the community, and the intense competition between them has been drawing increasing attention as the decision date nears.
There are two key questions that parties preparing for mediation should ask themselves throughout their preparation for the mediation: First, how to remove obstacles to settlement: parties should do all they can to avoid the negotiation at the mediation being delayed, or failing, because there is an issue that could have been identified and addressed in advance that was not. Second, what will the other side need to help them take a decision to resolve the dispute? It is easy in the flurry of activity before a mediation for each party to focus only on their own case and preparation, but a resolution will only be achieved with the agreement of the counterparty, so keep in mind your opponent at all times (even if you disagree as to the approach they appear to be taking).
An American journalist kidnapped by the Al-Qaeda-linked jihadist group, the Al-Nusra Front, has been freed following mediation between the organization and the Qatari government. Peter Theo Curtis was turned over to UN peacekeepers in Quneitra in the Golan Heights on Sunday after being seized by militants while traveling into Syria to report on the conflict there in October 2012. The Qatari government announced late on Sunday that it had secured Curtis’s release, issuing a statement saying it had “exerted relentless efforts to release the American journalist out of Qatar’s belief in the principles of humanity and out of concern for the lives of individuals and their right to freedom and dignity.”
Bullying in schools has been recognised as a serious and pervasive problem now for at least two decades. There is now also evidence, including from the UK and other European countries, North America and Australia, that traditional forms of bullying in schools have decreased modestly over the last decade or so. This is very likely due to the increase in work to prevent bullying. Yet much still persists. In 2010, the EU Kids Online project found 19% of children were victims of bullying and 12% bullied others. A recent follow-up study in 2014 suggested an increase in cyberbullying, though not in traditional bullying. Figures elsewhere are not dissimilar, although prevalence rates vary greatly in terms of how it is measured and how bullying is defined.
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A Song of Loss for Divorce Mediators (6/30/14) Richard Barbieri I was recently asked to give a presentation in an advanced seminar on Mediating with Families in Transition. I thought at first of the many film scenes that I have previously utilized, from the opening of Wedding Crashers to The War of the Roses. I then realized that most of my artistic experience of lost love comes through music, rather than film, and so I prepared a new presentation based on favorite songs about the effects of divorce. 1 Comment
The Hopeless Case (6/30/14) Michael P. Carbone This article discusses the reason why many clients are adverse to mediation: "This is a hopeless case; we are too far apart." The common refrains about being too far apart explain why mediation is needed. If the two sides were close, they would probably settle the case on their own. The reason why they need a mediator is that they are polarized. 1 Comment
Pioneer Series: Early Views of Field - Video (6/27/14) Sid Lezak Sid Lezak talks about how he viewed the field when he first started out. It was like a 'religion' for him and any opposition or criticism made him even more dedicated to the practice and advocacy of mediation.
The Settlement Drift (6/21/14) Jeffrey Krivis The "drift" in our ability to go to war, as written about by Rachael Maddow, is similar to what has become of modern mediation in the litigation arena. Initially a product of the desire for more efficient and cost effective settlements, the mediation session was initially seen as the final play in the drama. Now, almost 25 years later, the mediation session has transformed itself into just one additional step in the litigation menu. The process has become strained to the point that the current approach is to schedule mediation without any sense of urgency. It is done to comply with a court order or simply as a matter of practice, now often with no expectation of finality. 1 Comment
Conflict Systems at Work in Startups (6/20/14) Mark Baril Behind most disputes is a system that perpetuates the problem. Uncovering the system will reveal why these negative conflict outcomes keep coming back, and, hopefully, how to fix them for good.
Does Mediation Make Us Better? (6/20/14) Heather Pincock The prevailing measures of success of mediation have largely examined settlement rates. I examine this among many other things in an empirical study that asks: Does Mediation Make Us Better? This article contains a video that summarizes the study, and a link to the entire article.
Three Distinct Embodied Languages (6/18/14) Jerry Green As a mediator, I am often in the middle of tense situations. Through Aikido, I have learned to be aware of how that tension affects me physically and to prevent it from spilling into the mediation room.
Competition, Collaboration and Integrity at the World Cup (6/15/14) James Melamed As a former soccer player and professional mediator, I now think about the World Cup and soccer in terms of how we interrelate as human beings, focusing on issues of competition, collaboration and integrity. There are many lessons to be learned and a very special opportunity at risk of being missed.
How to Encourage Perspective-Taking (6/13/14) Caryn Cridland When people get angry or upset, they have the tendency to forget to look at other possible circumstances or view points of the situation. They look at just the behaviour and not the possible intentions or causes of the behaviour. It is the mediator’s role to help the parties to see other view points. The article explores examples of situations where perspective-taking can be beneficial. It also explores strategies that encourage perspective-taking. These include telling stories where the participants have been pushed to a point, examining their own behaviour and looking at common values or goals.
Post-Divorce Blues: Unresolved Issues and New Problems Unsettle Divorced Spouses (6/13/14) Dr. Lynne C. Halem Months, even years, of haggling and anxiety were finally at an end. A new beginning was in the offering. Yet the initial relief, may be filled with sadness, and may well be short-lived. Divorced couples are often faced with agreements that do little to help them navigate an evolving, and even rocky, future. Mediation provides an agreement which is clear and specific as to beginning points and ends, as to the details of property, support, and the children, including education, death, and taxes, provides insurance for protecting couples from the surprises of tomorrow.
agreement which is clear and specific as to beginning points and ends, as to the details of property, support, and the children, including education, death, and taxes, provides insurance for protecting couples from the surprises of tomorrow.
Meditation Enhances Mediation: A Six Sigma Perspective (excerpt) (6/13/14) Tony Belak, Pradeep Deshpande The importance of including meditation in mediation efforts is explained. A considerable body of evidence in the scientific literature, as well as reputed media publications, are supportive of the hypothesis meditation will enhance workplace mediation programs. Together they will lead to less workplace discord and workforce conflict, as well as offer improvements in health, wellness, quality, productivity, and competitive position.
Collaborative Scotland (6/06/14) John Sturrock Scotland is having a referendum on its constitutional future. As I write this, it is only a few months until we vote. Whatever the outcome in September’s referendum about independence for Scotland, in this country we will all need to work hard to ensure that we can live well together after the referendum.
"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.