The state and the Seminole Tribe are headed into mediation — shepherded by a lawyer whose past clients include Mick Jagger and Leona Helmsley — to resolve a possible standoff over the future of blackjack and other banked card games at most of the tribe’s Florida casinos. The tribe formally requested mediation last month after negotiations over the card games — part of a $1 billion, five-year deal — stalled this spring.
More and more couples getting divorced are battling over their pets. One woman in Charlottesville spent years in mediation working out a deal on how to split time with their little beagle mix. According to a survey, 22 percent of attorneys say they're seeing more courts allow pet custody cases and 20 percent say more courts are considering pets an asset during divorce cases.
Various state and federal statutes exist to protect and compensate employees whose employers retaliate against them after they disclose certain fraudulent practices to the employers or government agencies. These are known as Whistleblower statutes. Employment claims under Whistleblower statutes are a complex and growing area of the law. Whistleblower actions typically involve highly sensitive information and serious allegations that companies would prefer to keep out of the public view. Therefore, ADR is ideally designed to address Whistleblower actions.
The developer planning a polarizing billboard and observation tower in Miami will look to a mediator to persuade city planners to process stalled permit applications for large digital signs that would flash over Interstate 395 and the downtown skyline.
The outcome of a conversation between a mediator and a potential client can reverse completely if mediators make the tiniest tweak in their language, according to a British psychologist. Conversation analyst Elizabeth Stokoe’s research suggests that changing a single word during a conversation can dramatically increase the chances of a potential client agreeing to try mediation. Video
An initial mediation conference between the NFL and Native Americans has been scheduled in the trademark federal lawsuit. The Appeals Court is setting up the first mediation between the parties. The Circuit Mediator will initiate the call. The mediation will be by telephone at 9:30 a.m. on September 10. The courts says the purpose of this discussion is not to decide the case or reach conclusions about the issues, but to understand what the issues are and to evaluate the risks on appeal.
I attended a mediation earlier this month in a real estate case. I won’t say more through because . . . well . . . it’s confidential. The confidentiality of mediations and of settlement discussions generally – the idea being that parties are more likely to resolve their differences if they can speak honestly and frankly with one another without fear that their words or actions can later be used against them in trial – has long been a hallmark of California law. But that may not be the case for long.
Settle Your Personal Injury Claim Before A Lawsuit Is Filed (6/01/15) Don Cripe As a retired lawyer who handled many personal injury cases (both as a defense lawyer and for plaintiffs), an Arbitrator and Mediator who has handled many, many more, some things become ever more obvious as the years pass. Resolving most personal injury cases before a lawsuit is filed (or at least before the defense files an answer) accomplishes most of the objectives of the parties more quickly and efficiently than after.
The Family Mediator's New Tool (6/01/15) Charlie Mulvey After setting forth the nexus that alcohol abuse and dependence has with both domestic abuse and violence, but also with high conflict parties, then briefly discussing the evolution and technological advances of alcohol detection devices, the Author recommends that every family mediator should be carrying one, both to ensure the safety and security of the mediator and parties, but also as a tool in negotiating child visitation and possession when alcohol abuse or dependence is alleged.
Managing the Cost of Conflict (5/22/15) Alessandra Sgubini Roxanne De La Roche Conflict is a common occurrence in society. It arises everywhere, among different types of parties, in different parts of the world, and for different reasons. If conflict is not addressed properly it can escalate and degenerate leaving serious consequences in its wake. This article explores the true costs of conflict, methods to address conflict, and how to prevent conflicts from escalating in the first place.
The Good Divorce (5/22/15) Dr. Lynne C. Halem “What is a good divorce?” you ask. “After all, divorce is not a good or a happy event.” Correct you are. Divorce cannot be logically characterized as “good,” if we are referring to the event itself. Divorce is a time of sadness, even regret; it symbolizes the end to dreams once held. “ So,” you ask again,” how can a divorce be good?”
Bush and Folger on Reclaiming Mediation’s Future (5/22/15) Dusty and Vicky Rhoades, Dan Simon One of the many things that Baruch Bush and Joe Folger have contributed to the mediation community is the stimulus to engage in difficult conversation about how we support participants in conflict. What informs our practice? What does it mean when I say that I’m committed to participant self-determination? Baruch and Joe’s recent article on Reclaiming Mediation’s Future and their challenge to return to “an original vision of the mediation field” has certainly stimulated conversation and strong reaction.
Advocacy in Mediation (5/21/15) Uma Ramanathan Advocacy is recommendation of a cause. Advocacy presupposes a difference of opinion or a conflict and the need to clarify the ‘knot’, get to understand the root cause and then acknowledge consequences. Mediation advocacy pre-supposes support by the mediator for resolution and projection of a cause by the counsel/ party.
We Are The Future of Mediation (5/18/15) Michael Aurit How will the future of mediation matter if a new generation of young mediators is not encouraged and carefully shepherded into our profession? Here’s to a future where we all may learn from one another, unite to overcome our profession’s greatest obstacles, and create the future that we imagine.
The 2016 Global Pound Conference Series! (5/17/15) Deborah Masucci, Michael Mcilwrath In April 1976, an event now known as the Pound Conference ignited modern ADR in the USA, launching discussion of what might be the “greatest reform in the history of the country’s judicial system “. Forty years later, all stakeholders in the dispute prevention and resolution fields around the world are being invited to participate in a series of unique thought leadership events around the globe under the auspices of a Global Pound Conference (“GPC”) series. The GPC has a remarkable goal: to shape the future of dispute resolution and access to justice in the 21st Century.
What Is A Humanistic Approach to Mediation? An Overview (5/15/15) Mark S. Umbreit, Ted Lewis A humanistic approach to mediation developed in parallel to the transformative approach to mediation in the 1990's. While fully harmonizing with transformative mediation, a humanistic approach brings several additional emphases that can deepen the work of mediators in both dispute resolution and restorative justice work. The 'human-element' is highlighted by giving greater attention to several humanizing capacities in mediation.
More Online Mediation Needed Before We Can Measure Effectiveness (5/15/15) Charles Hill The author suggests that a larger number of cases must be mediated online before determining the effectiveness of any online methodology. The author draws similarities between the advantages and disadvantages often cited for online education and online mediation and contends that what we’ve learned in education can readily carry over to mediation.
Unbroken Circles for Schools - Book Review (5/15/15) Ken Johnson, Barb Caffrey "Unbroken Circles for Schools" is an excellent nonfiction read about conflict, social justice, and restorative justice. Mr. Johnson's premise is that our criminal justice system is doing juvenile offenders a grave disservice. Rather than sending juvenile offenders into the prison system (where they mostly learn only to re-offend), we need to teach the principles of restorative justice instead -- and where else should these principles be taught but in the schools?
Where We Have Been, Where We Are, and the Road That Lies Ahead (5/11/15) Stephen Erickson Looking back as one of the early professional family Mediators, I believe we are a movement developed out of reaction to the excesses and misadventures of the way divorce was practiced in the early 1970s. Most of the early pioneers I worked with turned to divorce mediation out of frustration with the negative results of adversarial litigated divorce.
Video Presentation: 50 Ways to Break an Impasse: Tips, Tricks, Traps and Tools (5/08/15) Sam Imperati Parties and advocates can flounder in the intersection of logic and emotion. What if the parties’ goals are “distributive” and their “interests” are legal arguments? What if the participants are aggressive, intransigent and obnoxious? A “transformative” mediation would involve an exorcism, but that seems a bit “evaluative.” A “facilitative” mediation would require a PhD. This program will focus on “nuts and bolts.” Learn tips to dispense “reality therapy” and reach closure in the face of apparent impasse. Explore the psychology of decision-making, and learn practical tools for resolution. Learn tricks to reach settlement.
Video Presentation: Game Playing in Negotiation and Mediation - Machiavelli’s Place At the Table (5/08/15) Robert Benjamin While often dismissed as disingenuous, irrational, or “Machiavellian,” game playing strategies and devices are a natural and necessary part of the negotiation and mediation of difficult issues and controversies. The behavior offers participants protection and provides a lubricant for collaboration which can allow difficult issues to be managed constructively and creatively. This interactive workshop will offer an inventory of common strategies and devices, their applications, benefits, risks, and ethical limits.
When Did Asking Questions Become a Sign of Weakness? (5/08/15) Jason Dykstra If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably also reacted poorly to a co-worker or an individual you manage. A quote by Edgar Schein recently jumped out at me when he said, “We are biased toward telling instead of asking because we live in a pragmatic, problem-solving culture in which knowing things and telling others what we know is valued.” We don’t have to look too far or hard to see what Schein is saying. Our bosses tell us what to do, our family and friends tell us what they would do in our particular situation, and each “expert” has an answer for us at the tip of their tongue.
Ironically, Bush and Folger are Evaluative (5/04/15) Sam Imperati There is room in our field for a broad spectrum of mediation approaches. We should celebrate innovation and a greater diversity, rather than disparage the methods of others. This article rebuts Bush and Folger’s article: Reclaiming Mediation’s Future: Getting Over the Intoxication of Expertise, Re-Focusing on Party Self-Determination. Their article attempts to redefine mediation in their own image. I push back at their attempt to elbow out any mediator that does not adhere to their transformative philosophy. No single approach has cornered the market on mediation, nor should it. Our collective approach to mediation should not be shackled by rigid doctrines; it should be varied and flexible, adapting to the desires of the parties we serve. This is real Self-Determination.
Mediation in the Future of Policing (5/04/15) Maria Volpe The future of policing must incorporate mediation. No other profession places its practitioners more in the middle of challenging situations; police officers are regularly expected to make difficult conversations work on the spot.
Divorce: Emergency Tumor Removal Surgery (5/01/15) Don Cripe Analogizing health care with other emergent situations may be a stretch to some, but it is valid. Couples on the bumpy glide to divorce are almost always in pain; they are facing one of the most dramatic life changes they will ever experience (some social scientists liken divorce to the death of a family member); the finances of the crisis are always a concern; and life after divorce will be disrupted for an indefinite time.
Conflict and Psychological Development: “Six Stages of Conflict Reasoning” (5/01/15) Donal O’Reardon In the 1960’s the psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg (1927-1987) listed six stages of moral development. Kohlberg says these stages can’t be jumped, you have to go through them in order. And they are universal, they apply no matter what culture you’re in. With a little thought we can link these to conflict and conflict resolution. Kohlberg’s stages don’t only tell us about a person’s moral reasoning, they also tell us what kind of conflict they get into and how we can help them to deal with it.
Computer Uses in the Law Office - Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow (4/29/15) Jim Melamed With the technologic advances over recent decades and their remarkable acceleration, it is clear that the legal profession needs to play a bit of catch-up by asking ourselves how can we best utilize all available communication capacities to elevate and expand the delivery of valuable legal information, advice, and services. Dream big! The future is not what it once seemed.
Getting on the Same Page Regarding Mediation in the Future (4/20/15) Stacy Roberts I agree with many other colleagues that going forward there should be a focus on public awareness, the training and licensing of mediators, but also, and maybe most importantly, the training of attorneys who will be using mediation. I say this because mediation is used when there is a dispute, so we know that litigation and mediation will almost always go hand in hand, and will therefore, almost always involve attorneys. So bear with me as I discuss the rationale for this thought process on the future of mediation and two recent observations that have led me to this conclusion.
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.
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.
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.
The 2015-16 Global Pound Conference Series - Prospectus (4/15/15) Jeremy Lack, Michael Mcilwrath “Shaping the Future of Dispute Resolution & Improving Access to Appropriate Justice." The goal of the Global Pound Conference (“GPC”) Series is to improve access to justice around the world by generating actionable data from stakeholders in the dispute prevention and resolution fields to facilitate greater access to appropriate dispute resolution (“ADR”) processes worldwide. Please join our efforts!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.