A judge Tuesday ordered both sides to attempt to mediate a settlement in a lawsuit brought by a former State Bar executive who alleges he was fired for exposing ethical breaches within the agency responsible for the oversight of the state’s attorneys. “I would like you all to give it a shot with Judge MacLaughlin,” Beckloff said. “I’m giving you timeout to get something accomplished.”
As a business owner, you know how expensive legal fees can be, so the sooner you can settle disputes, the less costly it is. Mediation is a dispute resolution process in which parties agree to work out a legal matter themselves with the help of a third party. Mediation typically is a speedy process (certainly quicker than going to court) and can save you money on legal fees. Recommendations resulting from mediation aren’t binding on the parties, but usually are acceptable after completing the process. Here are 3 situations where you may want to consider using mediation before proceeding to litigation.
The president of Douglass College's alumnae association will recommend Monday that the group accept Rutgers University's offer to bring in a mediator to settle a dispute with the school. Jeanne Fox, president of the Associate Alumnae of Douglass College, said she plans to ask her group's executive board to agree to mediation at an evening meeting. Rutgers officials extended the offer to bring in a mediator last week after a fundraising dispute between the alumnae group and the university ended up in court.
A $14 million legal dispute between a treasure-hunting company and the state over access and media rights to Blackbeard's pirate ship has been sent to mediation. The case is pending with the N.C. Office of Administrative Hearings, and as of last week was referred to outside mediation. Intersal Inc. of Florida, which discovered the wreck of Queen Anne's Revenge off the North Carolina coast in 1996, says that the state has violated the terms of a contract it signed with the company in 2013. The issues include rights related to video and photography made of the wreck and the recovery, study and reproduction of its artifacts.
A bankruptcy judge has ordered the Roman Catholic Diocese of Gallup, N.M., its insurance carriers and lawyers representing 58 alleged sexual-abuse victims to begin mediation no later than July 15. Judge David Thuma, who oversees the diocese’s bankruptcy proceedings, signed off on mediation at the request of both alleged victims and the diocese, which stretches across broad swaths of northern Arizona and New Mexico. Mediation is likely the best opportunity to resolve the diocese’s bankruptcy case through a settlement that provides compensation to alleged victims and protects the church from future litigation, according to lawyers involved in the case. Other diocesan bankruptcies prompted by sexual-abuse claims have stretched out over years, racking up huge legal bills.
After years of false starts, the Boston Police Department is nearing a deal with its three unions and Harvard Law School to set up a simpler, speedier system for resolving many of the civilian complaints lodged against officers, police and Harvard officials say. Under the system, mediators from the Harvard Negotiation & Mediation Clinical Program at Harvard Law School would handle dozens of the more moderate disputes that clog up the department’s Internal Affairs Division, to the frustration of plaintiffs. Those grievances generally involve rudeness, unprofessional conduct, and abusive language. More severe cases would continue to be adjudicated by Internal Affairs.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
La Tercera Ola de los Mecanismos Alternativos de Solucion de Conflictos (3/01/15) Rafael Gonzalo Medina Rospigliosi Los Mecanismos Alternativos de Solución de Conflictos con su sigla MASC, engloban a un conjunto de procedimientos solucionadores de conflictos humanos, de manera autocompositiva, heterocompositiva o hibrida, sin utilizar la fuerza y ejecutados fuera del proceso judicial, es decir, con los MASC se crea soluciones no jurisdiccionales e inteligentes, caracterizados por ser no confrontacional, cooperativos, de autogestión y de protagonismo ciudadano, siendo incorporados el último decenio del siglo pasado, en los sistemas de justicia, en casi toda América Latina.
Be Less Certain—and More Flexible (2/27/15) Bernard Mayer The challenge we face is how to be adaptable but still focused and effective. To meet this challenge, we need to remain clear about our fundamental purpose, to keep working on refining our skills and enhancing the range of approaches we can take to achieving those purposes, to commit to diversifying our field, and to maintain a clear hold on our values and ethical principles.
Revolution Calling (2/27/15) John Licciardello The Need For Increased Coordination Among Divorce Professionals:
The divorce experience starts early...perhaps in the therapists office and the Wednesday reading group where the decision is made...quietly... to move on. And once the papers are signed there are months of recovery, both financial and psychological, until a sense of "normal" is achieved. The whole process can take several years from start to finish, and involves a host of professionals. So it is no small surprise that the outcomes are varied and often poor.
Don't Rush (2/26/15) Christian Radu Chereji, Constantin-Adi Gavrila There is a lot of talk nowadays about the apparent failure of mediation to live up to its potential. Reports published on paper and online, presented before institutions or at various conferences, point to the relatively low number of mediation cases compared to the number of lawsuits filling the logs of the courts and then draw the inevitable conclusion that mediation has missed the opportunity of (be)coming mainstream.
Mediating Divorce Agreements: The Problems and the Potential (2/26/15) Larry Gaughan It was really exciting to be part of the divorce mediation movement when it became national around 1980. Almost everyone seemed to be aware of the problems with the adversarial system of divorce, and mediation held the promise of a process that was more personal and far less expensive and time consuming. Mediation training was mainly focused on divorce agreements, and those training courses rapidly became a major source of income for the trainers.
Ética y Profesionalismo del Mediador: Una Receta Para el Éxito Profesional (2/26/15) Josefina Rendon Hace varios años en Houston, Texas, asistí a una interesante presentación sobre acuerdos escritos y otros temas de mediación para abogados. La diferencia entre los dos exponentes me pareció tan diferente que todavía los recuerdo después de tantos años. Un exponente habló en términos de movidas, estrategias y “trucos del negocio”. El otro habló en términos de buenas prácticas y normas éticas.
Time Traveling (2/25/15) Jan Frankel Schau Litigation and mediation need to change in the future. People have new expectations about interacting with professionals, and the wise mediator will make note of these changes and incorporate these new trends in their practice.
Branding the Industry of Mediation (2/20/15) Leslie Short We were all trained to be aware of “what's in our bags” or to phrase it differently, what each person brings to the table. Then we’re told you must not bring anything to the table but the ability to listen and ask open-ended questions.
The Mediation Future (2/20/15) Tracy Allen So long as market users , i.e. the true decision makers, remain dependent on their legal counsel to select, direct and control the mediation/negotiation process, there is likely to be little advancement in public education about the importance and availability of mediation.
APR: Alternative Political Resolution (2/20/15) Alex Azarov Mediation has proven to me that adversarial litigation is an archaic way to resolve many of our conflicts. I think it's logical that we the best for the future is to use mediation to resolve the political deadlocks that are plaguing our societies, transforming democracy from the divisive popularity contest that it has become to the participatory civic engagement that so many have fought for.
Philosophy of Mediation (2/13/15) Zeno Daniel Sustac When we speak about the philosophy of mediation we inherently have to relate to the philosophy of law and the philosophy of conflict. The philosophy of mediation is a present-day subject and of interest among the specialists in the Alternative Dispute Resolution field.
We Need a Better Consensus About Negotiation Theory (2/13/15) John Lande In previous posts, I argued that there are serious problems with the general consensus on negotiation theory reflected most clearly in Getting to Yes. I described problems with the system of negotiation models, which assumes that most or all negotiations can fit into two models of highly-correlated variables (or a few variations of these models).
Ambiguity and Mediation (2/06/15) Jacques Joubert Some time ago I acted pro deo – instructed by the state but literally meaning for God – for a client who was on trial for murdering his victims with the heavy wooden handle of a pickaxe. It was a difficult case, but I learned a lot about high conflict mediation.
The Business of Mediation (2/06/15) Becky Bartness Many mediators are drawn to this field because they have a calling to help. This article reminds us that the work we do is valuable. It is important to see mediation as a legitimate business--and then the public will begin reflecting that view.
After the Conflict is Resolved (2/06/15) Jeffrey Fink It does not matter who you are, or whether you are fighting on behalf of yourself or your organization. As a conflict is prolonged, people repeat and rehearse the story over and over again in their minds. When it is time to move on, it can be hard to disengage.
Negotiation Advocacy and the Future of Alternative Dispute Resolution (2/03/15) Nathan Witkin One promising and yet underdeveloped segment of the alternative dispute resolution movement is negotiation advocacy. Roles such as collaborative attorney and conflict coach are allowing ADR practitioners to enhance their clients’ experience at the negotiation table with communication coaching and a style of advocacy that is cooperative in nature.
The “Peter Principle” Revisited (2/03/15) Elizabeth Kent In celebration of its 20th year, Mediate.com has challenged us to think about the future. Where should the field be 20 years from now? I decided to look to the past, and specifically at one person, to learn from past experience about what has helped to move the field forward.
F=T(Q+I) F = The Future; T=Trust; Q=Quality; I=Information (2/02/15) Deborah Masucci, Michael Leathes The Future of mediation hangs on several factors. Probably the most important is Trust. If mediation is not widely trusted by users, it has a mediocre future. This is simply because mediation depends on the parties, who usually do not trust each other, fully trusting the mediator and the mediation process. Unfortunately, mediation appears to stand some way down the trust stakes.
Mediation Past, Present, and Future…. (2/02/15) Michelle Brenner Mediation has been part of the story of mankind. The word mediation may be part of the 20th century English vocabulary, but the meaning behind it has roots and seeds that have been developed as long as mankind has existed.
Without Compulsion: Teaching Mediators Empathy (1/30/15) Gregorio Billikopf When we are in conflict, our counterparts become our enemies. We block positive feelings we may have about them. We may try and bravely think of something good to say, but emotional leakage gives away the pain we are feeling. It is difficult to move our counterpart out of the enemy camp, and even more difficult to say something positive about him or her.
Technology (1/30/15) Joe Markowitz If somebody were to ask me (actually somebody did ask me) about the future of conflict resolution, my answer would have to include technology. Technology is already enabling us to do things that would have been unimaginable only, say, 20 years ago.