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09/20/2014

Muir Woods Mural Mediation To Start Monday

The future of the Muir Woods mural that adorns the Lincoln Blvd. and Ocean Park corner of Olympic High School in Santa Monica is uncertain, with parties for and against the current design, heading to mediation. The mural was created in 1978 in honor of conservationist John Muir, the original namesake of Olympic High, which was previously known as John Muir Elementary. In recent times the wall has fallen into disrepair, with all agreeing that a facelift of sorts is in order.


Has mediation turned the corner?

On Friday last week National Family Mediation (‘NFM’), the largest provider of family mediation in England and Wales, reported a significant rise in the take-up of its services in the first six months of 2014. Mediation is, of course, the government’s big answer to its abolition of legal aid for most private law family matters in April 2013. Instead of going to court, couples should resolve their disputes through mediation, or at least that is the idea.


Child abuse case going to mediation

A man accused of sexually abusing a girl for seven years may see his case end in mediation. Donald Lenz, 56, was scheduled to be tried Oct. 6 with first-and second-degree sodomy and first- and second-degree sexual abuse. Thursday, Circuit Court Judge William Clouse allowed all parties to meet in a mediation session, which will be before a retired judge. If an agreement is reached, it will be presented to the trial judge for approval.


McIlroy, former management company ordered into mediation

A High Court judge today ordered the world’s number one golfer Rory McIlroy and his former management company, Horizon Sports Management, to engage in peace talks over the next four weeks. McIlroy’s legal battle with Horizon also involves the affairs of his Ryder Cup team mate Graeme McDowell and Mr Justice Brian McGovern said it involved such sensitive matters that the sides should engage in mediation.


Divorce, Sanford Style: Social Media and Mediation

The Mark Sanford divorce saga has gone back behind closed doors: After a surge of attention to the South Carolina congressman’s rambling Facebook post on Friday about his private life, a family-court judge said today that Mr. Sanford and his ex-wife, Jenny, have agreed to mediation on parenting issues and other concerns.

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Don Cripe
Mediation: A Way Out or Hard Work? (7/18/14)
Don Cripe
After I closed my law practice in favor of providing full-time ADR services, I bumped into an old-time mediator whom I had known for many years. When I told him of the change in my career he commented, “So, you don’t want to work so hard anymore.” This article is my reflection on his observations.   1 Comment

Mary Aderibigbe
Insecurity in Nigeria : Focus on Social Protection (7/16/14)
Mary Aderibigbe
The spate of insecurity has become alarming. There have been calls for stringency of laws to bring culprits to justice. Security operatives go after the perpetrators and turn over those apprehended to the courts -- yet the conditions that breed revolt are worsening. This spells real danger!

Ron Supancic
Dance of Opposites - Book Review (7/11/14)
Ron Supancic
The Dance of Opposites, a new book by Dr. Kenneth Cloke, will change your life. You will never view conflict the same way again. If you only read one more book on the theory & practice of Conflict Resolution, make it this one.

L. Randolph Lowry
Pioneer Series: Negotiation is Replacing Litigation - Video (7/10/14)
L. Randolph Lowry
Randy Lowry discusses how some have been resistant to mediation education, but how it has been successful in changing legal processes and preventing litigation.

James Melamed
Perception and Parts in Mediation (7/10/14)
James Melamed
Seeking to be an effective mediator is a both challenging and fascinating endeavor. Essentially, the mediator is asked to assist participants who have some measure of disagreement, or at least lack of agreement, to reach sufficient agreement so as to be willing to call the situation "resolved." In this sense, the mediator seeks to move participants from "the circle of disagreement" to the "circle of agreement."

Ann Gosline
Remembering Jonathan Reitman (7/10/14)
Ann Gosline
We lost a leader and wise teacher of conflict resolution when Jonathan Reitman passed away on June 7th after more than a decade of working and living with cancer.   1 Comment


20 Questions Every Corporate General Counsel or Head of Litigation Might Very Well Ask (7/09/14)
Deborah Masucci, Michael Leathes
Being responsible for resolving a large number of disputes for any organization is a stressful occupation. It involves risk, cost and resources and navigating between leadership and management, success and failure as well as blame and experimentation. Although there is no magic bullet, the task can be aided considerably by harvesting the answers to the following twenty questions, and devising an action plan where weaknesses are exposed.


Living with 'ADR': Evolving Perceptions and Use of Mediation, Arbitration and Conflict Management in Fortune 1,000 Corporations (7/09/14)
J. Ryan Lamare, Tom Stipanowich
As attorneys for the world’s most visible clients, corporate counsel played a key role in the transformation of American conflict resolution in the late Twentieth Century. In 1997 a survey of Fortune 1,000 corporate counsel provided the first broad-based picture of conflict resolution processes within large companies. In 2011, a second landmark survey of corporate counsel in Fortune 1,000 companies captured a variety of critical changes in the ways large companies handle conflict. Comparing their responses to those of the mid-1990s, clear and significant evolutionary trends are observable, including a further shift in corporate orientation away from litigation and toward alternative dispute resolution (ADR).


Commercial Arbitration and Settlement: Empirical Insights into the Roles Arbitrators Play (7/09/14)
Zachary Ulrich, Tom Stipanowich
The Straus Institute recently conducted two major surveys of dispute resolution professionals: a survey of experienced arbitrators with the cooperation of the College of Commercial Arbitrators, and a survey of experienced mediators with the cooperation of the International Academy of Mediators. These studies produced a wide array of new information on arbitrator and mediator practices and perspectives that we hope will contribute to debate and discussion on many current professional issues. We are presently writing these up. The first fruit of these studies is the just-completed article Commercial Arbitration and Settlement: Empirical Insights into the Roles Arbitrators Play, which leads off the new Yearbook on Arbitration and Mediation.

James Melamed
Mediation: A Fascinating Journey (7/08/14)
James Melamed
Mediation is a fascinating journey. It is rational and irrational, cognitive and intuitive. And there is no shortage of challenge!

Frank Sander
Pioneer Series: Concerns and Optimism for Future - Video (7/07/14)
Frank Sander
Frank Sander reflects on his concerns within the field, which include the tension of quality vs. quantity of the practice, the lack of studies of cost effectiveness, disappointments with the court system fees, and the difficulty of getting more young people/apprentices into the field. However, he's optimistic about the future of mediation.

Richard Salem
Pioneer Series: CRS in Battle of Wounded Knee - Video (7/07/14)
Richard Salem
Richard Salem describes agency cutbacks as Community Relations Service was preventing violence in the Battle of Wounded Knee.

Bruce Provda
GPS and Divorce Mediation (7/07/14)
Bruce Provda
GPS systems are starting to make their way into divorce proceedings. When infidelity is suspected, being able to produce digital confirmation of an spouse’s movements can provide powerful ammunition and lay a strong foundation for the remainder of the mediation process.

Benjamin Seigel
Minimizing the Litigation Risk in Mediation (7/07/14)
Benjamin Seigel
Litigation is risky, uncertain and expensive. Mediation works when the factors discussed are put into play and when they are not, mediation may not have been the proper path to follow.   1 Comment

Carrie J. Menkel-Meadow
Pioneer Series: Is Mediation A Field? - Video (7/05/14)
Carrie J. Menkel-Meadow
Carrie Menkel-Meadow shares her thoughts about how mediation is a field, a sensibility a mindset that is shared and used in very different situations.

Joan B. Kelly, Ph.D.
Pioneer Series: Families Closer Post-Divorce - Video (7/04/14)
Joan B. Kelly, Ph.D.
Joan Kelly describes a research finding which concluded that families who mediated during the divorce had father's who were significantly more involved in their children's lives twelve years post-mediation.

Katherine Triantafillou
Being Grateful for Whatever Comes (7/04/14)
Katherine Triantafillou
Most mediation training sessions in the United States usually end somberly with handshakes, the exchange of business cards and perhaps a last bite of the refreshments that have been laid out for snacks during the day. Not so with the energetic group of mediators and facilitators who completed the third and final leg of training of the Athens Migration Dialogue Project in Athens, Greece.

Howard Bellman
Pioneer Series: Mediators Use Instinct - Video (7/01/14)
Howard Bellman
Howard Bellman talks about how little training and literature there was about mediation and being trained by senior mediators who used their instinct, which led him to mediate by instinct.

Chris Moore
Pioneer Series: Essence of Mediation - Video (7/01/14)
Chris Moore
Chris Moore shares a piece of a Robert Frost poem which he thinks represents the essence of mediation: finding a common good among people with different interests and different needs.

Richard Barbieri
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

Michael P. Carbone
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

Savannah Steele
Lack of Consumer Interest in Binding Arbitration Agreements (6/30/14)
Savannah Steele
This article takes a look into the Am. Exp. Co. v. Italian Colors Rest Supreme Court ruling, attempted Congressional remedies, and current studies on the rights of consumers in regards to binding arbitration clauses.

Constance Ahrons
Pioneer Series: Old Dissolution Model Was Damaging - Video (6/29/14)
Constance Ahrons
Constance Ahrons discusses the pre-joint-cutody model for the relationship between Ex-spouses. The cultural norm was to have no relationship, because that meant that the ex-spouses where hanging on.

Nina Meierding
Pioneer Series: Cultural Sensitivity while Training - Video (6/27/14)
Nina Meierding
Nina Meierding discusses her approach to mediation training in other countries. This involves being culturally sensitive, not imposing the Western model as it may not be useful for other cultures and their ways of problem-solving.

Sid Lezak
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.

Jeffrey Krivis
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

Mark Baril
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.

Heather Pincock
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.

Jerry Green
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.

James Melamed
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.

Caryn Cridland
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.

Dr. Lynne C. Halem
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.

Nina Meierding
Pioneer Series: Gender and Culture in Mediation - Video (6/12/14)
Nina Meierding
Nina Meierding explains putting theory to practice regarding studies of gender and culture in mediation. She describes being sensitive and respectful of diverse thought processes and communication methods.

Sid Lezak
Pioneer Series: Humor, Rapport, and Experience - Video (6/10/14)
Sid Lezak
Sid Lezak describes how he uses humor to lighten the mood of parties coming in and help them focus on what is in their best interests. He also talks about his vast experience and how his responses can be somewhat automatic.

Chris Moore
Pioneer Series: Problem Solving vs. Transformative Mediation - Video (6/09/14)
Chris Moore
Chris Moore talks about mediators who are problem solvers and those who attempt to transform the relationships and moral views of the parties; Moore's position is somewhere in the middle.

Kenneth Cloke
Pioneer Series: Mediation Skillset is Essential for our Survival - Video (6/08/14)
Kenneth Cloke
Kenneth Cloke discusses the significance of mediation and how the world needs to learn these skills in order for us to survive as a species.

John Sturrock
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.

Julian Ernesto Sccasso Losa
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

Jay Folberg
Pioneer Series: Field Combined Law and Social Work - Video (6/05/14)
Jay Folberg
Jay Folberg describes early on in the field when he, as a lawyer, collaborated with psychologists and social workers and they learned from each other.

Robert Benjamin
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.

Don Philbin
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.

Laura Kaster
Improve Your Judgment Like a Star Athlete Does (6/03/14)
Laura Kaster
Andre Agassi was admitted to the Tennis Hall of Fame in 2011. He still has something special to teach lawyers about improving our judgment.

Phyllis Pollack
Is There A Bad Faith Exception to Mediation Confidentiality? (6/03/14)
Phyllis Pollack
This articles analyzes an order of a federal court providing that mediation confidentiality would not apply to prevent an insurance company from using statements made during mediation to defend itself against claims of insurance bad faith.

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