A lawsuit alleging sexual assault against Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has been dismissed following mediation that lasted until 3 a.m. Thursday. In the lawsuit, former exotic dancer Jana Weckerly accused Jones of forcibly touching her genitals and kissing her on the lips without her consent more than 5 years ago. Weckery alleges that the 2009 assault took place on the night a series of racy pictures were taken. Those pictures were released last month. Jones has denied the allegations. According to a public document, the plaintiff will get nothing, as the suit was filed outside the statute of limitations. “We are pleased with the Court’s Judgment against Ms. Weckerly. Ms. Weckerly’s allegations were false. This case is over,” said Jones’ attorney, Levi McCathern. Attorney Ed Klein says that there may be undisclosed terms of the agreement.
Pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong are brushing off an accusation that they are being influenced by foreign forces. Despite the standoff, student protest leaders are to resume talks with the government on Tuesday. For the first time in weeks the drama in Hong Kong is moving from the streets to the bargaining table. Mediation talks are set for Tuesday night and they will be televised. In the meantime protesters seem to be listening to their leaders, to sit-in, stay calm and avoid provoking police. Even the talks' mediator warned against rising expectations. The mediator was asked what the odds are of reaching an agreement? "I am not going to speculate at all about whether there will be a resolution but I hope because as part of the agreement this is not the only dialogue that will take place,” said Leonard Cheng.
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The Myth of Mediation Neutrality - book excerpt (8/08/14) Kevin Boileau The traditional view is that a mediator is a neutral, third party who helps two or more conflicting parties cooperatively resolve their differences. Interestingly enough, this belief is analogous to the Cartesian-Newtonian epistemological position that holds that one can be an independent observer of an objective world, in science or in daily life. However, I am skeptical about this position, both epistemologically and clinically. What remains an open question is whether a mediator can actually ever be a “neutral third.”
Beware of Ultimatums When Negotiating (8/01/14) John Sturrock Good negotiation involves lots of client moves, client satisfaction, flexible negotiators, . . . and few ultimatums. Remember these tips in order to get the best agreement for your client.
Do Your Surrounding Systems Support Your Inner Self? (8/01/14) Ralph Kilmann Are your surrounding systems separate from your inner self? I would like to address the observation that we typically define our sense of self as being separate from our surrounding systems. So I ponder: What are the consequences of keeping our sense of self (some integration of ego, soul, and self-worth) separate from our surrounding systems?
What the Supreme Court of India Got Right and What it Got Wrong (8/01/14) Niyata Samir Ghandi The Kluwer Arbitration Blog published an outsider’s perspective on the decision of the Supreme Court of India which has been applauded by international practitioners around the world since it curbed the jurisdiction of Indian courts over an arbitration agreement supplementing the pro-arbitration jurisprudence coming from the SCI over the last two years. The writer has commented not only as an outsider but also and more particularly as a Civil Lawyer, proposing an excellent alterative to the court’s approach. However, it may be necessary to have an insider’s perspective on the judgment.
Book Review: The Variegated Landscape of Mediation (7/31/14) Michael Leathes Never before has an attempt been made to capture the distinctive qualities and differences that combine to make mediation eclectic and also truly comprehensible. Until now. The Variegated Landscape of Mediation (Eleven International Publishing, July 2014) is a collaboration of around 90 of mediation's thought leaders from around the world. It is the first work that explains on a global plane how mediation has cross-pollinated itself into such a kaleidoscopic display of both consistent and contradictory features.
La Mediación en Costa Rica (7/25/14) Rosa Abdelnour A mediados de la década de los noventa se realizó en Costa Rica, por parte del Poder Judicial, una consulta ciudadana para evaluar la percepción acerca del sistema judicial. Los resultados mostraron descontento entre la población por el formalismo para acceder al sistema y la mora o duración de los procesos que se consideraba excesiva.
Understanding Each Party’s Power in Family Mediation-Arbitration: Why it is Critical (7/25/14) Hilary Linton A recent Ontario Superior Court of Justice decision illustrates the need for clearer guidelines for “screening for power imbalances and domestic violence”, a mandatory component of Ontario family arbitration. It also demonstrates the benefits for parties, lawyers and arbitrators in understanding that some methods of screening are more effective than others; and in ensuring that screening is done in accordance with the best practices before the mediation in a mediation-arbitration.
Mind the Gap: Mediation and Justice (7/25/14) Charlie Irvine This article examines the alleged gap between mediation and justice. It considers ideas of both substantive and procedural justice and examines persistent critiques of mediation as falling short of the supposed gold standard of litigation. It goes on to propose an alternative reading of mediation as a site where parties are empowered to negotiate not only the outcome of their dispute but the criteria by which that outcome is judged. This can be read as providing more rather then less justice, particularly in diverse societies where legal and social norms are contested.
Incremental Progress in Mediation: Baby Steps, Strategic Mediation & Less is More (7/22/14) Jim Melamed Taken from Jim Melamed's training manual, these introductory excerpts suggest that progress in mediation is necessarily incremental; that the mediator should in fact strategically focus on baby steps of progress that can be made; and that, in effectively mediating, the mediator should seek to "only do so much as is necessary" to stimulate available progress so as to not over-direct the process and allow participants to claim progress as their own.
Mediating Inheritance Disputes (7/18/14) Jeffrey Fink Inheritance disputes can be difficult to resolve. They are tied up in a lifetime of emotions toward the deceased and every other claimant under the will, as well as personal and spousal expectations of monetary gain. Here are 10 tips and tricks that have helped with this kind of dispute.
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
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!
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.
Perception and Parts in Mediation (7/10/14) Jim 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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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) Jim 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.