Mediation Today
June 2015

6/29
  • FMCS Mediators Assist Energy Department and Industry Groups Establish Groundbreaking Energy Savings Standards

    In what has been hailed as the biggest energy-saving standards rulemaking in Department of Energy history, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) assisted industry, government and advocacy groups to achieve major new consensus energy standards for commercial heating and air conditioning equipment. These standards could save nearly 15 quadrillion BTUs (quads) of energy over 30 years and reduce energy consumption and costs by billions of dollars over the lifespan of the equipment. read



  • Middle East construction disputes almost double

    Construction disputes in the Middle East region grew to their highest value since 2011, growing to $76.7 million last year. Arcadis building consultancy, in its report ‘Global Construction Disputes: The Higher the Stakes, the Bigger the Risk’, says the value of disputes rose almost doubled the previous year’s total of $40.9 million in 2013 (increase of 88 percent). read



  • Strip Club to Pay Dancers $6 Million in Mediated Class Action Settlement

    The owners of one of South Florida's most popular strip clubs have agreed to settle a big-time class-action lawsuit filed by former dancers over pay. The parent company that's behind Scarlett's Cabaret in Hallandale Beach as well as two other clubs agreed to fork over $6 million. That means more than 4,700 current and former dancers might be entitled to a payout. read



  • Pender school board to seek budget mediation

    The Pender County Board of Education approved a resolution that will — probably Monday, but no later than Tuesday — bring the school board and the county commissioners into mediation. read



  • Seminoles seek mediation in stalemate over blackjack

    The Seminole Tribe of Florida on Wednesday asked Gov. Rick Scott to enter into “dispute resolution” after failing to ink a deal with the state to keep blackjack at its casinos. In a letter sent to Scott and legislative leaders, tribal chairman James Billie also said the Seminoles may have grounds to keep offering card games and not pay the state millions of dollars each year. read



  • Runners Without Borders Brings Jewish And Arab Teens Together

    A group of teens in Jerusalem is making strides toward interfaith understanding. Runners Without Borders brings young people from Jewish and Arab homes together for spirited runs on one of the most hotly contested pieces of real estate in the world. read



6/26
  • 'Taj on Swan': Mediation could determine future of unfinished Perth mansion

    Onsite mediation between lawyers for Radhika Oswal and the Peppermint Grove shire has been ordered to take place at the unfinished mansion dubbed the “Taj on Swan”. In a directions hearing at the State Administrative Tribunal on Tuesday, senior member Maurice Spillane set a September 1 date for a mediation between the two parties — including an onsite inspection of the property. Radhika Oswal’s lawyers are appealing the demolition order that was issued by the council for the building in April. read



  • Mediated Agreement: Sweet Briar College to remain open; alumnae make $12 million commitment

    Attorney General Mark Herring revealed late Saturday a plan that would keep Sweet Briar College open had been agreed upon by officials from the college, an attorney for Amherst County and the group fighting to keep the all-women’s private college from closing. Herring said the agreement was reached after “hundreds of hours of mediation and discussion among all parties.” read



6/23
  • What is Divorce Arbitration?

    Divorce arbitration occupies a unique position in the growing field of alternate dispute resolution. Let’s start by stating what it is not. It is not mediation where divorcing parties meet with a trained person who will hopefully assist them in achieving a settlement through a process of discussion, negotiation and compromise. Quite simply, some cases call for more than mediation can provide, especially if the parties are less than trustful of each other and a more firm, formal approach is appropriate. read



  • Should Ed Sheeran mediate for the U.N.?

    If Ed Sheeran ever tires of being a pop music star, perhaps he should consider working as a mediator for the United Nations. So far this year, the 24-year-old English singer-songwriter has won over two of his most outspoken detractors, former Oasis leader Noel Gallagher and Isle of Wight festival producer John Giddings. Championed by Taylor Swift and Jamie Foxx, the English singer-songwriter has managed to extend olive branch to such past critics as Oasis veteran Noel Gallagher. read



  • Extra! Hope For Greece Deal After “Intensive Mediation"

    As European Union and Greek leaders struggle to reach a deal to keep Greece in the Eurozone, the German daily describes Varoufakis’ untucked and non-ironed shirt as “civilian clothes”, above the headline “Intensive Mediation Efforts Before Greece Crisis Summit. read



  • TX victim-offender mediation bill vetoed

    Texas Gov. Greg Abbott vetoed a bill from a local state representative seeking to import the civil law process of mediation into criminal law. State Rep. Mark Keough, R-The Woodlands, said he is disappointed Abbott did not sign House Bill 3184 into law after it passed both legislative chambers this session. read



  • Oregon Bill Would Increase Incentives To Mediate Farming Disputes

    Oregon farmers could soon be more likely to use a mediator to help settle their disputes with neighboring farmers. Lawmakers could give final approval as soon as Thursday to a bill that's meant to head off lawsuits. An example of a potential dispute would be if one farmer wants to grow organic crops, but a neighboring farmer is planting genetically engineered crops. The potential for cross-pollination could devalue the first farmer's harvest. Democratic Representative Brian Clem said the bill would set up a mediation process to help keep such disputes out of court. read



6/18
  • Trace Adkins’ Divorce Settled During Mediation

    Trace Adkins’ divorce was reportedly settled out of court, during private mediation. The country music superstar’s estranged wife, Rhonda, originally sought a $20 million settlement and full custody of their three daughters. However, the former couple eventually compromised and have reached an amicable agreement. read



  • Austria on mediation mission as tension rises in eurozone

    Tensions are rising in the eurozone and after a day of bitter recriminations between Greece and the EU Commission President, Austria’s Chancellor Werner Faymann, is to go to Athens to make a last-ditch effort to repair relations. read



  • Quinn Family Enters Mediation in 2.3 Billion Euro Loan Battle

    The family of former Irish billionaire Sean Quinn is set to enter mediation in their legal fight to be released from liability for loans of more than 2.3 billion euros ($2.6 billion), the largest civil court case linked to the nation’s financial collapse. The wife and five adult children of Ireland’s one-time richest man say the former Anglo Irish Bank Corp. illegally gave them loans in 2008 to shore up their investment in the bank and prop up its shares. The family is seeking damages. read



  • Foreclosure mediation program averts hundreds of foreclosures

    A state foreclosure-mediation program has helped hundreds Oregonians stay in their homes, though even more fail to reach an agreement with their lenders and thousands don't participate at all. The mediation program, launched in its current form in 2013, gives homeowners an opportunity meet with their loan servicer to discuss ways avoid a foreclosure. The program is self-sufficient, paid for through fees charged to participating homeowners and servicers. New numbers from the Oregon Department of Justice show that from the beginning of the program through May of this year, more than 1,700 Oregonians reached agreements with their bank through the program, and nearly 1,500 got to stay in their home. At least 500 cases more were withdrawn when the homeowner and lender reached an agreement on their own. read



  • 'Mediation' an option, according to people suing Flint over its high water bills

    Plaintiffs in a lawsuit to reduce Flint's high water bills say they would like to reach a deal. The appeals court ruled Flint’s emergency manager lacked the authority to raise water rates. The case now heads back to the lower court. City Councilman Scott Kincaid is one of several Flint residents named in the lawsuit as plaintiffs. He says he would like to see the city eliminate the rate increase and discuss repaying city water users. “Either let us go back to court…or maybe we can do some sort of mediation…arbitration,” says Kincaid. read



6/16
  • Mediator may hold key to Tiburon fisheries flap

    An independent mediator might provide a way to resolve issues prompting San Francisco State University to boot a popular Marin fisheries program from the Romberg Center for Environmental Studies, officials agreed. As protests mounted about the university’s eviction of the Tiburon Salmon Institute from the Romberg campus, where the institute manages a 42-year-old fish-rearing and release program involving schoolchildren, Romberg’s director agreed mediation might be helpful after months of fruitless negotiation. read



  • Judge orders mediation in Canyon Ridge case

    The civil suit involving the ill-fated Canyon Ridge conference center development already has broken county records for longest trial and, in all likelihood, for largest jury verdict. And it's far from over.  On Thursday, Hamilton County Circuit Court Judge J.B. Bennett tacked another $4,470,628 in prejudgment interest onto the compensatory and punitive damages already totaling $31.5 million. A hearing scheduled for June 30 will address a motion for new trial and other requests from the defense, which could alter the amount of the damages. It's also possible that the parties could settle.  On Thursday, Bennett ordered both sides to seek mediation.  read



  • MSC Alaska salmon mediation process revives

    The mediation process between Alaska salmon suppliers -- the Alaska Salmon Processors Association (ASPA) and the Trident Seafoods-led group of processors aiming to rejoin the group -- is still going. The mediation process was suspended after the mediation meeting held June 8, but both sides continue to discuss the implications of an agreement, and what it might take to come to one, a source with knowledge of the process told Undercurrent News. read



6/15
  • Uber loses bid for arbitration in driver lawsuit

    A U.S. District Judge in San Francisco has rejected on-demand transportation company Uber’s bid to enforce arbitration agreements on its drivers, clearing the way for a driver lawsuit to go ahead. In a ruling Tuesday, Judge Edward Chen said the arbitration provisions contained in both the 2013 and 2014 versions of Uber’s contracts with its drivers “are both procedurally and substantively unconscionable” and therefore “unenforceable.” The ruling was based on unclear wording in those contracts, as well as the “largely illusory” nature of drivers being able to opt-out of the 2013 arbitration agreement. read



6/09
  • Mediation Date Set For Dispute Over Alamo Library

    The Daughters of the Republic of Texas and the General Land Office have set a date to wage the next Battle of the Alamo. Both entities claim ownership of the Alamo Research Center, a collection of over 38,000 items related to Texas history that sits on the Alamo grounds. The DRT has sued the Land Office for the collection. Mediation between the two parties will take place on July 9 — just one day before the DRT will relinquish its control over the Alamo, which it has managed for over 100 years. read



  • Mediation and technology focus on scourge of late payments

    The UK government has become the latest to address a bane of many small businesses: late payment. The average small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) in the UK is owed more than £30,000 with some £32bn outstanding in total. “It’s enough to force a company into insolvency,” Sajid Javid said in his first speech as business minister in May. read



  • Scaled-back GMO mediation bill advances

    A bill aimed at encouraging mediation over biotech crop disputes is poised to become law in Oregon, but the original idea has been modified. Notably, if a lawsuit is filed, a judge “may impose sanctions” against a farmer who refuses mediation and “may consider that unwillingness when determining whether to grant or deny a preliminary injunction.” read



  • How Lawyers Can Be The Most Effective Advocates In A Mediation

    Mediation is a collaborative process that allows parties to reach a resolution in a way that is far more flexible than through a court proceeding. The parties’ ability in a mediation to determine the resolution of their dispute is a unique possibility in any area of the law. read


  • Orr: Mediation best hope for Detroit water deal

    By the end of this week, leaders from the city of Detroit and Oakland, Macomb and Wayne Counties could do something truly remarkable: set aside more than four decades of stalemates and mutual mistrust to create the Great Lakes Water Authority. read



  • Juvenile Dependency Mediation

    Dependency mediation is concerned with any and all issues related to child protection. Dependency mediation is based on a very simple premise: A confidential discussion among the parties may lead to positive results. read



  • Facebook, Consumers Agree To Take Privacy Battle To Mediation

    Facebook will attempt to resolve a dispute with consumers who are suing the company for allegedly violating wiretap laws by scanning the “private” message that users send to each other, according to new court papers. The company and lawyers for the consumers recently told U.S. District Court Judge Phyllis Hamilton that they have agreed to meet with a mediator by no later than Aug. 24. On Thursday, Hamilton signed an order sending the potential class-action to mediation. read



  • Elder Mediation Could Soon Become a Staple in Age-Related Care

    Mom has Alzheimer's disease, your siblings refuse to talk to one another, and your kids are too busy to lend a helping hand. Somehow, all the caregiving duties have been left to you. What to do? Call an elder mediator. You may not have heard the term before, but, with an aging population, the emerging practice of elder mediation could soon become a staple in age-related care. read



  • CT House Overwhelmingly Approves Extension Of Foreclosure Mediation

    he House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to extend the state's foreclosure mediation through 2019, a compromise bill accepted by banking lobbyists. The vote was 140-2 in favor of the bill, which still needs a vote in the Senate. The bill says, "The size of such program shall be determined by available funding and the number and need of participants in such program." read



6/01
  • Can Finland Act As a Mediator on Cyber Norms?

    The creation of international norms for cyberspace is a necessity and the world needs peace negotiators. Someone must take the lead in shaping shared cyber norms. Finland is a perfect candidate. It has a thriving tech sector and an official policy of neutrality. As a middle-power, it may be easier for Finland to help parties find a middle ground on the development of cyber norms given that it lacks great power ambitions. Finland is also recognized as a reliable, constructive and credible partner, and has a track record when it comes to international mediation.



  • Strengthening Troubled Sibling Bonds to Deal With an Aging Parent

    Unlike traditional psychotherapy, which can take years to unearth entrenched problems, mediation is more focused on the present. The mediator does not advocate the viewpoint of any one person; rather, he or she acts as an impartial third party, helping resolve conflicts in ways that are acceptable to everyone. read



  • Dispute over MLK Bible, Nobel prize headed for mediation

    A legal battle over the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s traveling Bible and 1964 Nobel Peace Prize is headed for court-ordered mediation, and lawyers for both sides said Wednesday they hope for a lasting resolution to issues that have long divided the civil rights icon's heirs. read



  • From St. Pete Patch: "Nude Mediation Lands Man in Jail"

    Oy!  Will the media confusion about mediation never end?  "Motorists who happened by a St. Petersburg bus stop last week may have gotten more than an eyeful courtesy of a man police say was engrossed in meditation. While that act of reflection normally doesn’t result in an arrest, it did for 46-year-old Carl Wright. It seems the man, described as a transient by police, happened to be meditating in the buff, according to an email from the agency." read



May 2015

5/26
  • There Are No Do-Overs in Mediation

    Most mediations begin and end in a single day. As much as the parties would benefit from a leisurely pace to explore all the factual and legal issues, today’s practice is to schedule only one day, or even a half-day, to mediate a settlement. The result is often a settlement reached when counsel and parties are exhausted. read



  • Foreclosure Mediation Helps 172 Homeowners on Big Island

    A partnership between Ku’ikahi Mediation Center and West Hawai’i Mediation Center with support from the Third Circuit Court, has helped 172 homeowners avoid foreclosure through the Hawai’i Island Foreclosure Mediation Program. The program allows lenders and borrowers to use mediation services while in judicial foreclosure. In addition, homeowners who are in pre-foreclosures can opt for mediation as an alternative to court. read



  • Mediator appointed in lawsuit over $75M loan for 38 Studios

    The judge overseeing the lawsuit over a failed $75 million state-backed loan for 38 Studios appointed a mediator on Tuesday, saying it could help avoid a trial over the deal with the now-defunct video game company owned by former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling. read



  • GMO mediation bill encounters opposition

    A bill that would encourage mediation over GMO conflicts in Oregon is now facing opposition after initially facing no controversy. After an uncontroversial start, legislation that would require mediation for disputes over biotech crops in Oregon is now facing opposition from critics of genetic engineering. read



  • Barbershop Raid Case Settles After Full Appeals Court Orders Mediation

    A civil rights case over a raid on a Florida barbershop has settled for $125,000, leaving unresolved a federal appeals question about whether law enforcement officers can be liable for constitutional violations committed by other officers. The issue was important enough that the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit heard en banc arguments in the case in February, but it promptly ordered the case to mediation. read



5/18
  • City and retaining wall owners ordered to try mediation

    The city of Moline and the owners of a crumbling retaining wall on 12th Street on Monday were ordered to mediation to try and settle the terms of its repair. The wall has been in disrepair for years, and more recently, large sections have fallen onto the sidewalk. read



  • Gearbox And 3D Realms Settle Duke Nukem Lawsuit Via Mediation

    The year-old lawsuit over an unauthorized Duke Nukem game has been settled out of court. Gearbox, which brought Duke Nukem Forever to completion after 12 years in development limbo, filed suit against 3D Realms over the announced (and since altered) Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction. According to filings, Gearbox re-asserted its legal position on May 12. That same day, the court accepted a filing indicating that a mediated settlement had been reached on May 8. read



  • Paparazzo Trial Against Justin Bieber Delayed For Mediation Attempt

    Justin Bieber’s attorneys and lawyers for a photographer suing him over an alleged attack back in May 2012 have agreed to delay the scheduled start of a civil suit trial on May 12 in order to try and settle the case. According to court papers filed by Bieber’s lawyers, a mediation session will take place on May 22 so that both parties can reach a settlement in the civil lawsuit filed by Jose Osmin Hernandez Duran in Los Angeles Superior Court in June 2013. The trial is rescheduled for June 16. read



  • A Case for Mediation

    Everyone wants to feel heard, and, particularly in conflict -- when emotions are often inflamed -- it's easy for understanding to be compromised and agreement to seem impossible. Mediation, a form of alternative dispute resolution, can remedy that. read



  • Mediation set in missing South Thomaston money case

    A mediation session between South Thomaston and two former firefighters accused of unjustly enriching themselves with nearly $15,000 earmarked for a new fire truck will be held next month.
      read



  • Hospitals, senior communities benefitting from mediation

    Two industries that significantly benefit from the mediation boom are hospitals and senior communities. There are a number of significant reasons that these industries are starting to take notice of mediation as a standard practice. read



  • To Keep Trusts Private, Estate Planners Avoid Litigation

    When you are rich, trusts can help keep everyone from one day knowing just how rich. Of course, trusts serve a lot of other purposes, many of them related to passing wealth along to children and other beneficiaries. And when fights break out over how assets are distributed and to whom, the shield of privacy can start to crack. If a dispute makes it into court, all bets regarding privacy are generally off, estate lawyers say. “If it is going to be litigated, you can’t really protect that trust” from prying eyes, says Nancy Chemtob, an attorney specializing in family law at Chemtob Moss & Forman LLP in New York. read



5/15 5/12
  • NFLPA hoping Robert Kraft makes case for independent arbitration

    In the NFL's personal conduct policy, it is commissioner Roger Goodell who holds the last word on the disciplinary and appeal processes. And in result, it is Goodell who will hold the last word when it comes to New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's looming suspension. But a league source has told Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio that the NFL Players Association hopes Patriots owner Robert Kraft pushes for neutral arbitration in the matter. The feeling within the NFLPA is that Kraft wants Goodell to outsource the arbitration to an independent entity, according to Florio. read



  • Subcommittee recommends ending Nevada’s Foreclosure Mediation Program

    A joint money subcommittee Wednesday recommended shutting down Nevada’s Foreclosure Mediation Program, citing a recovering housing market and fewer participants than at the height of the recession when the program was established. Overseen by the Nevada Supreme Court, the Foreclosure Mediation Program was created by the Legislature in 2009 as the state’s economy tanked and the housing market collapsed. According to statistics presented during Wednesday’s hearing, completed mediations have declined from a high of 7,558 in the 2011 fiscal year to a projected low of 662 in 2017. Effectiveness is also waning. In 2010, 40 percent of homeowners who went through the program retained their homes. Projections estimate 15 percent by the end of the upcoming fiscal year. read



  • Princeton: Mediation could resolve lawsuit over university's property tax exemption

    A lawsuit challenging Princeton University’s property tax exemption could be headed to mediation, in a case with implications for the school and local taxpayers. Lawyers for the school and four Princeton residents who have sued in state tax court are seeing if they can agree on a mediator, both parties said this week. Options the university has suggested include finding a retired state appeals court or Supreme Court judge to act as a neutral third-party. read



  • Dominion opts for mediation to resolve latest NRC findings

    Dominion Resources will enter into a third-party mediation process with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to resolve issues raised by three apparent violations at the Millstone Power Station recently identified by the NRC. Ken Holt, spokesman for Millstone, said Monday that the company is seeking an “efficient and amicable resolution of the investigation findings.” The company informed the NRC Friday that it is opting for the Alternative Dispute Resolution Process in response to apparent violations the NRC found at Unit 2. read



  • Raul Castro Thanks Pope for US Mediation Role

    Cuban President Raul Castro visited the Vatican Sunday to personally thank Pope Francis for the pontiff's efforts to end five decades of tensions between the United States and Cuba, as the two countries resume diplomatic ties. The Cuban leader met with the Argentine-born Francis for nearly an hour as the two men spoke in their native Spanish. Francis, the leader of the world's Roman Catholics, was instrumental in the secret negotiations between Havana and Washington leading to the announcement in December that the two countries are taking steps to reopen embassies in their capitals and broaden economic links. read



  • Courts offer new mediation program

    The court process can be time consuming, expensive and emotionally draining. Fees may escalate well beyond the original estimate, and the time it takes to reach a decision in our busy courts can be lengthy. Many times, relationships suffer from the pressure. And once a case is submitted to a jury or judge for decision, the outcome may not satisfy any party. In recognition of these circumstances, Napa Superior Court in collaboration with the Napa County Bar Association has recently established a voluntary civil mediation program. read



5/07
  • California Justices Set to Retool Curbs on Arbitration Agreements

    The California Supreme Court may be preparing to overhaul the way it evaluates arbitration agreements for enforceability in a case over a contract that two lower courts found impermissibly harsh and one-sided. Over the past three decades, California's high court has embraced a variety of terms to describe arbitration agreements it deemed unconscionable: they were "unreasonably favorable" to one party, "unfairly one-sided," "overly harsh," "unduly oppressive" or "so one-sided as to shock the conscience." During arguments Tuesday in Gil Sanchez v. Valencia Holding, the justices invited lawyers to propose a more consistent test for unconscionability that would not unravel the court's prior holdings. read



  • Business principles 101: Settle deals with arbitration, not in court

    After the court trial I asked my attorney what I could do to prevent this from ever happening again. He said, “Simple; add a clause to your sales contract that requires the parties to settle disputes by binding arbitration. read



  • Where Does Marital Mediation Fit In?

    Where does marital mediation fit into the construct of "facilitative", "evaluative" and "transformative"? It has characteristics of all of these, as well as John Fiske's construct of "control" and "acknowledgement", depending on the situation, the mediator's preference, experience and style, and the clients' needs and visions for what the marital mediation should accomplish. read



  • 3 Business Situations That Are Ripe for Mediation

    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. read



  • Rutgers fight with Douglass alumnae may be headed to mediator

    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. read



  • $14 million dispute over Blackbeard pirate ship goes to mediation

    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. read



  • Police, Harvard near deal to mediate civilian complaints

    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. read



5/04
  • Judge orders mediation in ex-State Bar exec's suit for retaliatory firing

    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.” read



  • Gallup Diocese, Abuse Victims to Begin Mediation

    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. read



April 2015

4/28
  • UK businesses must prepare for online dispute resolution, says expert

    UK businesses should prepare now for settling disputes with consumers through a system of online mediation and anticipate a further shift towards online dispute resolution in future too, an expert has said.Specialist in IT disputes resolution David McIlwaine of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com, said it was "reassuring" to see one of the most senior judges in England and Wales focus his attention on the subject of ODR in a recent speech. read



  • Lawmaker sex harassment claims go to mediation

    The longstanding, high-profile lawsuits of legislative staff members accusing state representatives of sexual harassment, retaliation and other misconduct are headed to mediation. Attorneys for three women and the Legislative Research Commission, a defendant in the cases, said Tuesday that all parties have agreed to mediation that they hope will finally resolve the cases. read



  • Use and Perception of International Commercial Mediation and Conciliation: An Empirical Study

    S.I. Strong, Associate Professor of Law and Senior Fellow, Center for the Study of Dispute Resolution at the University of Missouri School of Law, has published, “Use and Perception of International Commercial Mediation and Conciliation: An Empirical Study,” In her paper, Professor Strong examines empirical data collected about the use and perception of commercial mediation and conciliation in both the international business and legal arenas. read



  • Judge recommends mediation between mall, yogurt business

    At a pretrial hearing in a lawsuit filed by the Charleston Town Center against a West Virginia yogurt business, a Kanawha County judge on Thursday recommended mediation for the two sides and received a letter indicating bankruptcy proceedings underway for a longtime state legislator. read



  • Harding St. quadruple murder house to become center for mentoring and mediation

    The west side house where four people were found murdered in March will be turned into a center for mentoring and mediation, the non-profit Be More Positive Company announced Monday. read



  • RadioShack agrees to mediation over sale of customer data

    RadioShack has agreed to mediation with state attorneys general concerned about the electronic retailer's planned sale of customer data as part of its bankruptcy reorganization. A RadioShack attorney told a Delaware bankruptcy judge Tuesday that the mediation, which will include a consumer privacy ombudsman, will start May 14. That's after a scheduled May 11 auction for intellectual property assets including the names and addresses of millions of RadioShack customers. read



4/27
  • And What is Your Biggest Achievement in Mediation?

    Once I was informed by Nan Waller Burnett that her colleagues from the organization Mediators Beyond Borders International (MBB) were heading for Prague and that we might organize a meeting with them I did not hesitate a minute. For the work of this NGO is simply admirable. How to build a more peace “able” world. read



  • Forced Arbitration Leaving Consumers High and Dry

    Data confirm that forced arbitration gives consumers little recourse or relief. With the completion of its study of forced arbitration, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau now has the authority to prohibit the practice in the financial markets it oversees. The bureau has made a compelling case for doing so. Forced arbitration clauses, widely found in take-it-or-leave it contracts for checking accounts, prepaid cards, credit cards and other financial services, require consumers to give up the right to go to court in the event of a dispute. Instead, you are forced to bring your case to a private arbitration firm that has been chosen by the company – your opponent in the dispute. The CFPB’s data show how unfair this increasingly common corporate practice is, and how damaging it can be to the financial marketplace. read



4/24
  • Oregon GMO critics, proponents agree on mediation system

    Disputes over genetically modified crops would be mediated by Oregon farm regulators under legislation that has won support from biotech critics and proponents. Mediators from the Oregon Department of Agriculture would help resolve coexistence conflicts among growers of biotech, conventional and organic crops as part of House Bill 2509, which is headed for a vote on the House floor. A farmer who refuses to participate in such mediation and later loses a lawsuit in the dispute would be required to pay the opposing party’s costs and attorney fees. In conflicts over infringing farm practices — such as unwanted cross-pollination between crops — ODA officials would also oversee the collection of samples to establish a “chain of custody.” read



  • Dueling neighbors: It's time for mediation in a Shadyside bed-and-breakfast

    Zoning battles in residential neighborhoods have been a fact of life as long as there have been property rights. The Mansion at Maple Heights, a bed and breakfast owned and operated in Shadyside by former Steelers lineman Chukky Okobi, has generated a protracted battle with some of the neighbors. The dispute at its heart is very simple. Mr. Okobi has a large tent on the property that he would like to continue offering for social events. The neighbors insist that the party tent is a source of noise and violates the legal criteria for a permitted business “accessory.” read



4/22
  • Keeping the peace at Pine Ridge Elementary

    It’s not easy to become a Peacemaker. Anyone in the fourth grade can apply, but not all applicants are chosen for an interview with Linn and the current group of Peacemakers. Linn weighs in on who is chosen, but the kids are involved in the selection process, too. Those who make the cut get an important lesson in leadership. read



  • Secrets of a Successful Divorce Mediation

    As a former litigator turned mediator, I'm frequently asked why divorce mediation works. My response is a list of benefits: "faster, costs less, resolves conflict, calms emotions instead of amping everyone up." But today, when reading Teri McCowen's blog on ChickChainWalkingClub.com about the power of listening, I realized I haven't been answering the question of why mediation works. Teri hit the nail on the head in her description of what it feels like to be with a master listener. read



  • Uber lawsuit over alleged India rape heading to mediation

    A lawsuit filed in California against Uber Technologies by a woman who alleged she was raped by a driver while taking a trip in Delhi appears to be heading to mediation. Both parties have asked the court for permission to proceed with the process, known as “alternative dispute mediation,” with a private mediator. They didn’t specify a deadline for coming up with a resolution. The filing comes just over a week after Uber petitioned the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California to throw out the complaint. It said the court in San Francisco lacked jurisdiction because the two parties are both Indian citizens and the alleged rape occurred in India. read



4/20
  • Gov. Rick Scott and Cabinet move to mediation in Sunshine lawsuit

    After weeks of behind-the-scenes legal combat, Gov. Rick Scott and Cabinet members will dispatch their lawyers to mediate differences with Florida news outlets in a lawsuit accusing all four officials of violating the Sunshine Law. The closed-door mediation session Wednesday in Tallahassee postpones a scheduled videotaped deposition of Gerald Bailey, the ousted commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Bailey's secretly hatched dismissal triggered the lawsuit and has led to a series of reforms designed to improve Cabinet oversight of state agencies. read



  • National Craft Brewery Mediation Service Debuts

    Beginning April 15th, 2015 OvalOptions for Conflict Management will offer its Brewery Mediation Network (BMN) service in areas nation-wide. The program will help connect craft breweries with local providers of mediation, facilitation and associated services to assist in resolving costly disputes, most noticeably those involving trademarks. Breweries that contact the BMN are guided through a dispute roadmap, shaped by their unique situation, examining issues ranging from inter-brewery dispute to workplace tension. Jason Gladfelter, co-owner of OvalOptions, conflict consultant and level 1 Cicerone, views trademark disputes as a threat to the industry’s image while inflicting economic damage. “Legal fees in trademark cases can cost tens of thousands of dollars and take six months or more to conclude. Mediation can produce an amicable solution in a timely manner at a fraction of the cost, which is divided between the parties.” read



4/14
  • Church of the Mediator Hosts Concert Series

    Meridian, Miss. Did you know that there is a "Church of the Mediator." Proof: The Church of the Mediator held a special concert Sunday afternoon that featured a world famous musician. Dr. John Paul is a world renowned harpsichord player and this afternoon entertained the crowd through some music. This concert is one of four that the Church of the Mediator put on to raise money for their new organ.   read



  • Ontario Securities Exchange to launch mediation program for enforcement cases

    The Ontario Securities Commission is launching a pilot program to see whether more people can resolve their enforcement cases with the help of an outside mediator. The OSC said it will test out a mediation program from May 1 until next March, giving people the option to use a third-party mediator to help them try to confidentially reach a deal with commission staff. Both sides have to consent before a case can go to mediation. The OSC said it is developing the program as a way to try to get more cases concluded more quickly, and it will not allow the mediation process to be used to delay the start of hearings in cases. “The mediator provides an informal setting for settlement discussions to occur and can assist in resolving other outstanding enforcement issues,” the OSC said in a statement. read



  • Court Bars Ordering Abuse Victims to Post-Divorce Mediation

    Divorced couples cannot be required to resolve their post-divorce disputes through mediation if there has been an entry of a final restraining order based on a finding of domestic violence, even if existing property settlement agreements call for disputes to be worked through by mediators, a New Jersey appeals court has ruled. read



4/13
  • Keeping the Confidential Arbitration Proceeding Confidential

    Courts repeatedly have held that an arbitration confidentiality agreement covering judicial documents is insufficient to overcome the First Amendment presumption of access to the courts and the common-law right to public access to judicial proceedings and records. Even in the face of a confidentiality agreement, courts have refused to seal petitions and supporting documents seeking to confirm an arbitration award where the party seeking confidentiality made broad allegations of harm unsubstantiated by a particularized showing of the injury and harm public disclosure of the information would cause. read



4/07
  • Interview With Michael Brown, UN Senior Mediation Expert in Natural Resources and Land Conflicts

    Unresolved natural resource management issues can make peace more fragile, while addressing them can act as a bridge toward cooperation. The UN Environment Program and Department of Political Affairs recently created a guide to natural resources for conflict mediators. The guide explores how natural resources can exacerbate or drive conflict and discusses best practices for mediation. It also examines instances of natural resource management as cornerstones of peacebuilding, from oil in South Sudan to shared water basins in Iran and Afghanistan. read



  • As the economy improves, divorce rate will increase

    By most measures, the U.S. economy is healthy and recovered from its recent recession. Job growth has been healthy for the past year. The U.S. Commerce Department reported on March 27 the biggest gain in consumer spending in eight years. Housing prices are rebounding as home sales are growing. Expect one more statistic to rise: the divorce rate. read



  • Mediation works in kids' custody spats

    SINGAPORE - Almost 5,000 divorcing couples have gone through a compulsory mediation and counselling programme aimed at helping them reduce the acrimony as they sort out disputes over their children. About four out of five couples agreed on key parenting decisions after attending the sessions, a Family Justice Courts spokesman told The Sunday Times. The courts had found that many couples fight over custody and care issues, such as which parent the child will live with after the divorce and how much time the other parent will get to spend with the child. The mediation and counselling programme, which involves the couples' lawyers as well, aims to protect the child's welfare. "This drastically lowers the risk of children being caught in the bitterness between warring and insecure parents," the spokesman said. "Children will be more secure and less traumatised by the breakdown of their parents' relationship." read



  • Pakistan will prefer to play role of mediator in Yemen conflict: Asif

    ISLAMABAD: Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said Tuesday that the government’s first preference would be to play the role of a mediator in resolving the crisis in Yemen. “If the sanctity of Saudi Arabia’s territorial boundaries is violated, we will stand with them,” he said. He assured that the government’s policy was in line with the military's perspective on the issue. He said that Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have decades-old defence agreements, and Pakistan will continue honouring those agreements. read



  • Mediation: Confidentiality and Enforceability

    An essential element of a successful mediation is confidentiality. Participants to a mediation must be able to rely on the confidentiality of the process if they are going to be candid with the mediator about their settlement positions, pressure points, litigation strategy and other sensitive issues. This principle is reflected in the Uniform Mediation Act, finalized in 2003 and adopted by 11 states to date.  According to the Act, “[t]his frank exchange can be achieved only if the participants know that what is said in the mediation will not be used to their detriment through later court proceedings and adjudicatory processes.” read



  • Mediation Provides Apparent Settlement of XNA Runway Dispute

    Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport officials approved a proposed settlement of a federal lawsuit related to problems with work on the main runway renovation that should allow for repairs to be completed within the next few months. "We ended up with a proposed settlement that, frankly, none of the parties are happy with but all parties can live with," Scott Van Laningham, executive director, told board members at a special meeting late Monday afternoon. "We left there with a pretty good game plan for fixing it." read



  • Maybe real mediation could solve the long-standing water crisis on the Monterey Peninsula.

    With so many stakeholders, and varied unreconciled positions, progress toward a solution has been slow. This pace could continue indefinitely with ratepayers swallowing the costs. If there was a time to take a deep breath and think outside of the box, it is now. I propose the major stakeholders consider agreeing to participation in a true mediation of the major issues that prevent achievement of a reasonable, reliable and implementable solution to the Peninsula’s water supply problem. read



4/05
  • What It Takes to Opt Out of an Arbitration Clause

    Not all companies with arbitration clauses or no-class-action provisions require employees to sign on. While companies such as Uber Technologies Inc. require drivers to agree to such contracts before joining its platform, others give employees a chance to opt out—although it can take some doing. read



4/01
  • Report: Israel Sought European Mediation for Talks With Hamas

    Israel asked European officials to serve as arbitrators in talks with the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas about the return of remains of Israeli soldiers killed in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge last summer, al-Araby al-Jadeed reported Monday. read



  • Justin Bieber Attends Five-Hour Mediation Over Alleged Photographer Assault Lawsuit

    Justin Bieber attended a mediation session in Miami, Florida, on Tuesday, in connection to a lawsuit filed by a photographer, who alleges he was roughed up by one of the singer’s bodyguards. The mediation session lasted nearly five-hours. read



  • Mass. couple’s divorce decree can’t compel mediation

    A husband and wife can not be compelled to engage in mediation at their own expense as a condition of their being permitted to file actions in the future to enforce or modify the terms of their divorce, the Massachusetts Appeals Court has found. The husband argued that his right to free access to the courts under Article 11 of the Declaration of Rights of the Massachusetts Constitution was violated by a clause in his divorce decree requiring the parties to engage in, and pay for, court-directed mediation before either could file any subsequent action in court. The Appeals Court agreed. read



  • Robin Williams's Widow and Children Agree to Mediation in Estate Fight

    Attorneys for Williams’s widow, Susan Schneider, and his three children from previous marriages, squared off in probate court in San Francisco on Monday and agreed to private mediation, hoping to settle a dispute regarding the contents of his estate. read



  • LL.M. Programs in Alternative Dispute Resolution

    Specialized programs can help lawyers with tactics like mediation and negotiation, which are increasingly used as alternatives to litigation. “When I went to law school, it was still considered fuzzy-headed fringe stuff,” says Paul Ladehoff, the director of the LL.M. program in Dispute Resolution at the University of Missouri School of Law. “Now it's a regular component of practice.” read



March 2015

3/30
  • CFPB Study: Arbitration Agreements Limit Relief For Consumers

    On March 10, 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ("CFPB") released a report which found that arbitration clauses restrict a consumer's relief against financial service providers, such as credit card companies and banks. read



  • Justin Bieber Attends Mediation Hearing On Photog's Suit

    Pop star Justin Bieber is in South Florida to handle his legal troubles – again. Tuesday morning Bieber’s security team swiftly and skillfully whisked him through the service entrance of a attorney’s office in a Brickell high rise so he could attend a mediation hearing on civil suit filed by freelance photographer Jeffrey Binion. read



  • Somali elders learn mediation to integrate community

    Confidentiality. Quality of process. Impartiality. Conflict of interest. Competence.  Those were the words scribbled across the chalkboard in a St. Cloud State University classroom March 21. In three chairs — one in the middle, two facing each other — sit a middle-aged Somali man playing a 20-something college student, a St. Cloud State communications professor playing an elderly neighbor and a Conflict Resolution Center director playing a mediator. read



  • Fox's 'Empire' Copyright Lawsuit Best Moved To Mediation, Says Judge

    With demands for millions on one side and the seeking of a court declaration that Empire isn’t violating any “purported trademarks rights” on the other, this lawsuit seems to have taken the expressive lane to a sit-down before it could blow up. Just one day after the broadcaster of blockbuster series Empire filed a complaint for declaratory relief against music label Empire Distribution, the federal court today said it wants the parties to work out their problems in mediation before going to trial. Maybe not the way Lucious Lyon does business on the fictional Empire but the ways of real-life busy courts.  read



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