Articles and Video:
This video by Leo Hura shows a parent with a disabled child. She finds herself in a dispute with her school, but through the mediation process she reaches agreement with school regarding her disabled child in a culinary program.
Avoiding, Preventing, Resolving Conflict - Video
Leo Hura series and specials are media productions produced by volunteers using Olelo Community Media. This video is one in a series that shows a role play of the mediation process. Each video shows a different aspect of the process with a role play and a simulation.
From Leo Hura
I have been a member of mediate.com since I began my involvement in the ADR field and enthusiastically supported growth of its knowledge base by writing a number of articles and blog entries over the year. Mediate.com has given me access to people all over the world through these services. Mahalo to Jim, Josh, and the rest of the staff for being a reliable provider and source of knowledge. Security is always a challenge when on the internet and I have found that Mediate.com is consistent in providing, upgrading, and responding to security issues. Well done Mediate.com.
Listening Is Not Enough!
As a mediator I get job satisfaction from hearing “thank you for helping us reach agreement” and remorse at hearing “we just wasted three hours and got nothing done.” As a mediator I am trained and experienced in listening. The real challenge is not whether I’m a good listener but whether I hear, react, and utilize what clients are telling me to assist them to find common ground and achieve agreement. This essay discusses hearing insensitivity and suggests a few tools...
Christian With Muslim Religous Dialogue
Discussion about the need for Religious dialogue between the different faiths has become ubiquitous. There are many examples, one being, “Diplomacy in an Age of Faith”, by Thomas F. Far who argues “the United States has failed to understand the global resurgence of religiosity.” Can mediators fail to be involved?
Christians Religious Leaders Responding to Muslim Letter; Can Mediator's fail to be involved?
There are significant responses by Christians and others to the Muslim to Christian Religious leader letter of October 13, 2007 inviting “meaningful dialogue leading to practical steps towards reconciliation.” To keep this essay manageable two responses are discussed.
The Economist Chimes in to Support the Critical Role of Religion in Conflict Resolution - Can the Mediation Community Fail to be Involved?
As we strive to gather support for a mediation community based initiative to support religious leaders to develop “next steps” to a letter form Muslim to Christian religious leaders and seek information the initiative is gaining traction, we are encouraged “The Economist,” in their November 1st 2007 edition, ran an 18 page special report which acknowledges a role for religion in conflict resolution. The series of articles and reference to a book the authors call “prescient,” support our contention mediators have an opportunity to play a critical role in “process” and “expertise” development in negotiations, utilizing “religion based interests,” which are different from “tangible and therefore divisible and negotiable interests” associated with politics, as being critical to conflict resolution in this century.
Muslim Scholars Reaching Out - Can The Mediation Community Not Be Involved?
In great conflicts opportunities for peace are often missed and considerable and unnecessary violence follows. A recent letter from Muslim Religious to Christian leaders and scholars may be a current opportunity needing our ‘services’.
Mediating At Small Claims Court Also Builds Skills
Many of us will love it when we mediate multimillion dollar high profile mediation cases. To get there we need to develop and demonstrate superior mediation skills combined with a sense of business acumen, marketing, and a bit of luck. Because of its focus, it’s about the money, small claims court mediation offers not only court and public service opportunities, but skills developed can be leveraged for use in complex cases. Some examples as well as cautions follow as we prepare to give this blog topic a rest.
From Leo Hura
Aloha to Mediate.com on this milestone. We know the ubiquitous nature of the internet. The Mediation community could not afford to be left out. Jim Melamed and Mediate.com created, in a single site, a gathering place for mediators, offered and provide us services, and have a vision, Jim articulates so well, for mediations presence in this medium in the future. In addition Mediate.com is open to, and used by, the general public, benefiting all mediators. Mediate.com has become a key component for mediation to reach its "Tipping Point" in becoming first in line of choice for resolving disputes in a non adversarial environment. Mahalo Jim and staff for providing not just a spark, but a beacon for mediation, while at the same time providing excellence in service, reliability, and ease of use. Wishing you continued success and growth, with warmest regards.
Take The Money Being Offered Today. No! Why Not?
Have you heard the cliché “a bird in hand is better than two in the bush”? Energies unleashed and applied, I have Defendant offering money today to start settling a claim in mediation at small claims court. It may not be for the amount being asked for by the other side or not under the conditions demanded, but nonetheless its real money, unless the check written today bounces. “Ok, afterwards I can walk down to the ATM and bring you the cash to the entry to the court house.” Nonetheless the offer is rejected in favor of getting a judgment at trial. As mediator should I feel frustrated? What can I do to facilitate another outcome the next time this happens?
Reality Tests or Mediator Suggestions in time Crunched Small Court Mediations – Benefits and Risks
As a Mediator one of my goals is to mediate durable agreements with high client satisfaction. Reality tests and mediator suggestions are fascinating topics for discussion in any mediation setting. They can be extremely useful to disputants in reaching agreement. They also have the potential to be perceived as abusive in time constrained mediations.
One side does not have a case! What's a mediator to do?
Take the following scenario in small claims court mediation, its obvious one side does not have a case, stubbornly holding on to a position, either oblivious to the predicament, or just not caring. The other side knows they hold a “winning” hand. Based on my experience with similar cases I agree the outcome at trial is preordained. What am I to do? 1 Comment
Am I a Successful Small Claims Court Mediator?
If you are wondering why this subject comes up this week, it’s because I went 0 for 4 in reaching Agreement in small claims court mediations I conducted this week. At best, “No Agreement” is a humbling experience. To add insult to injury, this failure followed my statement in last weeks blog that my average on reaching Agreements in small claims court mediations is about 40% to 50%. Am I a failure? If Agreement rate is the only metric of being a successful small claims mediator the answer is yes, I am. Is Agreement rate the only metric? Should there be independent feedback from the parties, judges? How do I use metrics to examine and improve my skills? How do I, or anybody else, assess whether I am a successful mediator?
Agreements in Small Claims Court Mediations
There is insufficient time to craft detailed agreements in small claims court mediations. Since the overwhelming number of agreements deal with money, most are fairly simple to draft and may include phrases like: Plaintiff agrees to accept $1600 to settle all claims arising out of this complaint Defendant agrees to pay Plaintiff $1600 by 24 July, 200_ Plaintiff agrees to dismiss the case if payment is received by 24 July, 200_...
Evidence in a Small Claims Court Mediation
In a multi-hour mediation session my co-mediator reminded me “we are not fact finders” reflected by his refusal to look at documents proffered as part of one party’s case. Personally, I accept at least a look at documents with short descriptions of a party’s perspective on what’s relevant to a negotiating position they may be trying to articulate. Although I can’t spend a lot of time on “evidence” in small claims court I encourage the exchange of relevant...
Focusing on Defendant in Small Claims Court Cases
Defendants in small claims cases vary from, the shell shocked to the defiant, “Plaintiff does not have a case”. Emotions can run high. At times belligerence is palpable. My favorite, are landlords who have either not read the landlord tenant code or who view themselves covered by inserting a forfeiture clause in their lease agreements and are finally challenged by a tenant in a complaint. As I will not offer them advice I ask the question, “have you read...
Focusing on Plaintiff’s at Small Claims Court Mediations
Plaintiff’s coming to small claims are usually 'pro se' and may or may not be experienced in either the law nor the procedures for winning their case, much less negotiating an agreement. As a small claims court mediator, I find myself having to quickly assess individual Plaintiff’s to effectively deal with their issues, interests, and needs. The range of knowledge about small claims on the part of Plaintiff’s ranges from, the very experienced to the first timer,...
Small Claims Court Mediation Model - One Approach
In small claims court successful agreements are often driven by what the judge has to say just before he sends the disputants to mediation. Savvy disputants take a measure of a judge and often, consciously or unconsciously, react to a judges admonitions. In opening remarks it is important to differentiate between mediation and trial. In very basic form mediation is negotiation leading to mutual agreement or impasse while trial is evidence, the law, a judge’s...
Court Ordered Mediation-Starting Small
Ok, this blog is not about how to handle big international or even divorce mediations or even large sums of money. It’s about Small Claims court, where the every day Joe, Linda, Sam, Jose, Hector, Frank, usually representing themselves, go to seek a taste of American justice. Since mediation is a part of American justice, it is only appropriate for mediators to support the Courts efforts. Just don’t do it for the money because, there isn’t any. The...
Small Claims And Mediators
At a presentation to new mediator's a question was asked "why mediate at small claims court?". Besides learning a lot about the community, here are a couple of reasons that come to mind. Think about it. The rules of evidence, do they apply? Do people exaggerate or flat out lie? They present their persepective for the purposes of winning their case. You learn quickly how not to be manipulated. If you can get to issues and needs, come up with a common...
Marketing a Dispute Resolution Practice in a New Area Requires Innovative Approaches to Reach a Skeptical Audience
In order to educate and attract skeptical client organizations to utilize not only direct negotiations but also, pre-litigation mediation, we use training that combines traditional lecturing with a powerful “real world” case study. My collaborators and I share our thoughts on our case study based training/marketing approach with both a training and marketing objective as a means of stimulating a discussion on the topic. As mediation expands into new markets practitioners face new challenges including how to reach the target client base. In this article we discuss education as one critical aspect of our marketing plan to reach multifunctional teams dedicated to project completion and avoiding litigation. 3 Comments
Applying Pre-Litigation Mediation to Internal Disputes in Pharmaceutical Construction Teams
Mediation is commonly utilized to settle construction disputes. However, despite the need and benefits, mediation is not currently utilized by corporate pharmaceutical teams in internal project disputes. The author views this as an opportunity for mediators to explore. The essay uses a case study from a hypothetical pharmaceutical capital project to illustrate how mediation can be utilized by corporations in avoiding capital project failures due to unresolved internal disputes. By understanding how corporate teams work and the tailoring of the mediation process mediators can provide a valuable service to their corporate clients in an area mediators already understand. 4 Comments