Mediation News

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Smullin Mediation

This month’s Mediation News includes a New York Times story on a decision by the New York theatre community to add mediation to possible responses to sexual harassment. This voluntary program is a reminder of the advantages of mediation in today’s environment.

Mediation is confidential, deliberative, quick and private. Today, employers and their supervisors have an intense interest in avoiding media attention. Mediation focuses on facts and their significance at trial, not on allegations. A mediation date can be arranged in weeks versus a realistic trial date usually over a year later. Mediation participants are limited to the parties, their lawyers and the mediator rather than a courtroom full of staff, potential jurors and the general public.

The swift and seemingly indiscriminate termination of some accused of harassment is generating fear of invalid allegations in managers and their families. They are in jeopardy now in a way that victims usually have been. What matters is that parties to allegations deserve the opportunity to explore what happened, what should have happened and what needs to happen, quickly and in confidence. For example, it may be true as in a mediation that I conducted, that an adulterous relationship was originally consensual. However, when that relationship ended, the accused continued to force his attentions on his former lover in ways that were clearly unwelcome. Pre-complaint mediation provided a quick, confidential way of resolving this uncomfortable, embarrassing situation. For the above reasons, mediation can be a valuable process, both pre- and post-complaint.

MARCH 2018

Featured Articles 

Negotiating Like a Woman - How Gender Impacts Communication between the Sexes
by Jan Frankel Schau and Nina Meierding
Anyone who has ever been married will admit that men and women argue differently. It should be no surprise to learn that women and men negotiate differently as well.

The Joy Of Impasse: The Neuroscience Of ‘Insight’ And Creative Problem Solving
by Robert Benjamin
Most novice and experienced conflict mediators alike feel themselves viscerally tighten in the face of an impending impasse. However, current studies in neuroscience suggest that frustration can be useful in fomenting creative problem solving.

13 Tools for Resolving Conflict in the Workplace, with Customers and in Life
by Lee Jay Berman
Conflict happens. It is inevitable. It is going to happen whenever you have people with different expectations. Here are some tools for avoiding and resolving disputes in the early stages, before they become full-blown conflicts.

How Turkey Went from Virtually Zero to 30,828 Mediations in Just One Month
by Leonardo d'Urso
Mediation and the “Snowball” Effect in the Mediterranean: How Turkey Went from Virtually Zero to 30,828 Mediations in Just One Month (and Greece is Next!).

Reflections on Parkland, from a Broward County Parent / Conflict Resolution Practitioner
by Larry Schooler
The author, a parent of a child in Broward County Schools (where Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School is located), reflects on possible usages of ADR, mediation, facilitation, and consensus-building in the seemingly never-ending national struggle over guns.

Mediation in the News

Students Compare Mediation and ADR Coursework to Actual Practice
Professor Douglas Yarn has incorporated innovative aspects of learning to his mediation and ADR seminar to help enhance student’s practical experience. Students compare what they are learning in class with how practicing attorneys approach mediation and ADR.  

Women's Shelter Expands Services to Include Mediation
Singapore - A new parent organisation that oversees the Casa Raudha Women Home for abused wives will roll out a series of activities, including mediation, to nip domestic violence in the bud.

Active Preparation Leads to Better Mediation Results
Mediation results improve significantly when the parties, not just the attorneys, come prepared for mediation. This post offers 7 pointers for parties to follow when preparing for mediation with their lawyers.

You Can Mediate That? Beyond the Eve of Trial, A Fresh Perspective on Employment Mediation
Given that nearly all employment disputes resolve short of trial, it is never too early for an employment lawyer consider mediation, writes Jill Sopha. Just what does it take to reach a resolution when an impasse looms?

Read All News 

Dave Smullin

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Phone: (650) 941-4600
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Featured Blog Posts

What it Takes to be Conflict Masterful
Cinnie Noble

Difficult Conversations in the Modern Era of (Anti-) Social Media
John Lande

Conflict Styles: Digital vs Paper
Ronald S. Kraybill

Setting Boundaries with a Workplace Bully
Lorraine Segal

Talking Stick Breaks Impasse
Ronald S. Kraybill


The less of routine, the more of life.

The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way.

One reassuring thing about modern art is that things can't be as bad as they are painted.

The impossible is often the untried.

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Edited by Dr. Clare Fowler and Jim Melamed. Feedback and news for potential inclusion in future newsletters may be sent to If you wish to stop receiving this newsletter, you can remove yourself from this email list by clicking here.