Mediation in Today's News

May 2013
Ireland: Mediation is best way to deal with company law disputes - judge

Mediation is the only way forward for "messy and expensive" company law disputes according to the senior judge who manages corporate divorces.  High Court judge Ms Justice Mary Laffoy said that company law disputes, often between longstanding friends and siblings, as well as husbands and wives, are highly expensive and time consuming, with many lasting for years.  "Mediation has application across the board, and I think most judges would welcome a mediation act" said Judge Laffoy.

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South Africa: Debt mediation working for the consumer

Johannesburg - Over 70% of debt mediation cases resulted in a positive outcome for consumers in the first quarter of this year, the National Debt Mediation Association (NDMA) says. "Each consumer's case is unique and requires a different solution, and the ability of the NDMA to provide expert advice and guidance has benefited consumers immensely," CEO Magauta Mphahlele said in a statement. The NDMA closed 863 cases in the first quarter of the year, up from 679 in the last quarter of 2012.

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Nicaragua: Justice through conflict mediation

About 3,000 volunteer judicial facilitators allow many cases to be settled out of court, while also working to prevent crime. Marvin Aguilar (left), vice president of Nicaragua’s Supreme Court of Justice, greets a judicial facilitator during a training event. Of the 3,000 facilitators in Nicaragua, 2,000 work in rural areas and 1,000 in urban areas.

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Mozambique's Renamo Demands International Mediation for Talks

Mozambique’s main opposition party called for international mediation in talks with the government to resolve a political crisis after a series of attacks in which eight people died last month.

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In dispute resolution, adjudication has its limits, mediation its place

From The Association of Indian Mediators - A large number of disputes can be settled outside the courtroom. This is less expensive for the parties and eases pressure on courts

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Pre-facto mediation

The goal of pre-facto mediation is to stave off full-fledged litigation after the death or incapacity of the family leader and, through a guided mediation process, to help family members find peaceful resolutions to inheritance issues. The hope is that in this way harmony at home can be preserved without a great deal of lawyer's fees and court costs.

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April 2013
Preparing for Mediation: Where the Real Advocacy Begins

The importance of mediations as an effective tool in reaching a settlement cannot be stressed enough. A mediation provides counsel with a very unique opportunity. It is often the one time in the entire litigation process where you have the opportunity to discuss the claim, your client’s injuries, and the damages, directly with the decision maker who has the authority to settle the action.

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IPO mediation service is relaunched

The UK Intellectual Property Office has recently launched a new mediation services to help businesses resolved disputes faster and more cheaply.

The move follows the Hargreaves report which identified reasons why an earlier mediation service was rarely used and assessed how it could be improved to meet the needs of businesses. The service will now offer a greater choice of mediation options including telephone sessions and will provide a wider list of specialist accredited mediators and a more flexible fee scale.

Disputes from infringement of an IP right, issues about IP licensing, copyright licensing issues and patent entitlement will all come within the ambit of the services.

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Missouri legislation would abolish foreclosure mediation in the city and county

A bill to abolish mandatory foreclosure mediation in St. Louis and St. Louis County is nearing passage in the Missouri Legislature, to the chagrin of housing advocates. The bill would kill a system in which homeowners can demand a final, face-to-face meeting with the lender and a mediator before their house is taken in foreclosure. The bill caught foreclosure counselors by surprise.

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The challenge of good faith mediation in Florida

Once upon a time, Supreme Court-certified mediators knew of no statutes, rules or common law governing court-ordered mediation in good faith; mediation communications were confidential; mediators were required to report the absence of an agreement without comment and mediators were not permitted to report failure of parties to mediate in good faith.

Yet, in advisory opinion 2012-005, Florida Supreme Court's Mediator Ethics Advisory Committee stated a certified mediator may disclose a party failed to negotiate in good faith or willfully failed to appear at a court-ordered mediation as required by the local rules of the U. S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida.

For more than a decade nationwide, Legislatures and the judiciary have mandated good faith mediation in the belief the threat of sanctions promotes more productive participation and reduces the backlog of cases. Like it or not, it appears mandated good faith mediation is here to stay.

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Stryker Hip Settlements Subject of New Mediation Order

A mediation order has been given in regard to Stryker hip lawsuits pending in New Jersey consolidation. The judge overseeing the coordination has issued the mediation order to see whether Stryker hip settlements are possible, even while the litigation process continues.

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Lagos Mediation Centre Recovers N446 Million

The Lagos State commissioner for justice and attorney general Mr Ade Ipaye has disclosed that the Citizens Mediation Centre in the state has handled about 30,686 cases and also facilitated the collection of a total sum of N446, 407,946.00 between May 2012 and March, 2013.

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Is Turkey a loner on the thorny path to peace?

The second Istanbul Conference on Mediation was held again in Istanbul under the auspices of Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu after a year of conflicts ranging across the world from Syria to Mali, from the Philippines to Sudan and Iraq. The conference aims to promote mediation in global conflict resolution approaches and provide a platform to bring together representatives engaged in mediation and peacemaking, such as policy makers, academics and NGOs, among others.

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Attorney General Madigan Announces $5 Million Grant for Foreclosure Mediation Programs

Attorney General Lisa Madigan today awarded $5 million in grants from the national foreclosure settlement to fund the creation and implementation of new mortgage foreclosure mediation programs in counties with significant needs but without current programs.

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Taking advantage of ADR in the entertainment industry

IP cases in the entertainment industry are great candidates for mediation and arbitration.  The importance of secrecy and privacy, The need for expertise and the flexibility that ADR offers are three reasons why intellectual property and entertainment practitioners should use ADR as much as possible.

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Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution in the UK

Why compromise? Increasingly in civil litigation there are no winners — not even the lawyers, following the review and implementation of Sir Rupert Jackson’s report into costs. The question is rapidly being re-phrased as “Why litigate?”

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MGIC Settles Part of BofA Mortgage Dispute, Agrees to Mediation

MGIC Investment Corp. (MTG), the mortgage insurer whose shares more than doubled this year, said it settled part of a dispute with Bank of America Corp. over loans that it covered. The accord excludes a disagreement over the curtailment of some coverage, and the parties plan to mediate the dispute and enter arbitration if necessary

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Montana Legislators OK bill giving domestic violence victims choice for mediation

A bill approved by the Montana Legislature gives victims of domestic violence – both physical and emotional – the power to choose whether they want mediation in family law cases.

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Singapore: Family ordered to go for mediation to settle housing dispute

A High Court judge has ordered the family of late scouting pioneer Dennis Goh Chin Chye to go for mediation, to settle the row over a five-room HDB flat valued at S$800,000. It is a last-ditch effort to resolve the long-running feud between Mr Goh's 91-year-old widow Eileen Chia Yoke Mui and her two daughters. The mediation, which takes place on Thursday, will involve Madam Chia's two daughters and two sons.

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Baby boomers in Texas explore mediation and collaborative divorce

Although the overall rate of divorce in the country continues to fall, divorce rates among baby boomers are on the rise. In fact, separations for those over the age of 50 recently doubled. In addition to starting a trend called "grey divorce," boomers are also exploring alternative ways to finalize their divorces. Instead of following the more traditional courtroom divorce process boomers are considering mediation and collaborative divorce as options.

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Del. Senate approves extension of mortgage mediation program

A mortgage mediation program that requires lenders and homeowners to have a face-to-face discussion before a home goes into foreclosure is close to getting a four-year extension.  The legislation was passed unanimously by the Senate.

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Parents Temporarily Lose PCB Advocate as NYLPI Enters Mediation With City

Parents are losing a major advocate in their fight against toxic PCBs in the city's schools, as the leading activists are taking a temporary step back from the battle to enter mediation with the Department of Education. 

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The right to be heard, regardless of age

Empowering elderly people to maintain the quality of their lives and not become victims of abuse and discrimination is one of the aims of a conference being held at the University of South Australia. The Sixth Annual World Summit on Mediation with Age Related Issues is a joint venture between UniSA and the Elder Mediation International Network (EMIN), designed to increase awareness of the benefits of mediation, highlighting global examples of best practice in elder mediation.

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Has Mediation Suffocated Negotiation?

The love affair with mediation has resulted in a situation where lawyers have tossed negotiation out of the legal tool kit. Most lawyers are loath to negotiate; in fact too many negotiation is an anathema.

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Mediator to triage health exchange problems

Sparring between Colorado’s Medicaid managers and those building the state’s new health exchange prompted an outside analyst to recommend a “third party to triage and manage the project.”  A mediator from the New Jersey-based Robert Wood Johnson Foundation now will come to Colorado to help managers get the giant multi-million dollar project off the ground on time by Oct. 1 when it’s slated to open to consumers.

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Ireland Mediation Guide

Over the last number of years, mediation has become increasingly used or considered as an alternative dispute resolution process in Ireland. According to the CEDR Ireland/ICMA Mediation Audit 2013, mediations have increased by 739% between 2003 and 2012 and 73% of all mediations surveyed reached agreement.

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NJ open records dispute heads to mediation

A resident that filed three complaints with the state because she was denied city records said the New Jersey Government Records Council is now mediating the matter.

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MT Legislators OK bill giving domestic violence victims choice for mediation

A bill approved by the Montana Legislature gives victims of domestic violence – both physical and emotional – the power to choose whether they want mediation in family law cases.

“We thought that the absolute bar disempowers survivors and basically substitutes the state’s prerogatives for women’s choice,” University of Montana associate law professor Eduardo Capulong, who with four students in the law school’s mediation clinic wrote HB 555. The bar “revictimizes survivors by robbing them of control over their lives – in particular, the way in which they choose to resolve disputes with their abusers.”

The bill was backed by a coalition including domestic violence and mediation groups, as well as judges, Although the bill originally failed to make it out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, a second attempt won unanimous support among committee members.

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Organic farms rethink unpaid internships after back pay mediation

Some organic farmers are rethinking taking on interns this growing season after a Vancouver Island farm was forced to pay thousands of dollars in back wages to unpaid workers.

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MarineLink: Using Mediation: Eliminate Risk and Conserve Litigation Expenses

When doing business in the maritime industry, someone will inevitably file a legal claim against your company, or you will file a claim against someone else. Although litigation is always good for your legal team, it is often not good for the litigants.

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South Africa: North West Solicits Inputs On Mediation Strategy and Plan for Mining, Tourism and Land Claims

The Office of the Premier in the North West province is to host a workshop on the mediation strategy to manage relations between tourism, mining and land claims. The two-day provincial engagement involves key stakeholders in all of the sectors

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Settlement proposed in Savannah harbor lawsuit

Parties in a federal lawsuit over the proposed $652 million deepening of the Savannah harbor are considering a possible settlement.

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Ireland: Judiciary mediation plan revealed

An increasingly bitter dispute between judges and the Government has been defused after the Chief Justice Susan Denham secured agreement on a new mediation system.

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Czech Republic offers mediation in settlement of Nagorno Karabakh conflict

The Czech Republic proposes to play the role of mediator in the settlement of Nagorno Karabakh conflict: "The Czech Republic understands that this conflict is the biggest problem for Azerbaijan. This is a complicated conflict, therefore, the status quo is inadmissible. It is high time to drive the process from the deadlock.”

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Charge against Beale dropped

Police have dropped an assault charge against Australian fullback Kurtley Beale after he reached an agreement through mediation with his victim.

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Scottish football needs mediator, says Stewart Gilmour

St Mirren chairman Stewart Gilmour believes Scottish football needs a "mediator" to facilitate a way forward.

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Foreclosure mediation expansion passes Oregon Senate, heads to House

The Oregon Senate on Tuesday approved an expansion of a state foreclosure mediation program that has seen little use as lenders route their foreclosures through the state's courtrooms.

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Mediation next step in teen Muslim-Christian case

A judge has ordered mediation in the case of a teen girl who says her family threatened to kill her for converting from Islam to Christianity. Rifqa Bary, 17, ran away from her family in Columbus, Ohio, in July. She claims her father threatened to kill her.

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Mediation Perspectives: “Infrastructures for Peace” – Useful Jargon?

The field of peacebuilding and conflict transformation is no stranger to jargon. A new term pushing its way into the lexicon is “infrastructures for peace” (“I4P” or “peace infrastructures”).

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Manchester judge warns of legal time bomb for families

Legal aid changes and ignorance of options is set to lead families into debt and create chaos for children.

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University of Mumbai to help citizens resolve disputes through mediation

To lessen the burden on the state's legal services, the University of Mumbai, along with the Maharashtra State Legal Services Authority, will offer pre-litigation mediation services to citizens. The move aims to reduce the number of pending court cases.

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IRB appoints mediator for Arlington-horsemen dispute

Retired judge will try to reconcile contract battle that threatens Illinois betting on Kentucky Derby.

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Lawsuit over Mahwah company's recalled hip implants headed for mediation

Stryker Orthopaedics and some of the 133 people suing the company will attempt to settle claims related to the Mahwah company's recalled hip implants through mediation.

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Prison of Peace Expands to More Prisons in California

Douglas Noll and Laurel Kaufer, professional Mediators, announce the expansion of Prison of Peace, providing communication, peacemaking and mediation skills to prison inmates.

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UK: Mediation Is in the Spotlight as Government Finds Funds

The cash-strapped Coalition announced on the 10th April they would be pumping £6.5million into projects aimed at helping separated parents "put their differences aside for the sake of their children". The announcement has put mediation in the spotlight as divorcees seek to minimise the impact of their split on their children.

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MN: Farmer-lender mediation bill passes House

A bill extending the sunset date of farmer-lender mediation passed the House Thursday and is on its way to the Senate. The bill extends the sunset date for the farmer-lender mediation program from June 30, 2013, to June 30, 2017. No other language is changed.

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Milwaukee City leaders gather to raise awareness of mediation program

City leaders gathered Thursday, April 11th at the Milwaukee County Courthouse to highlight the new and improved process in place for homeowners facing foreclosure and seeking mediation services.

Free mediation sessions offered to Staten Island storm victims battling with insurers

The New York State Department of Financial Services has hired the American Arbitration Association to host mediation sessions between insurance companies and storm victims -- and 841 Staten Islanders who still have open claims for damage to real or personal property qualify for the assistance.

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Applying God’s Law: Religious Courts and Mediation in the U.S.

Across the United States, religious courts operate on a routine, everyday basis. The Roman Catholic Church alone has nearly 200 diocesan tribunals that handle a variety of cases, including an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 marriage annulments each year.1 In addition, many Orthodox Jews use rabbinical courts to obtain religious divorces, resolve business conflicts and settle other disputes with fellow Jews. Similarly, many Muslims appeal to Islamic clerics to resolve marital disputes and other disagreements with fellow Muslims.

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Community Mediation helps reduce reliance on confinement in juvenile crimes

Recent reports by the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth highlight Tennessee’s success as the best in the nation in reducing reliance on confinement as a response to juvenile crime, a press release said.

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Can Mediation Improve EEOC Conciliation?

Lorene Schaefer has seen employment discrimination from both sides—as a general counsel who handled bias complaints against her company, and then as a plaintiff in a class action lawsuit charging gender discrimination.

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