Mediation in Today's News

March 2013
School rejects mediation talks in transgender girl's case

Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8 officials have refused to enter into mediation talks with the family of a transgender girl who wants to return to school.

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A Court Clash on Confidentiality and Mediation Policy

The Indiana Supreme Court recently declared that the state’s judicial policy supports “robust confidentiality” in mediation. In doing so, the court vacated a Court of Appeals ruling that would have expanded the circumstances in which confidentiality could be broken to obtain evidence. The two rulings reflect a strong contrast in interpretations of ADR rules and judicial policy toward mediation.

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Singapore Courts to make dispute resolution more affordable

A new initiative is underway to encourage more litigants to settle disputes out of court by making alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services more affordable, Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon said.

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Judge orders mediation for Macy's, Martha Stewart

A New York State Supreme Court Judge has ordered Macy's Inc., J.C. Penney Co. and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. to go into mediation as a way to resolve a contract dispute concerning a partnership over the Martha Stewart brand, according to a Macy's spokesman.

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Bankers Association Fighting St. Louis City Foreclosure Mediation Law

The Missouri Bankers Association is fighting a new St. Louis city law that would force lenders to sit down with homeowners facing foreclosure to try to find a way for them to keep their house. Circuit Judge Robert Dierker has put a 20 day freeze on the ordinance to allow time for a hearing so both sides can argue their case.

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Tom Cruise tabloid lawsuit moves to private mediation

If you were hoping to watch Tom Cruise's legal battle against "In Touch" and "Life & Style" publishers Bauer Publishing Company play out in public, you're out of luck. Cruise's lawsuit against Bauer has been moved to private mediation.

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Oregon Senate approves medical mistakes mediation

The Oregon Senate has passed a bill creating a new mediation process for patients injured by medical mistakes. The bill passed in a 26-3 vote despite criticisms from some lawmakers who said it should have included limits on the amount of money that juries can award to patients injured by medical errors. The measure would allow injured patients to confidentially discuss the error and a possible settlement with the hospital or clinic where the mistake occurred. Supporters say it would help reduce a defensive culture that prevents doctors from speaking about medical mistakes and learning from them out of fear of a lawsuit.

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Former Oregon Chief Justice Paul DeMuniz to serve as mediator on Portland police reforms

Former Oregon Chief Justice Paul De Muniz will serve as mediator between Portland city officials, federal investigators, police union leaders and members of a community group directed to come to agreement on reforms needed to address a scathing U.S. Department of Justice inquiry into police use of force.

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Duniya Vijay-wife to appear before mediation centre

Popular Kannada actor Duniya Vijay, who filed for divorce before the family court earlier this year, was asked to appear at the counselling centre with his wife on March 14.

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Judge Halts St. Louis Foreclosure Mediation Ordinance

A judge in St. Louis city has halted enforcement of the city's new foreclosure mediation ordinance. Robert Dierker issued the temporary restraining order today, which prohibits any city officials from enforcing the ordinance. Dierker does take care to note that voluntary participation in mediation is still allowed.

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Delaware AG, state law makers support foreclosure mediation extension

Delaware is still in a foreclosure crisis. For that reason Attorney General Beau Biden and state legislators announced plans to extend the state’s mandatory foreclosure mediation program for another four years.

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Bill would create Office of Collaboration Dispute Resolution

ST. PAUL MN — Proposed legislation would create better resolutions to conflicts from child custody to intergovernmental disputes, supporters say. Sen. David Tomassoni, DFL-Chisholm, has signed onto a bipartisan House and Senate bill that would create an Office of Collaboration Dispute Resolution. It would be housed in the Bureau of Mediation Services, and would provide grants to nonprofits and other organizations to resolve disputes.

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Mediator Proposes a Recess in Airport Negotiations

Following a recess in the negotiations that began back on February 16th, the federal mediator has decided not to bring the parties back to the bargaining table at this time. There was no progress achieved toward ending the 6 month old strike.

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Chevron Open to Mediation Over $19 Billion Environmental Damage Fine

Chevron has been ordered by an Ecuadorian court to pay $19 billion for irreversible environmental damage caused in the Amazon between 1964 and the early 1990s by Texaco. The case involves some 30,000 Amazon villagers who contend Texaco, which Chevron acquired in 2001, spoiled their lands and damaged their health by dumping billions of gallons of toxic drilling waste in a 480,000-hectare (1,850-sq.-mile) area of the Ecuadorian Amazon.

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Jamaica: Mediation Could Be The Solution

In light of recent attacks linked to familial disputes, the issue of mediation, or the lack thereof, has resurfaced. Donna Parchment Brown, CEO of the Dispute Resolution Foundation (DRF), is urging more people to consider mediation . . . the public needs to see it as their natural response."

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Medical malpractice bill heads to Senate

The Oregon Senate is considering passing a medical malpractice reform measure that emphasizes mediation over courtroom trials.  Senate Bill 483 would set up a system for out-of-court mediation to enable patients to avoid lengthy and expensive medical malpractice lawsuits.

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Two Million People Hold their Breath Over Lake Malawi Mediation

Over two million families who solely depend on Lake Malawi for their livelihoods are anxiously putting their hopes into an upcoming mediation between Malawi and Tanzania intended to put an end to a longstanding ownership dispute.

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Mediation could speed tax appeals

Jacqueline Hagerott, the manager of the court’s dispute-resolution section, said mediation has helped resolve property-value cases at both the Supreme Court and the state’s Board of Tax Appeals. “We’re quite confident it’ll work” at the county level, she said.

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Malibu to host free elder mediation informational

The City of Malibu Senior Center will host a free mediation presentation titled “What Is Elder Care Mediation?”

read more on Pace to Reach 5 Million 2013 Visitor Sessions

In his annual report, CEO Jim Melamed announced that is on schedule to reach 5 million web site visitor sessions during 2013.

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February 2013
Criminal justice program focuses on mediation, victim

Restorative justice is a movement that has been popular in the United States since the 1980s.  Instead of conventional criminal justice, which focuses on punishment, it empowers victims, encourages offenders to take responsibility for what they have done, and results in a reparation.

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St. Louis passes law requiring mediation prior to foreclosure

The mediator, United States Arbitration & Mediation Midwest Inc., will then attempt to reach the homeowner three times over 15 days.

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Jamaica: Gender awareness building through mediation

The Dispute Resolution Foundation in partnering with Jamaica's Bureau of Women's Affairs in the implementation of the NPGE is providing to critical actors a capability to defuse conflicts related to values rights and interests and to design processes of engagement to honour and incorporate the needs of women.

N.J., N.Y. to Offer Mediation Program for Sandy Claims Disputes

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced Monday his administration’s plan to offer a mediation program option to Sandy victims who are in dispute with their insurers. Gov. Christie, seen here at a Jan. 24 news conference in in Seaside Heights, announced a new mediation process to help resolve ongoing Sandy insurance disputes.

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Oregon Foreclosure bill expands mediation effort

A wide coalition of voices support the program. While some of those tweaks are technical such as changing the term “mediation” to “resolution conference,” there are some substantial changes such as expanding the program to judicial foreclosure. Currently, mediation is only required for lenders who file non-judicial foreclosures.

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Detroit Financial Emergency: Is Mediation An Option For Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder?

The option that hasn't been mentioned as often as bankruptcy or emergency management is neutral evaluation, or mediation, which was written into PA 436 as one of the four choices afforded to leaders of Michigan cities that face financial hardship.

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Yemen kidnappers free Swiss woman after Qatari mediation

A Swiss woman held hostage for nearly a year in Yemen has been freed by her kidnappers and flown to Doha following mediation by Qatar.

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New improved process for Milwaukee County homeowners facing foreclosure and seeking mediation

Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that a new, improved process is in place for homeowners facing foreclosure and seeking mediation services. Mediation is a confidential and voluntary process where the homeowner and the lender discuss options for resolving the foreclosure case, including reinstatement of the loan and possible modification of the loan terms.

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NY: Gov Cuomo Assigns AAA To Mediate Hurricane Sandy Disputes

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that the Department of Financial Services has established a voluntary mediation process for homeowners disputing their insurance claims or dissatisfied with denials of their claims arising from Storm Sandy. “Mediation offers a speedy, low-cost resolution of insurance claims for homeowners who are unable to reach agreement with their homeowners’ insurance companies on claims from Storm Sandy,” Governor Cuomo said. “It is also much less expensive for insurers than litigation, so it’s a win for everyone.”

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No mediation in death penalty case

The U.S. Attorney’s Office has rebuffed the offer of a well-regarded senior federal judge to mediate a pre-trial plea agreement in a particularly high profile death penalty case.

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Mediation Often Best for Employment Matters

Mediation is an important tool in dispute resolution, and when it comes to employment relationship problems. For certain employment matters, mediation will be the best and least expensive option.

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NJ to launch mediation program for Hurricane Sandy insurance disputes

Policyholders at odds with their insurer over Hurricane Sandy-related claims soon will have a more cost-effective and efficient way to resolve their differences over coverage, the Christie administration announced.

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Mediation might be the next step in a human rights battle

The next step in a human rights battle between a Saskatoon man and city hall could come down to mediation before a formal hearing by the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission (SHRC).

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US Bank clears path for Legislature by showing that mortgage mediation can work

Lenders are running out of excuses for dodging Oregon's foreclosure mediation program. The Legislature should speed up the pace of acceptance by passing legislation that would make technical fixes and close loopholes in a hastily amended bill that escaped last year's short session on the last day.

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City Deploys Mediator to Pier Park to End Sequoia Standoff

More than a dozen city employees have been deployed to the tree, and the Parks & Recreation Bureau has called in a mediator from Resolutions Northwest to explain to protesters the public process that doomed the sequoia.

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Feds, Evans Fruit in mediation over sexual harassment lawsuit

KIMA learned a settlement could be reached in the sexual harassment lawsuit against Evans Fruit. The company is being sued by the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The government claims a former ranch manager in Sunnyside threatened women who work for the company. And, created an environment of intimidation.

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Mediation could save Weston-super-Mare from its shameful title

Divorce capital of the nation is not a title to be worn with pride. Yet Weston-super-Mare has just been named and shamed as the divorce capital of the UK: some 2,447 divorce petitions were lodged in the coastal town of just 80,000 people last year.

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Judge Orders Mediation and a Fairness Hearing on Portland Police Bureau Reforms

A federal judge has ordered the Department of Justice, the City of Portland, Portland Police Association, and the Albina Ministerial Alliance to enter mediation to try to resolve differences on reforms to police policies. U.S. District Court Judge Michael Simon also plans to hold a Fairness Hearing where the public can testify either in person or by video.

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Judge tells warring neighbours to engage in mediation

A judge has told warring neighbours they should engage in mediation to solve what she described as the “deeply serious and implacable problems” they face living next door to each other.

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Barrick to start mediation effort at Peru mine

Barrick Gold Corp said it would participate in a mediation effort on Friday at its Lagunas Norte mine in Peru to try to end protests by residents concerned about water supplies.

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Fathers promised more mediation after French crane custody protest

A father who had spent more than 3 days and nights perched on a crane, ended his protest after French ministers met with Fathers' rights groups.

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CAIR-MN Seeks Mediation, Training to Resolve Racial Issues at School

The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) today called on Minneapolis South High School to utilize mediation and multi-cultural competency training to help remedy race-related issues at the school after a brawl reportedly between Somali and African-American students erupted at the school on February 14, 2013.

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A Mediator's Guide to a Sequestration Alternative

Sequestration is a bad idea. It hurts business. It hurts people. It hurts government. It is also totally unnecessary.  Republicans and Democrats can agree about all of this, but there are clear differences between them that are keeping the two parties deadlocked.  Sometimes a mediator will put a proposal on the table, hoping the two warring parties will use it as a jumping-off point to resolution. 

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Debt mediation requests peak

South Africa: Requests for debt mediation increased by 60 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012, the National Debt Mediation Association (NDMA) said. It said the number of cases where mediation was requested spiked from 538 in the third quarter of 2012 to 1352 in the fourth. About 83 percent of the complaints were from the banking sector, while the remaining 17 percent were from micro-lenders, vehicle financiers, and clothing and furniture retailers.

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Beale goes to mediation over assault allegations

Rugby union star Kurtley Beale, who is accused of assaulting a Brisbane bouncer, has agreed to participate justice mediation. His lawyer confirmed the Wallabies playmaker would meet face-to-face with his alleged victim.

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Bill allows mediation on property value disputes

Representatives of a number of Montana industries backed a bill Tuesday to allow property owners to go to mediation if they dispute the state Revenue Department’s assessed valuation of their property.

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HC chief justice allays fears on mediation

Calling for lawyers to be open to the setting up of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) centres in the state, Punjab and Haryana high court chief justice AK Sikri has assured lawyers that mediation will not impact their earnings.

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Extension of Farmer-Lender Mediation Act passed by MN House

The MN House voted 124-5 Thursday to extend the sunset date of The Farmer-Lender Mediation Act by four years. The bill requires a bank or other creditor to offer mediation to a farmer before enforcing a debt secured by agriculture property such as land, livestock or crops. Nearly 3,000 mediation notices, involving 1,087 farms, were received in fiscal year 2012, the fourth-highest total in the last 10 years.

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Kitzhaber speaks for “holy grail" bill - mediation of medical mistakes

Measure would encourage malpractice mediation before lawsuits are filed.  Democratic Gov. John Kitzhaber speaks to the Senate Judiciary Committee at the state Capitol in Salem, Ore., on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013. Kitzhaber supports a bill creating a new mediation process for patients injured by medical mistakes.

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Speaker's Corner: In praise of mediation as risk-free alternative to litigation

The benefits of mediation far outweigh any disadvantages. Mediation is much less expensive than arbitration or litigation. There are no witnesses, discoveries or expert fees and none of the other costs associated with arbitration or litigation. As well, the process is totally confidential and conducted on a strictly without-prejudice basis.

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After slow start, Legislature asked to expand foreclosure mediation program

Seven months into Oregon's foreclosure mediation program, after $400,000 in state payments for a program that was supposed to be self-sustaining, the numbers are in: Six mediations held, five foreclosures averted, another 45 in the pipeline. The lack of results is not for lack of interest from struggling homeowners, more than 400 of whom have asked for mediation.

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