Susan Oberman is a family mediator in solo private practice as Common Ground Negotiation Services, established in 1999. She brings twenty-two years of mediation experience and scholarship to her work with couples, families, and community groups. She developed and practices the Sustainable Knowledge Model of Norm-Educating Mediation. The Sustainable Knowledge Model is based on the theory that clients make better decisions when they have all relevant information. Recognizing that mediation operates “in the shadow of the law,” Ms. Oberman believes the mediator is responsible for insuring that clients are informed about their rights throughout the mediation process, thereby protecting self-determination. She also offers group facilitation, and workshops for organizations and professionals.
"Style vs. Model: Why Quibble?” 9 PEPPERDINE DISPUTE RESOLUTION LAW JOURNAL, No. 1, 1, 62, (2008).
“Mediation Theory vs. Practice: What Are We Really Doing? Re-Solving A Professional Conundrum,” 20 OHIO ST. J. DISP. RES., No. 3, 2005, 775,824.
Contact Susan Oberman
Mediation And The Right To Privacy: Confidentiality, The USA PATRIOT Act, And Us
This article addresses the offer of confidentiality in mediation which ultimately references the constitutional and common law right of privacy, and makes confidentiality in mediation one of the rare instances in which citizens can exercise this right. However, rules of evidence can override confidentiality, in reality it cannot be guaranteed. The USA PATRIOT Act Section 215 places promises of confidentiality in even greater jeopardy. The legal boundaries around what can be kept confidential make what mediators say about it a key example of how mediation is not an alternative to, but an option within, the legal system. As a critical aspect of supporting party self-determination, mediators need to fully understand and explain confidentiality.