Mediation in Today's News

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September 2015
9/29

5 Myths About Divorce Mediation

Divorce does not have to be a battle. The only reason that tends to be the case is that most people only know of one thing they can do when they decide to divorce — hire attorneys and go to court.

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PA York County Commissioner Steve Chronister proposes mediation to end state budget impasse

York County Board of Commissioners President Steve Chronister proposes professional mediation as an end to the budget impasse at a news conference outside the York County Administrative Center in York Monday. The President of the York County Board of Commissioners proposed professional mediation as a way to fix the budget stalemate that is in its 90th day in Harrisburg. 

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9/22

Santa Clara judge orders parents of boy with autism, Sunnyvale neighbors into mediation

A Santa Clara County judge ordered the parents of a boy with autism, as well as their former Sunnyvale neighbors, into mediation. Those neighbors had filed a lawsuit saying the boy was a threat to their safety and did it as a last resort.

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Oman, a crucial mediator in the Mideast, helps free hostages held by Yemen's Shiite rebels

The two American hostages, freed after months of being held hostage in Yemen's raging civil war, took their first steps to freedom down a staircase pushed against a gleaming Oman royal air force jet. It's not the first time a scene like this has played out in recent years as the unassuming sultanate of Oman wields its influence as one of the Middle East's most useful go-to mediators of thorny disputes.

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Editorial: Mediators insult NJ Transit riders

When four years of fruitless negotiations between NJ Transit and its union employees went nowhere, federal mediators stepped in and offered non-binding recommendations in the hope of breaking the impasse.

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Kenya: Replace Senate With Elders' Council to Offer Mediation in Times of Crises

If a council of elders existed, it would be the best bet to ending the damaging standoff between the teachers and the government.

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State's agricultural mediation program recertified by USDA

The South Dakota Department of Agriculture's agricultural mediation program has been recertified by USDA's Farm Service Agency. The department says mediation is an alternative method of resolving agricultural disputes. The department is authorized to mediate disputes that involve debtor and creditor, federal lands, oil and gas and water drainage. Certain areas of the mediation program are partially funded by a USDA grant.

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Mediation under way in Newark student suicide lawsuit

A judge is overseeing mediation in a lawsuit filed by the family of a Newark High School student who hanged himself hours after talking to a school counselor and acknowledging a previous suicide attempt just days earlier. Wednesday’s mediation involves a lawsuit filed against Christina School District officials in 2010.

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Owner wants mediation over rejected Bonita car wash

The owner of the company that has failed to win approval for a car wash in US 41 in Bonita Springs says he'd like to sit down with the city before a mediator and reach a compromise.

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9/15

Resolving public record disputes in Ohio

Our mediation program assists (1) those who believe their request for records was improperly denied or was not responded to in a reasonable amount of time; and (2) local public officials who struggle with requests they see as ambiguous, overly broad, or difficult to fill. Anyone who has requested public records from a local public office, or a public office that has received a public records request, can apply for mediation so long as the requester hasn’t already filed a lawsuit.

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Christchurch's wheelie bin dispute resolved

An industrial dispute involving Christchurch's wheelie bin collection drivers is over. A number of wheelie bins were left uncollected for 24 hours last week when drivers refused to work overtime and clocked off at 2pm, leaving many bins unemptied. The drivers were upset about low wages and a lack of penalty rates for working more than eight hours a day. Waste Management and the Amalgamated Workers Union agreed to a resolution following seven hours of mediation.

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Why Mediation Helps Relationships

When conflict escalates, it can wreak havoc on personal and professional relationships, leaving more problems in its wake. Mediation can help. Mediation offers a way to work together on a solution that is mutually fair and sustainable. It helps you develop the skills necessary for maintaining healthy relationships at home, at work and elsewhere.

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An Enlightening Outdoor Mediation in Pennsylvania

Every once in a while something happens in the law so marvelous and entertaining that the first glass of wine at home in the evening is even more satisfying. That was my feeling after what may have been the first outdoor mediation in Pennsylvania's long and illustrious history.

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Jones-Drew civil case settled by mediation

Scheduled for a jury trial last week in St. Johns County, the civil case involving former Jacksonville Jaguars star running back Maurice Jones-Drew was settled instead. Jones-Drew was sued by former Conch House security guard Kasim Howard after an incident in which Howard was punched in the face.

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Mediation set for activist, Chattanooga police officer in Facebook squabble

A Chattanooga police officer and a local activist who got into a public squabble on Facebook late last year will sit down at the same table and talk things through. According to police records, that's part of the officer's discipline.

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9/09

Judge orders Utah GOP, state to find mediator in SB54 lawsuit

Wanted: Unbiased person with legislative, political and legal knowledge to referee the dispute over how Utahns choose candidates for primary elections. A federal judge Tuesday ordered the Utah Republican Party, the Utah Constitution Party and the state to come up with a mediator in their ongoing lawsuit, and to do it quickly.

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BC Supreme Court refuses exemption from mediation for Aboriginal fishing rights claim

The Supreme Court of British Columbia recently released a decision in Matsqui First Nation v. Canada (Attorney General), 2015 BCSC 1409, that has application to the resolution of Aboriginal rights claims, as well as the mediation of civil claims generally, before the Supreme Court of British Columbia. It confirms the very high threshold to be met in seeking an exemption from attendance at a mandatory mediation on the basis that it would be “materially impracticable or unfair to require the party to attend”.

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Energy Future Holdings – another major success for chapter 11 mediation?

Mediation has become an invaluable tool in large chapter 11 cases. Traditionally viewed as a means for resolving discrete disputes between a debtor’s estate and an adversary party, in recent years mediation in certain complex cases has evolved into a multi-party undertaking involving claimants from all levels of a debtor’s capital structure, with the ambitious goal of resolving the entire case through a consensual plan of reorganization.

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Settlement reached between Great Planes Airlines and BOK after mediation

A $15.69 million dispute stemming from a loan to Great Plains Airlines between the Bank of Oklahoma and the city’s airport was settled Monday for about 10 cents on the dollar after nearly nine hours of mediation at the Tulsa Hyatt Regency Hotel.

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Zuma tries mediation to stem job losses

Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma yesterday met mining houses and organised labour to limit plans to shed thousands of jobs. However, analysts cast doubt on the impact of the meeting on limiting retrenchments, given the sector’s substantial challenges.

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Shanghai Launches First Online Mediation Court for Civil Cases

The first online mediation court was launched in a district court in Shanghai on Sept. 8 to hear cases involving mostly foreign litigants who cannot appear personally in court.

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9/01

Mediation 2015: Trends

The cost of litigation, from discovery to judgment, generally continues to rise in recognised centres of excellence such as the US, UK and Germany, meaning that clients are more concerned than ever with dispute avoidance or resolution at the lowest possible price. In this commercial environment, and given that the cost of arbitration also continues to rise, contributors to our research have highlighted the opportunity to further mediation’s reputation as a user-friendly, cost-effective and flexible form of dispute resolution that cannot only resolve disputes amicably and confidentially but facilitate stronger working relationships between commercial parties.

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Krier calls for mediation about Lucky’s sad plight

Lucky, a 55-year-old female elephant last year at the San Antonio Zoo, has lived alone for more than two years. Elephants are highly social animals. Still, zoo officials do not want to move her. Could mediation be a way to improve Lucky’s life? That’s the hope of City Councilman Joe Krier, who has called on the San Antonio Zoo and Animal Legal Defense Fund to head to mediation about Lucky’s inadequate living conditions.

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Mediation Program Saves Kane County Homes From Foreclosure: Study Finds AG-Funded Programs Are Effective

Established in 2014, the Kane County (IL) Mandatory Residential Foreclosure Mediation Program served 366 homeowners in its first year. The program, administered by Chicago-based Resolution Systems Institute ("RSI") through funding from the Illinois Office of the Attorney General and support from the Kane County Board, was established to assist homeowners struggling to navigate the court system with a fair and efficient process for resolving what happens to their homes. A recently completed evaluation found that the IL mediation programs are meeting this goal.

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Mediation 2015: Roundtable

Who’s Who Legal brings together three leading experts to discuss issues facing lawyers today.

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A New York Convention for mediation may be coming soon

In July 2014, during a session of UNCITRAL that took place in New York, a Proposal to undertake work on the preparation of a convention on the enforceability of international commercial settlement agreements reached through mediation/conciliation was put forward to UNCITRAL by the government of the United States of America. If the Convention is created and taken up, it will create a strong international legal framework for mediation.

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Dayton Police: Mediation to Help Resolve 'Eye Contact' Traffic Stop

Police officials say they are using mediation to help work through the issue of a contentious traffic stop that was recorded on cellphone video. A statement from the city of Dayton said a Dayton police officer, who they didn't identify, pulled John Felton of Michigan over Aug. 15, 2015, for failing to signaling within 100 feet of a turn. "During the stop the Officer additionally acknowledged that Mr. Felton made sustained direct eye contact prior to being stopped," the city's statement reads. "The traffic infraction was verified by the video; however making direct eye contact with an officer is not a basis for a traffic stop."

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Enforcing Prelitigation Mediation Clauses in State Court

When a dispute arises, parties to a contract generally look for ways to stay out of court if they can. Including a clause requiring mediation before litigation is one way to accomplish that goal. This kind of clause can make good business sense: after all, being warned of a dispute and having the chance to try and resolve it in mediation is usually preferable to being served with a summons and a copy of a complaint. Plus, a successful mediation is faster and cheaper than litigation and often more private. But what happens if a party fails to honor a prelawsuit mediation requirement and instead runs directly to court?

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August 2015
8/25

Florida, Seminole Tribe headed to mediation over casino agreement

The state and the Seminole Tribe are headed into mediation — shepherded by a lawyer whose past clients include Mick Jagger and Leona Helmsley — to resolve a possible standoff over the future of blackjack and other banked card games at most of the tribe’s Florida casinos. The tribe formally requested mediation last month after negotiations over the card games — part of a $1 billion, five-year deal — stalled this spring.

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Pet Custody Issues Become Increasingly Prevalent After Break-Ups

More and more couples getting divorced are battling over their pets. One woman in Charlottesville spent years in mediation working out a deal on how to split time with their little beagle mix. According to a survey, 22 percent of attorneys say they're seeing more courts allow pet custody cases and 20 percent say more courts are considering pets an asset during divorce cases.

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Whistleblower Cases are Custom Tailored for ADR

Various state and federal statutes exist to protect and compensate employees whose employers retaliate against them after they disclose certain fraudulent practices to the employers or government agencies. These are known as Whistleblower statutes. Employment claims under Whistleblower statutes are a complex and growing area of the law. Whistleblower actions typically involve highly sensitive information and serious allegations that companies would prefer to keep out of the public view. Therefore, ADR is ideally designed to address Whistleblower actions.

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Mediation ahead for Miami and Innovation Tower developer

The developer planning a polarizing billboard and observation tower in Miami will look to a mediator to persuade city planners to process stalled permit applications for large digital signs that would flash over Interstate 395 and the downtown skyline.

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Consider the value of mediation in settling legal disputes

It took some time for me to appreciate the value of mediation as a tool for resolving legal disputes.

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Mediation scheduled in Redskins trademark lawsuit

An initial mediation conference between the NFL and Native Americans has been scheduled in the trademark federal lawsuit. The Appeals Court is setting up the first mediation between the parties. The Circuit Mediator will initiate the call. The mediation will be by telephone at 9:30 a.m. on September 10. The courts says the purpose of this discussion is not to decide the case or reach conclusions about the issues, but to understand what the issues are and to evaluate the risks on appeal.

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Between Scylla and Charybids: the mediation privilege and legal malpractice claims

I attended a mediation earlier this month in a real estate case. I won’t say more through because . . . well . . . it’s confidential. The confidentiality of mediations and of settlement discussions generally – the idea being that parties are more likely to resolve their differences if they can speak honestly and frankly with one another without fear that their words or actions can later be used against them in trial – has long been a hallmark of California law. But that may not be the case for long.

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8/18

Mediation can help with fallout from failed marriages

Even as we strive to ensure that the child's interests are met, we must not forget that the divorcing couple themselves require much support as they move on and get past the hurt of a broken marriage.

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Canadian Experts weigh in on how to deal with neighbour disputes

Throughout the Canada, municipalities are regularly pressured to intervene when residents file complaints about noise disrupting their peace and quiet. In Ottawa, officers say a complete of 6,152 noise-related complaints have been filed to the town between the start of the yr and Aug. 11, with slightly below half associated to loud music and about 1,500 loud shouting.

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Q&A: Edd McDevitt, mediator

In an interview with The State Journal, Edd McDevitt, who has been involved in alternative dispute resolution for over 40 years, discussed what mediation entails and why it is a viable legal option.

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Guardianship Mediation Pilot Launches in Nassau

The Nassau County Bar Association has launched a pilot program allowing parties in guardianship disputes to enter mediation, with mediators provided by the bar and an investment advisory firm. Through the pilot program, 20 court-referred cases will receive up to four free hours of mediation. If the parties do not reach a resolution during the four hours, they will have the option of paying for additional mediation for $300 per hour, which is the bar association's standard rate.

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Seismic change in mediator’s role

Working to resolve issues in wake of the New Zealand disaster suggests a wider role for mediation in face of natural disasters, says John Sturrock.
 

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UK: Mediation rates ‘increasing’ amongst divorced couples

There has been a surge in the number of divorcing couples turning to mediation, a national organisation has claimed. National Family Mediation (NFM), based in Exeter, reports that it received an average of 3,400 calls per month enquiring about the option over the first six months of this year, more than twice the monthly average of 1,600 calls during the same period last year.

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8/11

How Divorce Mediation Can Help Cope with Divorce Related Trauma

Divorce mediation is not designed to reconcile a couple. Rather, the formal and guided structure of the divorce mediation process is built around the idea that separating from the life one has built with the spouse should be as painless and reasonable as possible. The family has probably already had enough emotional trauma and pain. The mediation process is a caring and healing environment in which both spouses can make the right decisions to protect the financial assets, children and each other from further trauma.

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Shahran Spears, EEOC, DeKalb School District 428 in mediation process

A former Brooks Elementary School principal, who was fired for using school district funds to buy religious books as gifts for staff members, is in the process of scheduling legal mediation with DeKalb School District 428, her attorney said.

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Gonzales seeks more time for MorningStar negotiations

Mayor Javier Gonzales touched off a firestorm Friday when he announced on the airwaves that adversaries had agreed to mediation on a controversial proposal to build a large assisted living center on Old Pecos Trail. In fact, no such deal has been reached. The Southeast Neighborhood Association and the company, Colorado-based MorningStar Senior Living, have only agreed to continue discussions as to the terms and conditions for a possible mediation.

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What Mediation and Marathon Running Have in Common

I like mediating. I also like running marathons. What this says about my sanity is a question for another day, but the more I do both the more similarities I identify between the two disciplines.

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Egypt rejects Qatari mediation to reconcile with Brotherhood

 Egypt has rejected Qatari mediation to reconcile with the Muslim Brotherhood and considered statements of the Qatari foreign minister on the matter as an “unacceptable interference in Egyptian internal affairs.”

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Charleston residents, preservationists seek a say at Jasper mediation

Many residents of the Charlestowne Neighborhood also see the company’s request for mediation as an attempt to cut the public out of the process, said Jay Williams, who chairs the neighborhood’s Sergeant Jasper Committee. “Without us, and three other organizations who also filed to intervene, this could end up being the ultimate ‘back-room deal,’ ” Williams said.

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8/07

Mediation called to resolve disputed costs at Vikings stadium

The question of who will pay for about $15 million in disputed construction costs for the U.S. Bank Stadium is headed to mediation. The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, which is overseeing the construction of the $1.1 billion Vikings stadium on behalf of the public, said M.A. Mortenson Co. has made a formal application for mediation over $15 million in disputed costs. The Minneapolis-based contractor also filed for a right to proceed with arbitration if the mediation fails.

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South Africa street mediation will 'build bridges and bring peace to communities'

Soon a whole street there will be dedicated to resolving disputes through mediation instead of going to court. Fifteen women will undergo specialized training before being registered as mediators and transforming their homes into “conflict resolutions and legal education spaces’’.The initiative is being run by The African School of Mediation‚ which will start training on Woman’s Day.

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Rhode Island General Assembly Clarifies Intent of Foreclosure Mediation Law

In what can only be perceived as a response to a recent Superior Court decision, the Rhode Island General Assembly amended the applicability of the Foreclosure Mediation Law, R.I. Gen. Laws § 34-27-3.2, for the third time in as many years.

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8/05

Borough of Ramsey, contractor mediating dispute over pool

RAMSEY - The borough is moving into mediation to seek to resolve a dispute with a Pennsylvania swimming pool contractor, which is claiming the borough owes it $40,500 for work done on the municipal pool. The $2 million in renovations were supposed to be done by May 2, 2014, but because of construction delays the pool didn't open until mid-June last year. The borough says it is withholding the $40,500 for late fees stipulated in the contract. 

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