Mediation in Today's News

May 2014

Plaintiff in Silicon Valley anti-poaching suit protests settlement, wants 'day in court'

Nearly three weeks after Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe agreed to settle out of court a class action lawsuit over alleged anti-poaching agreements, the case's class representative is requesting the $324 million settlement be rejected as "unfair and unjust."  In a letter sent to U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California Judge Lucy Koh on Sunday, Michael Devine protested the pending settlement agreed to by plaintiffs' lawyers, saying the proposed $324 million settlement is "grossly inadequate." Devine is one of four plaintiffs named in the suit and serves as class representative in the case.

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A global trend towards mediation: views from lawyers in 13 countries

Whilst mediation is not compulsory (unless there is a contractual clause to that effect), there is a growing trend towards parties attempting it, even in cases where it is unlikely to be successful. It is worth remembering that the use of mediation has also long been encouraged in the US. Against this background, it is interesting to canvass the views of lawyers practicing in 12 other jurisdictions to ascertain whether the cultural shift towards mediation in the UK is reflective of what is generally happening around the globe.

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Britz murder case going to mediation

Murder, assault and other charges against 29-year-old Holly Britz may be resolved today, if a felony mediation session is successful.
Britz was scheduled for a May 19 trial in Clark Circuit Court for multiple charges from a February 2013 crash. The trial is still on the docket and the trial could take four to five days. In felony mediation, a retired or senior status judge hears from all parties in a case, including prosecutors, the defendant, the victims or their families, and tried to negotiate a resolution. A circuit judge would have to accept and approve the resolution before the case would be resolved. Britz was charged four months after the crash that killed 25-year-old Britta Richmond and injured Edward Robles after sheriff's deputies received the results of toxicology tests on Britz's blood. The tests showed she had high levels of prescription medication that impaired her judgment.

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Environmentalists help mediate land disputes in Indonesia

Environmentalists in Indonesia have begun training their own mediators -- in response to a worsening conflict between small-hold farmers and larger plantation companies in areas plagued by forest fires. The number of conflicts has increased in recent years in communities in Sumatra and Kalimantan.

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Singapore: Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is looking to extend mediation services to more workers

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is looking to extend mediation services to more workers, regardless of job profile and salary. The Tripartite Mediation Framework helps professionals, managers and executives (PMEs) settle disputes and grievances over salaries and contracts with their employers. Today, it is only available to managers and executives who earn up to S$4,500. However, there are plans to scrap this salary cap and include rank-and-file workers at the same time, said Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin at a labour movement event. The type of disputes the mediation framework can address could also be widened, for instance, to cover re-employment. Together with the recently announced proposal for a small claims employment tribunal, the expanded mediation framework, when ready, is expected to give workers access to more avenues of recourse when disputes arise.

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Meditation, Mediation, Marketing and Medication

Last year, I attended a workshop on stress management for lawyers. At the session, the presenter relayed the following anecdote.
She had recently resigned from the partnership of a large firm in order to pursue her interest in helping lawyers manage stress. But prior to leaving her firm, she had put together a meditation series for lawyers. Shortly before the first session was set to start, she received a phone call from one of her colleagues. He wanted to know where the mediation series was taking place. It was humorous that a lawyer would confuse meditation with mediation. After all, mediation is about resolving conflict. Meditation is about inward focus. As I pondered the two, however, I began to see a relationship.

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When Mediation Makes Sense: A Win for Employers and Employees

A recent article in the New York Times discussed a new law giving unpaid interns in New York the right to sue if they are harassed or discriminated against by an employer. The legislation takes effect in June, a time of year when interns flood New York City seeking opportunities for experience and hopefully paid employment down the road. The article was of particular interest to me, as I had just successfully mediated a matter where discrimination claims against a well-known clothing designer had been brought by 16 former employees. While the employees were not interns, they had brought unpaid wage and racial discrimination claims against their former employer.

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Mediator hired by General Motors starts talks to settle ignition switch lawsuits

Kenneth Feinberg, an attorney who managed the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund has been hired by General Motors to settle claims from a deadly ignition switch problem and has started talks about compensating victims' families.  Kenneth Feinberg confirmed in an interview with The Associated Press that he met for four hours Friday with Robert Hilliard, a Corpus Christi, Texas, lawyer who said he represents families of 53 people killed and 273 injured in crashes of defective GM vehicles. Feinberg would not comment specifically on what was discussed. "I'm evaluating various compensation options for GM to consider," said Feinberg, who said plans to present the options to GM in the next few weeks. "I'm glad I met with him. It was an interesting meeting," Feinberg said.

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China to Encourage Third-party Mediation in Doctor-patient Disputes

A senior official Monday said that the Chinese government will encourage third-party mediation in doctor-patient disputes. Community workers and social workers can play a better role in mediating between patients and hospitals, said Vice Premier Liu Yandong at a meeting on doctor-patient disputes. There have been many attempts to bring in an independent third party to help settle medical disputes and successful examples will be introduced nationwide, Liu said. Tension between doctors and patients have risen in recent years as a string of assaults on medical workers by patients or their families shocked the country.

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Arapaho promote mediation in Wind River Reservation border dispute

A group of leaders from a Michigan town that successfully mediated a reservation boundary dispute is coming to Riverton, Wyoming, this week to share their story. The former mayor and tribal leaders from Mount Pleasant, Michigan, will be on hand for a symposium today at the Intertribal Building at Central Wyoming College. From 9 a.m. to noon, a panel discussion hosted by journalist Geoff O’Gara will discuss how the town of Mt. Pleasant and the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe drafted agreements to resolve long-standing jurisdiction problems. The group is coming to town at the request of the Northern Arapaho Tribe in hopes that their experience might provide a positive example for how to resolve an ongoing boundary dispute at the Wind River Indian Reservation.

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Mediation Perspectives: Fighting ‘Feminist Fatigue’

Despite decades of advocacy, why are women still so poorly represented at the peace table? In 2012, UN Women reported that women accounted for just four per cent of participants in 31 major peace processes between 1992 and 2011. Why is this number so low despite international mechanisms like United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women? A partial answer to this question may be found in the shortcomings of certain approaches to promoting women’s rights. In particular, the effectiveness of some strands of academic and policy literature on women, peace and security (WPS), and related advocacy campaigns that push for greater representation and participation of women at the peace table, can be questioned.

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April 2014

The Breakdown of Israeli-Palestinian Talks and the Dance of Mediation

Much has been written about the collapse of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, which officially expired yesterday. As I wrote in the context of both the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and in the context of mediations in Syria, the readiness of the parties to reach a mutually acceptable solution is the most important factor dictating the success of a mediation, and in this instance, either one or both of the parties is not ready to negotiate. Yet mediators, not just parties, can also trigger a blowup of the mediation without intending to.

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New family court system welcomed by solicitors and mediators

A leading York family law solicitor and mediators have welcomed major changes to divorce and child care proceedings that came into effect earlier this week. Before Easter, three different courts handled the legal part of family break-ups. Now the new Family Court will deal with all the work that previously went to the other three courts. It will also be compulsory for couples to take part in mediation before going to a court to resolve their differences.

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A conscious uncoupling

Gwyneth Paltrow has come in for much criticism over her desire to have a civilized divorce. But, says Catherine Thomas, surely she should be applauded.  Each case and each divorce is unique. None has provoked such a uniquely vitriolic reaction as the headlines that have been spinning over Gwyneth Paltrow’s request on her website for privacy during her divorce. She hoped that as she had ‘always conducted her relationship privately’ the public and press would extend her the same courtesy for her divorce as she goes through the process to ‘consciously uncouple and co parent.’

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Best Practices for Construction Dispute Mediation

Though I make my living in the courtroom, I have been a strong advocate for the mediation of construction disputes for many years. Quite frankly, it is the best thing ever to happen to the process of resolving construction disputes. While there are many reasons why parties should and do consider mediation, none could be as compelling as its high success rate. Many contracts, including the current AIA forms, give the option for mediation when a dispute arises. In addition, most courts will require mediation as part of the litigation process. Therefore, it’s important to understand the process of mediation.

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Singapore children pay up for parents

The concept of filial piety carries such weight in society that it has even found its way into national legislation. The Maintenance of Parents Act states that any resident over the age of 60 who find themselves in difficulty can apply to a tribunal for their children to provide financial support. The process first involves attempts at conciliation under the Commissioner for the Maintenance of Parents. If this fails, both sides then go for mediation, and failing that, a hearing before the tribunal.

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Grand Canyon Skywalk Litigation Dispute Resolved

The Grand Canyon Skywalk hovers peacefully over the majestic gorge now as the developer, Grand Canyon Skywalk Development, LLC (GCSD), and Hualapai tribe have reached a settlement after several days of mediation. The resolution ends more than three years of protracted litigation in multiple venues including federal district and appellate courts, the Hualapai Tribal Court, and Hualapai Appeals Court. The Skywalk, located on the Hualapai Indian Reservation northwest of Kingman, Arizona, was the brainchild of visionary developer, David Jin, who had wanted for decades to develop the West Rim of the Grand Canyon. He brought the idea to the tribe of a transparent, cantilever U-shaped bridge that allowed visitors to gaze straight down 4,000 feet into the heart of the canyon and onto the Colorado River.

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People looking for a lawyer are turning to the Internet first, survey finds

Once upon a time, the first thing that an overwhelming majority of people in need of legal representation would do is turn to relatives or friends for personal referrals. Some would consult the Yellow Pages or the local bar association, while only a small handful would use the Internet before any of the other aforementioned options. According to a recent survey conducted by and Thomson Reuters, those numbers have completely flipped around over the last decade. While the Internet was once the least popular option, according to results published last week, using the Web first is now the most popular choice among respondents. FindLaw and Thomson Reuters found that 38 percent of the 1,000 respondents said that they would use the Internet first. That was considerably higher than the other available options: 29 percent of respondents would ask a friend or relative first, 10 percent would go straight to the local bar association; and 4 percent would rely on the Yellow Pages. 

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ACC and Maryland heading to mediation over bitter divorce

A mediator has been assigned for the ongoing court battle between the ACC and Big Ten-bound Maryland. Agreeing to mediation could be a sign that a settlement is coming together, although given the bitterness between the two sides to this point it should not be considered an absolute given.  The Washington Post was first to report the news of the mediation agreement. According to the report by The Washington Post, the mediator’s directive will be “focus the parties’ attention on settlement rather than on trial preparation and to provide a structured opportunity for settlement negotiations to take place.” The mediation meeting must take place before July 10, after Maryland officially joins the Big Ten (July 1 is when schools officially make conference affiliation changes official).

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Facebook as Silent Mediator

It is not an overstatement to say that Facebook has had a significant impact on how people socialize. The website is virtual home to over one billion users. On Facebook, families are better able to stay in touch and old friends have an easier time finding one another. In this world of status updates, likes, event invites and pokes, relationships are made and sometimes even broken. Facebook is the internet’s great silent mediator.

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UK: A Little More Conversation: How Mediation Law Change Can Help Take the Element of Dispute From Divorce

Relationship breakdown is seldom easy for those involved. In some instances, emotions are so raw that the fracture can lead to an irreconcilable breakdown in communication. The desire to demonstrate who was right and who was wrong compels individuals to air their differences in court. However, that does not just mean turning up at court and asking the judge for a decision. It can mean a lot of preparation, investigation, time and expense and can have lasting consequences for the couple concerned and those close to them, especially their children. Thankfully, conflict is not a common element of every divorce, even if divorce itself is far too frequent for the liking of many commentators. According to figures released recently by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), some 42 per cent of marriages now end in divorce.

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Mediation Skills Help Build High Quality Job Candidates

Each summer a cohort of students spends intensive hours developing and sharpening skills that numerous employers are seeking in today's ideal employment candidate. Many conflict resolution skills, such as effective listening and communicating, problem solving, impartiality, and decision-making are core components of effective leadership which are sought by employers.

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New Family Court comes into being amid justice reforms

New combined Family Courts have come into being in England and Wales as part of family justice system reforms. The plan also includes new time frames for cases where children are taken into care and compulsory mediation awareness sessions for separating couples. Justice Minister Simon Hughes said it was "a hugely important change" to what had been a "very dysfunctional system". But the chief executive of the Family Rights Group charity said some of the changes could "work against children".

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Village Mediation mends village fences

The Village Mediation Program was erected in the 1980s to give residents a tool to address such situations. Since then, a group of 12–15 trained volunteer mediators from the community have made themselves available to bring interested parties together to talk out their differences. This year the mediator group is looking for new volunteers to help manage the average case load of one to two mediations per month, and they have organized a free two-day training program for anyone interested in either becoming a volunteer mediator or gaining skills in conflict resolution.

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Mediation made divorce 'more respectful'

Mediation can make divorce "more respectful" and help the splitting couple from arguing unnecessarily, according to one mother. Natasha Brittan told Daybreak sitting down with her estranged husband and an impartial referee with legal knowledge had helped them have an amicable divorce. "It just made everything more respectful, kinder and we did not want, or certainly I did not want my divorce to define the rest of my life.

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Big impact in small claims

No one shouts in this people’s court. There are no tears. Tension can run high, but volunteers with the Quad-Cities Mediation Services work with plaintiffs and defendants in Scott County District Small Claims Court to move toward solutions. Just over half of the 600 or so small claims lawsuits filed each year are resolved in the tiniest of meeting rooms on the courthouse’s third floor. The service handles the mediation district court magistrates require before hearing any small claims case. Volunteers bring the litigants together for a guided process that bypasses the drama of the courtroom reality shows. “We’re not here to belittle you,” Magistrate Doug Wells said of small claims court. “We’re here to make a decision in your case.” Volunteer mediators describe a unique community service that is challenging, but very rewarding. They commit to one or two days a month that begin at noon and wrap up within an hour or two. “You see actual results for real people,” Mediation Services Director Linda Schneider said. “Sometimes you can feel the burden being lifted off these people.” 

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Criminal Mediation: Violating Victims' Rights?

Criminal mediation isn’t common, but some critics say it traumatizes victims and infringes on their constitutional rights. When a felony case is mediated, the defendant, prosecutor and defense attorney meet with a mediating judge, hoping to avoid a trial. They hash out all issues, including reduced charges, continuing relationships with the victim, sentencing, restitution and admissibility of evidence. The defendant and defense attorney are in one room, the prosecutor in another. The mediating judge travels between them, and the proceedings are neither recorded nor reported. Such confidentiality encourages both parties to be open and avoids violations of the defendant’s constitutional rights, said Linda Trout, a retired Idaho Supreme Court justice who serves as a criminal mediator and sits on the Criminal Mediation Committee overseeing the process. But Betsy Z. Russell, president of the Idaho Press Club, expressed concerns. 

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Mediation service looks to settle community disputes in Limerick

A new mediation service will allow for the resolution of disputes at community level without resorting to the costly and stressful legal route. Run by the Limerick Community Law and Mediation Centre, the new service has been launched by Minister Jan O’Sullivan at Moyross Community Enterprise Centre. Speaking at the event, Moyross PP Fr Tony O’Riordan said: “this is a much needed service for Limerick and in particular those communities identified for regeneration. I believe that a community mediation process will enhance social inclusion by empowering the communities to resolve issues in a non-adversarial way and help to build community relations”.

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Judge Orders Detroit Into Mediation Over Regional Water Authority

A federal judge Thursday ordered this bankrupt city into mediation with its suburbs to reach an agreement on a new regional water authority to oversee water and sewer services currently provided by the city. Months of direct talks between the city of Detroit and the surrounding Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties has failed to produce an agreement on a new authority. But U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes said a regional authority could still be in the best interest of the city and its suburbs. "I also have a sense that this bankruptcy offers a unique opportunity for the creation of that regional authority," Judge Rhodes said. "If we do not take advantage of that unique opportunity, the opportunity in all likelihood will be lost forever."

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Judge orders Prime Prep and Fort Worth church into mediation

A state district judge ordered Prime Prep Academy and Charity Church — where the school held classes until the end of March — into mediation in hopes of settling a dispute over a lease agreement. During a hearing Wednesday state District Judge John Chupp ordered the church and school to begin mediation proceedings in two weeks. Chupp also extended a temporary restraining order for two weeks, and the school will continue not paying rent to the church for the time being. Charity Church and Prime Preparatory Academy are fighting over a lease that called for the school to pay $18,000 a month in rent. The lease was agreed to by former Superintendent D.L. Wallace, who left Prime Prep for a position at Charity Church earlier this year. Prime Prep was co-founded in 2011 by pro football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders and Wallace, his business partner at the time.

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Short Film MEDIATION to Screen at Beverly Hills Film Festival

Award-winning filmmaker Francisco's short film "Mediation" is set to screen at the upcoming 14th Annual Beverly Hills Film Festival as well as the 9th Annual Sunscreen Film Festival. "Mediation" is the first project released by the brand new Film/TV production company entitled Top Rebel Productions - the brainchild of actor Freddy Rodriguez, Francico Lorite and veteran producer Bill Winett. The short tells the story of a divorce mediation that spirals completely out of control for a husband (Freddy Rodriguez), his soon-to-be ex-wife (Marley Shelton) and their court-appointed mediator (Marilyn Sanabria).

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Papal mediator put to test as Venezuela peace talks resume

When Pietro Parolin was appointed last year by Pope Francis as the Vatican’s secretary of state, the Cardinal said he had been entrusted with a “difficult and challenging mission”. The Italian mediator’s diplomatic skills will be tested fully as he seeks to act as a “good faith witness” in talks that resume on Tuesday between Venezuela’s government and members of its opposition aimed at ending the violent unrest that has left at least 41 people dead in the country over the past two months.

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UK National mediation initiative gets under way

Firms in four cities have kicked off a national mediation initiative designed to help separating couples and demonstrate to lawyers the commercial viability of providing the service. Lawyer Supported Mediation has been set up by trained mediator Marc Lopatin (pictured) with ‘mediation hubs’ in Leeds, Newcastle, Manchester and London. Two more cities will join later in the year. The initiative is launched ahead of a change to the law making it compulsory for separating couples to attend a mediation information and assessment meeting (MIAM) before issuing family proceedings. The change is introduced on 22 April, under section 10 of the Children and Families Act.

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Conflict Management, Not Resolution: America's Role in Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations

The current round of peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians is on the brink of collapse, with each side accusing the other of failing to live up to previous commitments. Thus, after nine months of fruitless negotiations and the U.S.'s overly ambitious assessment that a deal could be reached within that time frame, Israel and the Palestinians are back where they began.

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President of the Family Division hails 'revolution'

Forthcoming changes to the family law in England and Wales amount to a “revolution”, the President of the Family Division has claimed. In the recently published 11th View from the President’s Chamber, Sir James Munby said: “Central to this revolution has been – has had to be – a fundamental change in the cultures of the family courts. This is truly a cultural revolution.” The family courts stand “on the cusp of history” and the changes due on April 22nd mark “the largest reform of the family justice system any of us have seen or will see in our professional lifetimes.”

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Ex-jailers, former inmates enter mediation

Two former Hall County Sheriff’s Office employees have entered into mediation with three then-inmates alleging civil rights violations in a Dec. 22, 2010, incident at the jail. Plaintiffs Devonta Wise, his brother Mautious Wise and Russell Green are suing the sheriff’s office, ex-jailer Dustin Charlton and then-Jail Capt. Mark Bandy, alleging their federal civil rights were denied. All three plaintiffs were being boarded in from Fulton County. Their suit alleges the employees were physically abusive, denied them medical care and called them disparaging names, including “trash that Fulton County did not want,” in violation of state law and the U.S. Constitution: the First Amendment right to express concerns about subpar treatment at the jail, cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment and excessive force and mistreatment based on race in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.

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MIAMs and mediation: a beginner’s guide

UK: Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings (MIAMs), were first introduced in April 2011, but they weren’t compulsory back then and referrals to mediation have fallen dramatically since. But from 22 April 2014, if you are considering making an application to the court about your children you will most certainly need to know what they are, who can provide them and if you need to have one before issuing court proceedings (and in most cases you will). MIAMs are designed to ensure that couples are aware of mediation as a potential way to resolve their problems outside a courtroom.  A MIAM is a meeting with a mediator in which the couple is provided with information about the mediation process and the legal framework that applies to their situation. It is a formal assessment of mediation’s suitability for their individual case.

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Amanpour asks Venezuelan President Maduro about mediation

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has agreed to talks with the opposition – with the Vatican as mediator, Reuters reports. CNN's Christiane Amanpour asked President Maduro about this very idea - of having the pope as mediator - when she interviewed him exclusively last month in Caracas.

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Surface Transportation Board directs BNSF Railway, Kansas City Southern Railway, and Union Pacific to "Engage in mandatory mediation to resolve" issue of trackage rights

STB's decision announced Monday, April 14, 2014, notes BNSF filed a letter in September 2013 stating the railroad "is more than willing to engage in three-carrier discussions" to resolve outstanding access issues.  STB's decision emphasizes, "The Board favors the resolution of disputes through mediation in lieu of formal Board proceedings whenever possible." STB will appoint a mediator, but notes the Class I railroads involved "may choose to hire a non-Board mediator" as long as the STB is notified within 10 days of the decision.

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Mediation In Turkey: An Alternative Method For Dispute Resolution

Long awaited Turkish mediation legislation was implemented in 2013 and regulates the terms and conditions for mediators and mediation. This law has been brought into force within the frame of harmonization of Turkish laws with EU legislation. Only the persons which fulfill the requirements stated by the Mediation Law may practice the profession as mediator. In Turkish law system, the use of this alternative dispute resolution may be decided by the parties freely and they are subject to equal terms and conditions during the whole mediation process ("equality principle"). Other principles concerning the mediation are: Ban on advertising of mediators; Confidentiality: Obligation to exercise diligence and principle of objectivity and independency; Duty to provide clarification of parties about the mediation period, its legal principles and legal conclusions; and a Duty to keep the documents.

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Add a few extra chairs to the mediation table

Yet another former LandAmerica employee is taking a legal swing at the collapsed company’s heavy hitters. A lawsuit filed March 20 against 15 former LandAmerica executives and directors seeks to blame them for losses suffered by the company’s pension fund during and in the wake of its downfall in 2009. It’s the second such case filed in the past three months in Richmond federal court. Like its predecessor, the suit seeks to force the 15 defendants to foot the bill for millions of dollars of losses to the fund. The suit could also trigger insurance policies that the company would have had to potentially cover the executives and directors. The two cases are similar enough in their claims that the newest suit was ordered into the same mediation process as the previous filing.

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New Jersey: New handbook promotes agricultural mediation for farm-related disputes

Agriculture Secretary Douglas H. Fisher announced today that the State Agriculture Development Committee (SADC) has published the New Jersey Agricultural Mediation Program Handbook to promote the use of mediation in resolving agriculture-related disputes. “Many farm-related conflicts stem from miscommunication or a lack of communication,” said Secretary Fisher. “Mediation can help bridge the gap by providing a trained mediator to guide discussion and resolution of issues quickly and amicably, saving farmers and everyone else involved time and money.” The New Jersey Agricultural Mediation Program Handbook explains how the program works and provides examples of successful mediations.

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Modesto attorney works as a mediator in civil cases

Dave Walker, a Modesto attorney with Damrell, Nelson, Schrimp, Pallios, Pacher & Silva, also works as a mediator in civil cases. Many of those cases involve automobile accidents, but others center on people wrangling over estate matters, neighbors tussling over boundary disputes or consumers seeking resolution when they believe a company hasn’t lived up to its promises. Mediators are “usually used for civil claims, claims for money damages most often that are headed to court or are already in the court system,” Walker said. The Stanislaus County court system “has a mediation program that’s been going since about 2005. The courts give people a list of potential mediators. A lot of people contact me directly, but the courts refer people as well. If you do a good job, hopefully, they’ll come back.” Most of the time, he said, he’ll mediate a case that is already in the court system. But, occasionally, people will come to him before the matter gets to court.

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Police unions reject pension settlement, sending state back into mediation

The Superior Court judge overseeing the legal battle over Rhode Island’s 2011 attempt to curb exploding public-employee pension costs ordered the combatants back into mediation on Monday after police rejected the proposed settlement nearly 2 to 1. Police were the smallest of the six public-employee groups voting on the proposed settlement that their union leaders hammered out with lawyers for Governor Chafee and General Treasurer Gina Raimondo during close to a year of court-ordered, closed-door talks.  State employees and teachers were among those who tacitly approved the proposed deal, under an arrangement where any one of the 23,624 mailed ballots that was not returned counted as a “yes” vote. But under the terms of the settlement agreement, “if more than 50 percent of any one of the plaintiff groups vote to reject, the settlement process ends.”

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Apple, Google negotiate to head off trial in tech-hiring collusion case

The biggest technology companies in Silicon Valley including Apple Inc., Google Inc., Intel Corp. and Adobe Systems Inc. are in mediation with workers who want $9 billion in damages over claims the firms colluded to not recruit talent from each other, driving wages down, the New York Times said. The companies, which have already settled a U.S. Justice Dept. probe by promising to sin no more, are contending with evidence in the case that they will find difficult to explain away. Emails between Apple founder Steve Jobs and Google CEO in particular demonstrate the executives' desire not to compete. The two sides are mediating as they wait for a trial set to begin May 27. U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh on March 28 denied the company's attempt to have the suit dismissed.

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Peer mediation program encourages maturity and safe environment for students

In recent years, Cleveland Independent School District has faced some rocky roads and various positive programs have been put in place to allow for a more solid educational foundation with a brighter future. Cleveland High School Assistant Principal Edna O’Bryant is doing her part in promoting positivity by helping to form a peer mediation group, where students can come to a safe environment and talk their problems out in a mature manner, without the risk of things getting too far out of hand between the students. Unlike a trip to the counselor’s office, however, this program is essentially organized by the students and presided over with a courtroom mentality. O’Bryant is both ex-military and an ex-prison guard, and has been with the school district for approximately two years. During her time with the district, she has worked to make the students feel that they can air their grievances in a way that can be a positive resolution for everyone involved.

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Conflict Mediation a Key Tool for Same-Sex Couples

Our lives sometimes seem filled with concerns or disagreements that too often spiral out of control into full-blown disputes. These conflicts may be with the ones we most love or may concern issues vitally important to us. These incidents may be with a partner relating to the dissolution of a relationship, with the family of a loved one regarding issues of care during an illness, with others laying claim to an inheritance after a death, with a former partner concerning visitation rights to children, with a child regarding access to grandchildren, or with an employer, school, neighbor, or merchant.  Traditional mechanisms for resolution use the “win/lose” dynamic. Conflict resolution is, then, a risk-filled process. “Mediation” or a “Shared Decision Making Process” offers a completely different model of conflict resolution. Within mediation, conflict may be seen as an opportunity rather than a problem. The operational theory of mediation is “win-win.”

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Mediation resolves 32-year-old civil case

India: Bharatlal Gangotri, 81, admitted that he had been left hassled attending the dates of this seemingly unending case which had dragged on for around 32 years before it was finally settled on Saturday during a live mediation session at the district court on Saturday. The legal heirs of Gangotri's late opponent were also present for settling the matter through the alternative dispute resolution process. Of the 39 cases that were taken up, 28 matters were settled through mediation in a single day. Though mediation is a process where confidentiality is maintained, the District Legal Services Authority (DLSA) allowed the law students and lawyers to observe the sessions in order to popularize the concept.

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Mediation for dog owner who assaulted man who killed family pet

A second trial slated for Monday between feuding neighbours in the R.M. of Grant has been referred to mediation. Facing one count of assault, Michael Price will be heading to mediation in early May. The charge stems from an incident in which the family’s dog, an eight-month old Saint Bernard, was shot and killed by their neighbour, Eugene Krawchuk when it wandered into their pasture. Referring the case to mediation requires that Price accept responsibility for his actions and participate in either mediation or a court diversion program, such as counselling. According to a Justice Ministry alternative measures program manual, if the mediation or alternative program is completed successfully, the charge will be withdrawn.

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Downtown Raleigh noise complaints could soon be handled by mediation

Raleigh city staff, residents and bar owners are working to develop a mediation system that will help alleviate tension between downtown residents and nightclub owners. A new mediation system will begin as a pilot program in the Glenwood South district, the source of most club-related noise complaints. Bars and clubs will be required to list online a 24-hour contact person for residents to call about noise. The contact person could then address the problem without involving the police department. The next step will be a meeting with an independent mediator from the police department to help broker a solution. If the problems persist, the police department could cite a business and the city could revoke or not renew the business’s amplified sound permits.

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The Benefits of Trusting Your Mediator

Who exactly is the opposition in mediation? Should you reveal your trial strategies to the mediator? What about disclosing your settlement authority? Some concepts may seem obvious, others may not, but it is surprising how often mediating parties employ tactics that are unhelpful to their cause.

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