Mediation in Today's News

November 2013

Judge orders mediation in Interfaith bankruptcy case

Giving a small measure of hope to advocates for Interfaith Medical Center, Chief Bankruptcy Judge Carla E. Craig on Wednesday deferred making a final determination on closing the ailing Central Brooklyn hospital, instead assigning the case to mediation. The goal is to work out a compromise combining elements of plans submitted by Interfaith supporters, and a closure plan backed by the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) and the state Department of Health. Judge Craig assigned as mediator Judge Elizabeth Stong, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the Eastern District of New York. Proposals put forward by the IM Foundation and other supporters attempt to preserve Interfaith’s 287 inpatient hospital beds, 120 of which are for psychiatric patients.

read more

UK: Silence Is Costly: Consequences Of Ignoring An Invitation To Mediate

The Court of Appeal held that: Silence in the face of an invitation to ADR is, as a general rule, unreasonable. Failure to respond to an invitation to ADR will make a party liable for penalties in costs, at the court's discretion. Not providing reasons for refusal to mediate means that the other side is unable to try to accommodate them. A reasoned response could encourage the parties to re-consider their position. Reasons provided subsequently - at trial, for example - will be disregarded. A specialist mediator may spot the game-changing point (here: the air conditioning system), much earlier in the case. The Court depriving the Defendant of all costs claimed was "vigorous", but an exercise of the Court's discretion, and should compel others to agree to ADR.

read more

Litigants increasingly prefer mediation in settling cases

The mediation centre of the Pune District and Sessions Court has recorded a rapid increase in settling cases — out of 4,082 cases referred to it so far this year, 2,481 cases have been settled.  For dispute settlement, the centre uses alternative dispute resolution (ADR), a technique that acts as a means for disagreeing parties to come to an agreement short of litigation.  Explaining the procedure, R K Malabade, mediator judge and co-ordinator of the centre, said, “Mediation is an ADR process during which the mediator, an impartial third party, assists disputing parties in reaching a mutually acceptable agreement.  Malabade added that mediator does not impose a solution on any party, but helps those involved in the dispute to talk to each other, and resolve the dispute themselves. “The procedure followed during mediation is as per section 89A of the Civil Procedure Code (CPC) that talks about settlement of disputes outside courts. At present, most of the cases that the centre deals with are matrimonial disputes and property matters,” he added.

read more

Malaysia: A quick fix to medical disputes

Patients and doctors can soon resolve their grievances without going to court. A mediation bureau is being set up by the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) and the Medico-Legal Society of Malaysia (MLSM) to look into the increasing number of medical disputes in the country and settle cases out of court. “Although the bureau does not have any legal regulatory powers, it will be a faster and cheaper alternative for parties seeking an amicable solution to their medical dispute,” said Datuk Dr N.K.S. Tharmaseelan, president of both MMA and MLSM which represent more than 15,000 doctors and specialists. The bureau, to be operational by Dec 1, will have a panel made up of legal advisers and healthcare experts. Those seeking redress will be charged a small administrative fee of about RM100.

read more

Heiko Langner: “The Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict can be settled with Russian mediation”

German political scientist and expert in the post-Soviet area, Heiko Langner, commented on the situation in Georgia and Azerbaijan following the elections, the upcoming summit of the Eastern Partnership, and the prospects of settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict for Vestnik Kavkaza.

read more

India: Mediating Legal Disputes

Alternative ways of dispute resolution have been globally pulling litigants and lawyers alike towards a more consensual-settlement based approach for a while now. In most developed nations, litigations are increasingly being seen only as the last resort after alternatives have been exhausted. On the contrary, in Bangladesh, litigations although fraught with a lengthy, adversarial, complex and expensive process are seen as the proffered and preferred tool of seeking remedy at the best but wearing down the adversary with ulterior motives in most other cases. Alternative dispute resolution is advised, available and practiced only at a minuscule level.

read more

Nigeria: 'Mediation key to resolving contract disputes in construction sector’

Mediation has been identified as a key strategy for resolving contract disputes in the construction sector as it will not only boost business growth but also further enhance investment opportunities even as savvy investors now beam their searchlight on Nigeria as one of the most profitable countries in Africa and the world. The use of Public Private Partnership (PPP) as a viable approach for providing infrastructure through private equity firms has further heightened the need for mediation rather than litigation for resolving disputes, as most firms contracted to execute same projects sometimes have different cultures.

read more

Singapore Law Ministry to co-fund training programmes for mediators

SINGAPORE: The Law Ministry will fund 80 per cent of fees for mediators interested in pursuing local and overseas training programmes. One such course is the Certificate in Law for Community Mediation awarded by Temasek Polytechnic. Senior Minister of State for Law Indranee Rajah announced this at a dinner marking the Community Mediation Centre's 15th year anniversary. Ms Indranee said: "Our mediators are essential to the speedy and effective resolution of social and community disputes before they grow into something much more serious. It is thus critical that our mediators undergo continuous training to keep their knowledge and mediation skills relevant and up-to-date."

read more

Bermuda: Forging a pathway towards mediation for feuding parents

Court-ordered mediation for parents feuding over children has moved closer to becoming a reality. Recognising the importance of both parents in the lives of their children, the One Bermuda Alliance Government pledged in the Throne Speech to upgrade existing legislation. Amendments to the Children Act 1998 will make mediation a prerequisite to coparenting orders rather than as a result of non-compliance with court orders.

read more

King County Sheriff starts mediation program for citizen complaints

Citizens who have complaints with King County Sheriff's Office (KCSO) deputies will now have another avenue to address their issues, thanks to a new mediation process being implemented by the King County Office of Law Enforcement Oversight. According to KCSO, the oversight office "will identify cases in which parties might benefit from a face-to-face discussion." Mediation will be performed by the King County Office of Alternative Dispute Resolution, and it's hoped it will "create an opportunity for meaningful and confidential discussion between the parties."

read more

Silence can be expensive: the dangers of ignoring an opponent's ADR request

UK: The Court of Appeal has decided that a failure to respond to a reasoned invitation to mediate an ongoing dispute is unreasonable, regardless of whether there were good reasons to refuse to mediate. Silence is not an acceptable response and parties must actively engage in attempts to settle their disputes without recourse to court proceedings.

read more

Turkey asks for Swiss mediation in Karabakh conflict

Turkey has requested support from Switzerland to help overcome conflicts between Armenia and Azerbaijan to open the way for Ankara to repair ties with Yerevan, which have been cool over the Armenian occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh.  Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told Swiss officials that Turkey is ready to normalize its relations with Armenia, but he made it clear that Yerevan should first leave the Azerbaijani territories it has occupied.

read more

Peer mediation may lead Student of the Month to psychology career

Adonis Holmes, 17, was recognized as a Student of the Month recently by the Lansing Rotary Club for his dedication to his school and his fellow students. A senior at Thornton Fractional South High School in Lansing, Holmes serves as president of the Peer Mediation group and vice president of Student Council. “I enjoy being able to sort out differences between individuals. I love being able to say that I helped create a better solution to a critical problem.” To continue to serve his peers, he plans to attend Yale University or the University of Pennsylvania to study psychology.  “I enjoy the personal aspect of psychology. I love people, and I would love to have a profession that is centered on human understanding,” he said.

read more

Mediation - what donkeys and humans have in common

The other day when I was out walking I remembered something a friend once told me. He said: "Wouldn't it be great if we had more donkeys in the world?" When I asked what he meant he explained. "Donkeys are so cool. Didn't you know that they are nature's best mediators? For example they break up fights between bulls.

read more

Turkey and Norway cooperate for peace

Turkey and Norway support each other on the global scene for mediation and peace efforts against crises. “Turkey will continue to work with friendly nations like Norway and international organizations to achieve regional and global peace,” Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Wednesday. “I usually make some analogy between international crises and earthquakes,” Davutoglu explained at an academic conference on international mediation. “Earthquakes weaken the columns of buildings, mediation is the best effort to restore these buildings.” During the conference, which hosted Norwegian academicians and Foreign Minister Borge Brende in Turkish capital Ankara, both foreign ministers addressed the audience on their countries’ efforts to mediate crises around the world over years.

read more

Learn to make it right with restorative justice

The Victim Offender Mediation Association website defines victim-offender-mediation as “a face-to-face meeting, in the presence of a trained mediator, between the victim of a crime and the person who committed that crime ... In the meeting, the offender and the victim can talk to each other about what happened, the effects of the crime on their lives, and their feelings about it. They may choose to create a mutually agreeable plan to repair any damages that occurred as a result of the crime.”

read more

Internet Defamation: Notice Of Claim Served Via Message Board

Earlier this year, the British Columbia Supreme Court allowed a plaintiff, Brian Burke, to serve his defamation claim via the message board on which the defamatory publications were posted. Service was thereafter effective on the defendants in the names of their aliases.

read more

Denver, Adams County officials secretly meet with professional mediator over DIA development

Officials from Denver and Adams County met all day Thursday in a hotel with a professional mediator to work out a resolution to a long-festering dispute over the development of Denver International Airport. The meeting with Washington, D.C., mediator John Bickerman has been a tightly held secret and participants have been asked to sign a confidentiality agreement, according to a source close to one of the parties who asked not to be identified.

read more

NCAA, concussion plaintiffs go to mediation in landmark case

The NCAA and plaintiffs' lawyers in a landmark concussion lawsuit met with a mediator on Friday, has learned. Former Eastern Illinois defensive back Adrian Arrington and four other former NCAA athletes sued the association in September 2011. The basis of the suit is a “duty of care” that Arrington says is owed to players by the NCAA. The suit seeks unspecified monetary damages and a series of reforms by the NCAA. Specifics of the mediation were not available. The sides are bound by a confidentiality agreement.

read more

Stryker Rejuvenate Hip Lawsuits Fast Tracked for Mediation

Stryker Rejuvenate hip lawsuits are on a fast track in New Jersey state court, with a court mandated mediation program in place to try and reach a settlement.  More than 430 defective hip product liability Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II hip stems lawsuits are centralized in the Superior Court for Bergen County, New Jersey before Judge Brian R. Martinotti.

read more

Trinidad and Tobago: Building confidence in mediation

The AG, Prof Copeland and UWI are to be commended for agreeing to go the way of the mediation in this matter and arriving at a successful and peaceful resolution of the PHI pan lawsuit. It was clearly done in and to the benefit of the public interest.

read more

Mediation, not more security, the cure for hospital violence in China

Two attacks on doctors - one fatal - have prompted a fresh round of reflection in the mainland media on the long-standing problem of patient-doctor conflicts.  As is often the case, dissatisfaction over the handling of their illnesses seemed to be at the root of patients' decisions to act out. But so far the government has focused on improving hospital security rather than quieting anger.

read more

South Carolina: New mediation center hopes to provide relief for courts, low-income clients

A new nonprofit organization in Jasper County is designed to provide mediation services for low-income residents of the Low country. Paul Brody is founder and director of the Beaufort/Jasper Community Conflict Resolution Center, and he hopes he can save clients time and money by settling disputes and disagreements without going to court.

read more

Mediators up in arms at MP

mediators with the Community Justice Centre are disputing claims by Newcastle MP Tim Owen that closing the Newcastle office will not reduce services to the community. As the Newcastle Herald revealed on Saturday, the state government intends to centralise its community justice centre system by closing the Newcastle and Campbelltown offices and centralising administration at Parramatta.

read more

Ireland: Homeowners in difficulty can get free mediation services

Beleaguered homeowners will soon be able to avail of the services of an independent third party facilitator to advise and engage with AIB Group on their behalf. The initiative, which is free of charge, applies to all customers of AIB Group - including EBS and Haven - and will be operational from November 18th.

read more

NV: High court rules that foreclosure program’s mediation records are not public record

The Nevada Supreme Court has ruled that mediation records are confidential in the case of a homeowner trying to save his property from foreclosure.  The court Thursday rejected the petition of the nonprofit Civil Rights for Seniors, which sought to examine all the records of Nevada’s Foreclosure Mediation Program, established in 2009, during the height of foreclosures.

read more

South Dakota Ag mediators and finance counselors wanted

The South Dakota Department of Agriculture (SDDA) Mediation Program is seeking individuals interested in contracting with the state for mediation services.  Mediation training will be provided for individuals to become qualified mediators, so previous experience is not required. Mediation services are provided to producers regarding agricultural lending, federal land grazing permits and surface depredation due to oil or gas development.

read more

Mediation Offers Path to Merger of US Airways and AMR, Expert Says

Mediation could provide a pathway for the Justice Department to back away from a scheduled court battle against the planned merger between US Airways (LCC_) and American (AAMRQ), a veteran antitrust attorney said. "If the government is looking for a way out of this political pickle, the mediation would be a convenient cover under which it could claim victory," said John Briggs.

read more

HI: Fundraiser celebrates mediation center’s 30th anniversary

The Kuikahi Mediation Center — in participation with the Hawaii County Bar Association (HCBA) — is hosting its Eighth Annual Recognition Dinner and Auction in Hilo to help fund the non-profit human services agency. “Founded in 1983 as a program of the Hawaii Island YMCA, Kuikahi became an independent community mediation center in 2005,” said board president Andrew P. Wilson. “The value of the services provided by the Kuikahi Mediation Center cannot be measured in dollars and cents or even in time. What mediation affords litigants is a chance to participate in a confidential process in which a neutral third party helps people work out their differences to reach an agreed upon settlement. This agreement may include issues that would not or could not be dealt with if they decided to try the case in court.”

read more

Oregon foreclosure mediation program takes off

Oregon's newly expanded foreclosure mediation program is ramping up, The mediation program -- created by the legislature in 2012 but largely ineffective until lawmakers revamped it this year -- requires the state's large lenders to offer a meeting with homeowners before they can foreclose. In all, lenders have referred more than 1,700 pending foreclosures to the program. The majority -- more than 1,300 -- were either just received by the program administrator or are in the 25-day period the homeowner has to respond.

read more
October 2013

Morsi's deputy awaits mediation talks with army

Ousted president Mohamed Morsi's resigned vice-president, Mahmoud Mekki, is reportedly awaiting a call from army chief Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi to mediate a solution to Egypt's ongoing political crisis, sources in Morsi's main support bloc told Anadolu Agency on Wednesday. Mekki has sent a message to the military-backed authorities that he would "not begin mediation efforts unless there is a real desire [for reconciliation] on the part of the authorities," according to sources in the pro-Morsi National Alliance for the Defense of Legitimacy.

read more

Promoting peace: Connecting youth, policymakers through mediation, dialogue

The youth, if empowered and made a part of political decision making, could help resolve issues pertaining to militancy and violence. This was the crux of a speech made on Wednesday by Inyatullah Khan, Local Government and Rural Development minister Khyber Pukhtunkhwa (K-P), at a concluding ceremony of a European Union (EU) funded project, that focused on helping the youth of K-P and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) learn mediation skills and connect with policy-makers, pronounced peace a rare commodity in the province.

read more

Mediators Work to Cut Through Divisions and Get to "Yes"

People and politics often seem more divided than ever, but a group meeting this weekend in Portland is convinced it doesn't have to be that way. At the Oregon Mediation Association's (OMA) fall conference, social workers, attorneys and human resources professionals will discuss ways to manage serious conflicts that prompt all sides to collaborate on an outcome without sacrificing their principles. The conference’s keynote speaker, Susan Podziba, has mediated issues for cities, federal agencies and even the United Nations. "I like to think about mediation as enabling people to solve their own problems,” she says, “as opposed to having a judge making a decision that may or may not fit the situation in all of its complexity." Podziba says a good mediator can help people emerge with a solution that none of the parties could have reached on its own.

read more

UK: Expect mediation cases to rise

The number of commercial property disputes where the parties attempt to settle through mediation is set to increase significantly following a landmark decision handed down by the Court of Appeal, according to a Manchester-based property litigation lawyer. 

read more

Ask the Mediator: Congress finds common ground

The current debacle over implementing the Affordable Care Act could benefit from a good mediator. Common ground already exists: the president and every member of Congress took an oath to serve this country and to work together in the best interest of the American people. A skilled mediator would begin here, as common ground starts at the base level of being an elected official with responsibilities regardless of tenure or status. Each of them shares responsibility to their constituents - the American people.

read more

Have law blogs surpassed law reviews?

If you’re looking for valuable legal insight, you go to blogs, not law reviews. This from Adam Liptak (@adamliptak), Supreme Court Reporter for the New Times, writing this morning on the declining value of law reviews. "The judge, lawyer or ordinary reader looking for accessible and timely accounts or critiques of legal developments is much better off turning to the many excellent law blogs."

read more

Facilitative mediation a positive way to resolve disputes

There are various processes for resolving disputes including power, litigation, arbitration, and various styles of mediation. Each has its role and its skilled practitioners. These processes may end the conflict but not resolve the underlying causes of the dispute. Facilitative mediation provides the possibility of acceptable solutions to all parties in a dispute and an opportunity for healing and rebuilding relationships. Ideally it addresses the interests — the whys of disputes.

read more

'Disastrous' drop in out-of-court mediation for divorcing couples

The number of divorcing couples using special out-of-court sessions to settle disputes over property and children has collapsed in the wake of legal aid cuts.  Thousands of divorcing couples and their children are being drawn into bitter but avoidable court battles in the wake of Government cuts to legal aid, stark new figures show.  The number of couples inquiring about formal mediation has halved since the cuts came into force in April. Meanwhile the number of couples formally entering into the process – which the Government have hailed as an alternative to costly and often bitter litigation – is down by a third in that time.

read more

Mongolia Seeks Mediator Status With North Korea

Mongolia’s president is due to arrive in Pyongyang on Monday with the goal of nudging North Korean leader Kim Jong Un toward peace and denuclearization, but experts say Pyongyang is unlikely to embrace Mongolia’s tale of mining-based prosperity when it’s packaged with democratic reforms. During his four-day visit, Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj will present his country’s history as an example of achieving sovereignty and economic development without relying on the use of force, according to an official in the Mongolian President’s Office. The official said Mr. Elbegdorj can play the neutral mediator for North Korea and the outside world.

read more

BIA offers to mediate in dispute that split Blackfeet tribal leadership

The U.S. government is offering to mediate in a dispute that has splintered the governing body of the Blackfeet Indian tribe. Acting Superintendent Thedis Crowe of the Bureau of Indian Affairs sent Blackfeet chairman Willie Sharp Jr. a letter Wednesday saying mediation is critical to restore a functioning tribal council. The Blackfeet Tribal Business Council split into two factions after Sharp last week unilaterally suspended two members and reinstated two others who had been suspended last year. Sen. Shannon Augare, Leonard Guardipee and two other council members called Sharp's actions illegal and want the BIA to intervene.

read more

Mediator lays out European Rugby framework after Dublin talks

Just as they had promised, neither representatives from England’s PLR or France’s LNR attended this week’s mediation talks in Dublin, however many of their demands were still met by by the parties in attendance. Mediators Graeme Mew and Stephen Drymer today released an agreed statement following the meeting. Here are the three main issues on which a consensus was agreed . . .

read more

Urban Farm Skirmish Moves to Mediation

Rather than sending the updated ordinance back to the Planning Commission, which already voted 6-1 in favor of the recommendations, Council shifted the dispute to the City Manager's office for mediation between now and Nov. 21. Likely to be facilitated by a retired state district judge, stakeholders from each side will meet and discuss specific areas of contention. Initiated by Council Member Mike Martinez, the goal is to offer a fair and mediated discussion on some of the most controversial recommendations, specifically those provisions allowing the slaughtering of chickens and rabbits for commercial sale.  One farmer expressed disappointment with the delay but said she is hopeful the mediation will yield results so the farms can get back to work, adding, "Urban farms set an example of what can be done in a city that doesn't include exploitation of workers, cruelty to animals, pollution of the air, destruction of the soil, and devastation of our waterways."

read more

Vail, parents in mediation over avalanche that killed 13-year-old

The parents of 13-year-old Taft Conlin, who died in an avalanche at Vail in 2012, will meet Thursday with representatives of the ski resort and a mediator in an attempt to resolve the family's wrongful death claim. If the two sides cannot reach an agreement, the case is expected to go to trial. A critical issue expected to be addressed during the court-ordered mediation is whether Conlin, who was skiing on Prima Cornice trail on Jan. 22, 2012, was in an open or closed area when he was overcome by an avalanche.

read more

Yukta marital row: Mediator appointed

Former Miss World Yukta Mookhey and her estranged husband Prince Tuli Monday suggested the Bombay High Court Monday that their case, in which Mookhey had accused Tuli of causing harassment and unnatural offences, be referred to the court's mediation centre. Following their request, the court asked the legal aid authority to appoint a senior lawyer as a mediator in the case. The mediator has been asked to submit a report to the court by November 19. Mookhey's lawyers suggested the appointment of a mediator as the possibility of an amicable settlement between the couple had been ruled out.

read more

Kids as young as 14 use mediation service

Children as young as 14 have used a mediation service set up in Derry to resolve the threat of violence from vigilante and paramilitary groups. The Time2Choose Project, established by Rosemount Resource centre last June, had its official launch yesterday. Partly funded by almost £200,000 from the International Fund for Ireland, the project provides specialist mediation and intervention services to those under threat, their families and the wider community. It is specifically aimed at ‘at risk’ young people who feel they can not engage with existing agencies. Project coordinator John Donnelly said the scheme has so far seen around 60 cases - 90% of which met with a successful outcome. “The sad reality is that people as young as 14 years old are being embroiled in complex and dangerous situations that expose them to all forms of risk including drugs, violence and intimidation. “This project is about supporting people to take control of their situation and providing critical interventions that can resolve difficult issues with positive solutions that are agreeable for communities and statutory authorities.

read more

Over-the-fence fracas: Neighbours' feud erupts over obscene sign

After more than a decade as friendly neighbours, two Scarborough families have become locked in a bitter feud that blew up last week in an offensive lawn sign and visits from police. The cordial relationship between John Corcoran, 81, and Vicky Downing, 47, began to unravel over a year ago when he supported her ex-boyfriend during a messy breakup. Both neighbours say they have called the city and police several times to report alleged wrongdoing but the bad behaviour persists. Neither was sure how to dial down the over-the-fence tension until police suggested last week they try formal mediation. They agreed, in theory, but have yet to start.

read more

Heineken Cup mediation process to be completed today

The mediation process aimed at finding a solution to the the current impasse over the future of the Heineken Cup began yesterday and will be completed this afternoon. No representative from the English Premiership Rugby (PRL), French La Ligue Nationale du Rugby (LNR) or Regional Rugby Wales attended the meeting at an undisclosed Dublin hotel. On Tuesday the Welsh regions pledged their support to the breakaway tournament proposed by the PRL and LNR. The mediation talks are being chaired by Canadian lawyer Graeme Mew. The six-member unions, including IRFU representatives, were present along with ERC chief executive Derek McGrath and its president Jean-Pierre Lux.

read more

Mediator as Truthsayer

Mediation is not one monolithic technique. Mediators and mediation theorists may categorize different types of mediation techniques into different theoretical boxes, such as "facilitative," "evaluative" and "transformational." But the categories all seem to bleed into each other. At its core, mediation has as much variety as there are mediators, mediation clients and issues being mediated. Because of this variety and variability, mediation seems more like art than science, with unpredictable pathways through the process, and surprising results, if the mediator gives the clients space to evolve in their understanding of each other and the dispute.

read more

Complaint resolved against Anglican vicar over anti-Semitism claim

An anti-Semitism claim against an Anglican vicar by the Board of Deputies of British Jews was resolved through mediation. The board brought the complaint against the Rev. Stephen Sizer to the Church of England a year ago, saying Sizer made anti-Semitic statements and published links to anti-Semitic websites, including links posted on his blog that promote Holocaust denial and Zionist conspiracy theories. The complaint was made to the Bishop of Guildford by Jonathan Arkush on behalf of the Board of Deputies of British Jews. According to the conciliation report to the Bishop of Guildford, Sizer did not accept “the substance of the complaint” but “regrets that on occasions his use of language has caused offense to some and agrees that he should have reflected on his choice of words more carefully. The content of certain websites having been drawn to his attention, Dr. Sizer also accepts that he should have taken more care before linking to them.” Mediation sessions between Arkush and Sizer led by Christian and Jewish counselors were held for three months prior to the final conciliation report.

read more

Aspen, water foes opt for mediation over trial

A trial over the city of Aspen's water rights on Castle and Maroon creeks has been set aside so that Aspen and the group claiming the city abandoned its rights can attempt to find a compromise.  The two sides are re-examining the impacts of a proposed hydroelectric facility on Castle Creek. If they can't agree on a consultant or on the scope of the study, the case will go to trial.

read more

Judges add another extra month to state prison deadline

The mediation process over California's prison population saga instituted by a panel of federal judges has been flying under the radar for the past month, but it must be making some progress. The judges, based on reports they've received on that process, decided on Monday to give Gov. Jerry Brown another additional month to comply with their order to shrink the prison population. That deadline, originally set for Dec. 31 and then moved into January, now sits at Feb. 24. This second extension of the deadline was welcome news for the Brown administration, which has signed contracts for beds in private lockups to accommodate slightly less than half of the 8,500 inmates it needs to move out of the state's 34 prisons.

read more