Mediation in Today's News

September 2013

Lender Request for Foreclosure Mediation Skyrockets in Oregon

The newly revamped Oregon Foreclosure Avoidance Program has received 456 meeting requests since its unveiling six weeks ago. Significantly, the vast majority of those requests came from lenders, most of which declined to participate in the program in its first year of operation. That’s an enormous jump from the corresponding six weeks of 2012, when private lenders referred just one case to mediation. In the first 13 months, lenders sent 286 pending foreclosures through the program. Indications are that in coming weeks some of the nation’s largest banks could refer hundreds of additional cases to the new program.

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UK: Finality At Mediation: Legally Binding Agreements

In many respects Frost is a case that highlights the benefits of mediation as a mechanism of resolving disputes. Two brothers, David and Ron Frost, engaged in a long-running and acrimonious dispute, sought to extricate themselves from their shared property and business interests. In addition to the bitter relationship between the brothers, the legalities of their business interests were complex and opaque, with the Judge at first instance referring to the shared property portfolio as "a conveyancer's nightmare". At an impasse, the brothers both sought legal representation and ultimately sought to mediate the dispute.

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Not easy to eject Islamists in Tunisia: After mediation and protests come new protests

Tunisia's main trade union confederation said it would launch a protest campaign Wednesday to pressure the ruling Islamist party into accepting mediators' proposals for ending two months of political deadlock. The UGTT, which has been leading the mediation efforts, said in a post on its Facebook page that gatherings would take place in the Ariana suburb of Tunis on Wednesday, and in different locations outside the capital on Thursday. The powerful confederation, which boasts 500,000 members and is capable of bringing the country to a standstill, warned on Monday of plans to call nationwide peaceful mass protests across Tunisia to end the crisis sparked by the July assassination of opposition MP Mohamed Brahmi.

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Protesters and McDonald's to go to mediation over Tecoma site

TECOMA protesters and McDonald's have been ordered to go to mediation to settle their dispute.  McDonald's sought a permanent injunction against the protesters, dubbed "The Tecoma Eight", which would mean none of the named people would be able to set foot on the restaurant site. Justice Kyrou extended the injunction stopping protesters from trespassing or blocking workers from entering the site. Last week McDonald's dropped its claim for damages against the Tecoma Eight. McDonald's Australia spokeswoman Skye Oxenham confirmed the company was no longer pursuing damages in the legal proceedings but would still seek legal costs incurred so far. No Macca's spokeswoman Simone Patterson said the Tecoma Eight faced financial ruin if made to pay legal costs. "At that mediation there will be an opportunity to discuss any issues concerning the injunction, as well as the matter of legal costs," Ms Patterson said.

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Gambia's Scout Chief Takes Mediation Role in Bissau

The chief scout commissioner (CSC) of The Gambia Scout Association (GSA), Pa Omar Bojang has been task to mediate the long running internal wrangling between the two scouting factions in Guinea Bissau that has seriously disturbed the growth and development of scouting in the country. The President of the African Regional Scouting Committee based in Nairobi, Kenya thus mandated Pa Omar Bojang to intervene.

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Don’t leave foreclosed home just yet, Cuyahoga County official advises

Andrea Kinast has seen a lot in her five years as program director with the Foreclosure Mediation Department of the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas. As part of September’s Save Our Homes month, she is traveling throughout the area to foster foreclosure prevention and also to let homeowners know foreclosure doesn’t mean automatic eviction.

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Pakistan police stations to have mediation committees to improve efficiency

In order to resolve problems of the citizens on priority basis and promote friendly policing, mediation committees will be formed in all police stations of the federal capital. Human rights officials will also be appointed in the police stations to change the ‘thana culture’ and ensure non-discriminatory investigations of cases. This decision was made in meeting presided over by Islamabad Inspector General (IG) Sikandar Hayat and attended by higher officials of the police. The IG said the formation of the mediation committees are aimed at settling minor fights and conflicts between rival groups and avoiding registration of small disputes. He said each committee will comprise of five persons including non-political persons, lawyers, educationists, traders etc. Each committee will be led by a station house officer (SHO), who will be human rights officer as well, he added.

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The art of litigating clearly

“We’re just being reasonable”; “Come on, be rational!”; “You’re not thinking clearly!” Lawyers and parties often make or hear statements such as these in the course of litigation — especially when attempting to negotiate a settlement with the opposing side at mediation. Yet how do people really know when they are engaging in rational thinking? Do lawyers unconsciously enable their clients to engage in poor reasoning leading to poor decisions?

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Adoptive parents take custody of Veronica from biological father

Baby Veronica’s biological family handed over the 4-year-old girl Monday night, giving her back to her adoptive parents from South Carolina. The child's transfer of custody was formally announced by Cherokee Nation Attorney General Todd Hembree. In an interview with the Tulsa World, Hembree said a district court order was issued about 4:30 p.m. to hand over Veronica. The order came after the Oklahoma Supreme Court lifted its ruling that had kept Veronica in her biological father's custody while the appeals played out. Cherokee County Sheriff's Office undersheriff Jason Chennault said his office received the court order at 5 p.m. By 7:30 p.m., Veronica was with the Capobiancos. "The court order was directed to us, so we served it," Chennault said. "We gave the Browns time to say goodbye and pack some things for Veronica, some clothes and things." The Cherokee Nation was prepared to require that the court order giving custody to the child's adoptive parents, Matt and Melanie Capobianco, be domesticated in tribal court, Hembree said. But Dusten Brown, the girl's biological father, decided that it was in Veronica's best interests to proceed with a "peaceful and respectful transfer," Hembree said.

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St. Mary’s College High to expand after mediation

St. Mary’s College High School got the go-ahead last Wednesday for its master plan to add two buildings and renovate others. The move followed six months of mediation with its North Berkeley neighbors. The private Catholic college preparatory high school sits on 12.5 acres, surrounded by about 100 homes in North Berkeley and Albany.

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Judge opens mediation talks in Detroit bankruptcy

A judge told a courtroom packed with lawyers Tuesday that deals between Detroit and its creditors would be better than years of "horrendous" litigation in the largest public bankruptcy in U.S. history. Eastern Michigan's chief federal judge, Gerald Rosen, opened the first formal round of mediation by giving a pep talk and introducing other experts who will work with the city and its creditors to try to reach settlements while the bankruptcy case moves separately through court. "I take this assignment with buoyancy and hope," Rosen told attorneys as he stood in the well of the courtroom, down from his usual seat on the bench.

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Expanded state foreclosure mediation program seeing more cases

An expanded state foreclosure mediation program is showing far more promise for homeowners than its 2012 launch, a virtual nonstarter. In the first six weeks since the expansion took effect in August, the program has received 456 requests for face-to-face meetings between mortgage borrowers and lenders. Many of the requests came from banks as part of the foreclosure process. In the six weeks after the program mediation program initially launched in July 2012, it received only one mediation case referred by a private lender, and only 286 in the entire 13 months it was in effect.

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Heineken Cup makes final pitch to English and French to attend mediation

The Heineken Cup organisers are making a final attempt to save the competition by asking the French and English clubs, who are organising a rival tournament from next season, to attend talks with a mediator next month. The English club owners met on Wednesday and issued a terse statement which appeared to slam the door on any more negotiations with European Rugby Cup Ltd after 15 months of dialogue that has achieved nothing. The clubs want to take control of the running of the Heineken Cup and the Amlin Challenge Cup, something the three Celtic unions and Italy are not prepared to consider.

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Gilt trip: Detroit's bankruptcy mediation is unfolding in a 'million dollar courtroom'

Detroit is home to the "million dollar courtroom." And that's where the city's bankruptcy will be mediated. When the creditors in the Chapter 9 case show up for their first official mediation session Tuesday, they'll be entering Courtroom 734 in the Theodore Levin U.S. Courthouse. That's the home of Chief Judge Gerald Rosen, who presides over the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. There in Rosen's domain they'll find an opulence to remind them of Detroit's former wealth.

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Portland Public Schools requests mediation for Portland Association of Teachers negotiations

Arelys Thompson, an English as a Second Language teacher at Benson High School, explains an exercise identifying and saying numbers in English at Benson High's new program for recent immigrants. Portland Public Schools and its teachers union is currently in negotiations for a new contract, and the district has called for mediation.

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Minnesota Orchestra: New proposal made through mediator

The Minnesota Orchestra board served up a revised offer on the same day it had set as a deadline to end a lockout.  Minnesota Orchestra management has offered what it calls “a further revision to its compromise proposal” in an attempt to settle a contract with locked-out musicians, and its board said Sunday night that it is “awaiting word from the musicians.”

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New Rhode Island Foreclosure Mediation Law

In an attempt to stem the tide of foreclosures sweeping the state, the Rhode Island state government has enacted a new law requiring mediation before foreclosures can be processed and notifications sent. There are exemptions, which include mortgages that are seriously delinquent or that are found to originate in the state of Rhode Island, but all others will be subject to the process.

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Millionaire moons at his neighbour for 'hiding in the bushes and taking pictures of him' in six-year row over 10ft-wide strip of land

Pair have been locked in a dispute about a strip of land for six years
Mr Mead planted trees on the land, which Mr Williams chopped down
Mr Williams apologized for destroying greenhouse while burning stumps Police have said they cannot resolve the issue and suggested mediation

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Was mediator improperly dismissed?

A state of Utah mediator filed suit after being notified that he would be removed from a list of specialized mediators and that his standing on another list of mediators was in jeopardy due to allegations about his performance.  In reviewing the case, the U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed, saying that the mediator panel administrator had the right to remove the mediator from the panel. Lopez v. Administrative Office of the Courts et al., U.S. Court of Appeals, 10th Cir., No. 11-4199 (6/19/13).

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Oregon's new medical mediation law helps bad doctors, national group says

The federal government needs to prevent the ripple effects of a new Oregon law from protecting bad doctors, a national group says.  Earlier this year, Gov. John Kitzhaber spearheaded a new law to substitute for caps on malpractice verdicts demanded by Republican lawmakers. The first statewide law of its kind, SB 483 allowed facilities, doctors and patients to settle malpractice claims or injuries through mediation before any lawsuit is filed. In March, the Oregon Legislature approved it overwhelmingly, hailed as significant tort reform.

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Adoptive parents voice hope for new mediation network

Both current and prospective adoptive parents have voiced high expectations for a plan to establish a new network organization of obstetrics and gynecology hospitals and clinics that will mediate the adoption process. In the past, mediation deals to adopt children who cannot be raised by their biological parents have been criticized over a lack of transparency and staggering fees.

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Heineken Cup heads towards mediation but at least everyone is talking

The dispute over the future of the Heineken Cup may be resolved by a mediator as the organizers of the tournament start planning a power summit that will bring the feuding parties together to work out a new agreement.

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Mediation between players and helmet maker Riddell continues

The recent $765 million settlement reached between the NFL and the former players who sued over concussion related injuries may have been, as the mediator termed it, “historic,” but the move still requires approval by the federal judge who was assigned to oversee the multidistrict litigation. And the announcement that the National Football League and the injured former professional players reached an apparent amicable resolution to their case doesn’t mean that the litigation is over. The MDL also named as defendants helmet manufacturer Riddell, and as of late August, talks between that defendant and the former players appeared to be continuing.

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Filipino Rebels Call for International Mediation

Muslim rebels holding scores of hostages in the southern Philippines are demanding international mediation, an official said Wednesday, as sporadic exchanges of gunfire with government troops broke out, wounding two people and igniting a fire on the third day of the standoff. The Moro National Liberation Front rebels, enraged by a broken peace deal with the government, have been holding the civilian hostages as human shields since Monday in four coastal communities in the port city of Zamboanga. Troops backed by tanks, assault helicopters and navy gunboats have surrounded the estimated 200 rebels and their dozens of hostages.

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EEOC Chair Berrien Advocates Mediation in Private Sector

Jacqueline A. Berrien, chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, urged attendees at an employment law training session Aug. 27 to encourage private sector employees to take part in the commission's mediation program, saying the program has been very successful in resolving employment discrimination cases.

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Win, Lose ... or Mediate

America's legal system is not good for society. It makes enemies out of friends and it exacerbates strife, hostility and ill-will. Win or lose. Those are the two options offered to us in America's adversarial system of justice. It is estimated that about 60,000 disputes are filed every week nationally, but few, very few, ever get resolved through the courts the way the original parties had dreamed or hoped they would be.

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Orchestra musicians' rep says mediation is the way to end lockout

A member of the musicians' negotiating committee said Friday that the Minnesota Orchestra's management would have had no incentive to talk under the so-called "play and talk" contract the musicians rejected Thursday.

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Whitefish wants to mediate 'doughnut' fix

Two months after appealing a District Court ruling over control of the Whitefish “doughnut” area to the Montana Supreme Court, the city of Whitefish has asked the high court to send the dispute to mediation. Whitefish maintains that both the city and Flathead County — at odds since 2008 over who has planning jurisdiction in the two-mile area surrounding Whitefish — would benefit if an alternative process is made available to resolve their differences. “The mediation process may help the parties avoid the additional legal expanse and emotional cost of an appeal,” the city’s motion for mediation states.

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Ballynahinch congregation says yes to mediation over church row

A furious congregation who protested against their own minister last Sunday have agreed to mediation talks.The breakthrough comes after dozens of members of Ballynahinch Congregational Church surrounded Rev George Speers in angry exchanges last weekend. Police were forced to intervene at the Dromore Road church. The protest was led by the church trustees who claim to support the church, not the minister. Yesterday it was revealed that after a meeting on Tuesday, the trustees accepted the offer of mediation through the Congregational Union of Ireland.

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Mediation versus litigation

I am about to propose mediation as a way of resolving a substantial dispute in which I act for a claimant. Mediation is, and has been for some time, a key aspect of any litigation. It is a process which should be an integral part of any litigator’s vocabulary and one that is constantly encouraged by the courts as one of the best ways to resolve disputes.

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Research Trends and Conclusions: Commercial Mediation 2013

In our 2013 edition we feature 301 outstanding mediators from 49 countries, an increase of 46 practitioners since last year. This growth is due to the spread of mediation around the world and the increasing sophistication of practitioners.

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Alex Andrasch says mediation saved his life

Does mediation work?  Mediation in the workplace is often maligned, but one removalist owes his life to it. Alex Andrasch probably owes his life to workplace mediation. The furniture removalist narrowly escaped “having my head bashed to pieces” by an enraged co-worker he had unknowingly offended when he questioned his martial arts credentials. The other man was a trained kick-boxer and Muay Thai fighter who had just started with the Melbourne company.


Mediation between NFL, retired players unfolded in the usual way

The latest report from Outside the Lines is a description of the usual way that cases settle via the mediation process. The retired players opened with a ridiculously high demand. Like plaintiffs always do.  The league countered with a ridiculously low opening offer. Like defendants always do.  And the mediator brokered the deal by persuading the players that they were in danger (not to be confused with grave danger) of losing the case. Like mediators always do.  Every lawsuit that settles through mediation follows the exact same course. The plaintiff opens high, the defendant starts low, and the mediator nudges the parties toward an acceptable middle ground.

read more Has Over 19,000 Daily Visitor Sessions During August had 19,926 average visitor sessions per day, and an average visit time of 13:19, for the month of August 2013. 

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Online courts imminent in BC, Netherlands and Singapore

The Civil Resolution Tribunal will ensure a low cost and effective resolution of such disputes, based on a law that establishes principles of collaborative forms of adjudication, instead of litigation on an adversarial basis. This is but one example of a major trend: courts are moving their services online.

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Pakistan launches mobile mediation court to help back logged court

Pakistani officials have begun offering mediation in a mobile courtroom to test whether it can help clear clogged courts. The courtroom-on-a-bus will mediate small civil cases, minor criminal cases and juvenile cases. Cases can drag on for decades in Pakistan - there are 1.4 million pending nationally. Some families of victims, frustrated with the moribund courts, turn to all-male gatherings of elders called jirgas instead. These offer instant decisions, but have sentenced people to be buried alive, gang-raped or stoned to death.

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Mediator: NFL settles with 4500 players in concussion litigation

A former federal judge announced Thursday a $765 million settlement between the NFL and more than 4,500 players who have sued the league over concussion-related compensation. The agreement was hammered out during mediation led by former U.S. District Judge Layn Phillips, ending the litigation against the NFL and NFL Properties. The settlement would provide medical care and benefits to qualified injured players or their families. It also will fund medical and safety research and cover litigation expenses and attorney's fees. 

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Psychiatry professor appointed U of Michigan faculty ombuds

Bruno Giordani, chief psychologist in the University’s Department of Psychiatry and professor of psychiatry, neurology and psychology, began his term as faculty ombuds, the University of Michigan's chief mediator, Sunday.

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Kosovans demand FIFA mediation to allow players' right to play

Kosovan football authorities have written to FIFA president Sepp Blatter condemning Russia's refusal to grant a visa to a Swiss-based Kosovan player for a recent Europa League fixture. The thorny issue of Kosovan eligibility returned to the spotlight last week when St Gallen midfielder Kristian Nushi (pictured), who moved to Switzerland 11 years ago but still holds a Kosovan passport, was refused entry to play against Spartak Moscow.

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Israel's High Court sends South Hebron Hills evictions to mediation

The High Court of Justice declines to make a ruling on the evictions of over 1,000 Palestinian villagers from what Israel calls ‘Firing Zone 918.’ Villagers’ attorneys say referral to mediation process is a sign the court wasn’t satisfied with the state’s arguments. International writers sign petition against evictions.

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United Kingdom: Finality at Mediation : legally binding agreements

Despite the strained relationships and the complexities in their business interests, and due in large part to the "extremely skilled" mediator present, an agreement was reached in principle during the course of the mediation. Having reached an agreement, the brothers left (separately) for dinner whilst David Frost's solicitor, Mr Serby, sought to document the terms of the agreement, which was then signed by the Frosts on their return. The agreement was not, however, legally binding.

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Mediator steps in to help bring music back to MN Orchestra Hall

The Minnesota Orchestra and its locked out musicians are now working with a mediator on stalled contract talks. With no agreement in sight, the mediator's job is to bring both sides closer together and the orchestra faces some serious deadlines over the next several weeks.

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Peace Palace celebrates 100th anniversary

The Peace Palace in The Hague on Wednesday celebrated its centennial anniversary, in the presence of Dutch King Willem-Alexander, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. Despite growing tensions in the Syria conflict, the festivities in The Hague continued to celebrate international peace and justice. The Peace Palace is deemed to be a worldwide icon of Peace and Justice since its opening on August 28, 1913, eleven months before the start of World War I, as the location for the Permanent Court of Arbitration to solve conflicts between countries without war. It is currently home to a number of international judicial institutions, including the UN International Court of Justice, or World Court, the Permanent Court of Arbitration, the renowned Peace Palace Library, as well as the Hague Academy of International Law.  "Today The Hague is known as the legal capital of the world ... (and) an epicenter of international justice and accountability," said Ban Ki-moon during his speech.

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August 2013

AU: Mediator will smooth food supply path

A RE-ELECTED Labor government will appoint an independent mediator at the end of the year, to break any ongoing deadlock in the development of an industry code of conduct between farmers, processors and supermarkets, says Agriculture Minister Joel Fitzgibbon.

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Mediation begins in student lawsuits against Mountain State

Attempts to settle several hundred lawsuits filed against Mountain State University are continuing in Charleston. Former students packed an auditorium at the Civic Center on Monday. It was the only day plaintiffs were required to attend the three-day mediation. The students sued after the school closed its doors because it lost accreditation. Their lawsuits allege that school officials were deceptive about the problems the school was facing. The Higher Learning Commission revoked the school’s primary accreditation in June 2012 after years of failing to correct major problems in leadership, program evaluations and campuswide governance. In December, the commission denied Mountain State’s bid to regain its accreditation.

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Using Mediation to Keep Your Cool During Divorce and Beyond

While most divorcing parents try to make their split an amicable one, wading through the issues of parenting time, custody arrangements and child support can lead to turmoil for even the most well-intentioned of parents. The stress of the situation can continue even after the divorce is over.

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What is Scientific Mediation?

Scientific mediation works like this. You bring together one scientist from each point of view. Scientist A wants to do one thing, Scientist B wants the opposite. Then with the help of a mediator, they write a joint paper. And the purpose of the paper is to advise a government agency or a court.  They write a joint paper where they state the areas they agree on in order to narrow down the dispute, the fundamental points that they disagree about, and then - this is the trick - they have to agree on why they disagree.  They never have to agree on the merits, but they have to agree on why they disagree. And in doing that, with the help of a mediator, they really begin to understand each other’s position and what happens is that their personal biases surface.

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Austin mediation company proposes to redevelop Hancock Golf Course

Jim Huddleston with Crawford, Huddleston and Co., an Austin-based mediation company, will present a proposal to the Austin Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) this week to redevelop and sell the Hancock Golf Course. A letter from Huddleston to PARD director Sara Hensley recommends that city officials hire the firm to redevelop the golf course into a "revitalized mixed use enclave" of roughly 55 residential sites and three acres of commercial reserve "that encompasses the existing historic structure."

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Mediation begins in lawsuits over Mountain State U accreditation

The Higher Learning Commission, a regional accrediting body for colleges and universities in several states including West Virginia, placed MSU on "show cause" status in June 2011, citing the school for its top-down leadership, lack of long-term planning, failure to collaborate with faculty, failure to give information to students, and the loss of specialized accreditation for the nursing program. The cases before the panel include those filed over the university's "loss of general accreditation, special accreditations in its nursing and nurse anesthetist programs, and any other educational programs that require independent accreditation."

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Peace, mediation committees at police stations

Rawalpindi police has been directed to form peace and mediation committees in all police stations. SSP (Operations) Rawalpindi Israr Abbasi also ordered the police officials to take action in the cases of quarrels and clashes after taking point of view of both rival groups and asked SHOs to remain in contact with the masses. He also ordered an inquiry into the alleged corruption on the police check posts on Adiala Road. He also urged the youth to form committees to help the police in controlling crimes. It is relevant to mention here that crimes in the district have gone rampant, and incidents of police officials minting money from the motorists and motorcyclists on check posts are also common while the police seem helpless in controlling the situation.

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Authorities will prosecute men who impregnate teens

Dominican Republic: The Attorney General’s Office added 92l community leaders to its Conflict Mediation and Conciliation System, during an event in which AG Francisco Domínguez Brito declared that the authorities would apply the full weight of the law against men who impregnate underage girls. “Teenage pregnancy is a serious crisis in the Dominican Republic. We are going to work hard to ensure there is no acceptance, and that these cases are followed through until the final consequences,” Meanwhile, District Attorney for the National District Yeni Berenice Reynoso highlighted the importance of conflict mediators, as each case that is handled by the prosecution system costs the State thousands of pesos.

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