This one-hour video is of Jim Melamed's plenary presentation to the Utah Council on Conflict Resolution and Utah Law School on "what works in mediation and how the mediation industry can best move forward."
Hugh McIssac shares his concern of mediation being perverted into a form of evaluation. A court-connected mediator sees clients in highly stressful situations and makes recommendations to the court based on those encounters.
Teresa Wakeen describes the changes of mediation over time. Training is better, lawyers are being trained in mediation, there's more dialogue, brainstorming, and collaboration between mediators, and it is more successful than it was in the past.
Don Saposnek talks about integrating the practices of therapy and dispute resolution. More specifically, how his mental health experience and background have given him useful tools to help people resolve their disputes.
Training for lawyers and judges has improved. Mediation in the US has only been around for 30 years and we are still working on how to best train people. Andrew Schepard helped develop model standards to improve professional standards.
Howard Gadlin describes how the field has changed from people going into mediation from diverse academic backgrounds while covering overlapping problems, to becoming more institutionalized, lacking possibilities for, or connections to, new social movements.
Terry Wheeler describes a court program where attorneys receive mediation training for a week. He shares his concern that most of the attorneys having gone through the program call themselves mediators when they're really just trying to settle cases.
Chip Rose notes that the field of collaborative law is in its adolescence and there is tension between the collaborative law people who think they are creating something new when in reality mediators have been helping divorcing couples for decades. The history and experience in the mediation field is not always fully appreciated and valued.
Zena Zumeta reflects on a particular occasion when her work as an advocate for labor unions moved more into negotiation. She realized that one must think differently in order to settle and end up with a win-win solution.
Howard Gadlin discusses situations in mediation that have made him feel good about mediating: the craft of framing concepts, which help lead people to solve their own disputes; also, being able to help resolve a dispute that benefits more than the two parties and their own causes.
In the discussion about whether a mediator should intervene if he/she thinks the agreement is unfair, Carrie Menkel-Meadow believes that it is her responsibility to tell the parties what she thinks. Other mediators disagree.
Greg Bourne discusses how everyone brings biases to the table, including mediators. The mediator should discuss this with the parties, but express that their role is to be fair and attend to everyones' interests.
Michael Lewis discusses the increase in specialization in mediation as coming from lawyers as well as an internal pressure within the field. He senses there is a loss of experience and understanding if mediators narrow their experience by specializing.
Teresa Wakeen talks about why she believes that mediation on the East Coast is ten years behind mediation on the West Coast. East Coast more aggressive with litigation, sees mediation as a compromise and therefore as a weakness, West Coast more open to alternatives.
Joe Stulberg describes some teachable mediation skills - creating the physical environment and initiating discussion, identifying mediation vs. non-mediation issues, and propelling people to consider a variety of options.
Linda Singer describes how her interpersonal mediation experience in the past has helped her to mediate in multi-party, complex cases currently. The rapport-development skills she learned in interpersonal mediation carry over to multi-party disputes.
Frank Sander discusses how ironically, there has been an ongoing battle within the court system of whether or not mediators need to be lawyers to practice within the courts. Sander voted they didn't need to be lawyers, which was the majority opinion.
Bernie Mayer describes that he feels most successful in mediations where he has a good sense of timing which enables him to seize a moment. He uses a case as an example to demonstrate this seizing of the moment.
Homer LaRue discusses the importance, as an attorney, of having integrity with both your client and other lawyer's client, and how it is necessary to distance yourself a bit from your client's animosity toward the other party, especially in mediation.
Chris Moore describes his position as a mediator to ensure that the parties are in a state to adequately represent their interests in order that the agreement be fair. Example of a woman in a financial dispute who had trouble with numbers because she was brain-damaged.
Zena Zumeta shares her excitement about what she sees emerging in the field - new processes and inventive approaches within mediation and evaluation that can better serve particular clients. She is also hopeful there will be more scientific assessments of techniques.
Sid Lezak talks about how the 'perfect mediator' does not have a fixed number of certain attributes or a certain style. Rather, it is someone who is flexible, who can adjust their problem-solving style to the challenges that are presented.
Jeff Krivis describes the benefit of mediation working alongside and with lawyers. The client feels more involved in legal process and discussion when they're allowed to put their thoughts and feelings into the negotiation.
Constance Ahrons discusses how divorce does not mean automatic crises and disaster for a family and with cultural changes, family models are ever-changing. As long as the child has support, care, love, and stability in its relationships, they will be okay.
Homer LaRue discusses his concerns of mediators not getting into the field because of the credentialing process, specifically persons of color not getting into the field, and bridging the gap between mediators of color and the "high-volume, high-quality case users".
Chip Rose provides a comprehensive overview of how the collaborative law field developed and the tension and frustration experienced along the way between the lawyers and non-lawyers who finally came together a few years ago and agreed upon a mission statement.
Michael Lewis speaks of mediators' willingess (and lack of) to admitting when they're wrong or that they should have tried a different method. He underscores that it takes experience and self-confidence to admit to wrongdoing in a case.
Jay Folberg tells of observing his pawn broker father as he bargained with customers. He claims the key to his father's success was figuring out what people's needs were and how to then meet those needs.
Howard Bellman talks about mediating in stressful circumstances where politics, personality, and/or emotions are high. Gifted mediators combine talent and training to be able to handle those situations in an intuitive way.
Howard Gadlin discusses where he sees the mediation field heading in the next 25 years. It will become another reasonably established profession, credentialing standards will develop, standards and guidelines will formalize.
Larry Susskind talks about the importance of non-partisanship in a dispute, comparing it to being a referee for your home-town team. Both teams are depending on the referee to be fair. This type of professional neutrality is a learned response.
The most widely used mediation model places an emphasis on helping people find common ground. His model is different. Transformative mediation is about supporting people in their differences if that is what people want. This has created an ideological clash in the field.
David Hoffman emphasizes the need for more racial/ethnic diversity in the field in order to have the widest reach, broadening the movement. He also discusses the problem of community mediation programs being underfunded.
Andrew Schepard describes how Aboriginal tribes have an optimal process of dealing with child neglect and/or abuse. If abuse is reported, a family group conference may be called; they have the choice of opting out of the coercive court system, which he sees as a model approach.
The Mediators: Family Edition features 27 of the most experienced family mediators in the world. Sections include: Inspiration, Techniques In The Room, Supporting Children, Styles And Models, The Future, Training & Certification
The ABA Section of Dispute Resolution announced the 2010 winners of its First Annual Mediation Video Contest. Honorable Mention was awarded to the following 3 videos:
"Mediation: Everyone's a Winner!", "Elder Mediation: A Solution For Families at War", and "Mediation Works."
This is a video introduction to "Eye of the Storm Leadership" by Peter Adler, Ph.D. - 150 Ideas, Stories, Quotes, and Excercises On The Art and Politics of Managing Human Conflicts. See the book and complete video at www.eyeofthestormleadership.com
Mediators have an obligation to educate future mediators and the public about mediation and this is a process that takes time; some courts put pressure on mediators to settle in a certain number of sessions and this creates muscle mediation, or forcing the parties into settlement.
Linda Singer explains two concerns she has in the field: in certain contexts, she is afraid the process is/will become too mechanized. The other concern is lack of access and lack of mediation education in schools.
Roger Fisher talks about his recent book, Beyond Reason and explains the importance of emotion. Negotiators should build rapport by expressing their appreciation of the other party/parties, expressing affiliation, autonomy, acknowledging each other's status or expertise, and choosing a fulfilling role.