Weekend Mediation & ADR News 2.7.09

Weekend Mediation & ADR News

Some really good news, take a few minutes to have a read!

Mediation Between Police Union and Stockton Ends
Something as delicate as mediation between two parties such as a police union and city officials perhaps should have been given more that one very, very long day.

Mediation between the city and the police officers union was attempted in a single meeting lasting from 9 a.m. to past 10 p.m. on Jan. 29 at downtown’s Stewart/Eberhardt Essential Services Building, City Attorney Ren Nosky said.

This is the case in the Californian city of Stockton. Some interesting quotes from the Recordnet.com article:

Fritchen said, “In the mediation process, there’s some desire of a mediator that people will move toward the middle. The city doesn’t have any funds to be able to make any movement, and that doesn’t work well for mediation.”

The article mentions that the next step is arbitration that I believe is binding. It seems like the city is digging their heels here. I wonder what if they worked out their BATNA and WATNA?

The Union President seems to think things will go his way, after alleging the city would not budge during mediation:

“The city’s going to end up having to pay more, and it’s binding,” said Officer Steve Leonesio, the union’s president, of the prospects for arbitration.

Full Story [here]

Mediators Enter Mauling Case Talks
SAN FRANCISCO – A mediator has been brought into settlement talks between The City and the brothers seeking damages after being mauled by a tiger at the San Francisco Zoo on Christmas Day 2007, according to court documents.
Settlement talks are also ongoing in a separate lawsuit filed by the family of 17-year-old Carlos Sousa Jr., a friend of the brothers who was killed by the tiger.
Both lawsuits claim The City and the San Francisco Zoological Society, which the city contracts to operate the zoo, are responsible for damages stemming from the attack by the tiger, which escaped its enclosure. A wall surrounding the big cat pen was found to be short of recommended standards.

Full Story [here]

Marianne Not ‘Short’ on Mediation Skills
pun intended
A Criminal Justice Center dispute between Houston County and the City of Caledonia may finally be over. The Houston County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to accept a mediated settlement with City of Caledonia at its Tuesday meeting.
State mediator Marianne Short had presided over a day-long meeting between county and city officials the previous day, Jan. 26.The terms of the agreement, which were made available at the commissioners’ meeting, call for a smaller CJC to be located directly east of the courthouse, behind Memorial Plaza and west of Pine Street (south of the existing jail). The agreement limits the size of the structure to 65,000 square feet. This is almost 20,000 square feet less than the county’s last proposal, which would have been located just south of the courthouse.
Full Story [here]

International Dispute Resolution Distance Learning LL.M. Starts at Dundee
Flexible course can be completed in 15 months; involves two residence periods
Feb 7, 2009

In January, the Dundee Law School at the University of Dundee started a new distance learning LL.M. program in International Dispute Resolution. The course will involve two five-day, on-campus residential periods for practical negotiation and mediation skills. Diploma or certificate options in this field are also available.The LL.M. course can take anywhere from 15 months to 5 years to complete, depending on the student’s desired pace.
Full Story [here]

Role of UN Mediators Needs to be Reviewed
An Editorial by Kathleen Wilmes
The recent decision made by the United Nations to remain in Sudan, even after the body was asked to leave by the Sudanese government, and the situation taking place in Darfur brings up so many questions, and so many takes on the topic at hand. But instead of concentrating on the government of Sudan, or whether or not the rebel forces have legitimate claims, I feel that the power and authority of the United Nations and the African Union, involved as mediators and peacekeeping forces, must be reviewed. More importantly, is it appropriate for the AU and the UN to remain once a member state asks them to leave? In this case, yes.
Full editorial [here]

Los Angeles PD and Mediation
After months of insisting there is no evidence of racial profiling in the department, LAPD officials suggest the term “biased” policing should be used when handling a wide range of public complaints, including race, age and gender.
In a report to the Police Commission scheduled to be considered on Tuesday, it is also recommended the LAPD make use of the dispute resolution program in the City Attorney’s Office to resolve public complaints before they get to the lawsuit stage.

Full story [here]

Mediation With 32 Groups!
RAY BROOK — Talks have stalled, but the biggest housing proposal ever made in the Adirondack Park is still on the table, a spokesman for the Adirondack Park Agency said Thursday.
Closed-door efforts to resolve objections to the 700-unit project planned for 4,600 acres around the Big Tupper Ski Area have been on hold since last fall.

…The APA began holding hearings in front of an administrative law judge in the spring of 2007, but they were delayed twice at the request of Preserve Associates, which then asked to move into private mediation with 32 groups that had a say in the proceedings.
Full Story [here]

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