Mediation & ADR News

Benefits of Disagreeing
Hey- everyone’s favorite other-Jeff-really-Geoff-mediator-blogger Geoff Sharpe is quoted throughout an article with the above title. Btw, his great blog, Mediator Blah Blah, is over [here].

Some tidbits from the article:
“There’s quite a bit of debate among mediators globally whether this environment will mean more mediation, and certainly my experience in the first couple of months of the year is, absolutely,” Wellington lawyer and commercial mediator Geoff Sharp said.

“It works best when there are commercial relationships to be saved which won’t survive, normally, a knock-them-down, drag-em-out court trial,” Mr Sharp said.
“Examples of that are commercial landlords and tenants; contracting parties who are locked into long-term supplier contracts who have a dispute or difference but are going to have to deal with each other in future. That’s where mediation really comes into its own.”

And for those who want statistics:
Ms Powell said a stalemate situation rarely occurred, with around 80 to 90 per cent of disputes through the High Court resolved through an agreement in writing.
Read the Full article [here]

Mediators Flourish in Tough Economy
A weak economy and dwindling personal finances have impacted when and how married couples get a divorce in the Charlottesville area.
Local mediation groups and lawyers have reported changes in how often couples seek mediation to draft a separation agreement and how long they’ll wait before filing for divorce.
The Mediation Center of Charlottesville has seen an increase in the number of couples wanting to use mediation to draft a separation agreement. Mediation is significantly cheaper than taking a divorce case to court.
Between July and Dec-ember 2008, the nonprofit center handled 2.1 self-referred mediations per month for couples who wanted to split. Since the start of 2009, the center is averaging five self-referred mediations a month.

Read more [here]

Obama Names Michigan Mediator to US Board
WASHINGTON, March 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA) congratulated the Obama Administration today for their appointment of Linda Puchala to the National Mediation Board (NMB). When confirmed, Puchala will replace a current board member who was a hold-over appointment from the Bush Administration since July 2006.
“We are very pleased with White House’s choice and believe Linda’s consensus-building skills and commitment to the collective bargaining process will be a valuable addition to the agency which is so critical to labor relations in the aviation and railway industries,” stated Patricia Friend, AFA-CWA International President.

Read the article [here]

Mediator Being Used in Contract Negotiations
The Germantown Education Association and the Germantown School District are utilizing a mediator as part of negotiations on a retroactive teachers contract covering the 2007-08 and 2008-09 school years.
Though negotiations with the GEA has been on the School Board’s agenda for discussion in closed session for several months, Superintendent Kenneth Rogers said it was removed from the March 9 agenda until he receives more information from the mediator.
“We really don’t have a time line at this point, other than that we are trying to settle this as soon as possible,” Rogers said.

Full story [here]

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