Archive for the ‘ADR news’ Category

Saturday News Round Up

May 29, 2009

Mediation Bites… Really!

PORTSMOUTH — After a session of marital mediation in the district court’s family division, Elizabeth Loveday threatened to kill her estranged mate, then hit and bit the mediator, police allege.
Full article [here]

Coyotes Enter Mediation
Nope, not another ‘sensational headline grabber’ by me. I am referring the to Phoenix Coyotes- the hockey team and how they are now in mediation with the National Hockey League.

“On Tuesday, a U.S. Bankruptcy judge put on hold who controls the team and whether it can be moved to Canada.
The delay in those key issues gave the NHL encouragement that the Coyotes will at least play the 2009-10 season in the desert.”
Full article [here]

$25,000!
This is the amount a mediator is charging for a two day mediation.
“…The mediation is scheduled for today and Wednesday in Berkeley. The county and the contractor split the roughly $25,000 cost of fees for mediator Randy Wulff.”
Credit to Geoff Sharpe from Mediator Blah Blah for finding this story.
Full article [here]

Mediation- A Most Civil Job
It was five years of watching fierce arguments – often unresolved – as a Lexington School board member that made Robin DiGiammarino look into mediation as a form of conflict resolution. One of the basic principles she quickly learned wasn’t surprising: the source of most conflicts is a lack of communication…
Full article [here]

Housing Authority Calls For Mediation
Tempers seem to have cooled over the recent large, related fights on the southeast area of town, and local officials say they want to help keep it that way. Thirteen people face charges from two brawls on the 2300 block of Hollywood Boulevard and another at City High School last week. Up to 60 people, mostly juveniles but some adults, were involved in the fights, which attracted a lot of media attention….
Officials don’t plan to stop there. The Housing Authority is scheduling mediation with the families to try to resolve the dispute.
Full article [here]
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Sweets, Sex &…. Mediation!

May 21, 2009

Being a ‘People Person’ May Be All in Your Head

According to that title, I am sure I was a tabloid headline writer in a previous life. There is a connection to the three, really!

This headline has been making the rounds all over the Internet, including the homepage of Yahoo!

The opening paragraph to the US News & World Report (website link here) is the following:

TUESDAY, May 19 (HealthDay News) — Regions of the brain that process pleasurable experiences such as sweet tastes and sexual stimuli are the same ones that determine whether an individual is a “people person,” say European researchers.

The Full article can be read [here], but for some of you, the above might be enough to start some great conversations.

By the way, if you have no idea who that is in the picture:

1) You are probably not laughing.

2) Please rent the movie Office Space at your earliest convenience.

Enjoy!

Mediation Program So Successful, It’d Going Be Canceled!

March 27, 2009

Mediation Program on the Chopping Block

That’s right, despite the fact that the mediation program between Police and civilians in San Fransisco is doing so good, it is still on the chopping block because of the budget woes.

How successful is the program? participants in the program have given it a whopping 96% satisfaction rating in 2008.

From the article, “The program is a bright spot for an office rebounding from a withering 2007 city controller’s audit that found “officers who arguably should have been disciplined, counseled, or retrained were not” because 53 percent of the time the office failed to complete investigations by the nine-month deadline.”

Read the article [here].

Btw, on the topic of budget cuts, I found this picture on the web and had to post it as my
“Pic of the Day”.

U.S. Dept of Peace???… & more ADR News

March 20, 2009

(note: parts 6 & 7 of the 7 Elements of Negotiation will appear Monday and Tuesday)

No More Police Raids: China and Europe Agree to Talk
There was no dawn raid by police to seize patent-infringing MP3 players at this year’s Cebit trade show — but behind the scenes, haggling over technology licensing continued.
Raids by German police or customs officers had become a regular feature of shows such as Cebit, in Hanover, and IFA, in Berlin, in recent years, often at the instigation of an Italian company, Sisvel, which licenses patented technology essential to the manufacture of MP3 players.
At this year’s Cebit, though, things were a little quieter, thanks in part to the intervention of a team of mediators from a new organization, the China IPR Desk, supported by China’s Ministry of Commerce and the European Commission.

read more [here]

Moscow Moves To Draw Moldova, Transdniester Leaders Back Into Fold
The leaders of Moldova and its separatist Transdniester region have agreed to jump-start efforts to resolve their decades-long dispute through a combination of bilateral contacts and international mediation. A Kremlin-brokered meeting in Moscow on March 18 was only the second direct contact between Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin and Transdniestrian leader Igor Smirnov in almost eight years.
Read more [here]

Californian Bill Would Help Teachers Master Conflict Resolution
SACRAMENTO – Teachers could get some recognized training to deal with classroom conflicts under the terms of a bill by a Salinas-area lawmaker that passed its first legislative review Wednesday.
Assembly Bill 1 by Assemblyman Bill Monning, D-Monterey, would authorize coursework in negotiation, mediation, arbitration and other techniques as part of teachers’ professional development.
Read more [here] (Note: have a look at the first comment posted by a reader)

Department of Peace?
Has anyone heard of a Bill in Congress proposing the creation of the Department of Peace?

“On Monday, March 23, hundreds of citizen activists from around the country will swarm over Capital Hill, meeting with your Representatives and Senators about legislation to create a U.S. Department of Peace – House Resolution 808. Please support this Band of Brothers and Sisters by adding your voice to the lobbying effort. Using this petition will send a letter to your Representative letting him or her know that you also believe this legislation is deserving of their co-sponsorship.”
From [here]

More:
“If you’re not familiar with this movement, it intends to create a Cabinet-level secretary and department in Washington, whose mission statement would be to advocate for peaceful conflict-resolution at all levels from domestic violence to international conflict and war. It is proposed in the House of Representatives as HR 808, and has 66 co-sponsors…”
Read the article [here]

Mediation & ADR News

February 25, 2009

New Foreclosure Mediation Costlier and Longer
Several bankers said the mandatory mediation program for home mortgage foreclosure lawsuits ordered Friday by the chief judge of the Treasure Coast court system could increase the cost and length of the cases.

…“I have mixed feelings about it. I understand what the reason is, but any time the judicial system or the government gets involved, I think it could be troublesome,” said Bill Pittenger, senior vice president at Seacoast National Bank in Stuart. “I hate to see anything interfere with the free market and we’ve seen a lot of that lately.”

Full article [here]

Activists Seek to End Street Violence

Ministers and community activists gathered Sunday at a spot a few steps away from where three teenagers were gunned down Friday afternoon in the South Chicago neighborhood.

“Violence is definitely a sickness. It’s a disease, and we need to start treating it like a disease,” he said. “I want youth to know that they can call CeaseFire before someone gets shot.”Hardiman said he can be reached at 773-391-9072 for mediation services. He hopes CeaseFire will be able to go into schools in the neighborhood to tell students they can call on CeaseFire to mediate conflicts.

Full article [here]

Swedish Diplomat Shares Insights on Conflict Resolution

BEIRUT: Swedish diplomat and long-time conflict negotiator Jan Eliasson shared his experiences and outlined a general plan for conflict resolution on his fourth trip to Lebanon during a lecture yesterday at the American University of Beirut dubbed, “Peace-Making Under the United Nations Flag: Reflection on a Quarter Century of Mediation.”
Eliasson, who served as Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary General for Darfur from 2007-2008 and worked extensively to secure peace during the Iran/Iraq war in the 1980s, said that effective resolutions must involve the right actors, be well-timed and take into account cultural and communicative aspects.

Full article [here]

India-Pak Don’t Need Chinese Mediation

I usually put just a tidbit of an article, then put a link to it, but the article is this short (really):

New Delhi: Union Minister of state for home Sri Prakash Jaiswal has assured that Pakistan will get the desired reply from India soon that will help the neighbouring country to successfully complete its probe in 26/11 terror attacks case.However, the minister refused any mediation from China. Talking to the reporters he said, ‘No mediator is required for solving issues between India and Pakistan and any kind of arbitration will not be tolerated.”India is capable of handing attacks,’ he further added.

Don’t believe me, see how short it is [here]


Sync Your Blackberry Contacts with Google
Not really mediation related or maybe? For those out there like me who constantly has their Blackberry at their side and use Gmail, this is a great new feature. You can now sync your contacts together, which for your Blackberry, it also serves as a way to back up your information on Gmail too.

Read it [here]

Unrest in Caribbean Has Roots in Slavery Past

February 23, 2009

Unrest in Caribbean Has Roots in Slavery Past

I read about this about a week ago and it stuck in my mind. So, when I saw it again on the homepage of Yahoo! News, I decided to write about it. An additional factor driving me to write about this is that as mediators and negotiators, we are always promoting ‘expanding the pie’. there are plenty of times I blog on ‘typical’ ADR and mediation news stories so why not expand the realm and mention this? Reading this story, there is a heap of built up anger, frustration, resentment and other emotions dating back over a century- yes a century, not years!

From the article:
POINTE-A-PITRE, Guadeloupe – Protests that have nearly shut down the French Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique are not just about demands for lower prices and higher wages: For demonstrators they are no less than a battle against the vestiges of slavery.
Afro-Caribbean islanders — most of whose forbears toiled in the sugarcane fields under the yoke of slavery more than 160 years ago — not only resent France’s handling of the global economic crisis, they have long resented that slaveholders’ descendants control the economy on both islands.
They also suspect that businesses earn too high a profit on goods, most of which are imported.


…The protests are “not a call for war, but for dignity…”

…Several islanders blame the arrival of 450 French riot police for the violence that has erupted during protests — and say it shows how France treats the islands like colonies.
Full article [here]

Where can mediation or negotiation fit in? Have there been any type of talks between the haves and have-nots? Is the arrival of the riot police seen as instigating an already powder-keg in the making?

Admittedly, my knowledge of the situation is limited but one route towards a possible peaceful solution is using The Third Side Model and exploring options that promote cooperative negotiation.

The Third Side is a book and concept created by William Ury (for sale [here] and many other places) which says in conflicts, there are roles for everyone. They are broken down to ten:
Provider
Teacher
Bridge Builder
Mediator
Arbiter
Equalizer
Healer
Witness
Referee
Peacekeeper
read more on them [here]

The good sign already coming out is the protest leaders and the French Government are already negotiating.

“Protest leaders and government officials are still negotiating to lower the costs of housing, gasoline, water and electricity.”

Hopefully dialogue will continue towards a peaceful resolution.

Police to Nudge You to Mediation!

February 18, 2009

Singapore Police To Nudge People Towards Mediation

Hey, ‘nudging’ is better than dragging and macing someone into mediation, right? And if they refuse such a nudge? Well, it can be held against them if it the matter goes to court. Unfortunately the article does not clarify what that means.

This ‘nudging’ program started in 1998 and each year it has seen the caseload increase sixfold.

Read the short article [here]

Federal Mediators In Texas Town
PARIS, Tex. — The killing of Brandon McClelland, though horrible, never fit the classic description of a lynching. The police say two friends ran him over with a pickup truck after an argument during a night of drinking.
But Mr. McClelland was black and the men accused of killing him are white, and his gruesome death has reignited ugly feelings between races that have plagued this small town for generations, going back to the days 100 years ago when it was the scene of brutal public lynchings…
Still, the suspicions and ill will have grown so strong that the federal Department of Justice has dispatched a team of mediators to get residents to begin talking about the problem and to propose possible resolutions.
Last month, about 100 people of all races went to a building on the fairgrounds to vent their frustrations, while federal mediators took notes and tried to keep the peace.

Full article [here]

Faith Based Mediation Going Strong- Over 20 Years In Indiana
NORTH MANCHESTER – Education for Conflict Resolution began in 1989, organized by local residents interested in making their community a better place to live.And 20 years later, ECR is still going strong.
It was started through the Church and Community Project board, consisting primarily of North Manchester community leaders, which first organized in 1987. With a three-year Lily Endowment, the board was looking for a worthwhile project…

…“ECR has three primary services,” Duffy said. “They are Community Mediation, Training (team building, conflict resolution), and our Resource Materials.”
Full article [here]

News for 02.17.09

February 17, 2009

Huffington Post: Give Home Foreclosures the Same Treatment As Wall Street Bankers

Arianna Huffington says that not enough attention is given to the people currently in foreclosure. She also thinks Obama’s plan should include mandatory mediation.

“His plan should also include mandatory mediation between homeowners and lenders prior to any final foreclosures. A pilot program along these lines, the Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Program, started in Philadelphia, has proven very successful. According to one account, the program has prevented or delayed foreclosures in 75 to 80 percent of the cases that have made it to mediation. Currently, many homeowners don’t even talk to their lenders until they have been foreclosed on — partly because the lenders often make it next to impossible to reach them. “
Full article [here]

International Arbitration Makes the Business World Go Faster
DUBAI – Quick and efficient dispute resolution is vital at a time when the global economy is facing challenges, Dr. Omar bin Sulaiman, Governor of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) said on Monday.
Addressing a symposium on international arbitration, he said dispute resolution mechanisms had always been critical to the success and competitiveness of an economy. “But, quick and efficient dispute resolution is particularly important now, at a time when the global economy is facing challenges. To increase the adoption of arbitration globally as an alternate dispute resolution mechanism, we need to actively communicate the benefits that arbitration can bring to businessmen, commercial outfits, governments and customers.”

Full article [here]

Shine Launches Kit Aimed At Resolving Neighborhood Disputes
As someone who deals frequently with neighbor vs neighbor disputes, I look around to see what other groups and governments are doing to help people is these situations. Not surprisingly, the Australian State of Queensland is offering a new kit to help people solve their own problems- go figure! Their information sheet comes in nine languages too!
“A new kit aimed at resolving neighbourhood conflict was launched today by Minister for Justice and Attorney-General Kerry Shine. The kit is particularly timely with the Dispute Resolution Branch noticing an increase in demand for its services in the past few months following storms in Queensland’s south east and flooding in north Queensland.
“People living in areas affected by recent bad weather are under a lot of stress and this can be made worse if there are disagreements over the clean-up,” Mr Shine said. “This new kit and the Government’s specialist mediators offer a free service to help neighbours try to settle these disputes.”
Full article [here]
This [link] brings you to the page to download the kit.

News for 02.16.08

February 16, 2009

Fair Playing field

The Nobles County Deputies Union and the County Officials have agreed to mediation to try and solve the issue of their contract. They have been working out of contract for 18+ months.

the question of a level playing field is raised when I read this, “And during each negotiation meeting, Clarke and his co-steward Nobles County Deputy T.J. Gertsema had to take time off work to attend the negotiations, while the commissioners earned a wage for attending the meetings.
“We’re donating out time, and they get paid to be there,” he commented.”

It is also not clear who the mediator is for the case, which is scheduled for February 24th, and if he or she is being paid. If it is a County official, neutrality or lack of could be raised as well.

Read the full article [here]

LA Divorce Mediators Offer Free Services

Kudos to Diana Mercer, Founder of Peace Talks Mediation Services, for getting mentioned on MSNBC’s website.

They are offering free divorce mediation as well as fee based on a sliding scale:

“Free mediation services include up to 6 hours of [otherwise] billable time: 3 hours of mediation and 3 hours for a mediation resolution roadmap and report or deal memo.”

How about this tidbit:

“With the average Los Angeles divorce costing $100,000(5), Peace Talks’ average divorce is $8500.”

read the article [here]

Sense & Sensibility in India
VIJAY NAGASWAMI Vijay Nagaswami writes in interesting piece here on the general way Indians react (yes react, not respond) to situations. The question of tolerance, and mob type responses are questioned.

Some quotes to get you to read the opinion piece:

“We respond with irrational intolerance when we use rhetoric, whip up mob frenzy, burn effigies, attack stores selling Valentine Day cards, physically assault hapless young women who go to a pub or talk to young men and so on…”

and

“If irrationally intolerant protests are to be countered by more irrational intolerance, the only cause to be advanced would be that of tabloid journalism.”

Read it [here]

Conflict Resolution for India & Pakistan

“What better recipe can anyone prescribe for lasting peace in the subcontinent, i.e better than conflict-resolution especially the resolution of Kashmir conflict, as also demanded, of late, by President Asif Ali Zardari…

…By all standards of international relations and on the basis of all yardsticks of sovereignty, the Kashmir conflict’s resolution need not be viewed as a victory-defeat situation, whether for Pakistan or for India.”

Read all of it [here]

President Carter: Still on a Mission For Peace
Did you know the Carter Center opened back in ’81?
For more than three decades, former President Jimmy Carter has been trying to bring peace to the Middle East.
Disappointed that President Ronald Reagan showed no interest in dealing with the region’s constant conflict and that President George W. Bush “didn’t do anything” either, Carter has kept his dream alive since he left office in 1981 through the efforts of the conflict-resolving Carter Center, frequent visits to Israel and writings on the subject matter.

Full Q & A with him [here]

Community Mediation in New Zealand
There could now be a new way to sort out your differences.
Waitakere Community Law Service has launched a community mediation service, a national first.
The service will run in association with New Zealand’s leading resolution and not-for-profit organisation LEADR NZ.
LEADR NZ chairwoman Carol Powell says the service is likely to be dealing with issues that can’t be resolved by standard legal processes with the value of the disputes being $20,000 or less.

Check out LEADR’s site [here]

News & Tips

February 9, 2009

Mediators Prepare New Darfur Peace Push
Mediators attempting to broker an end to the six-year war in Darfur met in the Qatari capital on Monday ahead of the first peace talks between the Sudanese government and the rebel Justice and Equality Movement since 2007.

“The meeting aimed at discussing and rendering the Darfur peace talks successful,” the mediators said in a joint statement after their talks.

The mediators included Arab League chief Amr Mussa, OIC secretary general Ekmeleddin Ihasanoglu, African Union commission chairman Jean Ping, Qatar’s state minister for foreign affairs Ahmed bin Abdullah al-Mahmud and United Nations and African Union chief negotiator on Darfur Djibril Bassole.
Full article [here]

Law Firm Expands Dispute Resolution Team
LAW firm Atteys has expanded its Dispute Resolution department into Sheffield and Rotherham.

In a bid to help more local businesses defy the credit crunch, the service brings together specialist legal advice, aimed at helping businesses and individuals resolve a wide range of problems, without the need of facing long and potentially costly courtroom battles.Atteys launched its Dispute Resolution Department in 2007 and since that time, the firm has helped many small businesses in the region to recover bad debts, overcome employment matters such as handling redundancies and unfair dismissal claims, as well as providing legal makeovers – ensuring businesses are compliant with the latest legislation.
Full article [here]

Dispute Resolution in the Recession
Recessions produce a boom in disputes — and in the past have produced a correspondingly increased volume of litigation. However, the results may differ this time around. Unexpected and especially sudden changes in the economy and, even more so, volatility (the hallmark of the global economy in 2008) generate disputes. Business expectations are shattered. Prices fluctuate. Financing is withdrawn or fails to materialize. The economic foundations of contracts collapse. And business partners, suppliers and customers fail to perform, or even go out of business.
Full article [here]

Court of Appeals Testing New Mediation
A new Court of Appeals mediation program for family law cases is saving thousands of dollars for the litigants and for the court. About half of the first twenty cases to go through the program were successfully settled, according to John Kostouros, director of the state court information office.
Full, short article [here]

Obama appoints Native woman to mediator’s post
After an eight-year void in the White House, President Barack Obama has appointed an American Indian to a high-profile intergovernmental job to be the “eyes and ears” of Indian Country.The Obama administration named three people to posts in its intergovernmental affairs office on Friday, including Jodi Archambault Gillette, a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

The Lakota woman will serve as a deputy associate director in an office that functions as a mediator between the administration and state, tribal and local governments.“This is the first time we’ve had an American Indian that close to the White House, dealing with intergovernmental affairs,” said David Gipp, president of the United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck, N.D., where Gillette previously served as director of the Native American Training Institute, a tribally operated nonprofit organization.

She will be very helpful in coordinating tribal government, tribal leaders and Indian affairs across the board and all the federal agencies where there will be issues affecting tribes and Indian people,” said Gipp. “She’ll be able to reach across from one agency to the next. We look forward to her coordinating meetings at the highest levels of government with some of the secretaries and also the president.”
Full story [here]

Construction ADR Tips (Middle East Specifically)
Some very good, basic tips, one of which is:

Provide for arbitration
Contracts need to include an effective dispute resolution mechanism, which may act as a deterrent to disputes. Arbitration is gaining increasing acceptance in the region and arbitration clauses are now common in many construction contracts. But don’t forget that the enforcement of arbitral awards remains a challenge in certain jurisdictions, particularly in Saudi Arabia.

Read them all [here]