Archive for the ‘ADR news’ Category

Weekend Mediation & ADR News 2.7.09

February 7, 2009

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]

International Mediator Update

February 6, 2009

International Mediator Update

The latest update:

Tony Blair (United Kingdom)- Leads the ‘Quartet’ as head mediator/negotiator in the Hamas-Israel conflict. Role might be diminished as newly elected US President Obama seemingly wants to go in a more USA-led direction with Secretary of State Clinton and Middle East Envoy George Mitchell. Thing are not so bad though, seems has been been given the title of ‘first friend’ by President Obama (read it here).

Also, recently stopped by my office… really, read it [here]

Nicolas Sarkozy (France)- Attempted to mediate same as above to no avail. He did meet today with Palestinian President Abbas and the Prime Minister of Qatar. The latest rumored mediator role is possibly in the Croatia-Slovakia border dispute.

Thabo Mbeki (South Africa)- as previously mentioned here, the leaders in Africa have lost faith in his ability to be the mediator in the situation in Zimbabwe.

Moammar Gadhafi (Libya)- Newly elected president of the African Union, vows to continue effort as a mediator is the Darfur region. Has had little success so far.

Tayyip Erdogan (Turkey)- Severely jeopardized his neutrality and role of international mediator with his public condemnation of Israel last month.

Jimmy Carter (USA)- The former President also jeopardized his neutrality when recently asked by a reporter who was responsible for the conflict in Gaza, his reply was, “Israel.” He also added, “”You got to talk to both sides,” Carter said. “But you can’t … take the position that everything that Israel does is right, and that anybody who disagrees with them is an act of terrorism. You got to try to find solutions that relate to both sides.”

International Mediator (general)- From the BBC, Leaders of the Anglican Communion are to employ professional mediators in an attempt to resolve their ongoing dispute over sexuality.
Full Story [here]

This story has received considerable media coverage on all the major networks here in the States. SAO PAULO (AP) — An American man who has waged a four-year custody battle for his son in Brazil brought a U.S. congressman along Thursday to help make his case to the country’s courts and politicians.

Speaking with The Associated Press on their way to Brasilia, David Goldman said he has not been allowed to see his 8-year-old son Sean since his former wife Bruna took the boy for a two-week vacation to her native Brazil in 2004 and never returned.

…Both sides are scheduled to meet Friday with a high-ranking Brazilian federal judge who is expected to attempt mediation or decide whether the case should be heard in federal or state courts in Rio de Janeiro, said a court spokeswoman who spoke on condition of anonymity because of department policy.
Full story [here]

Hey, It’s Not Just the Dalai Lama!

February 3, 2009

Hey It’s Not Just The Dalai Lama!

The Dalai Lama is well known for his persistant, nonviolent approach to the situation in Tibet with Chinese Government, but how many heard of Aung San Suu Kyi? She has been under house arrest in Myanmar for years trying to maintain a peaceful approach to raising alarms reagarding the her government.

Detained Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi met United Nations special envoy Ibrahim Gambari on Monday during his mission to try to coax her and the military junta toward talks on political reform.
Crushing any hopes of a breakthrough or compromise, a spokesman for her National League for Democracy (NLD) said the party was sticking to a list of preconditions it wants met before it sits down with the former Burma’s ruling generals.

The terms include the release of all political prisoners, including Suu Kyi, a review of the new constitution and honoring of the results of the 1990 election that the NLD won by a landslide but which the army ignored, spokesman Nyan Win said.

Reasonable terms, no? I wonder what ‘carrots’ the UN could possibly be using to coax her.

Full story [here]

More on Foreclosures and Mediation
PROVIDENCE — Mayor David N. Cicilline announced today two proposed ordinances to deal with the growing number of foreclosures in the city…
The second ordinance would require financial institutions and property owners to engage in mediation with Rhode Island Housing before moving ahead with a foreclosure…
Last year, Providence had 1,577 foreclosures, more than double the total from 2007.
Full story [here]

Croatia Agrees to EU Mediation
ZAGREB — Croatia supports the idea of having the European Commission as a mediator in the border dispute between Croatia and Slovenia. “Envoys would not solve the conflict, but would give proposal for how to overcome it,” Croatian President Stjepan Mesić told Ljubljana daily Reporter.He added that it would be good for Slovenia to unblock Croatia’s EU bid, “because the friendship of the two countries would be at risk” if Slovenia was to keep blocking Croatia’s progress for the duration of the border conflict. Mesić said that it is logical for Croatia to have the “conflict solved by a third party,” if the Croatian and Slovenian sides have opposing views.
Full Story [here]

Doctors, Patients, Lawyers & Mediation
In their quest to keep medical liability disputes out of the courtroom, some Pennsylvania physicians have found some strange bedfellows. The Montgomery County Medical Society teamed up with the Montgomery Bar Assn. to launch a mediation pilot program in March 2008 at Abington Memorial Hospital. The project, four years in the making, aims to turn the tables on the traditional litigation system by bringing doctors, patients and lawyers to the table to voluntarily resolve issues without the tensions and costs of court.
Full Story [here]

Gadhafi, Mediation, Chosen as Leader of the African Union
An example of how all things are impermanent perhaps?
Moammar Gadhafi of Libya was elected Monday as leader of the African Union, a position long sought by the eccentric dictator who wants to push his oil-rich nation into the international mainstream after years of isolation.
Gadhafi, once ostracized by the West for sponsoring terrorism, has been trying to increase both Libya’s global stature and its regional influence — mediating African conflicts, sponsoring efforts to spread Islam on the continent and pushing for the creation of a single African government.

Conflict Resolution & The UN Charter

February 2, 2009

UN Charter Changes To Include Improved Conflict Resolution?
The Lagos State Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, SAN, has called for a review of the United Nations Charter in order to seek for more humane ways to resolve conflicts around the world.

Fashola made the call on Thursday in his office while receiving the Consular-General of the French Embassy in Lagos, Mr. Jean-Luc Bodin.

The governor said, ”The United Nations could consider the review of the Charter to see whether new methods can be developed for conflict resolution. Some of these conflicts can be resolved in more civilized ways,” adding that the issue of conflict resolution had become more expedient since the world was now a global village.

Fashola further said, “These are issues that should engage the United Nations as our two worlds become even closer today more than it was probably 60 years ago. We should begin to develop new methods of resolving conflicts. Why should people kill each other.”

Full story [here]

No Worries Mon, It’s Conflict Resolution Bahamas Style!
In the aftermath of a stabbing incident at Jack Hay-ward High School on Monday, administrative officials at that institution have mounted an aggressive campaign to combat school violence through proper conflict resolution.

Principal Dr. Paula Mortimer sat down with The Freeport News yesterday and explained there was an altercation on Monday involving a large number of students, three of whom were injured as a result, and now the school is taking a proactive approach to tackling violent outbreaks.

“We are inviting our guidance counsellors to go into the classrooms and talk about conflict resolution with our students, particularly among those classes who have the tendency to have disagreements a lot…”
Full Story [here]

Is Scotland Synonymous With International Arbitration?
New measures designed to make it easier to resolve disputes could make Scotland a world-leader in business arbitration, the Scottish Government has said.

…Community Safety Minister Fergus Ewing said: “This government wants to develop Scotland as a dispute resolution centre, which attracts international arbitration cases as well as domestic ones.

“Given the importance of world trade, there will be increasing demand for high quality arbitration services as the way to resolve cross-border commercial disputes.

Full story [here]

Asian Domain Name Dispute Resolution Centre grants Linda Wilcox the right to use her own name
On December 1, 2008, the Asian Domain Name Dispute Resolution Centre (ADNDRC) ordered that the ownership of two domain names www.wilcoxsafety.com and www.adeptsafetyonline.com be transferred to Linda Wilcox of Wilcox Safety & Signs Pty Ltd…

‘To begin with, I didn’t know who Snapsite was,” Linda said. ‘It was oh, that’s really weird.’ Snapsite was contacted regarding the domains, but provided no response to inquiries. It was later also discovered that Snapsite was a website development company used by a competitor with whom Linda had been in dispute…

On December 1, 2008, the Asian Domain Name Dispute Resolution Centre rendered a decision regarding this dispute based on three elements:

1. Domain Names Identical / Confusingly Similar to existing Service Marks
2. Rights and Legitimate Interests in the Domain Names
3. Registration of Domain Name(s) in Bad Faith

Linda then submitted a domain name dispute claim to the Asian Domain Name Dispute Resolution Centre (ADNDRC www.adndrc.org), one of only four (4) providers in the world of dispute resolution services in regards to generic top level domain names (gTLD’s) (eg. .com, .net, .org, etc.).
Full story [here]

Interested in learning more about domain name disputes, the organizations that cover it, and the procedures? I am sure you do, for more info, click this [link].

Mediation is Cool Now!

January 31, 2009

Mediation is Cool Now!
Hey, if the NBA is using mediation, I think we can finally say mediation is going mainstream now. And no, I did not have to use this particular picture, but I thought I it was funny.
The story, incase you are intersted:
DALLAS — Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and former Mavs coach Don Nelson are headed to mediation Thursday to try and resolve their long-running dispute over the former coach’s compensation package.

“We’re going to mediation for the appeal,” Nelson, who now coaches the Golden State Warriors, said before his team played the Mavericks on Wednesday night. “That’s all I know at this point.”
Read the full story [here]
This Could Be a Handful
The central players in the Long Branch eminent domain drama continue to meet behind closed doors to hammer out an agreement allowing property owners who wish to keep their homes, as other thorny settlement details are being hashed out.
Situations that are in mediation cases like these always have the potential to derail by leaks to the media. Kudos to the mediator(s) foreseeing this by getting the parties to agree to do this:
In a joint statement, the parties noted they are continuing to work with the mediator “to attempt to resolve all issues,” they wrote. “The parties agree that additional information must be obtained and discussed. The parties shall have no further comment at this time per the instructions and requests of the mediator.”
Full story [here]
Has Prime Minister Erdogan’s Ability to Mediate Gone Cold Turkey pun intended
Not sure if anyone read about this in the news already, but its worth looking at it from the angle of his future ability to play the role of mediator in the Middle East.
The following is an expert from an opinion peice in the German site Deutsch Welle:
Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan’s stormy exit from a panel discussion on the Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip at the Davos summit has discredited him as a mediator in the region, says Deutsche Welle’s Baha Güngör.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s performance at the World Economic Forum in Davos has destroyed any hopes that had been pinned on him to act a mediator in the Middle East conflict.
Erdogan was seated next to Israeli President Shimon Peres, UN Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon and Arab League Secretary General Amr Mussa. The topic of the panel discussion moderated by Washington Post columnist David Ignatius was the recent war in Gaza.

Full article [here]

Today’s Reading: Governator Terminates Mediation

January 29, 2009

Governator Terminates Mediation
Catchy title? May my next job will be writing headlines for the NY Post… or maybe not.

Anyways, the California Governor had this to say in regards to bringing in a mediator to get the budget negotiations moving, “I don’t think we need a professional mediator. I think maybe the Screen Actors Guild needs one more than we do,” he said.
Full story [here]

Row over ‘Ni**er’ Brown Stand ordered to mediation
*note, strong racial language used in this story*
A QUEENSLAND court has ordered an anti-racism campaigner and a sports ground operator into mediation over a claim for hurt and humiliation.Toowoomba academic Stephen Hagan has campaigned for a decade to have the E.S. “Nigger” Brown stand at the Toowoomba Sports Ground renamed.

Former Kangaroo and local councillor Edward Stanley Brown was of Anglo-Saxon descent, and it is said he was nicknamed “Nigger” because of his fair complexion or after a brand of shoe polish…The Anti-Discrimination Tribunal in Brisbane on Wednesday ordered the trust and Mr Hagan take part in mediation on February 17 over Mr Hagan’s claim of hurt and humiliation.

[read more of this interesting article]

Mediator aims to restore harmony at troubled conservatorium
THE St James Ethics Centre will act as a mediator to revitalise the strife-torn Sydney Conservatorium of Music following a review initiated by the University of Sydney.
The university senate has approved the appointment of the Ethics Centre after two inquiries into the conservatorium, riven by complaints over management style and claims of plagiarism.

Full article [here]

Momentum Gains for Mbeki to Step Down as Mediator
Strong comments from President Jimmy Carter, “Thabo Mbeki has been useless as a political mediator in the long and violent political crisis in Zimbabwe and should step down so someone else can tell dictator Robert Mugabe to give up his rule, former President Jimmy Carter said Monday.”

Read the rest of the article [here]

Good Job Folks!
Wandle Housing Association has teamed up with Wandsworth Mediation Service to train eight residents from Wandsworth, Croydon, Southwark and Merton as community mediators.
The innovative scheme is part of an ongoing programme totackle antisocial behaviour (ASB) in the eleven London Boroughs it works in.
The residents, who all volunteered for the scheme, have completed a training course that aims to help them resolve their own disputes and act as community leaders to support other residents.
Wandle hopes that the ground-breaking initiative will inspire other social landlords to work with residents to improve the communities they live in.

Read more [here]

More on Foreclosures and Mediation
COLUMBUS (AP) — The Ohio Supreme Court says a foreclosure mediation program it launched less than a year ago is now available in all 88 counties.

The high court provides step-by-step instructions to common pleas courts around the state to try to reach solutions in foreclosure cases. The local courts gather information from homeowners and lenders to reach a mutual agreement.

Bang Some Heads!

January 23, 2009

Bang Some Heads!

Don’t all mediators say ‘let’s bang some heads’ in reference to trying to get a mediation moving? Well, that’s what Canadian Premier Dalton McGuinty is telling the country’s top mediator to do in order to end an 11 week strike that has left over 5,000 York University students in academic limbo.
perhaps “let’s bang some heads” could be added to your mediator toolbox?
read the full story [here]

Many Complaints, not enough Mediators
An interesting tidbit from the article:
The mediation office has 15 full-time staff members, up from six people when Rogers started with the office in 2004. The added staffing has made a difference: in 2002, mediators closed 2,438 complaints and helped recover about $414,000, less than half the 2008 amount.
Story

Mediation Decreases Malpractice Case Load
Mandatory mediation of medical malpractice cases seems to be speeding the judicial process in Madison County, Ill.
When the mandate took effect in 2007, 65 cases were pending. During the next 15 months, 24 went to mediation. Fifteen of those cases (62%) settled.
“Frankly, I’m surprised the success rate is so high — pleasantly surprised,” says Circuit Court Judge David Hylla.

Full Story [here]

When custody disputes get dicey, a third party often mediates the split
A “did you know” from the article:
The list of approved mediators, like the local court system’s family law mediation program, is a result of an Illinois Supreme Court ruling requiring mandatory mediation in contested child custody and visitation cases.
How are child custody cases handled in your state/country?
full article [here]

Mediation Here to Stay (Tampa, Florida)
Did you know this:
Florida has the nation’s most extensive court mediation and alternative dispute resolution, or ADR, system. It began with the establishment of one the first citizen dispute settlement centers, in Dade County in 1975. The state of Florida is a leader, mostly through its mandated “mediation before trial” rules.
Also they used require all mediators to be lawyers, however that changed in 2007.
Full story [here]

News Links 1.18.09

January 18, 2009

News Links For 1.18.09

Obama Must Focus on Conflict Resolution & Developement in Africa (cfr.org)
Many are hoping incoming President Barack Obama will devote special attention and resources to Africa. But given the enormity of the global financial crisis and challenges in managing two wars and multiple crises in the Greater Middle East, Obama is expected to give little immediate attention to the continent where his father was born…

DOJ Mediators to Assess BART Shooting (AP)
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Justice Department has sent mediators to Oakland, Calif., to help resolve tensions arising from the fatal New Year’s Day shooting of an unarmed black man by a white transit police officer.
The officials are from the department’s Community Relations Service, which was created by the 1964 Civil Rights Act to help resolve and prevent racial and ethnic conflict and violence.

Rent a Judge (nationalpost.com)
California lawyer/entrepreneur Rafael Chodo has created RENT-A-JUDGETM, “an innovative new service that combines litigation and mediation to provide an alternative to traditional court proceedings”: a fixed-cost ($10,000) one-day trial. The parties share the cost equally and RENT-A-JUDGE provides a written opinion within five business days of trial.
Just another step along the road to changing the way law is practiced

Mediation reduces values by $2.05 million for 40 (timesleader.com)
Another $2.05 million has been knocked off the assessed values of 40 Luzerne County properties that went through court-level mediation, according to a review of settlement orders.

That brings the total mediation reductions to $2.59 million for 56 settlements reached to date.
Property owners undergo mediation when they challenge their county assessment appeal board rulings to the Court of Common Pleas. The county appeal board solicitor and property owner must both agree to the settlement amounts…

US Does Not Consider Mediation In Cyprus (oberservercyprus.com)
US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Matthew Bryza stated that the US is not a party to the ongoing negotiation process in Cyprus and did not consider acting as a mediator in the process…

Mediators Help Halt 400 Foreclosures (connpost.com)
In its first five months, Connecticut’s judicial mediation program helped more than 500 families keep their homes.
“The success of the program is encouraging,” Roberta Palmer, the judicial mediation program director, said Thursday, the same day she delivered a report on the program to a Judicial Branch committee reviewing foreclosure procedures.
There is room for improvement, according to Palmer and Sen. Bob Duff, D-Norwalk and a co-chair of the banking committee, who hopes to fine tune the program as it develops.
Public Act 08-176, which was signed into law June 12, created the mediation program.