Archive for the ‘government mediation’ Category

NYPD Commissioner Kelly Encourages Mediation

September 4, 2009

Please read (and enjoy!) the following press release from the NYPD:

Police Officers Encouraged to use Mediation for Resolving Civilian Complaints
NYPD Supports Voluntary Mediation Efforts Between Civilians and Officers

Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly today urged uniformed members of the service to avail themselves of the Civilian Complaint Review Board mediation process as a non-disciplinary way to resolve complaints against them. Mediated complaints do not become part of an officer’s record.

“Since reinvigorating the program at CCRB’s request last year, the NYPD has encouraged more and more officers to resolve complaints against them by sitting down with their accusers. Both sides listen to each other, and more often than not the dispute is resolved with a handshake,” Commissioner Kelly said.

Last year 112 complaints were successfully resolved through mediation. Another 81 were similarly resolved so far this year.

All 36,000 uniformed members of the service received today with their pay stubs a brochure explaining the mediation process.

Many different types of complaints are appropriate for mediation. In general, any complaint that does not involve a pending criminal matter (including violations), physical injury, or property damage can be mediated.

Mediation consists of the officer, civilian and a trained mediator meeting to discuss the incident that led to the complaint.

The mediation is a confidential process. Everyone participating in the mediation, including the mediator, must sign a confidentiality agreement. An officer can bring an attorney or union representative to the CCRB office, but they are not permitted in the mediation session. The officer can, however stop the mediation at anytime to consult a representative or attorney.

Once the mediation is over, the case is closed and cannot be sent back for an investigation. The civilian complainant does have the right, during the mediation, to ask to end the mediation and have the complaint investigated, but this rarely happens as 98% of cases are resolved.

Mediations usually take about one hour, but the mediation will continue as long as the officer and complainant are making progress. The department does not consider mediated complaints when reviewing an officer’s employment history.

Below is an example of a mediation:

At 11:00 PM on a Monday in January last year, three musicians who had finished performing at a rock concert were driving their van slowly through Lower Manhattan while trying to find the Holland Tunnel. A marked police car containing three uniformed officers from the local Transit District stopped the van by cutting it off, and one of the officers issued the van’s driver a ticket for failing to use a turn signal properly when changing lanes.

According to the driver of the van, who later filed a complaint with the CCRB, the officers berated the three with rude statements throughout the stop, such as, “Are you a f—–g idiot?” When the driver apologized and asked what he had done wrong, an officer allegedly replied, “Don’t apologize, you’re so f—–g stupid.”

The driver stated that he felt threatened by the officers’ behavior and believed that the officers had singled them out because they were musicians with long hair. He also did not believe that he had changed lanes without using his turn signal.

After learning about both CCRB options — investigation and mediation — the driver of the van chose to resolve his CCRB complaint through mediation, explaining that he would pay his summons, but that he wanted to address what he saw as the officers’ inappropriate conduct.

Shortly thereafter, the driver of the van met all three officers for a mediation session at the CCRB’s offices with two trained mediators present. During the mediation session, the officers explained that they had stopped the van because it was driving erratically as the band members tried to find their way to the tunnel – starting and stopping, changing lanes without signaling and driving unusually slow.

The officers explained that they had not targeted the bandmates based upon their long hair – in fact, because it was dark they had not been able to see inside the van before they stopped it. One of the officers explained that when he signed up for the Police Academy, it was hard to cut off his own long hair. The officers also explained to the driver that, when they had tried to pull him over, he had nearly caused a collision between the two cars based upon his unpredictable

Although the driver had not been aware that he had been driving unsafely, he conceded that he may have done so due to his confusion. At the driver’s request, the officers then explained the safest ways to pull over if being stopped by the police.

In response to the driver’s statement that he felt threatened, the officers discussed the fact that car stops are one of the most dangerous situations for police officers. The officers asserted that they had treated the three sternly during the stop in order to maintain control over the situation. However, when the driver raised the issue of the officers’ insulting statements, the officers acknowledged that they had lost their tempers due to his driving, and recognized that many of their comments were inappropriate, and, in fact, unnecessary to maintain control of the situation.

The officers then apologized for their insulting statements. The musician accepted the officers’ explanation for their behavior and apology, and in turn apologized for his driving. The mediation session ended with a round of handshakes.

# # #

ADR News

July 3, 2009

Next Week @ Enjoy Mediation
Coming next week I am going to try and switch to a Monday, Wednesday, Friday posting format. This way you, the readers, will be able to know when new posts will be published.
This Monday’s post will recap of the monthly ACRG-NY (Association of Conflict Resolution- Greater New York Chapter) meeting that was held this past Thursday. This month’s gathering had over 70 people in attendance (good job people!) but with the listserv having 1,500+ people and many out of the NYC area, I thought some might enjoy a recap.
Wednesday will have a post and NY Times video on ‘Thinking Outside The Box: The NYPD & Cricket’ (I hope the intrigue and anticipation does not ruin your weekend!).

Friday will be the usual ADR news round up.

onto the news…

Big News In NZ-
Private Mediators To Be Used In Auckland Court Under Pilot
Wellington, July 3 NZPA – Private mediators will work with parties in civil disputes under a pilot scheme to be run at the High Court in Auckland…A panel of up to 15 mediators who were experienced legal practitioners qualified and experienced in mediation would be set up.
Full article [here]
Read the press release [here]
Questions I have- what are the qualifications? How will the roster be administered? Will they be paid, if so how much?

IMI Registration Tops 1,000 Worldwide
Good news from Irena Vanenkova, IMI Operations Director, via email the other day:IMI Registrations Top 1,000 WorldwideIMI Moves on to Certification by AssessmentIMI completed its Experience Qualification Path on June 30 2009. Over 1,000 experienced mediators from 35 countries took the opportunity to register on the IMI portal during the EQP period.
Already, over 100 mediators have completed their Profiles and are searchable on IMI’s open-access search engine. That number is expected to grow to almost 1,000 within 3 months. Registered mediators have until September 30 2009 to complete their Profiles. With the help of a 50-strong Independent Standards Commission, IMI is now moving on to implement Criteria that entities need to meet in order to be authorized to qualify experienced mediators for IMI Certification in the future.IMI’s Chairman, Michael McIlwrath of General Electric said:

“This is a truly great milestone from provably experienced mediators! Access to such an impressive number around the world will satisfy the needs of users for credible and convincing data about competent mediators. More than that, it is significant step in a drive by stakeholders to expand the mediation pie by injecting more confidence and understanding into mediation practice, and give it standing as a truly global profession. Future steps will be to promote the portal’s search engine to users worldwide to identify competent and suitable mediators for disputes, and to leverage the IMI experience to expand and extend the uptake of mediation in different countries and markets.”

IMI is now inviting top trainers, providers, professional and educational institutions to consider the Criteria established by the Independent Standards Commission and apply for authorization to deliver assessment programs qualifying experienced mediators for IMI Certification on a wider scale.Further details are available on the IMI web portal at
(Disclaimer: I am signed up with IMI and am currently in the process of being certified)

ODR & The White House
Ethan Katsh posted the following at the Online Dispute Resolution Group @ Linkedin:
As some of you may know, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) has, for the past month, been sponsoring a large scale online discussion. The purpose of the dialog is to generate new initiatives about how citizens might interact with government. In the first phase of the dialog, there were various proposals suggested for applications of ODR and ADR. During the last phase, which is occurring this week, ODR and alternative dispute resolution are featured prominently on the OSTP blog at This blog posting will be open for public comment through next Monday, July 6th. If you have something, hopefully positive, to say about expanded ODR use by federal agencies, posting something to that effect would be extremely valuable and I would urge you to do so. The people in charge of the White House Open Government initiative actually are familiar with ODR and any ideas you might have about the value and benefits of ODR in the government context would, I think, have an impact.
Please feel free to forward this to anyone else who you think might be interested.

Mediator Suggested in California State Budget Impasse
State Treasurer Bill Lockyer sure has some radical ideas about how to break California’s government gridlock.
Hire a professional mediator to facilitate talks between lawmakers and the governor. Former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz, maybe?
And craft two budgets – one for the liberal coast and one for more conservative inland regions.
“We’ll have the budget for the coast that has tax increases and services,” Lockyer said in a wide-ranging interview with The Times’ Sacramento bureau. “And in a bunch of other areas in Central and Southern California that don’t have tax increases … their public schools are closed a month of the year – and see what happens.”

Full article [here]

Joe Biden Does Not Equal Mediator with Iraq
President Obama is giving Vice President Biden a larger portfolio to handle, asking him to oversee reconciliation inside Iraq, but Biden will not be a mediator between factions.
“I think he will be involved in working with Shia, Sunni and Kurd to achieve political reconciliation. I would hesitate to use the term ‘mediator,’ ” White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said at Tuesday’s briefing. “Somebody who I think can oversee that we are making progress, that our attention and our resources are matched by what we see needs to happen. I think that he’s well suited to do that.”

Full article [here]

Small Business Mediation in Australia
During his many speaking engagements to promote his small business mediation service, Small Business Commissioner Mark Brennan likes to quote a letter written by a commercial real estate agent to an aggrieved tenant.
…According to him, disputes over leases have made up 90 per cent of the 800 cases brought to the Victorian Small Business Commission’s dispute resolution service.
The idea behind the mediation is to provide a low-cost, less confrontational forum that can deal with everything from a $76 unpaid invoice, to trouble over a $650,000 property settlement.

Read more [here]

Mediation With Joe Salama
Don’t know Joe? I don’t either, let’s get to know him together with a Q&A via the Examiner [here]

Air Canada Names Mediator
The federal government has assigned two mediators to oversee the talks between Air Canada and its lone dissenting union, the Air Canada Component of CUPE, which has so far refused to sign off on an extension of its current contract for fear it would lead to job losses.
All five of Air Canada’s unions have agreed to a tentative agreement for a 21-month moratorium on the airline’s pension-funding obligations this week, after its solvency deficit ballooned to $2.9-billion last year. But CUPE, which represents 6,700 Air Canada flight attendants, is the only one yet to agree to an extension of its current labour contract, which is set to expire at the end of June. CUPE says the concessions the airline is seeking would likely result in job losses.

Read more [here]

Mediation & ADR News

May 5, 2009

Staff Demand for Conflict Resolution Up 25%

The number of formal complaints filed by faculty and staff to the conflict resolution section of Human Resources has increased by 25 percent this year, a university official said.
Shari Barnes, conflict resolution facilitator, said the number of complaints received rises every year but this year’s 25 percent jump is the largest increase ever. It has been available to university staff members since October 2000 and to faculty members since May 2005, she said.

Full story [here]

Vodafone Says No To Mediator
Vodafone yesterday rejected 12th-hour offers from independent mediators to settle the row over interference from the new Telecom 3G mobile network.
Full story [here]

Should Town Hire a Mediator?
ESSEX — Days after residents were shown plans to subdivide Conomo Point south of Robbins Island Road — a benchmark in a process given the go-ahead by voters last year — residents at tonight’s annual Town Meeting will be asked if the town should hire a mediator to help reach a common ground over what’s to be done with the rest of Conomo Point.
Full story [here]

Kansas City Cuts Mediation Program
The City of Kansas City, Mo., Dispute Resolution/Community Relations section of the Human Relations Division has been eliminated due to adoption of the fiscal year 2009-10 budget. Reduction in Force procedures also eliminated all remaining staff in that office last week.
Full article [here]

ACORN Pushes For Mandatory Bank-Homeowner Mediation
Organizers for ACORN held a press conference on the steps of the Osceola County Courthouse in Kissimmee, Florida on Tuesday, April 28 at 1:00 PM to introduce a mediation program designed to help homeowners under threat of foreclosure stay in their homes.
Full story [here]

Negotiating Justice: A guide for Mediators

April 22, 2009

Guide for Global Mediators

This gem of a guide/report is written by Priscilla Hayner, Director of the ICTJ Program on Peace and Justice and part of the HD Centre’s “Negotiating Justice: Strategies for tackling isues in peace processes”.

This report will serve the global mediator well. A major topic covered includes the very important, and ever increasing issue of when dealing with international peace talks, how to handle amesty dilemmas. The issue is brought up to show that it is not as simple being ‘peace versus justice’ but more complex. Also, framing it in such a way limits options (remember- expanding the pie).

Chapter one deals with framing the questions of justice and how it can be focused on two dinstinct goals. First being, “justice mesaures might seek accountabilty for abuses of the past, which may be done through both judicial and non-judicial means. Second, a justice policy may strengthen instituations or laws to prevent abuses in the future. Additionally, conflict can be approached by asking the following four questions:

  1. What has been the nature of the abuses in the conflict
  2. What demands for accountability may arise, and from whom?
  3. Who is well placed to offer policy options?
  4. What are the options for justice? And what should be done inside the peace negotiations to address these?

Chapter two goes onto discuss recent experiences of peace agreements and how the issue of justice is included. In regards to implementation, it is noted the more the steps are explicit and a timeline is included, the greater the chance of the measures being carried out. A list of criteria is given to consider when designing peace agreements.

The report then goes into the detailed process of who to include in the peace process and the various levels of involvement each party can play. This chapter, and the report as a whole, has a substantial impact on those in the global mediation field who read this because not only does it give structural tips on how to handle the broad spectrum on agreements, but it also includes specific, real examples of them being used in various settings around the globe.

The next two chapters deal with the issue of amnesty and and the role of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Although the mediator is a neutral party to the talks, almost always the issue of amnesty will be raised, so it is imeperative to know the international laws regarding it, and recent situations involving this sensitive topic. The ICC can play a pivotal role in the direction of a peace agreement. An appropriate example is the recent arrest warrant it issued to Sudanese President Bashir on five counts of crimes against humanity and two counts of war crimes.

For only 24 pages, this report has a wealth of imformation. It conlcudes with a section on emerging lessons and best practices making this report a good addition to the stack of reference books for any global mediator.

Read the report [here]

Problem Solving Profitable? [and more news]

April 20, 2009

Problem-solving surprisingly Profitable

It began as an experiment in local problem-solving. Making money was the farthest thing from anyone’s mind.
Today, it is one of Toronto’s most successful social enterprises.
Twenty-four years ago, a pioneering community activist named Ruth Morris proposed a way of handling neighbourhood disputes. Before going to the police or city hall, residents would bring their clashes – over noise, parking, garbage, privacy, pets, rent arrears and property issues – to a trained volunteer who would help them resolve the conflict themselves.

…Since its founding in 1988, the business division has made $2 million. Its clients have included the Toronto police, the Children’s Aid Society, General Motors, Canadian Pacific, the University of Toronto and the federal Department of Indian Affairs.

Read more [here]

Small businesses demand corporate mediators
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has stepped up its campaign to convince the Treasury to fund a team of specialist mediators that would resolve lending disputes between small businesses and their banks.

A poll of the trade body’s members found that just over 70pc would use such a service, which the FSB said would help overcome some banks’ unwillingness to extend credit to viable businesses.
Similar schemes have already been set up in France and Belgium in response to the credit crisis.

Full article [here]

Program preps inmates for return to families
HAGERSTOWN — A unique program geared at preparing prison inmates to reunite with their families and loved ones upon release has spread to Washington County.
Following models already in place at prisons in Baltimore and Jessup, Md., the Washington County Community Mediation Center last month started arranging “re-entry mediation” sessions for inmates at Maryland Correctional Training Center, a medium-security men’s prison south of Hagerstown, said Valerie Main, executive director of the Washington County Community Mediation Center.

Full article [here]
Ambulance Group Still Waiting For Mediation
Victoria — Striking B.C. ambulance paramedics say they’re still waiting to hear from the Ministry of Health about a mediator in their dispute.
B.J. Chute of the Canadian Union of Public Employees said yesterday that Health Minister George Abbott suggested last Thursday that government representatives were ready to talk about appointing a mediator.
However, an official with the B.C. Ambulance Service also said last week that the two sides were too far apart for a mediator.

(Jeff’s note: in regards to the last sentence- isn’t this why mediation can help- to bring the two sides closer together???)
Full article [here]

Bill Will Have California Teachers To Learn Mediation & Negotiation
…the Assembly approved the first bill of Assemblyman Bill Monning, D-Monterey, which would train teachers in defusing school confrontations.

Assembly Bill 1 would allow teachers to take coursework in negotiation, mediation, arbitration and other techniques as part of their professional development.
AB 1 passed 49-24 but not before other lawmakers subjected Monning to the traditional hazing of new lawmakers during floor debate on their first bills.
“I am a little concerned that this is another example of the Legislature passing laws that don’t apply to themselves,” Assembly Hector De La Torre, D-South Gate, stressing the need for conflict resolution on issues like the budget.

Full article [here]

Mortage Mediation Plan Unveiled
MADISON, Wis. — Two Wisconsin lawmakers will unveil a foreclosure plan at the state Capitol on Tuesday.
State Sen. Lena Taylor and State Rep. Leon Young will introduce the “Mortgage Mediation” plan.
It would ensure that even if a foreclosure settlement cannot be reached, mediation efforts would assist both the borrower and the lender.
A plan would be created to streamline proceedings, avoid unnecessary delays and potentially shorten the foreclosure process by up to 15 months.

Check Out Kenneth Cloke
In the area of Champlain College in Vermont? Check out Kenneth Cloke’s talk on “How Mediators can Save the Planet”.
Read more [here]

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”.

Mediation and Arbitration are the Same Thing

March 25, 2009

Mediation and Arbitration are the Same Thing

At least this is how I read this paragraph:

Under the new legislation, if the two parties cannot reach an agreement, either may request mediation from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. [the following has been edited in as per this post] If mediation fails, binding interest arbitration is mandated. The decision of the arbitration panel is binding for two years. This is the provision of the Employee Free Choice Act that the business community is determined to defeat. It will provide labor with a powerful tool for collective bargaining which has been absent for generations.

Note the italicized section. It is not very clear that from a request for mediation, somehow, somewhere the issue is also decided by arbitration. Very odd.

Correct me if I am wrong, but a massive difference between mediation and arbitration is the issue of the third party being neutral (mediation) while in the other (arbitration), the third party makes a decision.

The article is referring to a bill in the Senate regarding the “50+1 Rule” being proposed to for groups wanting to unionize.

I sent an email to the writer of the article asking for clarification, if he replies, I will let everyone know.

Read the article [here]

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]

“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

March 13, 2009

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]

Mediation & ADR News 03.02.2009

March 2, 2009

Commercial Mediation to Double This Year in Ireland
…The respondents said the key advantages of mediation were cost (saving up to 70 per cent on litigation), speed, control of the process and the preservation of business relationships. The survey found that mediation was most widely used in family businesses and construction disputes, followed by partnership conflicts, property issues and business terminations.
Full article [here]

Political tensions start to subside as mediators step in
is that not a great title to an article? i mean, as a ADR practitioner, don’t you feel required to read such a wonderful statement? The article refers to the political going-ons in the Pakistani Parliament.
“Lahore: Despite tall claims from both sides regarding the election of a new Punjab chief minister, the simmering tension between the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) has started to subside as political mediators and foreign diplomats stepped in.”
Full article [here]

Interested In Construction Mediation?
If yes, this might interest you or scare you away:
“The 441-page document is the result of more than three months of mediation between the town and TLT Construction Corp. It was agreed to by all parties, including selectmen and TLT’s bonding firm, last Friday but was released only yesterday after the Times filed a public records request. Although the document is a public record, it contains a clause that does not allow town officials to release it without notifying TLT.”
Full article [here]

Broker Wronged You? You Have Options
Your money is gone. You’re ticked off. You want to sue.Even if your adviser wasn’t Bernard Madoff, you might be wondering what action you can take after watching your savings take a clobbering this past year. You aren’t alone.
Last year, the number of cases filed with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority bolted 54 percent, to 4,982. The non-governmental agency regulates U.S. securities firms, including online brokerages, and handles arbitration with clients.
…Before proceeding to arbitration, you and the other party can seek a settlement through a FINRA-appointed mediator. You and your broker would work out how to split the fees, which can range from $50 to $300 for clients and $150 to $500 for brokers.
Full article [here]
For those interested, FINRA is seeking mediators in various locations throughout the U.S.
Their site is [here]