Archive for the ‘New Zealand Mediation’ Category

News Round Up

October 16, 2009

I am back home in the U-S-of-A! and now back to our regular Friday news…

Mediation Option in New Anti-Racism Code

The ICC has included a mediation process in its new anti-racism code to help cricketers settle such conflicts amicably between themselves. This mediation process, which will be the first step towards any resolution if agreed upon within 48 hours of the incident being reported, could lead to voluntary suspensions and a public apology.

Full article [here]

Arms-length agencies can become monsters wreaking havoc on government: ombudsman
TORONTO — Ontario’s ombudsman says the lack of accountability at government agencies underscores a systemic failure that cannot be ignored.

Andre Marin says Ontario’s recent troubles show that arms-length agencies can become monsters wreaking untold havoc on their creators.

He says the government must learn from previous mistakes at agencies like eHealth Ontario and the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. to avoid further costs to taxpayers and erosion of service.
Read more [
here].

New Zealand Austism Group Heads to Mediation
Autism New Zealand is set to enter mediation after disestablishing its Auckland branch committee, unhappy with communication, abuse of power and running of programmes “not endorsed” by the parent body.

The two parties met in late August to try to reach a compromise after the Christchurch head office learned of Auckland’s plans to move to new premises in Albany, and demanded to know more details.

Autism NZ is a support group for sufferers of autism, Asperger syndrome and associated disorders. It has 15 branches nationwide, and a membership of more than 4000.

Read more [here]

Community Mediation to Get 6 Month Check Up

It’s time for the city’s community mediation program to have its six-month checkup.
Police officials were expected to attend this week’s City Council meeting to give a department report on the effectiveness of the program since it was implemented in April.

Bickering neighbors who call the police, people who’ve contacted code enforcement and those who’ve completed a form on the city’s website are referred to the community mediation program to help work out their disagreements, according to Sgt. Don Aguilar of the T.O. police.
“The program has been very successful so far,” Aguilar said.

In the past, addressing property line or landscape disputesloud music and other problems was time-consuming for police officers, who repeatedly had to return to the same address to resolve the issue, Aguilar said.

Read more [here]

‘Bad Faith’ Mediation in Nevada Foreclosure Mediations?

The Nevada Supreme Court passed tougher rules to force lenders to work with homeowners in foreclosure, but some lenders are worried that they may be unfairly sanctioned.Mediators working with homeowners have the power to find that a lender acted “in bad faith” during a mediation and to halt a foreclosure. The state high court passed its new rules on Sept. 28, in response to a request by state Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley.

Full article [here]

New Jersey Foreclosure Mediation Update

More than 2,600 New Jersey homeowners have received counseling assistance through the State’s Foreclosure Mediation Program, Governor Jon S. Corzine said today. Of the 2,500 mediation cases that have been scheduled, 1,450 cases have been completed, with more than 50 percent of families able to remain in their homes.

More [here]

This is why I like Ombuds: “My bias is to deal with systemic change. That is much more cost-effective and results in individuals not repeatedly complaining about the same thing,” she said.”

Read it all [here].

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Guest Blogger: Jessica Carter, Kiwi Mediator Extraordinaire

October 7, 2009

Please enjoy the following submission as the second installment of the 2009 Guest Blogger series.
Today’s guest blogger is Jessica Carter, Senior Advisor Mediation Practice at the Department of Building and Housing in New Zealandand you can read more about her [here].

Enjoy!
Commands, Hints and What Lies Between

I spotted Malcolm Gladwell’s recent bestseller, ‘Outliers’ at a bookstore at JFK just after April’s ABA Conference in New York and I suspect I’ve joined a group of travellers that have happened upon it in the same way. It grabbed my attention as I browsed, on the lookout for a good read on a long journey, and it promised to tell ‘The Story of Success’.

I recommend it. It’s the kind of book that has a chapter or two, or a subject or two, that grab you and stay with you – ask anyone who’s read it “what part spoke to you the most?” For me, it was two aspects which related to mediation practice.

First, Gladwell suggests that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert at something, therefore a champion chess player, a concert pianist, will have dedicated 10,000 plus hours to reach their level of expertise, and most likely an Olympic athlete and an expert mediator will have done the same. That’s a lot of practice, mediators! And it resonates with the view that mediators should think of themselves as having the “beginner’s mindset” and being in a “permanent state of learning”.

Second, Gladwell’s examples of mitigated language and miscommunications on the flight deck and how this featured as a contributor to airline disasters in the 1980s and 1990s was compelling reading for a mediator. He described 6 levels of responses that people utilise in communication and ordered them from zero-mitigation (the command) to the most mitigated statement of all (the hint). In brief, they are:

1. Command (a direct and implicit instruction is given)

2. Obligation (a view or an opinion about an action is expressed)
3. Suggestion (the speaker suggests that others join in the action, leaving room to disagree)
4. Query (the question is asked and the listener can decide the action)
5. Preference (the speaker lets the audience know what they would like, without making it clear that they have to follow through)
6. Hint (the most mitigated communication of all – you can understand it if you can decode it!)

When I read this, I thought of those situations in mediation when one party uses the polite and culturally-comfortable preference or hint and another is immediately frustrated because their personal mode of communication is ‘command and control’. The commanding party expects the listener to receive the communication as it’s stated and act on it. The hinting party expects the receiver of the information to decode the meaning (possibly a longer process) and then act on what they perceive the meaning to be. A polite way of expressing your needs? Well, yes… if the parties in the room understand your intention!


I unintentionally communicated this at home for 3 years and realised I could have used Malcolm Gladwell’s book some time ago, and been more successful. I badly wanted a bass guitar for Christmas and as Christmas rolled by twice with nothing under the tree in a long case I wondered why my family had ignored my requests. I let them know my wish to learn the bass (5 – preference) and mused that it would be great to learn the bass sometime (6 – hint) until last Christmas when my son, armed with a shiny red guitar said: “Mum, you have to stop hinting and just come straight out with it! Say what you mean!” Oops, he was looking for the mode of communication that he responds to, no.1 – the command, and was frustrated by my indirect approach.

Understanding the cultural barriers which prevent (or promote) certain types of communication has implications for people who work in teams too. Outliers lives up to the expectations on its cover, and sets out a series of stories and case studies about why and how people have achieved expertise and success.

—–
You can Learn more about the book Outliers from Gladwell’s site [here].

Kiwi Mediators To Get $3,000 A Day!

August 9, 2009

Nominations Sought For Court Ordered Mediation Pilot

Last month Justice Minister Simon Power and Courts Minister Georgina Te Heuheu announced that the High Court in Auckland would introduce a pilot scheme that would see private mediators undertake court-ordered mediation in some civil disputes.

The pilot will commence on November 1 this year and will enable the equivalent of 50 one day-long mediations to be carried out. The Ministry of Justice will pay mediators at the rate of $1500 plus GST for half-day mediations and $3000 plus GST for whole day mediations.

Here the are the qualifications (from the article):

1. Hold a certificate from a recognised mediation training provider;

2. Experience in conducting a reasonable number of mediations;

3. Experience in litigation and/or arbitration generally;

4. Operate at a senior or intermediate level of legal practice.

Read the full article [here].

Sounds like you have to also be an attorney… right?

If anyone has more information, please share it here.

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 http://www.imimediation.org/
(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 http://blog.ostp.gov/2009/06/29/collaborative-problem-solving-and-alternative-dispute-resolution/ 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]

Was A Terror Suspect, Now a Mediator [plus more news]

March 30, 2009

Was a Terror Suspect, Now A Mediator

Pakistan is using ex-terror suspect Hyarbyar Marri as a mediator between the terror outfit which kidnapped UN official John Solecki and the government to get the American citizen released.
Marri, recently acquitted of terrorism charges in the UK, was approached by Pakistan’s Interior Ministry to use his influence with the kidnappers, Dawn reports. Full story [
here]


Mediation and Arbitration Helps in Construction Disputes
When it comes to profitability, a lot can be said for the way a company manages information. That’s been the overall theme of the Construction Specification Institute’s three-part webinar series, “Maintaining Profitability in Your Construction Business,” which concluded this afternoon. Bill Dexter, a risk-management consultant and trainer, Mary Jones, a California attorney specializing in alternate dispute resolution and Marge Mellody, a mediator specializing in real estate-related disputes, continued that focus when they discussed dispute resolutions during today’s session.

Full story [here]


Mediation Fails

For those that think mediations are always resolved successfully:

NEWARK — Mediation has failed in a civil suit between a local contractor, the Board of Education for the Licking County Joint Vocational School District and others, but another avenue to avoid a lengthy trial still might be available.

Attorneys for all sides met with a mediator Friday, but because no settlement was reached, the prospect of a month-long jury trial beginning April 28 looks increasingly likely.
The case will have spent three years on Common Pleas Judge Thomas Marcelain’s docket by then.

Full story [here]

Internet Mediation- Cybersquatting Hits Record

The number of cybersquatting complaints reached a record in 2008, the World Intellectual Property Association reported Monday.
Geneva-based WIPO, which is charged with resolving such disputes, said there were
2,329 complaints filed with the WIPO Administration and Mediation Center last year. That’s an 8 percent increase from the year prior.

And the numbers are likely to skyrocket as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is expected to launch new top-domain spaces by year’s end.

Full article [here]


SafeKiwi- Promoting Mediation in New Zealand

“LEADR NZ is pleased to be involved in the new SafeKiwi™ internet-based ‘escrow’ financial service, launched yesterday by Christchurch businessman Mike Pero. An escrow account, like SafeKiwi™, is a legal arrangement in which one party deposits funds under the supervision of a neutral third party, until the terms of an agreement have been met and the funds can be released. SafeKiwi™ (www.safekiwi.co.nz) is marketing the service to companies, corporates, individuals and government departments and, in particular, expects the service to be popular with small businesses and sub-contractors.

SafeKiwi™ will use the Public Trust as its custodian. Carol Powell, chair of LEADR NZ, says she is delighted that SafeKiwi™ is promoting mediation as the first option for resolving disputes that may arise between parties to the service.

Full article [here]

Owners no Jackasses, Keep Jackass Website!

February 24, 2009

Owners No Jackasses, Keeps Jackass Website

For those who remember, I posted about dispute resolution and the internet a few weeks back. I found this charm of a story and had to post it here:
The World Intellectual Property Organization has the thankless job of overseeing Internet domain name disputes, but few can have been as surreal as the just-concluded case brought by US media giant Viacom. The company sought control of jackass.com from a “serial cyber-squatter” based in the Virgin Islands who was (and is) using the domain to show pay-per-click ads. When hauled before WIPO to explain himself, the owner insisted that it had taken six years in order to ready the “website about donkeys” that was actually planned for the domain.
WIPO panelist John Swinson, not being a jackass himself, recognized a load of donkey manure when he saw it, but he still
refused to hand the domain over to Viacom, which will have to settle for jackassworld.com instead.
Full story [here]
In domain disputes, three key criteria must be proven by the contesting party:
1) Is the name identical or confusinlgy similar to a trademark of the contesting party?
2) Did the purchaser have any legitimate claim/interests to the title or subject of the domain name?3) Was the domain bought in bad faith?

God, Australia, Mediation“Social justice” and “solidarity” – those were two themes touched on with frequency and passion at the 9:00am mass at Saint Mary’s Church in South Brisbane on Sunday.
A colourful crowd of over 1,000 turned out for the morning mass to support Father Peter Kennedy, who was sacked by the Catholic Church for allegedly flouting church rules but defied the order by participating in mass.
…Archbishop Bathersby has called for mediation between Fr Kennedy and the Archdiocese, and says he is looking for a peaceful and dignified resolution of the current impasse.
Full Story [here]

Mediation For Internet Kiwi Pirates?
Are there even Pirates in New Zealand?
Movie and music industry bosses have pulled back from a hardline approach and are belatedly considering a plan for an independent mediator to oversee protracted complaints between them and telcos.
The idea is that a mediator will be a go-between in protracted internet piracy complaints where copyright holders claim an illegal download, but it is denied by ISP customers.
The mediator plan might ease the tense relationship between the hard-nosed Hollywood-led approach and telcos disgruntled about policing copyright holders’ property rights.

Full Story [here]