Archive for the ‘Police 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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ADR News

August 21, 2009

By Nancy Cook, Newsweek.com

It takes about 10 minutes for Diane (not her actual name) to tell her story outside a Manhattan court room. Her husband was diagnosed with Stage III cancer three years ago and treatments left the couple with $60,000 in medical bills. Unable to work through his illness, her husband lost his job and the adjustable rate on their refinanced mortgage shot up. Now, the collection agencies and the credit companies are demanding their money. “I’m sorry to hear this,” says Jeff Thompson, a 30-year-old New York City police officer. “It sounds like you’ve been through a lot.”

Thompson isn’t about to arrest Diane, he’s showing up in court to try to help her navigate a way out of deep debt. Thompson works as volunteer mediator with
Safe Horizon, a New York nonprofit that’s perhaps best known for its work with victims of violent crimes. While that is the group’s main mission, it has recently branched out to help those who have become casualties of the economy, by mediating cases between consumers and their creditors….


Read the full article [here]

News For 5.11.09

May 11, 2009

Panel recommends Harvard ombudsman to bridge police, campus ‘schism’
An independent committee recommended today that Harvard University create a public-safety ombudsman and take other steps to mend the at-times rocky relationship between the campus police force and the diverse community it patrols.
The committee, appointed by Harvard President Drew Faust in August after some black students and staff complained of racial profiling by the predominantly white police force, said in an 81-page report that more work needs to be done to create a welcoming, safe, and open environment for the Harvard community.
Full article [
here]

Government Considers Option for Civil Dispute Resolution
NSW, Australia- The New South Wales Government wants to make it easier to resolve civil neighbourhood disputes over issues like fences and noise.
Attorney-General John Hatzistergos says only a small number of civil disputes are decided by a judge, but people still spend a lot of time and money preparing for court.
He has released a discussion paper on the issue which suggests alternatives to resolving civil disputes, including free legal advice and mediation.
Submissions on the discussion paper close at the end of the month.
Note, this is the entire article, the link is [
here]

Program Readies Inmates ‘Reunions’
HAGERSTOWN, Md. A unique program geared to 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 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 center.
Full Article [here]

Voters Turn Down Mediator
ESSEX — Before humans first stepped onto windswept Conomo Point, it served as a natural divider between Essex Bay and Essex River; since the town of Essex took control of the land, it has had a similar effect on its residents.
Voters at Monday night’s annual Town Meeting were divided in ways other than numbers — 73 opposed, and 59 in favor — when asked if selectmen, along with the tenants of Conomo Point, should retain the services of a mediator to discuss the future of town-owned land north of Robbins Island Road.
Full article [here]

Mediators In Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process

NICOSIA, May 6 (Xinhua) — U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday called for a reinforced role for the Quartet in reviving the Israeli-Palestinian peace process on a two-state basis.
In a message sent to an international meeting in support of Israeli-Palestinian peace held in Nicosia, the U.N. chief emphasized that the Quartet, which includes the United States, the European Union, Russia, and the U.N., remains, are firmly committed to the goal of a two-state solution.
…Tony Blair, the Quartet’s current special envoy, has said that the mediators will adopt a new strategic plan, while the U.S. President Barack Obama pushing for the establishment of a Palestinian state, has he met his Israeli counterpart Simon Peres in Washington.
Full article [
here]

Mediation & ADR News

April 28, 2009

Fiji Under Pressure to Allow International Mediators
“What we are hoping is that the UN will continue to engage in the dialogue and mediation process to do with Fiji in partnership with the Commonwealth and obviously working through the Pacific Forum.”
Read more [here]

Police Tell Warring Residents to Seek Mediation
POLICE have urged warring Coomera Waters residents to seek mediation after the ongoing dispute about who should have access to a footpath took another dramatic turn…
Police Acting Inspector Andrew Dupere said rather than fight, residents should consider mediation.
Insp Dupere said police would not become involved but if called would help keep the peace.
“It’s a civil matter. We’re there to keep the peace and make sure no violence happens between the different parties or it doesn’t escalate into violence,” he said.

Read more [here]

Victims Prefer Mediation Over Legal Action
The latest research conducted in KwaZulu- Natal, the province with the highest incidence of domestic violence, shows that most victims prefer mediation to taking their abusers to court.
The victims participated in victim-centred restorative justice mediation voluntarily.

Full article [here]

Flexibility, partnerships, knowledge key to mediating conflicts – UN official
To boost its ability to prevent and limit bloodshed, the United Nations must have flexible funding, regional partnerships and accessible information for mediation, the Organization’s political chief said today.
“Mediation is a Charter activity of the United Nations and must be carried out with the highest degree of professionalism, transparency and preparation to promote peace and security,” …

Full article [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”.

Today’s News

March 4, 2009

M.I.A.’s Dad Wants to Mediate

Firstly, are you ready to show your age by saying who or what is M.I.A.?
She is the very famous musician who made it onto millions of TV’s via the grammys performing on her due date (see the picture). That said, he father is offering his services to to the Sri Lankan Government as a mediator in regards to their current conflict.
“Hip hop sensation and British songster M.I.A’s father, Arular Arudpragasam, in an exclusive interview with the Daily Mirror expressed his interest to offer his services as an independent mediator of the ethnic conflict to the government. Speaking, while in Sri Lanka on a visit, Arudpragasam, said that his 30 years’ experience in Sri Lanka’s conflict, would be the primary reason for his inclination. “Even though, right now, the government through its military strength, is thinking we are going to finish this war and attain peace, I feel that peace may be even further away with the current approach,” said the one-time military mentor of the LTTE, referring to the present arena in the North-East.
A question I have is how is he necessarily independent if he served as a military mentor to the LTTE?
Sounds like he knows what he is educated in the concept of ADR, “Arudpragasam noted that Sri Lanka is not living in an era where a solution can be imposed against the will of a people. He observed that the present solution attempted in the island, which is via military combat, is about imposing a unitary state and for the Tamil people, this means the Sinhalese rule over them, which is what brought them to the current state in the first place.
“It is necessary that we work out a solution that is going to be acceptable to the Tamil people.” With the question of acceptability arising, it was queried as to what exactly he proposes as acceptable to the Tamil people, to which he responded that although there are many other communities as well, the conflict is between the Tamil people in the North-East and the Sinhalese of the South – “The solution lies in bringing a new Sri Lanka into existence where people will feel their rights have been met and they don’t feel threatened.”
Full article [here]
Mediation for Man Killed in Oakland Transit Case?
Mediation has been mentioned as a possiblity by the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) attorney in regards to the case of a man being shot and killed by a BART police officer a few months back. The family of the deceased has filed a $50 million dollar wrongful death suit against BART.
Full article [here]
Kiwi Mediator Appointed
Silver Fern Farms and PGG Wrightson have agreed to appoint a retired High Court judge to mediate an agreement following Wrightson’s failed attempt at a merger with Silver Fern last year.
Wrightson defaulted last year on an offer to buy a 50 per cent shareholding in Silver Fern for $NZ220 million ($A172.22 million), when it could not come up with the $NZ145 million ($A113.51 million) first instalment earlier in the global financial crisis.
Full article [here]
Ebay.co.uk To Improve Dispute Resolution Process
To bad the article is an announcement about a future announcement. That said, the U.S. version of ebay uses the dispute resolution company Squaretrade.com to handle mediation and disputes between buyers and sellers so I’ll make an outlandish guess that the UK version might do something similar.
Read the not-very-informative article [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.

No Mediator… No Peace

February 20, 2009

The NYU ‘Siege” is Now Over

The student takeover of the Kimmel Student Center Cafeteria has ended with:

1) no demands met
2) no negotiations
3) an injured security guard
4) 1 arrest for disorderly conduct
5) multiple suspensions of NYU students involved

The overall media coverage and editorials have really sided against the protesters. An example is the NY Post [here]

“With the kids’ human rights indulged, they unfurled a dizzying list of 13 demands, which ran the gamut from lower tuition, to NYU pulling out investments in Israel, to giving freebies to Palestinian students. But their No. 1 demand was this: “Full legal and disciplinary amnesty for all parties involved in the occupation.”

A recap of the event is [here] and local channel WCBS has a heap of videos (right side of the page) is [here].
No mediation or outside negotiators were brought in. The way the communication was handled (it seems) was the protesters submitted their demands via paper and through lower level school staff; The higher-level administration then met and discussed the situation and ultimately the only real offer from the school was for the ‘siege’ to end immediately and then the leaders could meet with school officials. That was quickly turned down.

From some reports, it all ended when the school asked to speak with the leaders of the group outside of the occupied area. Once out, they were then told there was going to be no negotiating but rather they were told they were now suspended. Security, whom I believe have peace officer status, then removed the remaining protesters.

Local school web-paper NYU Local cover the event (very nicely too) [here]

Finally, and oddly enough, it seems they passed time by dancing the night away. This picture seems to prove it [here]

Finally, [here] were the demands of the occupiers.

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]