Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


January 29, 2010

[News] Fund Us & We’ll Cut Deaths: NZ Mediators

November 23, 2009

Iraq Latest Crucible For Harvard Mediation
CAMBRIDGE – No longer locked in one big war, Iraq has become a land of a hundred little wars. And this promised to be one more of them, as two well-armed tribes clashed over a coveted swath of land.

One tribe brandished a promise to 2,000 acres from the current Iraqi government. The other pointed to a like promise from the regime of Saddam Hussein. Guns were raised, shots fired. There seemed no ground for compromise, beyond the familiar local remedy: blood.
But then something extraordinary happened. The tribes agreed to negotiate and, with the help of the local mayor and others, crafted a deal giving both sides enough land to meet their needs.
“They began thinking of their relationship instead of thinking about revenge upon each other,’’ said Sa’ad Al-Khalidy, one of those who arranged the intervention.
Read More]

Ombuds: Police Flouted Rules
State police body in Australia has been criticised for showing “disregard” for procurement rules and accepting gifts from suppliers.
Simon OverlandAn ombudsman’s report into IT purchasing by the Victoria Police found several examples of failure to adopt proper procurement and contract management procedures. In one instance, the report said, buyers prepared paperwork for a contract worth AUS$20.1 million (£11 million) in 24 days, instead of the recommended 10 to 18 months. [Read More]

Israel Wants Turkey Back on Board As Mediator
Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor, Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, is expected to propose to Turkey that it resume its mediation role in peace talks between Israel and Syria, in exchange for a return to more cordial relations between Israel and Turkey, according to sources in Jerusalem. The sources said that the policy was coordinated with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Foreign Ministry in advance of Ben-Eliezer’s departure on an official visit to Turkey Sunday evening. [Read More]

Fund Us & We’ll Cut Deaths: NZ Mediators
Mediators say they could cut the number of suicides and murders caused by marriage breakups if the Government funded mediation in child custody disputes.
Arbitrators and Mediators Institute director Deborah Hart said a mediation scheme was recommended by the Law Commission in 2003, piloted at four courts in 2005-06 and passed into law last year – but it had still not been implemented because of the cost.
Principal Family Court Judge Peter Boshier said yesterday that 18 people involved in Family Court processes had committed suicide and four others had been killed in the 13 months to last June.
Ms Hart said some of those people might be alive today if the mediation scheme had been implemented.

[Read More]

Ombuds Office Explained At Boston University
Acting on a report by the Faculty Council on Diversity and Inclusion, BU has created a new and critical position, which was filled in September. President Robert A. Brown introduced the new member of the community at this year’s University Management Conference.
“One of the most important recommendations of (the faculty council) was the establishment of the ombuds office as a new mechanism to help faculty, staff, and students bring forward issues that are negatively affecting life within the workplace of our University,” Brown told the crowd at the George Sherman Union’s Metcalf Ballroom on October 26.

[Read More]

Bars Dispute Goes to Mediation
EL PASO — The City Council will hire a mediator to try to resolve a dispute between an East Side neighborhood and two taverns.
Both bars, the Three Legged Monkey and the Wet Ultra Lounge, operate at Hawkins Business Plaza on property leased out by the city airport. Instead of terminating or amending the lease, council members voted 7-0 Tuesday to take the unusual step of mediation.
For at least two years, neighbors have complained to the city about fights, drunken bar patrons, lewd behavior and loud music from cars that park in the neighborhood. The bar owners say they have tried to work with neighbors but have been rebuffed at every turn.
Mediation, which the city estimates will cost $2,500 to $4,000, will bring everyone together. The key players are Patriot Place, the company that runs the shopping center; the two bar owners; the neighbors; and the city government.

[Read More]

(Ohio) County May Get Foreclosure Mediators
Legislation requiring Ohio’s common pleas courts to establish a mediation process for residential foreclosures was introduced into both houses of the General Assembly in recent weeks.
Mediation puts an impartial third-party negotiator at the table with both the lender and the homeowner. The goal is to encourage communication between the two parties so that each has an understanding of the other’s position. [
Read More]


November 13, 2009

Sudan-“US Not Playing Role of Mediator”
Sudan criticised the renewal of economic sanctions by “mediator” US on Khartoum on Sunday, saying the move ran counter to Washington’s role to mediate between north Sudan and the country’s semi-autonomous south. “America claims it works as a mediator and is playing a positive role in solving Sudan’s problems, and at the same time it renews its sanctions against us,” Mustapha Ismail, an advisor to President Omar al-Beshir, told reporters in Cairo.
[Read more]

Wrongful Death, Assets Case Goes to Mediation
A pair of lawsuits filed against a Berea man over a December auto accident that killed one man are headed to a mediator following an order issued in Madison Circuit Court.Sandra Isaacs, the widow of Jason Isaacs, had filed a wrongful death suit against Elmer Ray French, 71, and a second suit against French, his wife and French Family Trust LLC over the alleged hiding of assets.Madison Circuit Judge William G. Clouse issued a pair of orders Oct. 8 sending each case to a mediator after Isaacs’ attorney had requested mediation in the French Family Trust case and French’s lawyers requested mediation in the wrongful death suit.
[Read more]

First EU President to be a Mediator?
Brussels – German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Friday the European Union’s first president would need to be a skilled mediator.
‘Of course it needs to be a person with special abilities,’ the chancellor said after a summit of EU leaders in Brussels.
‘To immediately understand the opinion of each member state in short conversations, to implement it fully and still not provoke a row – that is what we wish of the EU president.’

[Read more]

Md. gov mulling foreclosure mediation legislation
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley says he’s looking into legislation to require some effort at mediation “before the machinery of foreclosure and eviction starts up.”
[read the tiny article here]
More on this:
The pileup of foreclosure cases glutting local courtrooms has exposed a growing problem with the legal system: There just aren’t enough lawyers to go around for all the struggling homeowners who need the help.
Now, advocates for expanded legal aid – services that provide lawyers for those who can’t afford to hire their own – are appealing for reforms at both the federal and state level.
The idea seems to be gaining traction in Maryland. Last week, Gov. Martin O’Malley introduced new legislation that would make mediation mandatory. The bill would require mortgage companies to participate in renegotiations of loan terms with homeowners before resorting to the legal process of foreclosure.

[read more]

Making Unhappy Customers Happy
Have you noticed how the recent calamities have brought out the worst in people—notably, people in government?
A report adapted from Guidelines for Effective Complaint Management published by the Office of the Ombudsman in New South Wales, Australia, has closely examined the psychology behind complaints from the transacting public.
[read more]

Today- Join Us For A Web 2.0 Discussion!

October 30, 2009

Web 2.0: Going from OH? To KNOW!
Friday October 30th2:30pm – 3:30pm est. (it will be archived too!)

Spots limited, see below.Join
Jeff Thompson ( & Centre For Peace & Social Justice)
and an all-star lineup of featured bloggers:
Diane Levin (
Victoria Pynchon (
Tammy Lenski (
John Ford (editor,

They will be discussing blogging, writing articles, Twitter, Skype, ooVoo, LinkedIn and other web technology!

Can’t make it, send in questions prior to

Always Remembering

September 11, 2009

ABA Section Chair, Homer LaRue

August 24, 2009

By Jeff Thompson[1]

I recently conducted a Q & A via email with JAMS neutral Homer LaRue (pictured left), Esq. who is the new Chairperson for the American Bar Association’s Section on Dispute Resolution. The Q & A was originally published at

1. Tell us how you came about becoming the Chair of the ABA section on Dispute Resolution?

The chair of the Section is elected by the members of the Council which is the governing body of the Section. The chair of the section assumes that role after serving in a number of roles of leadership in the Council over a period of years.

2. How long is your term?

The term is one year. It began on August 1, 2009.

3. During your time as Chairperson, what would you like to see happen within the Dispute Resolution Section?

The Section of Dispute Resolution plans to continue our efforts to reach out to dispute resolution practitioners from around the world. Last year, the Section organized the International Mediation Leadership Summit at the Hague, where we convened a broad dialogue between the ABA and mediation leaders from around the globe. In 2010 we will convene an international dispute resolution summit with significant representation from Asian countries.

Dispute resolution practitioners can obtain practical guidance for their ethics questions thanks to the National Clearinghouse for Mediator Ethics Opinions and the Section’s Ethical Guidance process. The Clearinghouse provides opinions from 43 states to help mediators make smart choices in their practice. The database contains a short summary of each opinion with a hyperlink to the original opinion or document issued by the state or national body. Practitioners also have the option of submitting a specific question about their own ethical quandary to the Mediator Ethical Guidance Committee. We want to see the continued expansion of this valuable service to our members and the public.

During the next year, the Section will continue working on developing a formal Policy on Dispute Resolution, a statement of principles which will establish the Section’s positions on issues like informed consent, access, education, compensation, qualifications, conflicts of interest, ethical standards, impartiality, and fairness.

The Section also intends to embark on a new public education initiative, making greater efforts to make mediation and other forms of non-litigation dispute resolution techniques more familiar to the population at-large. Some ideas being considered for action include a national ad campaign, a federally designated dispute resolution day, and a popular media depiction of dispute resolvers at work.

4. Do you think there is any distinct divide between the ADR professionals who are also attorneys and those who are not?

It is certainly true that the more that lawyers have embraced mediation and other alternatives to litigation for the resolution of disputes, the more there has been a demand that the neutral (particularly mediators) have subject matter expertise related to the dispute. I think that this trend toward subject-matter expertise has tended to increase a divide between mediators who are lawyers and those who are not. The distinction is often given more importance than it is due. The key to the successful assistance to the parties in resolving their dispute is often the mediator’s expertise in issues of process and relationship-mending rather than the substantive legal issues involved.

I was one of the chief negotiators, who participated in the discussions, which led to the merger of several dispute resolution organizations, resulting in the creation of the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR). My impetus for taking on that role was my strong belief then, and my belief today, that the field is best served by the existence of a diversity of voices, those organizations representing mediators who are not lawyers, as well as, a robust organization representing mediators who are lawyers.

5. Many court connected mediation programs require the mediators on their roster also be attorneys. As Chairperson, do you support this requirement?

The Section encourages courts and other ADR-service providers to focus on the needs of the parties in the successful resolution of their dispute. The parties are usually best-served when the roster contains a variety of persons from different backgrounds and different disciplines.

6. What’s your take on mediation and the issue of certification? (follow up) Should one group (i.e. or take the lead on this?

The certification of mediators is probably one of the hottest debated issues in the profession today. The Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution (SPIDR), as far back as 1987, formed the first Commission on Qualifications. The question that it addressed was, “What qualifies someone to be a dispute resolver?” In 1994, I served on the second Commission which re-visited the issue. The central principles adopted by the first SPIDR Commission and re-confirmed by the second are an instructive answer today to the question of certification because those principles recognize the need to strike an appropriate balance among competing concerns:

· That no single entity (rather, a variety of organizations) should establish qualifications for neutrals;

· That the greater the degree of choice the parties have over the dispute resolution process, program or neutral, the less mandatory the qualification requirements should be; and

· That qualification criteria should be based on performance, rather than paper credentials.

Report of the Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution (SPIDR) Commission on Qualifications, Dispute Resolution Forum, Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution, Washington, D.C. 1989, p. 3-4.

I continue to believe that the principles formulated by the Commission have as much relevance today as when they were first formulated.

7. What ADR websites do you follow?

It depends on the matter that I am interested in. There are a number of excellent websites which can be very helpful depending upon the issue or subject matter about which I have some interest. Of course, the Section of Dispute Resolution of the American Bar Association maintains a website that is, I hope, an invaluable service to service providers as well as to the users of ADR services.
8. What is the biggest issue currently facing ADR professionals?
Without trying to pinpoint a particular topic or issue, I would say that one of the most challenging issues facing the profession today is how to continue to grow while ever-increasing the quality of service that ADR professionals provide and maintaining the diversity of that service. This means we professionals in the field need to do more education of the public about the advantages of mediation and other forms of dispute resolution that do not entail adjudication.
9. Do you follow any ADR blogs?
I am a mediator, an arbitrator and a law professor; therefore, I review a number of blogs depending upon what issue or question I may have at a given time. They are an ever-increasing way to stay abreast of issues and changes in a rapidly growing field.

10. Is there anything you would like to add?

Thank you for the opportunity to share some of my views about ADR and its practice. I look forward to serving the members of the Dispute Resolution Section of ABA and to move the Section forward in helping to shape and improve what we know as ADR. We all are aware now that “ADR” does not mean “Alternative Dispute Resolution,” rather, it means “Appropriate Dispute Resolution.” I hope that I can continue to help the public understand the true meaning of ADR. Thank you.

[1] Jeff Thompson is based in New York City and is a certified mediator with Safe Horizon and the International Institute of Mediation (IMI). Jeff is also currently enrolled in the Masters Program in Negotiation and Dispute Resolution at Creighton University.
Jeff’s blog, Enjoy Mediation ( is a featured blog at and Comments are always welcome- email Jeff at

ADR News

August 7, 2009

Mediation Urged To Stop Repeat of G20 Violence
Independent negotiators should settle disputes between police and protesters to stop a repeat of the violence at the G20 summit where thousands of demonstrators were contained for hours using the controversial tactic of kettling, a parliamentary inquiry proposes today.
The report, by the joint committee on human rights, says police and demonstrators were to blame for failure to communicate in advance of the protests in the City of London in April.

Read more [here]

Interview With Kathy Bryan, President and CEO, International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (CPR)
The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel recently interviewed Ms. Bryan [here]. Well worth the read. here’s one of the question and answers:
Editor: Please tell our readers about your background.
Bryan: I was in charge of worldwide litigation at Motorola for many years. That’s how I became acquainted with CPR. I started attending CPR meetings 10 years ago and found that it was the place to go to find the latest trends and most creative ideas in dispute resolution – and to hear directly from other Fortune 500 in-house counsel, outside lawyers and academics. So, when I learned of the opportunity to serve CPR as CEO, I welcomed their call. It has been a dream job for almost three years now.

Mediator Can Help With PayPal Rent-Payment Shift
Q.Q: Here is a question for the digital age. I just received a written notice from my property manager informing me that from now on, my rent payments must be made through the PayPal Internet service. I have used PayPal for services such as Amazon, but wonder if I can be forced to use it for my rent payments rather than a traditional check. I prefer to pay by check because a check would be easier for me to trace if there is a complaint raised about whether I paid my rent on time.
Read the answer [here]

How To Effectively Resovle Conflict Q & A with Daniel Shapiro:
…Daniel Shapiro, director of Harvard’s International Negotiation Initiative and co-author of Beyond Reason: Using Emotions As You Negotiate, answers our questions about how the president can effectively resolve the conflict. (Though Gates and Shapiro both work at Harvard, they do not know each other.)
Forbes: What was your initial read on the incident last week?
Daniel Shapiro: My immediate reaction was, “This is complex.” Anyone who wants to mediate should understand the landscape before walking on it. Even the very articulate President Obama found himself treading on challenging waters during the initial conference. It simply goes to show the complexity of the issue that someone as diplomatic and as natural a mediator is still struggling with this issue.

Read the rest of the article [here]

How to Be Your Own Mediator
Read Grande Lum’s latest at the Huffington Post [here]
…As a mediator, my job is to often raise the proverbial “elephant in the room,” the issue that everyone sees, but no one wants to raise for fear of making the situation worse. Often these are issues that have been lingering for months or even years. In a labor-management negotiation, I remember parties telling me that the elephant in the room was a contract agreed to twenty years ago. My wife, a marriage family therapist, strongly believes in exploring family history and sees this as the elephant. She probes a couple’s past and even how a husband and wife learned to deal with conflict from their own growing up in order to work through their current problem. Once raised and worked through, the issue loses some of its harmfulness.

Australia Institute of Sport to Investigate Racial Slur
THE Australian Institute of Sport is investigating a claim by a top boxer that a racial slur was made against him by an official.
Australian amateur super heavyweight champion Trent Rawlings claims he was referred to as “Blacky”.
Rawlings’ father is West Indian and his mother is from South Africa.
The 22-year-old Victorian said the comments were made at an early morning training session in Canberra yesterday.

Read more [here]

Gates & Crowley & Heaps of Comments!

July 29, 2009

Yes, I am sure everyone by now knows all about the ‘dispute’ between Mr. Gates and Sgt. Crowley. As a police and having been in similar situations before, I really don’t think I will venture into giving my opinion… especially when so many other people have already done so!

Have a look at all the comments posted at a recent Boston Globe article in which correspondent Jack Nicas spoke with Robert H. Mnookin [here]. The article itself is actually a Q & A with Mr. Mnookin who had this to say when asked what is the best course towards a resolution between the two:

What I think would be interesting, and perhaps useful, is if they really sat down as two people, as two human beings. If they were both interested in exploring, what had happened, how did this happen, what impact did it have on each of them; that I think would be perhaps valuable. …What would be interesting on a human level to see is if they would each be willing to try to listen to each other and see the world from the other person’s perspective, without letting go of their own perspective.

By the way, here are some comments from the article:

The best resolution would be for Cambridge PD to pay $250K to Dr. Gates. When the guy with authority has abused his power, a friendly sitdown isn’t the way to placate his victim.

I think I understand now….if you are black & prominent, you don’t have to cooperate with police or follow any police directives because you’ve endured 200 years of oppression.

You must be nuts….why not get Desmond Tutu involved in disputes over grocery coupon disputesat a checkout counter if the two argument participants are of different racial backgrounds.
Try a real job and life.

The basis of this article is flawed. This is not about getting to “yes” because no one is selling anything. Conflict resolution and contract negotiation are not the same thing. In a sales situation, when you come to terms everybody wins because what both parties want is to buy or sell something they are both willing to see bought and sold. The dignity of a respectable gentleman is not for sale. The cops screwed up. The question is not how can everyone involved understand eachother and grow as people, but what can the police do to show the sincerity of their regret over this mistake. As a lawyer, I know that these situations often come down to negotiated financial settlements in which all that is really in issue for the negotiators is price. However, a victim, in order to be compensated (and I dont know that this incident will ever come to that) should not have to try to understand his attacker’s point of view.

Escalation is not what’s needed here. Scrumming in the media, particularly on “cable news” simply adds more unnecessary gasoline this fire. How about both men displaying some common sense by actually sitting down together and showing everyone that they can get past this misunderstanding?

Again, read the full article and ALL the comments [here]


April 30, 2009

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry


April 30, 2009

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry