Hospitals, senior communities benefitting from mediation

Mediation is a tool that is used to help manage and resolve conflict and to arrive at (hopefully) a win-win situation. When people hear the word “mediation,” many first think of its use in a family law context: Divorced or divorcing parents working with a third party to amicably arrange a mutually beneficial schedule for their children or agree on an equitable distribution of the couple’s assets and liabilities. And, when many people hear the word “mediation” in that context, most laugh at the process hoop they must jump through before being heard by a judge; the mediation


City and retaining wall owners ordered to try mediation

The city of Moline and the owners of a crumbling retaining wall on 12th Street on Monday were ordered to mediation to try and settle the terms of its repair. Rock Island County Circuit Court Judge Lori Lefstein issued the order after Cheryl Colmark's attorney, Michael Massie, encouraged the mediation and said Ms. Colmark was prepared to start immediately. The limestone wall roughly stretches from 8th-11th Avenues, and holds back a hillside on top of which sits a mansion once owned by John Deere. The wall has been in disrepair for years, and more recently,


Paparazzo Trial Against Justin Bieber Delayed For Mediation Attempt

Justin Bieber’s attorneys and lawyers for a photographer suing him over an alleged attack back in May 2012 have agreed to delay the scheduled start of a civil suit trial on May 12 in order to try and settle the case. According to court papers filed by Bieber’s lawyers, a mediation session will take place on May 22 so that both parties can reach a settlement in the civil lawsuit filed by Jose Osmin Hernandez Duran in Los Angeles Superior Court in June 2013. The trial is rescheduled for June 16. Duran alleges that he tried to photograph Bieber and his then-girlfriend, Selena Gomez,


Minimizing Unnecessary Violence in Litigation and Other Dispute Resolution Processes

Jen wrote a comment about my post that built on Prof. Vincent Cardi’s new article, “Litigation as Violence,” describing some effects of “violence” even from non-physical acts. She wrote: We in ADR should not undervalue, when analyzing the dispute resolution landscape, the regulatory function of litigation in the United States. A business executive may feel morally affronted by litigation, but that doesn’t mean that the litigation (and its attendant ADR processes) isn’t warranted or socially beneficial. Our system has externalized many of the responsibilities and costs of


Professional Divorce Mediation and The Future

In 1976, I was a Social Worker in Hennepin County, Minnesota, Child Protection Services (CPS), assigned to the “Child Neglect Unit” in the northwest suburbs of the county. Many of the families were referred to CPS by school social workers, based upon concerns registered by teachers that a child or children in a family were being neglected. They almost invariably described changed behaviors in children who were previously pretty average, non-problematic students, but who had recently become sullen, distracted, withdrawn, or angry and were acting out.


Where We Have Been, Where We Are, and the Road That Lies Ahead

Looking back as one of the early professional family Mediators, I believe we are a movement developed out of reaction to the excesses and misadventures of the way divorce was practiced in the early 1970s.  Most of the early pioneers I worked with turned to divorce mediation out of frustration with the negative results of adversarial litigated divorce.  As a young attorney, my frustration started with my client, Lorraine Brown, who was killed in 1976 by her husband shortly after I appeared in court with her on a temporary motion.  The frustration continued to grow later


Getting to Yes – With Yourself -- Book Review

“In the morning when I look at myself in the mirror, I like to remind myself that I am seeing the person who is probably going to give me the most trouble that day, the opponent who will be the biggest obstacle to me getting what I truly want.” So writes William Ury in his just published new book, Getting to Yes with Yourself. Those who attended Collaborative Scotland’s Day of Dialogue in September at which William Ury was our guest conversationalist by video link, or who were present at The Hub in Edinburgh in 2009 when he led a full day workshop, will recall a man of


Police, Harvard near deal to mediate civilian complaints

After years of false starts, the Boston Police Department is nearing a deal with its three unions and Harvard Law School to set up a simpler, speedier system for resolving many of the civilian complaints lodged against officers, police and Harvard officials say. Under the system, mediators from the Harvard Mediation Program at Harvard Law School would handle dozens of the more moderate disputes that clog up the department’s Internal Affairs Division, to the frustration of plaintiffs. Those grievances generally involve rudeness, unprofessional conduct,


Gallup Diocese, Abuse Victims to Begin Mediation

A bankruptcy judge has ordered the Roman Catholic Diocese of Gallup, N.M., its insurance carriers and lawyers representing 58 alleged sexual-abuse victims to begin mediation no later than July 15. Judge David Thuma, who oversees the diocese’s bankruptcy proceedings, signed off on mediation at the request of both alleged victims and the diocese, which stretches across broad swaths of northern Arizona and New Mexico. Mediation is likely the best opportunity to resolve the diocese’s bankruptcy case through a settlement that provides compensation to alleged



Connie Theron, Practising Attorney - UCT Law Clinic
“While working at the University of Stellenbosch Legal Aid Clinic and later at the UCT Law Clinic, I found the pro bono mediation services of Gerrie van der Watt of the Mediation Centre to be highly professional and extremely effective in our divorce matters. It is fantastic that our clients, with little or no financial means, can benefit from such an excellent programme.

The mediators are able to provide a non-threatening environment in which the clients are able to talk openly about issues that matter most to them, but which the Court in a divorce matter may choose not to entertain. Through the mediation sessions, the clients are able to reach an agreement together which ultimately they are both happy with. In cases where mediation did not yield the result of a settlement, the process was still extremely valuable, giving the parties better perspective and highlighting the key issues in dispute.”