Claiming Mediation's Future

Our own article on the future of mediation focuses on emerging trends and untapped potential. In addition we decided to write a rebuttal to “Reclaiming Mediation’s Future: Getting Over the Intoxication of Expertise, Re-Focusing on Party Self-Determination” which was written by the esteemed Robert A. Baruch Bush, and Joseph P. Folger for in November 2014.


Arbitration in Evolution

Professor Thomas Stipanowich, Pepperdine University School of Law, and Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution Research Fellow Zachary Ulrich, have published “Arbitration in Evolution: Current Practices and Perspectives of Experienced Arbitrators,” Columbia American Review of International Arbitration, Forthcoming ; Pepperdine University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2014/30.


10 Tips for Choosing the Right Divorce Mediator

Perhaps you've come to the realization that divorce mediation is the way to go for you and your spouse, but how do you choose a divorce mediator? After all, not all divorce mediators are created equal. Here's my advice for how to choose the best divorce mediator for you: Top 10 Tips for Choosing a Divorce Mediator:


Early Mediation Offered for Women’s World Cup Players

Players protesting the plan to play the 2015 Women’s World Cup on artificial turf were denied a fast-tracked hearing in Canada over the dispute. The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario instead offered early mediation between the players and the Canadian Soccer Association. But the CSA announced late Friday it would not take part in mediation.


Arbitrate or Mediate But Don't Litigate Entertainment Disputes

Gone are the days when media moguls and professional athletes would voluntarily hang around the courthouse to litigate contract disputes. Today the entertainment and sports industry increasingly use arbitration and mediation to resolve conflicts. Former Chief Justice Warren E. Burger said to the American Bar Association, "Our litigation system is too costly, too painful, too destructive, too inefficient for a civilized people."


Ask Habitat: Can Mediation Help in Quality-of-Life Disputes with Neighbors?

A reader asks: I'm fighting with my neighbor. It's gotten to the point where I want to sue her for leaving her garbage laying around and letting her dogs bark all day and night. Don't I have a right to a quiet, peaceful home? But my board wants me to try mediation. What is that? Is it worth it? Habitat answers: If you don't want to spend a day in court, try mediation. It can save you time, money and (possibly) some bitterness. What often happens when there is no mediation is predictable: charges, countercharges, lawsuits — and big legal bills. Besides creating bad feelings among the owners, litigation disrupts the building's budget and can quickly become a financial black hole.


Defusing Office Drama

Where there are people, there is conflict, and your office is no different. It doesn’t matter if there are just two employees or two hundred, there are going to be fights; there is going to be drama. Unfortunately, that makes life difficult for many of us. I don’t like drama. I’d rather just avoid getting involved and let it play out. But when you run a business, you can’t think that way. Too much office drama can make your business grind to a halt, and it’s up to you to help resolve sticky situations.


Defining Mediation: Voluntary Assisted Negotiation

Mediators have historically resisted defining mediation, because mediation can be necessarily amorphic and definitions can be dangerous.  However, the world is defining mediation with or without us.  Therefore, it is time for us to weigh in on the question: What is mediation?  Here’s what I propose. I hope we can all agree that narrative, transformative, facilitative, and evaluative are all styles or genres, but they are all legitimately mediation.  Most of us probably use each, to a more or lesser degree. 


Divorce Mediation Sessions: What Goes on Behind Closed Doors

If you are considering using divorce mediation as the option for your separation or divorce, you might find it helpful to understand what is actually discussed in the mediation room. Note that the process described here takes a holistic, all-in-one, comprehensive team-oriented approach to divorce mediation, which may vary from other divorce mediation process. However, as in any style of mediation, you are not expected to have all or any of the issues worked out in advance - that's why you are in mediation.



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.”