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Alternative Dispute Resolution Specialists

Surveys of mediation participants and their counsel routinely report satisfaction with the process, reflecting appreciation of the ability of parties, with the assistance of capable mediators, to maintain control over resolution of their dispute, avoid the delays and expense of arbitration or litigation, and adapt the process with great flexibility to meet their needs. 

When trained as a mediator, the first thing I learned was that mediation is a client-driven process. The ideal is for the mediation clients themselves to figure out the terms that will resolve the disputed issues between them. The mediator can facilitate the process by helping the clients communicate clearly. We are also taught to help our clients focus on their needs, values, goals and fears as they are attempting to come to agreement.

Representing a client in a Mediation / Negotiation setting requires a huge change in approach and attitude for a hardcore litigation / corporate lawyer. A ‘Resolutionary’ Lawyer who counsels in a Consensual Dispute Resolution setting requires a whole different skill set, in addition to what he / she possesses as a adversarial lawyer, and therefore, putting on a collaborative hat may seem easy on paper, but the real test is at the table, while facing the other party / counsel.

These Guidelines for Parenting Coordination in South Africa have been developed from the Guidelines for Parenting Coordination originally created in 2005 by the interdisciplinary Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (“ AFCC”) Task Force on Parenting Coordination in the United States of America, the Guidelines for Parenting Coordination subsequently adapted in 2011 by the British Columbia (“ BC”) Parenting Coordinators Roster Society in Canada and the Guidelines for the Practice of Parenting Coordination drafted by the American Psychological Association ( “ APA ” ) in 2011.

Evaluating the risk of winning or losing a lawsuit and the reward of damages is based on probabilities, statistics and data. Some commentators refer to this as “objective criteria.” (See: Getting To Yes, Fisher and Ury). Others observe that if other incidents happened in a similar way that the mediated resolution should likely be the same. As a result, decision makers categorize disputes based on historical data and walk into the mediation room armed with a pocketed case value set in concrete.