New ABA Mediator Ethics Opinion

In a previous post I noted the work of the ABA Dispute Resolution Section’s Committee on Mediator Ethical Guidance, which interprets the Model Standards of Conduct for Mediators (promulgated in 2005 by the ABA, AAA and ACR).  In that same post, I noted the frequent close correlation between ethical lapses and raw stupidity.

Well, we’ve got another one. Read more »

Party Autonomy: “Something They Teach at Pepperdine”?

A group of sharp and experienced thinkers on the mediation process offered a panel at the recent ABA Dispute Resolution Section meeting in New York before a packed crowd of just-as-sharp practitioners on the topic “Reevaluating the Role of Autonomy in ADR.”  The discussion was led by an ever-patient and always-perceptive Hiro Aragaki of Loyola Law School, and questioned whether party self-determination — often extolled as a primary virtue in ADR and, indeed, Standard I in the ABA/AAA/ACR Model Standards of Conduct for Mediators — is actually a comforting myth.  Prof. Aragaki opened the session with an anecdote about an exchange he experienced where the other discussant eventually threw up his hands in exasperation and said, “Autonomy?  That’s just something they teach at Pepperdine!”

It got a good laugh.  But as the hour went on, it became increasingly clear that party autonomy may, in fact, not exist in the real world of mediation — not ever. Read more »

UIA Mediation Forum and Employment Systems Design

The Union International des Avocats have hosted the World Forum of Mediation Centres since 2002, and I have attended all but three of their meetings.  It is a convivial crowd of well-informed, deeply committed and sociable folks who tend to meet at interesting (mostly European) venues.

The meeting scheduled for Luxembourg on April 22-23, 2016, will feature many of the topics and speakers that make the organization so valuable.

It will be tinged with tristesse on this occasion, however, since it will be the first time that the late Colin Wall, co-President and co-Founder, will not be with us.  By way of both honoring and exemplifying Colin’s devotion to sharing insights on mediation, the program designers have asked various speakers to contribute a paper for inclusion in a volume to be published in Colin’s honor, proceeds to go to his designated charity.  My topic is systems design for employment dispute resolution, and the article follows. Read more »

ABA Dispute Resolution Conference April 7-9, 2016

The ABA Dispute Resolution Section Spring Conference is always a highlight.  For 2016 it’s being held in New York City, making it real easy for me.  The breadth and scope of the topics are, as usual, phenomenal, making this event consistently the Class Act of the ADR year.

Read more »

Older Entries »