Facebook Helps Put Break-Ups Behind You

It’s almost sweet.  Facebook will block your ex-‘s photos from being “tossed in your face.”   In actuality, it is a tangible way to get folks out of their past and more into their future.  Who ever would have guessed that Facebook and Divorce/Separation mediators would have something in common – getting people into their futures. 

…of course, it does beg the question of whether FB has a stake in e-Harmony.


Criminal Mediation

In several states, courts have developed mediation programs that address some criminal matters.  In Georgia, the courts have not done so and arguably couldn’t do so. 

A stumbling block to creating a successful criminal mediation program in Georgia is the fact that successful programs involve dialogue with the victims or purported victims.  However, no statutes provide confidentiality in mediation where “non-parties” to a matter are involved.  So why does this matter?

In the legal world, the parties to a criminal matter include the purported criminal and the State, but not the people who personally bore the harm of the crime.   Without a law that prohibits comments in criminal mediations that involve the victims from being admissible at trial, a major barrier remains.  Whether the mediation occurred pre- or post-trial, the result arguably would arguably be the same: staunch opposition to the mediation by criminal defense counsel (and rightly so).

Where the dockets are back-logged and a “fair and speedy trial” is becoming more loosely defined, it is time for Georgia to take a look at mediation in the criminal context.

FINRA Arbitrator Duane Sevillian

Congratulations to Arbitrator and Mediator Duane Sevillian on becoming a FINRA Arbitrator!

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is the largest independent regulator for all securities firms doing business in the United States.  FINRA oversees over 4,000 brokerage firms and over a half-million registered securities representatives.  In their oversight, FINRA also facilitates mediation and arbitration of securities-related disputes.  One Mediation’s panelist, Duane Sevillian, arbitrates securities matters through FINRA and One Mediation.

Find out more on Duane Sevillian by clicking here.

Mediation = More Jobs in Connecticut?

Mediation has widely been touted as a means to a mutually satisfactory end.  In Connecticut’s Attorney General’s race this year, it is a plank in the campaigns.  The candidates favor the use of mediation as a more favorable tool in enforcing laws, in some cases, than the pursuit of litigation and its related publicity, which may drive off businesses (and jobs). 

But is it such a stretch to view mediation as a tool to facilitate job growth in this economy?  Maybe not.

Narrowing the Scope = Lower Lawyer Fees

Give credit to a good blog about the law and the realities of litigation – it isn’t fun and games. 

In divorce, couples can radically lower their legal bills through mediation and even med-arb.  How?  Parties can choose to resolve as many issues as they can, to include discovery issues, before a hearing or trial.  When they do so, the amount of wrangling, phone tag, posturing and other teeth gnashing diminishes…and so do the number of billable hours that an attorney accrues.  A cost effective (and cheaper) divorce is possible.

In recognizing “the good guys,” a Georgia firm’s blog comments on the benefits of mediation in divorce matters.  The blog also provides solid, honest, and free information about many aspects of divorce.  It is a great resource for the individual who is considering or just facing matters of divorce.  Additionally, it recognizes that satisfied clients may come through great negotiation – with or without a mediator.

Supreme Court Justice Calls for Mediation of Family Law Matters

Well, it’s the Supreme Court of Ireland’s Justice who argued for more mediation of Family Law matters and its integration into EU regulations.  So many judges clamor for mediation, particularly in divorce, because they’ve seen what happens in litigation to families.  Indeed, in California – all divorces must go to mediation (many courts in Georgia also mandate it)! 

However, these same judges also recognize, as noted in the article, that divorces often are emotionally charged matters that lead to illogical conduct:  “The irrationality comes from the fact that the people involved have not separated in the same way, that one person is further away from the relationship than the other.”  It is this fact – that spouses may be at different psychological stages of the break-up – that can have a major impact on the success of mediation.  Depending on where the spouses are, no agreement may be able to be reached simply because one (or both) aren’t ready to be “rational” about the future.

So, does it make sense to order all divorce petitioners to mediation when it may be “too early” for a rational discussion of settlement?  Or, does court ordered mediation prompt people to “get real”?

Mediation Fundraiser! New Meaning to “Show Me the Money”

A Minnesota County held a fundraiser to support its mediation services.   While the total dollars raised is not mentioned, the presence of the Coon Rapids police chief had to be helpful.   One can only imagine a mediator negotiating between spouses for additional ticket sales – perhaps the only time they could be forgiven for not being neutral!

Why more Judicial ADR programs that are clamoring for funds aren’t thinking like non-profits (or like the citizens of Coon Rapids) is curious. 


New Panelist Burke Johnson joins One Mediation

Burke Johnson graduated from Emory University in 1984 and from the University of Georgia School of Law in 1987. While in law school, he was a member of the Editorial Board of the Georgia Law Review.

Burke has handled a wide variety of cases in his career, including matters related to elder care and adult guardianships; probate and estate litigation; personal injury matters arising from motor vehicle liability claims, premises liability claims (including claims for negligent security) and product liability; construction defect claims; insurance coverage claims; life, health and disability insurance claims; and ERISA benefit claims.

Burke’s experience in trying and mediating a myriad of cases over the course of his legal career provides him with a keen ability to identify the issues and bring parties together to settle cases during mediation.

Burke previously served as the Chair of the Atlanta Bar Association’s Elder Law Section. He is a registered neutral with the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution and he has received an AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale Hubbell.

More about Mr. Johnson can be found by clicking here.

US Economy in a Tailspin – Mediator’s get Rich!

Not really.  Mediation is becoming more mainstream in America, but it will take time for the process to find its place.  Mediation is a simple process of decision-making helped along by an independent third-party.  Simple enough, right…  Two parties decide to agree and they mediate the details. 

It will take time for us, in the states, to realize the full potential of mediation.  All we need to do is look to other countries for a little boost. 

Mediation is Going Full Speed Ahead in Dublin

Juvenile Delinquents in Mediation?

Debate continues regarding the mediation of criminal matters.   While plea deals are routinely negotiated between the State and the accused, these deals usually involve a guilty plea.  With mediation, arguably no guilty plea might be obtained.  Where does that leave the purported victims?

Setting aside the concerns of the victims of crimes, remediation of the accused criminal is a matter where mediation certainly can serve an important purpose.    Particularly when the accused is a juvenile, remediation may be possible.  Is giving a minor a second chance through mediation a good idea?

See the following Canadian answer…Thirteen Year Old