Thanks to fellow mediator Adrienne Keith, who sent me a congratulatory e-mail a few days ago, I discovered that the 2014 issue of Washington's Super Lawyers Magazine has named me as the sole "Rising Star" in the practice area of Alternative Dispute Resolution. I am honored and flattered, and grateful to whoever nominated me, both for 2014 and for the previous years (2006, 2008, 2012 and 2013) in which I made it onto the list.
A recent article on the Kluwer Mediation Blog caught my eye.
Initially a product of the desire for more efficient and cost effective settlements, the mediation session was seen as the final play in the drama. The moment the curtain would close and the audience would applaud. The mediation session represented the end of the show and a chance to step back and look away from the play. All of the preparation that went into the production was effectively utilized to present the play, and the actors were on their best behavior. If the case had a chance to settle, it would. There were no excuses for parties not being prepared, authority levels not available, or decision makers hiding behind layers of bureaucracy. Cases resolved because the process was designed for closure.
California mediator Jeffrey Krivis argues that, too often, mediation has become a box to be checked in the litigation process, rather than an opportunity for attorneys to discuss the substantive merits of the case. Mediators are reduced to conducting shuttle diplomacy between hostile adversaries, while attorneys avoid direct dialogue and sometimes even use mediation as a discovery tool, with the expectation that the case can still be settled anytime before trial.
Read the full article "The Settlement Drift" on the Kluwer Mediation Blog website.
In following up on my post of March 21, 2014, I have now created a Google Group entitled "Mediation Peer Consult Group", and would like to invite fellow mediators and ADR professionals to join what I hope will become both an online community and the formation of additional small local groups.
If you are interested in joining this group, please add a comment below or send an e-mail to me at Sasha@PhilipMediation.com with the subject line "Mediation Peer Consult Group". The welcome message you will see upon joining will be the following:
Welcome to the Mediation Peer Consult Group!
“Peer consultation” is a term used to refer to a process of peers consulting with peers in a non-hierarchical fashion. Although this does not preclude the possibility of varying levels of experience and expertise, the process relies on the acceptance that this is a collaborative group conferring with each other. This involves the practice of fully qualified and often highly experienced practitioners working collaboratively with peers to access and share information, discuss opinions, receive support, monitor best practice and obtain rigorous evaluation of their own professional activities within a professional context.
(The Australian Psychological Society Ltd., APS Peer Consultation Network Guidelines.)
With this in mind, please feel free to reach out to members to share experiences, request input or feedback, and have general conversations about the practice of ADR.
Please also feel free to invite other qualified mediators and other ADR professionals to join this group and contribute to its conversations.