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Mediation News
September 2020
9/15

Whether And How To Compel Remote Arbitration

This article discusses the complex issue of whether and how an arbitrator can compel parties to participate in remote arbitration hearings amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

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New Jersey Arbitration Agreements Need Not Designate a Specific Arbitrator or “Arbitral Forum” to be Enforceable
In Flanzman v. Jenny Craig, Inc., the New Jersey Supreme Court reversed the Appellate Division and held that an arbitration agreement may bind the parties even if the agreement does not designate a specific arbitrator, arbitration organization, or process for such a designation. read more

 

Mediation statements - what, why, how?

Mediation statement, position paper, summary – is the lack of a defined description a matter of semantics, or something more? So often, it will comprise a précis of the written pleadings, a section on why that party is almost certain to win at trial, followed by ‘nevertheless we are approaching the mediation in the spirit of settlement’. But who is that document for? And if we don’t know who it’s for, how do we draft it effectively?

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The Mediation Of Catastrophic Injury Medical Malpractice Cases

In order to reach a fair and equitable settlement when mediating catastrophic injury medical malpractice cases, it is essential for the respective parties to provide the mediator with detailed medical chronologies (timelines) and medical briefs in order for the mediator to properly prepare for the hearing.

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Here’s why pandemic is increasing mediation and arbitration cases

According to legal experts, there is one major advantage to taking your business dispute to mediation or arbitration instead of a jury trial.

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Remote Mediation: An Opportunity for Customization

Remote mediation has presented an opportunity to rethink the mediation process and brings a welcome change to typical daily patterns. Technology has opened the door to allow us truly to customize each mediation.

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9/08

New Jersey High Court Updates State’s Arbitration Case Law to Reflect Modern Business Practice

For the second time in a little over one month, the Supreme Court of New Jersey has issued an employer-friendly ruling upholding the enforceability of arbitration agreements in the employment context.

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One Way Happy Couples Argue That Differs From Ordinary Couples

Two new studies reveal the secret sauce: it’s the manner in which happy couples argue and under what conditions that makes them different from other couples.

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Commercial tenants prepare for the return of rent bills

With the moratorium on commercial evictions set to expire on Sept. 30, the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce, with the help of lawyers from Pettit Kohn, held a Zoom presentation last Thursday on landlord and commercial tenants’ rights.

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7 Simple Tips to Help You Master Personal Injury Mediations in Difficult Cases

Mastering personal injury mediations require preparedness, patience, and a willingness from the affected parties to compromise. One other important step for a successful mediation is the open exchange of information between the two sides. A mediator does not always need to have loads of experience but needs to understand the fundamentals behind the dynamics of a negotiation.

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Practice Pointers for a Successful Mediation

Mediation is an opportunity for your client to have his or her “day in court” without all the costs and uncertainty associated with a jury trial.

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Mediation Clinic students as ‘problem-solvers and warriors’

Aspiring litigators learn early on that it is their duty to zealously advocate for their clients, regardless of whether their clients’ particular aims seem likely to engender more harmony in the universe. Practice Professor Douglas Frenkel believes it is just as important for law students to learn the art of “perspective-taking,” the ability to understand a situation from multiple points of view.

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Lawyers in lawsuit over Nevada unemployment system ask for mediation

Nevada's unemployment system and laid-off workers suing over delayed or erroneously denied claims asked a Reno judge Friday to delay their case to allow the parties to enter into mediation.

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Mediation, Or Hostage Negotiation?

Two months ago, The Wall Street Journal published an interview with Christopher Voss – a former hostage negotiator for the FBI and current CEO of a company that trains people to negotiate – to get his take on how to handle difficult discussions. It actually turned out to be a fantastic primer on how parties and their attorneys can navigate difficult mediations as well. Here are some of the highlights of the interview.

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9/01

Internet terms of use: Ninth Circuit enforces arbitration agreement accessible through browsewrap hyperlink

Technology advances. Business processes evolve. Internet transactions become increasingly ubiquitous. Contract formation, however, remains an old-fashioned concept. An Internet consumer must, at a minimum, be on inquiry notice of terms to be bound by them.

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Using ADR for Cannabis Disputes

Alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”) – such as mediation and arbitration – has long been an attractive alternative to litigating disputes in court, especially for parties hoping to arrive at a swift resolution. Now, given the unprecedented backlog in California courts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as uncertainty related to re-initiation of jury trials, ADR may become an increasingly favorable option – particularly for those in the cannabis industry.

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New Jersey High Court Updates State’s Arbitration Case Law to Reflect Modern Business Practice

For the second time in a little over one month, the Supreme Court of New Jersey has issued an employer-friendly ruling upholding the enforceability of arbitration agreements in the employment context.

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Michael Jordan emerged as the mediator between players and team owners

Michael Jordan, the only black majority NBA owner, was a prominent voice during the NBA players' decision to boycott the last three days of the NBA Playoffs. "Listening is better than talking," said Jordan in reference to owners having genuine concerns for the players' cause as well as his own.

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Rent Relief Mediation During Covid-19 - Not as Scary as It May Appear

Australia: With the Federal Government extending its JobKeeper scheme until March next year, it’s likely the provisions around handling rent relief will also be extended. For landlords and tenants unable to reach agreements on rent relief, this means they’ll probably need to engage in mediation.

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Hope, not optimism, for mediation in school funding suit

The portion of a lawsuit seeking to change the way the state of Delaware funds it schools could come to an end earlier than expected.

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How to persuade your client to mediate

Your client might feel that before going down the mediation route they need you to get all the facts sorted and decide on the strength of the case so you’re almost ready to go to litigation should settlement not be reached. However, it’s good for them to know that they can mediate at any time.

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August 2020
8/25

ADR Solutions for a World Reordered By Pandemic – Remote Is Closer Than You Think

The clearest lesson of the pandemic is that we are all connected. Supply chains and the movement of goods and people by air, land and water mean we are all part of a huge interactive web.

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Relationship therapy: Brain signals show that mediation works

Having a referee intervene when couples argue improves the outcome of the confrontation – at least in the laboratory. Brains scans revealed that the intervention by a mediator is also linked to heightened activity in key regions of the brain belonging to the reward circuit – suggesting that opening the argument to guided resolution sets off a neural “thank God for that” response in the combatants.

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Mediation program offers free help to avoid evictions

MUNCIE, Ind. — With the recent expiration of Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb’s Executive Orders that prevented landlords from evicting tenants for non-payment of rent during the early months of the coronavirus pandemic, a free mediation program has been established to help avoid evictions.

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NYC launches mediation program to help residents settle quality-of-life disputes with restaurants, bars 
The city has launched a free mediation program to help residents settle quality-of-life disputes with bars and restaurants. The city said the number of 311 complaints has increased during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which had forced bars and restaurants to pursue outdoor dining options. As a result, MEND (Mediating Establishment and Neighbor Disputes) NYC was created to help resolve issues before they escalate to formal enforcement read more

 

How to Get the Best Settlement Result from Commercial Mediation

The purpose of this article is to get external and internal lawyers to think about overcoming the final hurdle and concluding a good settlement agreement.

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Scottsdale adds to FAA legal tab as mediation appears to be on the table

Scottsdale is bolstering its legal defense as the city continues fighting the Federal Aviation Administration for 2014 flight changes. The Scottsdale City Council is expected to approve a contract for outside legal services for $175,000. The most recent filing outlines an extension is needed to “accommodate pending mediation.”

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Mediation could settle long-running gate litigation

A mediator could settle litigation involving Hot Springs Village gates. The Property Owners’ Association board of directors on Aug. 5 unanimously voted to ask the POA’s legal counsel, Rose Law Firm, to enter mediation with attorneys representing International Security Network, or ISN. The POA sued ISN alleging the Florida company failed to deliver on a contract to boost Village gate security.

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8/24

Feuding Business Partners in Private Companies: Considering Arbitration to Resolve Partnership Disputes

It is common for private company co-owners to have disagreements while they operate their business, but they typically work through these disputes themselves. In those rare instances where conflicts escalate and legal action is required, business partners have two options—filing a lawsuit or participating in an arbitration proceeding. Arbitration is available, however, only if the parties agreed in advance to arbitrate their disputes.

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N.D. Illinois Denies Broker’s Attempt to Block Zoom Arbitration Hearing
The Northern District of Illinois recently denied a broker’s motion for a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction against the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) seeking to stop a scheduled remote arbitration hearing.

 

NJ Supreme Court Finds Employee Assented to Arbitration by Continuing Her Employment

In its August 18, 2020 opinion in the case of Amy Skuse v. Pfizer, Inc., the New Jersey Supreme Court enforced an employer’s arbitration agreement, finding that the plaintiff employee had effectively assented to arbitration by continuing her employment in the face of the employer’s announcement of a new arbitration policy.

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8/18

A red diamond in a driveway? West Boynton homeowner, HOA in bitter 3-year lawsuit battle

For more than three years, the Equus HOA in suburban Boynton Beach has been trying to get Barry Rosenthal to remove the diamond because it is ‘not a good fit’ for Equus.

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How To Get a Divorce Without Going Broke

Expert tips for breaking off a marriage without breaking the bank.

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Why mediation can be your best option in a divorce

When it comes to untying two lives after years of marriage, and especially when children are involved in the process, oftentimes mediation can be your best option in a divorce.

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Revitalizing American diplomacy: Why mediation support should be part of the foreign policy rebuild

If a new administration takes the reins next year, it should, as part of a wider effort to revitalize U.S. diplomacy and to rebuild a decimated State Department, establish a small but dedicated mediation support unit

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Could robots replace humans in mediation?
AI and algorithms are increasingly being used in alternative dispute resolution – but can a robot really replace the flesh and blood of a trained mediator? read more

 

Florida teachers’ union begins mediation with state over school reopening

NAACP joins lawsuit against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran. Florida’s largest teachers’ union and attorneys for the state are meeting in Tallahassee Tuesday for court-ordered mediation in an attempt to come to an agreement on how to safely reopen school campuses amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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8/11

Mediation - Six Ways to be a Better Mediation Advocate

Advocacy is about influence and persuasion, a very important part of representing clients in mediation. Lawyers who appreciate this tend to support their clients more effectively throughout the whole mediation process, from preparing for the meeting to drafting the settlement agreement.

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Pueblo hires mediator in hopes of settling Columbus statue controversy

The Pueblo City Council has approved the hiring of a mediator to aid in the ongoing debate over the Christopher Columbus statue. The ordinance was passed on a 5-2 vote.

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City Launches Landlord-Tenant Mediation Project for Housing Security

On July 21, 2020, Mayor de Blasio and the Taskforce on Racial Inclusion and Equity announced the start of a new mediation program for small landlords and tenants across the City. The Citywide Landlord-Tenant Mediation Project will provide both parties with an opportunity to resolve rent-related disputes outside of the housing court system to prevent evictions during the pandemic.

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Maximizing the Value of Mediation During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond

This post sets forth fundamental tips to navigate a virtual mediation – and importantly – provides a reminder that many of the aspects of a successful mediation remain constant even during a time when so much of daily life feels variable.

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Time Is On Your Side In the Mediation Process

The longer a mediation lasts the greater the likelihood that it will be successful. This conclusion is anecdotal, but based upon long experience.

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Rhode Island Tries Pairing Mediation And Cash To Head Off Evictions

The Safe Harbor program started last month and is designed to head off evictions through mediation and rental assistance before court cases render tenants homeless. Funding comes from federal coronavirus relief.

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From Eye-Rolls to Grimaces: Understanding Body Language in Virtual Mediations - The Mind of the Master Mediator

Today’s post explores the role of body language in virtual or remote mediations, where mediators see participants in a box and on a screen as opposed to in a chair and in person.

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Mediation - Six Tips for Making Emotional Connections in a Virtual Environment

Emotion isn't just at home in employment and family business disputes; it is centre stage in almost every conflict. In any human communication, an emotional connection is vital.

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Mayor: Columbus mediation sessions productive

Mediation sessions over the weekend regarding the Christopher Columbus statue dispute were constructive and more talks are planned later this week, according to Mayor Nick Gradisar.

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8/04

U.S. judge denies claims Uber won price-fixing suit because arbitrator was scared

A U.S. judge denied a request by an Uber customer to overturn an arbitration win for the company in a price-fixing case over claims the arbitrator only ruled in Uber’s favor because he was scared.

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Mediation a possibility in Columbus statue dispute in Pueblo

The city of Pueblo is exploring setting up mediation sessions between the two sides in the ongoing Columbus statue saga here in hopes of a compromise being reached that both parties are satisfied with.

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VIEW: Online mediation for commercial disputes has huge potential for practitioners

Online mediation has obvious advantages, other than protecting oneself from the virus. The participants have the option of scheduling a conference at odd hours if convenient to all. It is relatively easier to ensure the attendance of persons because the need for commuting and travel is obviated. The participants can attend the conference in comfort from just anywhere.

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The New COVID-19 Wrinkle: In-Person Mediation Sparks Concerns

It's a case that highlights the plethora of new predicaments that COVID-19 puts judges, litigators and clients in as they try to navigate a new normal.

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