2013 Mediation Week October 13 - 19
Over the last few decades the field of alternative dispute resolution has grown tremendously. The recognition that not all cases are well suited for the adversarial process and that there are multiple paths to justice is increasingly shared by attorneys, judges, and the public. The ABA Mediation Week initiative is a celebration of the strides we have made in institutionalizing mediation as one of several appropriate dispute resolution processes. ABA Mediation Week will be held during the week of October 13-19, 2013 this year.
The theme for our 2013 ABA Mediation Week is “Making a World of Difference.” Lawyers and mediators around the world are increasingly using alternative means to settle disputes. In their use of mediation, practitioners are bridging differences in positions, perspectives, and people.
For more informatino go here: http://ambar.org/mediationweek
JOIN THE COMMITTEE LINKEDIN GROUP
The ABA Mediation Committee is excited to announce the launch of our very own LinkedIn Group for members of the Mediation Committee! This Group will provide our members with the opportunity to learn from each other, share experiences, pose questions to the group and network in an easily accessible forum. Notices of upcoming seminars and teleconferences will also be posted to the LinkedIn Group, helping to keep our members apprised of all the things the Mediation Committee has to offer. For more information contact Jennifer LaDuke at firstname.lastname@example.org or message her online at LinkedIn.
ABA ANNOUNCES 2011 WINNERS OF Mediation Video Contest on YouTube
For Immediate Release
The ABA is pleased to announce the 2011 winners of its Second Annual Mediation Video Contest on YOUTUBE. The competition sought original three minute videos which helped further public understanding of mediation and promoted the use of mediation as a way to resolve disputes. The videos were judged for effectiveness, quality appeal to a diverse audience, originality and creativity. The First Prize Winner will receive a $1,000.00 cash prize. The Second Prize Winner will receive a $500.00 cash prize. This year we added a student category, with the First Prize Student Winner will receive a $500.00 cash prize and the Second Prize Student Winner will receive a $250.00 cash prize. The winning videos will be featured at the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution Spring Conference in Denver, April 13-16, 2011 with over 1,000 expected attendees. The videos of the First and Second prize winners in both categories are linked below.
The winners are:
FIRST PRIZE WINNER
The Power of Mediation
Submitted by: The Minneapolis Conflict Resolution Center
SECOND PRIZE WINNER
Pigs, Pistols, and a Hanging; Mediation Meets the Hatfields and the McCoys
Submitted by: Marietta Shipley, Casy Culver, Larry Bridgesmith, Kenneth Jackson, Siew-Ling Shea, Dr. David McMillan, Douglas Berry, Kenny Garner, Davis Jackson
STUDENT FIRST PRIZE WINNER
Submitted by: Karina Sargsian and Zaven Sargsian
STUDENT SECOND PRIZE WINNER
Mediation: Explanation & Dramatization
Submitted by: Jasper Lown, Laura Sobocienski, Laura Corcoran, Brandon Lown
The Section of Dispute Resolution would like to congratulate the winners of this years contest and to thank all of the contestants for submitting the numerous excellent and thought provoking video entries received in the contest this year.
Foreclosure Mediation In Ohio
By Jacqueline Hagerott
In 2007, foreclosure filings exceeded criminal filings in Ohio Common Pleas Courts with little hope that there would soon be a decline in the number of families facing the loss of their largest investment. As the trend emerged, Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer proposed that courts manage the increased number of filings through a mediation program specifically designed to address foreclosure.
Moyer told reporters "Mediation will assist courts in managing the explosion of foreclosure cases on their dockets for a more efficient administration of justice while assisting Ohio's most vulnerable homeowners facing the prospect of losing their homes. I am calling on all judges in Ohio who have jurisdiction over foreclosure cases to utilize the model in their courtroom by modifying it to meet the needs and resources of their communities."
Less than a year after announcing the availability of a mediation model program for Ohio courts to use in home foreclosure cases, mediation is available for foreclosure cases in all of 88 counties. Each county is accomplishing this in different ways by using full-time staff, independent contractors and/or volunteers to act as mediators. Borrowers are encouraged to contact their local court by accessing contact information for each county on the Dispute Resolution Section's Web site to find out how to request mediation for their foreclosure case as soon as they receive notice of the case.
Developed by the Supreme Court's Dispute Resolution Section, the first-of-its-kind model in the nation provides local courts with step-by-step directions to launch foreclosure mediation programs. This Model is designed for courts to modify documents and forms based on local needs, resources and community, while balancing the needs of all stakeholders. It follows the rules of civil procedure, consistent with all other civil cases, while giving borrowers the same access to mediation that has been available in the state for other case types for more than a decade.
Ohio has learned that mutually beneficial agreements that are both commercially reasonable and sustainable over time are difficult to achieve. However, mediation has proven successful in resolving cases by creating a transition for borrowers to find alternate housing and avail themselves of other resources to manage a difficult situation. It is important to note that some foreclosure cases need to be resolved through litigation.
One of the most successful factors being used in many cases are HUD certified housing counselors who assist the borrowers in completing, compiling, and providing the lender/servicer with financial and other necessary information before the mediation that is necessary to reach an agreement. The result is an efficient and effective use of state allocated resources because all parties are fully prepared for the mediation session, thereby minimizing the requirement for an additional session due to a lack of information.
Some local courts are also conducting pre-mediation conference calls to ensure that all necessary information has been exchanged prior to the mediation and to confirm attendance on the scheduled date. Additionally, courts have found success in allowing the lender/servicer to designate an individual with authority to settle the case such as an attorney to participate in the mediation session. They have also found success by having a representative present in the mediation with the lender/servicer that has the authority to settle the case available by phone for the duration of the mediation session. In some cases they actually participate in the mediation via conference call and in others the representative calls them when necessary. This method is beneficial because it minimizes the cost of fees incurred by the lender/servicer through travel expenses that may be charged to the homeowner, especially when the lender/servicer is located in another state or country. It is also beneficial because the lender/servicer has access to all of the necessary information whether in the office or computer system that they may need to finalize a settlement. The determination is made on a case-by-case basis since phone participation by a lender/servicer is not appropriate in all cases.
Training is also a critical contributor to the success of the mediation in Ohio, with a minimum of 18 hours of training recommended for foreclosure cases and provided at no cost to attendees by the Supreme Court. The Dispute Resolution Section maintains a directory of foreclosure mediators, organized by county, who have completed these requirements. Ongoing advanced trainings and roundtables to share best practices and network are sponsored by the Dispute Resolution Section on an ongoing basis.
Ohio has served as a national leader in this effort and helped numerous states start similar foreclosure mediation programs. Starting in January 2009 Ohio organized a multi-state group of ADR professionals by creating online forums for the group to meet monthly in which other states can work together as they build programs. Members of the group are able to connect with judges and professionals in other states which include court and non-court organizations.
The Foreclosure Mediation Program Model was the first of its kind in the nation. In addition, more than 20 state agencies, legal aid societies and housing organizations in Ohio have combined efforts since March in a coordinated, unified foreclosure prevention effort called Save the Dream.
Please visit this link for more information on the Ohio Court's foreclosure mediation initiative: www.supremecourtofohio/dispute_resolution/foreclosure or Foreclosure Mediation in Ohio: What You Need to Know at: http://www.sconet.state.oh.us/dispute_resolution/foreclosure/FAQ.asp. For further information on foreclosure mediation initiatives in other states please visit http://www.abanet.org/dispute/mediation/resources.html.
Jacqueline Hagerott is the Manager of The Supreme Court of Ohio's Dispute Resolution Section.