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Mediation Centers: Training, Policy and Other Materials

This collection of essays includes a complete training program, policies, proceedures and forms, the initial considerations for a Private Alternative Dispute Resolution Center (e.g. Moscow, Lima or other locations), and materials for hosting facilitation initiatives at a PADR center.

A Training Program

Policies, Procedures and Forms.

  • Sample Contract Provision requiring mediation before litigation.  This is the typical form used in Texas real estate contracts.
  • Motion to Refer to Mediation, Order and Attachments  This is a "standard order" with some weaknesses and some strengths.
  • Cover Letter for Scheduled Mediation (sample form).
  • Checklist: Personality Factored Conflicts. (When mediating  or facilitating an institutional conflict -- such as a college departmental conflict).
  • Outline Checklist (the type used for a personal injury or similar mediation). Details on using this Checklist are found in Mediation Essays One
  • Typical Referring Court Order.
  • Procedures and Policies Form
  • Short Mediation Script
    • This is a short introductory script a mediator might use.  While there is a debate, between long introductions and short ones, this is an easy short one provided as an example -- it has no pretensions of ending the debate or of being useful for every situation.
    • For comparison, this is a long script. Again, it does not end the debate -- it is just provided as an example.
    • As a side note, the short script seems to work best with experienced parties, the long script with relatively "new to the process" parties. Both presume a signed contract and/or an order referring the case to mediation.

ADR Centers -- Initial Considerations for a Private Center

  • There are several kinds of Alternative Dispute Resolution Centers. This essay discusses setting up a non-governmental, non-educational center.
  • Advisory Councils. A good advisory council can make or break a PADR Center. This essay explores the issues involved in such a center.
  • Business, Physical and Financial Plans. Physical Plant, grant writing, etc.  It is possible to set up a PADR that is self-funded, but a business plan is essential.  This discusses some elements and formats.

A Simple Explanation of Mediation

Hosting Facilitation at a PADR (Private Alternative Dispute Resolution Center)

  • What, How, and Why Facilitate?
    • Facilitation is the process by which parties are prepared for negotiation or mediation.  While mediated settlements of problems can be very successful, in larger or chronic conflicts the parties often need facilitation before they are ready to negotiate or otherwise interact in a mediated environment. In the process of developing a larger theory of negotiation, the process of facilitation was born.  Facilitation may take many forms, from institutionalizing committees to track two analytical initiatives.
  • Surrogate Negotiations
    • This is the process of using surrogates to negotiate a surrogate settlement which is reduced to a draft.  The draft is then circulated as single negotiated text between the actual parties and forms the basis for the beginning of negotiations (with the stated assumption that the "one text" will not be acceptable to either side and that changes will need to be made).
    • Compare with the "secret diplomacy" of the Oslo Facilitation Initiative.
  • Concurrent Committees
    • This is the process of setting up intra-group feed back and correlation committees that meet concurrently with continuing negotiations in order to bring the organization along with the negotiation (and the negotiator along with the organization) -- recognizing that neither positions or groups remain static within the organization while it negotiates with those without.
  • Problem Solving Workshops
    • The scholastic method favored by many conflict resolution centers.
    • There are a number of approaches to these workshops, and most alternatives are within the scope of a PADR Center.
  • Peer Training
    • Training peer-to-peer mediators on both sides of a conflict often will begin to generate the necessary understandings and skills base to allow negotiations to go forward.  Peer training is an extremely important method of FI that is extremely suited to a PADR Center's size, scope and focus.
  • Other Facilitation Initiatives
    • Conferences
    • T-Groups
    • Alternative Diplomacy Initiatives

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