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Mediation On-Line

A Newsletter from ADR Resources
Volume 3, No. 4.
From: Ethesis@AOL.Com (Ethesis)


Stephen R. Marsh Picture


I want to repeat my thanks to everyone who has sent me urls for ADR related web sites.  I need to work out a method for reorganizing my systme of links -- especially those links that I have for individual mediators.  My ideal solution is finding someone else to do the work of keeping them organized and resorting by State and City for individual and small group practices.  Luckily, a non-profit foundation has just funded a grant to another group to do that.  It is my goal to pass off the link business to them.  More on this development as it goes forward.

I will keep mentioning new sites in my newsletter, but will no longer be making updates to the indexes (though when the new index goes on-line I will replace my indexes with links to the new ones).

Interesting new Mediation & ADR web sites

A reminder.  If you receive this newsletter, and if you have a web site, please send me the url to look at. I'm actively adding personal mediator's sites at (when I find time) and value referrals and suggestions about good sites in order to mention the sites in this newsletter. 


Word choice is very important in mediation and in discussion.  For example, subjects who viewed a film of an automobile accident and were later asked how fast the cars were going when they *smashed* into each other reported significantly higher speeds than those asked how fast the cars were going when they *hit* each other. In addition, when the subjects were later asked whether they had seen any broken glass (the film showed none), subjects [who were] asked the 'smashed' version of the question reported far more often that they had seen such glass than subjects asked the 'hit' version." (From "Linguistic issues in the law," by Peter M. Tiersma, pages 113-117 of *Language* for 3/93; on page 121. The research described was done by Elizabeth Loftus and John Palmer.)

Two new books.  The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense at Work. Updated by Dr. Suzette Elgin from beginning to end, especially with regard to metaphors and electronic communication,.  She also added a complete new chapter on staying out of court. Also by Dr. Elgin is Language in Emergency Medicine: A Verbal Self-Defense Handbook: now on e-display at

On Employment and Professional Organizations

One thing that almost every group of mediators does is they form a marketing and membership association.  The general belief is that there is strength in numbers and that membership makes for better marketing.  It also allows people to network.  The two largest and most influential groups are SPIDR and the ABA dispute resolution section.  SPIDR (the society of professionals in dispute resolution) offers an interesting newsletter/magazine (running the gamut from articles on why only whites are racist and how no other culture had the idea of race until the evil european caucasians spread the concept to them) to articles providing a wider spectrum.  In addition, local SPIDR groups provide continuing education, a haven for non-attorney mediators and a focus on more than just court annexed mediation.

The ABA dispute resolution section focuses on areas where the money is.  If SPIDR is where you go to find community volunteers, the ABA is where you go to find people paid to mediate disputes, with a focus on attorneys (but with a very open policy with an honest intent to include non-attorneys and other professionals).  Some have criticized the ABA as the place where you find all the people who ran for class president, but it contains many serious and dedicated people with real organizational skills and a strong drive towards professionalism.  It also has a great deal of influence with other decision making groups.  

No group seems to provide much in the way of marketing help, though many groups provide insurance, continuing education, and useful community contacts.

There are several reasons for the dearth of useful marketing groups.  First, mediation is essentially a personal contact phenomena. I hire a mediator not for the group that he or she belongs to, but for the impression she or he has made on me.  Second,  to the extent that a group is able to sell people on the concept of fungible mediators, people learn to treat all mediators as fungible, not just group members.  In either case, group affiliation tends to rapidly lose value from a marketing perspective.  As a way to socialize, purchase insurance, obtain continuing education, meet with friends, and achieve other goals, groups are very useful.  They are not useful as a source of finding mentors (too many people move in and out of groups) or to market services (everyone in the group is trying to sell the same service).

Submissions to

As always, I am interested in any submissions or articles anyone would like to have posted on the web -- and I am glad to be able to point them out in this newsletter.  I prefer to post material as you have written it, with no editorial changes by myself.

With my best regards, I remain,

Sincerely yours,

Stephen Marsh
Additional material is included in the on-line version.
If you are curious where the term/name Ethesis comes
from, visit

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If for some reason you wish to be removed from my periodical mailings please let me know. If I'm sending anyone extra copies or sending it to anyone who shouldn't be getting it, please let me know. This e-mail mailing list is supposed to be limited only people who would be interested and who have subscribed.  Thanks for your patience and help.

Post Script (the "extra" material for the on-line version).

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