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Mediation On-Line

A Newsletter from ADR Resources
Volume 3, No. 7.
From: Ethesis@AOL.Com (Ethesis)


Stephen R. Marsh Picture


A personal note.  I am sincerely grateful to everyone who has sent me web sites to look at and really appreciate them. As always, I remain interested in information on your program or website. I expect the newsletter to continue on its scheduled every-other-month program for the current time due to the personal demands on my time, but I appreciate all of my subscribers.

Interesting new Mediation & ADR web sites

Peacetalk 101, a novel, is being published on-line at in installments every week to ten days (the entire book was written a while back, in response to an inquiry from an editor).  Suzette Haden Elgin (the Gentle Art of Verbal Self Defense) is the author.  Very much worth a visit.

I found a neat site at  "Signal Tree Resolutions"  -- I like the look and the texture of the site. If you have wondered what a professional designer can do for you, take a look at this site.

Bruce International is at

American Mediation Professionals website is at -- if anyone knows much about the group, I'd be interested. is the url for Wayne State's two summer programs, TEACHING CONFLICT MANAGEMENT IN ACADEMIA: Resources and Techniques for Success (June 26, 2000) and BASIC SKILLS TRAINING FOR CAMPUS DISPUTE RESOLVERS (June 27-30, 2000). is the url for the Dispute Resolution Portfolio Program being put together by the University of Texas at Austin.  Compare it to Columbia (Missouri) at

Worth a visit is the Program on the Analysis and Resolution of Conflicts (PARC), an interdisciplinary center within Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.Founded in 1986.

Awards are being given for outstanding ADR Programs at is a self-explanatory site.  Nicely done url.


I have been trying to gather the following information on various dispute resolution programs:

Hosting School / Type of Program
Name of the Program/Affiliation (e.g. Sociology, Psychology, Business, etc.)
History of the Program (how and when was it founded)
Course of Study/Cost
Contact Information
Other Important or Distinguishing Notes

E.g. for the one I teach in, Southern Methodist University is the hosting school.  It offers a Graduate Certificate in Dispute Resolution as a part of the liberal arts graduate program (available with or without a masters degree).  The program was founded a little over a year ago by students and teachers interested int he subject.  The curriculum is extensive (this newsletter isn't the place for a long list of classes) and the faculty is broad (we bring in experts to teach week-long seminars in addition to various adjunct faculty teaching specific classes).  What I found interesting in the program is that the majority of the people in my classes are professionals seeking to expand their skills -- to be better at what they do -- rather than people trying to change what they do.  A high proportion are consultants who have had clients asking for DR programs or training.  They are very rewarding to teach.

Some programs have all of this information clearly set out on their websites.  Some will provide it to you readily.  Many (generally programs run by a single faculty member) are not terribly forthcoming -- as much from lack of time as any other reason.  (As an aside, most things are best explained not by human evil, but by human weariness).

There is also an Elgin system comment at

On Employment and Professional Organizations

Well, my own comments, edited to fit format, are at with the hyperlinked version at


The U.S. News & World Report of Law School ADR programs did two things.  First, it again implies that only law schools have legitimate ADR programs (someone should write them about that).  Two, it confused a number of people as to how and why schools made the list.  As to one of the newcomers, Cardozo is both starting a new ADR Journal and has people like Lela Love on the faculty.  As to another, Columbia (Missouri) has a very impressive start on an L.L.M. program.

For the complete rankings:

> 1. University of Missouri-Columbia.  A great L.L.M. program, interdisciplinary scholars (three endowed chairs) and probably the best program director at any of the law school programs.
> 2. Ohio State University.  Host for the ABA's dispute resolution journal.
> 3. Pepperdine University (CA).  Famous for its outreach and professional community education programs.
> 4. Harvard University (MA).  The historic home of Ury and the Program on Negotiation.
> 5. Willamette University (OR).  A beautiful location and the best free legal ADR newsletter on-line.
> 6. Hamline University (MN).  In many ways, very similar to Pepperdine.  Has a new director.
> 7. Georgetown University (DC).  I don't know anything about the program.
> 8. Cardozo-Yeshiva University (NY).  See above.  A scholarly journal.
> 9. Northwestern University (IL).  Home of the ABA Scholar program, much of which is aimed at ADR.
> 10. Stanford University (CA).  "New program."  i.e. Founded by Bob Mnookin in the 1980's, then reinvented by Maude Pervere in 1995.  Four classes in the program, nine faculty members.
> 11. George Washington University (DC).  Has an L.L.M. program.  Probably under rated. 
> 11. University of Texas-Austin.  The program hasn't started yet.  Best PR <g>.  Well funded and well staffed at a top 20 law school.
> 13. Duke University (NC).  (?  I don't know about the program).
> 14. Quinnipiac College (CT)  (?  I don't know about the program).

Missing is New Mexico's program.  Some important original research came out of New Mexico's law school and they have a fine student body and an excellent faculty.  

Visit at

The saddest news is that the University of Colorado, home of some of the best Hewitt Foundation Scholars, has cancelled its social conflict concentration--the only degree program it had remotely related to dispute resolution. It was deemed to be too "applied," and not "theoretical" enough.  I think of the scripture about a prophet in his (or her) own country every time I think of the two Drrs. Burgess. is the url for a case holding that approximately $600,000.00 at issue is not enough "interstate commerce" to invoke the FAA (Federal Arbitration Act).  What is interesting about this case is that growing an acre of wheat on your own land, for your own purposes has been held to be enough interstate commerce.  It will be interesting to see where this case goes.

Current Issues

I would like to summarize an important case noted in the Dispute Resolution Newsletter - 4/18/00.  This is a free newsletter that I strongly endorse (in fact, it is my goal to endorse it once a quarter or so). Their web site is Web site:

Arbitration: Arbitration denied because contract was usurious

FastFunding The Company, Inc. v. Wendy Betts: Slip Copy (Fla.App. 5 Dist.) March 31, 2000

Ms. Betts filed suit against FastFunding alleging FastFunding compelled her to pay unconscionable usurious interest rates on a loan.

FastFunding moved to compel arbitration pursuant to the arbitration clause of the contract.

The trial court held the arbitration clause unenforceable because it was part of a contract of adhesion in the context of a consumer lending transaction.

FastFunding appealed and the appeals court affirmed, holding that where a party alleges and offers colorable evidence that a contract violates usury laws, the trial court must determine the usury question before ordering arbitration.

This case bears directly on the use of arbitration in consumer contracts and is an important evolution.  I should note that JAMS (at has done a lot in this area and is one of the groups that should get credit for getting the ball rolling.  BTW, JAMS has redone the web site, which is probably well worth the visit.

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

Back issues at

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).

Quote of the month about ADR:

"date of entry of an order for purposes of Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure 1308 is the day on which the prothonotary fulfills its duty to make the required notation on the docket reflecting that notice of entry of the arbitration award has been provided as required by Rule 1307(a)(3)."

The bad thing is that the sentence makes sense.

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