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Mediation On-Line

A Newsletter from ADR Resources
Volume 3, No. 8.
From: Ethesis@AOL.Com (Ethesis)


Stephen R. Marsh Picture


I should note that I've updated my FAQ.  I've also received permission from SPIDR to reprint an article that recently appeared in their newsletter (that article alone was enough to convince me to resubscribe -- and to consider subscribing to the North East SPIDR organization as well) and will have that linked to the FAQ in June.

Speaking of permission, anyone who is using material from my web site ought to review the FAQ guidelines and limits.

Interesting new Mediation & ADR web sites

A reminder that 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.

Sometimes there is a nicely executed site in an unrelated discipline that I think adds some perspective on site design (I am not recommending the content of this site). is worth a visit if you are considering designing your own site. That same format would make an excellent format for a site with the url or something similar from a divorce oriented counseling/mediation service.  An excellent example of great technical execution of a site.  Compare the technical execution with the site of Jeffrey Minker, of Fleischmann Minker & Lopez, PC, this is a Tucson, Arizona based Firm.  I consider frames, counters and other things extremely bad design -- capable of ruining an otherwise fine site.

A new grant financed academic site is at

Report on the Examination of Partnership and Labor Relations in the Department of Defense (December 1999) has been published on the internet at  This is important since this particular document covers the largest known group of non-attorney mediators who are actually in full-time practice and full-time employment.  If you would like to find full time employment as a dispute resolution professional, you must read this document.

Worth a visit is -- Consensus Mediation. is an interesting site.


I've had the chance to review the January 2000 issue of Family and Conciliation Courts Review, a journal that is published by an association (Association of Family and Conciliation Courts) and Hofstra University School of Law.  It is apparently one of a number of journals published under the ageis of Sage Publications (California, London, New Delhi), on the web at  I was impressed with their blend of scholarship and practical applications.  Since these particular papers were the result of a seminar held by The Western Justice Foundation, I would also suggest that people consider getting on the mailing list for the next seminar.  The contact number for that is 626-584-7494, Jonathan Hutson,

The Alternative Newsletter (Seton Hall) is back in business.  For details, contact or  I'm going to resubscribe early, I think.

On Employment and Professional Organizations

I had wondered about Duquesne University and its top ten rating and someone clued me in.  Duquensne is in Pittsburgh, has certification in Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies through their social and public policy department and the McAnulty graduate school, and is friendly to non-attorneys.  However,  it was reported to me that many of its graduates are in areas that suffer from the "Anaconda syndrome" and the "lawyerization" of mediation where mediation gets swallowed by attorney-mediators.  I've never heard of the "Anaconda syndrome" before, but it destined for wider use. I'm not sure what the cure is for it either.

Part of a press release that may be of interest:

What does all this mean for you? It means the following. If you are interested in working with Transecure and with Janet Rifkin and myself, who will be advising Transecure on bringing advanced technology to the dispute resolution process, it is important that you register your level of interest quickly. If you are interested in participating, please go to to register. You will be asked to fill out a form (that will be kept strictly confidential) outlining your background (education, experience, level of computer knowledge etc.).

After registration, information will be provided to you about an online training program that is designed to acquaint you with some of the intricacies of online dispute resolution, including how e-commerce works, how the software program works, and how disputes should be managed. This online training program is free, should take you somewhere between 15-25 hours to complete, and will be conducted remotely at your own pace.

I expect that you are wondering whether there would be compensation for your involvement. The answer is yes, and, initially, will probably be $30 per dispute. We expect that each dispute will take a total of about an hour of your time. The work, obviously, can be done at any time and any place you have access to the Net, and requires no overhead on your part (other than accessing email and the web via a computer).


An update on the University of New Mexico (which I believe should count as a "top ten" law school program in ADR). I think New Mexico deserves some credit for the actions of Mark Bennett in Santa Fe (formerly Univ of NM Law School ADR Professor) and JoEllen Howarth (Attorney with the City Coordinator of Workplace Mediator Program & NM Mediation Association President), who are largely responsible for the ADR Executive Order for New Mexico recently signed by Governor Johnson.

Current Issues

I think the issues of ethics as they apply to mediation trainers, covered well by both the current issue of SPIDR News and the current issue of Family and Conciliation Courts Review, those issues are the current issue, bar none.  If you are curious as to my personal take on "what good is a dispute resolution certificate" you might visit -- also worth visiting to work through some of the class handouts for the marketing end of the arbitration class.  My student's average marketing paper was probably around eight or nine pages long, with permanent binding.  No one went with the minimum size or requirements (which was all that was required to get a D- in the class).

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).

DOJ Proposes Arbitration of Small Claims Against Government

The Department of Justice's Office of Dispute Resolution is proposing to a create a voluntary binding arbitration program to handle small claims brought against federal government agencies, according to department officials.

The program could be used for claims of up to $25,000 or the amount of the settlement authority of the individual agency, he added.

The DOJ believes that binding arbitration could save the federal government and disputants time and money by resolving the cases fast and inexpensively, and agencies have already expressed interest in the program.

Binding arbitration would only be used for disputes in which monetary damages are the sole claim. The federal agency pay for the arbitrator's fee, and that each party would be responsible for their own attorney's fees.

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