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Mediation On-Line

A Newsletter from ADR Resources
Volume 3, No. 9.
From: Ethesis@AOL.Com (Ethesis)


Stephen R. Marsh Picture


I start teaching my Health Care ADR class on July 5th.  The syllabus and various class materials will go on-line at  The class is on an accellerated schedule (A semester's worth of material in a month), so I won't have an August newsletter.

The umbrella body for the United Kingdom not-for-profit advice sector (which includes both lawyers and non-lawyers) has released an an overview of ADR provision in the UK for individual civil disputes.  I have been offered, and requested, a review copy of the overview which is titled:  Advising on ADR: The essential guide to appropriate dispute resolution.  The guide contains a preface by Lord Woolf, now Lord Chief Justice.  Advising on ADR is paperback, 250 pages, including index, and costs £20 including postage and packing. Orders can be posted or faxed to York Publishing Services, 64 Hallfield Road, Layerthorpe, York YO31 7ZQ, Fax: 01904 430868.

Interesting new Mediation & ADR web sites

I remain interested in getting referrals to new or important ADR sites.  Please send me the url rather than imbedded links so that I can look at the address before having to visit it.  Thanks.

Peacetalk 101, a novel/learning program, has been completely published on-line at Suzette Haden Elgin (the Gentle Art of Verbal Self Defense) is the author and access is free.

I'm excited to hear about the work.  I've been curious about UK ADR ever since I participated (in a small way) in a UK graduate project which focused on the subject.

CRInfo will be on-line in mid-July.  While I will continue to mention new web sites in my newsletters, I will probably change my clinks collection to a link to CRInfo.  I'm really impressed by how they are coming.  More news in the next newsletter. is an interesting new site that may well proove out to be a useful adjunct to court annexed mediation. - seems like a terrible, url, but an interesting site.  Worth a visit sometime. is one more group trying to offer on-line ADR. is the site for a slickly designed site and a large mediation provider.  Well worth a visit.  They focus on using retired judges, a path that has not proven successful (in the long run) in Texas (for example, I recently had a referral to the Dallas JAMS office and was surprised to note just how much it had shrunk and how it no longer focused on retired judges.  More and more, retired judges are not seen as good primary ADR providers -- though in emerging markets they are a good marketing move).  I'm not sure why.  If anyone has any theories, I'd be interested as I haven't the slightest idea why it does not seem to work in the long term

My co-instructor's resume is on the web at

Every site needs to be resubmitted to search engines (at least the "big six" or so) once a month to once every six weeks. The databases sometimes lose sites, etc.  I limit myself to free submission engines, and recently my favorite ones merged and then added registration requirements that used broken forms.  A new service is and worth a visit.

Now that a glitch has been fixed, I can recommend (with pleasure) -- which includes an excellent pamphlet on how to choose a mediator.  If you are developing a mediation practice I would strongly recommend that you download the pamphlet.  I lived four years as a kid in Alaska and am always pleased to see them doing something good.  This report is one of those things that makes you pleased.


"Making Things Right: Restorative Justice for School Communities" (video and guidebook) is available for $35.00.

Contact David Claassen-Wilson of the Colorado School Mediation Project, 2885 Aurora Avenue Suite 13, Boulder, CO 80303, (303) 444-7671, (303) 444-7247 fax,

_The Grandmother Principles_ , a book on the role of grandmothers (and how to fill it), has finally come out in a paperback edition from Abbeville Press. (It was announced for early March, but has gone through one delay after another) It's a lot more affordable now at its new price of $10.95. Excellent resource for family mediators. is where CRInfo will be. one more effort to make it on the web.

On Employment and Professional Organizations

Carlos Rodríguez González-Valadez, an attorney from Mexico who worked with the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce is looking for a chance to intern with an American Arbitration firm.  He may be contacted at (and no, this does not mean that I will be posting "job wanted" advertisements in the newsletter, I was just impressed with Carlos).

Educational Programs:

One of the programs I think the best of follows:

Hosting School: University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law

Name of the Program/Affiliation (e.g. Sociology, Psychology, Business, etc.): LL.M. in Dispute Resolution

History of the Program (how and when was it founded): Started in Fall 1999. First class to graduate in May 2000.

Curriculum/Faculty: 24-credit program, multiple adjuncts and a director, three endowed chairs.

Course of Study/Cost; Full-time and part-time study: $4,728.20/year, Missouri residents, $13,075.40/year, nonresidents. Costs above do not include books, housing, food, or other living expenses.

Contact Information: Karen Neylon Phone: 573/882-2020, FAX: 573/882-3343,,


The umbrella body for the United Kingdom not-for-profit advice sector (which includes both lawyers and non-lawyers) has released an an overview of ADR provision in the UK for individual civil disputes.  I have been offered, and requested, a review copy of the overview which is titled:  Advising on ADR: The essential guide to appropriate dispute resolution.  The guide contains a preface by Lord Woolf, now Lord Chief Justice.  Advising on ADR is paperback, 250 pages, including index, and costs £20 including postage and packing. Orders can be posted or faxed to York Publishing Services, 64 Hallfield Road, Layerthorpe, York YO31 7ZQ, Fax: 01904 430868.

The Bureau of National Affairs (BNA), through its Human Resources Library and ADA Manual, has generously donated printing of the ADA Mediation Guidelines in booklet form. Multiple copies, up to 50, are now available for distribution to organizations and conferences. [For smaller numbers of copies, such as for training sessions, readers are encouraged to download and photocopy from the web site of the Cardozo Online Journal of Conflict Resolution Note that the on-line version has hyper-links to all cited statutes and other references.]  For multiple copies, please e-mail the following information to Project Coordinator Judith Cohen at number of copies needed (up to 50), organization or event they where will be distributed, date needed, mailing address, and contact person's name and e-mail address.

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).

A current debate

Summarized by:

Denise King

Certification of mediators and related issues

The main issues of discussion seem to be the following:

Issue 2 – Certification – National legislated certification recognising input from all levels and organisations of mediators from grass roots up v individual organisations provide their own certification criteria or no certification.

National Certification Organisations provide own certification or no certification

Problems –

Summed up by Geoffrey Hartwell

There seem to be two polarised schools of thought - one in which the mind of the mediator is a tabula rasa on which the parties write messages to one another, the other in which he or she plays an active and, one may hope, wisely informed role in helping them to their decision. We seem to have let the term "conciliator" fall into disuse recently and that may be right, because I think there is a whole spectrum of opinions between. (I quoted Kipling recently - There are nine and sixty ways of constructing tribal lays and every single one of them is right.)

So if you go to a particular school of mediation, you will get their "spin". What I try to suggest, o the other hand, is that a mediator should be adaptable to provide what the parties want. A chameleon. I know that goes against the idea of fixing a procedure, but isn't that what "alternative" means - something different?

Should not be used Should be used sometimes/not all

Issue 4 – Training

Summed up by Denise King

There are arguements for and against a national or international organisation being responsible for setting education criteria and standards etc. Already this is being done by separate organisations. If there is to be one national or international organisation there needs to be recognition that there are already a number of different levels of education. Those with higher education want their additional education recognised while those with less education still want to be able to practice and not waste that education.

The following is a suggestion of how all needs might be met.

Certificate in Mediation – requiring the basic existing training in the mediation process

Graduate Diploma in Mediation – mediation added to an existing degree and requiring one full year.

Bachelor of Conflict Resolution – a 3 year degree in conflict resolution covering all aspects.

Master of Conflict Resolution – a 2 year post graduate degree which can be added to other degrees.

Doctorate in Conflict Resolution. – a 2 year post graduate degree which can be added to a masters degree.

Apprenticeship – a period of apprenticeship while gaining real life experience to be added at Certificate, Graduate Diploma and Bachelor levels.

Basic level of training – mediation process only (e.g. 40 hours)

Specialised training – Specific occupation training plus mediation

More complete training of conflict resolution and all its complexities.

Sterling Newberry – proposed law in Illinois requires a BA as well as 40 hours of training. an MA or JD coupled with 40 hours of mediation training is not reasonable. (He has completed Graduate certificate in conflict resolution and mediation which requires 34 Graduate credits and 7 undergraduate credits, added to Graduate School of Professional Psychology at John F. Kennedy U and completion of a 100 hour internship.)

Anne Carroll - what college degrees would be appropriate? A BA in Conflict Studies more appropriate.

Ginger McCarthy - Supreme Court of Virginia - a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university or shall submit evidence of relevant experience and qualifications sufficient to support certification.

Sam Keltner - a degree as a specialist in social psychology not necessary but an understanding of the principles is – possibly a specialized degree that includes these and other subjects.

Holly Hitchcock - the RI Family Court has an "Approved Mediator" process. Criteria are:

Barry Simon - In Florida, you have to be a lawyer, accountant, therapist or engineer to do certain kinds of mediations. In Illinois, a BA might be necessary. In Rhode Island, you have to be a lawyer or have an MA in human services in order to be part of the court's divorce panel.

Tom Dratler - the Florida certification regulations contain a fundamental flaw. Under the these regs one must be an attorney, MD, or CPA to be certified after attending one of the standard 40 hour classes. This limitation is patently unfair to the many trained and educated DR pros who live in the state. For example, Nova Southeastern has both MS and Ph.D. programs in DR. Anyone graduating from the program will have undergone far more training in DR than a mere 40 hours, often with substantial real world experience as well (obtained via internship). Nevertheless, none of this program's graduates can obtain the Supreme Court certification.

I fail to see how a rookie attorney, just out of law school, with no significant training in mediation, who takes an undemanding 40 hour training program in mediation is considered more qualified to mediate than a mature professional (for example) with something like 1500 hours of training in DR.

Denise King - In Australia a degree in law or behavioural sciences (such as psychology) plus mediation training and supervised work experience required for Family Law mediations.

John Windmueller - First, when I did my mediation certification training in Florida several(6ish) years ago, small-claims court mediation only required a 20-hr certification class and observed mediations. Mediating larger cases (including divorce) had a requirement for some sort of graduate education (MD, JD, CPA included), but could also include a variety of MA degrees deemed appropriate.

Second, I'd just like to echo the concern that degree programs in dispute resolution aren't generally accepted for certification. It strikes me as completely ludicrous that my (hopefully not too wildly far off) PhD in conflict resolution won't qualify me for certification in any state that I know of, while the comparatively limited mediation certification training does.

Derek Sweetman - Washington area "equivalent relevant experience" is often used in Federal hiring announcements to allow the opportunity to hire someone who may have exceptional unrelated experience (a mid-career professional, for example) who does not meet the strict requirements (or GS rating) of the position.

Virginia certification requirements - No license or certification is required in Virginia - or nationally – to practice mediation. However, the Supreme Court of Virginia does require certification of mediators placed on the court referral list. Note: All practice requirements for certification must be completed within two years of completing the mediation training unless the Supreme Court grants a waiver for good cause. And, unless otherwise noted, all requirements must be completed in the order: Education, Training, Observations, Co-mediations

Those entering training prior to 1/1/00 may certify under pre-2000 standards and will need only 4 hours in domestic violence even when upgrading to Circuit Family from JDR. Mediators certified under the pre-2000 system will be grandfathered in as follows: General Certified will become GDC; Family Certified will become JDR. Mediators who have received one or both of the Advanced Certificates will be grandfathered in for Circuit Court Mediation, either Family or Civil, as applicable.

Common requirements Education: Bachelor's Degree or equivalent relevant experience

Training: 20 hours of Mediation Skills Training (or 40 hr Family) 4 hrs in Virginia’s Judicial System (may be out-of-order) Practice : Observation of two cases at the desired level of certification or an approved Role-play/Observation Training Primary scrivener for at least one mediated agreement Upgrade: To "upgrade" from JDR or GDC to Circuit Civil or Family, you need to complete all training required for the Circuit level, observe one circuit level case and co-mediate two cases.

Additional requirements: GDC: Co-mediation of 3 general cases totaling at least 5 hours;JDR: 20 additional hours of Family Mediation training 8 hour Domestic Violence training (may be out-of-order) Co-mediation of 5 family cases totaling at least 10 hours, completion of at least one Child Support Worksheet; Circuit civil: 20 hours or more of advanced civil training in one or more workshops, eg. NVMS’s Multi-party, Facilitation and Memoranda & Agreement Writing workshops Co-mediation of 5 circuit court level cases totaling at least 10 hours of mediation CIRCUIT FAMILY: 20 additional hours of Family Mediation training 8 hour Domestic Violence training (may be out-of-order) 12 hours training in advanced family training, eg. NVMS;s Marital Property and Advanced Family workshops. Co-mediation of 5 circuit court family cases totaling at least 10 hours & completion of one Child Support Worksheet.

Nora Cannon - Tennessee's requirements to be certified for court referral at linked to:

Apprenticeships a criteria for certification

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