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Mediation On-Line

A Newsletter from ADR Resources
Volume 4, No. 2.
From: (Ethesis)


Stephen R. Marsh Picture


It has been a busy time, but I hope that everyone survived the holiday season with their good will and sanity intact.  I am now the technology chair for the Conflict Management Division of the Academy of Management.  I suspect that they will overwhelm the ABA in a fashion similar to the way the ABA has affected the role of SPIDR, et al. (Yes, I am still very positive on the SPIDR, etc. merger, and I expect the combined organization to bounce back).

The Recommended Book of the Month:

I'm going to recommend two books, for different reasons.

First, a book almost impossible to find using search engines (blame it on WestLaw) is Jerome Levy's book on mediation. An excellent book and a stellar part of West's Texas Practice series.  The book is now also impossible to buy without buying a complete set of about twenty other books.

Second, a book on consulting.  I recommend this book for three reasons.  (a) the real model for the delivery of dispute resolution services (beyond lining up to do court-annexed mediation) is consulting.  I need to do an essay explaining the background for that statement, but it is true.  (b) the big consulting firms have realized this (the "big six" have been running DR training retreats with hundreds of participants for more than a year).  (c) "small" consulting groups have started to offer DR services (often because clients are requesting them) -- in fact, I get students in classes I teach who are consultants looking for training so they can provide services requested by existing clients.

The book I am recommending is Consulting For Dummies. There are many good books on the topic, and I winced at recommending this particular one (in fact, at I list four very good books), but if you are interested in the general concepts it is a great place to start.  

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 embedded links so that I can look at the address before having to visit it.  Thanks.

Essay/Comment/Employment notes

Five different paths to finding employment teaching conflict management and dispute resolution are discussed at  I have also invited graduates from Nova and ICAR to provide essays on their employment perspectives and experiences.  As soon as they finish their essays, I will note them in the next newsletter.

Educational Programs:

The second annual legal educator's colloquium is being held April 28, 2001 in Washington, D.C.  It will be part of the ABA's Dispute Resolution Annual meeting and will be inviting teachers from business and medical schools to attend as well as the usual behavioral and social sciences types and the formal graduate and undergraduate dispute resolution program directors.  If you want to provide themes, suggest presenters or find out more, contact or  (yes, jcoben is Jim Coben at Hamline, 651-523-2137 if you want to give him a call).

News and Book Reviews/Books/Periodicals

Jerome Levy wrote a book on dispute resolution with a focus on mediation.  It is an excellent book, but did not sell well until his publisher put the book on the web just like the Yale web site style guide is completely on the web at -- which now sells much, much better than it did pre-posting on the web.  When that change happened, sales of the book went up by a factor of ten or more (and, importantly, royalty payments went up dramatically as well, from a few hundred dollars a quarter to several thousand).  I suspect that if you could find the book via a search engine it would sell even more.  The Westlaw site is inherently hostile to search engines and they've done nothing to encourage or create links (not even a spider index like I have).  They do have competitors who have done much better jobs so that searches are not in vain, they just find pages for ordering competitor's works.  The mind boggles at what might happen to sales of his book if it becomes easy to find.  The coup de grace on the book is that after sales took off by a factor of ten, Westlaw decided to quit offering the book by itself and now requires buyers to buy it as a part of the Texas Practice series.  Our office just did that, but I'm not sure I'd recommend buying thousands of dollars of books just to get that one.

I am slowly reworking my on-line listing of books.  For a view at the new look, visit -- you can tell the new sections from the old ones because the new ones have sharply different graphic approaches and format looks.

The ABA has released a new book, Directory of Law School Dispute Resolution Courses and Programs, 2000 Edition. With 830 courses and programs at 182 law schools, the information has moved from news to routine.

Current Issues

The concept of consolidating all the posting boards in the ADR field to a central location is a growing issue and is being discussed, especially in light of the number of moribund boards out there.  Such a project would be in addition to, not as a replacement for, the current 25+ listserves.  I would personally prefer to see a UBB style board used -- I've seen them succeed where other formats bog down.  The biggest problem with a UBB-style board is that it does not offer many of the tools some of the other boards offer.  The biggest advantage is that it works so much better.  For examples of UBB-style boards that work, try  (14,000 hits a week) or -- which is replacing  I should note that almost the entire game industry is supported by UBB-style boards with incredible amounts of traffic.

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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