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Mediation On-Line

A Newsletter from ADR Resources
Volume 4, No. 7.
From: (Ethesis)


Stephen R. Marsh Picture


The entire missile defense debate has been interesting to watch, especially the completely clueless talking heads.

First, no one talks about effective throw weight -- i.e. how many enemy missiles can be expected the clear their silos, actually get into a ballistic orbit and get on the incoming trajectory.  The best estimates that anyone has is that less than 1% of the soviet inventory is effective throw weight -- from a missile stand point (remember, they are using the same technology that led to the space shuttle explosion because it got below freezing -- and they store those missiles in siberia).  From a war head standpoint, given the state of maintenance and remanufacture (fissionables have a half-life and nuclear weapons have to be remanufactured everysooften) ... I don't know the numbers, but I can guess that it is less than 100%.

As a result, while a pursuit based missile defense is problematic (you have to shoot at every missile as it is launched), shooting at the missiles that survive launching is another story -- and the reason so many in the second world block are so upset at "limited" missile defense.  A system that could intercept 10-15 missiles (using, of course, nuclear weapons to strike at the incoming warheads) would neutralize 100% of effective throw weight.

And we actually have such a system available right now.  The navy uses it to defend the fleet.  Interceptors armed with nuclear armed phoenix missiles and long base-line radar.  All it takes is 2-3 "hot" fighters ready to launch on go.

Of course we are not going to implement that approach, and I doubt that we will get a "star wars" approach either.  What the real agenda to the discussion and the real point is of the research is, I haven't the slightest clue.  But the talking heads on television are even more clueless, not understanding the real issues or the real concerns of the parties, which puts them even further from any real idea of what is "really" going on.

(If you couldn't tell by now, I had a long discussion with a former director of Pugwash this week -- she is someone I'd gladly take classes from, though I'm not sure I'd pursue a PhD in her department.  I hope to talk with her again and might have the chance to pass on some more perspectives).

The Recommended Book of the Month:

_Managing Public Disputes_, by Susan L. Carpenter and W.J.D. Kennedy (Jossey-Bass).  While it is, on its face, a discussion of how third parties can help facilitate public disputes, the interior message of the book is how a manager can take control of and resolve public disputes within his or her domain.  An excellent book.

I expect to have more on the topic in the future.

I'm also recommending _Unbundling Legal Services_ A guide to Delivering Legal Services a la Carte by Forrest S. Mosten (ABA -- American Bar Association).  It is a book about unbundled legal services, though the more I think on it, I think that unbundled dispute resolution services (negotiation analysis, mediation, guides to facilitating a public dispute, etc.) offers a greater benefit to a dispute resolution professional who knows that there is more than "just court-annexed mediation" but isn't sure how to broaden their practice in the market.  I should have seen it sooner, but it really made sense to me when a litigant asked for some negotiation analysis of an offer, now that their case is on remand from the 9th Circuit. Read it and think of marketing your practice.

Interesting new Mediation & ADR web sites

Educational Programs:

The entire face of a program can change in a matter of months or less.  That is really too bad in many ways.  A good thing too, in others.

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law seeks applicants for the position of Visiting Professor in our Mediation Clinic. This faculty member will supervise and mediate with students in a clinic that currently handles cases in the areas of child welfare, juvenile delinquency, truancy and similar issues, and small claims court. A Juris Doctor degree is required. Prior mediation experience is strongly preferred. Applicants should have a superior academic record and a dedication to excellence in teaching. This position will be available August 15, 2001 for 12 months; therefore, immediate application is requested. Candidates interested in this position should send a cover letter, resume, and three employment references to: Professor Lynn Foster, Chair, Faculty Appointments Committee, UALR William H. Bowen School of Law, 1201 McMath Ave., Little Rock, AR 72202-5142.

The Pittsburg Mediation Center is also hiring.  They ask for a resume and a cover letter responding to the job description and outlining: why you are interested in the Assistant Director position, what program management and staff supervision experience you would bring to PMC sent to Ms. Gale McGloin Pittsburgh Mediation Center 2205 East Carson Street Pittsburgh, PA 15203 (412) 381-4443 (ph) (412) 381-5334 (fax)

If I were able to move from Dallas, the following is a job I'd want to apply for myself, except I couldn't afford the pay rate:  FULL-TIME PROJECT MANAGER, CONFLICT MANAGEMENT IN HIGHER EDUCATION RESOURCE CENTER, Wayne State University, Starts September, 2001, Applications Due May 21 Salary Range: $36,000-$39,000 plus benefits, respond to:  Bill Warters, Ph.D. Wayne State University College of Urban, Labor, and Metropolitan Affairs 3248 Faculty Administration Building Detroit, MI 48202 313-993-7482  They are on the web at

News and Book Reviews/Books/Periodicals

I've been looking for a good introductory Organizational Behavior text as OB seems to be a growing home for dispute resolution and conflict management programs. Of the two I've had recommended, I'm passing along the recommendation of one.

Schermerhorn, Hunt, and Osborn. Organizational Behavior. Wiley, 7th edition is used nationwide in the University of Phoenix system in the undergrad business program as the intro OB text. It is also used nationwide by the Keller Graduate School of Management as the supporting text for Leadership and Organizational Behavior in the MBA Programs.

Let me quote a comment:  "It covers a lot more facets of OB than can be covered thoroughly in a single term. Most texts, that I would rate as very good or better, do cover more stuff in less detail (almost digest form). I find this a blessing as it then enables me to bring in depth and detail from ancillary sources where I believe added emphasis is needed. The text is topped of with good instructor resources and what seems to be a must nowadays: a very rich linkage to the internet in general, and, specifically, with an excellent supporting web site for the student. I recently completed my own Ph.D. program in OD, and one of my correlated areas of study was OB. Within my program of study, I reviewed about 25 contemporary OB texts, a dozen or so very thoroughly. I can't say I found a better all-purpose text than the Schermerhorn."

Current Issues

Arms control is a current issue (it always is, it seems) and I've discussed it above.

Another important issue is the sheer lack of depth or knowledge on behalf of most of the members of the press corp.  I know, I could insert the stock comment about a certain anchor's toupee or something similar, the lack of insight and understanding goes to critical issues on which the press corp members attempt to

I recently received an invitation that included this statement "You are included in the Premium Referral Program that receives more than 2,000 requests for referrals each month (a $120 value)."  I was really impressed.  My site generates about 100,000 hits a month and I'd say I get less than one request for referral a quarter.  With 2,000 referrals a month, the promotion is obviously much more effective than what I am doing (though they also get a lot more hits than I do.  Many, many more).  I'd love to hear from people who received referrals from the service and what they see as the strengths and successes they have had from participating in it.


2. The Spring 2000 issue of _Women & Language_ had an article on pp. 3-10 that I wish could have appeared in a publication with a much larger audience. Unfortunately, though well-written it's not a fun read; it hadn't a prayer of making it into _Sports Illustrated_ or _Modern Maturity_.

That's too bad, because it's important work. The article, written by Catherine Ashcraft, is called "Naming Knowledge: A Language for Reconstructing Domestic Violence and Systemic Gender Inequity." (I know... To get a wide audience, you have to use a title like "The War On Boys" or "Stiffed.") The article is important, and not just in the context of domestic violence. It's important for any situation where _the language that is being used to talk about a problem is making it harder to fix the problem_.

Ashcraft explains that we've now done enough research to know for sure that domestic violence is almost always not about being violent but about being _in control_, with physical abuse being just one of a number of ways for one person to control another. But because we've framed all our discussion of the problem using terms such as "violence" and "battering," we've locked ourselves into a vocabulary that excludes far too many controlling behaviors. We've locked ourselves into a framework in which "Well, at least your partner doesn't _hit_ you!" is perceived as a sensible thing to say and a plausible reason to refuse to help.

Ashcraft proposes a new set of terms to use. I'm not convinced that her new terms would be an improvement.

I _am_ convinced that her careful outline of the way that choosing the wrong set of labels can make a problem impossible to solve, and her demonstration of one way to go about creating a different set, are valuable. [Back issues are $6.00 postpaid, to _Women & Language_, Dept. of Communication, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA 22030; e-mail for editor Anita Taylor goes to]

--/close quote-- (quoted with permission)

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).

See the two linked essays above.

Mediation Bulletin Board Link
Link to Dispute Resolution Related Book Reviews

Copyright 2001 Stephen R. Marsh
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