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Mediation On-Line

A Newsletter from ADR Resources
Volume 5, No. 1 (November 2001)


Stephen R. Marsh Picture


I have decided to summarize my most common statements and conclusions when interviewed by courts and their assistants on the concept of mediator credentialling.  That summary is on-line at

In addition, Dr. Suzette Haden Elgin gave me permission to use the following excerpt from her book, now come true.


by Suzette Haden Elgin, Ph.D.

The Koran, about which we've heard so much lately, is written in Arabic, but it's not contemporary Arabic. And unlike the situation with regard to the English in the Bible, "updating" the language of the Koran is considered to be tampering with holy language; the very idea inspires horror. There is no "Contemporary Arabic Version" of the Koran, nor is there likely to be any such thing in the foreseeable future. The real-world results of this fact are not trivial.

"Amy Docker Marcus quotes the Arab poet and songwriter Nabeel el-Khadeer's lament that 'Language is the weapon of our times.' And [Chris] Hedges makes it clear that although Arabic may seem far outside American concerns, it in fact affects Americans directly: He explains that the carefully crafted inflammatory slogans and buzzwords aimed at the poor by politicians are 'almost incomprehensible to educated Arabs, only widening a dangerous gulf between an elite that looks to the West and _an enraged underclass from which suicide bombers and murderers of tourists can be recruited_.' " (Emphasis added.)

"...(W)hat if written English had been frozen in the forms that were used in the King James Bible, while the spoken language had moved on, and the gulf between the two varieties of English had restricted literacy to an elite upper class? Suppose politicians in the United States could take something like 'Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live' from the King James Bible and turn it into a rap slogan aimed at illiterate thousands in American inner cities and rural small towns, with complete confidence that its targets wouldn't be able to find that section of the Bible and read the sequence in context, or read commentaries and discussions of the section. Suppose that at the same time the elite classes in the United States would know so little about rap that they'd pay no attention to the slogan and its effects. Suppose politicians could take the loaded word 'abomination,' which figures so prominently in the Old Testatment, reshape it in a dialect unfamiliar to upper-class Americans, and begin using it as a buzzword to whip up hatred against whatever they disapproved of. This is precisely the sort of problem that Arabic-speaking people struggle with in the real world today."

[The quotations are from page 162 of _The Language Imperative_, by Suzette Haden Elgin; Perseus Books 2000.]

The Recommended Book of the Month:

I just finished Mediation Career Guide:  A Strategic Approach to Building a Successful Practice by Forrest S. Mosten (October 2001), $35.00, 295 pages, Trade Paperback.  I like it.  Mosten is honest.  e.g. at page 5 he states "It took me from 1979, when I started practicing mediation, until 1986 before the income from my mediation work exceeded my expenses on an annual basis." ... "I am not alone.  Ask any mediator who has a successful career, and you will learn that every one of them has made huge investments of time and money to follow their dreams." [examples].

On the other hand, he tells you what will work and how to make it work.  That takes too much time to cover in this review (it is a whole books worth), but I'm going to add his book to my FAQ at for people who are thinking of writing me for advice on how to market.  I already have some material linked there, and a book, but this book is worth adding to my FAQ (answers to frequently asked questions).  

Mosten has covered much of this material before, but this volume is consistent in writing style, well edited and formatted, direct and targetted.  If you are trying to choose between Mosten books, I would start with this one, which includes solid background material, tests and self surveys to help you realize whether or not you have the values, skills and personality to make a good mediator, and how to translate commitment into a mediation practice.  One of my associates at work has "borrowed" the book and one of my partners plans to repossess it as soon as he can find where it has been hidden (we have three of us in the firm who do some mediation, and five with training who do not mediate).

Recommended if you are a mediation practicioner.  I've also posted a different review on the front page of my site (, it is my book of the month for November and may be my book of the month for December as well.  I know people who love Mosten and people who dislike him, but all of them should like this book.

Interesting new Mediation & ADR (and other) web sites

Educational Programs / News and Book Reviews/Books/Periodicals

A public service announcement:

"The University of Missouri-Columbia is recruiting for next year's class of J.D. and LL.M. students and we want to attract the best and most diverse class we can. If you know people who might be interested, we would appreciate if you would forward this information to them. Thanks for your help. (We are trying to spread the word as widely as we can and we apologize if you receive multiple copies of this message.)"

As everyone knows, I consider this the best program in the country (though I've had some debates with some of their faculty over why they are the best, they haven't been able to change my mind over the bottom line conclusion that they are the best).  Well worth a look.

Going back to quoting from their announcement:

"For more information, see or contact me or Karen Neylon, the Program Coordinator, at 573-882-2020 or Law School has developed a collaboration with the MU School of Journalism, which is an international leader in its field. As part of that colloboration, the two schools offer four dual degree programs:J.D.-M.A., J.D.-Ph.D., LL.M.-M.A., and LL.M.-Ph.D. The collaboration is led by Law School Prof. Richard C. Reuben and Journalism School Prof. Michael J. Grinfeld, both of whom have law degrees and extensive journalism experience. For more information, contact Richard Reuben at 573-884-5204 or We are strongly committed to diversity and we encourage applications from minorities, women, and others who would contribute to the diversity of our school."

As a personal aside, I have it on excellent inside authority that Missouri is much more diverse, tolerant and open than one would expect and much more so than most insitutions.  Remember to discard regional stereotypes and biases.

Program: Conflict Transformation Across Cultures (CONTACT) is a Summer Institute and Graduate Certificate Program.Organization: School for International Training Address: Kipling Road, Box 676, Brattleboro, Vermont 05302-0676, U.S.A. Tel: (802) 258-3433 Fax: (802) 258-3320 Email: Contact: Christian Sinclair Website:  Program summary: CONTACT participants return to their communities with effective skills for analyzing and responding to conflict.

When Children Grieve - For Adults to Help Children Deal with Death, Divorce, Pet Loss, Moving, and Other Losses - Harper Collins, June, 2001.

John W. James and Russell Friedman, co-authors of The Grief Recovery Handbook, Revised Edition, The Action Program For Moving Beyond Death, Divorce, and Other Losses, Harper Collins, 1998.

If you do theraputic mediation, you might find both of these books useful.

The North American Institute for Conflict Resolution
PO Box 491981
Los Angeles, CA 90049

Will have a program program will be available in New York City on November 3rd & 4th and in San Diego California on November 10th & 11th. for more information.

Golden Media, a marketing firm, has also released a book on marketing your mediation services.  If I get a chance to read it, I will review it here.

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN DISPUTE RESOLUTION, Willamette Online - Willamette University College of Law, is back in operation after a haitus.  Well worth the visit.

Also, note the deadline for proposals for the NCMA 4th World Congress in Long Beach, Ca. (July 2002) has been extended to early December. Anyone interested in having/offering an ADR related presentation, visit the NCMA website for additional info.

Current Issues

On certification, I got the following comment that I thought was interesting:

"The point of all this is that I think if the mediators could basically copy the bylaws and constitution of the American Society of Appraisers, changing a few words they could take advantage of some excellent work probably done at great length some years back. Alternatively, they could go to all three [appraisal] societies and merge the best features of all of them as appropriate for mediators."

Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts of India (ICFAI) is a non-profit organization involved primarily in providing distance education offering professional programmes in finance and management and is starting to pay attention to conflict management and mediation.  I am very interested to watch things develop in India (several PhDs in the CMD portion of the Academy of Management are Indian) and think they will be a strong force.  I would appreciate any comments or observations from individuals with more knowledge than I have.

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.  I should also note that I am changing my service provider, so that is the best e-mail address to use to reach me.

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.

Subject: Re: Viewer Mail From WWLTV.COM

In answer to your question...Nurses were doing anesthesia long before MD's decided there was money in performing such services. I can give you historical data if you're interested (I'd be delighted) but in the last century, the lowliest medical student was giving the anesthesia-such as it was-because every potential MD wanted to be a surgeon and cut...consequently no one paid any attention to the poor patient and patients were dying from the poor care until the religious began providing the services for the surgeons.

Nurses began providing anesthesia services over 100 years ago to keep patients from the almost sure death from anesthesia. Schools of nurse anesthesia grew up from that movement with the advent of anesthetic techniques that didn't kill patients outright. I have many interesting stories gleaned from old histories about anesthesia, like the nun/nurse dropping ether after saying a decade on her rosary. She kept many people alive through surgery with this technique.

The school of Nurse Anesthesiology at Charity had been in continuous operation for 100 years. It was one of the oldest schools for Nurse Anesthetists in the country until two greedy MD's KILLED it last year because they hate CRNA's and the successes we've had over the years and because they admittedly want to control the economics of Anesthesia.

This is a real turf war and you all were dragged in by the "all powerful doctor" when in fact it's the CRNA's who do the lion's share of the work. CRNA's have been certified for over 60 years. MD residencies can't claim that. Any MD can practice anesthesia-theoretically. Any nurse anesthetist MUST be certified by a qualifying exam following the successful completion of a program in nurse anesthesia that is approved by the state and a certifying body. We MUST be recertified by achieving considerable continuing education credit every 2 years. I've worked with MD anesthetists who brag that they've never taken a course since leaving school.

The answer to your question of course is still $$$. MD's can make money by "supervising CRNA's". If they do a case themselves (like I do every day) they can collect for that case. If they "supervise" several CRNA's and bill for their services...they pay the CRNA, but keep the lion's share for their personal pocket - and don't think they don't. That's why I refuse to work in "mixed" practices anymore (MD/CRNA groups). I work hard - for myself and my profession. And as I said in my earlier message, there's no statistical difference in the outcomes of the anesthetics provided by CRNA's or physician anesthetists. We do the same things, with the same drugs and techniques, to the same patients, with the same or better outcomes.

Any time you'd like to talk, please call me. I can have the president of our State Professional organization contact you. I'd like t tell you about our recent battle in the state legislature - that we won hands down in both the Senate and House...and that the Gov. vetoed because one of his buddies is a physician anesthetist who didn't want it....lots of stories, so little time.

Thanks for your interest in my cause and your time. I just get furious to hear how poor I am at my job that I love so much from some jerk who hates anyone with my professional designation.

Julie Bounds, CRNA

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