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Mediation On-Line

A Newsletter from ADR Resources
Volume 6, #5 (June-July 2003)
From: srmarsh (at) adrr (dot) com


Stephen R. Marsh Picture


I'm going to be reviewing a book from http://www.IdyllArbor.com/books/B411.HTM shortly.  I'll let you know what I think when I finish it.

I have added a new article:  Persuasion, Ancient Chinese Style at http://adrr.com/adr9/chinese.htm by Selina Wong Baray.


RESOLVE seeks applications for senior mediator and associate positions in its Portland, OR office. Job announcements are in the binder in 206 and are available from the web site at http://www.resolv.org/about_jobs.html. Application deadline: August 15.  I was just in Portland, but just missed this, or I would have stopped by and gotten more information. Click on the site link and then the questions, then to employment to find the openings.

Colorado State has a job opening as well http://www.sc.colostate.edu/jobs/crscs.pdf -- though this is a little after the date they had hoped to find someone, it is when I found out about it (I was in Colorado when the job opened up, then in trial).  Sort of thing I would have applied for myself if I had gotten the notice sooner though you might want to follow-up if you have a stronger restorative justice background than I have.

PADCO is looking for conflict resolution specialists with an Africa background. Email: bwright@padcoinc.com for more details.  www.padcoinc.com is their web site and they are hiring at all levels (B.A. to Ph.D.).  

Interesting new Mediation & ADR (and other) web sites:

Short Comment One

The ABA Commission on Women in the Profession has asked a known female author to write another article for their publication, Perspectives. The article is about women lawyers making the transition from legal practice to law school faculty. If you've made this kind of transition and are willing to be interviewed about it, please contact Ellen at Ellen@lawyerslifecoach.com or 301-578-8686.

I'm interested in this topic as well as for essays by graduates of the few Dispute Resolution Ph.D. and LLM programs in this country about their programs and their employment following graduation.  I've had a number promise essays, but none have followed through and I wonder why.  Hope the news is good news, but I'd like to have some follow-up.

The Recommended Books of the Month, With Thoughts

 Is actually an on-line essay, rather funny, at < http://www.geocities.com/steerp1ke/David_Ehi.html >.  Next newsletter I'll be back to something serious for this space. I've been reading some books recommended by leaders in the field (The Language Imperative, etc.) but don't have anything to really discuss this newsletter.  Not that I did not have a great vacation, but The King of Torts and the new Harry Potter and the other books I finished don't really fit here.

Comment/Essay (Two and Two and a half)

A friend wrote, that "One thing I have come to understand, the closer to 45 I get, is a lecture by Freud, remember him? Go back and read it, it -the essay] is called "Regression in the service of the Ego" "  I've been thinking a lot about that comment, but have not yet been able to get a strong conclusion to write about.

Affirmative action and diversity are being harmed as much by their friends as their enemies.

First, a disclaimer.  My law school believes that diversity is extremely important (and I am one of the people they've asked to help recruit).  As a church run private institution, they've been free to do what they believe will aid education.  They also take a broad view on diversity (i.e., every class needs several CPAs in the student body, etc.) and a strong view on supporting disadvantaged students (the anchor man in my class got a state supreme court clerkship and is now a better attorney than most).

Second, it is important to remember that diversity admissions (when that is a synonym for race) generally are better qualified than the legacy admission students. On the normal scale, of the four groups a school admits, diversity students tend to be second from the top, not fourth (i.e. in the top half rather than the bottom half of the groups). Everyone acts as if the group is at the bottom.

Third, in most programs, diversity admits maintain a lockstep class orientation (i.e. the poor are still excluded) and political approach.  You lose something when an institution is admitting people for "flavor" rather than for enrichment.  I am uncomfortable with programs that perpetuate an advantage for a political or class group.

However, if you are interested in law school and diverse, contact BYU's law school.  It continues to actively recruit, often much to the surprise of the recruited. It is also a place that realizes that "diversity" is not a code word for "inferior" but instead a synonym for "valuable."

Educational Programs / News and Book Reviews/Books/Periodicals

The Academy of Management is having their annual conference in Seattle, Washington around the first weekend in August.  The Conflict Management Division will have a number of programs and speakers.  While work prohibits me from attending or speaking (drat, one more prepurchased airfare down the tubes), I'd recommend it to anyone who has been to too many conferences without learning anything new.

Current Issues

I was fascinated in San Antonio to discover an approach to mediation that is apparently wide spread (at least from the teaching side) and not used at all from the practice side (something that practitioners grow out of).  A speaker addressed the entire "set an agenda" etc. approach.  Now I always have an agenda, though I think at a very abstract level all the time (and my wife is extremely concrete).  My agenda is usually "get the parties together and work towards resolution" or if I am a party "push these points, see what happens, work towards a favorable settlement."  That is what I learned from USA&M back in the 80s.

It appears that a much more formal, rigid form of "set an agenda" is often taught and often discarded.  The concept was discussed as an introduction to discussing the impact of chaos and complexity theories on conflict resolution.  Of course the most sobering thought I encountered was watching a computer assisted facilitation initiative method (mostly the computers just kept track -- kind of like a super notebook).  In example after example, nothing that came up in the first round ended up as a final solution, solidifying my belief that if people think it is a solution coming in, that is proof enough that the proposal won't work.

But the disconnect between instruction and mature (after a hundred or so mediations) practice is an important issue, and one that continues to gain strength. Most of it comes from Honeyman's excellent work and the academic papers coming out of New Mexico.  I think they made a great choice in the guy they hired for the law school.

Which leads to the second current issue of importance. I think it is interesting to compare law schools, which run the gamut from tenure track professors teaching ADR (sometimes including negotiation) to disposable adjuncts covering the same topic.  There is some real scholarship that is flowing from the decision to take ADR seriously and a growing gap between the adjunct night school approach and the tenure track professor approach.

Finally, I find myself really enjoying my job (I admit it, I like being a litigator) and putting off taking more classes or writing more these days.  I have several serious essays outlined, just have not found time to write them.  Yes, if the right job opened up, and if they wanted me, I'd be interested in teaching again, but I love my job and really like my co-workers and my wife has finished up her residency and the hospital she is at is great. I guess I'm just too happy these days, a real change since Jessica died.  I still miss her and her sisters, but my life is feeling more whole.

Submissions to adrr.com

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.  srmarsh (at) adrr (dot) com is the best e-mail address to use to reach me, though I sometimes am not able to check my e-mail for 3 or 4 days.

With my best regards, I remain,

Sincerely yours,

Stephen Marsh
Additional material is sometimes included in the on-line version.
If you are curious where the term/name Ethesis comes
from, visit http://adrr.com/living/ethesis.htm

Back issues at http://adrr.com/adr9/mediation.htm

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.

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