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Mediation On-Line

A Newsletter from ADR Resources // March 1998
Date: 97-12-16 14:46:43 EST
From: Ethesis@AOL.Com (Ethesis)


Employment Opportunities

Daniel A. Kahn at 301-548-1432 (Dan Kahn, EEO ADR Coordinator, Capital Metro Operations, United States Postal Service, 16501 Shady Grove Road, Gathersburg, MD  20898-9998) is looking for mediators to mediate postal employee disputes in a thirty thousand employee region covering Maryland, D.C. and Northern Virginia.  Write, call or e-mail Daniel A. Kahn .

"My name is Daniel A. Kahn and I am the ADR coordinator
for the Postal Service for Maryland, Northern VA and DC.
I am seeking mediators to mediate employee disputes
between the Postal Service and postal employees.
I am responsible for approximately 30,000 plus
employees. You must be prequalified by HQ-USPS prior to
mediating for us. The qualification process includes a
required two day training in transformative mediation.

If you are interested, either email me or call me
at 301 548-1432. I will then send you an application
to begin your qualifying as a USPS mediator.
Dan Kahn
EEO ADR Coordinator
Capital Metro Operations
United States Postal Service
16501 Shady Grove Road
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-9998

Interesting new Mediation & ADR web sites:

Note, I'm not recommending all of these sites, but I think that they are useful and interesting to anyone who is regularly on the net or concerned about current mediation issues.

  1. the Peace Journal, now has their first issue on-line.  Worth a visit!  I'm recommending this site to everyone.
  2. Agreements Unlimited.  This site has trendy professional graphics and design.  If you are designing a site, you owe yourself a visit to this one.
  3. Compare it to Cleanbill Consulting -- -- a site that for parties who feel their legal bills have been too high and who want to mediate the matter.  While many more people are likely to need Cleanbill's services, you can tell the difference between Cleanbill's talented amateur designer and Agreements Unlimited's professional.  Both are worth a visit.
  4. AAM On-line  Everyone needs to be aware of the movements to make mediation "attorney-mediator" only.  This is an excellent place to visit as is Attorney-Mediator Institute in order to see one side of the debate.
  5. Mediation Associates A group of trained mediators, some lawyers, some educators, some social workers, some business people -- a good cross disciplinary group.  They illustrate the opposit trend from "attorney-mediators" only . Mediation Associates is an excellent example of the other side of the debate.
  6. The ABA is getting into this issue.  Contact them by e-mail at if you wish to have some input on certification and similar issues that will go into the ABA's proposed uniform law.
  7. Who Needs a Web Site?  An interesting perspective.
  8. Entreworld is a site devoted to providing free advice and support to small offices and businesses -- such as a mediator's practice.  A useful place to go for free advice.

I'm always looking for more great web sites to add to my collection -- please send me recommendations and suggestions.


My newsletters sent to e-mail addresses have all bounced. There is some sort of server/connection issue.

There have been suggestions that a new Arbitration Association should be formed that would address diversity issues in a modest way and that would be more accessible.  Proposed names have been Arbitration Alternatives Affiliate Association (AAAA) and Alternative Arbitration (AA).  The foundation would be a guarantee of of 5% minority membership and 20% female membership for panels.  That is more than de minimus, but I'm not sure it rises to the level of "addressing diversity issues in a modest way."  The working thought is to propose that groups be contacted and asked to switch their contracts from specifying the AAA to specifying "providers of neutral and diverse panels, including, but not limited to ..."

I've been somewhat curious as to why my site hasn't made Yahoo's index.  I recently got an offer to make the list -- if I paid $500.00.  I've contacted Yahoo about it, but that could explain a lot about why hasn't been added to Yahoo.  It also encourages me to consider a boycott Yahoo until the issue is resolved.  Mediation Associates, by comparison, has several Yahoo listings.


I want to recommend again Dr. Suzette Haden Elgin's new book  The book is How to Turn the Other Cheek and Still Survive in Today's World, and is published by Thomas Nelson Publishers ISBN 0-7852-7249-6 ($12.99 223 pages).  The book is one that every mediator should own and read.  If you've seen Tannen's new book, you really need to read Elgin's.  It is a crucial book for our time.

For those who want to redistribute this or other material on the site, you are welcome to do so with my blessing as long as you give proper attribution.  You are also welcome to repost this newsletter to newsgroups and listservers.

Personal Notes.

Much to my surprise, I will be teaching a day and a half of basic mediation training in Philadelphia in April on the 25th and 26th.  I'm very pleased to have been invited. Fax 1-215-226-1400 or call 1-215-226-1200 for details or e-mal Nada145.  I've also been informed that portions of my personal web page have been printed again. which explains how I gained the perspective on the trauma resolution cycle and dispute resolution.

Print Publications

From the Harvard Program on Negotiation (PON)

2 volumes of the Harvard Negotiation Law Review (HNLR) have been published thus far. At present, HNLR is coming out once each year. There are plans to move to a biannual schedule but I do not think a firm decision has been made about this. To communicate with HNLR directly, send e-mail to either Lara Schwartz <> or Donna Scheidt <>.

Re. Negotiation Journal: It is a quarterly publication. The last volume came out in October 1997. The January issue should be out shortly. The January 1998 issue will be sent to you as soon as it is back from the printer. For more information about the publication schedule, feel free to contact Ed Hillis directly at

Also, Troy Smith and Mediation Monthly are at 1-800-ADR-FIRM and still making sample issues available for free. Call and get a free issue and decide if the magazine is one that you find valuable.  I enjoy it.  Troy is also starting a new newsletter, and as soon as the paperwork is finished, I have permission to post details.  I will update everyone when that is done. I think well of the efforts Troy has made and am glad to know that he is expanding his scope and efforts.


I continue to follow Peru and will report more in the future.

Submissions to

As always, I am interested in any submissions or articles anyone would like to have posted on the web.  With my best regards, I remain,

Sincerely yours,

Stephen Marsh
Additional material is included in the on-line version.

Back issues at

If for some reason you wish to be removed from my periodical mailings please let me know.  I just updated my mailing list software and if I'm sending anyone extra copies or sending it to anyone who shouldn't be getting it, please let me know.  This is my first time with a mailing list and I'm trying to limit it to only people who would be interested.  Thanks for your patience and help.

Post Script (the "extra" material for the on-line version).

First -- The ABA Section of Dispute Resolution

The ABA Section of Dispute Resolution will lead a three-year effort to develop a simplified national uniform standard on mediation. The project will be co-chaired by Roberta Cooper Ramo (former ABA president) and Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer (former chair of the National Conference of Chief Justices), and will proceed in four phases. The first two phases involve research: reviewing the more than 2,000 state and federal mediation statutes and court rules, and defining the issues affecting mediation (such as qualifications of mediators and confidentiality). The third phase will involve the actual drafting of the model law, and will begin in 1998. Finally, the proposed law will be presented for consideration to the Section of Dispute Resolution's Council in the year 2,000, and then on to the ABA House of Delegates and the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. The project welcomes ideas and suggestions, which can be directed to Richard C. Reuben of the Stanford Center on Conflict and Negotiation. He can be reached by e-mail at

Second -- Web Site Statistics

I've done some more statistical analysis on my site using javascript and cgi applications that track actual hits (including hits on cached pages) vs. disk access hits.  A good base site is ../adr_resources/General.html.  It recorded 50 disk accesses in the week 2/22/98 to 2//28/98.  The cgi counter (which is called on each page impression -- including when the server has the page cached, but not when the browser has the page cached) was called 121 times.  That is a ratio of 2.42.  It means that pages accessed 50 times or more a week are likely to have been actually visited 121 times or more a week.

For numbers, that means that my home page had an actual access rate of about 1,570 that week and that the "real" accesses on the relevant portions of the site were closer to 16,000 (there are approximately ten interior accesses for each home page access, noting that many sites that link to my site do not link to the home page and that many essays are accessed directly).  (The access log reflects about eleven thousand disk access page impressions for the site on that week).

Using old time hit records (which include graphics calls and all sorts of garbage), the 19,067 disk accesses translates into about 45,000 "hits."  Note that the foregoing reflects the weaknesses in using "hits" and the issues caused by server cache techniques (which serves the pages up faster).  As I'm not selling advertising this information is just of academic interest. "Hits" when measured accurately results in a grossly overstated number.  "Page impressions," when cache is not included, is grossly understated. (The words, while plural in appearance, are singular as measures of visits, thus the verb/noun pairings).  I'll continue to claim that I'm getting at least six thousand page impressions a week.


In a message dated 98-03-05 01:32:22 EST, you write:

> Subj: Mediation Query
> Date: 98-03-05 01:32:22 EST
> From: xxxxx
> To:

> Dear Mr. Marsh,

> I read your article about mediation with interest. I feel that this infant
> industry does have its problems, particularly with uneven experience and
> levels of service, as well as results.
> Currently, I'm being pressured by an individual to engage in the mediation
> process, and I'm deeply skeptical. I am especially so because from what I
> understand, the decision of mediators is given great credence

The mediator should make no decision and everything that goes on in mediation should be privileged against disclosure to the Court. If this is not the case, you should have serious reservations!  [links deleted]

> if a matter does
> go to court, and this credence may often be misplaced. (I also have reason
> to believe that the particular mediator might have an innate bias against me in
> this cause.)

You should never use a mediator that you feel is biased. Ask for a different mediator -- that is your right.

> I'm very interested to find out if there are additional resources, such as
> articles, other essays, news stories, studies, etc., that would provide more
> information about either malfeasance or abuse of power on the part of
> mediators, or at the very least cases of inexpert advice given expert
> credibility.

Unfortunately, most of the material consists of case law that states that there is no basis for complaint for a mediator's actions.

This is an area that the Texas Supreme Court and other Courts have taken a very keen interest in, but nothing much has developed yet other than preliminary codes of ethics and the like.
> I apologize for this request from a "virtual" stranger, and hope that you'll
> find the time to share any information that you would be willing to give me.
> Thank you,

> xxxxx.

My pleasure.  I am glad to respond, thought I wish I had more substance to offer in my response.

Your comments and thoughts are important.  They illustrate serious issues facing the field of mediation and the difficulties facing parties who are being asked to participate in processes defined as "mediation" that may be biased, improper or coercive.  I only wish I had better answers.

I would welcome an essay addressing these points if anyone would care to write and submit one.

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