March 22, 2019

March 2019 - Mediation Committee

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Message from the Co-Chairs

Welcome to the March 2019 Issue of Just Resolutions, sponsored by the Mediation Committee. Our issue is focused around the theme of New Frontiers in Mediation. This issue looks at where the profession is going, in terms of accreditation and regulation, as well as developments in how we think about and practice mediation. We are pleased to be able to highlight the work of some very creative mediators.

We have two articles on accreditation and regulatory developments in this issue. One is an article supporting voluntary accreditation. The other reviews California’s new law on mediation confidentiality. We hope these timely articles will provoke discussion and additional work in this area around the country.

Our authors also highlight developments in the field with the potential to shake up established practice. Visual mediation presents the use of live interactive visual communications to guide the mediation process, replacing the tradition role of notetaking by the mediator for her own use. On-line mediation explores how mediation techniques can be adapted to work in an on-line setting. The interview with the author of a new book on reflective practice describes how reflective practice can enable mediators to maintain consciousness of their own viewpoints to avoid substituting it for that of the parties. The article on Deconstructing and Reinventing Modern Mediation Practice advocates for a new model in evaluating, timing, preparing for and conducting mediation.

We hope each of these articles causes our readers to reexamine aspects of practice we sometimes take for granted. Continuing learning is a hallmark of our field.

Thanks to Mediation Committee members Judith Starr, Susan Guthrie and Doug Witten for putting together this issue.

Kind Regards,

Mark LeHockey
Joe Esposito

Featured Articles

California’s Newest Approach to Mediation Confidentiality and Attorney Malpractice
Ana M. Sambold, Esq.

On September 11, 2018, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill 954, requiring attorneys to inform their clients of all confidentiality restrictions related to mediation and to obtain a signed acknowledgment stating that the client understands them. The new law is squarely aimed at educating clients of the stringent California mediation confidentiality rules and allowing clients to make a better-informed decision before agreeing to mediation. Read more

Deconstructing Modern Mediation Practice: Time and Timing is Everything
Mark LeHockey

Starting a few decades ago, civil mediation practice arguably got us off on the wrong foot, and today we still needlessly fumble around. Mimicking late stage mandatory judicial conferences -- marathon sessions held shortly before trial and run by judges more familiar with calling balls and strikes than exploring alternatives -- civil mediation practice today too often follows this tired path. Read more

The Future is Online – Why You Need to Offer Online Dispute Resolution Services
Susan E. Guthrie

In today’s fast-paced world, clients are increasingly looking for convenience and efficiency in all areas of their lives – including when it comes to dispute resolution. No more do scheduling, traffic, child care and geographic location need to influence the conduct of a mediation session. Read more

MC3 Certification: A Credentialing Initiative Built on the Recommendations of the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution Task Force on Mediator Credentialing
Adam Ravitch

Credentialing of mediators has long been a contentious topic in the mediation community. Some see credentialing as intrusive and unnecessary or see advantages to leaving the field open to all mediators without regard to training or experience. Read more

Author, Author! An Interview with Michael Lang, Author of The Guide to Reflective Practice in Conflict Resolution
Judith Starr

Judith Starr interviews mediator and author Michael Lang on his new book, The Guide to Reflective Practice in Conflict Resolution. Read more

“Mediation Career Strategies” Program/Webinar
Thursday, March 21, 2019 from 5-7pm (EST)
Hunton Andrews Kurth - 2200 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC

Please join us for this informational program with a panel of esteemed judges, private practitioners, academics and public servants who will share their experiences, insights and advice on developing a career in mediation. After sharing their insights, attendees will get a chance to speak with the panel at the reception. Whether your interest is in family law, commercial transactions, labor and employment law or more, you won’t want to miss this event! Please RSVP by 3/18/19 at

Volunteers Needed!

The ABA’s Mediation Committee of the Section of Dispute Resolution is seeking volunteers for the following sub-committees:

  •  Newsletter
  • Programs
  • Membership
  • Just Resolutions

If you are looking for a good way to meet your colleagues and get more involved here’s your chance! If interested, please contact: Susan Guthrie.

Join the Welcome Committee for the Spring Conference!

The goal of the Spring Conference Welcome Committee is to create a sense of Community, Connection and Fun for all attendees at the spring conference such that every single attendee leaves the conference raving about their experience and desiring to get more involved in the Section.


  • Proactively go up to people at the conference, especially those who are alone or who are wearing "first-time attendee" badges, introduce yourself, learn about them and try to be helpful.
  • As you learn about them, look for ways to be helpful. You may find opportunities to tell them about committees that would be relevant to their interests, introduce them to people, or see if they have questions about the section.
  • You don't have to have perfect knowledge about the section. The main requirement is friendliness and positive intentions.
  • There will be a conference call prior to the conference where you can get questions answered.
  • For those whose travel schedules permit, we will meet briefly on Wednesday in the late afternoon so that everyone can meet and get oriented.

To volunteer for the welcome committee, please email me directly at

Section Events

Online Registration for the Spring Conference closes April 4th!

Click here to register today.

Registration is open for the Arbitration Institute

May 16 – 17, 2019
Pepper Hamilton, LLP
Philadelphia, PA

Click here for more information and to register.

Check out the Section’s new Podcast!

We are proud to announce Resolutions: A Podcast About Dispute Resolution and Prevention!

This podcast is the product of the hard work of the newly formed Podcast Committee and will consist of a series of conversations with professionals in the dispute resolution community about various topics of interest to members of the DR Section. Please listen, rate, and review us on iTunes and Google Play. 

Listen here