A central tenet of mediation is the neutrality of the process. Further, all parties in the dispute are considered equal – no participant in the process has more weight in the decision making process than the other.
Archive for the ‘Neutrality’ Category
Georgia megachurch leader Bishop Eddie Long and the four young men that filed suit against him for sexual misconduct have successfully reached a settlement through mediation.
This means that a mediator cannot take a side or advise either party in the dispute. There is no judge, no arbitrator of right or wrong. The sole purpose of mediation is to allow those in dispute to create a resolution that works for them. (more…)
Most divorcing couples find that they are in a period of high conflict. Some have experienced constant arguments and fights for months or years; some are reacting to a sudden change of heart.
Regardless of the circumstances and presentation, conflict between divorcing partners exists and is often seemingly impossible to navigate. Most often impending divorce results in a traditional type of intervention: retaining attorneys and asking them to resolve the issues, however divorce mediation is a better option for the vast majority of couples and families. (more…)
Today a federal judge ruled that Attorney Kenneth Feinberg, the “mediator” handling the the claims against BP as a result of the Gulf Oi Spill, is not independent of BP and must stop presenting himself as such. In other words, the judge ruled that Feinberg is not acting as a mediator of claims, as initially stated when he assumed his role, but more of a claims adjuster – an agent of BP. (more…)
The 2010 Alaska Senator campaign has been news worthy for many reasons – today the GOP candidate Joe Miller filed a federal lawsuit to bar misspellings of Lisa Murkowski’s name from being counted as a valid write-in votes. According to the Alaska Dispatch, the original judge assigned the case, U.S. District Court Judge John Sedwick, has recused himself from the case, however, due to issues that could bias the judge’s neutrality or at the very least give him the appearance of bias.
A reasonable person with knowledge of the above facts would conclude that my impartiality might reasonably be questioned. I recuse. The Clerk of Court will please re-assign this case to another judge.
It is important to note that although the Judge gives a clear statement that he has a negative opinion of the plaintiff, Joe Miller, at no point does the Judge indicate that he would be biased or unfair towards him. However, as he has a negative opinion of Miller, he cannot effectively act as the judge in this case. At the very least, his prior relationship with the plaintiff gives the appearance of bias and gives either side a cause to challenge any ruling they do not like.
The appearance of bias is an important distinction that impacts mediators as well. Mediators, like judges, are charged with being neutral participants in the conflict resolution process. The neutrality of the mediator is paramount to the success of the mediation.
Even the appearance of bias can impact the mediation. A mediator can be neutral, but if either one of the disputants has reason to even perceive that the mediator is biased towards one of the participants or a particular outcome it can negatively impact the success of the mediation as well as the long-term effectiveness of the agreements reached.
Of all personal injury type cases, medical malpractice cases can be the most expensive and time consuming to take to trial. The litigation process in medical malpractice matters call for extensive record review and the opinions and testimony of expensive medical experts. In an effort to bring a speedier and more cost-effective resolution to medical malpractice claims, Connecticut has passed a statute requiring that all medical malpractice cases be referred to a 120 day mediation period.
Under Connecticut’s program, the presiding judge in a medical malpractice matter would conduct the first mediation. If the case failed to be resolved at this initial session, the parties could then agree to continue the mediation process. The stated purpose for Connecticut’s programs is to achieve a prompt settlement or resolution of the civil action.
Connecticut’s push for mediation of medical malpractice claims is a concept that can be applied everywhere. The goal of mediation in general is to provide parties with a forum to move ahead with prompt and amicable settlement of their disputes; without incurring the deep expense traditional litigation tends to generate.
Instead of the protracted journey that a medical malpractice claim can be, complete with lengthy and expensive depositions of expert witnesses, and extensive document review, consider mediation up front. Bringing all the parties to the table, with the assistance of a neutral mediator, can result in a swift outcome. Once the parties become engaged in a discussion of the bare facts of their dispute, a solution often becomes clear. Reaching this point at the beginning of a dispute, rather than waiting until the drawn-out litigation process has begun, can result in the parties resolving the claim with a result everyone involved can feel positive about and with a substantial cost savings.
- All mediation cases are administered by a CFR Mediation Coordinator. The CFR Mediation Coordinator administers the mediation case, is the point person for all parties to the dispute and the mediator throughout the mediation, and provides conflict coaching to facilitate resolution.
- CFR Mediators do not collect fees, have any knowledge of how the sessions are paid for, or how much was paid. Mediators bill CFR for mediation services rendered to CFR clients.
- CFR Mediators are not allowed to have prior or future relationships with CFR mediation clients. As an example, a CFR mediator who provides mediation services to a CFR client is contractually prohibited from providing additional legal or mental health services to mediation clients, even if qualified to do so. Similarly, CFR Mediators who may have had any professional or personal exposure to a mediation client prior to request for mediation will not be eligible for the mediation referral.
- In the event that a CFR Mediator or client recognizes a potential conflict of interest, the CFR Mediation Coordinator intervenes in the mediation and, working with all the parties in the dispute, determines the appropriate response, which may include reassigning the mediation case to another mediator.
- CFR Mediators receive minimum information prior to meeting all parties to the mediation. The CFR Mediation Coordinator gathers the initial information and relays the necessary information to the mediator, giving the mediator the information needed, but none that would sway the opinion of the mediator to one party’s side. In addition, the CFR Mediation Coordinator is always available should one party feel that the mediator has too much advance information or is biased at the onset of the mediation.
CFR places a great deal of importance on the neutral role of the mediator. As a result our services are specifically designed to ensure that the mediator neutrality.
CFR is designed to ensure that the process of resolving conflicts is not additionally stressful. Getting to the point of deciding to bring in a mediator is difficult enough. At CFR, we believe that mediation is the best means of intervening in a conflict – resulting in an efficient and effective resolution that all parties agree with.
Accessing mediation through CFR is easy.
The first step is contacting us either by phone toll free at 866-922-2370 or through our website inquiry form.
One we receive your request for information, a CFR Mediation Coordinator will contact you at your convenience (24 hours a day, 7 days a week). During this first call the mediation coordinator will answer any questions that you may have, explain the process, and, if your ready, initiate the case.
Once the case is initiated, the CFR Mediation Coordinator will send you the intake paperwork packet, collect the fees, and establish your initial mediation appointment with the best CFR Certified Mediator.
The answer is no. Employee Mediation Benefits, like other health and wellness benefits, are entirely voluntary and confidential.. Your employer has no involvement in your case beyond providing you information about the benefit.
So why are they doing this for you?
Employee Mediation Benefits provide employees with a real means of resolving personal and workplace issues that otherwise can have a negative impact on general levels of productivity.
Lost productivity in the workplace accounts for a significant amount of any company’s losses. According to the 2007 CCH Unscheduled Absence Survey, two-thirds of employees who call in sick are really skipping work to deal with personal and family issues. One widely quoted study by the Employers Health Coalition showed that the costs of presenteeism can be found by taking the costs of absenteeism and multiplying them by 7.5. Could those costs be avoided?
Absolutely – in fact, that is exactly what those types of benefits are designed to do. Consider the Employee Mediation Benefit. This benefit does more than just help employees deal with conflict in the workplace, it provides access to services which help them resolve personal conflict. If conflicts are addressed promptly and efficiently through mediation, employees are less likely to focus on personal business during the work day. One online survey suggested that employees actually spend 1.3 hours of every day on personal business.
The average costs of wasted time and avoidable productivity losses can range from $700 to $2000 per year per employee, depending on whose research you read. To find out more about CFR’s Employee Mediation benefit, contact our benefits department for more information. It’s private, it saves time, and it definitely saves everyone money.