What is the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS)?

FMCS New Mediator Class of 2019

The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) is the nation’s largest independent public agency for alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and conflict management, providing mediation and conflict resolution services in the private, public, and federal sectors.

Creative Mediation Options

Moral Conflict

One of the things I enjoy most about my job as a mediator is the flexibility inherent in the mediation process I utilize. Typically, I’m assuming, you see mediation as a process where you can confidently come together with other parties involved in litigation, call a timeout, and determine if the parties can reach an agreement to resolve the case. This is how I’m asked to lead mediations about 95% of the time. However, there are other circumstances in which I’ve been hired as a mediator, some of which may surprise you.

Passing of the Torch RBG – Who Will Dissent?

Passing of the Torch Ginsberg

On Friday, September 18, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away at age 87 (1933-2020). I was still working (remotely) when I heard the news. The group texts began to slowly roll in. The news alerts started popping up on my phone. A friend called and we commemorated the life of “Notorious RBG” and …

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ABA Conference Sessions You Might Enjoy

I love the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution annual conferences. They always put on a wide array of wonderful sessions and it’s a great time to connect with friends, old and new. As in the past, I am listing some sessions that particularly intrigue me. 

When Is A Case Ripe For Mediation?

I would say all of those cases were ripe for mediation at the time I was asked to mediate them. How can that be? Simple. In each case, the attorneys/parties had the right information, and a strong enough desire to settle, in order to make good decisions. Could those cases, which were further into the judicial process, have been resolved sooner? Possibly. But in retrospect, I don’t think they were ready until we mediated them.

Lawyers’ Ethical Responsibility In Negotiating Confidential Settlements On Behalf Of Serial Lawbreakers

Confidential settlements have stirred controversy when they have been used to hide serious public health and safety violations, though people generally think that confidential settlements are appropriate.  Indeed, people often tout confidentiality as one of the benefits of ADR.

Louis C.K.’S Apology

Since the recent publications about Harvey Weinstein’s alleged serial sexual misconduct, there has been a wave of stories about others who have allegedly committed sexual misconduct.  The comedian Louis C.K. is one of the men who has been accused.  He publicly acknowledged that the accusations were true and apologized.

Missouri Symposium On Managing Disputes About Speech On Campus

There has been a lot of attention to – and criticism of – willingness of people in colleges and universities to suppress speech.  Some of this criticism is particularly directed at liberals.  However, these problems are widespread through our society. 

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