Ombuds News Round Up

PBS Ombudsman Agrees NewsHour Slighted 'Fascinating' Climategate E-Mails
PBS Ombudsman Michael Getler agreed with conservative letter-writers that the NewsHour covered Climategate "lightly and well after the fact," even though he expressed the standard liberal belief that the "overwhelming" evidence is on the man-made dramatic warming side, and there's a "danger of establishing false equivalence" -- in other words, the liberals have more truth on their side.
read more "Ombuds News Round Up"

UN To Create Security Council Ombudsman & New Mediation Division Launched


UN To Create Ombudsman For Security Council & New Mediation Division

Recently the United Nation's Security Council announced it will created an Ombudsman Office. This position is being created specifically in response to concerns over its own No Fly List.

According to the CBC, "The Security Council's unanimous decision to appoint an ombudsman is aimed at ensuring that UN sanctions target the right people, companies and organizations for links to al-Qaeda and the Taliban."


Note, their site is newly re-designed and you will notice the UN has created a new Mediation Division with the Ombudsman Office. The office was created in August 2009 as per the passing of General Assembly resolution A/RES/62/228. You can read more about the new Mediation Division and its services [
here].
read more "UN To Create Security Council Ombudsman & New Mediation Division Launched"

CyberSettle & The NYC Government


CITY USES CYBERSETTLE TO ADVANCE PRE-LITIGATION SETTLEMENTS TO SAVE CITY TIME AND MONEY
- More than 3,000 claims settled via Cybersettle saving City millions -



I am not sure how many people know about CyberSettle, but it is an online based company whose software program allows two parties enter the amount they are interested in either trying to get the other party to pay or the amount they are willing to pay. The program lets them know when there is match and bam- a deal is made.

According to the NYC Comptroller's officer, in about a four year period (February '04 through June '08) over 3,000 claimscases were settled using the CyberSettle site.

read more "CyberSettle & The NYC Government"

Werner Institute Fall 09 Newsletter


The Fall 2009 edition of the Werner Institute Newsletter Win-Win recently was published and I am grateful to them for mentioning my blog. Have a look at the newsletter [here] to read it.

The newsletter is created and distributed each semester and will highlight the news and events of the Werner Institute and it's community.

You can learn more about the Werner Institute at Creighton University [here].

Thanks!
read more "Werner Institute Fall 09 Newsletter"

Emotions in Negotiation


Interested in leaving emotions out of your mediation or negotiation? Go ahead mate- let me know how that works out for you!


For those, like me, who realize how important it is to be mindful of emotions in every mediation and negotiation the following audio clip (Note the interview is done by Dr. Josh Weiss, Harvard Program on Negotiation) I think you will find incredibly beneficial. I have read Fisher and Shapiro’s book
Beyond Reason many times and consider it a vital reference tool for preparing for mediations as well as designing any training program I put together.
read more "Emotions in Negotiation"

Inter-Faith Forum Today



COMMUNITY PEACE PROGRAM
Inter-Faith Forum

Join my friend and co-director Bee Chen Goh of the Centre for Peace & Social Justice at Southern Cross University at this great event. It is part of a program which featured me earlier this year [see here] and [here].
read more "Inter-Faith Forum Today"

Holiday Gift Ideas!


Celebrating the Holidays?


For those looking to get gifts for someone this holiday season, here's some suggested items that I think possibly will bring a smile to that some-one-special's face!

Hey, that someone special can even be yourself!
read more "Holiday Gift Ideas!"

Bond University Q Card Series (1)


Q-Card Series


John Wade, and the brilliant team at Bond University’s Dispute Resolution Centre, have a wonderful collection of “Q-Cards” which are great little golden nuggets of information to help all dispute and conflict specialists. The Q Card series are all the business card size so very convenient and easy to take with you. Learn more about the Dispute Resolution Centre at Bond University [here].


Today’s card, #8, is titled “Negotiation- Basic Principles”

Only 3 things matter- preparation, preparation, preparation. You see, real estate is not the only field with a saying that is redundant! I often incorporate this into many of my trainings and the redundancy really drives home the point of how crucial preparing is. Preparing includes not only for the specific case itself, but in certain situations, like community mediation centers and in some courts, as a mediator, you will not get your case folder until minutes, even seconds, before the case starts. Preparation can still be done here by going over your opening statements and preparing the room and notes.

Try to identify each person’s concerns, goals and priorities. Keep revising these lists. I like to note here the second part- revising. Just because you made list does not mean it cannot be altered. Even Santa checks his list more than once.

The right offer at the wrong time is the wrong offer! Timing is everything. Most times, jumping to offers right away can be the wrong move.

Begin Politely; with clear words. Set the tone and treat others the way you want to be treated. Also, this helps build rapport.

Beware threats unless you intend to carry out the threats. There’s nothing like losing credibility by saying something like, “That’s the offer, if you don’t take it, we’re leaving,” and then not leaving.

If a strategy is used against you, name it (“So is this an ambit claim?”). This is good, but also keep in mind to use it if that is the path you want to go down. Sometimes you do have to call it out, just be prepared for possible responses. Also, note, you can name it will declaring. the example given is done in the form of a question- not a declaration.

If a mistake is made, clarify and apologise immediately. Doing this not only promotes honesty but also helps build rapport.

Take Breaks. Yes, I am known to work long hours (nothing like brainstorming at 3am!) but even I realize the powerful affect a break can have. Sometimes it can be used to just get fresh air, have some tea or coffee or to ease tension.

Don’t react; rather discuss process. I similarly tell myself while preparing, “remember Jeff, respond, not react!”

Identify which goals you must gain; what can be given up. It’s could negotiating for a reason. Odds are you will not get everything you want. Looking at interests can help explore options that you thought might not have been available. Think money disputes and payment plans instead of all at once.

These are only 10 of 27 tips on the card. For more information on this card, or the series of Q Cards, contact the Centre at drc@bond.edu.au
Note: pictured above, from left to right- John Wade, Jeff Thompson and Kiwi Mediation Extraordinaire Geoff Sharpe.
read more "Bond University Q Card Series (1)"

Vote For MediationChannel!



Vote For Mediation Channel Please!

Diane Levin, arugable the best blogger in the ADR field, has been listed in the ABA Blawg 100 of 2009. Please vote for her, apparently they will not give her #1 automatically for some odd reason!

For those who have not visited her site before, you can do so here: www.MediationChannel.com

For those that do frequent her site, you will already know how her site is great and deserves the number one spot.

How do you vote? It's simple, just go to her site [here] and follow the directions. Thank you for helping, and thank you for voting!

read more "Vote For MediationChannel!"

World Mediation & ADR News

BofA: A 'Bad Faith Negotiator' During Mediation?
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pointedly criticized Bank of America today for not doing enough to help Nevada homeowners during the mortgage crisis, warning that the company must bring more resources to the state or face public scrutiny.

...Reid goes on to scold the company for its performance in the state’s new foreclosure mediation program. Of the eight mediations involving B of A since the program was launched this year, seven resulted in the mediator’s conclusion of “bad faith” on the part of the B of A representative, the senator wrote.
[Read More]


Venezuela vs. Colombia: Two leaders seek outside mediation
After bridge explosions, Venezuela's Hugo Chávez and Colombia's Alvaro Uribe agree on one thing: current conflict won't be resolved without outside mediation.

No two leaders in Latin America mistrust each other more than leftist Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez and conservative Colombian President Alvaro Uribe.
The relationship between the Andean presidents, always tense, has been in a down-spiral since Colombia announced a plan in July to grant US troops expanded access to its bases.


And backing down for both men will likely require outside help; many observers say that the two leaders will not be able to come to terms without a third party. "If there was any situation that demands outside help and intervention, it's this one," says Mr. Shifter. "The lack of trust is so deep."
[Read More]

Germany Taps 'Credit Mediator' To Spur Lending
FRANKFURT -- The German government has appointed a "credit mediator" to foster dialogue between banks and small and medium-sized German companies that have insufficient access to credit, Germany's Economics Ministry said Wednesday.
Hans-Joachim Metternich will be based in Frankfurt and companies can apply for mediation starting from March 1. He is currently spokesman for the management of ISB, the Investment and Economic Development Bank of Rhineland-Palatinate.

[Read More]


Mediation An Attractive Option During Hard Times
The Clark County Neighborhood Justice Center has a staff of full-time and volunteer mediators all with one goal in mind — bring people together to resolve disputes in a collaborative rather than an adversarial setting.

But its biggest selling point of all is it’s free. No wonder the number of cases handled by the center has risen by 26 percent over past year.

...Lately, the center has been seeing a lot of cases in which landlords and tenants are at loggerheads.

“It’s more of a level playing field now,” Stromberg says. “In the past there has been a feeling that the landlords hold all the cards. But now it behooves the landlords to works things out with their tenants because they need the business.”
[Read More]
read more "World Mediation & ADR News"

Ombudsman Indicted

Texas Youth Commission ombudsman indicted, accused of trying to slip in contraband

AUSTIN – A felony indictment against the newly appointed Texas Youth Commission ombudsman was unsealed Monday, accusing her of possessing a prohibited item in a prison facility.

Catherine Evans, who was a
Republican district judge in Dallas County until stepping down in 1994, is accused of trying to smuggle contraband – including a knife, a cellphone and prescription drugs – past security officials and into a TYC facility in Crockett, in East Texas.

Houston County District Attorney Donna Kasper confirmed the indictment against Evans, who was appointed by Gov.
Rick Perry in September to investigate complaints and problems involving juveniles who are held at state youth lockups.

Aides to the governor said Evans agreed to resign.

"The office of the ombudsman is an important position for the agency and the youth, and it is clear that Catherine Evans' bad judgment and the indictment have hampered her credibility and effectiveness in this role," Perry press secretary Allison Castle said.

[Read More]
read more "Ombudsman Indicted"

Recent Accomplishments


Recent Notable Accomplishments –
Jeff Thompson

Mediation

Mediated over 70 cases in 2009. Cases include community mediation centers, Manhattan civil court and New York County Lawyers Association.

Trainings

2 day training for security personal in advanced conflict resolution skills.

Designed conflict and communication skills workshop for over 200 NYPD Community Affairs Bureau. officers.

Designed an Interfaith Dialogue and Communication Skills workshop.

Various requests to speak in other states and with other police departments.

Public Talks

CUNY John Jay College- Overview of the Community Affairs Bureau and how communication skills can be utilized in de-escalating situations and promoting community and NYPD relationships.

Cardozo Law School- same as above.

St John’s University- Embracing Diversity in NYC and the NYPD (communication techniques).

Bond University, Australia- Spoke to Graduate students on how effective mediation and negotiation skills can be applied to numerous situations.

Southern Cross University/Centre For Peace & Social Justice, Australia- Public talk on mediating in NYC and as well as policing, cultural issues and communication. [
read more]

Robina Town Centre, Australia- Public talk with the Queensland Police Department on how both the NYPD and QPD both use communication and community engagement to establish relationships with the communities we serve. [
read more]

www.ODR.info’s 2009 Cyber Week Event- Designed and hosted Web 2.0: Going From Oh? To Know! The event featured three top bloggers and the editor of mediate.com sharing their experiences and provided tips on how to use different web technology to help your practice. The event has been archived. [
read more]

Interviews

NBC Nightly News- Interviewed by reporter Tiki barber in regards to the NYPD Cricket Program. View the video [
here]

Interviewed by California author and mediator Steve Mehta. [
read and watch here]

ABC Radio Australia- Interviewed live on radio in regards to the Robina and Southern Cross events.

Additional interviews with (but not limited to) Al Jazera, BBC, BBN3 and the NY Sun.

Published Articles

Article on mediation and communication published in California State Bar Association’s Magazine: Trial Styles.

Published over 60 times at Mediate.com, the leading worldwide website in mediation.

Articles listed at national organization Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR) website.

Article on mediation and communication published in Spring 3100, official NYPD magazine distributed to over 30,000 members.

Featured in an American Bar Association (ABA) law student paper in regards to using communication to peacefully resolve incidents during a protest. [
read here]

New York Law Journal- Featured in an article forthcoming regarding credit card debt mediation cases.

Featured Blog at
mediate.com and International Mediation Institute (IMImediation.org)

Featured In Articles

Newsweek article- Featured in an article regarding the volunteer mediation work I have done with Safe Horizon in New York City Civil Court. [
read here]

Sydney Morning Herald- Feature on the front page of the website in regards to the NYPD Cricket program. [
read here]

Tweed Daily News, Australia

Gold Coast Bulletin, Australia

Werner Institute, School of Law, Creighton University
Newsletter Win-Win (Fall 2009)
read more "Recent Accomplishments"

Popular Posts