Mediators of Southern California
Dear LA Mediators,
Last Friday, I helped participate at the 20th annual Orange County Mediation “Achieving Excellence” Conference” in Tustin. This was my second year attending this wonderful event. The committee was honored by the Orange County Board of Supervisors and the Board dedicated the second week of every March to Mediation in Orange County. On top of the many informative ADR workshops and the hundreds of attendees and judges who spoke, my memorable moment was spent listening to key note speaker “Doug Noll”
Doug spoke on how to make a difference in the world as a peacemaker. Before he ended his presentation, he mentioned that he was now the President of California Dispute Resolution Council “DCRC”. Then he reflected his concerns with AB2025. He shared an article written by Paul Dubow called “Don’t throw out the Baby with the Cassel Bathwater” Then he shared his own article titled “ California Mediation Confidentiality Under Attack Again” both of these articles can be found on http://www.cdrc.net/2012/02/05/california-mediation-confidentiality...
He was very passionate about how the proposed change to the mediation confidentiality statute is deeply troubling for several reasons. First, what is the limit of the exception? Will clients or lawyers be entitled in fairness to discover and offer evidence of other witnesses in order to buttress their side of a “he said-she said” dispute, thereby effectively eliminating mediation confidentiality if legal malpractice is alleged? Second, despite Evidence Code section 703.5 making mediators incompetent to testify, should mediators bear the cost of retaining counsel, fighting subpoenas, and defending against clearly impermissible attempts to compel their testimony? Finally, where is the empirical data that shows a compelling need to disclose conversations when measured against the thousands of mediations that occur yearly in California? In other words, is this not a solution in search of a problem that is not significant enough to warrant a major departure from long standing California public policy?
He invited everyone to visit the CDRC website and click on his article and take the 5 minute survey. Also, you can e-mail Doug directly to share your thoughts and concerns regarding the Cassel fallout at Pres@cdrc.net
I welcome you to share your thoughts and concerns by posting your comments below in the “comment box” and for those of you that would like to participate in another LA Mediators “Main Room” meeting forum from the convenience of your own office or home I can schedule another open forum participation at the end of the week here on the ning site. This would be our topic. I can invite Doug to join in too. It is a convenient way to have an open private “ning main room” conversation between the LA Mediators members without having to travel. If you are interested just comment below, and if enough of you want to participate I will set it up.
Lastly, mark your calendars for our next LA Mediators’ meeting: When Tuesday April 24th- 6:00-8:30 PM at Wendy Kramer’s beautiful Santa Monica office. Our speakers will be Sean Judge and Julius Grush speaking on “Overcoming Mediation Confidentiality” More details to follow.
As always, I wish everyone much success in your mediations and all the happiness to follow!