I would like to send a huge thank you to all of you who attended the jam-packed month of events in May for the SCMA. From the Peer Mediation Celebration, to the Past President’s Breakfast, to the Cultural Intelligence event, I hope you got as much out of our programming as I did! In the month of May, the SCMA has had programming in Downtown Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and the city of Orange. Moving forward, I look to have more events in areas more accessible to our entire membership, in addition to webinars that will allow you to attend an event without leaving your own home or office.
I would also like to take the time to commend all the Professional Development Groups (PDG) in SCMA, particularly our PDG leaders. Mediation can be a lonely profession and it is a wonderful resource to be able to gather with like-minded mediators in your area and talk about interesting cases, share marketing strategies, and even gain some new friends. Please look out for a PDG in your area and be a part of the growing mediation community. And if you don’t see a PDG in your area, create one! Please see our website for more information on PDG’s.
On June 20, we will have the Employment Mediation Institute at the Pepperdine University, West LA campus. Join us as we discuss the evolving employment law landscape, along with practical implications and applications for practitioners and mediators. This event is co-sponsored by the law firm Atkinson, Adelson, Loya, Ruud, and Romo as well the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution and we thank them all for their support. (Register Here: https://www.scmediation.org/scma-calendar/npe-events/?eid=1151)
We are one month closer to our 29th Annual SCMA Fall Conference! As I said last month, I am pleased to announce that William Ury, co-author of the book “Getting to Yes”, will be the recipient of our Cloke-Millen Peacemaker Award and will be delivering the keynote speech at the conference! The SCMA Fall Conference will be held at the L.A. Hotel Downtown in Los Angeles on October 20 and 21, 2017. More information regarding RFP’s, hotel stays, and registration pricing here: https://www.scmediation.org/conference-2017/
As we head into the summer months, I would be remiss if I didn’t congratulate the new graduates of mediation and dispute resolution programs at the various community centers, colleges, and universities in California. I hope this is the beginning of a fruitful life and work as a peacemaker. We need you all now more than ever.
Have a great summer and I look forward to seeing you at our next event.
This has been an amazing past few weeks for SCMA. First, I’d like to thank Dan Ben-Zvi for his program for our membership during Mediation Awareness Week. It was highly informative and received rave reviews. Also, congratulations are in order to the SCMA Education Foundation for reaching the challenge grant of $1,000 set by the SCMA! Even though this grant campaign has ended, it is always a good time to donate to the SCMA-EF for their contributions to peer mediation programs in middle schools and high schools in Southern California.
April also saw some great news pertaining to the SCMA Fall Conference. I am pleased to announce that William Ury, co-author of the book “Getting to Yes”, will be the recipient of our Cloke-Millen Peacemaker Award and will be delivering the keynote speech at the conference! The SCMA Fall Conference will be held at the L.A. Hotel Downtown in Los Angeles on October 20 and 21, 2017. More information and Early Bird Registration is now open here: https://www.scmediation.org/conference-2017/
May promises to be a jam-packed month for SCMA! We have 4 major events taking place this month and they all promise to be something you don’t want to m
May 4: Our 5th Annual Celebration of Peer Mediation Programs
Come and support peer mediation programs in middle and high schools! This event will take place at the Galen Center at USC from 6-8pm. Entry, parking, and dinner is provided free of charge thanks to the USC Good Neighbors Program and the Institute for Nonviolence in Los Angeles.
Join us as we discuss the evolving employment law landscape, along with practical implications and applications for practitioners and mediators. This event is taking place at the Pepperdine West LA campus. This event is co-sponsored by the law firm Atkinson, Adelson, Loya, Ruud, and Romero as well the Strauss Institute for Dispute Resolution.
Dr. Michele Villagran will be discussing how we can develop skills to effectively handle cultural barriers that you face in your position. This event will take place at Chapman University in the city of Orange from 6-8pm.
I look forward to seeing you at our next event.
Jason A. Harper, President
Southern California Mediation Association
It feels like the year is flying by already! I would first like to thank Phyllis Pollack and Lee Blackman for their highly informative program on Feburary 11 where they highlighted the latest updates regarding mediator confidentiality from the California Law Review Commission. I look forward to any update they will provide moving forward.
I would also like to let you all know that the SCMA has issued our 3rd annual challenge grant to the SCMA Education Foundation (SCMA-EF). The SCMA-EF is the charitable arm of the SCMA and their work centers on supporting Peer Mediation programs and the students who serve as mediators. Please go to www.scmaedfoundation.org for more information. If you act now, the SCMA will double your donation up to $1,000!
March looks to be another great month for SCMA. As you all know, Mediation Awareness Week begins on March 27 and we have a couple of noteworthy events planned. On March 29, there will be a special event at LA City Hall where the leaders of plaintiffs’ and defense attorney bars, the City Attorney, and a host of others will speak with the LA City Council on the importance of mediation in our community. Among the speakers present that day will be our own President-Elect, Dr. Jack Goetz, who will receive a Certificate of Commendation on behalf of SCMA. On the following night of March 30, Dan Ben-Zvi will present a program titled “Cutting Edge Mediation and Ethics” at the Santa Monica Doubletree Hotel. Please go to our website for more information on what promises to be a great program.
As the hub of the Southern California mediation community, the SCMA is very excited to celebrate Mediation Awareness Week. Mediation is often referred to as an “alternative” form of dispute resolution, but the fact is that more disputes are resolved by way of mediation than by court proceedings and arbitration combined. Despite that fact, mediation remains the least known and the most misunderstood form of dispute resolution by the public at-large.
Mediation Awareness Week provides an opportunity to educate the public about the value of mediation and the many quality mediation services that are available in Southern California. Our goal during Mediation Awareness Week is to remind the public that there is another way. In disputes ranging from neighbor issues, to personal injury, to special education services for children with special needs, we need to let people know that conflict is inevitable, but combat is a choice.
I am extremely excited for what 2017 has to offer for the members of the Southern California Mediation Association. There are several events and programs that will serve the mediation community in a variety of areas. The first opportunity is on February 11 at USC where we will provide a program on the latest updates regarding mediator confidentiality from the California Law Review Commission. In addition to that, please be on the lookout for events on cultural intelligence, mediator ethics, diversity in alternative dispute resolution, employment mediation, collaborative family mediation, and much more! In addition to all that, we will continue the tradition of honoring our past presidents at the breakfast held in April.
Before I go any further, I would like to acknowledge the amazing Board Of Directors that is helping to serve the membership of this great organization. President-Elect Jack Goetz has already become an invaluable resource to me personally and to the rest of the Board Of Directors. I am excited to see what is in store for the association during his term as President. He is serving as an advisor for the annual Conference committee and I have very high hopes for that impressive team. Leslie Kushner has agreed to serve as Secretary and I am very appreciative of her contributions while she is continuing to lead the Outreach committee with Bill Molfetta. Noah Stein has volunteered to serve as Treasurer in place of Stephane Maloney who served the association extremely well for so many years and we thank her for her service. Lee Blackman will continue leading the Communications committee and I appreciate the efforts he puts in to making the SCMA website the best it can be. John Irwin and Jim Cameron are leading our Membership committee and I am excited to see what they bring to our current and future members. A special thank you goes to David Levaton for continuing to lead the Mentorship program, which is one of the most important member benefits we have here at SCMA. Finally, Mark Lewis will continue to serve as Coordinator of Professional Development Groups, or PDG’s as we call them. His level of enthusiasm remains unmatched as he helps our members create new PDG’s in their geographic areas of residence or practice.
The people that were mentioned as leaders of the different aspects of the association are great, but what makes these committees work best is when we have members that are working with them. I encourage you all to consider joining a committee. In doing so, you are helping to further the association and the mediation community.
Finally, it is important to continue the tradition of accessibility that our past President, Floyd Siegal, began. With that in mind, I invite you reach out to me at any time – email@example.com/562-225-9958 – to let me know how we are doing, what we’re doing right, and what we could be doing better.
If I don’t see you at a PDG meeting, I look forward to seeing you at the next SCMA program.
Jason A. Harper, President
Southern California Mediation Association
This is my final message as president of SCMA and I would be remiss if I didn’t begin by thanking all of you for your support, encouragement and friendship this past year.
Serving as president of SCMA presents a unique set of challenges because the membership is spread across such a large geographical swath and comes from such diverse backgrounds. When my term as president began, I had one overarching objective — to bring SCMA closer together as a community.
With the help of a truly committed Board of Directors, I think we were largely successful in achieving that goal through a variety of initiatives: we began scheduling some programs on Saturday mornings and/or at locations that were more centrally located and readily accessible; we encouraged and modeled greater use of the listserv; and, most importantly, we expanded the number and reach of SCMA’s Professional Development Groups (PDG).
Credit for the latter belongs to the efforts and enthusiasm of Mark Lewis, chair of the PDG Committee, who, in addition to leading the Westside group, assembled an outstanding cadre of PDG leaders: Jim Cameron in Encino, Susie North and John Irwin in Pasadena, Angela Reddock-Wright in the South Bay, Sayre Macneil and Cindy Brokaw in Santa Barbara, and Richard Lutringer in Palm Springs. And now, thanks to SCMA Board members Dale Ordas and Ana Sambold — both of whom hail from the San Diego area — SCMA is poised to further expand its PDG presence to the south in the coming months!
If that was all we had accomplished this past year, I would have considered the term a success. By every other metric, however, this Board has found ways to exceed all of our expectations.
Financially, we project that SCMA will end the year with more cash on hand than ever before, thanks to the efforts of those who helped secure sponsors for this year’s Annual Conference. Compared to previous years, we more than tripled the amount raised in sponsorships this year, far surpassing even our most optimistic predictions.
Speaking of finances, SCMA owes a debt of gratitude to Stephanie Maloney, who is stepping down from the Board after having served as the organization’s treasurer for the past six years. Stephanie, thank you for your years of service to SCMA. You will be missed!
SCMA’s Membership Committee was also enormously successful this past year, thanks to cochairs Wendy Forrester and Jack Goetz. As a result of their vision, creativity and determination, SCMA has added nearly 100 new members since the start of the year!
Kudos, as well, to Victoria Gray and Lee Blackman, who, as co-chairs of SCMA’s Communications Committee this past year, made significant improvements to SCMA’s website, recommended ways to increase SCMA’s social media presence, and kept the membership informed about issues — such as mediation confidentiality — critical to the profession.
Wendy and Victoria are also stepping down from the Board after many years of service to SCMA and, like Stephanie, will also be hugely missed.
SCMA’s Mentorship Program continues to garner glowing reviews from members who have completed the program, thanks to the invaluable contributions of chairperson David Levaton and all those who have graciously offered shadowing opportunities to the mentees.
SCMA’s Outreach Committee deserves accolades for a number of laudable accomplishments this past year. The Public Outreach subcommittee, led by Leslie Kushner with incredible support from Susie North, Gayle Glazer, Marvin Whistler, Maria Simpson, Marie Stein, Richard Hamlin and Alik Segal, produced one PSA video that has already been widely shared on social media, and has another one currently in production. It also designed and disseminated an informational brochure explaining the benefits of mediation. Finally, it has just embarked on an exciting project to create an SCMA Speaker’s Bureau. In addition, the Attorney Outreach subcommittee, chaired by Bill Molfetta, presented a well-attended program to the Desert Bar Association in September.
SCMA’s Programming Committee, chaired by Incoming President Jason Harper, offered an array of outstanding programs this past year including, for the first time, repeat performances of three highly-touted workshops from last year’s Conference: “Lying for the Sake of the Deal,” “Equal Rights for the LGBT Community,” and “Critical Race Theory.” In March, SCMA drew a huge turnout for a Town Hall on two hot-button topics: mediator certification and mediation confidentiality. In April, SCMA hosted its Second Annual Past President’s Breakfast at the Del Rey Yacht Club. In May, SCMA held its annual Employment Mediation Institute at Pepperdine’s West Los Angeles campus. In August, SCMA filled the Faculty Lounge at USC Law School for our Summer Soiree, where we honored Forest Whitaker with the 2015 Cloke-Millen Peacemaker of the Year Award. And just three weeks ago, SCMA hosted its 4th Annual Celebration of Peer Mediation, with more than 100 in attendance!
Speaking of peer mediation, earlier this year the SCMA Education Foundation — which is the charitable and educational arm of SCMA — received a $10,000 grant from the Judicate West Foundation to support the development of peer mediation programs. Congratulations to SCMAEF President Maria Simpson and the entire SCMA-EF Board for all of your successes this year!
My term as president culminates with SCMA’s 28th Annual Fall Conference. Conference chairs Jason Harper and Terri Lubaroff, with the help of committee members Terri Breer, Wendy Forrester and Maurice Attie, have devoted countless hours, putting together what promises to be one of SCMA’s most memorable conferences ever. Beginning with presentation of the 2016 Cloke-Millen Peacemaker of the Year Award to Senator George J. Mitchell and ending with a powerful closing plenary session featuring Franky Carrillo and Dr. Betty Gilmore, with a variety of thought-provoking workshops in between, this year’s Conference will leave you more inspired than ever with an even greater commitment to mediation and peacemaking.
None of what we achieved this past year would have been possible without the dedication of SCMA’s Executive Director Anne Sawyer, who each and every day is called upon to wear a variety of hats. Thank you, Anne, for confronting each day’s new challenge with patience, grace and a ready smile.
Last, but not least, my sincere thanks to the triumvirate of immediate Past Presidents — Robyn Weinstein, Joe Markowitz and Wendy Kramer — who refused to take “no” for an answer back in the summer of 2014. Without your persistence — and gentle persuasion — I would have walked away from a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: the chance to serve SCMA as its president these past twelve months. I am truly grateful for your friendship and your sage advice.
And now the time has come to pass the baton to Jason. Having worked side-by-side with him this past year, I know that SCMA could not be in better hands. With Jason at the helm, Jack by his side, and the support of the outstanding Board of Directors elected to serve with them, I can’t wait to see what lies ahead for SCMA. With deep appreciation . . .
Floyd J. Siegal, President
Southern California Mediation Association
SCMA has presented some truly exceptional programs this year, but none more inspiring than the final two programs of 2016.
On Thursday, October 13th, SCMA will host the Fourth Annual Celebration of Peer Mediation, from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m., in the Founder’s Room at USC’s Galen Center, 3400 S. Figueroa Street. This is not just a program “about” peer mediation; it is a program actually presented BY peer mediators — middle school and high-school students trained in the art of mediation. The stories they tell will bring a smile to your face and quite possibly a tear to your eye.
If you want to experience the full promise of mediation, please join us for this special evening. There is no cost to attend, dinner is provided and parking is free! Register Here!
Three weeks later, on Saturday, November 5th, SCMA will host it’s 28th Annual Conference at Pepperdine University School of Law. With an opening plenary session that features the presentation of the 2016 Cloke-Millen Peacemaker of the Year Award to Senator George Mitchell, a closing plenary session that features Franky Carrillo (wrongfully convicted of murder at the age of 16 and imprisoned for 20 years before being exonerated) and Dr. Betty Gilmore (co-author of “The Darkest Hour: Shedding Light on the Impact of Isolation and Death Row in Texas Prisons” and recipient of this year’s L. Randolph Lowry Award), and a smorgasbord of outstanding workshops in between, this year’s Conference promises to be one of SCMA’s most memorable!
Early-bird rates ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY end this Saturday, October 7th. If you haven’t registered yet, you only have a few more days to do so and save!! Register Here!
And with the money you save, you may want to consider joining us for the Kick-Off Reception and Dinner on Friday, November 4th, at the Huntley Santa Monica Beach Hotel. The dinner will include installation of next year’s President, President-Elect and newly elected Board members; presentation of the SCMA President’s Awards; presentation of the Lowry Award to Dr. Gilmore; and presentation of the SCMA-EF Annual Director’s Award to John Hass. Space is limited and early-bird rates for the Reception and Dinner end on October 15th. Register Here!
I look forward to seeing you at one, two or all three of these very special events!
“The event was amazing — and very thought provoking! I had no idea that Forest Whitaker was so involved with programs like that. And it was threaded beautifully with the concept of mediators as peacemakers. One of the best I’ve ever seen.”
Those are the words of Stephen Weaver, President-Elect of the Santa Monica Bar Association, one of the nearly 100 members and non-members who joined us for SCMA’s Summer Soiree last month.
Those who were able to attend already know that Stephen described the evening perfectly! And for those who weren’t able to be there, here is a link to video from the event:
In addition to the Summer Soiree, August was another great month for SCMA’s Professional Development Groups, with Pasadena, San Fernando Valley and South Bay all holding terriﬁc meetings.
If you still haven’t been to a Professional Development Group (PDG) meeting, there are a number of opportunities coming up in September:
On September 12th, the Pasadena PDG will meet at John Irwin’s new ofﬁce in Pasadena.
On September 13th, the Westside PDG will meet at Wendy Kramer’s home in Santa Monica.
On September 21st, the San Fernando Valley PDG will meet at Jim Cameron’s home in Encino.
On September 27th, the South Bay PDG will meet at Curt Surl’s ofﬁce in El Segundo.
And that’s not all that’s happening in September!
On September 15th, ballots will go out for next year’s Board of Directors and President-Elect. We anticipate there will be more candidates than openings, so please be sure to vote!
On September 16th, SCMA’s Attorney Outreach committee will be presenting a luncheon seminar in conjunction with the Desert Bar Association. Titled “Tips for a Successful Mediation,” the program is from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., at the Classic Cub in Palm Desert. Kudos to Bill Molfetta and Richard Lutringer for coordinating the event on behalf of SCMA.
Looking ahead to October, the San Diego PDG is planning a marketing program for October 6th. More details to follow in the coming weeks!
And be sure to hold the date of October 13th for SCMA’s 4th Annual Peer Mediation Program, from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at USC’s Galen Center. This year, like last, a group of student mediators will describe the impact that peer mediation programs have had on them and their classmates.
Finally, the schedule of workshops for SCMA’s 28th Annual Fall Conference on November 5th will be announced shortly, but I guarantee you will not want to miss the closing plenary session.
Titled “The Power of Forgiveness and Compassion,” the closing plenary session will feature Franky Carrillo, who, at the age of 16, was convicted of a murder he did not commit. After spending 20 years in prison, he was exonerated with the help of the Northern California Innocence Project. I have heard Franky tell his story, and it is mesmerizing and inspirational! Franky will be joined by Professor Betty Gimore, director of the Center for Dispute Resolution at Southern Methodist University and co-author of “The Darkest Hour: Shedding Light on the Impact of Isolation and Death Row in Texas Prisons.”
Given that the opening plenary session will feature presentation of the 2016 Cloke-Millen Peacemaker of the Year Award to the Senator George Mitchell, this is one conference you will want to attend from start to ﬁnish!
Early bird registration ends earlier than usual, so be sure to register in the next 30 days to take advantage of the reduced rates! To register, click here:
This past month showed the true promise and potential of SCMA’s Professional Development Groups!
At the Pasadena PDG meeting on July 11th, Noah Stein shared his recent experience attending the third annual World Mediation Summit in Madrid, where he was one of the panelists for a workshop titled “Designing Our Destiny.”
At the South Bay PDG meeting on July 12th, a dozen or more members of SCMA — including Past President Phyllis Pollack — described how they began their mediation practices and discussed the marketing ideas they are currently using to promote themselves.
At the San Fernando Valley PDG meeting on July 20th, SCMA Past Presidents Jan Schau and Myer Sankary offered keen insights regarding a variety of marketing strategies to a full house at Jim Cameron’s home in Encino.
And at the Santa Barbara PDG meeting on July 27th, Lee Jay Berman, Judge Frank Ochoa and Heather Reed presented an inspiring two-hour program about marketing, which we hope to replicate in one or more locations in the coming months. A huge shoutout to Sayre Macneil and Cindy Brokaw for their tireless work putting together the Santa Barbara program on fairly short notice!
Upcoming PDG meetings include:
August 1st — Pasadena PDG, at the office of John Irwin
August 17th — San Fernando PDG, at the home of Jim Cameron
August 23rd — South Bay PDG, at the office of Curt Surls
Sept.13th — Westside PDG, at the home of Wendy Kramer
The event of the summer — SCMA’s Summer Soiree, featuring presentation of the 2015 Cloke-Millen Peacemaker of the Year Award to Forest Whitaker — is right around the corner! If you haven’t yet registered, please note that early bird pricing ends this Friday, August 5th. And if you haven’t already heard the exciting news, Ken Cloke himself will be there to present the award that bears his name!! So please join us on August 10th, from 6-8 p.m., in the faculty lounge at the USC Gould School of Law!
Finally, as hard as it is for me to believe, the time has already come for me to issue a call for candidates for the 2016-2017 SCMA Board of Directors. Anyone who has been a member of SCMA for one year prior to commencement of their term is eligible to run for one of the 5 open seats on next year’s Board. If you would like to have your name placed in nomination, please notify current SCMA Secretary Jack Goetz — in writing — no later than 4:00 p.m. on Friday, August 26th. Jack can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to learn more about the benefits of serving on SCMA’s Board of Directors, just give me a call!
I hope to see you at the Soiree!!
Floyd J. Siegal, President
Southern California Mediation Association
I’m delighted to begin my message this month with some genuinely exciting news. Last week,the SCMA Education Foundation (“SCMA-EF ”) was awarded a $10,000 grant to support the development of Peer Mediation Programs in local middle schools and high schools!! The grant, generously awarded by the Judicate West Foundation, will enable SCMA-EF to continue — and expand — its invaluable work in this important area. Congratulations to SCMA-EF President Maria Simpson and the entire SCMA-EF Board for this wonderful achievement!!
For those who may not be aware, SCMA-EF is the charitable and educational arm of SCMA. Established in 2007 as an independent 501(c)(3) organization, SCMA-EF complements the work of SCMA by, among other things, providing financial support to organizations that offer mediation training and mediation services to the public. SCMA-EF seeks “to build a more peaceful society by having the benefits of mediation so clearly understood by the public that it becomes the preferred conflict resolution process for disputes at work, at home, in school, and in the community.” Toward that end, SCMA-EF supports “projects that educate the public about mediation and teach mediation skills, beginning at an early age with school peer mediation programs, and continuing with high-quality community mediation services.”
The grant from the Judicate West Foundation might not have been possible but for the
generosity of SCMA members and others who have contributed to SCMA-EF throughout the past year, especially during SCMA’s recent Challenge Grant. By showing that it has the ongoing and enthusiastic support of SCMA and the rest of the mediation community, SCMA-EF was able to establish that it would be a worthy recipient of the grant. Many thanks to Darrell Forgey, President of the Judicate West Foundation, and the other members of the Judicate West Foundation Board of Directors for recognizing and supporting the exceptional work of SCMA-EF.
I hope you will continue to support SCMA-EF in the coming months. Every contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference. Donations can be made at www.scmaedfoundation.org.
In other SCMA news, the Santa Barbara Professional Development Group is planning a special program for the evening of July 27th. Although the specific details are still being worked out, including the exact time and location, the program will feature a timely discussion on marketing led by Lee Jay Berman, with the possibility of additional panel members as well. The program will be open to all SCMA members, and others, so be sure to mark the date on your calendar if you live or work in Santa Barbara, Ventura County or the San Fernando Valley, or simply wouldn’t mind taking a drive along the coast to beautiful Santa Barbara for a terrific program.
Other Professional Development Group meetings in July include: Pasadena (July 11), South Bay (July 12) and San Fernando Valley (July 20). For those who still haven’t been to a Professional Development Group meeting, many members believe it may be the single most valuable benefit of membership in SCMA!
Speaking of member benefits, Early-Bird Registration for the 2016 Annual Fall Conference is now open — earlier than ever because of the unprecedented interest in seeing and hearing Senator George Mitchell! And for those interested in presenting a workshop at the Conference, the deadline for submitting a response to the RFP has been extended to July 15th.
Finally, for those who haven’t already done so, be sure to register for SCMA’s Summer Soiree, honoring Forest Whitaker, on August 10th, from 6:00-8:00 pm, at the USC Gould School of Law! We are expecting a full-house!! With the expansion of the Expo Line to Santa Monica, it is now easier than ever to get to USC from virtually anywhere in the greater Los Angeles area. No need to worry about rush-hour traffic or parking — the Expo line stops directly across from the USC campus and is a 5 minute walk to the law school. Public transportation in L.A. has never been better nor more accessible!! For more information, visit www.metro.net/riding/maps.
Wishing everyone a happy 4th of July!!
Floyd J. Siegal, President
Southern California Mediation Association
As I reach the midpoint of my term as President of SCMA, I can’t believe how quickly the first six months have flown by — nor how much we’ve been able to pack into those first six months!
On May 19th, SCMA added to the list with its annual Employment Mediation Institute — traditionally the most well-attended program of the year other than the Fall Conference, and this year’s program was no exception! Close to fifty people — several from as far away as San Diego — gathered at Pepperdine’s West Los Angeles campus for dinner, networking and an outstanding two-hour program. Kudos to Angela Reddock for coordinating the panel and moderating the program; Ann Kotlarski and Curt Surls for presenting the perspectives of defendant’s counsel and plaintiff’s counsel with such wisdom, practical insights and humor; John McDowell, who was originally scheduled to represent the mediator’s perspective but was unable to attend because of a death in the family, for his invaluable contributions; and especially Steve Paul, who so ably filled in for John on short notice!
Looking ahead to June and beyond:
On June 6th, the Pasadena Professional Development Group will hold its monthly meeting at John Irwin’s office, 70 S. Lake Ave, Suite 1000, in Pasadena.
On June 9th, the South Bay Professional Development Group will hold its inaugural meeting, at the law offices of Curt Surls, 1500 Rosecrans, Suite 500, in Manhattan Beach. Many thanks to Angela Reddock for spearheading the effort and to Curt for offering to host!
On June 11th, SCMA will be repeating another terrific program from last year’s Fall Conference — “Mediator Self Care.” Join moderator Maurice Attie and presenters Arezou Kohan and Simon Fox for an interactive workshop on the best ways to optimize your own health and well-being while doing the important work of a peacemaker. The program is from 10-12 at USC Gould School of Law.
On June 16th, the San Fernando Valley Professional Development Group will hold its monthly meeting at the home of Jim Cameron, 17605 Tarzana Street, in Encino.
For those interested in presenting a workshop at this year’s Fall Conference, June 24th is the deadline for submitting a response to the Request for Proposals. As I noted last month, the theme of this year’s Conference is “Discourse and Diplomacy: From Interpersonal Conflicts to International Relations.”
On June 28th, the Westside Professional Development Group will hold its regular meeting at the home of Wendy Kramer, 225 19th Street in Santa Monica.
In late July, the Santa Barbara Professional Development Group is hoping to present a marketing seminar, featuring Lee Jay Berman of AIM. More details to follow!
And don’t forget to save August 10th for SCMA’s Summer Soiree, at the USC Gould School of Law Faculty Lounge, honoring Forest Whitaker as the recipient of the 2015 Cloke-Millen Peacemaker of the Year Award!
Finally, as I noted last month, I hope many of you will consider becoming more involved in SCMA by volunteering to serve on a committee.