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.
April was a bittersweet month for SCMA — a month where, among other things, we celebrated our Past Presidents, but also, sadly, a month that ended with the passing of a longtime andcommitted member of the SCMA community.
On April 4th and April 6th, respectively, the Pasadena and Santa Barbara Professional
Development Groups held their meetings.
On April 14th, I traveled to Sacramento to attend the California Law Review Commission hearing on mediation confidentiality. I had an opportunity to address the Commission on behalf of SCMA and expressed the concerns raised by SCMA members at the recent Town Hall.
Although the Commission did not take any specific action, it does appear as though the Commission is poised to recommend that the legislature revise the Evidence Code with respect to mediation confidentiality when there is a claim of attorney malpractice. The scope and breadth of the Commission’s ultimate recommendation remain to be determined, so I was heartened that others in attendance felt my remarks were well-received.
On April 16th — a spectacularly clear day, with the most gentle breezes and absolutely perfect temperatures — SCMA honored its Past Presidents, as well as its Sustaining Members, at the Second Annual Past President’s Breakfast at the Del Rey Yacht Club. We could not have selected a better venue for such a wonderful celebration. Many thanks to Board Member David Levaton — and his dad! — for helping with the arrangements. Speaking selfishly, I can only hope the Dey Rey Yacht Club becomes the venue for all future Past President’s Breakfasts!
On April 20th and 27th, the San Fernando Valley and Westside Professional Development Groups held their meetings. The Westside PDG meeting was especially noteworthy because four of those in attendance were brand new members attending their first PDG meeting and two others were “not-yet-members” who learned of the meeting by visiting the SCMA website!
On April 28th, the SCMA Education Foundation, along with the Western Justice Center, presented a hugely successful program highlighting Peer Mediation. As Maria Simpson reported, approximately 50 people attended the truly inspirational program! And in the days following the program, at least $500 has already been generated in new contributions to the Education Foundation — an amount which SCMA will match pursuant to its “challenge grant!”
Sadly, April 28th was also the day I learned that longtime member Christine Harwell had lost her battle with cancer. Christine had long been an advocate of mediator certification and served with distinction on SCMA’s Ad Hoc Committee on Voluntary Mediator Certification the past several years. Last summer, Christine expressed to me that she was interested in serving on the Board of Directors, but she later asked that the Nominating Committee withdraw her name from consideration when she became aware of her illness. With her passing, the mediation community in general and SCMA in particular have suffered a tremendous loss.
Christine would not have wanted me to end this month’s message on a somber note. She would have preferred that I look forward to what lies ahead for SCMA, and so I will.
On May 2nd, the Pasadena PDG will be holding its monthly meeting at John Irwin’s office.
On May 7th, SCMA will be an exhibitor at the South Coast Collaborative Professionals (SCCP) Spring Summit and Expo at the Westin South Coast Plaza.
On May 18th, the San Fernando Valley PDG will be holding its monthly meeting at Jim Cameron’s home. On May 19th, SCMA will hold its Annual Employment Mediation Institute at Pepperdine’s West Los Angeles campus, with dinner and networking from 6-7 pm and an outstanding program from 7-9 p.m. The Employment Mediation Institute is always one of SCMA’s most highly-regarded and well-attended programs, so be sure to register if you haven’t already done so.
Looking ahead to June, the South Bay Professional Development Group will be holding its inaugural meeting on June 9th (exact details to follow). Many thanks to Angela Reddock for volunteering to spearhead the effort!
As I mentioned previously, this year’s Summer Mixer — honoring Forest Whitaker as the recipient of the 2015 Cloke-Millen Peacemaker of the Year Award — will be held on August 10 at USC Law School.
And, as I mentioned last month, the 2016 Recipient of the Cloke-Millen Peacemaker Of The Year Award will be the Honorable George J. Mitchell — United States Senate Majority Leader from 1989 – 1995, President Clinton’s United States Special Envoy to Northern Ireland from 1995 – 2001, Recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1999, and President Obama’s United States Special Envoy for Middle East Peace from 2009 – 2011. With Senator Mitchell in mind, the Fall Conference Committee — co-chaired by Jason Harper and Terri Lubaroff — have decided upon the theme for the 28th Annual Fall Conference: “Discourse and Diplomacy: From Interpersonal Conflicts to International Relations.” If you haven’t already done so, make sure to save November 5th for what I’m sure will be one of SCMA’s best conferences ever!
Finally, for those of you who are looking to become more involved in SCMA, I encourage you to consider volunteering to serve on a committee. Whether it be the Membership Committee, the Communications Committee, the Programming Committee, the Public Outreach Committee, the Attorney Outreach Committee, the Mentorship Committee, the Professional Development Group Committee, the By-Laws Revision Committee or the Annual Fall Conference Committee, there is a role for you to play. And it would be a wonderful way to honor the memory of Christine.
I hope to see you at the Employment Mediation Institute on May 19th, if not sooner!
Floyd J. Siegal, President
Southern California Mediation Association
March definitely lived up to its advance billing as another exciting month for SCMA.
On March 19th, more than 60 members attended SCMA’s Town Hall on Mediator Certification and Mediation Confidentiality. In the first half of the program, Jack Goetz and Barbara Brown updated those in attendance on the work and recommendations of their Ad Hoc Committee on Mediator Certification and then led a spirited discussion concerning the benefits that voluntary certification would bring to the mediation community — a discussion which could easily have been extended another 90 minutes! In the second half of the program, Lee Blackman and Phyllis Pollack offered a brief history lesson concerning mediation confidentiality and then moderated an equally spirited discussion concerning possible amendments to the Evidence Code being considered by the California Law Review Commission. Before all was said and done, a three-hour Town Hall had spilled into a fourth hour, and then some!
On March 22nd, the Desert Professional Development Group — led by Richard Lutringer and encompassing Palm Springs, Riverside, San Bernardino and everything in between — held its inaugural meeting, joining the Pasadena, Westside, San Fernando Valley, Orange County and Santa Barbara Professional Development Groups. Next up is the South Bay Professional Development Group, led by Angela Reddock, which hopes to launch in the next month or two!
March 28th – April 1st was the 12th Annual Mediation Awareness Week, and SCMA honored the occasion with daily e-blasts to the mediation community. And on March 30th, President-Elect Jason Harper represented SCMA and was among those who addressed the Los Angeles City Council when the Council issued its annual Mediation Awareness Week proclamation.
April is jam-packed with activity as well.
On April 4th and 6th, respectively, the Pasadena and Santa Barbara Professional Development Groups will be holding their meetings. On April 14th, I will be traveling to Sacramento to address the California Law Review Commission on behalf of SCMA. On April 16th, SCMA will honor its Past Presidents, as well as its Sustaining Members, at the Second Annual Past President’s Breakfast at the Del Rey Yacht Club. On April 20th and 27th, the San Fernando Valley and Westside Professional Development Groups, respectively, will be holding their next meetings, and on April 28th, the SCMA Education Foundation, along with the Western Justice Center, will be presenting a program that highlights Peer Mediation.
Looking ahead, the annual Employment Institute is scheduled for May 19th and additional programming will be announced shortly for the month of June.
And, as I noted last month, Forest Whitaker — recipient of the 2015 Cloke-Millen Peacemaker of the Year Award — has confirmed he will attend SCMA’s Summer Mixer on August 10, 2016 to formally receive the award. I am delighted to announce that the Summer Mixer will be held at Mr. Whitaker’s alma mater — USC — in the law school’s fourth floor Faculty Lounge and the adjoining patio which overlooks the nearby museums and portions of the campus.
Finally, as I first revealed to those who attended last month’s Town Hall, it is my privilege and honor to announce that the 2016 Recipient of the Cloke-Millen Peacemaker Of The Year Award will be the Honorable George J. Mitchell — United States Senate Majority Leader from 1989 – 1995, President Clinton’s United States Special Envoy to Northern Ireland from 1995 – 2001, Recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1999, and President Obama’s United States Special Envoy for Middle East Peace from 2009 – 2011. The award will be presented to Senator Mitchell at the 2016 Annual Conference on November 5, 2016 — three days before this year’s Presidential Election. I guarantee this is one event you will not want to miss.
I look forward to seeing many of you at the Past President’s Breakfast on April 16th!
Floyd Siegal, President
Southern California Mediation Association
On February 20th, Mark, Baer, Len Levy and Terra Russell Slavin presented their compelling workshop “Equal Rights for the LGBT Community: The Last Frontier of the Civil Rights Movement,” followed by an equally important workshop “Critical Race Theory: Introduction to the Genre, Intellectual Influences and Emerging Issues,” with Kim Clark, Lucy Jewel and Andrea Smith. My thanks to each of the panelists, who graciously gave up their Saturday morning in order to give 30 of us a second opportunity to attend these two highly praised workshops from last year’s Annual Conference!
Four days later, 24 mediators filled the large conference room at the Conflict Solutions Center (CSC) in Santa Barbara for the inaugural meeting of the Santa Barbara Professional Development Group. My thanks to Sayre McNeil, Cindy Brokaw and Harriet Causin for their amazing efforts to promote the group, and to Lizzie Rodriguez, of CSC, for offering to host the meeting!
And the month of March promises to be equally exciting!
On March 2nd, March 7th and March 16th, respectively, the Westside, Pasadena and San Fernando Valley Professional Development Groups will be holding their meetings.
On March 19th, SCMA will be hosting a Town Hall to discuss Mediator Certification and Mediation Confidentiality. First, Jack Goetz and Barbara Brown will provide an update concerning the work and recommendations of their Ad Hoc Committee on Mediator Certification, after which Lee Blackman and Phyllis Pollack will moderate a discussion concerning potential changes to the Evidence Code with respect to mediation confidentiality that are being considered by the California Law Review Commission. This is one event you won’t want to miss!
Mediation Awareness Week begins on March 28th, and President-Elect Jason Harper will be representing SCMA and addressing the Los Angeles City Council on March 30th, when the Council issues its annual Mediation Awareness Week proclamation.
Looking ahead, SCMA’s Second Annual Past President’s Breakfast is coming up on April 16th, and we are beginning to work on SCMA’s Annual Employment Institute and other programing for this spring and summer.
Finally, I am excited to announce that Forest Whitaker — recipient of the 2015 Cloke-Millen Peacemaker of the Year Award — has confirmed he will be able to attend SCMA’s Summer Mixer on August 10, 2016 to formally receive the award. More details to follow!
Looking forward to seeing all of you at the Town Hall on March 19th!
Floyd Siegal, President
Southern California Mediation Association