Springtime brings new growth, awakening and change. As you have likely heard, exciting changes are happening at SCMA this spring, including the formation of an SCMA Mediation Program to assist litigants who formerly had access to the LA Superior Court ADR program. The LA Superior Court ADR program has officially notified the public that the entire ADR department is shutting down by the end of June. No new cases will be referred to mediation after March 10. All current cases are required to be set for hearings by May 10, 2013. We have been asked to remind panel members to cooperate with ADR administrators in helping close all open files by the end of June, which is important for reporting purposes. Follow their directions, do not argue, and please be kind, courteous and sympathetic to the court’s ADR staff, as many of them face an uncertain future.
SCMA has already committed to help the public, the court, and our members in transitioning to a new era of private mediation. We are announcing the formation of our own directory of SCMA members who will continue to provide mediation services for court cases, and we invite members of the court mediation panels to join SCMA so that they can be part of this exciting new program. We are in the process of upgrading the SCMA website so that litigants will be able to select a mediator by various relevant criteria. At least through the end of 2013, we do not intend to impose any administrative fees for public use of SCMA services in assisting litigants in selecting a mediator. We also plan to charge no fees for SCMA members who meet the qualifications for listing on the directory through December 31, 2013. Qualifications will likely be similar to those currently required for the court panels, so that users will be assured that anyone selected from the SCMA directory will have a minimum level of training. We are very excited about this program and hope that members will help us spread the word about its availability.
We are also very excited about SCMA’s upcoming programming. On Friday, March 22, 2013 SCMA is presenting a half-day institute entitled “Inside the Mind of a Mediator” featuring Professor Lela P. Love, co-author of “Stories Mediators Tell.” There are lively SCMA study groups meeting regularly in Pasadena, Santa Monica and Orange County. In April, former SCMA President, Jan Schau, will present topics from her new book “View From the Middle of the Road: A Mediator’s Perspective on Life, Conflict and Human Interaction.” Also being planned are Real Estate, Family Law and Employment Institutes, a Practice Building Event, SCMA’s Summer Soiree, the 25th Annual SCMA Conference on November 2, 2013, and December’s Holiday Party.
If you have not already renewed your membership, you can still do so at the early bird discounted rate of $195 which has been extended through March 31, 2013.
We will continue to put our best foot forward as we embrace a springtime full of opportunities for growth and new challenges! I hope to see you soon at an upcoming program.
As we begin 2013, exciting things are happening at SCMA and we want you to be a part of it! The planning is already underway for a number of creative and informative programs and events throughout the coming year. Many of us begin the New Year with a list of resolutions. I’d like to suggest that SCMA be added to your list.
Resolve to take an active part in SCMA. The rewards are numerous as we gather together and form new friendships and professional relationships in study groups; at professional development seminars; committee meetings; employment, real estate and family law institutes; networking/social events; and what will be our 25th Annual Conference on November 2, 2013.
Resolve toattend SCMA programs. Two meetings are already scheduled for January, the Town Hall meeting regarding the possible end of the LASC Superior Court ADR Program on Tuesday, 1/15/13, and the first Professional Development Seminar entitled “The Seven Deadly Sins of Networking” on Thursday, 1/31/13.
Resolve toattend or host a study group. It’s a great way to develop professionally and meet like-minded people in your area.
Resolve tojoin an SCMA committee (i.e., Membership, Communications, Programs, Organizational Outreach, Ad Hoc Committee on Mediator Certification) for more details click here!
Resolve toupdate your profile on the Find a Mediator Tab on the SCMA Website if you are a member, or create one if you join.
Resolve to participate in SCMA’s mentorship program. This program provides an incredible opportunity to be mentored one-on-one by an established mediator.
Our organization is filled with the buzz of excitement and new ideas. Many of the programs and opportunities are available to members only, so join SCMA and take advantage of everything that is offered. Let’s continue to make SCMA the go-to-place for local and international mediation news, professional and social networking opportunities, mediation training and education, and most importantly, the opportunity to come together frequently as a community, to connect with one another and enrich our practices and our spirits.
Want to join now?Click here to join online and become and active member.
With your participation and commitment, this promises to be a truly amazing year!
The Southern California Mediation Association (SCMA) will present its highest award, the Cloke‑Millen Peacemaker of the Year Award, to Kenneth R. Feinberg at its annual conference on Saturday, November 3, 2012 at Pepperdine University. Mr. Feinberg will also be the keynote speaker at the conference, speaking on “Unconventional Responses to Unique Catastrophes: Tailoring the Resolution to Meet the Challenge.”
As “America’s go-to guy in calculating life’s worth” and “America’s King Solomon” (Newsweek Magazine, June 25, 2012), Kenneth Feinberg has been key to resolving many of our nation’s most challenging and widely known disputes. He is best known for serving as the Special Master of the Federal September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001, in which he reached out to all who qualified to file a claim, evaluated applications, determined appropriate compensation, and disseminated awards. He was then named Fund Administrator for the Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund following the tragic shootings at Virginia Tech, designated Administrator of the Gulf Coast Claims Facility following the Gulf Coast oil spill, retained to resolve insurance claims arising out of Hurricane Katrina and other Gulf region hurricanes, and designated Distribution Agent for AIG Fair Fund claimants. In his capacity as an arbitrator, Mr. Feinberg helped determine the fair market value of the original Zapruder film of the Kennedy assassination, and legal fees in Holocaust slave labor litigation. Mr. Feinberg has done all his government and university work pro bono.
Mr. Feinberg also has served as Special Master in Agent Orange, asbestos, personal injury, wrongful death, Dalkon shield, and DES (pregnancy medication) cases. He has been involved in resolving thousands of disputes involving a wide range of interests and clients. Mr. Feinberg has been appointed to two presidential‑level commissions because of his experience and expertise, and has had a distinguished teaching career as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University, the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University, New York University, and the University of Virginia. In 2004, he was named “Lawyer of the Year” by the National Law Journal (2004), and has been named repeatedly as one of “The 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America” by the National Law Journal.
The “master of disaster” (Washington Post, January 14, 2010) has written two books: What is Life Worth? The Unprecedented Effort to Compensate the Victims of 9/11 (Public Affairs, 2005); and just recently Who Gets What: Fair Compensation after Tragedy and Financial Upheaval (Public Affairs, June 26, 2012). Of this book the New York Times, August 4, 2012, said:“Mr. Feinberg is compassionate, tough, legally creative, highly persuasive and politically shrewd. He has an endless appetite for work, an admirable taste for public service and a zest for butting heads in high‑stakes negotiations. He understands that he takes the heat for the public officials who call him in. He expects no one to be happy with how he slices the pie, at least not at first, and no one to be in a reasonable mood.”
Mr. Feinberg received his B.A., cum laude, at the University of Massachusetts in 1967 and his J.D. at New York University School of Law, where he was Articles Editor of the Law Review, in 1970. He clerked for Chief Judge Stanley H. Fuld, of the New York State Court of Appeals from 1970 to 1972. He has been Chairman of the Board of the RAND Institute of Civil Justice, Vice‑Chairman of the Board of Human Rights First, a Board member of the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, and President of the Washington National Opera. In 1992 he founded Feinberg Rozen, LLP, a law firm for mediation, arbitration, other forms of alternative dispute resolution, and negotiation strategy. www.feinbergrozen.com
In case you were finding your mediation world too calm this summer, let me introduce you to SR 05-01-2012, a resolution on mediator regulation that will be before the Conference of California Bar Associations at their meeting in October. Under this resolution, among other things:
1. “Mediator” is defined as “a neutral third-party who for compensation conducts a mediation.” (Emphasis added.)
2. Standards of conduct and minimum qualifications for mediators would be up to the Judicial Council.
3. Procedures for enforcing the standards of conduct would also be up to the Judicial Council.
4. The State Bar would be responsible for certification and registration of mediators.
5. The State Bar Court would be responsible for mediator discipline and would be directed to “use the same procedures in adjudicating the fitness of a mediator to mediate as it does in adjudicating the fitness of an attorney to practice law.”
Here is the link to the actual language of the resolution:
The issue of mediator regulation has been of intense interest to mediators across the country for years, and much has been written on the topic. The Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR) in October of last year adopted Model Standards for Mediator Certification Programs, which are well worth looking at to gain an appreciation for the complexity of the problem. Here is the link:
What is proposed by SR 05-01-2012 is regulation of mediators not by the private sector but by the state. The arguments both for and against state regulation have been collected by Diane Levin on her blog at http://mediationchannel.com/2009/10/18/public-licensing-and-regulation-of-mediators-the-arguments-for-and-against/. Further, however, SR 05-01-2012 proposes regulation of mediators specifically by the State Bar. One commentator has observed that state bar regulation would likely target non-lawyers, be biased in favor of lawyers, and do nothing to ensure mediator competence. See Philip J. Loree’s article “The Case Against State Regulation of Mediators” in NE-ACR News at:
If this resolution is approved by the Conference of California Bar Associations, it would then advance to the California legislature.
You can comment on SR 05-01-2012 by writing to the Executive Director, Conference of California Bar Associations, c/o Kronick, Moskovitz, Tiedemann & Girard, 400 Capitol Mall, 27th Floor, Sacramento, California 95814. Email: email@example.com
This resolution was called to our attention by the California Dispute Resolution Council (CDRC). CDRC is our advocate in Sacramento, looking out for ADR and ADR practitioners. If you are not yet familiar with CDRC, check out their website at CDRC.net.
Thank you so very much to all those of you who responded to our short-notice survey about AB 2025 and mediation confidentiality. A full 83% of you thought SCMA should oppose this legislation as drafted, and many of you included very thoughtful comments. For example: “How can an attorney recommend a settlement in a confidential setting if doing so exposes the attorney to malpractice claims?” “To uphold the high standards associated with mediation and to maintain trust in its process, contents of a mediation must still be kept confidential. Malpractice must be proved otherwise.” To see the results of the survey click here: AB 2025 Survey Results To read member comments, click here: AB 2025 Survey Comments I mentioned the results of the survey in a letter I drafted to the Judiciary Committee opposing the legislation as drafted. Update: This proposed legislation has now been withdrawn, and on May 8 the question of the relationship between mediation confidentiality and attorney misconduct was referred to the California Law Revision Commission for further study. Here is the link to the language of the referral, which seems to recognize the complexity of the issue: AB 2025 Referral to CLRC
On April 19 at the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution Conference in Washington, D.C. Phyllis Pollack, past president of SCMA, and I attended a discussion facilitated by AmericaSpeaks titled “Should Dispute Resolution Professionals be Regulated?” This was one of those programs where a ballroom full of participants sit at tables of eight to ten with a facilitator. They discuss a series of planned questions and then vote their opinions on individual keypads. The results are immediately tabulated for everyone to see. I was struck by how deeply divided the group was on almost every question. For example, when asked whether mediation “covers a unique body of knowledge that can be regulated,” 36% of the participants agreed or strongly agreed, 45% disagreed or strongly disagreed, and 19% neither agreed or disagreed. Click here to view the preliminary report of this session: AmericaSpeaks Preliminary Report SCMA welcomes your thoughts on this issue.
One plenary session at the Conference was a compelling address by Cobe Williams, one of the “violence interrupters” with the Chicago organization CeaseFire, whose members are called to intervene in urban street conflicts before the incidents explode into violence. CeaseFire’s work is the subject of an award winning documentary The Interrupters, which I have watched and can promise would be well worth your time. The film is available on Netflix. It was also featured on Frontline on PBS, so if you google the title you will get links to it.
Update: The deadline to reapply for the LASC mediation panels has been extended to the end of the year!
Message from SCMA 2012 President Barbara Brown, Esq.
Dear Colleagues –
Here it is March already! And the rest of the year promises to be most interesting for our field.
One issue you will want to be on top of is the introduction of AB 2025 in the California State Assembly. Under existing law, nothing said in the course of a mediation is admissible in evidence or subject to discovery in another action or proceeding. This confidentiality applies as well to communications between a client and his attorney. This means, as articulated by the California Supreme Court in Cassel v. Superior Court, 51 Cal 4th 113 (2011), that if a client wants to sue his attorney over something that happens during the course of the mediation – claiming, for example, that the attorney misadvised or pressured him – he could not prove his case by testifying about what happened at the mediation.
Legislation has now been introduced in the California Assembly which would abrogate the holding of the Cassel case and say that mediation confidentiality would not apply when a client sues his attorney over something that happens during the mediation. The ramifications of this legislation are potentially enormous. See the article on AB 2025 by clicking here, and links to arguments on both sides of the issue. You can also join the conversation already underway on LinkedIn under Groups, Southern California Mediation Association.
If you are on any of the Los Angeles Superior Court’s mediation panels, don’t forget to renew your application. The deadline for renewal has been extended to June 30, 2012. See the article on Re-Application at this link.
Last week, SCMA unveiled its updated website, featuring a new and improved look and easier navigation. Our team worked diligently, taking each of your comments and concerns into careful consideration. We appreciate your patience and believe you will be impressed by the website and find it worth the wait. We are looking for new articles to feature our members and keep our website active and fresh; so please send in your submissions to our administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org. All article submissions are subject to Board approval. We welcome your feedback and comments and look forward working to bring our membership even more to make SCMA work for you! Read more
The Southern California Mediation Association (SCMA) presented its highest award, the Cloke-Millen Peacemaker of the Year Award, to Father Gregory J. Boyle at its annual conference on Saturday, November 5, 2011 at Pepperdine University. Father Boyle was also the keynote speaker at the conference, “Putting Mediation to Work: Expanding Horizons, Expanding Opportunities.”
Father Greg, to all who know him, is Executive Director of Homeboy Industries and an acknowledged expert on gangs and intervention approaches. He is a nationally renowned speaker, as well as author of the award-winning book Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion; and, to the young people he helps on a daily basis, he is hope.
As a response to the civil unrest in Los Angeles in 1992, Father Greg launched the Homeboy Bakery to create an environment that provided training, work experience, and above all, the opportunity for rival gang members to work side by side. The Bakery grew into Homeboy Industries which serves at-risk and gang involved youth with services and programs that include a charter high school, tattoo removal, parenting classes, and solar installation training. These services are offered to anyone who walks through Homeboy’s door, including rival gang members. As Father Greg says, “Nothing stops a bullet like a job.”
SCMA presents the Cloke-Millen Peacemaker of the Year Award to a member of the dispute resolution community who has honored and inspired us through their passion and dedication to peacemaking in their profession and daily lives. The SCMA Peacemaker of the Year award was renamed in 2004 to honor two of SCMA’s founding members and previous recipients, Kenneth Cloke and Richard Millen.
Fr. Gregory Boyle – best known as Fr. G by the homeboys/homegirls — was born in Los Angeles, one of eight children. His father, a third-generation Irish-American, worked in the family-owned dairy in Los Angeles County and his mother worked to keep track of her large family. As a youth, Fr. Greg and several of his siblings worked side by side with their father in the dairy. After graduating from Loyola High School in Los Angeles in 1972, he entered the order of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) and was ordained a priest in 1984.
He received his BA in English from Gonzaga University; an MA in English from Loyola Marymount University; a Master of Divinity from the Weston School of Theology; and a Sacred Theology Masters degree from the Jesuit School of Theology.
Prior to 1986 Fr. Boyle taught at Loyola High School and worked with Christian Base Communities in Cochabamba, Bolivia. He was appointed as Pastor of Dolores Mission in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles in 1986 where he served through 1992. During 1993, he served as Chaplain of the Islas Marias Penal Colony in Mexico and Folsom Prison, before returning to Los Angeles and Dolores Mission. The year 2009 was the 25th anniversary of Father Greg’s ordination as a priest.
Homeboy Industries traces its roots to “Jobs For A Future” (JFF), a program created in 1988 by Fr. Greg at Dolores Mission parish. In an effort to address the escalating problems and unmet needs of gang-involved youth, Fr. Greg and the community developed positive alternatives, including establishing an elementary school, a day care program and finding legitimate employment for young people. JFF’s success demonstrated the model followed today that many gang members are eager to leave the dangerous and destructive life on the “streets.”
In 1992, as a response to the civil unrest in Los Angeles, Fr. Greg launched the first business (under the organizational banner of JFF and Proyecto Pastoral, separated from Dolores Mission Church): Homeboy Bakery with a mission to create an environment that provided training, work experience, and above all, the opportunity for rival gang members to work side by side. The success of the Bakery created the groundwork for additional businesses, thus prompting JFF to become an independent non-profit organization, Homeboy Industries, in 2001. Today Homeboy Industries’ nonprofit economic development enterprises include Homeboy Bakery, Homeboy Silkscreen & Embroidery, Homeboy/HomegirlMerchandise, and Homegirl Café & Catering.
As Executive Director of Homeboy Industries and an acknowledged expert on gangs and intervention approaches, Fr. Boyle is a nationally renowned speaker. He has given commencement addresses at numerous universities, as well as spoken at conferences for teachers, social workers, criminal justice workers and others about the importance of adult attention, guidance and unconditional love in preventing youth from joining gangs. Fr. Greg and several “homies” were featured speakers at the White House Conference on Youth in 2005 at the personal invitation of Mrs. George Bush. In 1998 he was a member of the 10-person California delegation to President Clinton’s Summit on Children in Philadelphia. Fr. Greg is also a consultant to youth service and governmental agencies, policy-makers and employers. Fr. Boyle serves as a member of the National Gang Center Advisory Board (U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention). He is also a member of the Advisory Board for the Loyola Law School Center for Juvenile Law and Policy in Los Angeles. Previously, he held an appointment to the California Commission on Juvenile Justice, Crime and Delinquency Prevention.
Fr. Greg has received numerous accolades and recognitions on behalf of Homeboy and for his work with former gang members, including the California Peace Prize granted by the California Wellness Foundation in 2000 and the 2004 Lifetime Achievement Award from MALDEF. In 2007, Fr. Greg received the Bon Appétit magazine “Humanitarian of the Year” Award and the Caring Institute’s Caring People Award. In 2008, Fr. Greg was honored with the Civic Medal of Honor by the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce and the Irvine Leadership Award conferred by the James Irvine Foundation.
In 2009 the Los Angeles Headquarters Association honored Fr. Greg as one of the city’s leading visionaries responsible for changing the face of Los Angeles, and the Harvard Club of Southern California recognized him with the John Harvard Award for Distinguished Service to the Community. In celebration of the 25th Anniversary of his ordination, an acknowledgement of his tireless service was read into the Congressional Record by Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA). The Elfenworks Foundation presented the In Harmony with Hope Award to Fr. Greg and Homeboy, and the Los Angeles Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America named Fr. Greg as 2009 Citizen of the Year. The Bank of America Charitable Foundation selected Fr. Greg and Homeboy Industries as a recipient of the 2009 Neighborhood Excellence Initiative Builder award, acknowledging our work in job training.
The Los Angeles YMCA conferred the Brotherhood Award on Fr. Greg during its 39th Annual YMCA Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Brotherhood Breakfast on January 15, 2010. In May 2010, Fr. Greg received an honorary degree from Claremont University (Claremont, CA) as well as an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters conferred by Occidental College (Los Angeles). In October, the Mexican American Opportunity Foundation conferred the Community Service Aztec Award and Peace Over Violence recognized Fr. Greg with its Humanitarian Award.
On February 27, 2011, Father Greg received the Mollie Bell Social Activist Award from the n-ACTION Family Network. On May 1, 2011, he will receive the Hearts on Fire Award from the Loyola Institute for Spirituality.
Father Greg’s first book, Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion, was released on March 9, 2010, which received the 2010 SCIBA (Southern California Indie Booksellers Association) Non-Fiction Book Award and was named as one of the Best Books of 2010 by Publishers Weekly. The 2010 Goodreads Choice Awards finds Fr. Greg nominated as Best Debut Author and his book is nominated in the Nonfiction category (winning announcements in January 2011). Tattoos on the Heart debuted in paperback in February 2011 and the audio book became available in March 2011.
Homeboy Industries, now located in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, is recognized as the largest gang intervention and re-entry program in the country, and has become a national model.
A very special thank you and kudos to Jan Frankel Schau and Nikki Tolt for organizing another successful Employment Conference. The new venue at The Portofino Hotel in Redondo Beach proved to be a wonderful location, and the turnout was amazing considering the current economic conditions. Thank you to James Street and American Institute of Mediation for their sponsorship support and to all of the speakers for their time and effort on SCMA’s behalf. For those of you, who missed the program, be sure to join us in Fall for the annual conference as these programs are specifically designed to help you in your mediation career.
We are in the process of putting together the Annual SCMA Directory of Members. To place an AD, please contact the SCMA office today. Remember this is an excellent way to network, advertise your business and participate in our events as the directory is distributed at the Town Hall, the Real Estate Conference, the CAALA conference in Las Vegas in September, and our annual November conference. Please consider this excellent way to support your association.
Jan Frankel Schau Donates Honorarium to SCMA Education Fund
The SCMA Education Fund is proud to announce that a generous donation has been made on behalf of Jan Frankel Schau, past President of the Southern California Mediation Association and one of the founding Directors of the SCMA Education Fund. Jan was invited to present at this year’s Annual Conference of the Read more
Holiday Message from President Phyllis G. Pollack, Esq.
On behalf of Phyllis G. Pollack, Esq., President of the Southern California Mediation Association, and the 2010 Board of Directors, we wish each of our valued members and their families a joyous and happy holiday season and a prosperous New Year! We thank each and every one of you for supporting SCMA. Because of your continued membership and support, we have been able to and will continue to offer exciting and cutting edge conferences, seminars and workshops designed to keep you informed of advances and the latest precedents in the field of dispute resolution. Together, we will take SCMA into the next generation and into the future. We are very thankful to have you with us on the journey. May 2010 be a wonderful year for you and find each of you in good health and good spirits.