2015 Fall Conference Workshop Descriptions
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2015
The 27th Annual Conference will explore the various ways dispute resolution practitioners can become agents of social change in our community. Dispute resolution practitioners are no longer solely resolving legal disputes, but serving as educators, coaches, leadership trainers, therapists, business consultants, and architects of dispute resolution programs at all levels.
In today’s world, there are many opportunities for mediators to step forward as leaders and support peaceful dialogue. From the ongoing legal battles over the legalization of gay marriage, to the highly charged debates over recent interactions between police departments and communities of color, there are many areas of need for leadership and for peaceful dialogue.
OPENING PLENARY (8:45am – 10:00am)
Apology & Forgiveness
The use and misuse of apology in mediation. Mediators should understand the complexity and the ways that apologies can be misused. This presentation will increase understanding the dynamics of apology and encourage participants to create their personal criteria for apology legitimacy in mediation.
- Professor Peter Robinson, Managing Director, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution
SESSION ONE (10:15am – 11:45am)
Equal Rights for the LGBT Community: The Last Frontier Of The Civil Rights Movement
Learn what you can do to be an agent for social change in what has been referred to as ‘the last civil rights movement’: LGBT rights. Notwithstanding the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality, a number of states do not prohibit employment or housing discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Additionally, religious liberty laws are being enacted in various states, which permit discrimination against LGBT individuals. Panel members will share their own experiences relating to issues that members of the LGBT community face, and will assist those that attend this program to acquire an insight that will aid in the empathetic process when faced with such issues in mediation.
- Mark B. Baer, Esq., Mediator, Attorney, Collaborative Divorce Practitioner, Mark B. Baer Inc.
- Leonard S. Levy, Esq., Mediator, ADR Services Inc.
- David Fleischer, Director, Leadership LAB, Los Angeles LGBT Center
Mediating the Employment Case, Changing Workplace Conduct One Case at a Time
This presentation will touch upon the numerous ways in which mediation can impact the workplace. The panel will examine how wage and hour cases may in fact turn disaster into opportunity and FEHA cases may provide a chance to educate corporate employers on acceptable conduct and positively affect corporate culture. Panelists will also discuss some of the unique issues regarding sexuality, immigration, bullying and human resource management that arise in employment disputes. This will be a lively and informative interaction on the unique benefits and challenges of mediation in employment related cases.
- Jan Frankel Schau, Esq., Mediator, ADR Services Inc.
- Toni Jaramilla, Esq., Attorney, Toni Jaramilla, A Professional Law Corporation
- Rebecca Torrey, Esq. Partner, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP
Critical Race Theory: Introduction to the Genre, Intellectual Influences and Emerging Issues
Do you want to experience justice in the NOW; receive affirmation that positive systemic and institutional change is being and will be made; and, feel good living a purposeful and meaningful life in community? This lively workshop will introduce participants to the Critical Race Theory (CRT), a movement which is a critical examination of society and culture, and the intersection of race, law, and power. Participants will learn the relevance and significance of CRT experts efforts to understand racism’s ideological component and its spiritual nature in an attempt to examine barriers and biases within the legal profession. Participants will also explore how they can apply CRT to become agents of social change in the world while fulfilling their ethical duties to eliminate bias and promote inclusivity.
- Jason Harper, ADR Consultant for the Los Angeles County Office of Education
- Kim Clark, J.D., C.S.S.C.
- Lucy Jewel, Associate Professor of Law, University of Tennessee
- Andrea Smith, Associate Professor, University of Riverside
Using Improv to Get to Yes! *Pre-registration required
Improvisation training strengthens skills in collaboration, communication, creativity and flexibility. The premise is simple – performers create an unscripted scene. In this environment of ambiguity, performers work together to negotiate a scene and create a collaborated story. Sound familiar?
Mediators resolve seemingly unresolvable disputes by listening, facilitating conversation, uncovering emotions and needs, and creating new and collaborated solutions. That’s why improv training is perfect for mediators. It strengthens the very skills that mediators use to get to “yes.” In this highly interactive workshop, mediators will enhance their tool kit with the skills used in improv – collaboration, communication and creativity, all while laughing and having a great time!
- Darren Held, Creator, Held2gether, Improv for Life
- Viet Hoang, Trainer, Held2gether, Improv for Life
Advanced Track I
Mediating the Non-Litigated Dispute with Doug Noll *Pre-registration required
This workshop focuses on the specific skills required to add the mediation of non-litigated disputes to your practice, especially if your focus has been on mediating litigated cases. Doug will lead us through the ways in which this style of mediation differs from mediating with represented parties, including how to conduct critical pre-work and diagnostic services, secrets of convening when it’s purely voluntary, how to decide who should attend, structuring the process to match the dispute, creating the agenda, facilitating the communication, using a lot of joint session and interest-based negotiation processes, working on agreements, and how to market, price, bid, and bill for these services. Non-litigated disputes discussed may include mediating complex business disputes, family business disputes, business separations, conducting strategic facilitations between potential corporate partners, and facilitating complex construction “partnering” sessions. At the conclusion of this workshop, participants will be able to build or expand their practice beyond the litigated case and/or utilize these advanced strategies in integrative problem-solving for their work in litigated cases and other applications.
- Doug Noll, Co-Founder, Prison of Peace
SESSION TW0 (1:00pm – 2:30pm)
Building Conflict Competency Through Emotional Intelligence
This program addresses the concepts of conflict competence and emotional intelligence and how mediators and coaches can help their clients in conflict.
The program consists of three key sections: 1) understanding conflict competence and emotional intelligence; 2) how mediators can help their clients navigate through conflict with this understanding; and 3) how mediators can influence mediation outcomes by improving their personal conflict competence.
Panelists will examine cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and normative skills that are present in conflict competent people. Panelists will also discuss the emotional side of conflict, the neuroscience of brain behavior, and look at ways of understanding and managing emotional reactions to conflict. The discussion will then transition into the behavioral side of conflict management by looking at the use of constructive behaviors in conflict management as opposed to destructive behaviors.
The program will conclude by exploring how mediators can improve their own conflict competence. Those attending the program will be able to take an online assessment to uncover their own patterns of behavior when dealing with conflict as well as the behaviors of others that trigger them.
- Craig E. Runde, Director, Center for Conflict Dynamics
- Debra Dupree, PsyD., LMFT, Mediator, Conflict Coach, Relationship Therapist
Lying for the Sake of the Deal
Let’s review what is a “bad” versus a “noble” lie and query whether a lie is different or distinguishable from partial truth, puffing, exaggeration, understatement or non-disclosure. Then let’s review and remind ourselves about some of the ethical canons that are supposed to guide our actions and those of the attorneys who represent clients in mediation. Finally, let’s work through some real-life examples and ask ourselves whether a lie has been committed or whether deception is in the air, and what the mediator’s response should be and why. This is a highly interactive program that delves into: What is a lie? Is a lie a virtue or a vice? Are there ever circumstances where it’s OK to lie? If so, what are they? Are there times when the benefits of lying outweigh the consequences and visa versa? Ultimately, is it possible to define a standard of truthfulness to be abided for by all? If so, how does that standard get enforced? And by whom?
- Harold Coleman, Jr., Esq., Senior Vice President, American Arbitration Association
- Rebecca Callahan, Esq., Mediator and Arbitrator, Callahan Dispute Resolution
The Untapped Resources That Will Change Your Game, Professionally and Personally
For mediators to become agents of social change, they first have to become the change they want to see in the world, as Gandhi so wisely suggested.
The field of law and mediation is too often fueled by combative energy, which is commonly dealt with by disconnecting from our heart with the “logical mind.” Distress and anxiety is so commonplace in the legal world, that it has become “normal.” How then can we expect those who dedicate their lives to the mediation profession to exude calm and poise in such an environment? Kenneth Cloke claims that having a strong, integrated, and peaceful core is the key for any mediator seeking to create sustainable high impact outcomes.
In this highly engaging, experiential, and inspirational workshop we will explore the practice of reflection, ritual, emotional intelligence, mindfulness, and empathy. Stories from a “Raging Bull” lawyer who transformed into the peaceful warrior, will reveal why he chose to change, and the effects of this change on his personal and professional life. Practical tips, tools, and practices that can be applied immediately by those wishing to become agents of social change, while changing their own inner landscape and wellbeing, will be essential takeaways from this exploratory presentation.
- Runa Bouius, Conscious Business & Leadership Specialist
- Ron Melin Supancic, Certified Family Law Specialist, The Law Collaborative, APC
Quantum Leap – Creating Effective Mediation in Urban Projects
As populations and cities expand, competing interests of urban densification and maintaining livability become increasingly important considerations. Listen to leaders in the field of real estate, community development, public planning, and community organizing explore the potential for mediation to streamline processes, reduce uncertainty, and add coherence and value to a notoriously fraught and byzantine process: real estate and public works development.
Panelists will discuss the realities, challenges and opportunities for urban development projects from their own experience – providing real life scenarios, and discussing the ways that mediation can be an effective tool. The panel will also discuss practical issues challenging the potential for mediated solutions, including prevailing attitudes and cultural norms, structural considerations (zoning variance process, economic incentives, etc.), followed by the question – what could a project mediation case study look like?
- Noah Stein, Mediator, Noah Stein Mediation
- Craig Collins, Interim Director, Silver Lake Forward
- Katherine Aguilar Perez-Estolano, Co-Founder ELP Advisors
- Mott Smith, Co-Founder, Civic Enterprise
- Robin Blair, Director of Planning, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
- Veronica Hahni, Executive Director, Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiative (LANI)
2010 Peacemakers of the Year, Five Years Later: Mediating Freedom
In 2010 fifteen incarcerated women received the SCMA Peacemaker of the Year Award for their courage in seeking to become mediators in order to reduce the violence in their prison community. At that time, the only way to meet these women was through film. Now, over half of those women have earned their freedom and returned back to society. Through this panel SCMA members will meet some of those women, all serving life sentences when they became mediators, hear their personal journeys as mediators in prison, how having these skills changed them, their community and their lives, turning their dreams of a future outside the barbed wire fences into reality.
- Laurel Kaufer, Co-Founder, Prison of Peace
- Doug Noll, Co-Founder, Prison of Peace
- Mianta McKnight, 2010 SCMA Peacemaker of the Year, Prison of Peace Mediator
- Betty Mills, 2010 SCMA Peacemaker of the Year, Prison of Peace Mediator
Advanced Track II
The Heart of Mediation – The Art of Asking Questions with Ken Cloke *Pre-registration required
Adversarial approaches to conflict stress our bodies, close our minds, magnify our negative emotions, weaken our spirits, silence our hearts and undermine our capacity for honest, empathetic communications and satisfying relationships. Worse, they divide us — not only from each other, but from internal parts of ourselves, and cause us to learn little or nothing other than how right we were. Through questions, it is possible to discover, in the thick of discord, how to free ourselves from its all-consuming grip, how to gain insight into what got us stuck, transform the ways we interact with our opponents, turn criticisms and complaints into openings for improvement, and evolve to higher levels of skill in conflict resolution. Through skillful questions we can begin to move into the heart of conflict and initiate open, honest, vulnerable conversations that allow people to work through their conflicts, where resolution, transformation and transcendence suddenly, inexplicably, exquisitely unfold. This workshop will focus on learning to mediate from a place of curiosity, compassion and inquiry, rather than judgment, advocacy and control. It will provide hundreds of questions to shift conversations, broaden perspectives, refocus priorities and engage the hearts of people in conflict. It will help mediators design dialogues that disputant’s attitudes, focus and awareness, and permit us to work more deeply, yielding better answers, but also richer experiences, both for participants and mediators.
- Kenneth Cloke, Director of the Center for Dispute Resolution
SESSION THREE (2:45pm – 4:00pm)
Bioethics Mediation-Family Conflict and Difficult Health Care Decision Making
When a family member is hospitalized with a life-threatening illness, emotions can be raw and dormant family issues can bubble to the surface. Add to this advances in medical technology that require physicians to look to family members to make difficult and often heart-wrenching health care decisions for an individual who cannot do so. Often, there is an urgent timetable for decision making. Breakdowns in communication with the health care professionals involved may also add to the challenge and difficulty of the mediator’s role. Bioethics mediation presents special challenges including family dynamics and the need for the mediator to understand complex medical issues and principles of bioethics.
- Christine J. Wilson, Esq., Partner, Tyler & Wilson LLP
- Paul Schneider, MD, FACP Bioethicist, Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Healthcare
(Dis)Order in the Boardroom
Disagreements at the board of director level affect every aspect of the organization: programs, services, finances, personnel, even board development itself. Looking at examples from both for-profit and nonprofit organizations, the discussion will focus on:
- four types of organizational cultures that provide the context for the dispute;
- four levels of decision-making that can arise at any stage of organizational development;
- types of conflict generated by each level of decision-making;
- methods of addressing the conflicts.
For those interested in working with organizations, this session will provide a glimpse into the dynamics and complexity of organizational conflict resolution. For those already working on organizational issues such as employment disputes, this session will provide a broader understanding of the source and complexity of those disputes. And for those people now serving on boards, this session will provide insight into issues than can affect organizational governance and success.
- Maria Simpson, Ph.D., President of the SCMA Education Foundation
- Barbara Brown, Mediator, SCMA Past President
- Barbara Weir, CEO, Empathia Pacific, Inc.
Self-Care & The Mediator
(Competence/Substance Abuse CLE)
As mediators, we often find ourselves in the situation of being “shock-absorbers.” How do we maintain our overall well-being while doing this important work of transforming conflict?
In this interactive workshop, we will explore: What does self-care mean to you? What does it mean it practical terms? What are some of the common self-care challenges faced by mediators in particular? How can we best address any triggers and overcome them? We will also discuss specific actionable tips, as well as best self-care practices to optimize your health & well-being. Research shows that happiness is, first and foremost, a decision. After that, it is all about self-care. How committed are you to yours?
- Maurice J. Attie, Mediator, Moderator
- Arezou Kohan, Esq., CPCC
- Simon J. K. Fox, Executive Director of the Adventures in Caring Foundation in Santa Barbara
This is the Story of Jack and Diane: Real Estate Issues to be Negotiated in Mediation and Collaborative Divorce
In this informative and interactive workshop, participants will enjoy working together in groups to discover points that should be mediated in three different divorce case studies. You will learn to better serve your clients and you will leave this workshop better informed about various real estate concerns, tax laws, and other issues should be addressed in mediating separations.
- Leslee Newman, Certified Collaborative Divorce Attorney and Mediator
- Dennis C. Smith, Certified Financial Planner, Real Estate Broker, Stratis Financial CA
- Julaine Waggoner, Broker-Associate RE/MAX College Park, Collaborative Divorce, Real Estate Neutral, Mediation Trained at the L.A. County Bar Association, Graduate Real Estate Institute (GRI) Senior Residential Specialist CA
Advanced Track III
Are you an Interrogator, a Mediator, or a Coach? with Michelle Dickson *Pre-registration required
Michelle Dickson used her Masters in Applied Linguistics and her Top Secret military intelligence clearance in the Army and with a private contractor in Iraq to supervise interrogations and handle over 10,000 military intelligence reports, and was sole trainer responsible for the largest Multi-National Division in Iraq: 16 major bases covering 5 divisions. After a lot more training and management experience in the US and Germany, she took that experience into claims adjusting with Safeco Insurance, went on to get her Masters in Dispute Resolution at SMU and became a certified mediator in Texas, and now runs a team of executive coaches at Liberty Mutual Insurance. Based on her experience in each of these fields, she believes that interrogation fits comfortably into a conflict management model and that there are shared skills and attributes between interrogation, executive coaching, and mediation. It is up to us as mediators how we choose to implement those skills. Michelle will share her journey from interrogator to mediator/coach and the questions she asks herself regularly to determine in what role she is engaged. Then you can decide…are you an interrogator or mediator?
- Michelle Dickson, Lean/LMS Regional Manager at Liberty Mutual Insurance
CLOSING PLENARY (4:15pm – 5:15pm)
Conflict Revolution: Designing Mediative Approaches to Race, Gender, Economic Inequality, Immigration, Climate Change and Electoral Politics
From Ferguson to Athens, Damascus, Hungary and Beijing; from racism to religious intolerance and hostility toward immigrants, we are witnessing a massive increase in global conflict, and are now in the midst of a deeply divisive electoral process. What is our responsibility as dispute resolvers for the social, economic, political and environmental conflicts that are taking place around us? Can we apply conflict resolution principles to the inequalities, inequities and dysfunctions that fuel these chronic conflicts? Are we not implicitly responsible for learning not only how to discuss and resolve them, but to redesign the conflict generating structures, processes, institutions and practices that ensure their chronic recurrence? Can mediation and conflict resolution systems design create a “conflict revolution” in how we respond to social, economic and political conflicts? And is it possible to bring these changes about without recreating the very problems we seek to solve?
- Kenneth Cloke, Director of the Center for Dispute Resolution