Recent court decisions as well as an ongoing study by the California Law Review Commission, have raised questions about the scope of mediation confidentiality in California. Our guest panelist of experts, Mary Culbert, Phyllis Pollack and Joe Markowitz, will provide an overview of the history of mediation confidentiality statutes and court decisions in California, followed by a discussion of the scope of the “due process” exception invoked by the district court in the Milhouse v Traveler’s Insurance case, and whether an exception should be allowed for “professional negligence” in response to the Cassel decision.
Our expert panel will also address the problems of maintaining the confidentiality of matters the parties wish to keep from each other during mediations, including some of the ethical issues that can arise for mediators in caucus-style mediation. Finally, the panel will address the broader problem of how to address party dissatisfaction with the results of mediation while maintaining the confidentiality and integrity of the process.
When: Saturday, February 28 2015 (10am-1pm including lunch)
Where: Loyola Law School
MCLE: **2.0 MCLE Credits including 1.0 Ethics**
Lunch: Noon – 1:00pm
**Parking is $9.00**
Presenters: Mary B. Culbert is the Director of The Center For Conflict Resolution, where she previously served as a Senior Mediator supervising students. She is a 1984 graduate of Loyola Law School. She returned to Loyola in 1994 as an adjunct professor of law and founding director of the Disability Mediation Center of the Western Law Center for Disability Rights (currently the Disability Rights Legal Center). After practicing law for several years, Ms. Culbert became a bilingual certified mediator and has mediated extensively since 1992 in numerous community, government agency and court programs. She sat on the California State Bar ADR Committee and chaired its Ethics Subcommittee since its inception in 1997 until September 2001. Ms. Culbert has served on numerous boards, committees and mediation panels over the past 22 years. She has trained and lectured extensively on mediation skills, advanced mediation techniques, disability mediation and legal issues in mediation. In 2009, she received the Ester Soriano Peacemaker of the Year Award from Los Angeles County DRPA Program Community Mediators, and in 2010, the Ester Soriano Award for Excellence in Community Mediation from the California Dispute Resolution Council. In the summer of 2011, Professor Culbert provided mediation training to a group of high-ranking judges, attorneys and law professors in Bangladesh. In 2012-13, she created a new model, and clinic, for providing Collaborative Mediation Divorce Services in conjunction with the Los Angeles Collaborative Family Law Association.
Phyllis G. Pollack, Esq. the principal of PGP Mediation, has been a mediator in Los Angeles, California since 2000. She has conducted over 1000 mediations. As an attorney with more than 35 years experience, she utilizes her diverse background to resolve business, commercial, international trade, real estate, employment and lemon law disputes at both the state and federal trial and state appellate court levels. Currently, she serves as chair of the State Bar of California’s ADR Committee. She is also a past president (2010) of the Southern California Mediation Association (SCMA). Ms. Pollack received her BA degree in sociology in 1973 from Newcomb College of Tulane University and her JD degree from Tulane University School of Law in 1977. She is an active member of both the Louisiana and California bars.
Joseph C. Markowitz has practiced as a business trial lawyer for 35 years. He is a 1979 graduate of the University of Chicago Law School. Mr. Markowitz was trained as a mediator more than 20 years ago, and has served for many years on the mediation panels for the Los Angeles County Superior Court, the Central District Federal Court, and the Central District Bankruptcy Court, in addition to conducting private mediations. Mr. Markowitz has served as a board member of the Southern California Mediation Association since 2010, was president of SCMA in 2013-14, and was a member of the ADR committee of the LA Superior Court. Mr. Markowitz authors a leading mediation blog entitled Conflict Resolution, at www.mediate-la.com.
Anne Sawyer is an independent Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution Consultant. In addition her private consultation practice, she is the Executive Director of the Southern California Mediation Association.
Her mission is to foster, support and promote mediators and other neutrals and to further increase peaceful resolution of conflicts. Raising public awareness as to the many values of mediation and increase its use to address a broad variety of public and private disputes in a confidential, safe and empowering process is her passion.