Please review this year's 21 sessions, listed alphabetically by title.
CLE courses are indicated with an asterisk (*) and the type of CLE is listed at the end of the course description.
ADVANCING OUR OWN ADVOCACY: MINDFUL ENERGY MANAGEMENT TO BE YOUR BEST SELF (Ruth Pearce, CiPP, PMP)
Most of us are stressed every day by having more to do than time to do it. This session will help participants understand where their time – and more importantly energy – goes, and how mindfulness and conscious use of strengths can improve the day and increase resilience. Explore how we use our energy at work during the day and consider whether we are using strengths to the best effect. Combine strengths and mindfulness. Consider ways we can make room for our most productive and satisfying work by “letting go” of tasks and partnering with people with complementary strengths. Look at examples of how body-mind unity can improve mood and efficacy. Learn tools and techniques to bring the mind back into focus, and to be more productive and satisfied through mindfully applying strengths.
A BLOGGING STRATEGY FOR PEACE BUILDERS: HOW TO USE INBOUND STRATEGIES TO DEMONSTRATE YOUR VALUE TO A WORLD IN CONFLICT (Jesan Sorrells)
Marketing is hard for the peace builder, whether that individual is an academic, legal professional, or independent practitioner. Developing an email list and a blogging strategy is central to long-term success in the space of attracting clients. Leveraging the vagaries of inbound content distribution (and separating their importance from tools such as Facebook and Twitter) can help the savvy peace builder attract paying clients. This session will focus on distilling practical strategies from chapter two of Jesan’s book Marketing For Peace Builders: How to Market Your Value to a World in Conflict for ADR professional success.
BRIDGES OUT OF POVERTY OVERVIEW (Dona Fragnoli, Nathan Mandsager, and Michael Baez)
This workshop is a comprehensive approach to understanding the dynamics that cause and maintain poverty from the individual to the systemic level. Bridges Out of Poverty uses the lens of economic class and provides concrete tools and strategies for a community to prevent, reduce, and alleviate poverty.
CDRC'S APPROACHES TO SUPPORTING AND ADVANCING RESTORATIVE INITIATIVES IN SCHOOLS (Glen Parker, Esq. and Amy Alfonso)
Schools are becoming more receptive to implementing restorative approaches for community building and addressing disciplinary matters. CDRCs are in a unique position to respond to this interest by offering Restraotive Practices, conflict resolution services and other processes that support the enhancement of school climate. Last year, NYSDRA facilitated a grant to two CDRCs to explore the development of RJ in schools. In this presentation, Amy Alfonso of Mediation Matters and Glen Parker of New York Peace Institute, will discuss their work during 20 months of working with a school to provide RJ services. The presenters will discuss the process of relationship building, the challenges of working in a school, the helpful trainings and advice for other organizations, particularly CDRCs, who are interested in exploring this line of service.
*CHANNELING DISPUTES INTO ADR: APPROPRIATE PROVISIONS FOR ORGANIZATIONAL DOCUMENTS AND COMMERCIAL AGREEMENTS (Lisa Renee Pomerantz, Esq.)
Bylaws, shareholder agreements, operating agreements, buyouts and other corporate documents and agreements in the commercial and non-profit context tend to generate disputes when business partners or board members don’t get along or agree, or a merger, strategic alliance or acquisition does not pan out. Litigation, with its attendant costs and delays, can adversely affect the enterprise itself. The parties and their counsel should give consideration to what dispute resolution provisions are available and appropriate to allow the parties to resolve issues more expeditiously, confidentially and cost-effectively. This program will review possible forms of ADR, including escalation, assisted negotiation, early case assessment, mediation and arbitration and drafting issues associated with these options. Attorneys receive 1.5 CLE credits in Skills.
*DISABILITY AWARENESS IN DISPUTE RESOLUTION (Anne Sternbach, Patrick Nagle, and Elise Friello, Esq.)
This session will provide an overview of a number of different disability types such as learning disabilities, neurological disabilities, and sensory and mobility impairments will be covered, both in terms of how these disabilities can affect an individual as well as how they may impact interactions with them. The session will include an interactive segment that will provide participants with a chance to think about how they might effectively interact with people with disabilities. Participants will also gain an understanding of non-obvious disabilities. This session will help clarify questions and misperceptions that people may have regarding non-obvious disabilities, particularly in relation to the ADA. Attorneys receive 1.5 CLE credits in Areas of Professional Practice.
ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING: HACKING YOUR SURROUNDINGS FOR MORE EFFECTIVE ADR (Mark Leuthauser)
We spend a lot of time thinking about the mediator. We pay careful attention to our voice, our facial expressions, our dress, and of course the various skills we use to help parties resolve conflict. What we forget is that the mediator is just one aspect of the process; that there’s a whole environment that the parties and the mediator alike exist in. Can a particular room color make parties more cooperative? Can a certain scent help calm emotions? Can we use certain sounds to help parties concentrate and be creative? How much should we focus on security versus comfort? Once we realize that mediators don’t exist in a vacuum, we can manipulate scents, sounds, colors, furniture, and other factors to make our services more effective. This workshop will explore the results of research and studies in disparate fields, mining them for low-cost “hacks” that can be applied to mediation.
GETTING YOUR NEEDS MET BY MAKING POWERFUL REQUESTS (Dian Killian, PhD)
What do we want someone to do—and why do want them to do it? How we answer these questions profoundly impacts how we interact with others, especially when there are differences in power (at work or home). Rather than giving rewards or punishment—or advice, "shoulds," threats, or demands, learn how to live in greater alignment with your values and truly motivate and inspire others (including clients) to act on requests in a way that is “win-win,” doable, and proactive.
*GUT CHECK: THE SCIENCE OF MEDIATION AND DECISION MAKING (Daniel Weitz, Esq.)
This workshop is the latest installment in a series of workshops by the presenter exploring the intersection between neuroscience research and the practice of mediation. Topics will include a review of the difference between gut feelings and reason. Participants will also explore recent studies from the field of neuroscience including implicit bias, empathy, sources of violence, non-verbal communication and “flow”. Attorneys receive 1.5 CLE credits in Skills.
HEARING THE "YES" BEHIND THE "NO:" FINDING CREATIVE, COLLABORATIVE SOLUTIONS (Dian Killian, PhD)
Sometimes it’s hard to hear a “no.” And a “no” can take various forms, from a colleague voting down an idea at work, to our partners saying “not tonight,” or our kids acting out. In this interactive workshop, learn some simple steps that will help you and your clients hear what others are saying “yes” to when they say “no” and find win-win solutions where everyone’s needs matter. Come with an actual situation (yours or clients) that you’d like greater clarity and ease around.
IDENTITY, PERCEPTION, AND BIAS AWARENESS (Jasmin Brandow and Rebecca Koch)
As ADR professionals, we hold ourselves to the standard of impartiality while knowing that we all live with certain biases. Our goal, therefore, is to act without bias, not be unbiased. The ability to serve as an effective neutral requires us to be aware of both our biases themselves and the times when they start to affect our actions in a session. In this workshop, the facilitators will take participants through an exercise designed to explore our biases and how they relate to our personal identities and perception of others. Facilitators and participants will share strategies for maintaining self-awareness during an ADR session while staying present and active as a practitioner.
IS IT YOU? IS IT ME? MEDIATING WITH CHALLENGING CLIENTS: WHAT MEDIATORS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT TRAUMA (Annie Monaco, LMSW, and Julie Loesch)
Trauma is an emotional response to a terrible event. What events cause trauma can be different for each person. Is it possible that some of the most challenging behaviors of mediation parties (interrupting, yelling, excessive venting or crying, withdrawing or not showing up at all) may be a reaction to trauma? Many of CRJ’s mediations are referred by courts. Does the court system itself contribute to or exacerbate challenging party behaviors borne out of fear, stress, and/or loss? Is it possible that our own strong reactions to particular party behaviors bring us back to our own experiences with trauma? Throughout this training, Annie Monaco and Julie Loesch will present materials and facilitate discussions and exercises that will provoke our thinking and build our capacity around dealing with trauma in the context of mediation. This training is appropriate for experienced and new mediators alike.
*MEDIATING CHILD SUPPORT WITH SHARED PARENTING (Daniel Burns, Esq.)
In 1989, when the Child Support Standards Act was enacted in New York there was little doubt about custody. The children lived with one parent, usually mom, and the other parent "visited" his/her children on alternate weekends and one evening per week. Today more and more parents are electing to have a "shared parenting" plan where of them spends a significant amount of time with the children. While it is easy to "mediate" child support with a calculator, how does the CSSA work when there is shared parenting? This program will address how a mediator can do more than simply bring a calculator to the session and work with parents to develop a child support agreement that not only works for the parents but which meets the needs of the children. Attorneys receive 1.5 CLE credits in Skills.
MEDIATING FROM AN ETHICAL PERSPECTIVE (Michael West)
ADR practitioners, regardless of their specialty – commercial, community, workplace or family, must always act in an ethical manner. This proposed workshop takes a look at ethics, what they, what is the source of our ethics, how our ethics and values influence our behavior as an ADR practitioner, and what tools are available to guide our practice in an ethical manner. Ethical dilemmas in mediation are typically defined as a process of determining what one considers right and wrong actions. This is not always as simple as it sounds. Right and wrong are dictated by one’s values, perspectives, individualized training and may vary according to culture, moral climate, and individual circumstances. However, there are a broader range of challenges we face that involve many more factors and challenges. This presentation will consider ethics from a values perspective, current guidelines, and the application of our values, guidelines and perspectives to the choices we make in mediation.
THE MEDIATOR AS A TRICKSTER RAVEN (Charlotte Carter, J.D.)
As we become more competent and confident we also get better at guiding participants away from areas of potential impasse toward resolutions. We may also nudge participants towards decisions that will meet their best interests. This facility can lead us to miss signals and opportunities to explore strong emotions, differences in understanding, decision making or timing, or even subtle ethical dilemmas. We will discuss resources on ethics and standards, consider insights on decision making from behavioral economics and neuroscience, examine mediator shticks and interventions, and consider ways in which to shed light on, and expand self-determination.
*MEDIATOR ETHICS WITH THE MEDIATION ETHICS ADVISORY COMMITTEE (Jeff Shepardson and Kim Reisch, Esq.)
In 2005, the New York State Office of Alternative Dispute Resolution Programs developed Standards of Conduct for Community Dispute Resolution Center Mediators, with the goals of educating mediators about current standards of practice, guiding them in their practice, promoting public confidence in mediation as a dispute resolution process, and informing mediating parties about the process. In order to assist CDRC mediators and staff who may encounter ethical dilemmas while mediating, and who may be unable to resolve them after reading the Standards as a whole or find that certain Standards conflict with others, the ADR Office created the Mediator Ethics Advisory Committee (MEAC). The Committee’s main functions include assisting mediators and staff with ethical dilemmas by providing written responses to their inquiries, promoting professional development and consistency of practice among dispute resolution practitioners, and recommending changes to the Standards of Conduct to ensure greater clarity and guidance. Grounded in the CDRC Standards of Conduct, this workshop seeks to provide clarity to CDRC mediators and staff on how MEAC addresses ethical dilemmas. Participants will also be provided with opportunities to practice applying the MEAC approach to address various ethical dilemmas. The workshop will be facilitated by members of the Mediator Ethics Advisory Committee. Attorneys receive 1.5 CLE credits in Ethics and Professionalism.
NEW MEDIATION TOOLS, APPLICATIONS, AND PROFIT CENTERS: EVERYTHING DiSC®, EMPLOYEE RELATIONS, AND HUMAN RESOURCES PRACTITIONERS (Deb Best, SPHR, SHRM-SCP)
This session will be broken up into two components: the first part will be an overview of how the Everything DiSC® assessment and accompanying Work Comparison Report can be an invaluable tool for dispute resolution and HR professionals. The needs-based core of Everything DiSC® provides critical needs’ information to allow workplace parties to proactively engage in productively mediating conflict themselves with objective data and, at times, without a third party. The second part of the session will create a crosswalk between mediation skills and the ongoing evolution of HR key competencies as well as how proactive mediation can elevate the role of HR. Participants will learn how to create new roles and conversations to support the success of all employees and leaders in organizations looking to transform their workplace paradigm.
*RE-ENTRY / TRANSITION CIRCLES: SUPPORTING RETURN TO COMMUNITY (Kim Reisch, Esq., Ingrid Welch, and Donna Ramlow)
Transition planning for persons leaving institutional settings, including jails, is often minimal or non-existent. For people leaving these settings, making life changes without support is next to impossible. Their family and friends, their natural supporters, have often been harmed by their behavior and lack trust the avowed change is real. However, there are often urgent housing, treatment, and custody of minor children that need to be discussed prior to release. Re-entry/Transition Circles offer an opportunity for restorative conversations about who has been harmed and what can be done to repair the harm, as well as the opportunity for strength-based transition planning. The process is designed to increase the number of supports and the quality of the support provided to persons leaving jail. CDRC volunteer and staff facilitators offer this process in the local jail prior to release. Attorneys receive 1.5 CLE credits in Areas of Professional Practice.
RESTORATIVE JUSTICE SKILL BUILDER (Duke Fisher)
Based on several years of experience with school, college, and community-based RJ facilitation, Duke will explore specific techniques for best practice and overcoming some of the more common challenges in the restorative process.
STRANGE MEDIATION BEDFELLOWS: FROM COPS TO ASTRONAUTS TO ROMAS TO REVOLUTIONARIES (Brad Heckman)
In this “illustrated lecture,” the presenter will discuss building mediation and conflict resolution capacities in some unlikely -- and sometimes resistant –environments in the United States and beyond. He will use drawings, stories, humor and his real-life experiences from the last 20 years to highlight lessons-learned, ongoing questions, and mistakes he made brining mediation to the NYPD, the Johnson Space Center, post-war and post-revolutionary communities worldwide, and emerging women leaders in the Persian Gulf. He’ll explore what’s transferable, what gets lost in translation, and whether providing skills in unusual settings is building or diluting our field. This session will raise questions and perhaps provide a few answers on how we galvanize mediation into the movement it deserves to be. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and share their own experiences.
WHEN PARENTS BRING RELIGION TO THE TABLE (Michael West)
Religion can play a very critical part in the negotiation of a parenting plan. Without notice, an impasse can arise, and the issue of religion has surfaced as a dragon and devoured all the hard work that has been done on a parenting plan. Over time experience has taught that if we fail, at the outset to determine if religion is an important issue for the parties, and address it early one, we will be faced with an uphill struggle later on in the process. Therefore, it seems logical to look at the mediation process and see where and how it can be more effective to address this “dragon.” This session provides a facilitative mediation model on how to address the issue of when religion is a key factor the parenting plan.