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  • Alabama ADRC :: Resources :: Ethics Opinion 001-10 ASCCDR
    did attend did not have any settlement authority Finally you state that because the parties agreed to caucus mediation only the mediator may have been aware of these facts The case settled without the mediators reducing their fees and they did not sign the settlement agreement The court ordered the case dismissed with prejudice The mediators fees are not paid Your questions are 1 what is the ethical response of a mediator when the mediator is told that a settlement is preconditioned on the mediator reducing her fees and she must sign the settlement agreement that contains a release 2 what is the ethical response of the mediator when one of the parties threatens to file a civil action or Bar complaint or a complaint with the Commission if the mediator does not reduce her fee 3 does the Code allow a mediator who is mediating a case under the Plan to report to the court that not all parties attended a mediation 4 does the Code allow a mediator who is mediating under the Plan to report to the court that the party that attended mediation did not have any settlement authority and 5 can the mediator report to the court that her mediator s fee is not paid Because the case is dismissed with prejudice the Commission fmds questions 1 and 2 moot The Plan III states among other things as follows A party is deemed to appear at a mediation session if the following persons are physically present or if so authorized by the judge are reasonably available to authorize settlement during the mediation 1 the party or its representative including counsel if such representative including counsel has full authority to settle without further consultation or 2 a representative of the insurance carrier for any insured party who is not such carrier s outside counsel and who has full authority to settle up to the amount of the plaintiffs last demand or policy limits whichever is less without further consultation Willful failure of a party to attend or participate in the mediation should be reported to the court emphasis supplied Discussions during mediation are confidential The judge does not rule on disputes arising in the course of mediation and the mediation proceedings are not part ofthe record of the case The Plan and the court s order as you have described it must be considered against the background of Code Standards 2 6 a the Alabama Civil Court Mediation Rules 1 b and 11 Rule and Ala Code 6 6 20 c 1975 2005 Repl Vol Standard 2 states among other things A mediator shall observe all administrative policies procedural rules and statutes that apply to mediation Standard 6 a states A mediator shall preserve and maintain the confidentiality of all mediation proceedings except where required by statute or agreement to disclose information gathered during the mediation emphasis supplied The Mediation Rules apply to court ordered mediation and Rule 11 governs confidentiality of information disclosed in the

    Original URL path: http://alabamaadr.org/web/resources/resources_ethics_ASCCDR_Opinion_001-10.php (2016-02-13)
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  • Alabama ADRC :: Resources :: Ethics Opinion 001-05 ASCCDR
    Ethics Arbitrator Code of Ethics Consumer Complaints Against Mediators and Arbitrators For Ethical Violations ADR Resources Ethics Alabama Supreme Court Commission on Dispute Resolution s First Mediator Ethics Opinion OPINION 001 05 This is the first ethics opinion requested of the Alabama Supreme Court Commission on Dispute Resolution The Alabama Code of Ethics for Mediators was adopted by Order of the Supreme Court of Alabama December 14 1995 and effective as of March 1 1996 Any mediator may write the Commission for an opinion about a section of the Code or for an opinion regarding some action based on the Code Questions Presented May a retired circuit court judge upon retirement accept mediation appointments from circuit judges when the case being referred may at one time have been assigned to the retired circuit judge Does the extent of involvement in the case make a difference For example if the judge merely had signed a HIPAA motion requesting documents or accepted a mutually agreed upon scheduling order would such acts preclude the retired circuit judge from accepting the appointment as a mediator Should the retired judge accept cases for mediation if the retired judge previously had made a ruling in the case that was dispositive of some issue and in favor of one party over the other party Response A retired Judge may accept referrals for mediation made by another judge who had been a judicial colleague of the retired judge If the retired judge previously had some involvement in the case he or she must fully disclose the extent of that involvement to all parties to the mediation and allow the parties to request another mediator if either party feels any concern over the inability of the retired judge to be fully impartial The greater the retired judge s involvement in the case the greater his or her Responsibility to evaluate whether he or she can remain impartial and Whether the appearance of lack of impartiality may cause any party to be uncomfortable with the judge as a mediator The concern about lack of impartiality might not occur until after the parties have engaged in some mediation sessions and the mediator s actions or words have been evaluated by the parties as being impartial or not thus the mediator should err on the side of refusing an appointment if there is any doubt in his or her mind about how the question of impartiality may be perceived by the parties See Standard Five Alabama Code of Ethics for Mediators Specifically to this opinion the mere act of ruling on a motion such as discovery request or HIPPA request in most cases should not automatically preclude a retired judge from accepting an appointment as a mediator in the same case If in ruling on the motion the judge has received information ex parte or otherwise which is not known to the other party the retired judge should decline appointment as a mediator In all cases where the retired judge has made

    Original URL path: http://alabamaadr.org/web/resources/resources_ethics_ASCCDR_Opinion_001-05.php (2016-02-13)
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  • Mediators get to the heart of the matter faster, with less cost, October 15, 2015, by Judith M. Keegan
    the Media Mediators get to the heart of the matter faster with less cost OANow com Posted Thursday October 15 2015 9 59 am Special to the News by Judith M Keegan is executive director of the Alabama Center for Dispute Resolution Conflict in life is a given The majority of the time we do not set out to hurt or injure another person We have a bad day We are tired We have an accident We make decisions that affect others How good it is to have a mediator a trained conflict resolution specialist to help you talk it out with the other people involved To get to the heart of the matter to turn what might have been sad an economic loss anger a tragedy to something of value to something positive And to do it quickly not years later A mediator is a neutral who works hard to find the interests of the people involved and make sure those are known to everyone Interests often involve more than just money while money is the only thing available if the conflict is resolved in court The interest behind a demand for a 35 450 settlement may be the concern of future medical bills the desire to purchase health insurance to cover unforeseen issues wanting an apology having to care for an individual the need to find out what really happened Or all of those A mediator s work also includes clarifying misunderstandings getting to the heart of the matter exploring solutions and finally reaching agreement Mediators must listen deeply A mediation session usually begins around a table in a confidential setting most often a conference room Only the persons involved and their attorneys if they want are present Usually refreshments are available all day as well as lunch if the mediation takes most of the day It is informal Everyone may ask for a break when necessary Get up Go outside Walk Think There is a structure to mediation sort of an unfolding of the story from both sides The mediator creates an environment where everyone can do their best negotiation job and guides the discussion so everyone has a chance to participate and to ask questions express sorrow and release anger respectfully if they want In order to be of most help the mediator will often spend private time with one person or group and then the other That way the mediator may hear and ask questions that might not come out in a joint meeting but may be necessary to resolve the conflict Information shared in these separate meetings is confidential unless the persons agree to share it As they work with the mediator the people who know the most about the situation make the decisions solve their own problems and resolve conflict as promptly as possible The mediation process promotes looking at options and improved communications Both facts and feelings are considered Mediation is voluntary and may be terminated by persons involved or by the

    Original URL path: http://alabamaadr.org/web/media/articles/151015_OANow_Mediators.php (2016-02-13)
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  • Mediators see Advantage in Bypassing Court Action, October 12, 2015, by Matt Elofson, Dothan Eagle
    disputes including divorces Holly Sawyer a Dothan attorney said a mediator is most commonly used in civil cases involving business disputes and divorce cases along with family disputes such as child custody and child support There s nothing more divisive than a divorce trial Nobody wins a divorce Sawyer said Through the mediation process everyone has input and the parties control the outcome versus letting a judge decide SAwyer said mediation helps keep the important decisions within the family or parties involved instead of forcing a decision in open court by a judge with only limited information available Sawyer also mediation can result in quick resolutions Taking a case to trial can be time consuming Mediation is a time to think about coming together to reach a common goal Sawyer said It s to figure out what s best for them given their circumstances Sawyer serves as one of 10 mediators in Dothan who are part of a roster maintained through the Alabama Center for Dispute Resolution She said the court can appoint a mediator from the center s roster to handle cases She also said the center has a fund that helps pay for mediation cases involving children The benefits of mediation are noted during National Mediation Week from Oct 11 to 17 Sawyer said mediations are often court ordered but sometimes occur by agreement of the parties involved in a dispute Typically the mediator meets with the parties involved in the dispute and their lawyers The mediator will then meet with each group separately and the process will continue until a resolution is reached Sawyer said mediators charge an hourly rate just like lawyers But she said using a mediator will often be cheaper because a resolution can be reached more quickly Houston County Bar Association President Ashton

    Original URL path: http://alabamaadr.org/web/media/articles/151012_Dothan_Mediators_See_Advantage.php (2016-02-13)
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  • A Mediator is A Conflict Resolution Specialist Who Helps You Get to the Heart of the Matter: Celebrating Mediation Week, October 11-17, 2015, by Judith M. Keegan
    in the Media A Mediator is A Conflict Resolution Specialist Who Helps You Get to the Heart of the Matter Celebrating Mediation Week October 11 17 2015 Article by Judith M Keegan Esq Executive Director Alabama Center for Dispute Resolution Conflict in life is a given The majority of the time we do not set out to hurt or injure another person We have a bad day We are tired We have an accident We make decisions that affect others How good it is to have a mediator a trained conflict resolution specialist to help you talk it out with the other people involved To get to the heart of the matter to turn what might have been sad an economic loss anger a tragedy to something of value to something positive And to do it quickly not years later A mediator is a neutral who works hard to find the interests of the people involved and make sure those are known to everyone Interests often involve more than just money while money is the only thing available if the conflict is resolved in court The interest behind a demand for a 35 450 settlement may be the concern of future medical bills the desire to purchase health insurance to cover unforeseen issues wanting an apology having to care for an individual the need to find out what really happened Or all of those A mediator s work also includes clarify misunderstandings getting to the heart of the matter exploring solutions and finally reaching agreement Mediators must listen deeply A mediation session usually begins around a table in a confidential setting most often a conference room Only the persons involved and their attorneys if they want are present Usually refreshments are available all day as well as lunch if the mediation takes most of the day It is informal Everyone may ask for a break when necessary Get up Go outside Walk Think There is a structure to mediation sort of an unfolding of the story from both sides The mediator creates an environment where everyone can do their best negotiation job and guides the discussion so everyone has a chance to participate and to ask questions express sorrow and release anger respectfully if they want In order to be of most help the mediator will often spend private time with one person or group and then the other That way the mediator may hear and ask questions that might not come out in a joint meeting but may be necessary to resolve the conflict Information shared in these separate meetings is confidential unless the persons agree to share it As they work with the mediator the people who know the most about the situation make the decisions solve their own problems and resolve conflict as promptly as possible The mediation process promotes looking at options and improved communications Both facts and feelings are considered Mediation is voluntary and may be terminated by persons involved or the mediator When a

    Original URL path: http://alabamaadr.org/web/media/articles/1510_Mediation_Week_Keegan.php (2016-02-13)
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  • ACDR: Pro Bono Mediator Award
    Webinars Contact Us Resources AG Opinions Court ADR Executive Orders Executive Order 50 Executive Order 42 Executive Order 7 2015 Mediation Week Proclamation Ethics Legislation Uniform Collaborative Law Act Mediator Confidentiality Act Mandatory Mediation Act Arbitration Act Draft Private Judging Act Peer Mediation Publications CLE ADR Procedures in Alabama Handbook Judges Mediation Bench Book Seal the Deal CLE Practical Tips from Top Mediators Brochures Bookshop Resources ADR Organizations ADR News Links Find Mediator Jobs Law School ADR Programs Ethics Restorative Justice Circle Sentencing Criminal Mediation Victim Offender Conferencing More on Restorative Justice Portraits of Restorative Justice State Agency ADR Statistics Home Admin News for Alabama Neutrals News Blog Newsletters Facebook ADR Procedures Alternative Dispute Resolution Procedures in Alabama with Mediation Model Need Legal Help Resources for Legal Assistance Share Articles in the Media Pro Bono Mediator Award At the Alabama State Bar s Annual Meeting Pro Bono Mediators were recognized and Jimmy Walter won the Pro Bono Mediator Award The Volunteer Lawyers Program selects the winner from a list of mediators who conducted mediations at no cost or reduced cost to the parties The list is compiled by the Alabama Center for Dispute Resolution from annual surveys provided by mediators on the Alabama State Court Mediator Roster Thank you Mediators The Alabama Center for Dispute Resolution wishes to thank the following Roster members who mediated pro bono in 2013 Joseph Adams Helen Alford Charles Anderson James Barton Robert Boliek Charles Booth Sarah Bowers Robin Burrell William Caughran L Brian Chunn Stephen Clements Louis Colley George Copeland Katharine Coxwell Samuel Crosby Timothy Donahue J Robert Faulk Donald Fazekas R A Sonny Ferguson Charles Fleming Cody Foote Anton Gaede J Kirkman Garrett Arthur Hanes David Hendrickson Sharon Hester Jerry Hicks Paige Hockman Claire S Holland Sam Irby Sharon Johnston Christopher Jones Kimberly

    Original URL path: http://alabamaadr.org/web/media/articles/1312_2013_Pro_Bono_Mediators.php (2016-02-13)
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  • ACDR: Foreclosure mediation help available
    Blog Newsletters Facebook ADR Procedures Alternative Dispute Resolution Procedures in Alabama with Mediation Model Need Legal Help Resources for Legal Assistance Share Articles in the Media Foreclosure mediation help available The Selma Times Journal April 28 2014 Read more http www selmatimesjournal com 2014 04 28 foreclosure mediation help available ixzz30PSjD1ry By Josh Bergeron For the next year banks and other mortgage facilitators may have an easier time communicating with Alabama homeowners under foreclosure Last year the Alabama Center for Dispute Resolution received a 500 000 grant through Attorney General Luther Strange s office Strange s office provided the grant as a part of the national mortgage settlement reached in 2012 between the nation s five largest mortgage servicers and several state attorneys general In April the center held mortgage foreclosure training for its nearly 40 mediators and is preparing to put them to work The center s director Judith Keegan said mediators provide a crucial service to Alabama residents as homeowners only have 120 days in foreclosure before his or her house is taken Mediators are facilitators of information and are a neutral party in negotiations Keegan said There is often a perceived power imbalance when you have a homeowner versus a bank or other mortgage facilitator If communication breaks down then that 120 day timeline can move quickly She said some homeowners choose not to respond to the bank or other mortgage facilitator during a foreclosure because of a crisis sickness divorce or a death in the family How are you going to be able to talk about your house being taken away if your spouse has just died or your are sick and just can t do it she said Mediators don t charge a fee to mortgage facilitators or homeowners Instead the mediation process is paid

    Original URL path: http://alabamaadr.org/web/media/articles/140428_Foreclosure_Mediation.php (2016-02-13)
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  • ACDR: State hopes mediation can ease court overload
    in Alabama with Mediation Model Need Legal Help Resources for Legal Assistance Share Articles in the Media State hopes mediation can ease court overload Montgomery Advertiser October 18 2011 www montgomeryadvertiser com apps pbcs dll article AID 2011110180324 Written by Scott Johnson The state is observing Mediation Week this week hailing a potential remedy for overloaded court dockets The Alabama Bar Association declared Sunday through Saturday to be Mediation Week and Gov Robert Bentley issued a proclamation naming Friday as Mediation Day The enthusiasm for mediation is inspired in large part by economics as the state s court system struggles with cutbacks and layoffs Bentley s proclamation notes the savings that could be gained by moving cases out of the court system given the current economic climate When a case goes to mediation a neutral third party helps the two sides reach their own agreement rather than leaving the outcome up to a judge or jury Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Tracy McCooey said mediation helps clear court dockets but also helps the people involved come to a satisfactory settlement It resolves things a lot quicker Mediation is a wonderful thing as often as you can use it McCooey said Mediation is most often employed for civil cases although the court more recently has begun to use it more often in certain criminal cases McCooey said Misdemeanor cases often are referred from city court for mediation she said They usually involve fairly minor offenses and often involve disputes between neighbors or family members making them good candidates for mediation she added Courts have been ordered to limit the number of weeks that juries meet each year so judges must prioritize which cases are tried McCooey said That usually means the civil cases are going to be pushed back as serious criminal trials move to the front of the line said McCooey who has presided over capital murder trials in three straight jury periods If you have a civil case you might be waiting years to go to trial she said Mediation also helps eliminate the element of surprise that a court judgment can bring said Deborah Kingrea a partner in Perry Dampf and Kingrea a Fairhope based mediation firm Instead the parties involved can come up with their own solution Kingrea said People are much more likely to comply with an agreement they have reached she said In fact the terms of a settlement do not have to be monetary when reached through mediation said Judy Keegan executive director of the Alabama Center for Dispute Resolution Keegan related the story of a mother who had lost her teenage son and was pursuing legal action against another teenager who she believed was responsible The entire case turned when the surviving teen offered the mother a simple apology The mother was moved by the teen s contrition A terrible burden was lifted from the mother s shoulders Keegan said The mother ended up accepting the offer of a scholarship fund in her

    Original URL path: http://alabamaadr.org/web/media/articles/111018_MA_Mediation_Week.php (2016-02-13)
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