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Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution

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dissecting the complexities of our practice:  Unreflective Decisions, Ethical Conundrums, the Impact of Diversity, and other knotty problems that mediators face

Facuty: Marvin E. Johnson and Homer C. La Rue


This workshop will be interactive using open discussions, case studies, exercises, and role plays. This interactive mode will give participants the opportunity to explore experientially the various unconscious decisions made by mediators, the techniques, and strategies used by mediators for dealing with a range of issues and problems in seemingly simple as well as complex mediations. Some of the issues and problems to be explored include: questions of when mediation may or may not be appropriate, hidden or camouflaged ethical issues, the impact of diversity on the mediation process and its outcomes, the usefulness of various styles of mediation, and other knotty problems that mediators face. Participants will gain greater insight into the necessity for and the benefits of recognizing the effect of the unconscious decisions they make at all stages of the mediation process.

What you will learn:

  • Additional tools and strategies to assist the parties in deciding how mediation may be appropriate in seemingly intractable disputes
  • An understanding of how to identify camouflaged ethical issues
  • Tools necessary to deal with the subtle impact of diversity on the parties and the mediation process
  • A deeper awareness of how unconscious decisions/assumptions on the part of the mediator affects the parties and the mediation process
  • How to weave the various styles of mediation into the process to meet the needs of the parties and the process

Marvin E. Johnson is a nationally recognized mediator, arbitrator and trainer and is the founder and executive director of the Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution. He serves on the JAMS panel of resolution experts.   Two U.S. presidents, a U.S. secretary of state, a governor of Maryland, and the chief judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals have recognized Marvin Johnson's dispute resolution expertise by appointing him to various dispute resolution panels and boards. He is a member of the American College of Civil Trial Mediators, the National Bar Association, and the CPR Institute's National Task Force on Diversity. He is a former officer and current member of the ABA's Section of Dispute Resolution, the International Academy of Mediators, and the Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution/Association for Conflict Resolution.

Homer C. La Rue is professor of law at the Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C. He directs the Law School's Mediation Clinic and directs the ADR curriculum for the Law School. He is Past-Chair of the Council of the Section of Dispute Resolution of the American Bar Association and past president of the Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution (SPIDR), now the Association for Conflict Resolution.   Professor La Rue is a member of the Washington, D.C. roster of arbitrators and mediators maintained by JAMS The Resolution Experts. He is a member of the National Academy of Arbitrators. He is a Fellow in the College of Labor & Employment Lawyers, as well as, a Fellow in and a member of the College of Commercial Arbitrators. He has lectured extensively in the dispute resolution field.