Public Sector Mediation: Skills and Drills | Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution | School of Law | Pepperdine University

Public Sector Mediation: Skills and Drills

August 17-18, 2017

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Faculty: Toby Treem Guerin and Jim Craven

Public Sector Mediation: Skills and Drills is a highly interactive skills-based course designed to enhance the tool kit of the public sector mediator. Whether mediating employment discrimination cases or other policy disputes, public sector mediators share common challenges unique to the civil service environment. This course focuses on skills to address high-conflict personalities and intense emotions, self-represented parties unaccustomed to distributive negotiations, advocates expecting an evaluative mediation model, and unions and enforcement agencies with outside interests. The workshop also addresses issues of authority and agency, as well as the impasses of inertia (the wait for a new administration or policy, budget cycle, or collective bargaining agreement).

Designed to bridge the gap between the orthodox mediation models taught (theory) and the realities of public sector mediation (practice), this intensive presents the skills most relevant to public sector mediators via drills and role-plays. The trainers bring their extensive public sector experiences to integrate common ethical challenges and maximize outcomes in public sector mediations.

What you will learn:

  • Closing the deal with inexperienced negotiators
  • Reality testing (with an emphasis on the narrow and more directive) to round out the public sector mediator's tool kit
  • Strategic questioning methods such as t-funneling and directional questions
  • Identifying "ghosts" in the room or uncovering an advocate's unarticulated institutional interests
  • Techniques to use with high-conflict individuals
  • Managing strong emotions

Toby Treem Guerin is the deputy director for the Center for Dispute Resolution at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law and clinical instructor for its Mediation Clinic. Guerin has over 15 years experience mediating and facilitating in various venues including government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and court systems. She served as the first chairperson of the Mediator Excellence Council, a mediator quality-assistance initiative in Maryland and formerly directed the agricultural mediation program at the Maryland Department of Agriculture. Guerin conducts trainings on topics such as basic mediation, co-mediation, elicitive feedback, mentoring, and effective communication, among others.

Jim Craven is a lawyer, mediator, and frequent speaker in the conflict resolution field. He has been practicing law for over 40 years and remains of counsel to the Spokane, Washington, law firm of Evans, Craven & Lackie which he cofounded in 1978. He has extensive experience in the mediation of complex disputes, having served mediation clients throughout the northwest since 1990. His work in the public sector arena includes land use mediation, labor relations, and governmental interagency conflict resolution, and systems design. He serves on the construction, commercial, and mediation panels of the American Arbitration Association, and is a member of the Washington Mediation Association. Craven was a trial lawyer for over 25 years before becoming a full-time neutral. His trial practice emphasized complex construction, environmental, commercial, and professional negligence litigation. He received his law degree from Gonzaga University and the LLM in dispute resolution from Pepperdine University. In addition to his dispute resolution practice, Craven consults with business and government on a wide range of issues.