Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Potential for Mediation in NBA dispute - will it go any better than NFL?

The professional basketball players' union filed a complaint with the federal government’s National Labor Relations Board accusing the league of bargaining in bad faith. Typically, a ruling can take 30-60 days. NBA owners are accused of “circus bargaining” or never substantively changing offers during negotiations.

In football, NFLPA elected to de-certify so that its players are no longer part of a union and thus the NFL has no right to carry on a lockout without violating anti-trust laws. That case is in the hands of the Eighth Circuit. That appellate court may rule that the players’ de-certification is little more than a bargaining tactic.

No mediation has been set in the NBA matter. However, in the NFL case, the district judge-directed mediation by a federal magistrate judge came with many marathon conferences, but did not yield a settlement. The parties are currently supposedly engaged in direct talks, perhaps signaling that process was not thought to be as productive. Certainly, the NBA will be watching the NFL and only fans stand to lose.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Facebook mediation agreeement upheld

The brothers Winklevi have found that there must be an end to litigation.

According to the story, a California court ordered the parties to mediate the dispute, and they signed an agreement in which the Winklevosses would give up ConnectU for cash and a share in Facebook stock.

The Winklevosses later tried to pull out of the deal, alleging that Facebook had undervalued its stock, thus rendering the agreement as having been procured fraudulently.

A judge ruled against them and forced the settlement to go through, but the Winklevosses appealed.

U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, ruled against them.

"At some point, litigation must come to an end," Kozinski concluded. "That point has now been reached."

The brothers will not to appeal their case to the U.S. Supreme Court. most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

Friday, June 17, 2011

More Judge-directed mediation; this time in NYC

Judge-directed negotiation, is seen by President Obama's administration as offering states a way to curb liability expenses that have sharply increased health care costs nationally. Getting judges involved earlier, more often and much more actively in pushing for settlements, is touted as the crucial ingredient.

In New York, an expanding program started under a federal grant bypasses years of court battles, limiting legal costs while providing injured patients with compensation that is likely to be less than a jury would award but can be paid out years earlier, without lengthy appeals.

This article reports that malpractice costs have been at the center of the debate about health care expenses (and tort reform) for decades, with some states enacting legislation to limit awards. But the lawsuits have been difficult for judges to control, partly because the cases can go on with little judicial involvement for years, pushing up legal expenses and solidifying positions. The judges in this program keep 'em talking...

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Interesting look at mediation by our neighbors to the north: judge-led mediation

Mediator Louise Otis, who was just awarded the highest legal honor in Quebec, apparently introduced and implemented a voluntary judicial mediation program offering litigants the possibility of meeting with a judge to resolve their civil, commercial or family disputes – claimed to be the first such system at the appellate level in North America.

Says former Judge Otis, "A judge has to apply the law, but a judge mediator can discuss options for solutions with people and this is the difference. I really think that 90 per cent of all conflicts should be resolved through a useful dialogue, constructive dialogue well guided by a private mediator or a judge mediator. If not, our judicial system will lose legitimacy."

She calls it a living laboratory because it is an integrated hybrid system of justice, where mediation and formal adversarial systems stand side by side. Wait-- I thought that's what we have here in Florida?! I suppose the judicial aspect is more formal in Canada, though are judges are capable and often do act to prompt resolution between the parties if at all possible. This is particularly apparent in the Complex Business Litigation Division in Orlando during case management conferences which require attendance of the litigants.

Read more about Montreal's judge-led mediation programs: