Sunday, August 20, 2017

ABA Announces Theme For Mediation Week

The theme for this year’s American Bar Association (ABA) Mediation Week is "Mediation, Civility and the Power of Understanding." As lawyers and mediators, we understand both the challenges and rewards of helping parties in conflict reach an agreement by getting past differences in positions, by understanding each other’s perspectives better, and by finding ways to get their important interests met while staying true to their values and belief systems. Programs held during ABA Mediation Week will provide neutrals, advocates and policy makers with inspiration and tools necessary to bridge the gap that often prevents amicable resolution of disputes. Over the last few decades the field of alternative dispute resolution has grown tremendously, helping to clear dockets in the courts. The recognition that not all cases are well suited for the adversarial process and that there are multiple paths to justice is increasingly shared by attorneys, judges, and the public. Since 2011, the ABA declared Mediation Week as the third week of October, building on the prior efforts of many other national, state, and local organizations, including the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR) which have traditionally celebrated conflict resolution during the month of October. ABA Mediation Week celebrates of the strides in institutionalizing mediation as one of several appropriate dispute resolution processes. Since this is an officially listed ABA Journal "Blawg," you will see more about ABA Mediation Week which will be held during October 15-21 this year. See more here-- and

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Army Corps Addresses Water Wars

A Special Master appointed by the U.S. Supreme Court previously recommended Florida’s claim for relief in the decades-long Water Wars case against Georgia be denied because the Army Corps of Engineers, which controls water flow through the region in a series of dams and reservoirs, was not directly involved in the lawsuit. In its brief, the Army Corps said this week it was possible the Court could impose a water-use cap on Georgia without requiring a change to its policies for handling the dams and reservoirs in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river system. As such, it may be possible to design a consumption cap that would provide Florida with additional water at some points without any alteration of the operations. Attorneys for Florida and Georgia tried the case before the Special Master late last year. Florida wants to limit Georgia’s water consumption from the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin, including Lake Lanier, to 1992 levels and to get reparations for alleged economic and environmental harm to Apalachicola's oyster fisheries from drought. The dispute focuses on the river basin which drains almost 20,000 square miles in western Georgia, eastern Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. The Chattahoochee and Flint rivers meet at the Georgia-Florida border to form the Apalachicola, which flows into the bay and the Gulf of Mexico beyond. The states were advised to settle out of court rather than live with a costly decision neither will like, and the Special Master has many times encouraged the sides meet in a good faith effort to reach a framework for settlement. This latest development could be the impetus for a deal. See more here--

Monday, August 7, 2017

Join us 10/20 in Gainesville for CME/CLE!

My colleagues at Upchurch Watson White & Max Mediation Group and I will be presenting a multi-faceted eight-hour CME/CLE on the topics below in conjunction with the University of Florida Levin College of Law Institute for Dispute Resolution on October 20, 2017. Together, we will share our collective experience in the trenches of mediation. Presentations include: “Standards of Good Faith Conduct in Mediation – Mediators and Lawyers,” Larry Watson, Al Tetrault and Carl Schwait “What’s Going on in the Other Room,” Richard Lord and Jeff Fleming “Language of Mediation,” Howard Marsee and Lawrence Kolin “Negotiation Skills,” Judith Lane, Kim Sands and Alvin Capp “Designing the Mediation Process,” Rod Max, Dominic Brandy and Shelley Leinicke “Cross Cultural Mediation,” Ricardo Cata, Art Garcia and Richard Lord “Diffusing Volatile Emotions,” Michelle Jernigan and Brandon Peters “The Florida Mediation Movement – a Perspective,” John Upchurch, Larry Watson, Terry White and Rod Max Registration has not yet opened, but save the date please check back for more details soon and be sure not to miss this unique program! See our reminder link here--