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MSBA News

ADR Tip of the Month - June 2015

June ADR Tip of the Month 

These practice tips are drawn from the MSBA ADR Section's June 9, 2015, ADR CLE, "How Community Mediation Can Improve Your Practice and Your Life," By Louis Robards, Hennepin County Attorney’s Office and Leslie Sinner McEvoy, Minnesota CLE. 

Key Takeaways from How Community Mediation Can Improve Your Practice and Your Life: 

  • Dispute Resolution Skills – Develop and hone your dispute resolution skills for use in your law practice, mediation practice, community and family.
  • Co-Mediation Model – Community mediation frequently uses the co-mediation model.  Learn this model and experience its benefits and potential uses in other disputes.
  • Unrepresented Participants – Most community mediation participants are unrepresented.  This is also a trend in private mediation.  Learn practical skills and ethical considerations for working with unrepresented parties.
  • Support Persons – Community mediation participants often include a support person. This is also a trend in private mediation.  Gain experience and skills for working in this situation.
  • Cultural Awareness – Parties in community mediation come from diverse cultures. Develop skills creating bridges between cultures and working with interpreters.
  • Hidden Biases – Hidden biases – our own and others’ – impede problem solving.  Working with diverse parties from all walks of life is a great way to discover and address these biases.
  • Emotions – Being comfortable with the expression of strong emotions is an essential conflict resolution skill.  Community mediation provides repeated opportunities to develop this skill.
  • Unspoken Interests – Identifying unspoken interests can lead to creative solutions.  Community mediation offers the opportunity to frequently delve into the interests behind the positions.
  • Practice, Practice, Practice – Repetition is key to developing any skill.  Community mediation provides frequent opportunities to practice and improve conflict resolution skills. 
  • The Best Thing I Did This Week!  - There is nothing like the feeling of creating a safe place for people to resolve conflict.  Sometimes the simplest solutions are the most difficult to reach and the most gratifying to achieve. 

Find out how you can become a community mediator. Check out the Minnesota Association of Community Mediation Programs website at: http://communitymediationminnesota.org. 

Practice Tip written by Louis Robards and Leslie Sinner McEvoy, Presenters for the June MSBA ADR CLE.