Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Mediation Is Not A Bulletproof Vest!

According to this article in the Reno Gazette-Journal, [and these additional stories] judges in the Washoe County Courthouse are requesting tighter security after the sniper shooting of one of the family court judges at the Courthouse. One of the judges talked about ways violence can be deterred before the dispute reaches the courtroom through mediation and settlement sessions. Just how will mediation accomplish this? Private mediators don’t have metal detectors or body scanning wands. As a mediator, would you try talking someone out of shooting or stabbing you, or would you rather sit near the conference room door?!? [I’m serious here.]

Remember this post about the husband who stabbed his wife to death following a private mediation session.

Yes, Florida’s Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators addresses safety.

For example, Rule 10.420(b) (5), Conduct of Mediation, Adjournment or Termination provides that “A mediator shall terminate any mediation if the physical safety of any person is endangered by the continuation of mediation.” [Emphasis added.] There’s no wiggle room here – stop talking.

All to say, please be careful out there – mediation is not a bulletproof vest!

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