Alternative Dispute Resolution

Neutral Corner: Trials may be vanishing but not the need for mediation

May 3, 2017
John Van Winkle
The phenomenon known as the “vanishing trial” has been a topic of serious discussion, and in some quarters, serious concern, since statistics showing a marked decline in the number of criminal and civil trials were first reported in 2004.
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Neutral Corner: Experts advise to ‘think slow’ when handling mediations

February 22, 2017
John Van Winkle
The tendency for decision-makers to respond first with an intuitive (and often wrong) response has significant implications for both mediators and advocates.
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Price: A look at the past, present and future of mediation

October 5, 2016
Whether experience will show one “model” prevailing or whether we have an environment where mediation is an amalgam of each type driven by the circumstances of the case, one thing is beyond dispute: Mediation is here to stay.
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Hussmann: Early intervention can provide desired effects

October 5, 2016
For those of us in the dispute resolution business, “desired effects” — justice — must remain an important component of the outcome if the system is to be perceived as fair and useful.
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Neutral Corner: Indiana’s ADR Rules adopted 25 years ago

October 5, 2016
John Van Winkle
Although mediation became the main thrust of the ADR Rules, mediation as now known was not the central feature of the rules originally proposed.
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Funding, use of ADR in family law cases varies in courts around state

May 4, 2016
Dave Stafford
Rensselaer lawyer Samantha Joslyn has handled family law cases filed at the Jasper County courthouse and in several surrounding counties in northwest Indiana. She said whether those cases will be mediated depends in large part on the court where the case is filed.
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Keyes: An alternative alternative dispute resolution process

May 4, 2016
The components of structured negotiation are not new; people resolve problems every day without resorting to litigation. But now the process has been better defined, refined and expanded.
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US Supreme Court ruling affirms class waivers in arbitration clauses

May 4, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
In today’s marketplace, consumers have a choice when purchasing such things as cellphones, banking services and even medical procedures. Sign the contract and get the product. Don’t sign the contract and don’t get the product.
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Neutral Corner: Recent appellate case raises mediation issues

May 4, 2016
John Van Winkle
The recent Indiana Court of Appeals decision Jonas v. State Farm Life Ins. Co., ____N.E. 3d ______, 2016 WL 1248589 (Ind. Ct. App. 2016) highlights several issues concerning mediation and settlement in both state and federal courts.
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Comment sought on state court e-filing, other rule changes

February 10, 2016
The Indiana Supreme Court is seeking comments on proposed rule changes that include appellate e-filing and CLE exemptions for judges and attorneys in the military.
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Indiana’s 6 commercial courts set to begin June 1

January 21, 2016
IL Staff
Six commercial courts handling specialized dockets of business cases were announced Wednesday in an order of the Indiana Supreme Court.
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High court: DirectTV can cut off class-action lawsuit

December 14, 2015
 Associated Press
The United States Supreme Court ruled Monday that satellite provider DirecTV can avoid a class-action lawsuit in California over early termination fees and force customers into private arbitration hearings instead.
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Sweeping changes in HOA laws aim for dispute resolution and transparency

November 4, 2015
Dave Stafford
Condo conflicts and HOA hostilities can often result in lawsuits and sometimes incredulous headlines. Lawyers have seen disputes arise over everything from where bikes can be stored to whether a condo owner could install hardwood floors.
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Method to the mediation

October 7, 2015
Dave Stafford
When "reason leaves the room," an analytical approach can lead a path to dispute resolution.
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Terzo: Arbitration is viable alternative in family law disputes

October 7, 2015
It wasn’t until the 1990s that arbitration began to be seriously considered for family law cases. At that time there was no statute specifically directed to family law arbitration, and Indiana had no caselaw regarding family law arbitration. Our current statute, I.C. 34-57-5-1, et seq, was enacted in 2005. It answered many of the questions attorneys had.
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Brown: Can the gladiator make peace?

October 7, 2015
It is the concept of the peacemaker that so clearly expresses the role of the mediator.
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Neutral Corner: Mediation communications in legal malpractice actions

October 7, 2015
John Van Winkle
The legal malpractice case of Cassel v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County, 244 P. 3d 1080 (2011), continues to ricochet through the California mediation community and court system, and the issue it raised is now headed to the Legislature.
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Project targets elderly in high-conflict families

July 1, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Steuben County is a test site for a new eldercaring coordination program.
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Johnson County ADR program sees uptick in caseload

May 6, 2015
 Associated Press, Dave Stafford
Every day, a program in Franklin works with families struggling with divorce, custody battles and child support disputes. The goal is to help resolve arguments, get cases through the court system faster, and help families move on.
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Neutral Corner: Admitting mediation communications in bad-faith actions

May 6, 2015
John Van Winkle
Are statements, offers and demands made during a mediation admissible in a bad-faith case? This issue is presently pending before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and is being watched by many in the mediation community with the hope it will clarify to what extent exceptions will continue to be created to the mediation confidentiality statutes.
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Neutral Corner: Use of mediator’s proposal should be a last resort

February 11, 2015
John Van Winkle
Mediation got an early and strong foothold in California in the late 1980s and that state has been an incubation site for several trends in the mediation process – some good, some bad and some perhaps a little ugly.
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Dealing with differing perceptions of reality

September 24, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Mediators say parties don’t always see facts the same way, but a "truth rule" could harm the confidentiality of the process.
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Mediation by monitor

April 23, 2014
Dave Stafford
The rise of online dispute resolution is seen as both a challenge and an opportunity for alternative dispute resolution.
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Reaching an agreement at the round table

April 23, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Attorneys find collaborative law allows families to craft their own future.
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Trimble: Avoiding and dealing with pessimism in mediation

April 23, 2014
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  1. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  2. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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  5. From the article's fourth paragraph: "Her work underscores the blurry lines in Russia between the government and businesses . . ." Obviously, the author of this piece doesn't pay much attention to the "blurry lines" between government and businesses that exist in the United States. And I'm not talking only about Trump's alleged conflicts of interest. When lobbyists for major industries (pharmaceutical, petroleum, insurance, etc) have greater access to this country's elected representatives than do everyday individuals (i.e., voters), then I would say that the lines between government and business in the United States are just as blurry, if not more so, than in Russia.

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