Posts By: Caroline Petrilla

Veteran Mediators

Veteran mediators usually develop a cadre of finely honed communication, negotiation, and facilitation skills over the years. We come to rely upon them instinctively. Hopefully, as our mediation practice grows, so do our skills. Experienced mediators often report developing a gut feeling as to whether they can help disputing parties navigate through the labyrinth of… Read more »

Co-Mediation: Can a Duet do it Better?

Co-mediation involves a team of mediators. Usually two mediators, though it could be more, work with disputing parties to assist them reach resolution. The co-mediation process serves various purposes. In mediations involving many parties and multiple issues, like huge environmental clean-up cases, it provides a practical case management tool. In matters such as racial discrimination… Read more »

An Opportunity That Should Not Be Foreclosed

In January 2009, in response to unprecedented numbers of foreclosure filings, the Court launched a statewide interagency mortgage foreclosure mediation initiative. Its intent was to foster open and effective channels of communication between homeowners and lenders by introducing a neutral third party mediation process to assist lenders and defaulting homeowners in reaching satisfactory resolutions. Over… Read more »

The “Fair” Gender

Research continues to explore perceived differences of women and men as to their negotiation styles. Some studies find men typically focus on the more competitive elements of the negotiation while women focus more on the relational aspects. This alleged female focus on relationships is perceived by some as a vulnerability which stymies effective negotiations. Though… Read more »

Just Venting

For years venting, the outpouring of strong emotions, has been heralded as beneficial, even essential, to the mediation process.  Educators and practitioners alike have defined this venting process as critical to building bridges between the pain of the past to the potential for future resolution. Historically, mediators have been trained to encourage parties to share… Read more »

Phony Situations

Mediators often open mediation sessions stressing the importance of confidentiality. And so they should. Many states have adopted variations of the Model Uniform Mediation Act which statutorily protect communications shared during mediation. In New Jersey there is also a landmark Supreme Court decision,State of New Jersey v Carl Williams,184 N.J. 432, which champions confidentiality as… Read more »

The Write Stuff

In a 2013 case, Willingboro Mall, Ltd. v. 240/242 Franklin Ave., L.L.C., the New Jersey Supreme Court held that settlement agreements must be in writing to be enforceable. It was always good practice to capture the agreement in writing prior to leaving the mediation process. Now it is crystal clear a settlement has not been… Read more »