Upward and Onward: Memphis Lawyers and Mediators Keep the Movement Alive
The ADR section of the Memphis Bar has been actively pushing the local General Sessions Court to adopt a "Mediator of the Day" style project that is voluntary. One of the Judges created a special 9 am docket for pro se litigants every Wednesday. On that day one of the volunteer mediators offers pro bono mediation services to the litigants. First we explain why and what we are doing, then for those who are willing, we go to a conference room around the corner.
I participated last Wednesday as the mediator. One case involved girlfriend (A), boyfriend's mother (B) and girlfriend's mother (C). Boyfriend (D) and A had a verbal tussle resulting in B advising A who was living with her, to escape before things got out of hand. A fled to her mother's home. Within hours, A and her mother returned to B's house to get her items of personalty in a truck. This took B by surprise, things got heated and out of hand. A did not pick up her things and then filed a lawsuit. By the end of the mediation, all three of these women were hugging each other and apologizing for letting D (a man, of all things) get them all emotional and caught up in the moment. Never in a million years would that have happened in a Courtroom.
A friend of mine who is a retired juvenile court referee and I have started teaching classes to 'coach' disputants on participating in mediation. I am amazed, but it has been a big hit and one of the attendees actually hired me to coach her in her upcoming mediation.
The Memphis Collaborative Alliance is planning a weekend retreat to learn about Mindful Communication and we are hoping for CLE credit.