Oregon Mediation Association







9:00 a.m. to Noon and 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Session A
How to Build a Dynamic Mediation Program
Presenter: Liz O'Brien, San Diego Mediation Center

This all day interactive workshop features Liz O'Brien, President of the San Diego Mediation Center, sharing her experiences of managing and building a dynamic mediation center. When Ms. O'Brien became the President, the program's annual budget was approximately $75,000 a year. Today it is nearly $2 million. Participants will discuss funding options to sustain programs including grants, fees for services, and private donations. She will share the program's experience of transitioning from a non-profit model to a combined non-profit and for-profit model. Participants will also discuss ideas to strategically market their services to their communities and work effectively with various stakeholders including boards of directors to ensure adequate support for building a dynamic mediation program. NOTE: priority in registration for this session will be given to directors, staff and board members of community mediation programs. See Liz O'Brien's biography below under the keynote speech information.

Session B
Power, Diversity, Democracy and Love: Addressing the Underlying Issues in Conflict Resolution
Presenter: David Bedrick, J.D.

Emotions, history, diversity and power differences are often considered issues to move beyond so that the "real" issues can be addressed. While these underlying issues are rarely expressed directly, they are fundamental to creating sustainable resolutions, relationships and community. In this training, you will learn skills and attitudes to help you work with these difficulties, including: identifying roles, unfolding unintended communication signals, focusing on learning, loving the conflict and its participants, moving beyond listening to the content, and using "non-neutrality" as a skillful resolution strategy. David Bedrick has taught conflict resolution for over fifteen years in organizations such as United Way, US West, and Allina Health Systems; he currently teaches at the University of Phoenix and at Portland State University. He is a counselor, an attorney and a consultant who is currently working on two books.

Session C
Managing Financial Responsibility, Property Division, Tax Planning and other Business Issues in Family or Business Disputes
Presenter: Robert D. Benjamin, M.S.W., J.D.

Managing money and property issues in mediation is one of the most critical and complex logistical tasks for mediators. This is the place where many clients become overwhelmed and can easily convince themselves that they are not capable of mediating their dispute. This workshop will provide a summary of the issues that typically need to be addressed and will consider the strategies, techniques and skills of managing financial and property issues in a mediation. This training is designed for mediators from all professions of origin, including mental health professionals, attorneys, financial consultants and others. Robert Benjamin has been a practicing mediator for over 20 years and he presents negotiation, mediation and conflict management trainings nationally and internationally. He is a past president of the Academy of Family Mediators and an Adjunct Professor in several graduate and law school programs.

Morning Sessions, 9 a.m. to Noon

Session D1
Facilitation Skills Training: Techniques for Mediating with a Large Group
Presenters: Molly Rodriguez Keating, M.S.W., And Mary C. Forst, J.D.

Facilitation skills and processes help mediators apply their skills to larger groups. What might you do the same, or differently, with a group of three or thirty? In this hands-on workshop, participants will experiment with various tools that can be useful in working with conflict in large groups. Participants will learn and invent new skills and processes through the dynamic process of participating in a group facilitation led by the presenters. Each concept and tool will be highlighted through description and demonstration as the facilitation progresses. Molly Rodriguez Keating has a private practice in mediation and facilitation that focuses on workplace issues. She has provided mediation training and coaching for many groups and individuals, including over 200 volunteer mediators for Oregon's small claims courts. Mary Forst has been a mediator, facilitator and trainer since 1978. She designs and facilitates consensus-building processes for land use and public policy disputes, as well as offering training in mediation and related skills to the public and to organizations.

Session E1
Improv Tapas: Creating "Flow" in Communication
Presenters: On Your Feet/Brainwaves

If you've seen the TV show "Whose Line Is It, Anyway?", you may have been impressed by the apparently effortless inventiveness of the actors. Inventive, yes, but simply because they've mastered some of the basic principles (listening, co-creating, being present, etc.) that help people work together. These are skills that can have great benefit to mediators, facilitators, and trainers. In this workshop, you will get a taste (thus the "tapas") for improvisational training and explore how it can help you in your own work. There is no requirement to be clever and witty. The presenters, members of the improvisation theater group, On Your Feet/Brainwaves, promise that you will not be required to sing, and that you won't die. Gary Hirsch holds a master's degree in Arts Education from Case Western University, and has been teaching and performing professional improvisational comedy for 15 years. He is the founder of "On Your Feet," an international network of consultants with experience in improvisational comedy, advertising and marketing, cultural anthropology, yoga, business school faculty, film and theater. Gary is also a member of Brainwaves Improvisational Comedy.

Session F1
Current Issues in Family Mediation
Presenters: Linda Scher and Meg Goldberg, Family Mediation Interest Group
Parenting Plans (Linda Scher)

In this training you will learn how to help parents design a workable parenting plan and you will learn what issues need to be addressed in parenting plans. The training will also include a discussion of the new State Family Law Advisory Committee's Parenting Plan Guide. You will learn how to help people think creatively and consider their children's best interests in creating a parenting plan. Linda Scher is a long-term mediator in private practice in Portland and a frequent speaker on mediation topics. She is an active member of the State Family Law Advisory Committee, and she is the former chair of the Family Mediation Interest Group.
Overview of Support and Other Financial Issues in Divorce Cases (Meg Goldberg)
This training will focus on child support and spousal support within the mediation context. The child support portion of the training will include basic instruction in calculating support, and justifying deviations to standard child support. The spousal support portion of the training will include a discussion of the three types of spousal support under the 1999 spousal support legislation. To the extent time permits, there will be training on assisting couples to divide simple assets and debts. Meg Goldberg is a mediator in private practice and a former attorney. She is qualified under Division 50 to perform court-annexed financial mediation. She is on the court mediation panel for Columbia County and the child welfare mediation panel for SCF.

Afternoon Sessions, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Session D2
Compassionate Listening for Personal, Regional and Global Harmony
Presenter: Alan Yehudah Winter

Compassionate Listening is a technique pioneered by Gene Knudsen Hoffman while working for the Fellowship of Reconciliation in the former Soviet Union. She found that if she could listen to the enemy with an open heart, i.e., without contradiction, judgment or defensiveness, so that they really felt heard, there was a very real possibility of beginning the process of healing and trust building. We will view the video, "the Children of Abraham" which documents a delegation to Israel/Palestine that used this technique. In this workshop, participants will learn the basic theory behind Compassionate Listening, observe it in action and have an opportunity to practice this powerful technique. Alan Yehuda Winter has a Masters in Counseling and has worked with male batterers, Vietnam veterans, and the terminally ill and their families. He has extensive training in compassionate listening and has done previous presentations on this and related topics at the Oregon Peace Institute, Linfield College, the Peace Conference in honor of the Dalai Lama and other forums.

Session E2
The Naked Truth about Problem Solving
Presenter: Louise Neilson

The creative problem solving process is virtually identical to mediation process. Yet it gets a bad rap in the mediation community. Why is this? Come explore the pleasures and delights of real live creative problem solving. Get down and dirty with methods and techniques guaranteed to knock your socks off. This interactive workshop will include individual assessment and large group demonstration of preferred styles of problem solving, and small group practice of problem solving techniques and methods. Louise Neilson has trained corporate, business and governmental organizations in over 200 workshops on creativity and problem solving, career change and transition, conflict resolution, teambuilding and other topics. She has conducted over 400 mediations and is the past director of the Alternative Dispute Resolution program at the Oregon/SW Washington Better Business Bureau.

Session F2
Current Issues in Family Mediation
Presenters: Brad Creveling and Ingrid Slezak, Family Mediation Interest Group
Understanding Retirement Accounts (Brad Creveling)

This training is designed to give a basic understanding of the two basic types of retirement plans and the different valuation techniques for each type. The training will also explain the unique features of Oregon Public Employee Retirement Accounts (PERS) and how to avoid common mistakes in dealing with PERS accounts. The training will also provide tips for drafting language dividing retirement accounts for mediated agreements or judgments. Brad Creveling is an enrolled actuary with the U.S. Treasury Department and a member of the American Academy of Actuaries. He is a frequent speaker on dividing retirement accounts in divorce cases and he has extensive experience valuing retirement accounts for Oregon attorneys and mediators.
Updates in Domestic Relations Law (Ingrid Slezak)
This training will provide updates in the law on issues relevant to domestic relations mediation. There will be an overview of new legislation and new caselaw. The past year has brought many changes in the law. A basic understanding of the law will help you recognize whether agreements are fundamentally flawed and will also help you draft agreements which will meet court approval. Don't be caught unaware! Ingrid Slezak is a long-term mediator and attorney in private practice. She is a frequent speaker at trainings for the Oregon State Bar and OMA functions. She is an active member of the OSB Alternative Dispute Resolution Section Executive Committee, the Multnomah Bar Association's Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee, and the OMA Ethics Committee.


9:15-10:15 a.m.
"Mediation: Practicing Inside and Outside the Box"
Keynote Speaker: Liz O'Brien

In her keynote speech, Liz O'Brien will examine the "box" of contemporary mediation and will challenge mediators with her observations of the current state of the industry and her vision of how the field can continue to be innovative as well as expand and diversify. Liz will identify significant issues that she believes the industry must address if it is to evolve fully, including: treating the profession more like a business; shifting from volunteerism to more paid work; adopting standards of practice and certification requirements; and refining how we define and address client process needs. There will be a brief question and answer period after her address. Liz O'Brien has been the President of the San Diego Mediation Center, a nationally recognized non-profit ADR provider and training institute, since 1995. Liz has designed and developed many different mediation programs and practices including the San Diego Superior Court ADR program. She received The National League of Women Voters' "Women of Vision" Award in 1995 and was named one of the "People to Watch" in San Diego in 1996. The San Diego Mediation Center, itself, has received numerous state and federal congressional awards, and in 1997, it received the San Diego County Taxpayers Association "Golden Watchdog Award" for saving the court system $3.7 million!

10:30 a.m. to Noon

A.1. An Exploration of Design Theory, Futuring, and its Application in Working with Conflict
Presenter: Hal Abegg

This workshop will explore what is known as "design theory," its ties to systems thinking, and to creating "things not yet seen." Design theory is a powerful tool for shifting thought and energy towards creating the outcomes that resonate with what we value and desire, rather than merely avoiding undesirable situations. This workshop will explore design theory and futuring, "wicked" problems, methods of shifting from a problem-solving mindset to creating things not yet seen, and how they can be applied in mediation. Participants will leave with effective tools for shifting clients' focus from a problem solving mindset to creating their desired futures. Hal Abegg has practiced as a mediator since 1998, and comes from a business background. He holds a Masters from Antioch University, Seattle, in Whole Systems Design, Organizational Systems Renewal.

A.2. Variations on a Theme: Different Mediation Processes
Presenter: Lisa Burk

Most mediation approaches emphasize a model to be used during the mediation process. This workshop will provide participants with an overview of several different mediation models including field mediation, mediation in rural communities, shuttle diplomacy, etc. Participants will explore the cultural values embedded in each model through a variety of interactive activities. Lisa Burk owns Communications Works, a cross-cultural training and consultation company that assists organizations manage change, conflict and diversity. She has trained over 5000 individuals in communication, conflict management and mediation and is an Adjunct Faculty member at Portland State University. She has been in the mediation field since 1984 and is a past president of OMA.

A.3. Premarital Agreements: A Mediated Approach
Presenter: Josh Kadish, J.D.

This workshop will address the substantive law of premarital agreements in Oregon, and how they can affect divorce, death, and day-to-day financial arrangements. The workshop will also explore the processes of negotiating these prenuptial agreements and the use of mediation to reach good conclusions. Josh Kadish is a frequent author and speaker on the topics of family law, mediation and negotiation. He is an attorney and mediator who received OMA's Award for Excellence last year, a practitioner member of the Association for Conflict Resolution, and an Adjunct Professor at Lewis and Clark Law School. He is also an OMA Life Member.

A.4 Is it Disagreement or is it Ethnic Bias?
Presenter: Terri L. Kelly

This workshop will be a discussion about racial and ethnic issues that may arise during a mediation. There will be an emphasis on how the mediator may recognize a racial or ethnic bias issue between the participants. Terri Kelly is finishing her master's thesis at Portland State University on Restorative Justice for Hate Crimes. She is a victim-offender mediator for the City of Vancouver, WA, and facilitates dialogues on race and ethnicity issues in Portland. The presenter is currently developing a curriculum on Cultural Sensitivity for Mediators.

1:30 to 3:00 p.m.

B.1 Empowerment, Impartiality and Maximization in Mediation
Presenter: Jim Melamed, J. D.

This workshop will discuss the extent to which empowerment of the parties is ethical and advised in mediation and how empowerment, if offered, can be reconciled with the mediator's duty to be impartial. Empowerment will be carried to its logical extreme, to a level of maximization in the mediation. The implications of a maximizing model will be discussed and skills for empowerment and maximization will be reviewed. Jim Melamed founded The Mediation Center in Eugene, Oregon in 1983. He mediates complex legal and organizational matters, offers mediation training through The Mediation Center, and is co-founder and President of www.mediate.com, as well as a past president of OMA.

B.2 Mediator Authenticity
Presenters: George Eltman, J. D., Laurel Singer, M. S., L. P. C.

This workshop will explore the practical and ethical aspects of mediator authenticity, specifically, the question of whether mediators should disclose their reactions to the behaviors and personalities of the parties. Can such disclosure be an effective alliance-building tool or does it conflict with actual or apparent neutrality? Does it have a therapeutic value to the parties or to the process? These practitioners, who often work together, will offer their perspective. George Eltman is a full-time mediator and instructor of conflict management. A former trial judge, he is a panel member of the US Arbitration & Mediation Service of Oregon and a fellow of the American College of Civil Trial Mediators. Laurel Singer is a Licensed Professional Counselor and mediator in private practice for over 10 years, providing mediation, training, and consultation services to businesses in the management of conflict and prevention of workplace violence. She is also an OMA Life Member.

B.3, C.3 Dialogue: An Alternative to Skillful Discussion
Presenters: Karen Hannan and Molly Keating

(NOTE: This workshop covers two consecutive 90-minute sessions)
This workshop will explore dialogue, the art of thinking together through talking together. The first session will provide participants with an understanding of the principles and core behaviors necessary for dialogue, as well as contrasting dialogue with debate and skillful discussion. In the second session, the attendees will participate together in a dialogue process to practice what they have learned. NOTE: as a prerequisite for the second session, attendees must have attended the first session, or have had previous training or experience with a "Bohm"- style dialogue. Karen Hannan is in private practice as a facilitator, mediator and trainer. Before entering private practice, she was employed by Hallmark Pacific Group and was the director of the Alternative Dispute Resolution program at the Oregon/SW Washington Better Business Bureau. Molly Rodriguez Keating has a private practice in mediation and facilitation that focuses on workplace issues. She has provided mediation training and coaching for many groups and individuals, including over 200 volunteer mediators for Oregon's small claims courts. Both Karen and Molly are OMA Life Members.

B.4. "Out of the Box and Upstream" - The State of Oregon's Interagency Dispute Resolution Pilot
Panel: Susan Marshall, Mary Forst, Christopher Sheesley

This spring, eleven State of Oregon regulatory boards agreed to participate in a pilot program to introduce and use new tools for pro-active public policy conflict resolution processes. This panel provides an overview of the Inter-Agency Dispute Resolution Pilot Project and panelists will discuss their experiences with the project and examine the potential for consensus processes to evolve from reactive resolution to proactive solutions. The panel will include actual clients who participated in the project. Susan Marshall is the Public Policy Dispute Resolution Coordinator for General Government Agencies within the State of Oregon. Mary Forst has been a mediator, facilitator and trainer since 1978. She designs and facilitates consensus-building processes for workplace, organizational and public policy disputes, as well as offering training in mediation and related skills to the public and to organizations. Christopher Sheesley serves as a mediator for a number of public and private organizations, has been the director of Community Mediation Services for the city of Vancouver, WA, and has trained close to 1,000 mediators throughout the Northwest.

3:15 to 4:45 p.m.

C.1. Neither Inside nor Outside the Box: Mindfulness and Mediation
Presenter: Barry Nobel, Ph.D., J.D.

This workshop explores the theory and practice of mindfulness as applied to mediation. The practice of mindfulness allows mediators to grow in awareness and acceptance of limitations that appear to arise from without and within in the course of conflict. The increase in awareness and acceptance provides the basis for transforming conflict. Barry Nobel has been an instructor at several colleges and universities in Oregon, California and Washington. He is in private mediation practice as well as being a mediator for Lane County Family Mediation Program. He has been a practitioner of meditation for 27 years.

C.2. Peace by Piece: Youth Take Action
Panel: Amanda Byron, Rebecca Payne and Erika Poole

This workshop will feature the 16-minute video, "Peace by Piece", a film that documents Oregon youth taking action against violence. Two of the teens involved in the video will discuss their experience and participants will explore creative ways for more youth to take action against violence. The workshop will also include brainstorming about ways to involve youth in self-initiated violence prevention projects. Amanda Byron is the chair of the Oregon Peace Institute Board and an OMA board member. Rebecca Payne is a 2001 graduate of Cleveland High School (Portland, OR) and is profiled in the "Peace by Piece" video. Erika Poole is a 2001 graduate of Franklin High School (Portland, OR) and is a teen mediator profiled in this video about teen peacemakers.

B.3, C.3 Dialogue: An Alternative to Skillful Discussion
Presenters: Karen Hannan and Molly Keating

(See program information under B.3., above. This is the continuation.)

C.4. Helping Mediation Trainees Understand What Goes on in the Black Box of Their Mind
Presenter: Tom Stern, MSW, LCSW, LMFT

This experiential workshop is for mediation trainers and others who may be interested. It dramatically demonstrates and explains what goes on in the black box of the mediator mind when disputants talk. It helps trainees to recognize and put aside their own "stuff" in service of the disputant. It has been used very successfully with over 400 trainees in the past 6 years. Tom Stern is a community and domestic relations mediator, teacher-trainer and mental health therapist in private practice in Salem.



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Copyright © 2000, 2001 Oregon Mediation Association

Revised --October 2001