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IMA 2024 Annual Conference

  • 09/26/2024
  • 8:00 AM
  • 09/27/2024
  • 3:00 PM
  • Virtual Platform (Zoom)



Thursday, September 26, 2024

8:00 - 9:30 a.m. - Melissa Mangiaracina - “Managing Power Differentials in Online Mediation”

Power differentials have always existed in mediation. During the COVID pandemic, the legal field was thrust into an online platform. As a result, we have learned that the online and hybrid ADR settings raise power imbalances that are unique to the online platform and that can present differently online than they do in person. Now that mediators are free to mediate both online and in-person, decisions must be made about the best format in which to do so. Power differentials play a role in deciding whether in-person, online or hybrid is best. In this course, faculty will share existing data on the risks and benefits of online mediation, their own experiences with online power differentials, and techniques that can be used to mitigate and address them when they arise. 

10:00 - 11:00 a.m. - Lorraine Aguilar - “Transform Blame to Empathy with Nonviolent Communication”

This interactive session is for mediators who want to expand their toolkit and strengthen their impact using Nonviolent Communication, a framework for mindful communication that promotes connection across differences. Participants will learn how to facilitate a "serious play" game called Empathy Poker and apply it to conflict situations. By playing Empathy Poker, participants will experience how to shift from blame to empathy; listen beyond the words to identify what truly matters to the other person; and listen to understand instead of listening to respond

11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. - Networking Time and Lunch Break

12:30 - 2:30 p.m. - Clare Fowler - “AI in Mediation"

  • History and purpose of artificial intelligence (AI) (30 min.)
  • Ethics: AI concerns and boundaries (30 min.)
  • AI tools for the mediation process: scheduling, intake, chatbots, solution explorer, agreement drafting (30 min.)
  • AI tools for marketing, presentations, and invoicing (30 min.)

2:45 - 3:45 p.m. - Juan Vaca - “Employment Mediation at the EEOC”

Join us in learning more about the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s longstanding mediation program.  Learn about EEOC ethics in mediation, what to expect on the day of session, the dos and don’ts of mediation, tools that will help get through impasse and other strategies that will increase likelihood of a successful outcome. 

4:00 - 5:00 p.m. - Mark Batson Baril - "A Bully in Your Workplace Mediation: Steps to Take for a Durable Resolution"

Ignoring abrasive behavior or facilitating band-aid agreements when chronic bullying is a foundational component of a workplace dispute, does not accomplish fixing the conflict in the long-term. Addressing the issue head-on does. We'll explore this complex undercurrent of many workplace disputes and participants will walk away with a better understanding of how to identify and confirm abrasive behavior; set the organization on a path to end the behavior; and preserve the mediator's good reputation

Friday, September 27, 2024

8:00 - 9:00 a.m. - Janet Kaufman - “Emotional Regulation and Nonviolent Communication: Tools for Mediators”

Uh-oh. Wait… what do I do next? This session will introduce tools from emotional regulation and Nonviolent Communication. The skills we’ll practice can help us open doors for ourselves and others in stressful moments of mediation—to create spaciousness, possibilities to sustain or restore connection, and paths to solutions that meet people’s needs with more understanding, ease, and dignity. Learn strategies for self-connection to keep or find one's grounding, using the Grump Meter as a tool for self-regulation, and listening for feelings and needs to create connection.

9:15 - 10:15 a.m. - Jona Lagerstrom - "Family Courts and You: How Mediation Can Best Serve the Families of Idaho"

During the last state fiscal year, Idaho courts had over 7,000 divorce or child support cases filed.  This number does not reflect all the other case types before the courts involving families.  Child Custody Mediation services allow families to maintain control over the care and custody of the children.  Mediation keeps the decision regarding child rearing in the parents’ hands.  If mediation fails, it is up to a judge to decide parenting decisions.  Idaho has unique statutes and Supreme Court rules that govern family law and the services around families.  An overview of select statutes and rules will be conducted.  It is important for mediators to understand their roles and responsibilities as required by statutes and rules.

10:30 - 11:30 a.m. - David Pelligrinelli - “Top 7 Objections to Mediation and How to Overcome Them”

In many cases, the obstacle to getting disputants to participate in mediation is their resistance to the idea. Certainly in some cases it is required by the court prior to litigation, but even in those instances there is significant aversion to engaging in mediation. This session will highlight the value of mediation often overlooked by disputants (and their representatives), discuss different perspectives held by prospective participants to help overcome these objections; and identify ways to involve more people in the mediation process to lead to more successful outcomes.

11:45 - 12:15 p.m. - IMA Annual Membership Meeting 

12:15 - 1:00 p.m. - Lunch Break

1:00 - 3:00 p.m. - Stephanie Blondell, JD - “When Good Mediators Make Bad Decisions: A Look at Ethical Fading in Mediation"

An important, foundational approach to mediation ethics is, of course, thorough knowledge of the relevant codes, statutes, and rules in each jurisdiction. This session takes an alternate psychological approach to ethics and asks the question: How do good ethical mediators make bad ethical decisions? This session will examine the range of psychological processes that lead people to engage in ethically questionable behaviors that are often inconsistent with their preferred moral code and explore how this ethical fading happens and ways to prevent it.


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