One of the most important and essential qualities of the business of Alternative Dispute Resolution is neutrality. It is ingrained in every aspect of our approach at JAMS, right down to the term we use to describe our mediators and arbitrators: “neutrals.” However, as we’ve learned from Gabriela Asmar, the executive director of Parceiros Brasil, and one of this year’s Weinstein International Fellows, we can’t assume it’s the norm in other cultures.
“In Brazil, there is a similar arbitration practice, but commercial mediation, based on law, is still in its early days,” said Asmar. “Parties approach mediation as a collaborative negotiation, much like they would a settlement conference in the United States. They may get to a point where they agree that going to Court is not the best option to resolve their dispute. But the decision-making process is conducted by one of the parties, so he or she is not neutral, which makes it challenging to obtain a balanced and fair result. What is missing are techniques that encourage trust and efficient exchanges among the parties, such as neutrality and confidentiality.”
According to Asmar, Brazil needs an institution that can be used for neutral commercial mediation services. She estimates there are no more than half a dozen full-time professionals with both business and mediation experience in Brazil. Among the mediation practitioners, most focus on resolving family disputes. For parties in Brazil seeking to resolve disputes out of court, the most likely option is through attorneys who facilitate a negotiated settlement. What neutrality can do in these scenarios, suggests Asmar, is to help both parties achieve optimized results.
“In the United States, commercial mediation developed out of the need for efficiency in the midst of crisis. In Brazil, this is the time to develop this market based on the opposite circumstances: a booming economy in a globalized world cannot afford to be so far behind in conflict resolution options.”
Ms. Asmar was based in our JAMS New York Resolution Center and has since returned to Brazil to continue her work of creating a culture of mediation in Brazil.
The 2011-2012 Class of the Weinstein International Fellowship program.
Now in its third year, the JAMS Foundation offered Weinstein International Fellowships to 13 ADR professionals from the around the world. This year’s class includes countries like Armenia, Brazil, China, Greece and India. Though they are from very different cultures, they all share the common goal of furthering the growth of ADR around the world. Because many of the Fellows work alone in their respective countries, laboring in near obscurity, the Weinstein program also gives them the chance to make professional connections that will sustain them when they return home.
JAMS President and CEO Chris Poole is flanked by Evgeni Georgiev of Bulgaria and Gabriela Asmar of Brazil
Over the week of September 6-11, all 13 fellows and members of the JAMS Foundation gathered at the JAMS San Francisco Resolution Center and the Weinstein Mediation Centerin Napa Valley for training and networking. The weekend gives them the opportunity to meet their colleagues, develop personal and professional relationships and discuss the future of ADR.
“These are the hidden heroes and heroines who are making a direct impact on conflict resolution in their home countries,” said Judge Weinstein.
The 2011-2012 Fellows Class included three from China: (L to R) Andrew Lee, Michael Jiang and Dawn Chen
“Our aim is to find these individuals and teach them tactics in support of global ADR,” said Jay Folberg, JAMS Foundation executive director.on conflict resolution in their home countries,” said Judge Weinstein.
In a great show of the positive result of mediation, American hikers, Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer, were freed Wednesday on bail paid by the country of Oman. Iran’s foreign ministry said on Thursday that “several world leaders” had mediated their release after spending more than two years in jail on charges of spying and illegal entry.
They were freed “due to Islamic compassion and in order to show respect for the mediation efforts made by several world leaders, including UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon… Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Oman’s Sultan Qaboos, as well as a number of religious figures,” media reports quoted the ministry as saying.
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JAMS International, the European arm of JAMS, announced today that it launched more than 40 mediators and arbitrators as part of its European panel. The launch of the panel, which brings together some of the most seasoned Alternative Dispute Resolution specialists in the world, cements JAMS International’s growing presence in the global ADR community.
JAMS International provides a valuable option within the ADR market in Europe. The international cross-border ADR specialists reside in countries throughout Europe and will handle disputes worldwide. The new panelists are based in Belgium, England, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Romania, Russia, Spain, and Switzerland. They include accomplished judges and attorneys who have built their careers and reputations in specific market sectors and understand the intricacies of different industries.
“We’re pleased to introduce the JAMS International panel, which includes some of the most knowledgeable and experienced mediators and arbitrators in Europe,” said Lorraine M. Brennan, JAMS International managing director. “With this distinguished and well respected group, JAMS International takes its place as a leading global ADR provider.”
To learn more about JAMS International and its panelists, please visit www.jamsinternational.com.