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The Special Ed Advocate is a free online newsletter about special education legal issues, cases, tactics and strategy, educational methods that work, and Internet links.
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SPECIAL EDITION: MEDIATION
(1) FEATURE! "Seven Steps to Effective Mediation" (originally published in TRIAL magazine)
(2) BOOKS about Mediation in the Advocate’s Bookstore
(3) LINKS about Mediation in Wrightslaw
(4) Subscription and Contact Information
(1) FEATURE! "Seven Steps to Effective Mediation" by Diana Santa Maria and Marc A. Gregg.
Many of our newsletter subscribers know that when Congress amended the IDEA, they added mediation as a new procedural safeguard. Some parents and school districts will be able to resolve their disagreements and disputes by using mediation.
Parents, advocates, and school staff have questions about mediation. How does it work? Can it help?
What do you need to know about mediation?
A few weeks ago, we read "Seven Steps to Effective Mediation" in TRIAL magazine.
TRIAL is the Journal for the American Trial Lawyers Association. The article was excellent. We contacted the authors, Diana Santa Maria and Marc Gregg, who are practicing attorneys in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. They gave consent for us to add "Seven Steps to Effective Mediation" to The Special Ed Advocate web site.
Here are several questions about mediation.
1. Who are directors, influencers, steady types, and compliant types?
2. What do mediation clients need to know?
3. How long does mediation take?
4. Where should mediation take place? When should mediation take place? Why?
5. What does it mean to "share information strategically?"
6. How do you "prepare" a mediator?
7. Why do you allow the mediator to discover the facts in the case?
8. Why is it important to seal the deal in writing?
(2) BOOKS ABOUT MEDIATION FROM THE ADVOCATE'S BOOKSTORE
The authors of "Seven Steps to Effective Mediation" recommend several books about mediation. You can order these books at the Advocate's Bookstore:
Here is what one reviewer wrote about "You Can Negotiate Anything":
"To my delight the book is not only keenly insightful and amazingly informative, it is extraordinarily entertaining . . . the book manages to crystallize and articulate principles and truths . . . In a weird way, You Can Negotiate Anything feels like it was written as my own personal guide to dealing with the world. Incidentally, I've given Negotiate Anything to a dozen or so people who have had an identical reaction."
"My only gripe is that Cohen apparently never wrote a second book."
2. Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Roger Fisher and William Ury. (Penguin USA, 1991)
Based on research from the Harvard Negotiation Project, "Getting to Yes" is about how to negotiate "win-win" solutions to disputes. In this best-selling "bible for negotiators," you'll learn how to negotiate without giving in or turning the disagreement into a test of wills - where no one wins.
3. How to Mediate Your Dispute by Peter Lovenheim (Nolo Press)
"How to Mediate Your Dispute" shows how to go through the mediation process from start to finish.
Lawyer and professional mediator Peter Lovenheim, shows how to choose a mediator, prepare a case, go through the mediation process and arrive at win-win agreements. The book includes detailed chapters on the types of cases often taken to mediation.
For more information about How to Mediation Your Dispute (including the complete Table of Contents) go to
(3) LINKS ABOUT MEDIATION IN WRIGHTSLAW
Parent-school disputes are similar to family disputes - a child is involved, the stakes are high, and emotions run strong. It's important for parents to learn about the mediation process, what mediation can and cannot accomplish, and how mediators should be trained. If you understand how the mediation process works, you'll have a better chance of using mediation successfully.
To learn more about mediation, follow these links -
LAW: What does the law say about procedural safeguards and mediation?
FAQs: What is Mediation? How Does It Work?
Includes "Frequently Asked Questions" and "Standards of Practice" from The Academy of Family Mediators.
TACTICS & STRATEGY: Mediation: A Tactics & Strategy Session with Pete and Pam Wright