Fairness in court-affiliated mediation

Christopher Annunnziata, who blogs at ckamediation.com recently wrote a post entitled, “Is Court-Referred Mediation Fair?” My first instinct on reading any articles on fairness in court-connected mediation is to place them in this context of Nancy Welsh’s work and about Carrie Menkel-Meadow’s work. Nancy and Carrie have, to my mind, provided awfully thorough treatment of this area in recent years.

But in this case, the nature of Annunnziata’s entry reminded me instead of Erica Fox’s work “Alone in the Hallway” from sometime back in the 1990s. Published in an early issue of the Harvard Negotiation Law Review, Erica’s piece does a nice job of highlighting the “self-agency” issues that arise in some mediations — particularly in pro se mediations. I have recently begun to assign Erica’s article again to some of my graduate students studying conflict resolution, and I’ve been heartened to see how much resonance her ideas have for some (and how much thoughtful, critical dialogue they spark in others).

I can’t find a link to a public-access electronic version of Fox’s article, but if it’s been a decade or more since you read it, I recommend it.

Michael Moffitt

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