Thursday, August 9

Parties to mediation are blogging

With all the talk lately of jurors blogging - like in this California Court of Appeals case where a juror's blog resulted in the conviction and sentence of 36 years being voided - I got to wondering if parties to mediation are doing the same thing.

And guess what? They sure are. Especially those mediating because of marriage breakdown.

This yesterday at MySpace;

"Gratuitous Update. Current mood: busy
... I was sitting in mediation with him, his attorney, my attorney, and the mediator, all of whom know about "it" and they were all calmly discussing what was going to happen with the kids. I just remember one thought popping into my head: "If you aren't outraged, you're not paying attention." That pretty much sums this up...if you aren't outraged, you really don't know what's going on...and once everything comes out then I will share it all with you..." [
read more]

And this again at MySpace;

"what the sh*t. Current mood: enraged
Monday I had the mediation for the divorce and I was confident that I was going to go in there and at minimal come out with a couple of alteration of my choosing and at least the same overnights with my children...The mediator continue to go back and forth taking everything that I proposed to allow her more recreational time and fighting that is great for the kids but would continue to say that it is best for me that we leave it at that and that would allow me time to myself and so on and so forth. The mediator would not attempt to show that my request for Thursday night was a valid point to be a better father with more school contact..." [
read more]

This IP mediation at The Village Idiot;

"Post Mediation
The mediation was a wash...
While we were almost able to come to an agreement wherein I signed something (which allowed me to state that I was NOT guilty of anything, and was ONLY signing a piece of paper to end this fiasco), we got hung up on them paying my legal costs, which they are unwilling to budge on. And so am I...

If I were not being sued by these bastards I might almost be flattered by all the skills they think I have.
The amended response from Qwest is in line with what I expected, a location in Minnesota.
Un-fucking-believable." [
read more]

And there's plenty more.

My theory? I think we are seeing blogs being used as vehicles for venting.

That does not make the confidentiality issues raised any the less, but it does make sense... what do the books say to do when a party can't contain themselves at the table?...ask them to 'just write it down for the moment and we'll get to it'

In fact one of the posts has this apology tagged on to the end of it;

"Sorry for the venting but just needed to type out my frustration... I do not plan on proof reading this so may God forgive me for the wrongful things that were portrayed in this blog"

Interesting, no?


Vickie Pynchon said...

I don't know what your confidentiality laws protect. Here, all mediation communications are privileged from disclosure in court or administrative proceedings. The critical question would be this: does party A waive the protection by blogging about the mediation; if so, attorneys and mediators should be warning about this type of public disclosure. I had a mediation recently where one of the parties to the SECOND mediation had blogged about the FIRST mediation. No one said anything about it (I do my homework) but now I wonder whether I should have said something to the attorneys in separate caucus to warn their clients about blogging on THIS mediation.

Tammy Lenski said...

Geoff, that is interesting. I guess we shouldn't be surprised that parties are blogging their experiences and feelings, but it's still eyebrow wrinkling to read it.

I think what I find most compelling about what you've uncovered is that those posts give us a look into thoughts that are often kept from us. It's important reading for mediators, I think...sort of a peek into the inner sanctum of parties' heads and hearts.

Thanks for searching those out.

Colm said...

This is great stuff to uncover as "feedback" is so difficult to get.

I am less concerned over the confidentialy aspect of the examples, than the underlying issues which seem to me that maybe we are not doing so well in uncovering "interests", if indeed a client need to vent (or to feel heard/listened to) is being ignored.

Is this becuase we are not "really" listening to our clients?


Geoff Sharp said...

Thanks Guys, it is an interesting development. I shall post again on the topic