8th Annual Midwest Mediation Conference - September 29, 2018 - featuring James Coben!

picture of James Coben

James Coben is a professor of law and senior fellow in the nationally acclaimed Dispute Resolution Institute (DRI) at Mitchell Hamline School of law. A former DRI director, Coben teaches civil procedure, advocacy, and a wide variety of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) courses, including mediation and negotiation.

Professor Coben is co-author of the Thomson Reuters trial practice series treatise Mediation: Law Policy & Practice (2018), a co-editor of the four-volume Rethinking Negotiation Teaching Series (DRI Press 2009-2013), a founding editor of Tán Pàn: The Chinese-English Journal on Negotiation (CHH Hong Kong), and editorial board member of the American Bar Association's Dispute Resolution Magazine, for which he writes a "Research Insights" featured column. He has authored numerous articles on alternative dispute resolution topics and made more than 150 presentations on ADR topics at conferences and continuing education events in the U.S. and abroad, including England, France, Italy, Spain, Hungary, India, Hong Kong, and China.

He created three law school study abroad programs: an international commercial arbitration program in London, an international business transactions negotiation program in Rome, and a program in democratic dialogue and mediation in Budapest. He also pioneered a variety of innovative ADR clinical opportunities for law students, including mediation advocacy on behalf of clients in employment and family law cases.

Between 1999 and 2005, Professor Coben was a member of the Minnesota Supreme Court's ADR Review Board, charged with adjudicating ethics complaints filed against neutrals working for the Minnesota courts. He also is a past chair of the ADR Section of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS).

The morning session will focus on "Disputing Irony: Lessons Learned from Litigation about Mediation" and uses video reenactments of "failed ADR". With a particular focus on mediation, this highly interactive case law "revue" provides an efficient (and entertaining) look at nationwide developments in federal and state mediation law, including the courts of Indiana (where state and federal courts have issued more than 60 opinions in the last 5 years). Whether you are a mediator or arbitrator, a lawyer representing clients, or a consumer of neutral services, the ironic phenomenon of mediation litigation is something you ignore at your peril. Topics to be covered include:

  • Enforcement of Mediated Settlements in Indiana and Nationwide
  • Confidentiality, Sanctions, and Attorney's Fees in Indiana and Nationwide
  • Procedural and Substantive Implications of Mediation Participation in Indiana and nationwide: The Law of Unintended Consequences and will summarize key cases, including those issued by Indiana courts

The afternoon session will focus on ADR Research Insights. This entertaining, highly interactive multimedia presentation will explore lessons practitioners can learn from contemporary social science empirical research, ranging from persuasion and cognition studies to consumer affairs to analysis of public and private ADR program efficiency. Topics to be covered include:

  • Lessons Learned from ADR Empirical Research, and
  • Applying Research Insights to Indiana Mediation Practice and Advocacy. Materials to be provided include an indexed compilation of more than 300 empirical research study abstracts.

The Conference is sponsored by the Indiana Association of Mediators in conjunction with the Indiana Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. The site of the Conference is the Hilton Garden Inn Indianapolis Northwest, located at 6930 Intech Blvd., Indianapolis, IN 46278 and will be held on Saturday, September 29, 2018. A block of rooms at a discounted price will be available for attendees of the Conference. When booking a room, it is necessary to identify yourself as a Conference attendee to received this discounted price, otherwise their normal rate will apply. Ample free parking is available in the hotel's parking lot.

Members of the Indiana Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers may attend the Conference for the same cost as current IAM members. For persons who are not currently IAM or NASWIN members*, the cost of registration includes IAM membership for the rest of 2018 and all of 2019.

Your registration includes all Conference materials, as well as morning and afternoon snacks and your lunch. There will be time for extensive networking and to get answers to your questions, so come prepared!

Scholarships: The IAM is offering ten (10) $50 scholarships that may be applied to the cost of registration. The scholarships are for students, new mediators, and those with a valid financial need for assistance. Please email Megan Wells, IAM President, or call her at (317) 580-9348 for more scholarship information. If registration for the Conference is done online, you will be issued a reimbursement check at the Conference.

For your convenience, the following information is also available:

The Commission has approved the Conference for 6.0 hours of CLE and CME. The NASW-IN has also approved the Conference for 6.0 hours of Continuing Education Units for Social Workers.

Cost of Conference Registration:

For current* IAM and NASWIN members - $199.00

For NEW (or returning) IAM members (which includes IAM Membership for the rest of 2018 and all of 2019 - $299.00

*Current members are those IAM or NASWIN members who have paid their 2018 membership dues prior to August 1, 2018.

Reservation Policy: Attendance is limited to 50 registrants. Due to space limitations, payment of the registration fee prior to the start of the Conference is required to guarantee your attendance. Unless other arrangements have been made, if payment is not received prior to Friday, September 21, 2018, your registration will be cancelled. Reservations received less than 24 hour prior to the start of the Conference cannot be guaranteed, even if payment has been made. Registrations done "at the door" will be accepted only if space is available and lunch may not be available for those persons registering at the door on the day of the Conference, since food reservations are made in advance of the beginning of the Conference.

Cancellation: Current IAM and NASWIN members may cancel their registrations prior to Friday, September 7, 2018, in writing, and receive a full refund of the cost of registration, minus a $10 cancellation fee if a credit card was used online to pay for the registration. However, for persons who are not current IAM members, cancellation of your registration will also cancel the IAM Membership for 2018 and 2019, which was included in the cost of your registration. After September 7, 2018, a cancellation fee of $75 will apply to all registrations and the balance of any payment made will be refunded upon written request.

If you do not wish to register for the Conference online , you can download the Registration Form above or go to the Membership page, download and fill out the IAM Membership Application Form, and send it, along with your payment, to the address indicated on the form.

2017 - 2018 Officers and Directors

At the Annual Meeting of the Membership, which was held on October 25, 2017, officers and directors were elected for the 2017 - 2018 term. The individuals currently serving include: Megan Wells - President; Tess Worrell - Vice President (President-Elect); Matt Tarkington - Secretary; Jim Johnson - Treasurer; Rick Wacker - Assistant Treasurer. All of the officers serve as directors of the Association. Other directors are: Beryl Cohen, the Executive Director of the Indiana Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (Indianapolis), Kathy Elpers (Evansville), Marla Hylton (Carmel), Carolyn Roper (Westville), Lea Shelemey (Valparaiso), June Shrieves (Greenwood), Kim Van Valer (Franklin), and Rick Wacker (Fishers).

Recent Developments

The IAM has made significant progress in becoming the organization for expertise in the area of Mediation. We have worked hard for the last decade to be recognized as a leading authority both by bar associations and by the Indiana Supreme Court. Another primary focus of the IAM has been to promote the training and inclusion of non-attorney mediators in our field.

Recent IAM Successes

Victor D. Quintanilla, Director of the Center for Law, Society and Culture and Amy G. Applegate, Director of the Viola J. Taliaferro Family and Children Mediation Clinic, both at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law, approached the IAM — through Kim Van Valer & Marla Hylton — for participation in a ground breaking study of the use of mediation in Indiana trial courts. Of particular interest for the study was the view of judges, attorneys and litigants toward mediation and its benefit in the resolution of family disputes thus preventing parents and children from having to be involved in the prolonged and adversarial court process. The IAM provided guidance in survey content and direction toward essential study participants – particularly non-attorney mediators who were not otherwise reached for participation.

The Indianapolis Bar Association requested IAM representation in a panel discussion of mediation for its Annual Conference. Marla Hylton and Jim Johnson (both non-attorney mediators) represented the IAM on the panel which included judges, attorneys and mediators.

Former Indiana Chief Justice Brent Dickson appointed an Alternative Dispute Resolution Task Force, chaired by Judge David Avery to consider and propose changes to the current Indiana Rules of Alternative Dispute Resolution. Significant revisions were in reference to confidentiality (again affirming the IAM's strong position in favor), and protections for identified victims of domestic violence. The IAM was well represented in this process by Past IAM Presidents Kim Van Valer and Ann Thrasher and by IAM Member Andrea Ciobanu.

IAM Continues to Investigate Community Mediation Centers

The Board continues to investigate Community Mediation Centers. If you're interested in getting involved in this project, please contact Mary Hoeller. If enough information becomes available, a separate page will be added to this website in the future.