Articles by Jim Melamed

What Is Your Mediation Background? (05/05/20)
The "digitization of mediation," now on steroids with the Covid-19 pandemic, has resulted in dramatic changes and new opportunities for mediators and the mediation field. A part of this includes new meanings for old words.

Resolving Pressing Issues in Divorce Mediation (video) (04/03/20)
This video on resolving pressing issues at the beginning a divorce mediation is from Jim Melamed's 15-hour "Mediating Divorce Agreement" course available at University.

Family Mediation 2.0 - Integrating Online Capacities (03/24/20)
Dramatic changes are coming to family mediation programs and practices in the U.S. In the court context, The National Center for State Courts (NCSC) and the Pew Charitable Trusts (Pew) are now leading the way to expand online access to justice, including online dispute resolution (ODR). Announces 25th Anniversary "Mediation 20/20" Online Conference (03/14/20)
"Mediation 20/20: Which Ways Now?" is the theme of's 25th Anniversary Online Conference October 1, 2020. This conference is both a focused think-tank conference dedicated to defining best courses for mediation's continued growth over the next decade and a celebration of Mediate's first 25 years.

Statistics from Franklin County, Ohio’s ODR Program (01/28/20)
Great set of comprehensive statistics about Franklin County’s ODR program have now been released. Two results stood out. Launches MediateIndia! Proven Bridge Between Professional Mediators and the Public (10/20/19), the world’s most visited dispute resolution site and most used mediator directory, has launched MediateIndia! CAMP, based in Bangalore, is the Foundational Sponsor for MediateIndia!

Establishing Standards for Online Domestic Relations Mediation (07/18/19)
Leading national family mediation organizations, including, have abided by common standards for divorce and family mediation for over two decades. Do these standards need to be updated to address issues of online mediation? If so, how?

Comparing Mediation Websites (05/24/19)
According to brand new 5/22/19 data from, is most visited and most linked mediation website, by far! Recognized as a Top Attorney Directory! (03/28/19)
Now entering our 24th year, is recognized as a Top Law Firm Directory for SEO! is the 8th ranked lawyer directory. No other mediation or ADR directory is listed in the top 100!

2018 BBB Complaints Against (02/19/19)
This article reviews numerous 2018 Better Business Bureau (BBB) complaints brought against a different company:

New Interview Series: "The Future of Mediation and Negotiation in Our Culture, Politics and Society" (01/09/19) is proud to announce our new video Interview Series: “The Future of Mediation and Negotiation in Our Culture, Politics and Society.” Robert Benjamin, Senior Editor, is lead interviewer for our new interview series.

Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) for Lawyers (12/21/18)
This chapter focuses on areas of ODR that are likely to involve attorneys, Attorney involvement in ODR tends to be for more complex and substantial disputes, such as resolving all divorce issues or settling an estate or resolving ongoing business issues. These are areas of “integrative” ODR practice, where there are multiple issues and, commonly, a continuing relationship.

NEW: - APFM Video Series (12/12/18) and the Academy of Professional Family Mediators (APFM) have worked together to produce 4 new online video courses Check out the trailers for all 4 of these new courses and then order at Note the special holiday pricing of only $199 for all 4 courses this month only!

Jim Melamed Selected For First APFM Outstanding Mediator Award (10/24/18)
After a nominations process open to all Academy of Professional Family Mediators (APFM) members, Jim Melamed, CEO, was selected to receive APFM's first "Outstanding Professional Family Mediator Award." The award was presented to Jim at the recent 2018 APFM Conference in San Diego.

Sample Agreement To Mediate (09/05/18)
This sample Agreement to Mediate now incorporates the confidentiality of digital communications with participants and their advisors.

Sample Mediation Ground Rules (08/07/18)
Mediators often assist participants to identify guidelines or ground rules to help support productive communications. Here are some sample mediation ground rules participants may want to consider adopting.

Article Profiles Role of Higher Ed Ombuds as Workplace Conflict Experts (11/10/17)
An article published simultaneously by the Journal of the International Ombudsman Association and the California Caucus of College and University Ombuds examine the work of Ombuds and other conflict resolution experts Refuses Refund to Family of Mediator Who Died (07/18/17) has once again revealed itself in refusing to offer any refund to the widow and child of a mediator who died 7 days into an alleged 2 year listing contract.

Case Management for College and University Ombuds (06/23/17)
Academic (college and university) Ombuds Offices have unique needs for managing personal and case information.

2014-2017 BBB Complaints Against (04/27/17)
At, we receive multiple complaints each week about another company, These detailed reports from BBB are instructive as to how this other company operates.

Computer Uses in the Law Office - Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow (11/29/16)
With the technologic advances over recent decades and their remarkable acceleration, it is clear that the legal profession needs to play a bit of catch-up by asking ourselves how can we best utilize all available communication capacities to elevate and expand the delivery of valuable legal information, advice, and services. Dream big! The future is not what it once seemed.

After Trump v. Clinton: How “Stronger Together” and “Great Again” Can Become “Great Together” (10/31/16)
Wow, what a divisive election! Some reasonably fear that this is the end of civility in American society. One reasonably wonders whether things have ever been worse. So, what do we do on November 9? Breaches Client Confidentiality (11/19/15)
Rather remarkably,, a company with numerous complaints against it, has been systematically displaying confidential mediation communications, seemingly as part of its misguided effort to convince other mediators to join.

Celebrating the Work and Person of Special Education Mediation Champion Marshall Peter (video) (11/14/15)
Marshall Peter is soon retiring as Director of Direction Service in Eugene, Oregon. Marshall is perhaps best known to the mediation field as the founding Director of CADRE, the National Center on Dispute Resolution in Special Education, established in 1998. Here is a video tribute to Marshall well worth your watch. Marshall has shown us just how much positive change a person can bring to both our local and national communities.

Now Negotiating with Iran; Remembering Senior Mediators Statement Urging Effective Negotiation Approaches (03/30/15)
This article was originally posted during October of 2006. That was a time when the Bush administration absolutely refused to talk with Iran. This outraged many Americans, including many mediators. Now, with the U.S. and Iran seriously talking, if not agreeing, it is appropriate and timely to wonder whether this example of "mediator activism," now 9 years ago, may have played a small part in encouraging the negotiations that have come to take place. Announces Mediation Futures Project (01/20/15)
In Celebration of our 20th Year, has announced The Mediation Futures Project. Ultimately, our goal is to develop a set of blueprints for the mediation field most effectively moving into the future. Submit your article or comment today!

Fantastic Initiative! (01/15/15)
Robert and Clare, thanks so much for leading this initiative! We have a fantastic Advisory Committee comprised of Peter Adler, Ken Cloke, Marvin Johnson, Jeff Krivis, Michelle LeBaron, Bernie Mayer, Nina Meierding, Len Riskin, Don Saposnek and Maria Volpe. Thanks for contributing your articles and comments to the Mediation Futures Project!

Reported Complaints About (09/01/14)
This article includes reported complaints and email correspondence with and regarding and their selling practices.

Incremental Progress in Mediation: Baby Steps, Strategic Mediation & Less is More (07/22/14)
Taken from Jim Melamed's training manual, these introductory excerpts suggest that progress in mediation is necessarily incremental; that the mediator should in fact strategically focus on baby steps of progress that can be made; and that, in effectively mediating, the mediator should seek to "only do so much as is necessary" to stimulate available progress so as to not over-direct the process and allow participants to claim progress as their own.

Perception and Parts in Mediation (07/10/14)
Seeking to be an effective mediator is a both challenging and fascinating endeavor. Essentially, the mediator is asked to assist participants who have some measure of disagreement, or at least lack of agreement, to reach sufficient agreement so as to be willing to call the situation "resolved." In this sense, the mediator seeks to move participants from "the circle of disagreement" to the "circle of agreement."

Mediation: A Fascinating Journey (07/08/14)
Mediation is a fascinating journey. It is rational and irrational, cognitive and intuitive. And there is no shortage of challenge!

Competition, Collaboration and Integrity at the World Cup (06/15/14)
As a former soccer player and professional mediator, I now think about the World Cup and soccer in terms of how we interrelate as human beings, focusing on issues of competition, collaboration and integrity. There are many lessons to be learned and a very special opportunity at risk of being missed.

Why (04/02/14)
After 18 years as CEO of, I know the answer to "Why" Our purpose from the beginning has been to both reflect and drive the development of valuable mediation services on a global scale.

So, You Want to be a Mediator? (12/04/13)
I find myself regularly asked “what do I need to do to become a mediator?” While I do not pretend to have all of the answers, here are some suggestions for beginning your journey.

Top Mediator Website,, Celebrates Past, Present & Future of Mediation (10/18/13)
This week's issue of The Weekly is's 500th compilation of mediation articles, featured blog posts, news, job listings, a field-wide calendar and more. Be sure to see our 500th Issue Testimonials. For 18 years, has been the trusted consolidator of comprehensive mediation information and resources. Announces Alberto Elisavetsky as Spanish Language Editor (10/10/13) is pleased to announce Alberto Elisavetsky as the Spanish Language Editor at Dr. Elisavetsky will review Spanish language article submissions and be furthering

The NSA, Mediation and Digital Accountability (06/11/13)
Our society’s and the world’s reaction to the NSA’s massive data collection efforts and the ongoing evolution of the privacy vs. security debate have rather profound implications for the future of mediation. I call this concept of how we adjust our digital communications given our perception of the possible unintended exposure of those communications, “digital accountability.” The good news is that digital accountability may not all be bad.

SYNC, UN-SYNC, RE-SYNC – An Emerging Paradigm for Online Mediation (06/03/13)
The incorporation of the Internet into mediation as an augmentation to “face-to-face” discussions or when the mediation fully takes place online calls for new understandings about how to best structure and understand both online mediation and all mediation. In fact, to some extent, all mediation is now “online mediation.” I here propose a new essential paradigm that I call “Sync, Un-Sync, Re-Sync,” and sketch out why I believe this reconceptualization of online mediation is valuable.

Negotiating & Mediating Parenting Screen Time Agreements (05/20/13)
How the world has changed! It used to be that divorcing couples would fight over family pictures, music collections and fear losing contact with their absent child. Digital pictures, digital music and “Skype parenting time” have now dramatically altered this divorced parenting landscape. Compelling is the new critical need for parents to directly address screen time and digital media issues in a constructive way. These issues are challenging for any family and doubly challenging when a child is being raised between two households.

The True Beginning of Mediation (humor video) (02/25/13)
The True Beginning of Mediation is an 8 minute tongue-in-cheek documentary tracing mediation's roots to Woodstock. Join Sunshine, A.J. and Jerry the Macrame Mediator for good laughs, and be sure to to check out all of our continuing education offerings at University!

How to Optimize Online Professional Directory Listings (01/22/13)
One common weakness for many professionals is their failure to capably develop and effectively utilize their professional directory listings. The purpose of this article is to offer ten key recommendations for optimizing your professional directory listings.

Watch Out for (10/02/12)
After 30 years in the ADR field, the last 17 as CEO of, I have sought to never speak negatively of any other practitioner or ADR organization. Unfortunately, I feel like I need to here violate this commitment. I recommend that you be wary of given their documented fraudulent means of operating and selling. Simply as an illustration, try to figure out who these folks really are, and their prices for services, at their own web site.

Beware of and (09/26/12), a new online "player," has apparently populated a database with as many as 300,000 “profiles.” If you are a mediator, yours is almost certainly among them. Google searches pick up these “listings,” and users are given the illusion that they are contacting their desired mediator, but these contact messages are never in fact sent to the desired mediator but, rather, are redirected to people who have paid to be listed on This company is fraudulently appropriating our good names and reputations and directing business to others without our knowledge. For these reasons and others that I have discovered, I encourage all ADR professionals to be wary of listing with and See Update

About (08/17/12)
Please understand that there is NO affiliation whatsoever between, founded in 1996, and a new highly suspect directory business called ""

Occupy and Mediation: Two Movements That Offer One Another Massive Opportunity (11/22/11)
Without seeking or wanting to take a political position on whether the Occupy Movement has positively moved critical national discussions forward, or whether it is just a bunch of young folks in need of showers and jobs, one thing is perhaps clear: mediation is emerging as the preferred Occupy dispute resolution process of choice.

The Penn State Debacle Will Surely Find Its Way Into Mediation (11/11/11)
In addition to the criminal actions associated with the Penn State sex abuse case, for which there will most likely in time be “plea deals” (negotiated results), it is certain that there will be many private civil actions for damages by the individuals and families that have been harmed. If those cases were to proceed through the courts, with certain appeals, the likely wait time would be 5 years or more. Mediation will surely offer a better option.

Harvey Goldhammer Wins iPad 2 From (10/25/11) recently performed a Web Site Satisfaction Survey and offered a random drawing for a free iPad 2 to encourage participation in the survey. The winner was Harvey Goldhammer. You can here see the happy winner and watch the random selection process!

Welcome to The Mediate Cloud! (05/05/11) is pleased to announce that we have successfully moved all of our servers to "The Amazon Cloud." This move "to the cloud" is essential to support's secure Case Manager and ODR Solutions work. All Mediate web site clients benefit from these speed, reliability and security gains. This is a great time to move your domain hosting and web site to!

Mediation Moving Forward (1 hr. video) (06/26/10)
This one-hour video is of Jim Melamed's plenary presentation to the Utah Council on Conflict Resolution and Utah Law School on "what works in mediation and how the mediation industry can best move forward."

How Benefits Mediators (11/05/09) is in its 15th year and now averages over 13,500 daily visitors. In this article,'s CEO summarizes how benefits mediators.

Old Friends, the Internet and Mediation (10/27/09)
A short trip to the SF Bay Area this past weekend provided me with an enhanced understanding of how integrated electronic communication has become with the coordination of complex face-to-face events, be that a soccer game, hospital visitation or, perhaps, a difficult mediation.

Preview: "Mediating Divorce Agreement" 15 Hour DVD Course (10/22/09)
This is a preview to "Mediating Divorce Agreement," a 15 hour divorce mediation curriculum with Jim Melamed. Full information and ordering are available at

We Are All Online Mediators (10/19/09)
It is my suggestion only that we cease to romanticize face-to-face mediation communications to the exclusion of other mediation communications, as if other (electronic) communications are not just as valuable to the success of the mediation effort.

The Mediation Industry, Qualifications & the Certification Program (06/27/09)
It is challenging to have any short discussion on mediation qualifications, the mediation industry and new Certification Program, but I will try.

A View of Mediation in the Future (06/21/09)
One topic that is not talked about much is: mediation in the future. Perhaps we assume that the future of mediation is self-defining or that "others" will make good choices. Will courts and agencies be the primary delivery system for mediation? It did not start that way. What about community programs? And what about technology? Mediation may be soon coming to a pocket or purse near you.

The Mediation Industry: Our Time Has Come (02/27/09)
The current use and potential for mediation over the next years is massive. We help people get problems resolved and we do that faster, better and cheaper. The word is out. A silent revolution has taken place. Policy makers don’t even think twice now in favoring, in fact, relying upon mediation. Our culture has changed. We have changed. Our time has come.

Obama, Miracle on the Hudson and a Society of Collaborative Excellence (01/16/09)
What are the odds of Barack Obama becoming our President? And what are the odds of 155 passengers surviving a plane crash into the Hudson River? This is not everyday stuff. It is what is possible. It is what is best. Does all this portend a new culture of collaborative excellence?

Leading Dispute Resolution Processes (11/11/08)
Here are brief descriptions of the most common dispute resolution processes.

Promote your professional practice in the largest worldwide ADR directory for free (06/27/08) is now, for the first time, offering a Free Basic Membership. Basic Membership provides a free listing in our field-wide ADR professional directory. Premium Membership provides you with an elevated and enhanced directory listing, access to all video content, participation in the "stars" Qualifications Disclosure Program, eligibility for liability insurance, and more. All Members can now indicate organizational affiliations, and there is a new "Search by Organization" feature So, for example, you can now search by the ABA DR Section; ACR; ACCTM, AFCC, IAM and many other international, national, and state associations.

The Evolution and Future of Mediation: Reconnecting with our Activist Roots (05/08/08)
The purpose of this article is to recount some of mediation’s past, consider its current state, and offer thoughts on development trends for the future, asking the question whether we are doing “justice” to the “mediation movement” we have created.

Obama’s Message - Mediation’s Political Triumph (02/25/08)
Presidential candidate Barack Obama's main political message represents the absorption of the mediation movement's essential themes at the highest level of national and global politics. This is an accomplishment that should not go unnoticed and one that all mediators, whatever our political leanings, should take great pride in. Obama's candidacy is mediative consciousness' coming out party. Could it be that our work is finally paying off, not only in terms of "miracles in the mediation room," but also in terms of truly improving the way we as humans operate on planet earth? I think so. We are experiencing a popular paradigm shift right before our eyes and mediators and mediative thought are largely responsible.

Wise Use of the Internet for Mediators (02/20/06)
Professionals need a Web site and email address today more than they need stationery and a business card. Hard to believe, but true. This article reviews how you should be thinking about your email and web development and how you can best serve clients online.

Divorce Mediation and the Internet (05/08/03)
The Internet is changing the way divorce mediation is practiced and experienced. Learn how the Internet is becoming an ever more integral part of effective and affordable divorce mediation services and programs.

20 Concepts & Recommendations for Utilizing the Internet (09/25/02)
This article reviews 20 concepts and recommendations to assist you to most capably utilize the Internet in support of your mediation practice.

Featured Mediator Program (06/26/02) is pleased to announce a new Featured Mediator Program for mediators with MediatorDirect listings.

Frequently Asked Questions about Mediation and Negotiation (04/23/02)
Jim Melamed answers nine frequently asked questions about mediation and negotiation such as "What is mediation? and "What if I want to be a mediator?". Includes links to further resources.

What is Mediation? (02/23/02)
Mediation is defined as a process of assisted negotiations, and its key qualities are described. A good primer for those contemplating mediation.

Email Management and Etiquette (12/01/01)
Email is mainstream. For many of us, email rivals the phone and personal meetings as primary means of delivering professional and business communications and services. Understanding email management capacities, options and best practices is in everyone's best interest.

Inventing Options For Mutual Gain (08/09/01)
In having a successful conversation a most important factor is finding new options that will give a more satisfactory response to the interests of both you and the other person.

How To Overcome Impasse (06/11/01)
As negotiations proceed, Parties sometimes reach an impasse -- often not due to overt conflict, but rather due to resistance to workable solutions or simply exhaustion of creativity. While the impasse might signal that the dispute is unresolvable in mediation, the mediator may believe that a workable agreement is still possible. This article describes some techniques to get negotiations moving.

Integrating The Internet Into Your Mediation Practice (10/17/00)
Many, if not most, mediators are already using the Internet to some extent for business promotion and in their practices; use email to communicate with clients and colleagues; send "attached" files with email; know how to highlight text in a file, to change fonts and colors. A large number of mediators now have websites where they describe and promote their services. And many of our clients are even more advanced. Use of the Internet in your practice will soon shift from being an appealing augmentation to being an absolute necessity.

Mediating on the Internet: Today and Tomorrow (part 2 of 2) (07/01/00)
Many, if not most, mediators are already using the Internet to some extent to assist in their mediation business promotion and practice. This paper examines Internet opportunities for mediators and mediation participants and suggests that there are unique qualities and opportunities for mediators on the Internet, including cost and convenience.

Mediating on the Internet: Today and Tomorrow (07/01/00)
Many, if not most, mediators are already using the Internet to some extent to assist in their mediation business promotion and practice. This paper examines Internet opportunities for mediators and mediation participants and suggests that there are unique qualities and opportunities for mediators on the Internet, including cost and convenience.

What is Mediation? (06/10/00)
Mediation is defined as a process of assisted negotiations and its key qualities are described. This is a good primer for those contemplating mediation.

Collaboration and Conflict Resolution In Education (04/05/99)
Since most of us grew up in a culture that treats negotiation and conflict resolution as forms of competition, we have much to learn about how concerned parents and school officials can better communicate and resolve conflict.

Maximizing Mediation (01/14/99)
Maximization is a mediative philosophy and approach that seeks to assist participants to obtain best possible results, as opposed to barely sufficient solutions. Participants may be assisted to be at their personal best; to most capably problem-solve; and to obtain the greatest possible substantive satisfaction. Maximization is a mediative commitment to assisting all participants to be at their best. Maximization may be mediation at its best and is consistent with a mediator's duty to be impartial. The opportunity for maximization distinguishes mediation.

Building a Successful Mediation Practice (08/30/98)
Mediation is an art and a science. It is also a business for many practitioners and programs. Just how do you get a successful mediation practice going? Great tips for establishing a successful mediation practice.

Five Steps to Choosing a Qualified Mediator (08/27/98)
Because no easy formula can predict mediator competence, the consumer must do some groundwork before selecting a mediator.You can use the Consumer's Guide to Mediation provided by the published by the Alaska Judicial Council, to choose your mediator.

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