justice-smiles-red-large.pngUniversity of Washington’s Mediation Clinic Director Professor Julia Gold is retiring. I wish Julia the very best.

Just over two years ago I went to the 2013 mediation and arbitration conference which Julia co-chaired with two others: Kathy Kline and Nancy Highness.

This conference was one of the most intellectually stimulating environments. Fortunately while there, I was able to strike up a conversation with Nancy. 

I indicated to Nancy my profound interest in becoming more involved in the ADR community as it just makes sense especially when considering the extreme waste occuring in my particular legal arena when of neighbors go to “try-all” (i.e. purportedly a “trial”). 

Graciously, Nancy invited me to join the planning committee for the subsequent year. That was an interesting negotiation process in which I was able to witness and at times contribute to the furthering of a common goal through the positive use of committee.

So, for those of you who think all committee work is bad, consider upgrading your mediation skills and see if you can have substantive and perhaps at times robust – yet respectful – debate in order to come to a common purpose.

Hmm? Is there any institution in particular that might want to put negative squabling aside to help America move forward? … Perhaps there is much more of a market for mediators than originally imagined.

At any rate, I had allowed a hearing for summary judgment to get between me and the October 2013 UW Mediation skills training. So, I was resolved to not have that happen twice.

Upshot, last year in October, I participated in October’s Medition Training. Oh, and yes I did earn something like 30 or more continuing education units for doing so … including 2 of those most coveted for legal ethics.

Here again, Julia Gold shined by hosted and principally teaching this mediation training along with Alan Kirtley. What’s more though, Julia et al were not remiss in assembling a roster of other heavy hitters from the mediation community to also train us. End product? 

UW’s Mediation Training was intense and it was fantastic!

It’s offered twice a year and I would highly recommend it to anyone who can dedicate two full weekends in a month’s time.

Really, fly in from LA, Chicago, Boston, or Baton Rouge to catch UW’s Mediation Training if you must. You will learn a lot … and then some!

Well, now I am on my way on the next adventure in further learning how to help people to put down their instruments of evisceration and instead get down to the brass tacks of solving their problems.

How? I am currently a member of the 2015 Winter cohort of King County’s Dispute Resolution Center’s continuing training program. Notably, this is the program where Nancy Highness – the one who  gave me my foothold – had earned her chops as a mediator. Moreover, none other than Julia Gold intends to remain as a director the KCDRC. 

So in concluding …

Congratulations Julia on your service. Being a professor is a special and talented calling is something which has made you really good.

Being a professor who has helped people to learn how to peacefully negotiate the minefields of enemity is something which has made you great.

On behalf of myself and certainly several countless others, we wish you the very best in the adventures you have ahead of you. Cheers!justice-smiles-red.png