Neutrals across the country must have experienced a mutual shudder as we read about a party leaving a Phoenix mediation, lying in wait for the other party and his lawyer to leave, and then shooting them, along with a bystander.
My initial response was from that core, human place. I mourn the loss of life and the injuries. I imagine the fear of those in the immediate area. I wonder if I know, or anyone I know knows, the mediator or any of the participants. My heart goes out to the mediator, Ira Schwartz.
Then I think about how this will play out amid the current debate about the role of guns in our society.
But then I imagine the critical questions this raises for those of us in the ADR field.
- As neutrals, what are our responsibilities?
- For those of us involved with court ADR programs, what are our special responsibilities? (more…)