From the Director:
Delinquency and Deprivation
Mediation Registration Opens May 1, 2012
Last month I
told you about the Commission’s creation of two new registration
categories in juvenile mediation – delinquency mediation and
deprivation mediation. This month, let me tell you a bit about those
mediation processes and summarize the registration requirements for
the two new categories, which take effect May 1, 2012.
mediation is a form of restorative justice designed to deal
productively with juvenile criminal behavior. The process brings
together the youth offender, the parents, the victim, and other
stakeholders in the child’s welfare such as law enforcement, school
officials, counselors and others depending on the nature of the
crime. The mediator helps the parties to work together to help the
offender understand his or her actions and the impact it had on the
victim, to help the offender take responsibility for the criminal
conduct, and to help craft a unique resolution with the goal of
rehabilitating the offender and restoring the victim.
are those in which parents are legally accused having deprived their
child of proper care, control, subsistence, education or other care
necessary for the child’s physical, mental, emotional or moral well
being. Mediation of these complex cases can involve a large number of
stakeholders, including the parents, their attorneys, child attorneys,
guardians ad litem, court-appointed special advocates (CASA),
Department of Family and Children’s Services (DFACS), adult relatives,
and sometimes the child if he or she is old enough to participate.
The goal is find a workable solution to ensure the safety and welfare
of the child.
The benefits of
mediation in delinquency and deprivation cases are the same as those
of other disputes: confidentiality, communication, cooperation,
conciliation, creativity, compliance, and other good “C” words.
Moreover, the cases are routinely handled more quickly than they are
in court, which is particularly critical when dealing with children. But because these cases deal with
the welfare of our future adult citizens, the stakes are somewhat
higher than for “adult” disputes. And as you can expect, mediating
children’s issues in the context of unique juvenile law requires
specialized training and a special commitment to children’s welfare.
To summarize the requirements for registration in the two new juvenile
Mediation: Mediators seeking registration in delinquency mediation
must be registered as general civil mediators prior to taking
delinquency mediation training. A GODR-approved delinquency mediation
training will comprise at least 16 hours of classroom training,
including role play and other exercises. Training topics would range
from child development to delinquency law to case processing and sex,
drugs, alcohol and kids.
Mediation: Mediators seeking registration in deprivation mediation
must satisfy the requirements for delinquency mediation registration
prior to taking deprivation mediation training. They must also have a
bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution or the equivalent in
child welfare experience. A GODR-approved deprivation mediation
training will comprise at least 28 hours of classroom training,
including role plays and other exercises. For mediators who are
already registered in domestic relations mediation, deprivation
mediation training will comprise at least 21 hours of training.
Training topics would range from deprivation law and juvenile court
process to the role of various stakeholders, child support worksheets,
the effects of abuse/neglect, and Federal requirements.
mediators who are already mediating juvenile cases will be able to
apply to be “grandfathered” into registration as delinquency
mediators, deprivation mediators, or both during an 18-month period
starting May 1, 2012, as follows:
Mediation: Provide verification of having completed delinquency
mediation training, and verification of having mediated a minimum of 3
delinquency cases within 1 year prior to application.
Mediation: Provide verification of having completed deprivation
mediation training, and verification of having mediated a minimum of 1
deprivation mediation within 1 year prior to application.
mediator can be grandfathered in as a deprivation mediator without
grandfathering in as a delinquency mediator. The verification
required above may consist of a letter or other documentation from a
current court program that handles juvenile matters.
registered mediator who does not meet the above requirements may be
grandfathered in by providing evidence through a current court ADR
program that handles juvenile court matters that he or she has been
actively mediating deprivation and/or delinquency cases and possesses
the requisite knowledge, skills and ability to be grandfathered in.
other states may not be waived in for Georgia registration in
delinquency mediation or deprivation mediation.
NOT SEND US YOUR JUVENILE REGISTRATION INFORMATION UNTIL AFTER MAY 1,
The New Juvenile Registration Rules and How to Apply for
Registration or Grandfathering
Morokuma, Director, GODR
The Cutting Edge of ADR
Practice: Train to Become an “E-Neutral”
E-discovery – the
acquisition of electronically stored information (ESI) such as texts
and e-mails in the context of a lawsuit – is a $1.2 billion industry.
You won’t be surprised that parties to lawsuits frequently fight over
what ESI they must share with the opposition. These disputes have
created the need for a new type of dispute resolution professional –
an “e-neutral” – who is expert in both ADR and electronic discovery.
Want to work in
this emerging area of ADR practice? Then sign up for an upcoming
training, “Putting the ‘E’ in Neutral,” May 11-12, 2012, in Atlanta.
Trainees will not only learn how to break impasse on specific
e-discovery issues, but also will learn how to adjudicate an issue
under current case law. Registration is open exclusively to
registered neutrals through March 18, 2012. Registered neutrals
will also receive a $250 discount. The course has been
approved for 13 CE credits and for 13 CLE credits (including 3
Professionalism credits and 1 Ethics credit).
location will be the Buckhead office of One Mediation,
70 Lenox Pointe NE, Atlanta, GA 30324.
Register by completing the training registration form at
www.acesin.com and an invoice will be sent to you. Contact
Jennifer Keaton at
firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy of the two-day seminar’s
‘E’ in Neutral” is offered by the American College of e-Neutrals and
is taught by Professor Allison Skinner, who teaches e-discovery at the
University of Alabama School of Law, and Professor Peter Vogel, who
teaches at the SMU/Dedman School of Law. For more information on
e-neutrals and e-discovery, read this article by Professor Allison
Professor Allison Skinner
Late Renewal Deadline is April
period for the 2011 renewal season ended December 31, 2011. We are
now in the late renewal period. Renewal fees are now double your
normal, on-time fee. If you do not renew by April 30, 2012, your
registration will become “inactive,” and you will not longer be
eligible to handle court-connected cases. Inactive registrations can
be reinstated for up to two calendar years from your last renewal
date, so in this case until December 31, 2013. Registrations that are
not reinstated by that date will become archived, and those interested
in re-registering will have to take training all over again.
instructions and renewal materials are available at
www.godr.org. Check your information by logging into your neutral
account. Find login instructions
The renewal application will be entirely online except for payment,
which can be made by check/money order or online by credit card via
PayPal. You do not need to have or open a PayPal account to pay your
fee through PayPal.
All renewing neutrals must submit 3 hours of continuing education.
The CE you submit must have been taken since your last renewal or
since you first registered, whichever came later. Carryover hours
cannot be used.
CLE and CJE qualify as
Information on what qualifies as CE
and how to earn CE can be found under
“Help! I Need CE!” at
The base late renewal fee $250. For neutrals registered
in domestic relations mediation the late renewal fee is $300.
You can pay by check/money order or online by credit card via PayPal.
You do not need to have or open a PayPal account to pay your fee
If you are a
volunteer neutral – that is, you receive no compensation, no
matter how small, providing ADR services within or outside a court
program – you and your court-connected program director can submit a
sworn affidavit with your renewal application to have your fee waived
this renewal season.
To be considered a volunteer,
you must have provided ADR services to a Georgia court program in the
2011 volunteer affidavits can be downloaded from
“Forms and Applications” at
Background Check Authorization:
The GBI requires that GODR have hand-signed permission from each
neutral before we run background checks. GODR has begun using a new
long-term authorization form that eliminated the need for neutrals to
authorize us by signature each time. Once we have your long-term
authorization, you will never have to submit another background
check authorization again for as long as your registration status
have already sent us their long-term authorizations. If you have not
done so, please download, sign and send us the form, under
“Forms and Applications” at
www.godr.org. Your renewal application cannot be processed
without authorization to complete the background check.
Renewal instructions and information are posted
here on our website.
neutrals will be able to complete paperless renewals this season. If
you have documents to send us, we can accept them via scan and e-mail,
fax or mail. When mailing anything important to us, we strongly
recommend that you use a service that provides tracking and delivery
confirmation (certified mail/return receipt, Priority Mail, UPS,
If you have
questions about renewal, please e-mail us at
email@example.com or call us at 404-463-3788.
Child Support Calculators Updated
latest version of the Georgia Excel electronic Child Support
Calculators, version 8.6, was released on March 8, 2012. The Child
Support Commission is the statutory responsible for adjusting formulas
annually that are used in calculating applicable Social Security
(FICA) taxes for self-employment income.
federal government extended the 2011 FICA tax rate cut of 2% through
December 31, 2012, and increased the annual wage base limit to
$110,100. As a result, the formulas used for
calculations on Line 3 of Schedule B have
been updated. (Please note: this update is made each year in
January. However, the update was delayed this year pending the
federal government’s decision on the extension of the 2% tax cut.)
registered neutrals who use the electronic Excel child support
calculators are encouraged to
worksheet of their choice from the Child
Support Commission website:
information, contact Elaine Johnson, Child Support Guidelines
Alice Limehouse, Staff Attorney to the Child Support Commission,
Atlanta Hosts International Arbitration Conference
A major two-day
conference, “The United States and Its Place in the International
Arbitration System for the 21st Century: Trendsetter, Outlier, or One
in a Crowd?” will be held April 15-17, 2012, in Atlanta. The
conference, sponsored by the Atlanta International Arbitration
Society, is part of a broad-based effort to make Atlanta a center for
international arbitration, an initiative that will generate
significant business opportunities for the city and state.
include Chief Justice Carol Hunstein, Mayor Kasim Reed, and leaders of
major U.S. and international arbitration entities, and leading
practitioners, neutrals and in-house counsel from five continents.
Registration includes admission to the opening reception, Monday and
Tuesday luncheons, the Monday night dinner and reception at the High
Museum, and all CLE/CPD program sessions.
Registration ($585 on or before Mar. 15, 2012, $700 after)
Corporate Counsel ($285 on or before Mar. 15, 2012, $385 after)
School Faculty ($285 on or before Mar. 15, 2012, $385 after)
Judges: Complimentary registration on or before Mar. 15, 2012
guest ticket for Monday evening reception only ($150 each)
http://arbitrateatlanta.org/events/registration/ For more
firstname.lastname@example.org or call 404-745-5000.
GODR MEMBER BENEFIT SPOTLIGHT – LONG TERM CARE
Long Term Care
insurance - discounted program for members & family.
Registered Neutrals Insurance & Retirement Programs provides a member
benefits Long Term Care insurance program. This discounted program is
made available to:
• your family
members including spouses, parents, and grandparents.
high cost for Long Term Care, this program is designed to help protect
you, your family and your retirement security. Protection is available
should you need care at home, in an assisted living or nursing home
facility. To request information on this program, call 1-800-282-8626.
Learn More >
If links in
this email are not working, please visit
and serviced by BPC Financial, the administrator of the Georgia Office
of Dispute Resolution (GODR) Insurance Programs. GODR is not a
licensed insurance entity and does not sell insurance.
CaseWatch for Mediators:
Custody/Visitation Modifications Prohibited
parents seek ways to reduce return trips to court to modify divorce
terms, many have turned to employing self-executing custody and
visitation modifications in their mediation agreements and parenting
plans. In this month’s CaseWatch for Mediators, Mary Ellen Cates,
divorce attorney and registered mediator, explains why the Georgia
Supreme Court does not look favorably upon such provisions.
CaseWatch for Arbitrators:
Supreme Court Overrules West
Virginia on FAA Preemption
In case you
weren’t aware, the U.S. Supreme Court likes arbitration. The latest
state to challenge the court’s commitment to arbitration – and lose –
is West Virginia. In this month’s CaseWatch for Arbitrators, John
Allgood, Esq., veteran attorney, registered mediator and arbitrator,
take you through the Supreme Court’s latest and perhaps most emphatic
statement on the issue, the Marmet Health Care Center decision
from February 2012.
Find a Niche and Fill it
often feel like you've got too much competition and it is impossible
to stand out among the crowd so you end up losing business ? It
is a lot easier to market yourself when you are marketing to a
narrowly focused audience. Learn how to find your niche and fill
Federal Residential Mortgage
Mediation Program Seeks Mediators
with the Federal Bar Association, Judge William Duffey has developed a
pro bono mediation program to help address the recent flood of
cases in the United States District Court for the Northern District of
Georgia involving residential mortgage foreclosures.
borrowers to provide updated financial disclosures and requiring
lenders to prequalify refinancing under existing government programs,
the mediation program is ideally situated to facilitate a rapid and
expedited resolution of these cases and to provide a meaningful
opportunity for refinancing, where appropriate.
Halsey G. Knapp,
Jr. of Foltz Martin, LLC, is organizing a group of pro bono
volunteer mediators who will provide this service to the federal court
system. While the first five hours of the mediation are free of
charge, the mediator is entitled to assess fees for his or her time
spent as mediator thereafter. For more information on this public
service opportunity please contact Halsey Knapp at Foltz Martin, LLC,
email@example.com or 404-231-9397.
United Nations Ombuds Office Seeks Mediation Director
The Office of the
United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Services is looking for an
experienced, impartial Director to manage and oversee all mediation
related activities concerning staff conflicts and grievances.
Details of the job are posted
New Domestic Violence Fatality
The 2011 Georgia Domestic Violence Fatality Review Annual Report is
now available. Produced by the Georgia Commission on Family Violence
and the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the 8th annual
report is an in-depth examination of domestic violence-related deaths
in Georgia, which unfortunately has the 6th highest rate of DV deaths
in the nation. The report provides not just a compilation of
statistics, but analyses of escalating factors that can lead DV
fatalities, studies of DV in faith communities and the workplace and
the success of law enforcement roll call trainings, and an explanation
of the Georgia Crime Victims Compensation Program. A special section
provides tips on technology-related issues that may affect victim
download the latest report and prior reports, please go to
www.fatalityreview.com. More information is also available at
Speak Your Mind: Fulton County Court Survey
The Fulton County Court Improvement Task Force seeks your
participation in a brief survey about the Fulton County Courts. The
survey, which includes questions for the public, court employees, and
attorneys, will help the Court Improvement Task Force gauge court
users' opinions about their interactions with the Fulton County
Courts. It will also allow participants to suggest improvements for
the Magistrate, State, and Superior Courts. You can access the survey
Verification of Lawful Presence Required
Under the new Illegal Immigration Reform and Enforcement Act of 2011 (O.C.G.A.
§ 50-36-1(e)), all people applying for registration, registration
renewal or registration reinstatement with the Georgia Office of
Dispute Resolution starting January 1, 2012, must verify their lawful
presence in the United States.
Therefore, as of January 1, 2012, before your registration can be
issued, renewed or reinstated you are required to:
a copy of a secure and verifiable document issued to you by a
state or federal jurisdiction or recognized by the United States
government and that is verifiable by federal or state law
enforcement, intelligence, or homeland security agencies.
A listing of acceptable secure and verifiable documents, as
determined by the Office of the Attorney General, Georgia, can
be found at the Attorney General’s website under “Key Issues,”
then “Immigration Reports,” or directly at this link:
a signed and sworn affidavit verifying your lawful presence in
the United States.
affidavit to use for this purpose can be found at the GODR
website under “Forms and Applications” or directly at this link:
Information and forms have also been appended to downloadable
and online application forms.
Divorce Mediation Institute - Ashville, NC / May
Special Discounts for GODR Members
The Institute for Conflict Resolution is sponsoring
its Divorce Mediation Institute at the Biltmore in Ashville, North
Carolina this May. The featured speaker is nationally renowned
divorce mediation trainer Nina
Meierding, MS, JD and the
conference is packed with 15 hours of training.
The first 15 GODR members who register for this event and use the
promo code: GODR2012
will get a 35% discount on conference registration. To learn
more about the conference and register today click the link below.
Resources for Georgia ADR Professionals
We encourage you to visit the
blog created by Georgia State University law professor Doug Yarn
and GSU law students Alex Salzillo and Alicia Mack to inform and
encourage discussion. Please add it to your reading list, send the
link to your colleagues, and visit often. The address:
don’t forget the
Georgia Mediators Network, a great Facebook resource for the
latest mediation news and articles from around the world. The page
has been visited tens of thousands of times in just the few short
months it’s been around. Use the information there to pump your own
professional web pages and your expertise. The Georgia Mediators
Network is the brainchild of registered mediator Michele Gibson, our
marketing columnist and newsletter producer.
Benefits: Exclusive Insurance
Products for Registered Neutrals
neutrals are entitled to participate in several insurance and
retirement programs that have been designed specifically for them. If
you need insurance, are planning for retirement, talk to the experts
BPC Financial. They manage our new exclusive insurance and
retirement program, and they can advise you on your insurance needs
and help you find good deals on major medical insurance, healthcare
savings accounts, dental and vision insurance, term life insurance and
more. Registered neutrals receive the benefits of underwriting
concessions, enhanced benefits, or reduced premiums and fees compared
to shopping for similar products on the open market. Check out the
GODR Registered Neutrals Insurance and Retirement Programs website.
arranged for special benefits on professional liability insurance for
registered mediators and arbitrators with
Complete Equity Markets. See our
website for more information or contact
Betsy Thomas, 800-323-6234, ext. 472, and tell her you’re a
Georgia registered neutral!
Upcoming CE and Training Offerings
website for the latest CE and training offerings. Remember, any
ADR-related training you take counts as CE as long as you took it
since your last renewal or your initial registration, whichever comes
later. Lawyers, any CLE you took during that same time period counts
as CE. Likewise, judges and CJE. Accountants and other professionals
with CE requirements, same thing.
we posted two videos on our website that registered neutrals can watch
for free to earn CE credit. Each video is one-hour long. Neutrals
are free to watch the videos as many times as they wish, but we can
only award 1 CE hour credit for each video once a renewal season.
Please note the date you finished viewing each video so you can report
it on your renewal form. Remember, registered neutrals are required
to take at least 3 hours of CE each year in order to renew their
registrations. Look for the link,
“Continuing Education Videos,” in the main menu of our website.
For more information on what qualifies for CE, please see the
“Help! I Need CE!” link on our website.
Back Issues Available Online
is sent monthly to all registered neutrals, generally at the beginning
of the month. If you missed an issue, our back issues are posted at
the bottom right of our website, under
“Newsletter Archive.” Please take a look. If you know people who
want Be Neutral, please direct them to our subscription box at
the bottom right of our
website, where they just need to enter their e-mail addresses.
Please forward this newsletter to anyone who might be interested in
ADR in Georgia courts. Forward it just as you would any other
e-mail. If folks who are not registered neutrals want to receive the
newsletter free of charge, they can submit their e-mail addresses in
the subscription box at the bottom right of our
website. And sending us feedback is easy – just reply to this
e-mail as you would any other e-mail. We want to hear from you!
Spread the Word
Please forward this newsletter to anyone who might be interested in ADR in Georgia courts. Forward it just as you would any other e-mail.
If folks who are not registered neutrals want to receive the
newsletter free of charge, they can use the subscription box at below this
text or submit their e-mail addresses in the
subscription box at the bottom right of the home page of our
website. And sending us feedback is easy – just reply to this
e-mail as you would any other e-mail. We want to hear from you !