This is a small sample of the cases and projects we have worked on recently.
Mediation Case Studies
Estates and Trusts: Lawsuit between siblings over accounting of assets in estate. Controversy arose when sister had the power of attorney for their mother when mother’s health was failing. After mediator’s question about the underlying relationship between the siblings they began to communicate directly with each other. Four hours later they reached a settlement and dismissed the pending lawsuit.
Age Discrimination: Employee over 50 years old terminated after less than two years on the job due to alleged misconduct which impacted her security clearance and ability to gain future employment. After a ten-hour mediation an amicable resolution was reached and a settlement agreement dismissing the federal lawsuit was signed.
Estate Planning: Parents and their adult children and spouses met to discuss the proposed estate plan and disposition of the parents’ historic home. While dad wanted the home to stay in the family two of the children were not interested in it. Given the space for an open dialogue about preferences the parents were able to design an estate plan that met everyone’s interests and avoided messy litigation down the road.
Business Partnership: Dispute between physician partners of large practice group concerning issues over perceived hostile work environment, professional standards and teamwork. After mediation relationships between parties improved and reporting procedures and conflict resolution policy was put into place.
Personal Injury Litigation: Indian-born medical doctor suffered injuries and complications from a fall in a retail store. There was a significant claim for lost wages due to his high income. Defendant denied negligence. When the underlying cultural issues were identified by Alternative Resolutions and addressed the parties were able to discuss compensation and have an amicable result.
Sexual Harassment: Employee alleged that supervisor sexually harassed her by calling her after hours, commenting about her looks and embarrassing her. She further alleged that upper management took no action to address her concerns. The manager denied any improper behavior. After a very lengthy and emotional session the case settled and the EEO complaint was withdrawn. The manager initially denied any improper behavior. After a very lengthy and emotional session, the case was settled, the EEO complaint was withdrawn and the manager was sent to training and moved to a different division.
Disability Discrimination: Deaf employee complained that his manager failed to hire an interpreter for an important meeting. Through mediation the manager understood why receiving the information in writing was not equivalent to real time interpretation and agreed to schedule future meetings enough in advance to ensure that an interpreter would be available.
Meeting Facilitation Case Studies
Team Building and Development Facilitation
Action: Conducted team effectiveness survey and produced collated results which team analyzed at retreat. This created an environment for an open dialogue between the manager and her direct reports.
Result: Manager’s behavior and conduct is more open and trusting, people are working together and the former atmosphere of hostility is gone.
Action: Designed and facilitated kick-off meeting for new intra-departmental team.
Result: Alternative Resolutions helped the team write its charter including performance goals, accountability standards, work approach and measures of success.
Action: Conducted needs assessment to determine issues relating to team effectiveness. Alternative Resolutions lead group through structured process to identify team functions, responsibilities, strengths, weaknesses and opportunities, and goals.
Result: Enhanced organizational effectiveness, increased teamwork, improved communication and customer service, agreed upon action plan and timeline.
Strategic Planning Retreats Facilitation
Action: Multiple issues and conflicts caused by organizational change and leadership and budgetary challenges. Alternative Resolutions designed and facilitated a series of staff and management meetings using a structured problem solving process.
Result: Consensus decisions on priority issues including adoption of innovative staff recommendations. Facilitated development of implementation plan with task assignments and deadlines.
Policy Development Facilitation
Action: Designed and facilitated a national symposium to identify policy issues regarding biosecurity issues.
Result: Academic, association, industry and government leaders agreed on critical issues and common principles.