Note from the Legislative Committee Chairman – ICAA Forum October 23 - Next Meeting October 31.


Our forum on the proposed International Commercial Arbitration Act is next Wednesday, October 23, 2013, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.  at the WSBA Offices at 1325 4th Avenue, Seattle, Suite 600. Please try to attend.  Bring your friends, co-workers and family!! A good attendance benefits our committee and our Section far beyond the forum itself.  Information on the forum is posted in Events:


ICAA Forum.   Please try to attend Wednesday October 23 from 3-5 p.m. at WSBA.

            We’ll have a report from the forum at our October 31 meeting. Invitations are out to the members of the WSBA ADR Section, Litigation Section, International Practice Section and others, various organizations in areas of international trade, business and commerce, arbitration, and Washington corporations, among others.  Phil Cutler will moderate the forum and Jerad Hager will present the proposed Act on behalf of our committee and Section. Tom Brewer will comment from the point of view of an arbitrator, followed by comments by other parties involved in such mediations and interested parties. We’ll also have snacks and refreshments. The forum will be webcast by the WSBA and can be attended via the live stream. 

            At our October 31 meeting we’ll assess the forum and discuss our re-appearance, report and presentation to the WSBA Legislative Committee at its November meeting, see Phil’s report from the October WSBA Leg.Com. meeting:, concerns that have been raised regarding the proposed legislation, and addressing legislative agendas.


Child inclusive mediation.  Legislative Committee white paper completed.

            The white paper written by Abby Kostecki, a student at Gonzaga University Law School, has been completed and is posted on our legislative page: .  Abby is completing some edits to the draft before its full publication.  So, please review the proposal and make any comments you might have.

Thanks to Abby, Gonzaga University and Professor Richard White for their assistance and cooperation in completing this study.

            The study raises some issues beyond a voice for children in mediation and in litigated parenting cases.  It also raises the issues of mediation education, qualification and standards. The State of Washington has set mediation standards or qualifications in at least two areas in the past couple of years.  The Department of Commerce in 2011 set standards and qualifications for home foreclosure mediations and the Department of Enterprise Services in 2013 set standards and qualifications for mediators in state procurement contract dispute mediations.  The ABA International Law Section is studying standards and education requirements for international family law mediators. Research and interest in child inclusive mediation is one of many areas, as the white paper raises, that suggest best practices encompass standards and qualifications of mediators.  Let the discussion begin – and results follow.


Proposed amendments to Family Law Mediations 26.09.015 – deletion of section (4). Some comments and support have been given on the proposed legislation.  We anticipate that it will be on the agenda of the WSBA Legislative Committee at its November meeting. Planning for the presentation at our October 31 meeting.


Early Mediation in Family Law – HB 1353

            We have requested that the matter be placed on an agenda for a working session of the House Judiciary Committee.  However, we have yet to hear if that will happen.  In the meantime, support for the legislation is growing. There has been some discussion that the time frame for early mediation contained in the bill be shortened. We’ll be working on planning for a working session of the Judiciary Committee and other efforts at the October 31 meeting. 

            The February 14, 2014 CLE on Early Family Law Mediation - models and practices, including child inclusive mediation promises to attract attention to the bill and the subject. The all-day seminar will be presented by three professional mediators from Illinois – Cookie Levitz, lawyer, family law mediator at the Marriage and Family Counseling Services, and professor at IIT - Chicago Kent College of Law and Loyola University School of Law;  Sharon Zingery, divorce mediator and coach, with emphasis on impacts of domestic violence, consultant and trainer at DePaul University and College of DuPage, and David Royko, Psy. D., psychologist, freelance writer, and director of the Marriage and Family Counseling Service.  The seminar will explore models, practices and protocols in early mediations, including the inclusion of children in the mediation sessions.  Look for a posting soon on our ADR Events Page.

            Our white paper on early family law mediations has been delayed.  I hope to have an updated report of the status at the October 31 meeting.


Advisory Opinion 2223.

            The subcommittee spearheaded by Rina Goodman and Leslie Ann Grove is seeking written comments and scholarly or academic position papers on the opinion which we will post on the ADR website. Bob Collins at the Cardozo School of Law, who has a particular interest in the topic and who is a trainer at the DRC in Spokane, is consulting with the committee. Following publication of position papers and comments, we’d like to hold some focus groups and perhaps have a forum on the topic next spring.


Other topics for the October 31st meeting:  UMA/FFA, apology legislation, mediation standards and qualifications.

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Replies to This Discussion

Paul, Can you be more specific on the agenda item you want to include regarding Child Inclusive Mediation?



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