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Prof. Robert Baruch Bush to speak about "Transformative Mediation," March 4

Robert Baruch Bush, the Harry H. Rains Distinguished Professor of Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Settlement Law at Hofstra University School of Law, will speak at the Quinnipiac-Yale Dispute Resolution Workshop on Monday, March 4, on the topic of "Transformative Mediation." The talk will be in the Faculty Lounge at 4:30 p.m., and is free and open to the public.

Robert Bush will describe what happens when theory and practice meet "face-to-face," in his talk on March 4.

The "transformative" model of mediation was first articulated by Bush and Joseph P. Folger in 1994. Transformative mediation uses a social view of human conflict to try to turn the negative attitudes in a dispute into a constructive process. The process "privileges party autonomy over external substantive or procedural norms to a much greater extent than prior models of mediation have done," according to Jennifer Brown, director of the Quinnipiac-Yale Dispute Resolution Workshop. As Bush wrote in a 2001 paper, "Success is measured, in transformative mediation, not by settlement but by party shifts toward strength, responsiveness, and constructive interaction."

Brown says that the transformative model "has generated great interest and some controversy." These ideas were almost immediately tested in practice, when the U.S. Postal Service adopted the transformative mediation model for its workplace conflict mediation program, called the REDRESS Program. Their hope was that transformative mediation would help managers and workers get along better after the mediation process was over. REDRESS is the largest such program in the country, available to all of the Postal Service's over 800,000 employees. It is widely viewed as successful at addressing the needs of both parties in employment disputes and in reducing the number of Equal Employment Opportunity complaints filed.

Bush participated in the development of the REDRESS system, and will discuss some of the empirical studies that have since been done to evaluate it.

For a complete QYDRW schedule and the papers available for this talk, see the workshop website.