Prof. Sarah Cole
Prof. Carole Hinchcliff



This course is designed both to help you develop mediation skills and to examine legal, ethical, and policy issues that arise in the use of mediation. You will act as mediators in Small Claims Court and write and present seminar papers.

We have scheduled most of the class hours and the bulk of required reading for the first five weeks of the semester. By front-loading, we can get you ready to mediate at the court beginning the week of January 21. Also, we can discuss the law-related issues enough so that you can pick a seminar paper topic by February 13.

Extended mediation skills training classes will be held on January 14th from 6:00 to 9:30 and on Saturday, January 19 from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. At these training classes, we have arranged for one experienced mediator to assist each group of three students. We have canceled some classes in anticipation of these evening hours of class and your time at Small Claims Court.

At the first class session, you will receive a preliminary schedule for mediation at Small Claims Court. Each student will mediate at least six times, for about three hours each time, during the course of the semester. Mediations are available at 1:30 p.m. on Monday through Thursday and 5:45 p.m. on every other Thursday evening. Professor Hinchcliff will observe some of your mediation sessions and discuss them with you.


The course requirements are: (1) a rough draft, oral presentation, and final draft of a seminar paper, (2) three hours per week for six weeks acting as mediators, and (3) prepared class participation. The course grade will be based on the following:

The seminar paper should be a well-documented legal research paper. Although there are no page minimums or maximums, our expectation is about 20 pages of text. Notes should be placed as footnotes.

The paper deadlines are as follows:

Please submit both the topic and rough draft assignments to Professor Cole by e-mail ( and in written form, either in her faculty mailbox or under her office door, Room 302. Please submit the final paper only in written form to Professor Cole by April 26.


Please contact Professor Hinchcliff first about your mediation sessions. Her office is Room 274A (in the library) and her phone is 292-0903 . Her home number is 487-8714. If you cannot reach Professor Hinchcliff and are unable to arrive on time for a mediation session, you may call Marlena Holman of the Small Claims Division of the Court at 645-8576. Please contact Professor Cole first about seminar paper questions. Her office is Room 302 and her phone is 688-4918. Her home number is 487-0082. You may also reach her by email,


The course text is Sarah R. Cole, Nancy H. Rogers and Frank E.A. Sander, Dispute Resolution: Negotiation, Mediation, and Other Processes, Third Edition (1999).

January 14 Basic Mediation Techniques, Part I
Goldberg, Sander & Rogers, Main Text pp. 123-34.

January 14 Mediation Training Session, 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Room 345
Opening Statement, Issue Framing
Pizza will be served.

January 15 10:00 to Noon Basic Mediation Techniques, Part 2
Issue Framing Exercises. Use of caucus. Guest Speaker: Professor Josh Stulberg)

January 19 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Mediation Training Parts 2 and 3. Room 245
Re-read Main Text pp. 123-34. Breakfast will be provided (rolls and juice). Lunch on your own.

January 22 Mediation Techniques, a few more points; Drafting mediated agreements;
(Tuesday) Meeting with Marlena Holman and John Stroeffer from Small Claims Court.
Handouts: S. Cole, N. Rogers & C. McEwen, Mediation: Law, Policy and Practice (2d ed. 1994).

January 28 Negotiation for Mediators, Part I; Negotiate Carton Contract
Goldberg, Sander & Rogers, Main Text pp. 19-25, 38-64

January 29 Negotiation for Mediators, Part II; Transcript of a Mediation
Main Text, pp. 134-59. Video – Carton Contract

February 4 Workshop on Selecting Paper Topics; Mediation distinguished from other
(Monday) processes, history, current applications; Public Policy Concerns; How to research ADR legislation
Main Text pp. 171-84.

February 5 Mandatory mediation/Pressures to settle
Discuss 3.13(a) -(f). Read Main Text pp. 363-71; 385-404.

February 12 Mandatory Mediation/Pressures to settle continued.
Continue reading.

Two or three sentences is fine. Please e-mail the proposal to me at I ask you to submit the topic for two reasons. One is to be certain that the topic will require the use of legal research and analysis (not just a report on an interesting new mediation program, for example). The second reason is to avoid a situation in which two students take the same approach to the same topic.

February 19 Regulating mediation, Part 1
Main Text pp. 184-205; Discuss questions 3.14 - 3.20.

February 26 Regulating mediation, Part 2;
Discuss UMA and UMA hypotheticals; Plate on head mediation – videotape

March 5 Confidentiality
Main Text pp. 419-445.

March 12 Confidentiality (continued)
Read Olam, Foxgate.

Please turn in four copies to Ms. Carol Peirano in Room 326 or to Professor Cole’s mailbox. One copy will be given to the student assigned to be your primary questioner. One copy will be put on reserve in the library. The other two copies are for the two of us. Please retain a copy yourself. The rough draft should have footnotes but these can be in rough form, e.g., "Riskin, Wash. U. article."

March 19 Representing a Client in Mediation/Mediation and Legal Ethics
Guest Speaker: Donald Tobin. Read pp. 206-218, 316-29. Discuss Questions 5.15 - 5.21.

[There will be no class the week of April 1 to assist you in preparing your paper presentations]

April 8 Mediating disputes involving inter-ethnic and other differences
Guest Speaker: Laura Williams.

April 9 Paper presentations

April 15 Paper presentations

April 16 Paper presentations

April 22 Paper presentations

April 23 Paper presentations


Please turn in a single copy to Professor Cole in Room 302 by 5:00 p.m. Late papers will be penalized. Retain a copy for yourself.

Attendance at the 2002 Schwartz Lecture will also be mandatory. Date to be announced.

Copyright 2003 Sarah Rudolph Cole. Teachers are free to copy these materials for educational use in their courses only, provided that appropriate acknowledgment of the author is made. For permission to use these materials for any other purpose, contact the author.