the neutral zone

vol.6 issue 6



News and Updates
Mediation Day Event:  Oct. 18

October 2007:  CMC Volunteer Mediator Training

News from the Front
Legal Language
Mediation Balloons

Blog World
ABA: Lawyer as Problem Solver




Quid Novi?
News and Updates:


Oct. 5-6
Oct. 26-27
(plus observation time during
the intervening weeks)

Apply to take our volunteer mediator training!

Our training will be held over two weekends (Friday after work and all day Saturday), with additional hours of observation and training held in the intervening weeks.  Trainings on Fridays will be 4pm-9pm; Trainings on Saturdays will be 10am-6pm.  We will also conduct two 2-3 hr sessions on Tuesdays (10/9 and 10/16).

The training space will be at TVUUC. Cost is $75 to cover materials & meals.  Volunteers must commit to mediate for CMC.

You may go ahead and apply online or by calling 594-1879 for an application to be mailed to you. 

Our training prepares our volunteers to mediate in both family and civil disputes, and will include true-to-life role-plays as well as training on procedure and paperwork in General Sessions and Juvenile Courts.  After completing our basic training, volunteers will then observe real mediations, be debriefed, and then co-mediate cases with seasoned mediators.  All CMC mediators agree to mediate regularly with us in return for this valuable training.

If you have taken a Rule 31 basic mediator training and would like to volunteer with us to improve your skills and fulfill your pro bono hours, please ask us about our shorter basic training schedule which covers our model and procedure, co-mediation, and ethics.  Rule 31 mediators who become CMC mediators must agree to observe CMC mediations and to take a number of Rule 38 ordered cases each year.

Attention CMC Volunteers who are Rule 31 Family Mediators:

CMC will be conducting a training to fulfill Rule 31 Family Law CME requirements in late November in Knoxville, as is likely to be in conjunction with TVMA.  The training will cover updates in TN family law of importance to mediators & some important aspects of child welfare law important for your work mediating juvenile, parenting & dependency cases at Juvenile Court.
This training will be offered at a very low cost to CMC Volunteers.  Thank you, volunteers!


Mediation Day in Tennessee
TCMA Awards Luncheon & CLE

Thursday, October 18, 2007
12 noon-3pm CDT

Location: Lipscomb Institute for Conflict Management, Ezell Center, Nashville TN.

Program Agenda:

   11:30 am   Registration

12:00 pm 
  Luncheon with keynote speaker and award of the 1st annual Grayfred Gray Public Service Mediation Award to none other than Grayfred Gray.  Professor Gray is currently living in Lancaster, PA, and is the acting Executive Director of the Lancaster Mediation Center.
1:30 pm    ADR Ethics Program (approval pending for 1.5 hrs CLE/CME) with Jocelyn Dan Wurzburg, Esq. from Memphis, TN. speaking on "Peer Mediation in Tennessee Schools: Training the Trainer Methodology and Demonstration."

A buffet lunch will be $20.  Register soon since space is limited.  Deadline for registration is Oct.10 and you can contact Jackie Kittrell or Marnie Huff for more information, e-copies of the flyer and registration form, etc.

The CLE/CME will cost $20 for 1.5 hrs but is FREE of charge to those mediators who volunteer for a community mediation program or who have done 3 hrs of pro bono mediation in the past 12 months!

Register online (at Lipscomb University website) here.
The flyer for the event is here.

We plan to encourage the Tennessee Coalition of Community Mediation (TCCM) to consider having their quarterly meeting at the Ezell Center at 10:00 a.m., and then join us in the Mediation Day celebration.   We also encourage you to link up with a local bar association or community mediation center near you to plan other mediation day events during October, in order to increase public awareness of all the good ADR work happening across the state. 

Tennessee Coalition for Mediation Awareness (TCMA)
See our list of Coalition Members HERE. 

The mission of TCMA is simple:  Increase mediation awareness and educate our public servants, bench, bar, and general public about the many opportunities which exist to mediate disputes and/or use mediation and conflict management skills.


September, Funding Appeal Training with Monroe Free, TBA.
September 19, Executive Committee Meeting, 12-1pm, CMC Gay St Office conference room.
September 27, Board Meeting, 6-8pm, place TBA


Tuesday, Sept. 18, 6:30-7pm social time, 7-8 Monthly meeting, "Collaborative Family Law", presented by Natalie LeVasseur.  TVUUC Family Room.  TVMA'S regular monthly meetings will continue BEGINNING IN SEPTEMBER on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at TVUUC, 6:30pm social time, Meeting time, 7-8pm, Program TBA,, Click here for directions to the meeting.    

Jean Munroe will be conducting a workshop on Mediation and Domestic Violence on Oct. 4 and 5, and is offering a $100 discount for all TVMA members. You may go to Jean's website or you can contact her at:
Jean Munroe
P. O. Box 14036
Knoxville, TN 37914
(865) 637-3223 telephone
(865) 637-4292 facsimile

KBA ADR Section: 
Meetings will be held at the law office of Butler, Vines & Babb (2701 Kingston Pike) from 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. The programs have each been approved for one hour of general CLE credit (unless otherwise noted). KBA Members not wishing to receive CLE credit may attend the program at no charge (handout materials not included). A reservation is required in advance of the program. $5 additional the day of the program.  The cost is $20 for KBA members & $30 for non-KBA members.  The cost includes one hour of CLE credit and the handout materials.

November 5, 2007 (Note date change)
Ethical Considerations in Mediation
Speaker: Howard H. Vogel, O’Neil, Parker & Williamson
*Approved for 1 hour of Ethics CLE Credit

Lunch & Learn:
October 11, 2007
, Thursday
Calhoun’s on the River
The Colorful World of General Sessions Court
Hon. Charles A. Cerny, Jr., Div. I, Knox County General Sessions Court
T. Scott Jones, Banks & Jones



December 7-8, 2007

Collaborative Family Law Basic Training

This training is currently being scheduled and will be approximately 15 HRS of CLE in conjunction with the UT College of Law

More information soon!  Please email Jackie Kittrell or Natalie LeVasseur for updates.

For more information about Collaborative Law, click here or here or here!  For more  about our trainers:  J. Kim Wright, Barbara Davis, and Chris Craig.



ashville trainings:

:: Tennessee Association of Professional Mediators (TAPM)

Thursday, September 20
11:45 - 1:00 p.m.
Harper's Restaurant
2610 Jefferson St.
Nashville, TN 37208

:: Lipscomb University Institute for Conflict Management :
Contact: Rich McPherson
3901 Granny White Pike
Nashville, TN 37204
Phone: 615-966-6680
Fax: 615-966-7141
Web Site:

September 25, 2007 at Lipscomb University: 
Interdisciplinary conference (breakfast & full day event)
Beyond Compliance: Transforming Ethical Dilemmas Through COURAGEOUS LEADERSHIP.  Learn to avoid ethical mistakes.  Who will benefit:  CEOs, CFOs, Board members, accountants, attorneys, auditors, HR leaders, business executives, academic leaders.  5.5 hrs CLE (4.75 general & .75 ethics); 3.8 hrs CME; 6.0 hrs CPE.


Left, Larry Bridgesmith, JD, Executive Director, Lipscomb University Institute for Conflict Management (ICM); Right, Marietta Shipley, retired 2nd Circuit Ct Judge in Davidson Co, first President of TAPM, and founder of the Mediation Group.

TN Supreme Court
ADR Commission presents

5th Annual Advanced Mediation Techniques Workshop
October 12, 2007
Vanderbilt Law School
8:00 - 4:00 p.m.

This program fulfills all CE hours required every two years to maintain your mediator listing pursuant to SCR 31 for both Family & Civil Mediators
Registration Deadline 9/28/07
Contact Andrea Ayers with AOC



 Nashville Conflict Resolution Center  (NCRC)

This is the nonprofit mediation center of the Nashville Bar Association.  They conduct civil mediations in General Sessions Ct and have done a remarkable job training mediators able to conduct bi-lingual sessions!


Jean Munroe provides excellent Rule 31 mediation training for civil and family mediators in the Knoxville area and across Tennessee, with cross-over training offered. She is also considered to be the "go-to" trainer for domestic violence issues in mediation. Click here for her 2007 training schedule.  Jean and her partner Paul donate many hours of their time to pro bono mediation work, including assisting and mentoring CMC in its training needs.  Also see Jean's page at



Community Shares Annual Membership Meeting will be held in Nashville on Saturday, August 12.  Representatives from all member groups will be in attendance and the new board will be elected.  This is a wonderful opportunity to come and meet member groups!

Plan ahead!  The 11th Annual Brewer's Jam is scheduled for Saturday, October 13 this year.  CMC always provides the most lively and careful pourers, so sign up soon!

Buy a Ben & Jerry's ice cream at Western Plaza between 5pm-8pm, and 20% of what you pay will go directly to Community Shares!

Our own mediator and board member, Delores Mitchell, HR Director with Scripps Networks, has been elected to the Community Shares Board.  The election was at the Annual Membership Meeting in Nashville on August 11.

If your group is interested in becoming a Community Shares member group, apply now.




One of our volunteer mediators, Lisa Collins Werner, has a new mediation service called Consensus Mediation Group.  She provides mediation services, and she has beautiful mediation conference spaces (with wireless internet, fully audio-visual capable, kitchen and  breakout facilities, and plenty of parking) in a office complex in convenient West Knoxville.  She's also offering the space for legal conferencing needs:  settlement meetings, depositions, and out of town attorneys needs.



news from the front (office)

CMC is preparing to train volunteers to be community mediators.  We try to do a "basic" training twice a year, once in the winter to coincide with a new class of UT College of Law Mediation Clinic law students who want to become CMC mediator-interns, and once in the fall to add Knox County community members to our roster of volunteer mediators.  It's so much fun to conduct a "ground-up" class in mediation skills.  Our volunteers have amazing qualities coming into the training, and really superb mediation skills once trained in our process.  The new volunteers will observe mediators conducting actual mediations in General Sessions Civil Court, Juvenile Court, and 4th Circuit Order of Protection docket.  They will then be paired with one  seasoned volunteer co-mediator until they feel comfortable to mediate with any co-mediator on any assigned case.  We do have a "mentor class" of mediators who, by virtue of their experience, are able to mentor the new volunteers and mediate our more difficult cases involving divorce, domestic violence, dependency & cases with more than two or three parties.

Our volunteer trainings always remind me that great mediators come from all walks of life, and have all sorts of professional and educational backgrounds. I've been told that there was a debate 10 years ago in Tennessee when Rule 31 was enacted about whether non-attorneys should be allowed to be Rule 31 mediators. I'm so grateful that it turned out as it did, with all qualified mediators welcome. I love to co-mediate with someone with a background different from mine. Lawyers have a lot to bring to the role of mediator, but we also have to work against our professional "adversarial" instincts to give advice and to trump parties' self-determination with visions of the "best deal" for a given individual. Non-attorneys (although they can never be described fully by what they are not!) have such a variety of skills, it is impossible for me to think of the mediation profession having developed without their inspiration and expertise.

Not all of CMC's volunteer mediators are Rule 31 listed, but many are.  Some qualify for listing by experience and/or training, but don't want to be listed.  The ones who aren't have a variety of reasons why they aren't:  they want to volunteer, not earn a living; some are even philosophically averse to charging for their mediation services.  Some don't want to maintain the "overhead" of a profession---the annual listing fee required of Rule 31 mediators, malpractice insurance, and the like.  Yet our mediators have received a high quality training, regular re-training and mentoring, observe other mediators, and read regularly the increasingly ample body of literature on mediation and ADR.  They have experience mediating with very difficult cases.  Our CMC mediators have the unique advantages of highly trained staff to screen and intake cases and the co-mediation model.  They are covered by our center's insurance.  By the time our volunteers have mediated for a year with CMC, they've received their mediator "black belts"! 

It's not too late to sign up, although our Fall class is almost filled.  In honor of Conflict Resolution Day (October 18), come celebrate our community's intention to resolve all disputes peacefully and with integrity---sign up to be a CMC volunteer mediator!

Jackie Kittrell
Executive Director


Legal Language

By Don K. Ferguson
(CMC volunteer mediator in Knox County General Sessions Court and author of the "Grammar Gremlins" column that appears in The Knoxville News-Sentinel every Sunday.) 


concurrent sentences
consecutive sentences

These phrases are used in reference to more than one sentence imposed on a person. "Concurrent sentences" run simultaneously. "Consecutive sentences" run one after the other.







Mediation Balloons



:: Ike Lasater & Julie Stiles, Accreted Mediation: Building Clarity & Connection  Ike is an attorney-mediator-trainer who has come to Knoxville to train us in Nonviolent Communication and Mediation.  He sees mediation as beginning with the first phone call to the mediator from a party  inquiring about mediation.  Here is Ike's website.

:: Mediation on Wikipedia Take a look at the mediation topics "defined" on Wikipedia and see what you think.  You may be able to change those you take issue with!

:: A Resource Guide to ADR sites online maintained by Marquette University Law School.  Thanks so much to Mediator Blah Blah for the information!

:: A good webcast, Breaking Robert's Rules- A Consensus Building Approach to Organizational Governance  from Harvard's Program on Negotiation.  The speaker is Larry Susskind, author of the book by the same name, talking about how organizations, big and small, could be given options on how to make decisions beyond the formality of traditional Robert's Rules.

:: And more webcasts (or podcasts), here called Poncasts, from the Harvard Harvard Project on Negotiation

:: An article in a recent Oprah Magazine issue by Daniel Shapiro, the author of the very interesting book, Beyond Reason- Using Emotions as You Negotiate.

Remember, if you order books from Amazon using these links (or the links on our website) you are ordering directly from Amazon but with CMC's "code", which donates a portion of your purchase price to CMC!




To create peace, we have to be peaceful. The only way to be peaceful is to concentrate on what brings us peace and resist emotions that blame others for our lack of peace. Remember, that to which we give our attention expands.
                  ~Thich Nhat Hanh



Blog World

Items this month from some of our favorite blogs:

Perry Itkin at Florida Mediator blog has posed an interesting question.  The issue of what can a mediator tell the court has come up in a particular context in Florida.  Parties are ordered to mediate, they show up for the session, but one party will state that s/he does not have authority to settle the case.  The MEAC has written an opinion stating that a mediator may not tell the judge anything except whether a party showed up or not.  MEAC 2006-003.

From one of our favorite mediation blogs, mediator blah Geoff Sharp, a sharp Australian mediator:  The ABA Dispute Resolution Section's Committee on Mediator  Ethical Guidence has issued its first advisory opinion declaring that a mediator cannot tell her law partner something she's learned in a mediation when it would assist the partner in separate and unrelated litigation--unless she has the permission of the mediation parties to do so.  Somehow, that seems obvious to me!

Waging Peace in the Name of Religion, one of the regular essays published online by Charles Haynes, First Amendment Center.

From  I don't think this would ever be a problem with attorney-run divorce  mediation centers in Tennessee!  Divorce Mediation Centers Subject to Lawyer Ethics Rules says NJ Court Committee.

Ken Cloke: From Idealawg blog, an interview with one of our favorite mediators and authors, Ken Cloke.  And this one on Ken from the Seattle blog, Settle It Now.

Conflict Crushers: From a mediation center blog out of Virginia a good post on the power of apology.  Here's another older post from the same blog reflecting on the (then) recent Virginia Tech school shooting and media coverage of it, re: mediator skills.

A good mediation article by Charles Parselle, "Necessary Conflict", at, referenced in the latest online edition of Conflict Resolution Monthly.

  In the Summer, 2007, issue of the ADR News: A publication of the Tennessee ADR Commission, an interesting article by Paula Young called Andy Griffith: TV Land Mediator .  The newsletter is in pdf format.

A very interesting blog of found things (notes, photos, etc.) at Found Magazine.




Our staff email addresses:

Jackie Kittrell:
Sharon Upshaw:
Jen Comiskey:  

Our contact info:

912 South Gay Street
Suite L-300
Knoxville, TN  37902
(865) 594-1879, voice
(865) 594-1890, fax

Juvenile Annex office
(865) 215-6570, voice
(865) 215-6564, fax





Lawyer As Problem Solver

In an effort to highlight the role of the lawyer as a creative problem solver, the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution established the Lawyer as Problem Solver Awards in 2002 Lawyer as Problem Solver Awards. The award recognizes individuals and organizations that use their legal skills in creative and often non-traditional ways to solve problems for their clients and within their communities.

Last year, well-respected civil mediator, David Plant, received the Problem Solver Award and had the following remarks. You can read them online at

:: Some Thoughts on the Lawyer As Problem Solver Award
David Plant - 2006 Recipient
It remains clear to me that hundreds - even thousands - of others are far more qualified than I to receive an award such as this. To those at the ABA who so demurely averted their eyes from glare of the magnificent achievements of others, I give my thanks. To the thousands who should be publicly honored like this, I say thank you for working so hard to help so many others.

One compelling aspect of my attempts to assist parties in solving their problems is my constant realization that there is so much more to learn. This problem-solving journey is never ending. For me, it is the most promising journey a lawyer can undertake. My hope is to look conflict squarely in the eye, to manage it courageously and to assist in resolving it fairly.

David Berg, in his recent book "The Trial Lawyer - What It Takes To Win", confesses his fear that the "great war stories" of future generations of trial lawyers will begin, "And then, I looked that mediator in the eyes and I said ... ." Tongue in cheek or not, David's fear is unjustified. Trials will always be necessary. Great trial lawyers will always have great war stories of real trials. Trying lawsuits with uncommon skill will always be a valued calling. But that is not all the profession is about.

From my vantage point, each of us is practicing in order to assist individuals and institutions, in all shapes and sizes, in all colors and hues, in all moods and on all missions, to find workable solutions to vexing problems. To the extent those problems entail conflicts and disputes, the vast majority can best be solved, and will best be solved, by face to face negotiation, candid discussion, and good faith, collaborative and creative exploration of options. In assisting parties in those discussions, and in facilitating those negotiations, lawyers will continue to serve the profession's highest purpose. The client will rise to the surface as the person or institution of paramount importance. Ideally, we lawyers will have been so proficient at assisting and facilitating, we will put ourselves out of business. (No, I have not turned soft in the head. That is only an ideal. The human condition is such that lawyers will always have more than sufficient problem-solving business.)

To insure that we practice the problem-solving aspects of our profession at the highest level, I invite each of us to study Malcolm Gladwell's book "The Tipping Point". Then, I invite each of us to commit ourselves to becoming a virus, a virus whose mission is to beget and to propagate an epidemic - better still, a pandemic. We'll be good viruses. We'll inspire a healthy pandemic. We'll each empower each client - to take control of that client's own destiny, to assess candidly each dispute the client has with another, to identify honestly the client's real interests and real needs,
to respect genuinely the other party's real interests and needs, to work empathetically with all others concerned to explore options, and to attempt authentically to find a fair and durable solution.

If we dare to practice, to learn and to implement this notion, we each shall have done a good piece of professional work. And our clients will have realized marvelous - even mysterious - benefits.



"You can't do anything about the length of your life, but you can do something about its width and depth."  ~ H.L. Mencken