President’s Welcome

Our October 14, 2021, annual fall “unconference” is just around the corner and there is plenty of excitement about our theme this year: Geography Unbounded.  As all mediators know, the pandemic has catapulted us into a world of online mediation.   There is general agreement that the time saved on travel and its associated hassles is a good thing.  The ability to mediate anywhere without leaving the office might be a good thing.  But there is a fly in the ointment, limitations on the mediator’s ability to control the setting and to read their clients.  That has generated a wide variety of mediator experiences, positive and negative.  On the other hand, while you can’t be in the same room as the client, outside of that room distance is obliterated, geography is unbounded.  This raises the issues of legal boundaries that don’t go away – venue, choice of laws, and conflict of laws.  And of course, there is the technology and it’s attendant glitches.  These are the issues our panelists will speak to and answer questions about during the first part of our conference.  Then, after lunch, the “unconference” will begin, with panelists and others leading small group discussions on topics which attendees raise.  We have applied for CLE credits, which are variable depending on which afternoon small group sessions you attend.

I hope to see you there! I will be facilitating the panel discussion before lunch and an unconference break out session on cross cultural issues in mediation during the afternoon.

Marcus Lang

President, WMA