Debra Vey Voda-Hamilton

Debra Vey Voda-Hamilton will teach “Mediation in the 21st Century” at Solo Practice University®.

Debra is admitted to practice law in all New York State Courts. She is certified as a mediator and collaborative professional and has worked with various court based mediation programs in NYC (Queens-Community Mediation Service) Westchester and Rockland (Cluster of Westchester & Rockland).

Debra was a speaker at the 2013 American Veterinary Medical Law Association, discussing how employing Alternative Dispute Resolution methodology in animal law conflicts may expedite resolution of veterinary malpractice and other client conflicts without the need for litigation.

She has spoken at several Veterinary Schools & Conferences, The American Kennel Club, Human Animal Bond Organization, State Bar Association Animal Law Committees and animal interest groups outlining the value of using alternative dispute resolution in solving their own conflicts.

Debra writes a monthly blog for Hamilton Law and Mediation and is a monthly contributor for Solo Practice University® and Canine Chronicle.

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Mediation in the 21st Century

The program is geared toward conflicts that are usually litigated between people. The examples will involve disputes in veterinarian offices, housing complexes, divorce, commercial interactions and animal rights litigations. Some of the hypotheticals we use will address these issues.

Module 1 – Introduction to Mediation

  • Overview of the program.
  • Introduction of faculty.
  • A short pre-program questionnaire for the participants to take as an evaluation of each student’s depth of understanding of mediation.
  • Discuss the difference between:
    • mediation, negotiation and arbitration.
    • differences between mediation and litigation.
    • different approaches to mediation.
  • Why study mediation?
    • explaining the process.

Module 2 – Causes of Conflict

  • Mind-set:
    • Parties
    • Mediator
  • Mediation skills to acquire
  • Underlying support concepts
  • Discussion of where this will fit when conflicts arise.
  • Recognize the process choices available to the decision makers/parties – process explained
  • Analyze how to encourage reluctant parties to use the process – parties’ intention to mediate
  • Assess the appropriateness of using mediation strategies – principles underlying the model

Module 3 – Roles in Mediation

  • Role of:
    • Mediator
    • Parties
    • Attorney (optional)
  • Structure process
  • Working Through Conflict
  • Going beneath the problem
  • Understand each parties view at a deeper level
  • Developing the grounding point for understanding.

Module 4 – Response to Conflict

  • Avoid, confront, compromise, collaborate, accommodate
  • 5 Stages of Mediation
    • Contracting with parties
    • Defining the problem
    • Working through the problem
    • Development and Evaluation of options
    • Concluding agreement
  • Party engagement in the process
  • Identify and respect positions/method application
  • Methods of proceeding by agreement

Module 5 – Participation in Mediation

  • Unpeeling the layers
  • Explaining everyone’s view of the issue underlying the disagreement
  • Brainstorm and Reality Test – Solutions/Options
  • Workable Agreement
  • Choice Continuum
  • Different attitudes and approaches to dealing with conflict.
  • Mediating conflicts between people involving animals.
  • Developing the grounding point for understanding.

Module 6 – In the Room

  • Intentions of parties to mediate
  • Mediator’s techniques
  • The V of Understanding
  • Elicit Interests
  • Framing Interests
  • Loop of Understanding
  • Develop & Evaluate

Module 7 – Solution/Resolution

  • Role of Mediator
  • Support all parties
  • How decisions are made
  • Why bring in the law
  • How to bring in the law
  • Agreement drafting