Massachusetts Mediators and Allied Professionals: Get E-mail Tips and Tactics That Really Work

November 16, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
Chelmsford, Massachusetts — Want to know how to use e-mail effectively in mediation? Need tips and tactics to get the results you want? Join the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation on Thursday, November 29 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Needham Free Public Library for a special workshop, “Bringing Peace into the Electronic Mediation Room: How To Communicate Collaboratively in Cyberspace.” Respected attorney and mediation expert David A. Hoffman will share the “ins” and “outs” of using e-mail in a mediation setting.

While there is no substitute for face-to-face communication in mediation, in some cases communication between sessions is done by e-mail, via attachments, and by phone conference. There is an emerging sense of etiquette in these arenas (some call it "netiquette," for e-mail communications), but beyond politeness, what are the techniques that mediators can use to foster collaboration and productive negotiations using electronic media?

This workshop will use specific examples of what works and doesn't work, as well as address some of the technical issues, such as meta-data and the use of word-processing vs. PDF document formats. The format will be interactive, with lots of time for people to share their mishaps and positive experiences in the electronic mediation room.

“E-mail and the Internet have become ubiquitous in our lives and often cause huge misunderstandings,” emphasizes Hoffman. “The purpose of this workshop is to sharpen our electronic communication skills and help mediators from inadvertently adding fuel to the fire of conflict.”

Hoffman is a mediator, arbitrator and Collaborative Law attorney at Boston Law Collaborative, LLC. He is the chair of the Collaborative Law Committee of the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution and co-founder of the Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council. He also teaches Mediation at Harvard Law School.

This quarterly professional development workshop is open to MCFM members, their guests, and prospective members. “These meetings are invaluable for a mediator's professional development and a wonderful opportunity to network,” says MCFM President Lynda Robbins. “They are an outstanding member benefit and I urge all members to attend.”

Robbins also encourages prospective members to participate. “It’s a great opportunity to see what MCFM is all about in an informal atmosphere,” she noted. “Everyone is welcome.”

For more information, contact MCFM at or 781-449-4430.

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About the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation, Inc.:

MCFM is a nonprofit organization established more than 25 years ago by family mediators interested in sharing knowledge and setting guidelines for family mediation. MCFM is the oldest professional organization in Massachusetts dedicated to family mediation.

MCFM serves the public and its members by

— Providing information about divorce and family mediation
— Maintaining a mediator referral directory
— Publishing the “Family Mediation Quarterly”
— Providing continuing education to divorce mediators and other professionals
— Setting standards to guide the professional practice of mediation
— Offering a certification program for qualified members

MCFM’s Web address is The council can be reached by phone at 781-449-4430 or by e-mail at