the neutral zone

vol.7 issue 1



News and Updates
Introducing CMC 2008 Board
News from the Front
Legal Language
Mediation Balloons

Book of the Month
Blog World
Mediators and Snacks: a request




Quid Novi?
News and Updates:

the 2008 Community Mediation Center's Board of Directors:

Lisa Carroll, Chair
Prof. Becky Jacobs, Vice Chair
Bob Swan, Secretary
Sam Fowler, Esq., Treasurer
Paul Rajkowski, At-large
John Buckley, PhD*
Janet Gurwitch, Esq.*
Isabell Huie
Prof. Bob Kronick, PHD*
Delores Mitchell
Greg O'Connor, Esq.
Lisa Collins Werner, Esq.*

* newly elected 

We say goodbye to our long-time CMC board member and vice-chair, mediator Jim Johnson.  Jim is now a new director at the Knoxville office of the Red Cross, and still accepts CMC's Rule 38 reduced-fee referrals for divorce mediation.

Board members enjoying CMC's annual holiday party in December, 2007:  L-R, Jim Johnson, Lisa Carroll, Greg O'Connor, Bob Kronick, and  Sam Fowler

More holiday party pictures online!


Thursday, March 13, 1-2pm, Executive Committee meeting, Gay St. conference room.
Thursday, March 20, 5:30-7:30pm, Board meeting, Home of Amy Goff (email for directions)


Tuesday,  March 18.  TVMA'S regular monthly meetings are held on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at TVUUC, 6:30pm social time, Meeting time, 7-8pm; Click here for directions to the meeting.




On Friday, April 11, Tennesseee Valley Mediation Association (TVMA) will host:
O. Russell Murray, Esq. from Denver, CO,
a renowned speaker and teacher on the uses of mediation in litigation. 

The workshop is titled: 
"A Litigator’s Guide
to Mediation, and
Mediator’s Guide to Litigators"

To find out more about the speaker, go to his website, The all-day workshop will be held at TVUUC, and will be worth 6 hrs of CLE/CME.  Included in the cost is a copy of his very useful and readable book, "The Mediation Handbook: Effective Strategies for Litigators", Bradford Publishing, 2006.  More information to follow on TVMA's website at  Register early for the best price and to help us plan more efficiently for this annual fundraiser.

CMC volunteers who do not need CLEs
pay the same rate as KBA members!

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.  CMC volunteers and staff may attend for the same price as a KBA member.

Monday, March 3, 5:30-6:30PM, Mediation: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Revisited
Speaker: Lewis Hagood, Esq. of Arnett, Draper& Hagood
Lewis Hagood's primary practice areas are labor and employment discrimination law, ERISA, business, and civil litigation.  Lewis is a contributing editor for the ABA's annual publication, "The Developing Labor Law" and is listed in the Best Lawyers in America as well as Who's Who in American Law. 

Monday, April 7, 5:30-6:30PM, Mediating with Governmental Entities: Avoiding Problems, Pitfalls and Pratfalls
Speaker: Joseph G. Jarret, Esq.
Joe Jarret is a Rule 31 Civil Mediator and attorney who trained under and taught for internationally known mediators David Strawn and Mel Rubin.  Joe most recently served Polk County, Florida, as its County Attorney.  A former US Army Combat Arms Officer, he holds a Masters in Public Administration from Central Michigan University, and a law degree from Statson University College of Law, and a Graduate Certificate in Public Management from the University of South Florida.  He is a new to Knoxville and is a member of the Knoxville and Tennessee Bar Associations.

KBA Family Law Section
Child Support: Q&A
March 26, 2008
Lunchbox Restaurant*
Meeting Room
(in the First Tennessee Bldg off the Plaza
in downtown Knoxville)

Presented by Kevin Teffeteller, staff attorney for TN Child Support Enforcement

Cost is $20 for KBA members; $30 for nonmembers.

*Come early and buy your lunch at the Lunchbox if you'd like to eat during the presentation.  No outside food allowed.


Chancery Court Practice: Views from the Bench

May 16, 2008 

Don't miss this opportunity to meet Chancellors from in and around Knox County, and learn practice tips that will help you successfully litigate in Tennessee Chancery Courts.  Gain valuable insights into how area Chancellors manage their cases and run their courtrooms.  If you practice at all in Chancery Court, you will not want to miss this seminar.

Approved for 3 Hours of General CLE Credit  

Date:         Friday, May 16, 2008
Time:        1:00 - 4:15 p.m.
Location: Main Assembly Room, City Count Building
$90 KBA Members;
$125 Non Members
($5 additional the day of the program)





Collaborative Law Training Update
Knoxville:  We have a date for our Collaborative Family Law Training:  May 7-8, 2008 for attorneys, and a related training on May 9 for "collaborative professionals" (mediators, psychologists & therapists, evaluators, financial planners, real estate experts) who would otherwise be involved as "dueling experts" in family litigation.
Register early by calling Micki Fox at
UT College of Law, 974-4464
Her email is

Here is the positive 2007 ABA Formal Ethics Committee Opinion on Collaborative Law




ashville meetings & trainings:

:: Tennessee Association of Professional Mediators (TAPM)

:: 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:

Mediating the Complex Case:
TN Rule 31 Civil Mediation Training
April 17-19 & May 8-10, 2008, 8:30am-5:30pm
Lipscomb University
Ezell Center Third Floor
One University Park Drive
Nashville, TN 37204

For more information and to register,
click here

The Next Cohort Class of ICM Students Will Begin in August 2008. Apply online today!

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.


MARCH 28, 2008
Lipscomb University
see Calendar of Events for details
ANDY LITTLE, Mediator from North Carolina will
ANN BARKER, Attorney & Mediator from Knoxville will speak
on Family Mediation


-coming meetings in Nashville
for state-wide coalitions

Tennessee Coalition of Community Mediaton (TCCM)
Tuesday, March 11
in Nashville at
Lipscomb University's
Ezell Center, 3rd floor

Tennessee Coalition on Mediation Awareness (TCMA)
Tuesday, March 11

in Nashville at
Lipscomb University's
Ezell Center, 3rd floor
Come and help us plan the 2008 Mediation Day in Tennessee!




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



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.


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!

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




news from the front (office)

Time to welcome another wonderful group of new mediators to our ranks!  In January and February, CMC trained a class of 11 community volunteers and 14 UT law students to co-mediate our cases in General Sessions and Juvenile Court. 

  • Debra Brown

  • Angelina Carpenter

  • Wayne Fox

  • Coral Getino

  • Jimena Goitch

  • Joe Jarret, Esq.

  • Margaret Ritchie

  • Kitty Siegal

  • Beth Townsend

  • Dave Tussey

  • David Waite, Esq.

The law students participating in our training, and now acting as CMC volunteer mediators in Knox County General Sessions and Juvenile Courts, are:

  • Doug Bates

  • Shannon Childers

  • Daniel Ellis

  • Whitney Frazier

  • Chrissy Hodwedel

  • Jessica Kemp

  • Ben Marsee

  • Jonathan May

  • Richard McDermott

  • William Moore

  • Jenney Springer

  • Trey Talley

  • Hannah Tippett

  • Marilyn White

Training took place at the UT College of Law, as it does every spring semester.  We blend the training of the community volunteers with that of the Mediation Clinic students at the law school.  We have so much diversity of skills, talent and culture in this class: attorneys, court interpreters, Hispanic speakers, business people, teachers, mental health workers, human resource managers, therapists, restauranteurs!   All learn together, from each other, in order to provide mediation services to the Knox County courts!

Our trainers were Bob Swan, Ann Barker, Becky Jacobs, Jen Comiskey, and myself.  Helping over the course of the two weekend training with invaluable coaching and role-playing were our "seasoned" (not "old") volunteer mediators and board members (including the entire CMC Executive Committee):  Lisa Carroll, Sam Fowler, Becky Jacobs, Bob Swan, Paul Rajkowski, Judy and Bill Toole, Lon Young, Marsha Hupfel, Jenny Burkemper, Lisa Beckman, and Don K. Ferguson.  Two of our newest volunteer mediators from our last training assisted in preparation and training:  Judith Mallory and Donna Lund.

Monday after training was done, I had two more applications to be volunteer mediator in my email inbox, and currently I have six. Thanks to everyone who has applied.  It appears the word is out on what a great opportunity our training and mentoring offers.  CMC has also received a request for help in training parenting plan/visitation mediators in the 4th judicial district.  We look forward to working with ETHRA (East Tennessee Human Resource Agency) on this project.  Our vision is to produce a "Community Mediation Center In A Box" using our excellent manual, forms, ethics outline, role plays, and coaching tips so that other Tennessee counties can create community mediation programs in a cost-effective way.

I also want to give a shout out to our UT School of Social Work intern, Bethany Townsend, who will help CMC by conducting some solid research on CMC "client satisfaction".  I've always wanted to know how long-lasting are the parenting plans which we assist the never-married parent to mediate?  We'll soon have a preliminary answer!  Beth attended our winter basic training so that she could conduct interviews in a more sensitive way.  I'd also like to thank Stanley Taylor at Knoxville Leadership Foundation for assisting CMC by acting as Beth's Social Work Field Supervisor!

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.) 



Until 1934 in England, if a grand jury considered the evidence of an alleged crime insufficient to prosecute, it would return the bill “ignoramus,” meaning literally “we do not know” or “we know nothing of this,” according to Bryan A. Garner, author of A Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage. Long before, however, the word had come to mean “an ignorant person.”  

In 1615, George Ruggle wrote a play called “Ignoramus,” about a lawyer who knew nothing about the law; this fictional lawyer soon gave his name to all manner of know-nothings, whether lawyers or nonlawyers, Garner said. The modern meaning has all but eclipsed the now-rare legalese, according to Garner.


From recent KNS (You may have to register to read the articles, but it's free.):
2/24 Grammar Gremlins column: "foreclose on" or just "foreclose"
2/24 column about Judge Robert Taylor and a federal trial to change girls basketball rules in 1976:
One Trial the Judge Enjoyed







Mediation Balloons



From Mother Earth News, the case for environmental mediation.

An exciting mediation program in middle school, WEB ("Where Everyone Belongs") in Maryland, organized by the local community mediation center.

In Florida, news about mandatory mediation for certain homeowners and homeowners association disputes

From Harvard's Program on Negotiation (PON), a new poncast, Negotiate better relationships with your children This is an easy to use webpage audio utility which allows you to listen to the lesson without downloading anything.  An archive of poncasts is located on the website.  Here is another good one from last month, How to respond to threats at the bargaining table.

The Smart Divorce, an online resource for divorcing couples.  Hat tip

The January issue of The School Mediator newsletter.  An always excellent resource, ostensibly for student mediators, but very helpful for all mediators of all ages.  A good article is "Listen Like My Ipod":  Richard Cohen says, "We listen better than a mechanical device ever could.  But it is good to be reminded that just by "playing back" what parties tell us, we can do them an important service."

Bullying can happen to adults as well as children, just because some bullies never learn.  Resources are always needed and here are a few for those interested in school bullying:

:: Naomi Drew's website, Learning Peace, which also has some resources to address workplace bullying.  Also on her site, podcasts on school bullying from a well-respected parenting site, Vicky and Jen.

:: "where you are NOT

:: Included in their resources is an online bullying course.
("Learn to BE the change.")

:: Cyberbullying

And just because mediators need to look up at the stars once in a blue moon... (a new gadget from Google Earth)




Book of the month
(Order from our website and
make an automatic donation to CMC!)

You can visit the demonstration page to begin the learning experience!  We like the door game...




Blog World

Items this month from some of our favorite blogs:

From Settle It Now, talking about "the narrative of litigation": How can you resist a blog entry which begins, "When the journey turns from litigation to mediation, it's helpful to remember that we litigators are classic Hollywood hyphenates -- the writers-directors-actors of our client's story  -- and that our client has generally moved more and more into the background as the "executive" producer, i.e., the money guy with the power of the final cut..." 

On Gini Nelson's blog, Engaging Conflicts, an interview with South Carolina mediator, Daniel Bowling:

“Being righteously right leaves absolutely no space for collaboration, for communication, for skillful conflict resolution, let alone for true relationship.” — Daniel Bowling

You can subscribe to her newsletter by going to this website.

From the comprehensive mediation blog, Mediation Channel, an article about politics: 
One trick ponies? Political leaders should be adept in many negotiation styles, not just one.

And...speaking of politics, Jim Melamed's article posted on about Obama the candidate's message:  "Presidential candidate Barack Obama's main political message represents the absorption of the mediation movement's essential themes at the highest level of national and global politics."  He goes on to say, "This is an accomplishment that should not go unnoticed and one that all mediators, whatever our political leanings, should take great pride in." Hat tip

As for another kind of resource for mediators who sometimes spend endless hours on the phone?  Why did I not know there was a website dedicated since 2000 to teaching people how to spin their pens? Not to mention a website dedicated to pencils? And how cool is this low-tech office product, shredding scissors?



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






Mediators and Snacks
Donations needed!

We saw an article not long ago about the mediation process being improved by the presence of snacks! Some parties and their attorneys go so far as to pick mediators based on how good the office snacks are.  Some private mediation services even have snack menu---take a look at the pictures!

CMC loves to provide our volunteer mediators and the parties with snacks and soft drinks galore.  BUT our budget for popcorn and chocolate has gotten quite skimpy.  If you are interested in donating healthy or unhealthy snacks and drinks for our evening mediations, please contact us We will give you a hug and call you sweet!





Words on a mediator's door?
(Well, ummm...maybe on the door to our subconscious!)