As those of you who read this little corner of the legal blogging world know, I am now 3 years or so into my time as a Virginia Supreme Court certified mediator. I am also available and as active as possible for private mediations. Why go through the certification process as opposed to just using my experience in the construction law field to “hang a shingle?” Because I believe in the process and want learn as much as possible about that process.
As part of both my certification requirements and my desire to continue to educate myself, and by extension, to be able to better help those that take the opportunity to mediate their construction disputes and make the best decisions for their business, a couple of weekends ago, I attended the Virginia Mediation Network Fall Conference.
This was the first time for me to attend one of these conferences as it was my first year as a member of VMN. This conference was also quite convenient for me as it was held here in Glen Allen, VA so I didn’t have to travel.
The conference was great. I got to meet many of my fellow Virginia mediators. Those at the conference were very welcoming to a “newbie” like me and made sure that I was comfortable. They were all willing and able to give their varied perspectives in a way that I am sure will help me moving forward as a mediator.
I also got to learn a few things from the experienced mediators and mentor/teachers in the various sessions. I got tips on everything from growing my mediation practice to how to deal with the inevitable “conflicts” between my desire to get paid for work and my responsibility to the clients in the room. This last was in various scenarios from working for and getting paid the Virginia court system while maintaining confidentiality should a judge ask why there was or wasn’t an agreement to wanting to keep referral sources happy.
In short, it was a great weekend all around and I look forward to using what I learned in my construction mediation practice.
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