Tag Archives: hawaii

Example of Online Mediation – United States Postal Service Workplace Dispute

On November 21, 2014 Giuseppe Leone, founder of Virtual Mediation Lab, mediated online another workplace case for the United States Postal Service REDRESS mediation program with:

  • Employee, his union representative and 2 USPS management officials in Hilo, Hawaii (on the Big Island)
  • One USPS management official and one Labor Relations Specialist in Honolulu, Hawaii (on the island of Oahu)
  • EEO/ADR Specialist (Observer) in Los Angeles, California
  • Online Mediator in Kaneohe, Hawaii (on the island of Oahu)


All participants were connected by video or by phone. And the entire mediation, which required several joint and private meetings, lasted 7 hours with a 30-min break.

Virtual Mediation Lab Training in Online Mediation
Learn more about our training in online mediation for mediation centers, ADR organizations and individual mediators.

For the First Time, the United States Postal Service (USPS) Tries to Resolve a Workplace Dispute Through Online Mediation

USPS Online Mediation
The United States Postal Service (USPS) truly believes in the benefits of mediation for resolving workplace disputes. Their mediation program, which is called REDRESS (Resolve Employment Disputes, Reach Equitable Solutions Swiftly), is available to all employees as part of their Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaint process.

Recognized as one of the country’s leading conflict resolution programs, REDRESS has received global recognition from the conflict resolution community and positive feedback from employees, supervisors, and their representatives for resolving disputes without the need for litigation.

According to the USPS website, the REDRESS mediation program maintains a roster of over 1000 neutral mediators throughout the USA. They are qualified to conduct mediations applying the transformative mediation method, which is based on the belief that the disputing parties are best able to decide whether and how to resolve their dispute.

Online Mediation – An Important and Innovative Step

On January 9, 2014 the United States Postal Service took an important and innovative step. They tried (for the first time) to resolve a workplace dispute through online mediation, with the following participants:

  • Parties: A USPS manager and an employee (with his union representative) in Guam
  • Online Mediator: Giuseppe Leone in Honolulu, Hawaii. Leone has been a mediator for the REDRESS program since 1998, and is the founder of Virtual Mediation Lab, an online mediation project sponsored by the Association for Conflict Resolution Hawaii Chapter
  • Observer: USPS EEO/ADR specialist in Sacramento, California

How It Went

The entire online mediation, which required joint and private meetings with the parties, lasted more than 3 hours — nonstop and without any technical problems whatsoever. All participants were connected with their PC or Ipad.

Expand Your Mediation Practice
If you are interested to offer your mediation services outside your city, state or country, learn more about Giuseppe Leone’s 2-Hour Hands-on Training in Online Mediation and 15-Min One-on-one Demo

Celebrating Conflict Resolution Day 2013 in Honolulu, Hawaii – Proclamation Ceremony with City and County of Honolulu and Mayor Caldwell

City and County of Honolulu – 6-min Video (With Some Hawaiian Music)


City and County of Honolulu


Mayor Kirk Caldwell

Conflict Resolution Day 2013

From left to right:

  • Lisa Nakao, Giuseppe Leone and Bruce McEwan – ACR Hawaii Board Members
  • Lisa Jacobs – ACR Hawaii Member
  • Mayor Kirk Caldwell – City and County of Honolulu
  • Cindy Alm – Co-Chair of the ADR Section of the Hawaii State Bar Association
  • Anne Smoke – ACR Hawai President
  • Judge Diana Warrington (Ret.) – ACR Hawaii Past President
  • Tracey Wiltgen – Executive Director of the Mediation Center of the Pacific
  • Ned Busch – ACR Hawaii Board Member

ACR Hawaii – Call for 2014 Nominations

ACR Hawaii’s Nominating Committee is seeking dedicated, energetic, and knowledgeable members to serve as volunteer leaders for the following positions. The terms will commence at the conclusion of the Annual Meeting on December 6, 2013.

  • President, who will serve a 2-year term. The first year as President, the second as Immediate Past President.
  • President-Elect, who will serve a 3-year term. The first year will be as a President-Elect, the second year as President,and the third year as Immediate Past President.
  • Vice President, who will serve a 1-year term.
  • Secretary, who will serve a 1-year term.
  • Treasurer, who will serve a 1-year term.
  • Directors at Large, who will each serve 2-year terms.

Officers and Directors must be members of both ACR Hawaii and ACR National.

All recommendations for officers and directors must be received, in writing, by October 21, 2013. Please include the person’s name and postion(s) for which the recommendation is being made.

For further informaton on the duties and qualifiations of officers and directors, please contact Cindy Alm calmhawaii@gmail.com

A Simple, Innovative and Inexpensive Way for Presenting a Community Mediation Center to the Public

Most mediation centers are characterized by two factors:

  • The extraordinary motivation of their volunteer mediators
  • A chronic lack of funds for marketing their services

Our five community mediation centers here in Hawaii are no exception. Therefore, on May 1, 2013 we tried something new with the Ku’ikahi Mediation Center in Hilo on the island of Hawaii (also known as the “Big Island”).

From Honolulu (200 miles/330 km away from Hilo) I interviewed via Skype Julie Mitchell, their Executive Director. She presented briefly their community mediation center: their mission, who their volunteer mediators are, which mediation services and training they offer to the community, and how people can to get in touch with them. More importantly, while Julie was talking, she was also giving their community mediation center a human face and a voice.

Granted, the resulting 13-min video is not going to win an Academy Award anytime soon. Nonetheless, it works. It can now be found on YouTube, every time that someone searches for “mediation hilo”. And it can also be shared through the social media: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. Not bad, if you consider that all it took for running our interview was a laptop with a webcam and the free version of Skype.

Hopefully, ideas like this can help other mediation centers, to let people know who they are and what they do for their community.

Giuseppe Leone

Ku’ikahi Mediation Center – Hilo Hawaii – Interview with Julie Mitchell

Interview with Julie Mitchell, Executive Director of the Ku’ikahi Mediation Center in Hilo, Hawaii.

Hawaii Mediation Center Goes Online to Settle Disputes

Mediation Center of the Pacific - Mediation via Skype

Mediation Center of the Pacific – Mediation via Skype

Honolulu Star Advertiser article on March 11, 2013
by Susan Essoyan – sessoyan@staradvertiser.com
Picture by Krystle Marcellus – kmarcellus@staradvertiser.com

Executive Director Tracey Wiltgen, left, mediation trainer and volunteer mediator Giuseppe Leone, right, and program development manager and mediator Nathan Nikaido held a practice session via Skype earlier this month with volunteer mediator Seth Reiss, left on screen, and Tiare Nakata at the Mediation Center’s office in Honolulu, Hawaii.


Mediation brings people together face to face to sort out disputes with the help of a neutral party, but Hawaii’s geography can make it tough to get everyone in one room.

To bridge the distance between far-flung family members of other individuals, the Mediation Center of the Pacific is offering a new approach: online mediation.

“More and more, when people are going through conflict, one is off island or one may physically not be able to come to the Mediation Center,” said Tracey Wiltgen, executive director of the nonprofit center.

“With Skype (online video conferencing) you can be face to face. The person who’s off island, or who can’t physically come to the Mediation Center, will participate via Skype. The way we have our big screen and our cameras set up, they will be able to see everybody at the table” she said. “It’s important that you can see each other’s facial expressions because that’s a big piece of how we communicate.”

The center, one of the oldest community dispute resolution centers in the country, appears to be at the forefront in embracing the new technology, especially apt in this remote island chain.

“It’s really exciting to see what’s happening in Hawaii, and I image that will be adopted in more communities across the country,” said Justin R. Corbett, executive director of the National Association for Community Mediation, based in Mesa, Ariz.

He said there is a growing need for online dispute resolution, and the Mediation Center of the Pacific seems to be the first community mediation center to launch a formal program offering it.

“I am not aware of another center that is taking as purposeful an approach to ramping up an online operation,” he said. “I think they are unique in that sense. There may be a program here and a program there that offer it on a case-by-case basis.”

Veteran Hawaii mediator Giuseppe Leone recently donated his time to teach the first cadre of 16 mediators at the center how to handle disputes via cyberspace using webcams. The session was aimed at volunteer mediators who handle cases where parties may be physically apart, including domestic issues such as divorce and paternity or those involving the elderly.

“I think it’s great for Hawaii,” said Leone, a pioneer in using Skype in mediation training. “It shows that the technology makes it possible to do things regardless of whether we are in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.”

The training included a simulation that pulled people from far ends of the globe together on the screen, able to see and talk with the mediator and with each other.

“We managed to Skype with someone in northern Canada, where it was far below zero, and someone in Fiji,” said Nathan Nikaido, mediator and program development manager at the Mediation Center. “We wanted to see how much distance we could cover. It’s amazing. People can be right there with you.”

In November 2011, Leone launched the Virtual Mediation Lab, a pilot project of the Association for Conflict Resolution, Hawaii Chapter. That training lab has helped mediators from more than 20 countries, as far as Kenya and Russia, practice and improve their skills by participating in mediation simulations via Skype. Leone said other communication options are available, but he chose Skype because it is well-known.

Online mediations at the Mediation Center will take place in a newly equipped room funded with donations honoring the late Michael Nauyokas, a mediation champion and former president of the center who died in 2011.

The center, whose mission is to provide affordable, accessible mediation, relies on volunteer mediators. Founded in 1979 as the Neighborhood Justice Center, it has trained hundreds of mediators to handle disputes involving businesses, neighbors, family members, landlords and tenants, and criminal offenders and their victims.

Elizabeth Kent, director of the Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution, part of the Judiciary, welcomed the latest option for mediation here. “I think anything we can do to help people find solutions is a good thing,” Kent said. “The best is if you’re all in the same room. But if you can’t be in the same room, how nice that you can be connected by Skype.”


To watch some examples of how online mediations (simulations) actually work, click here

PLEASE NOTE – We no longer use Skype for our Virtual Mediation Lab online mediation simulations. To learn why, sign up for our 1-hour Introduction to Online Mediation with PC Mac and Mobile Devices. One of the topics we cover during that training is “How to Choose a Video Conferencing Software for Online Mediation”.

Who Can Participate in the March 2, 2013 Online Mediation Training for the Mediation Center of the Pacific

This morning a mediator posted this message:

This looks interesting. I have participated in a training program in LA in 2005 where we were taught mediation via telephone. The Skype Video Mediation is new to me. Could you still sign me in?

As indicated in a previous post, the training for the Mediation Center of the Pacific can be attended only by their volunteer mediators, who will:

  1. Watch Online Mediation via Skype Made Simple: 75-min Video Tutorial for Mediators
  2. Observe how I run an online mediation via Skype — with joint and private sessions, online whiteboard, documents sharing, online Agreement Draft writing — with two parties who could be in different cities, states or countries
  3. Take turns and perform the tasks indicated above

PLEASE NOTE – We no longer use Skype for our Virtual Mediation Lab online mediation simulations. Instead, we now use a video collaboration software called Zoom (Pro version)

Virtual Mediation Lab Training in Online Mediation
Learn more about our training in online mediation for mediation centers, ADR organizations and individual mediators.

Hawaii Community Mediation Center of the Pacific Will Offer Online Mediation Services via Skype

To honor the work of the late Hawaii workplace mediator Michael “Mike” Nauyokas, the Mediation Center of the Pacific will officially open the Michael Nauyokas Innovation and Excellence in Mediation Room Wednesday, January 16, 2013 (5:30 – 7:00 p.m.) – 245 N. Kukui Street Suite 206 – Honolulu, Hawaii. To RSVP call (808) 521-6767 or send an email to mcp@mediatehawaii.org by Friday, January 11.

The renovated room provides Skype and video conferencing capabilities, making mediation services more accessible for cases in which at least one party is off island, particularly in the areas of divorce, foreclosure and elder matters.

A special demonstration of a Skype mediation will be provided by mediator Giuseppe Leone who generously donated two days of training to the Mediation Center of the Pacific to share his expertise and best practices in working with Skype and mediation.

Giuseppe has conducted more than 100 Skype mediation demonstrations involving mediators from 23 countries through a special “Virtual Mediation Lab” online mediation project sponsored by the Association for Conflict Resolution – Hawaii Chapter.

PLEASE NOTE – We no longer use Skype for our Virtual Mediation Lab online mediation simulations. To learn why, sign up for our 1-hour Introduction to Online Mediation with PC Mac and Mobile Devices. One of the topics we cover during that training is “How to Choose a Video Conferencing Software for Online Mediation”.

Agenda for November 30, 2012 Forum on Online Mediation and How to Participate by Phone

Here is the Agenda for the forum on “Mediation via Skype” that I will present Friday, November 30, 2012 in Honolulu at Noon Hawaii Time. To convert Hawaii Time into your time zone click here 

  • What new and experienced mediators need. How the idea of the pilot project Virtual Mediation Lab (mediation skills development through online mediation simulations via Skype) came about
  • Goal and results of VML, after 50 simulations with 62 mediators from 22 countries
  • Why Skype?
  • Format of VML simulations
  • 1-min video based on an online mediation simulation with mediators in Scotland, Brazil and Israel
  • The experience of Attorney/Mediator Lisa Jacobs participating in VML simulations
  • Lessons Learned
  • Hardware, Software and Cost to Run/Participate in VML simulations
  • What’s next for individual mediators and mediation centers or organizations/colleges that teach mediation
  • Useful Additional Info on Online Mediation
  • Q&A Session
  • Live Demo – Online Mediation via Skype of a typical landlord/tenant case

You can participate in the forum by phone: call (605) 475-4000 – participant access code: 931551#. PLEASE NOTE: That number is Toll-Free only in the USA.

After the forum, I’ll be glad to send you by email my PowerPoint presentation.

This event is sponsored by:

and will be held from Noon to 1:30pm in the conference room of the law firm Goodsill, Anderson, Quinn, Stifel – 1099 Alakea St – 20th Floor – Honolulu, Hawaii 96744.

PLEASE NOTE – We no longer use Skype for our Virtual Mediation Lab online mediation simulations. To learn why, sign up for our 1-hour Introduction to Online Mediation with PC Mac and Mobile Devices. One of the topics we cover during that training is “How to Choose a Video Conferencing Software for Online Mediation”.