Judges endorse mediation

Judges endorse mediation

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To the Editor:

This weekend, I reviewed the Martha’s Vineyard TV (Channel 13) video recorded 11 August 2010, at the Old Whaling Church, of the M.V. Center for Dispute Resolution/ M.V. Mediation Program presentation of the “Political Challenges Influencing those serving on the Bench.”

Toward the end of the video an MVMP mediator asked the three judges if they “…had any professional or personal experience with mediation, and what is your take on it?”

Joe E. Sollito Jr., clerk of courts/magistrate for Dukes County since 1976, responded that he is putting a “plug in for mediation” and said he thought MVMP does an excellent job and has taken a great burden off the court.

Robert A. Gammage, Texas Supreme Court justice who retired to private practice in 1995, said he has done a lot of mediation and he believes mediation, “worked right, saves a lot of time and money and anguish…and allows people to make decisions themselves… Mediation is totally confidential and mediators cannot be subpoenaed.”

Norman H. Stahl, senior federal Court of Appeals Judge in the First Circuit, appointed by George H. W. Bush in 1990, said he couldn’t agree more. Mediation is an excellent idea.

As an 11-year member of Martha’s Vineyard Center for Dispute Resolution/Mediation Program, I thrill at these words of the judges, and I highly recommend that anyone in need of settling disputes — family, business, community, etc. — consider mediation first instead of litigation.

Jane H. ThayerEdgartown/ Oak Bluffs