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Mediation Case Law Videos

For the past eight years, as part of the annual Minnesota State Bar Association ADR Institute, Hamline Professor James Coben has been producing short videos illustrating mediation litigation. On this website, you will find 42 of the videos, organized by type of disputed mediation issue. There is also a "Top Dozen" listing. For each video you click on, you will be directed to a short case summary and a windows wmv or quicktime video file. Feel free to use these videos in your teaching and training. There is no charge for use; we ask only that you notify us ( that you are using the videos and describe the context. Whenever, the videos are shown, please attribute them in the following way: Produced by Professor James Coben and the Minnesota State Bar Association.  

Special thanks to Jodie Dulac and Justin Rooney for video production assistance and to the ADR Institute Players for their creativity and improvisation skills:

 Ellen Abbott  Mark McCrea
 David Allgeyer  Marilyn McKnight
 Hugh Bishop  Lara Nafziger
 James Coben  Rebecca Picard
 Ken Fox  Sukh Singh
 Aimee Gourlay  Jenelle Soderquist
 Joe Kenyon  Gary Weissman
 Michael Landrum  Robert Williams
 David Lauth  Eduardo Wolle
 Bobbi McAdoo  Jeanne Zimmer

For reasons that will become obvious when you view the videos, please also provide your audience with the following disclaimer:

Some of the video enactments you are about to see portray "less than optimal" mediator performance. Rest assured that you are not at risk by hiring any of the ADR Institute Players as neutrals (or lawyers), despite what you see on the tape.

The videos are fictional reenactments of the mediations underlying the published litigated cases. The "scripts" were developed solely by reading the written trial or appellate court decision - by no means a perfect window into what actually happened in a particular case.


 Videos by Subject 

If you only have time for a "Top Dozen"


A Simple Mediator Mistake Leading to Big Problems [Enforcement]
Catamount Slate Products, Inc. v. Sheldon,
845 A.2d 324 (Vt. 203) 
   Crossing the Line on Evaluation
Vitakis v. Valchine,
793 So. 2d 1094 (Fla. Dist. Ct. Ap. 2001)
 Those All-Day Mediations -- Maybe We Should Reassess?
In re Rains,

428 F.3d 893 (9th Cir. 2005)
   The Perils of Judicial Mediation
Home Depot, U.S.A., Inc. v. Saul Subsidiary I Ltd. Partn.,
159 S.W. 3d 339 (Ky. Ct. App. 2004)  
 A "Dark View" of Class Action Mediation
Kakini v. Oracle Corp.,
No. C 06-06493 WHA, 2007 WL 1793774 (N.D. Cal. June 19, 2007)  
   The Pitfalls of Multi-Jurisdictional Practice
In re Non-Member of State Bar of Arizona,
152 P.3d 1183 (Ariz. 2007) 
 How Confidential Should Mediation Be?
State v. Williams,
877 A.2d 1258 (N.J. 2005)  
   A Study in Mediator Creativity
Emerson v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue,
No. 5877-00, 2003 WL 1392574 (U.S. Tax Ct., March 20, 2003)  
 An Endorsement for Asymmetric Mediation
Smith Wholesale Co., Inc. v. Philip Morris USA, Inc.,
No. 2:03-CV-221, 205 (WL 1230436 (E.D. Tenn. May 24, 2005), order vacated upon reconsideration, 205 WL 2030655 (August 23, 2005)  
   Be Careful What You Wish For[Sanctions] 
Brooks v. Lincoln National Life Ins. Co.,

No. 8:05CV118, 206 WL 2487937 (D. Neb. Aug. 25, 2006)  
 Non-adversarial? Yea, right.
In re Marriage of Craze,
133 Wash. App. 1023 (Wash. Ct. App. 2006)  
   Read Before You Sign
In re O.R. v. J.R.,
No. E034376, 2004 WL 585583 (Cal. App. Mar. 25, 2004)