Juvenile mediation: It’s not just for kids

Mediation is one of the best-known and most used techniques of the whole arena known as Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Practices. Still, it has yet to be used to its fullest advantage and in all the areas of law in Louisiana as it has been and continues to be throughout the world. 

Author Linda Lijedahl of Dispute Resolution Institute of Louisiana

Almost all judges and attorneys know that the continual experienced use of mediation in most civil cases will not only cut down on the growing expenses and unnecessary costs of trials; but that mediation also usually ends with the disputants resolving the lawsuit with a much more favorable attitude. This means that all parties end up feeling that they have all “won” or at least came out “even,” which rarely happens when a case goes to trial.

The loss of this better resolution is particularly unfortunate inasmuch as mediation can be used to keep cases out of court in all areas of law. We are not only referring to civil (L.R.S.9:4101, et seq.) and family (L.R.S. 9:331.2, et seq.) mediations, but now to juvenile (Child Advocacy) mediations (LA Children’s Code Art. 435, et seq.).

Juvenile mediation was introduced to Louisiana in 1997, meant to be used principally in Orleans and Jefferson Parishes due to the high influx of children in need of care and the beginning of young delinquency cases that seemed would eventually overwhelm those court system. For one reason or another, while working very well when used, juvenile mediation did not take off as expected.

I have been one of the only two to three certified juvenile mediators in Louisiana for the past 17 years. My mediation training business, Dispute Resolution Institute of Louisiana Ltd., had partnered with Mondello Mediation LLC (Lisa R. Mondello) in New Orleans in the past.

Together, we discussed how society had changed, particularly in the area of juvenile law and mediation. Lisa and I decided that there was a need for more trained certified juvenile mediators in Louisiana.

In March 2020, I sponsored the first certified course at my home office in Baton Rouge. Unfortunately, that class was physically shut down due to Covid-19, but I managed to keep it running by going on-line live every day and training as closely as if live in my usual seminars.

Due to its approval by my students and the LSBA MCLE-certification, I will be offering the same juvenile (Child Advocacy) mediation training seminars for the upcoming 2020-2021 terms.

Additionally, Lisa and I will jointly give the original mediators’ training for the civil and family mediation skills in both Baton Rouge and New Orleans locations.  Of course, my firm has mediators for all mediations, too. If you have any questions about mediation, mediators and/or ADR training, please feel free to call my office.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Dispute Resolution Institute of Louisiana Ltd.

5222 Blair Lane
Baton Rouge, LA 70809
225.454.6448    msmediator.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Linda Liljedahl has practiced law for 40 years. Her mediation and ADR practice began officially in 1991, with training from U.S. Arbitration & Mediation. Ms. Liljedahl is a well-recognized experienced mediator of all forms of civil, family/divorce and juvenile disputes. She is a member of U.S.D.C.-M.D. Panel for ADR Neutrals and a Louisiana State Bar Association M.C.L.E.- approved Provider and Instructor of Mediation, Arbitration and ADR training seminars. Ms. Liljedahl has led the training in all forms of mediation and ADR, presenting several highly acclaimed, exclusive and lively seminars a year. She has been recognized with the First International Peace Prize from the United Cultural Convention in 2010, and was named Woman of the Year 2009-10 by UCC/ABI/PPP Productions, among many other honors. Ms. Liljedahl has also appeared as an expert in her field in multiple media outlets in Louisiana and across the nation.