RI Mediators Association

News & Tid-bits

News & Tid-bits of Interest to RI Mediators.
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  • Thursday, September 06, 2018 3:29 PM | Anonymous

    Rhode Island Mediators Association has announced that the 2018 "Bruce I. Kogan, Esq. Founders Award." will be presented to CMCRI at RIMA's 2018 KICK-OFF and CELEBRATION DINNER on Wednesday, September 26th.  The dinner event will be held at Davenport's Restaurant in East Providence, RI. 

    The Founder's Award is intended to acknowledge significant contributions to "Advancing Quality Mediation in Rhode Island." 

    CMCRI is being recognized for its efforts in successfully expanding their Basic Mediation Training Program to 40 hours thereby providing the foundation for greater mediator skill development. 

    This event is open to the public - preregistration is required. 

      More info and Event Registration 

     

  • Tuesday, May 08, 2018 5:36 PM | Anonymous

     On April 26, 2018, Professor Bruce Kogan was honored by the Roger Williams University Law community for his remarkable contributions at the dedication of the Professor Bruce I. Kogan Clinic Conference Room.  The ceremony and reception was attended by members of the judiciary, elected officials, alumni, faculty, staff and friends. 
    Founding faculty member, two-time interim Dean, master mediator – Professor Bruce I. Kogan has been all these and more, and his name is now permanently ensconced at Roger Williams University School of Law’s experiential campus in downtown Providence.
    A Distinguished Career
    Professor Kogan’s career has been dedicated to providing his students with practical opportunities to apply what they learn in the classroom, whether by mediating under his supervision in the Rhode Island court system or participating in local zoning board hearings.
    Long active in the Rhode Island legal community, Kogan is a co-founder and past president of the first non-profit organization for mediators in the state, the Rhode Island Mediators Association.  He is active as a volunteer mediator with the Center for Collaboration and Mediation of Rhode Island, and was a member of the transition team of Attorney General Peter Kilmartin ‘97, in addition to having served for the past fifteen years on the Bristol, R.I., Zoning Board of Review.
    Kogan has authored numerous articles on topics ranging from the Americans with Disabilities Act, to taxation, to disciplinary and ethical issues in divorce and family law (included as a chapter in A Practical Guide to Divorce in Rhode Island, 2009). In addition to Dispute Resolution, Professor Kogan regularly taught Property and Trusts and Estates.
    Prior to joining RWU Law, Kogan served as an appellate attorney in the Tax Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, and then practiced law for almost ten years in Pennsylvania, concentrating on taxation, business and estate planning, for-profit and non-profit corporations, and real estate.  He holds a B.A. from Syracuse University, a J.D. from Dickinson School of Law, an LL.M. in Taxation from Georgetown University Law Center, and an honorary doctorate in laws from RWU Law.
    All gifts to the RWU Law Alumni Fund in honor of Professor Kogan’s retirement will be used to help us recognize his remarkable contributions.

    https://law.rwu.edu/news/news-archive/honoring-professor-bruce-kogan 

  • Friday, May 04, 2018 12:51 PM | Anonymous

    ProJo 5/4/2018

    By Katie Mulvaney Journal Staff Writer     ProJo 5/4/2018

    Former state Traffic Tribunal Chief Magistrate William R. Guglietta is joining the Family Court staff as a mediator, part of a restructuring aimed at assisting parties representing themselves in divorce cases.

    Family Court Chief Judge Michael B. Forte agreed to hire Guglietta, expanding the number of Family Court Mediation Services lawyers to four, according to courts spokesman Craig N. Berke.

    “Judge Forte feels that mediation is a really great tool for self-represented litigants,” Berke said. Currently, about 50 percent of cases in Family Court are being self-litigated, he said.

    Guglietta applied for the position, and was selected, in part, for Forte’s familiarity with the empathy Guglietta exhibited during his years as a prosecutor in Family Court, Berke said.

    “He thinks he’s a great fit,” Berke said. The base salary for the position ranges from $79,753 to $90,456. In addition, Guglietta will receive 17-percent longevity pay for his years in state service, Berke said. He is expected to start May 14.

    Forte is also launching a pilot screening program to assess whether pro se cases could be resolved short of trial through mediation, Berke said.

    The hope is that the increased emphasis on mediation will prove less costly and time-consuming for litigants and the court.

    The state Senate last month confirmed a former member of its own ranks, Domenic A. DiSandro III, to replace Guglietta as chief judge of the Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal.

    State Supreme Court Chief Justice Paul A. Suttell in March chose DiSandro to lead the court, instead of reappointing Guglietta, whose 10-year term had ended.

    “He concluded he wanted a change in leadership at the Traffic Tribunal,” Berke said. Guglietta had earned $186,050 as head of the Traffic Tribunal.

    John Marion, executive director of Common Cause Rhode Island, told The Journal that his group’s research showed that it was the first time a magistrate had been replaced at the expiration of his 10-year term.

    Prior to being named chief magistrate, Guglietta worked as chief legal counsel for former House Majority Leader Gordon Fox and as a Cranston Municipal Court judge. He has done stints as a prosecutor in the state attorney general’s office and, in 1998, he ran unsuccessfully for attorney general 

  • Friday, April 27, 2018 2:48 PM | Anonymous

    Family Court Chief Judge Michael B. Forte promoted Lori Jean Giarrusso Esq. to Director of Family Court Mediation Services, where she previously worked as a staff mediator. She will earn $123,903 with longevity, according to courts spokesman Craig N. Berke.

    Forte also has expanded the number of Family Court Mediation Services lawyers to four with the hiring of , former state Traffic Tribunal Chief Magistrate William R. Guglietta as a mediator, Berke said.

    Forte is also launching a pilot screening program to assess whether pro se cases could be resolved short of trial through mediation, Berke said.

    The hope is that the increased emphasis on mediation will prove less costly and time-consuming for litigants and the court.


  • Tuesday, May 09, 2017 10:00 AM | Anonymous

    Roger Williams Law School will be awarding an honorary law degree to Professor Bruce I. Kogan at this year's Commencement.  Referred to as a luminary, Professor Kogan is a founding faculty member at RWU Law who has twice (in 1998-1999 and 2001-2003) served as Dean of Rhode Island’s only law school, and is one of the state’s leading experts on alternatives to litigation. 

    “I am very excited that the law school is able to honor people whose work is so consonant with our values,” said Michael J. Yelnosky, Dean of RWU Law.  Yelnosky went on to say "Professor Kogan helped design a forward-looking curriculum that emphasized practical skills and public service when he helped found the school in 1993.” 

    RWU President Donald J. Farish, added “At Roger Williams University, we think it is particularly important to recognize those who have contributed to the public good and who reflect our institutional mission of strengthening society.”

  • Saturday, October 22, 2016 6:00 PM | Anonymous

     RI Family Court Chief Judge Michael B. Forte welcomed over 250 attendees including school personnel, social workers, providers, attorneys, law enforcement and court staff to a conference he hosted for two days at the Providence Marriott Downtown on October 20 & 21, 2016. 

    In conjunction with many experts in the field, the conference included voices of several survivors of sexual assault and their journeys on the road to healing.  Special focus was primarily placed on children but also included information relevant to adults.  Attention was guided to areas such as: identification, dating violence, system response, and therapy. 

    Chief Judge Forte stated, “Almost every day, the effects of childhood trauma are brought to the attention of the Family Court, DCYF and/or the schools. As we examine these problems that face some children, we will explore how collaboration among the system providers can deliver effective appropriate interventions at all levels.”
     
    “I applaud each of you for participating in this valuable conference which will help us to learn, to share and to help grow a system that will respond in an effective and timely manner when addressing some of these tremendous adverse life challenges that face so many of our most vulnerable assets – our children.  It is incumbent upon us to ensure that they have the support and services to prosper and succeed in a safe and healthy manner.   We must remain vigilant in our efforts to continue to take action to improve the futures of those that we are here to protect and guide,” the Chief Judge continued.

    After the Chief Judge’s remarks, he introduced the Honorable Thomas Izzo who served as the Master of Ceremonies for the two day event.   Mr. Izzo stated, “I appreciate being in a room full of advocates for children. Your presence here today is a testament that you are offering a willingness to make healing possible.”

    Thursday’s presentations included:  Kathleen Kemp, Ph.D. who is an Assistant Professor (Research) at the Brown University Warren Alpert Medical School and Staff Psychologist with Rhode Island Hospital Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Bradley/Hasbro Children's Research Center and is also the Director of the Rhode Island Family Court Mental Health Clinic. Dr. Kemp spoke on the impact on youth that childhood adverse life events and trauma have. “The Rhode Island Family Court does an excellent job screening all youth for trauma and adverse childhood events and linking youth and their families to services.  It is vital to empower families,” said Dr. Kemp.

    SURVIVORS SPEAK RI was a panel presentation that gave very truthful, emotional and personal presentations on being proud team members of this important group.  “This presentation was truly impactful,” stated Chief Judge Forte.  SURVIVORS SPEAK RI gives a voice to ALL sexual assault victims.

    Jane Johnson spoke about sexual assault from a survivor’s perspective. She told the audience about her horrific rape at age 47 by someone she knew.  I was working at DCYF at the time and suffered in silence for almost two years.  “It is critically important to understand the trauma of sexual assault and the healing of sexual assault. Also, it is imperative to understand the difference between physical trauma and emotional trauma,” said Johnson “It was traumatic to have to go through the process alone, in fear of telling anyone what had happened because of what they would think.  I was humiliated sitting at court proceedings’ looking at photographs of what was done to me.  SURVIVORS SPEAK RI has given me not only strength for myself, but the strength to be the voice of many other victims and to face perpetrators and tell them what they have done.”  “Victims need to know that someone is going to fight for them. I do this work on behalf of all the victims out there.  I talk for you until you can talk with me,” stated Johnson to a deafeningly quiet audience.

    Wendy Allmendinger has spent more than two decades working for social justice - as a public defender, as an attorney for indigent survivors of domestic violence, and in various roles in the sexual domestic violence field.  She is a survivor of sexual and domestic violence as a child and as an adult.  Most importantly, she is the mother of two intelligent and compassionate young men who have committed part of their busy student lives to work for social justice, for equality and to end violence against women.   Attorney Allmendinger said, “witnessing domestic violence as a child has a lifelong impact on a child.”

    Jessica Cinquegrana is a survivor of child molestation by three family members.  As a teenager, she was removed from her home by DCYF after she disclosed her abuse.  She was in placement until she aged out of the system.  After several years of therapy, she has been successful working through her abuse issues and is now able to advocate for other victims who have not yet found their voices. “I have thick skin because I AM A SURVIVOR,” said Jessica.  She has spoken about her abuse at the Rhode Island State House during Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM).  She has been interviewed on television and has spoken at several colleges and universities in Rhode Island. In 2009 she earned a degree in Human Services and then chose a new career path as a nurse.  She expects to graduate from CCRI in 2018. 

    Pasco Troia stated, “I believe in my soul the sexual abuse I experienced as a child broke me, but did not destroy me.  I am a proud survivor of child sexual abuse.  I believe the level of abuse I endured allows me to speak on behalf of the victims of child sexual abuse who did not survive. When I was 11 years old I was molested by a Roman Catholic Priest in Cranston, RI for about a year.  I hid every sinful act of abuse from everyone, including myself.  Twenty-one years later I read an article in the Providence Journal that changed my life forever.  I later learned to confront the memories I recalled in order to become mentally and emotionally whole again.  The internal anguish left behind after sexual assault is what kills the child. I kept silent for two decades because who would believe me (a child) over a man of the cloth.  The sexual abuse had been unbearable and rough.  I didn’t know how to handle it. I was young.  I finally sought therapy and after about one year of intense therapy, with the right professional, I finally started to get my life back. I joined a lawsuit against the Providence Diocese and just finished writing a book titled “Behind the Altar” which is currently being reviewed for publication.  Though my awakening, I am closer than ever to God. My words are to help all victims:  SURVIVE, THRIVE and STAY ALIVE!”

    Mary Byrne is a public speaker, educator and advocate.  She is also a child molestation survivor. “I was born to a woman who did not really want a child. When I was four years old, a neighbor exposed himself to me. I wanted to know what happened to the nice man.  No one asked me what was wrong.  This went on until on was fourteen years old.  My childhood was taken from me.  I finally found my SAFE PASSAGE through therapy.  Being sexually molested affected every aspect of my life. Counseling made all the difference in my life.  Don’t let it take your life away – go to therapy. I am now a children’s book author.”

    Peter Loss, ACSW provided sex offender treatment in Connecticut and in Rhode Island for nearly 40 years; directed the Sex Offender Treatment Program (SOTP) at the Adult Correction Institution (ACI) in Cranston, RI for 28 years; chaired the Sex Offender Board of Review for 10 years; and has provided training nationwide and is currently in private practice.  Mr. Loss began, “Thank each of you on today’s panel for your powerful presentation.  I work with sex offenders in treatment and in prisons.  I have such admiration and resolve for the courage of each survivor to come into the cell block and speak about their personal stories. To have inmates hear the victims voices themselves is much more powerful from those who have lived it.  I don’t think you can do sex crimes treatment in a community without this component of SURVIVORS SPEAK.”

    Chief Judge Forte asked the panel about sex crimes and power.  Mr. Loss responded, “That is an excellent point. Sex crimes are all about power and feeling emotionally superior to others. We almost never talk about sexuality. This is assault. Perpetration is the weapon.”

    When asked how you encourage clients to participate in therapy?, Jessica responded, “They have to be ready.”

    The panel of SURVIVORS SPEAK RI all received a resounding standing ovation after they each spoke. All participants at the conference listening were deeply affected by these personal tragic stories and no doubt left the conference changed and charged to continue to make a difference.

    Amy Battersby, MS, LMHC, CTSC is the Director of Clinical Services at Day One in Providence.  She spoke on the neurobiology of trauma and what it teaches us about effective treatment and intervention. “With technology we can look into the brain and see how it works after trauma. It is important to use bottom-up interventions.  Therapists need to start at the bottom to aid in healing, When trying to get a trauma informed therapist, find a therapist trained in more than one kind of trauma,” stated Battersby.

    Maureen Philbin, M.Ed., Director of Advocacy for Day One RI. Ms. Philbin addressed the audience on a multidisciplinary approach to survivors of childhood trauma and commercial sexual exploitation. “The CAC’s (Children’s Advocacy Centers) look at the victim first, they are videotaped so they do not have to tell their story over and over and over again. Victims should not have to be traumatized by re-telling their story.  Every child gets trauma informed care.  I would like to emphasize that we need to look at prevention in schools. One in four girls and one in six boys are affected by sexual abuse before age eighteen,’ Said Philbin.

    The Voice Youth Leadership Panel consisted of well-spoken current and former foster youth who have had (and continue to have) the courage and tenacity to stand up and advocate for themselves and others. These young people are the experts of their own lives and their voices should be a part of the decision-making process. It is critical to hear the voices of foster youth when developing policies and practices that will directly affect them.  The Voice youth leadership board advocates on behalf of current and former foster youth.

    Gernani Yutob, Jr., a former foster youth from Hawaii, currently employed at Foster Forward as a Youth Engagement Specialist and is the adult supporter for The Voice Youth Leadership Board. Gernani asked poignant questions of the panel and had an exceptional grasp of the foster care system and what children face when then enter it.  Gernani spoke of “Social Capital” which means Positive Support Network and asked the panel (Melody, Stephanie, Randy and Blanca), “How did your experience in foster care change how you interact with the world?  They all stated that “moving around makes it hard to fit in; feel very alone and angry; confused; continuously have to keep re-telling your story; always feel like we did something wrong; difficulty trusting people which is a defense mechanism you develop over the years.”

    Melody said, “Listen to us. Take the time to know us.”

    Randy stated, “Talk to youth having trouble. Build trust. I had a real support person. Who told me, “Your education is all on you – no one can take that away from you.”  I still talk to him today.”

    Gernani spoke about the Prudent Parenting Standard, “the standard of care for foster youth should be the same as bio kids.”

    Blanca said, “When I was in highs school a few years ago, I couldn’t go to school events. I couldn’t go to my prom. I couldn’t have a cell phone. I had no social media access so kids at school couldn’t call me. It made me an outcast. Now you can do those things.”

    Melody stated, “Group homes and residential programs should have the same standards as foster care and bio kids – Prudent Parenting Standard.”

    The panel strongly stated – unilaterally- that “FOSTER CARE should be EXTENDED to age 21 in Rhode Island. Hopefully this law will pass in RI.”

    Randy, under an Interstate Compact between Massachusetts and RI, has his time in Massachusetts foster care extended until he is 23.

    Today’s presentations continued to carry forward the strong message from yesterday that collaboration among system providers can deliver effective and appropriate interventions at all levels.

    Governor Gina Raimondo welcomed conference participants this morning saying, “I want to begin by thanking the men and women here today who have dedicated their lives to the protection and care of our most precious resources – our children.  From Family Court judges and staff, to DCYF social workers, to educators – thank you for your service. There are too many children in our own state who grow up subjected to violence, trauma and abuse.  And too often, our fellow Rhode Islanders suffer lifelong scars –wounds that will hurt them for a very long time.  That is unacceptable.  Every child that grows up in Rhode Island deserves the opportunity to learn and grow in a safe, loving environment.  That’s why we are here at this conference – to hear from survivors, to listen to their stories of profound courage, and to take action.”

    There was then a panel discussion, led by Family Court Judge Laureen D’Ambra, “Youth and Trauma: The Rhode Island Landscape, that included Susan Lindberg, Associate Director, DCYF; Jeannine Nota-Masse, Cranston School Superintendent; Maureen Philbin and Amy Battersby, both from Day One.

    Christie Rizzo, PhD., spoke on relationship violence.  Dr. Rizzo is an Associate Professor, Northeastern University and Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Brown University and served from 2006 to 2014 as Assistant Director for the Juvenile Mental Health Clinic at the Rhode Island Family Court. Her research focuses on romantic relationship risk behaviors among adolescents (dating violence, sexual risk taking), with a particular focus on vulnerable youth such as those involved in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems.  She said, “I think it is great that the Family Court put this conference on and having our research project in the Court.  Our research , for example Project Strong” for middle school boys and their parents (which includes interactive games for the adolescent boys to play with their parents about sensitive topics including dating), is showing signs of becoming an evidenced based program.

    There was a heartfelt presentation by Ann Burke¸ M.Ed., on the need for supporting the prevention of relationship violence.  Ms. Burke founded the Lindsay Ann Burke Memorial Fund after her daughter’s murder and, independent of the fund, worked to pass the Lindsay Ann Burke Act of 2007, one of the first comprehensive dating violence education laws in the U.S.  Through the her daughter Lindsay’s Memorial Fund, she has trained thousands of teachers in the topic of dating violence and the fund has donated curriculum materials to most secondary schools in RI.  The fund is also involved in a variety of activities that support and promote dating violence education in RI schools.

    The conference closed with an eye opening presentation by Frank Pescosolido, PhD., M.P.H. on the “Cost of Caring: Bearing Witness to Psychologically Traumatized Children.”  Dr. Pescosolido lectures and has published on traumatic childhood experiences resulting from interpersonal victimization.

    “On behalf of the Family Court, I am extending our thanks and appreciation to everyone involved with this two-day event. Special thanks to all the speakers for sharing your knowledge and personal experiences,” Chief Judge Forte said. “We can be part of the healing process and I welcome you to join me in this effort to continue to do the work to ensure that all of our children, young adults and adults have Safe Passages,” continued the Chief Judge.

    Frank P. Geremia, Executive Director of the RI Mediators Association, noted that people who had attended the Conference commented that it was a "moving experience".
     

  • Wednesday, June 22, 2016 4:43 PM | Anonymous

    Family Court Judge Michael B. Forte was sworn in as the sixth Chief of the RI Family Court on Tuesday, June 21, 2016. He has served on Family Court since 1987.

    Forte told those gathered for the ceremony about his plans for the court, considered the state’s most emotionally volatile for the sensitive divorce, child custody and juvenile cases it hears.

    "It would adapt according to the evolving definition of family opened up by new technologies", he said. “What is a family?…. It’s the people in your life who want you to be in theirs,”.

    Family Court, going forward, would be a treatment-focused, rehabilitative court aimed at families as a whole, he said.

    He would create a women services unit and an infant protection plan, he said.

    His vision is simple, he said: To help people through life’s challenges and enable them to reach normalization.

    Forte, as senior Family Court judge, has been serving as acting chief since Jan. 1, following the retirement of Haiganush R. Bedrosian.

    At his hearing before the Judicial Nominating Commission, Forte said he was fortunate to have worked with the late Family Court Chief Judge Jeremiah S. Jeremiah Jr., and Bedrosian. The autonomy they provided enabled him, he said, to bring court hearings to the Training School and to put in place gang intervention and work-release programs for the teens.

    Forte earned a law degree from Franklin Pierce Law Center. Before being named to the bench in 1987 at age 34 by former Gov. Edward DiPrete, who was on hand Tuesday, Forte served as a Democratic state senator representing Little Compton, Tiverton and Warren.


  • Wednesday, January 13, 2016 11:30 PM | Frank Geremia

     Those of us who were fortunate enough to know him, were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Peter Glassman on January 13, 2016 at home in New York.  In 2012-2013 he served as Executive Director of Community Mediation Center of RI.

     

    How time flies. It seems like only yesterday that Peter introduced himself to us at RIMA's 2012 September Annual Kick-Off Event.  He was only here briefly, but he was full of energy and his promise was infectious.    He touched many people in his home state of New York, as well as Rhode Island, and he will be sorely missed in the mediation community.  Our condolences go out to his family.

    Obituary (more)

  • Thursday, September 24, 2015 1:00 PM | Anonymous

    Haiganush R. Bedrosian, Chief Judge of the RI Family Court has announced plans to retire Jan. 8.

    In 2010, Bedrosian, became the first woman to lead the Family Court  which handles divorces and child custody issues.  She was the first woman to serve on the court bench after being nominated by Gov. J. Joseph Garrahy in 1980. 
    Bedrosian initiated broadening the mediation program in Domestic and DCYF matters and expanding the family treatment drug court. During her tenure, the court rules and the forms used to guide the filing process underwent major revision.  

    Judge Bedrosian was keynote Speaker at RI Mediators Association's first "CELEBRATE MEDIATION-RI"* Event held in May, 2011, where she said "there must be a shift away from promoting an adversarial system which pits family members against one another".  She has been a long time supporter of mediation and a friend and supporter of RI Mediators Association.  

    Before taking the bench, Bedrosian worked in private practice specializing in family law after stints as assistant general counsel to the Providence & Worcester Railroad Co. and as a prosecutor in the early 1970s.  She earned her law degree from Suffolk University Law School.  

    In December 2013, Bedrosian hosted a two-day conference on sex trafficking and exploitation of children in the child-welfare system that was attended by 400 members of law enforcement, child-welfare workers, clinicians and investigators from across Rhode Island.

    For more info on Judge Bedrosian see: 

    * Bedrosion Comments at "CELEBRATE MEDIATION RI–2011"


    http://www.providencejournal.com/article/20150922/NEWS/150929796 

  • Friday, June 12, 2015 8:30 AM | Anonymous

    The Rhode Island Bar Association Annual Meeting is on Thursday, June 18th and Friday, June 19th, 2015 at the Rhode Island Convention Center. Featuring over 40 Continuing Legal Education seminars, keynote and workshop speakers, Bar Awards, many practice-related product and service exhibitors, and the chance to get together with your colleagues socially, the Bar’s Annual Meeting, traditionally drawing over 1,500 attorneys and judges.

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