Larkin Discusses Community and Court-Based Mediation with International Delegation, Presents Training with Students to Elected Officials
C. J. Larkin, administrative director of the Negotiation and Dispute Resolution Program and senior lecturer in law, recently discussed community and court-based mediation with members of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). The group was hosted in St. Louis by the World Affairs Council as part of the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) organized by the U.S. Department of State.
The international visitors were:
- Davit Mirzoyan, Republic of Armenia;
- Kamran Baghirov, Azerbaijan;
- Sanzharbek Alimzhanov, Kyrgyz Republic; and
- Ecaterina Leuca, Moldova.
The OSCE focuses its efforts on conflict prevention, economic development, sustainable use of natural resources, and human rights.
Larkin gave an overview of dispute resolution and mediation practices in the United States, including an historical perspective and background on the current range of mediation services from formal court-appointed dispute resolution to grassroots community mediation. Members of the OSCE group asked about requirements and training for mediators, the appointment process, and the necessary skills and authority of the mediator.
The IVLP hosts international visitors from all over the world who are considered middle-ranked, “up-and-comers” in various areas of expertise. As part of the program, these individuals spend about three weeks in four or five different cities, where they hold meetings with experts in their field and absorb American culture.
An expert in mediation and dispute resolution, Larkin has served as a Fulbright Senior Specialist in Dispute Resolution in Utrecht, The Netherlands; project coordinator and trainer for a U.S. State Department grant in Nepal; co-coordinator and trainer of a program with the International Institute to train local refugee leaders as community mediators; and a co-mediator with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Community Relations Service. At the law school, she teaches courses in mediation, negotiation, ADR theory and practice, and mediation advocacy and coaches the law school’s mediation and negotiation competition teams. She also has published articles and a training manual on community mediation and won service awards from the Better Business Bureau and Association of Missouri Mediators for her work promoting mediation programs in the community.
Members of Larkin’s Advanced Mediation class, for example, recently conducted a training for elected officials sponsored by the League of Women Voters of St. Louis. Larkin, alumna Rebecca Feldmann, JD ’08, and the law students offered expertise on how to promote civility in discussions of difficult issues during public forums. Feldmann is a staff attorney with Legal Services of Eastern Missouri, Immigration Law Project.