Indian Mediators Visit College of Law for a 'Train the Trainer' Program

The University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law, collaboration with the Delhi High Court Mediation and Conciliation Centre and the Association of Indian Mediators, is hosting a week-long train-the-trainer program for lawyer-mediators from New Delhi and Ahmedabad, India.

The training will be led by Hiram Chodosh, Dean of the College of Law, who has worked on mediation in India for fifteen years. His team includes Professor James Holbrook, who has taught basic and advanced mediation in India, and the law school’s education technology expert, Aaron Dewald.

In 1995, Dean Chodosh worked on a large national study of the Indian civil justice system which resulted in legislation that created court-annexed mediation in that country. In 2003, he was a Fulbright Fellow in India where he conducted mediation training and co-authored a book on mediation in India. In 2007, Chodosh and Holbrook were asked by the U.S. State Department to teach negotiation and mediation at law schools in Bhopal, Mumbai, and Goa.

In June 2010, three senior lawyer-mediators from India came to Salt Lake City and were videotaped doing a mediation simulation of an Indian contract dispute. Mr. Dewald put the edited simulation, transcript, and explanatory modules online, as the first-ever, interactive, web-based mediation training materials prepared for Indian mediators.

In December 2010, Holbrook and Dewald presented advanced mediator training workshops in India. This month more than a dozen lawyer-mediators from New Delhi and Ahmedabad are in Salt Lake City to prepare to become mediator trainers in their own country.

Sadhana Ramachandran, a lawyer at the Supreme Court of India, expressed enthusiasm for “this collaborative venture and all that we can learn while working with the University of Utah, especially through the videorecording of the latest concepts and techniques used in mediation.”

JP Sengh, a senior lawyer at the Delhi High Court, added, “We really view this exchange as a long-term relationship between the U.S. and India, particularly with the University of Utah, Dean Chodosh and Professor Holbrook.”

Holbrook said, “We welcome our Indian guests to Salt Lake City for the next steps in our journey together.  Over the next ten days, we will be building on the great success of court-annexed mediation in India.  We will be working together to train more Indian mediators to teach mediation throughout India and elsewhere in South Asia.”

Holbrook expressed his personal thanks for the tremendous staff support for this program provided by Miriam Lovin, Shawnna Cope, Eden Bennett, Mary Wheeler, and by his law students Gwyndolynn Gentry and Scott Hutchison.

Watch a short documentary on the Global Justice: Indian Mediation project.