The "Ethical Mediator?" Fact or Fiction



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Credit Details
Credit Hours:
Specialty Area:
Credit Type:
Legal Ethics
Original Air Date:
January 27, 2023
Accredited In:

You may be able to self apply for credits in states not listed. BHBA provides CLE accreditation as described above. 

About the Program

Is it reasonable for parties and lawyers to expect that their chosen mediators will, among other things: (1) disclose all potential conflicts of interest before accepting an assignment, (2) maintain party confidences obtained from one caucus to the next, and (3) follow generally accepted ethical mediation principles (And what are those principles?). To what end if your mediator fails to do this?

Malcolm S. McNeil (President – Beverly Hills Bar Association & Partner and International Practice Co-Leader at ArentFox Schiff) will lead a discussion with Mary B Culbert (former Clinical Professor and Director of the Loyola Center for Conflict Resolution) and A. Marco Turk (Professor Emeritus, and former Director of the Negotiation, Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding graduate/undergraduate programs at California State University-Dominguez Hills) to discuss these and other related questions while presenting their ideas for a new streamlined Ethical Code of Conduct for Mediators.

These ideas are further described in Professor Culbert’s forthcoming article entitled “Proposal: A New Unified Canon of Mediator Ethics” to be published by the Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution (Moritz College of Law) in 2023.

Meet the Speakers
Malcolm S. McNeil


BHBA President Partner & International Practice Co-Leader ArentFox Schiff LLP

Malcolm has over 35 years of litigation and commercial experience in a wide variety of matters including business/commercial, construction (defect and coverage issues), employment disputes, administrative proceedings, trade secrets, probate, media and entertainment, intellectual property, partnership dissolutions, and real estate. Malcolm has 25 years of experience resolving civil disputes as a mediator and is a panel mediator for the United States District Court, Central District of California.

 Malcolm has litigated issues for a wide variety of businesses including those in the venture capital formation, retail, entertainment, textile, manufacturing, import/export, real estate investment, aviation, and publishing. He is keenly aware of the legal and business needs of his clients, and provides strategic solutions to commercial disputes that help enable his clients’ businesses to keep moving forward. He also has experience in cross-border negotiations and has an established network of colleagues globally assisting foreign countries as needs arise. Malcolm’s practice has included representation of clients in most forums, including a range of administrative forums, statewide and nationally. Known for his leadership and accomplishments, particularly for clients with business interests in China, Malcolm is a panel member on the Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration, the Beijing International Arbitration Commission, and the Harbin Arbitration Commission. Malcolm serves as the co-leader of ArentFox Schiff’s International Group, and is the president of the Beverly Hills Bar Association.

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A. Marco Turk


Professor Emeritus California State University - Dominguez Hills

Marco Turk is Professor Emeritus of Negotiation, Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding at California State University Dominguez Hills, having served as the full-time director of the program from 2002-2010, and intermittently thereafter 2010-2015. He has been an adjunct professor of law at the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law, since 2016. Prior to that, he served as adjunct faculty in the Criminology, Law & Society Department at the University of California-Irvine, Loyola Law School, and Southwestern University School of Law. 

For many years, he served as a regularly assigned mediator for the California 2nd District Court of Appeal from and after 2004, and has established a long- respected history in California Alternative Dispute Resolution.

Having been a US Fulbright Senior Scholar in Conflict Resolution on the Eastern Mediterranean Island of Cyprus (1997-1999), Professor Turk has made several funded return trips to continue his peacebuilding work there, which continues even today.

 In addition, he has conducted programs for Cypriots in the USA, Norway, and Israel through the U.S. State Department, and the Fred J. Hansen Institute for World Peace at San Diego State University. In October 2003, he participated as one of only two Americans invited to attend the Oxford University (England) international workshop on Getting to Yes, regarding efforts to reunify Cyprus. He is a recognized scholar and practitioner concerning the extremely complicated ethnic and identity-based international conflict commonly referred to as the Cyprus Problem. 

Having been admitted to the California State Bar in 1961, he left the practice of law in 1995 to enter academia full-time and has not looked back since. While Professor Turk has written extensively in the field, his upcoming book soon to be published by Palgrave Macmillan, Bridging the Cyprus Divide: Reflections of an Accidental Peacebuilder, covers his over twenty-five years involvement with the Eastern Mediterranean Island of Cyprus (and its Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities) in conflict.

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Mary B. Culbert


Former Director Loyola Center for Conflict Resolution

Certified Bilingual Mediator (English/Spanish), Attorney, Conflict Resolution Consultant, Community Mediation Trainer, and Former Clinical Professor and Director of the Loyola Center for Conflict Resolution (LCCR) at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, with 30 years’ experience working in mediation, including: mediating, conciliating, directing community and court-affiliated mediation programs, training and supervising law students in clinical mediation programs, designing and conducting mediation programs, training individuals from all backgrounds in mediation skills and techniques, mentoring and training advanced mediators, acting as a resource to local, state and federal agencies regarding the design and implementation of mediation programs, serving on local and state boards most notably the State Bar Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution as a member since its inception in 1996 until 2001, and thereafter as an advisor (20 years), and personally mediating and conciliating over 2000 disputes involving community, court, multi-party and/or highly sensitive discrimination issues. Worked with members of the Judicial Council Working Group to create Ethical Standards of Practice for Mediators in CourtConnected Mediation and served an appointment to the Judicial Council Civil and Small Claims Advisory Committee, ADR Subcommittee Working Group on Uniform Procedures for Addressing Complaints about Court-Program Mediators. Recognized in the “TOP NEUTRALS” Supplement to the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journals and to the Sacramento Recorder, in the section on “Community Mediators: taking it to the streets.” (2007) The 2009 Recipient of the Ester Soriano Peacemaker of the Year Award from LA County DRP Program Mediators, and the 2010 Recipient of the Ester Soriano Award for Excellence in Community Mediation from the California Dispute Resolution Council. In 2011, Professor Culbert provided mediation training to a group of high-ranking judges, attorneys, and law professors in Bangladesh. In 2012 and 2013, she developed a new model and clinic for providing Collaborative Divorce Mediation Services in conjunction with the Los Angeles Collaborative Family Law Association. She was the Award Recipient of the 2013 DRP Case of the Year Award, and the Award Recipient, on behalf of the LCCR, of the 2014 DRP Outstanding Program of the Year Award, Collaborative Mediation, from the LA County Board of Supervisors. She is an Award Recipient of the 2015 Southern California Mediation Association Education Foundation Director’s Award for Contributions to ADR Education. In 2015 and 2016, she worked to create the LCCR’s Dependency Court Mediation Program in conjunction with Los Angeles Dependency Court Judges Levanas and Trendacosta, Commissioner Mordetzky and Robert Sowell of the Human Relations Commission. In fall 2017, she received the Randolph Lowry Award for “passion and dedication to education in the field of dispute resolution.” In 2018, Ms. Culbert and Ms. Sara Campos were co-recipients of the DRP Case of the Year Award from the LA County Board of Supervisors. In 2019, the LCCR received the DRP Outstanding Program of the Year Award from the LA County Board of Supervisors for its Dependency Court Mediation Program. In 2019, Ms. Culbert was honored by the LA Superior Court “In recognition of your extraordinary dedication to ensuring that mediation services are available to families and children served by the Los Angeles Superior Court, Juvenile Division,” and by Loyola Law School “In recognition of your leadership, years of service and commitment to Loyola Center for Conflict Resolution and the people it serves.” In 2019, Ms. Culbert, along with Sara Campos and Therese White, were recognized for their contributions to Just the Beginning – A Pipeline Organization (Gavel Award). In 2020, Ms. Culbert provided a series of public-service, zoom webinars. She also received the 2021 LA County John Allen Buggs Leadership Award (a John Anson Ford Human Relations Award) on January 18, 2022.

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