Focus. While he has mediated cases that
represent the whole spectrum of conflicts, most of Mr. Butlerís
attention is devoted to helping parties resolve complicated
cases, including employment disputes, complex business disputes, "toxic tort" product liability
cases, automobile product liability lawsuits and mass
litigation. Most cases are scheduled for a full day of
mediation. Occasionally mediation requires multiple days due to
the complexity of the issues and the large number of parties
Fees. For information concerning Mr.
Butlerís fee schedule, contact Butler Mediation Services at
713-572-2600 or click on Contact Us.
Alternative Forms of Mediation
Resolving Church Conflicts
Conflict in churches is ubiquitous. It is not only to be expected, it is normal. What is unfortunate is that pastors and members of our churches have, for the most part, never received training in biblical principles and practices for resolving conflict in ways that glorify God and demonstrate to onlookers the transformative power of God’s love in action.
The good news is that there is a sound, biblical way to resolve conflict that builds up a church instead of tearing it a part. Our Constructive Conflict Engagement services include:
- A peacemaking workshop utilizing the Birkman Method and covering biblical principles and practices for resolving conflict;
- Conflict assessment utilizing survey tools and appreciative inquiry;
- Mediations and/or conciliation processes;
- Conflict coaching for pastors, task forces/committees and sessions; and,
- A Generative Community Building Workshop during which church leaders and members learn principles and practices of generative dialogue while creating their future together in ministry.
Depending upon the needs of the church, we offer these services singly or in combination. If called upon to address a specific conflict involving the leadership and/or some appreciable percentage of the members, we recommend an integrated approach to conflict involving a combination of the services outlined above, depending on the needs of the congregation.
About Generative Dialogue
Generative dialogue is not a scripted formulaic process but rather a degree or level of communication and mutual caring that is so authentic, unafraid, and open to new understanding that all who participate become channels for the flow of inspiration, creativity and generativity that comes from the Spirit of Truth.
The path to generative dialogue takes us out of a spirit of debate and arrogant advocacy and into a spirit of inquiry. But first the path runs through a deep canyon of chaos from which we only emerge when we empty ourselves, become aware of certain habits of thinking1 that obstruct our ability to think together, and engage in new practices2 that help us overcome fear, self interest, and the mental models that drive us apart and hold us back. As we communicate in a spirit of appreciative inquiry our fears are released, trust is built, and care for the common good begins to take hold. As we learn to use our authentic voices, speaking the truth in love, balancing gentle advocacy with appreciative inquiry, we access a collective intelligence greater than the sum of the parts and experience a level of mutual caring that 1st Century followers of Jesus described as koinonia.
1 The obstructive thought habits I have in mind are abstraction (fragmented thinking), inadequate mental models, certainty, and exclusion. See Dialogue and the Art of Thinking Together, by William Isaacs and Exclusion Embrace, by Miroslav Volf.
2 The practices I have in mind are listening, suspending, respecting and voicing. See Isaacs, ibid.
Christian conciliation is a form of mediation in
which the focus is not just on material issues but also on the
underlying relational issues. As its name implies, one purpose
of Christian Conciliation is to help parties resolve their
conflicts in a conciliatory way instead of an adversarial way
and to do so using biblical principles with the prior consent of
the parties. Parties to a conflict who agree to resolve their
dispute through Christian Conciliation agree in advance to the
rules published by the Institute for Christian Conciliation.
While Butler Mediation Services is not affiliated with
Peacemaker Ministries and the Institute for Christian
Conciliation, Mr. Butler adheres to their principles and rules.
For more information concerning Christian
conciliation, please see www.hispeace.org,
the website of Peacemaker Ministries and the Institute for
We know that coordinating the calendars of
lawyers and their clients in order to schedule a mediation can
be a challenge. A busy legal secretary or paralegal has more
important things to do than playing telephone tag while trying
to nail down a date for a mediation. Our scheduling assistant
will take that burden off of your shoulders.
Give us the date by which you would like to get
your mediation done and send us a docket sheet or case
information page identifying the case, the parties, their
counsel and their contact information. Our scheduling assistant
will handle the rest. For more information email our scheduling
assistant at Registrar@ButlerMediation.com,
call her at 713-572-2600, or go to Contact Us on this website.
Online Mediation for Mass Litigation
Traditional mediation processes have not proven
effective in mass litigation in which there may be fifty or more
parties in a single case. Maybe you have been there – fifty
lawyers each waiting for their ten minute conversation with the
mediator, during which they will explain why their client has no
exposure in the lawsuit and hours of idle time waiting for a
response. But there is an alternative.
Harness the remarkable efficiencies of the
Internet. Mediate your mass litigation with Butler Online
Mediation, L.P., a secure, asynchronous mediation process
created by Randall E. Butler. The Butler Online Mediation
process is a revolutionary approach to the mediation of mass
litigation based on Mr. Butler’s extensive experience in
mediating complex multi-party claims, including silicosis and
asbestos cases. For more information about Butler Online
Mediation, L.P. click
here, or go to www.ButlerMediation.com.