Misunderstanding the Law

Nancy Ferrell

Former CRS Mediator, Dallas Office; Private Mediator and Trainer

[Full Interview]

You have to get them to a point where it's in their interest to come to the table. You have to come up with some reason. For example, in the community where the Iranian students were. Everybody I talked to, from the officials side, did not feel there was a problem. Not until I was able to point out that there was an economic reality. If I hadn't thought about that, I'm not sure that we'd have done anything except try to bring some referrals for the students in terms of getting some legal redress. There was some misunderstanding about what the US law's limitations and realities were. The Iranian students were expecting some things from the local police that they couldn't deliver. So that was a part of the dynamics then, the education. We also found out that the high school students didn't have a clear understanding of what law enforcement limits and responsibilities were. So we did some orientation with them as well as the Iranian students and the college students. Without some personal interest, they're not going to come to the table. Your job is to find out what's in their interest and try to point that out.