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John Sturrock
Beware Ultimatums When Negotiating (8/01/14)
John Sturrock
Good negotiation involves lots of client moves, client satisfaction, flexible negotiators, . . . and few ultimatums. Remember these tips in order to get the best agreement for your client.

Ralph Kilmann
Do Your Surrounding Systems Support Your Inner Self? (8/01/14)
Ralph Kilmann
Are your surrounding systems separate from your inner self? I would like to address the observation that we typically define our sense of self as being separate from our surrounding systems. So I ponder: What are the consequences of keeping our sense of self (some integration of ego, soul, and self-worth) separate from our surrounding systems?

Maria Eugenia Sole
Mediación Comunitaria, Redes Sociales, y Javier Mascherano - en Espanol (8/01/14)
Maria Eugenia Sole
Mediación comunitaria, redes sociales y Javier Mascherano en nuestra mesa De la “hombría” a la “caballerosidad”. En las últimas horas las redes sociales se vieron inundadas de referencias a Javier Mascherano, capitán “sin cinta” de la selección de futbol argentina, exaltando su hombría de bien, su temple, perseverancia y espíritu de equipo.

Kyong Mazzaro
From Practice to Research: When Peacebuilding Fails: The Limits of the Liberal Peace (8/01/14)
Kyong Mazzaro
Since the ratification of the United Nations Charter in 1945 and the deployment of numerous peacekeeping missions, one could conclude that peacebuilding is a difficult concept to grasp. It involves many actors and activities, including the demobilization of troops and the provision of humanitarian assistance, at different levels, from the community to the region. However, there seems to be a common thread in how the UN conceptualizes and implements peacebuilding around the world: an emphasis on the importance of economic liberalization and democratization to achieve peace.

Alex Polsky
Developmental Negotiation: Preliminary Stage (8/01/14)
Alex Polsky
Developmental negotiation involves a plan and execution of the development of all five stages to maximize the likelihood of a beneficial outcome. The five stages are preliminary, preparation, information, negotiation and closing.

Shawn Davis
Authorities Crack Down on Foreclosure Rescue Scams with “Operation Mis-Modification” (8/01/14)
Shawn Davis
Recently, the foreclosure mediation team at RSI has been thinking a lot about foreclosure scams and mortgage modification fraud. Now that we’ve launched foreclosure mediation programs in Lake, Kane and Winnebago Counties here in Illinois, we’ve been focusing on how to provide quality housing counseling and mediation services and get the word out to the public that these services exist.

Geoff Sharp
Dynamos, Cruisers, and Losers (8/01/14)
Geoff Sharp
Before I left my law firm in the late 1990's David Maister, a Boston management guru of whom many of you will know, was the darling of every large service firm, especially in the law and accountancy fields.

He has long since retired but at his height he was good, very good – despite being a former Harvard Business School professor, he had a practical wisdom that could cut through the management gobbledygook I was struggling with at my firm’s monthly management meetings at the time.


What the Supreme Court of India Got Right and What it Got Wrong (8/01/14)
Niyata Samir Ghandi
The Kluwer Arbitration Blog published an outsider’s perspective on the decision of the Supreme Court of India which has been applauded by international practitioners around the world since it curbed the jurisdiction of Indian courts over an arbitration agreement supplementing the pro-arbitration jurisprudence coming from the SCI over the last two years. The writer has commented not only as an outsider but also and more particularly as a Civil Lawyer, proposing an excellent alterative to the court’s approach. However, it may be necessary to have an insider’s perspective on the judgment.

Phyllis Pollack
Vengeance Shall Never Be Yours! (8/01/14)
Phyllis Pollack
In a recent post, I discussed that the best way to calm someone down is to address the emotion and not the words. I learned this in a training session with Douglas E. Noll. However, I did not explain the theory behind this strategy.

Jan Frankel Schau
Using Diplomacy in Negotiation (8/01/14)
Jan Frankel Schau
n my humble opinion, neither missiles nor trials are effective at getting the message across to an unwilling, unreceptive party. Instead, we should choose our negotiating partners wisely by picking the person whom we most trust to carry the message of our people or our cause with the most respect, tact, and reserve, but forcefully and convincingly.

Michael Leathes
Book Review: The Variegated Landscape of Mediation (7/31/14)
Michael Leathes
Never before has an attempt been made to capture the distinctive qualities and differences that combine to make mediation eclectic and also truly comprehensible. Until now. The Variegated Landscape of Mediation (Eleven International Publishing, July 2014) is a collaboration of around 90 of mediation's thought leaders from around the world. It is the first work that explains on a global plane how mediation has cross-pollinated itself into such a kaleidoscopic display of both consistent and contradictory features.

Keith Seat
Legal Mediation News - July 2014 (7/29/14)
Keith Seat
This is another in a series of updates on Legal Mediation News from Mediate.com News Editor, Keith Seat.

Phyllis Pollack
Which System Is In Control? (7/26/14)
Phyllis Pollack
In his bestselling book, Thinking Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2011) notes that our brains contain two systems of thought: System 1 which "... operates automatically and quickly, with little or no effort and no sense of voluntary control" (Id. at 20) and System 2 which "...allocates attention to the effortful mental activities that demand it, including complex computations...." (Id. at 21.)

Joe Markowitz
Prisoners (Spoilers!) (7/26/14)
Joe Markowitz
In the first episode of the second season of Orange is the New Black, the series presents a variation on the prisoner's dilemma problem that is often discussed in mediation programs and texts.

Mary Novak
Facebook’s Templates for Conflict Resolution and Court ADR (7/26/14)
Mary Novak
Facebook recently announced its creation of a self-guided dispute resolution system for users. The company has designed a new user-to-user conflict resolution system that could have implications for court ADR systems as well. As in the courts, Facebook must process a large number of conflicts. While the company manages reports of issues such as threats and graphic violence, they wanted to provide users with tools to handle insults and embarrassing photos on their own. The company worked with a team from Yale to research users’ needs and design a large-scale conflict resolution system.

Lorraine Brennan
Start Spreading the News: Mandatory Mediation Comes to New York (7/26/14)
Lorraine Brennan
As someone who started her legal career as a litigator, I, like many other litigators, viewed mandatory mediation with both skepticism and some suspicion. When my client was sent to court-ordered mediation by a judge in the SDNY in the 1990s, I assumed that my adversary and I would merely tick the “attendance” box and return to the judge to let him know that mediation had failed to resolve our complex dispute.   1 Comment

Dan Simon
Transformative Mediation, Slovenia, and the Wright Brothers (7/26/14)
Dan Simon
Many times throughout the Transformative Mediation Congress, I saw mediators explore various aspects of the transformative approach– how it looks in practice, what it means to be non-directive, how to talk to clients as a transformative mediator. We grappled with what this work means to us and to our clients. We discussed ways to help people understand this different approach to conflict resolution. The participants were willing to embrace the challenges of applying the Transformative Approach to their practice and wrestle with them.

Cinnie Noble
Stepping into Someone's Shoes (7/26/14)
Cinnie Noble
The phrase stepping into someone’s shoes – the subject of this week’s blog – is commonly used to describe a way to envision the situation from the other person’s perspective. As one source said, “only the wearer knows where the shoe pinches”.

Rosa Abdelnour
La Mediación en Costa Rica (7/25/14)
Rosa Abdelnour
A mediados de la década de los noventa se realizó en Costa Rica, por parte del Poder Judicial, una consulta ciudadana para evaluar la percepción acerca del sistema judicial. Los resultados mostraron descontento entre la población por el formalismo para acceder al sistema y la mora o duración de los procesos que se consideraba excesiva.

Hilary Linton
Understanding Each Party’s Power in Family Mediation-Arbitration: Why it is Critical (7/25/14)
Hilary Linton
A recent Ontario Superior Court of Justice decision illustrates the need for clearer guidelines for “screening for power imbalances and domestic violence”, a mandatory component of Ontario family arbitration. It also demonstrates the benefits for parties, lawyers and arbitrators in understanding that some methods of screening are more effective than others; and in ensuring that screening is done in accordance with the best practices before the mediation in a mediation-arbitration.

Charlie Irvine
Mind the Gap: Mediation and Justice (7/25/14)
Charlie Irvine
This article examines the alleged gap between mediation and justice. It considers ideas of both substantive and procedural justice and examines persistent critiques of mediation as falling short of the supposed gold standard of litigation. It goes on to propose an alternative reading of mediation as a site where parties are empowered to negotiate not only the outcome of their dispute but the criteria by which that outcome is judged. This can be read as providing more rather then less justice, particularly in diverse societies where legal and social norms are contested.

Keith Seat
International Mediation Updates (7/23/14)
Keith Seat
This is another in a series of updates on International Mediation Developments from Keith Seat, Mediate.com News Editor.

James Melamed
Incremental Progress in Mediation: Baby Steps, Strategic Mediation & Less is More (7/22/14)
James Melamed
Taken from Jim Melamed's training manual, these introductory excerpts suggest that progress in mediation is necessarily incremental; that the mediator should in fact strategically focus on baby steps of progress that can be made; and that, in effectively mediating, the mediator should seek to "only do so much as is necessary" to stimulate available progress so as to not over-direct the process and allow participants to claim progress as their own.

Don Cripe
Mediation: A Way Out or Hard Work? (7/18/14)
Don Cripe
After I closed my law practice in favor of providing full-time ADR services, I bumped into an old-time mediator whom I had known for many years. When I told him of the change in my career he commented, “So, you don’t want to work so hard anymore.” This article is my reflection on his observations.   1 Comment

Tom Stipanowich
ABA / Straus Institute Survey (7/18/14)
Tom Stipanowich
One of the three recent surveys undertaken by the Straus Institute in 2013 as part of the Theory-to-Practice Research Project was a survey of corporate counsel co-sponsored by the American Bar Association’s Section on Public Utilities, Communication and Transportation (PUCAT) ADR Committee.

Jill Gross
FINRA Appoints New Arbitration Task Force (7/18/14)
Jill Gross
FINRA announced today the formation of a new Arbitration Task Force “to consider possible enhancements to its arbitration forum to improve the transparency, impartiality and efficiency of FINRA’s securities arbitration forum for all participants.”

Cinnie Noble
Do You Flip Your Lid? (7/18/14)
Cinnie Noble
I was unable to find the derivation of the expression flip your lid, but I have heard it used to describe an excessively angry reaction. In recent years I have heard the term apoplectic used when referring to extreme rage and for me, the meaning of these two expressions are similar. The visual of flip your lid however, conjures up an interesting image of the top of the head blowing open – presumably with fury propelling it. Perhaps, the expression symbolizes the emotional part of the brain (limbic area) becoming over-activated and overflowing with anger, pushing out the front of the brain (pre-frontal cortex) which loses its capacity to think!   2 Comments

Katherine Graham
Case Study: The Mediating Manager (7/18/14)
Katherine Graham
Sian is the Communications Manager for a UK charity and has recently appointed James, a designer whose job required frequent contact with production officer Helga, who had worked with Sian for over 3 years. Sian had a sinking feeling that things were not going too well between James and Helga, but Sian was busy and, optimistically, had put the tensions down to early teething troubles and hoped she could leave them to sort out their differences ‘as adults’.

Alberto Elisavetsky
EBay y Sotheby’s se asocian para transmitir subastas de arte por Internet (7/18/14)
Alberto Elisavetsky
La compañía de comercio electrónico eBay y la casa de subastas Sotheby’s para transmitir en directo Internet algunas de las subastas que tengan lugar en la central de la casa de subastas en Nueva York. Se hará a través de una nueva plataforma que la empresa australiana de comercio electrónico añadirá en su página web, y se planea que el siguiente paso sea que los internautas puedan pujar desde cualquier parte del mundo. Las dos empresas tienen previsto centrar esta apuesta digital en segmentos como la joyería, los relojes, los grabados, la fotografía, el vino y el diseño del siglo XX.

Jen Hull
Hope and Hopelessness in Intractable Conflicts (7/18/14)
Jen Hull
Have you ever been involved in a conflict you just couldn’t imagine being resolved? In other words, a conflict that was so entrenched, you felt hopeless? Researchers studying the role of emotions in the context of intractable (lengthy, all-encompassing, and possibly violent) conflicts have begun to look at the emotion of hope to understand what effect it can have on conciliatory attitudes.

Jeffrey Fink
Mediating Inheritance Disputes (7/18/14)
Jeffrey Fink
Inheritance disputes can be difficult to resolve. They are tied up in a lifetime of emotions toward the deceased and every other claimant under the will, as well as personal and spousal expectations of monetary gain. Here are 10 tips and tricks that have helped with this kind of dispute.

Mary Aderibigbe
Insecurity in Nigeria : Focus on Social Protection (7/16/14)
Mary Aderibigbe
The spate of insecurity has become alarming. There have been calls for stringency of laws to bring culprits to justice. Security operatives go after the perpetrators and turn over those apprehended to the courts -- yet the conditions that breed revolt are worsening. This spells real danger!

Jeff Thompson
Angry Faces Win Negotiations (7/12/14)
Jeff Thompson
Research has found that facial expressions can convey more information than verbal communication alone and a new Harvard University study has found that an angry glare can add effectiveness to a negotiator’s demands.

Ron Supancic
Dance of Opposites - Book Review (7/11/14)
Ron Supancic
The Dance of Opposites, a new book by Dr. Kenneth Cloke, will change your life. You will never view conflict the same way again. If you only read one more book on the theory & practice of Conflict Resolution, make it this one.

Michael Moffitt
A Requirement Without Consequence? Federal Circuit Mediator Conflict Disclosure Case (7/11/14)
Michael Moffitt
The Federal Circuit recently handed down its decision in the CEATS v. Continental case. If I were teaching Mediation this year, I’d spend some real time on it.

Cinnie Noble
Walking Away with Grace (7/11/14)
Cinnie Noble
Sometimes when we are in conflict with another person we are faced with a dilemma about what we are or are not willing to say or do, or give or take, to reconcile matters. Though at some level of consciousness we want to settle things, there are times when we realize that what it may take to do so would compromise our values and needs.

Jeffrey Krivis
The Settlement Drift (7/11/14)
Jeffrey Krivis
According to commentator Rachel Maddow in her book “Drift,” the way the United States goes to war has gradually become more secretive and less democratic. She observes that in the last half century, the decision to go to war has become too easy. This is contrary to what the Founders of our nation had in mind. Hence, we have “drifted” away from our founding principles about war.

Jason Dykstra
Rewriting Your Conflict Story (7/11/14)
Jason Dykstra
During recess in elementary school, I was playing pickle with some friends at the side of a baseball diamond. We were in our own little world; trapping people between the bases, faking out the runners, diving to tag our friends so that we could switch spots. We were having a great time until . . .

Michael Leathes
20 Questions every corporate General Counsel or Head of Litigation Might Ask in Mediation (7/11/14)
Michael Leathes
Being responsible for resolving a large number of disputes for any organization is a stressful occupation. It involves risk, cost and resources and navigating between leadership and management, success and failure as well as blame and experimentation. Although there is no magic bullet, the task can be aided considerably by harvesting the answers to the following twenty questions, and devising an action plan where weaknesses are exposed.

James Melamed
Perception and Parts in Mediation (7/10/14)
James Melamed
Seeking to be an effective mediator is a both challenging and fascinating endeavor. Essentially, the mediator is asked to assist participants who have some measure of disagreement, or at least lack of agreement, to reach sufficient agreement so as to be willing to call the situation "resolved." In this sense, the mediator seeks to move participants from "the circle of disagreement" to the "circle of agreement."

Ann Gosline
Remembering Jonathan Reitman (7/10/14)
Ann Gosline
We lost a leader and wise teacher of conflict resolution when Jonathan Reitman passed away on June 7th after more than a decade of working and living with cancer.   1 Comment

L. Randolph Lowry
Pioneer Series: Negotiation is Replacing Litigation - Video (7/10/14)
L. Randolph Lowry
Randy Lowry discusses how some have been resistant to mediation education, but how it has been successful in changing legal processes and preventing litigation.


20 Questions Every Corporate General Counsel or Head of Litigation Might Very Well Ask (7/09/14)
Deborah Masucci, Michael Leathes
Being responsible for resolving a large number of disputes for any organization is a stressful occupation. It involves risk, cost and resources and navigating between leadership and management, success and failure as well as blame and experimentation. Although there is no magic bullet, the task can be aided considerably by harvesting the answers to the following twenty questions, and devising an action plan where weaknesses are exposed.


Living with 'ADR': Evolving Perceptions and Use of Mediation, Arbitration and Conflict Management in Fortune 1,000 Corporations (7/09/14)
J. Ryan Lamare, Tom Stipanowich
As attorneys for the world’s most visible clients, corporate counsel played a key role in the transformation of American conflict resolution in the late Twentieth Century. In 1997 a survey of Fortune 1,000 corporate counsel provided the first broad-based picture of conflict resolution processes within large companies. In 2011, a second landmark survey of corporate counsel in Fortune 1,000 companies captured a variety of critical changes in the ways large companies handle conflict. Comparing their responses to those of the mid-1990s, clear and significant evolutionary trends are observable, including a further shift in corporate orientation away from litigation and toward alternative dispute resolution (ADR).


Commercial Arbitration and Settlement: Empirical Insights into the Roles Arbitrators Play (7/09/14)
Zachary Ulrich, Tom Stipanowich
The Straus Institute recently conducted two major surveys of dispute resolution professionals: a survey of experienced arbitrators with the cooperation of the College of Commercial Arbitrators, and a survey of experienced mediators with the cooperation of the International Academy of Mediators. These studies produced a wide array of new information on arbitrator and mediator practices and perspectives that we hope will contribute to debate and discussion on many current professional issues. We are presently writing these up. The first fruit of these studies is the just-completed article Commercial Arbitration and Settlement: Empirical Insights into the Roles Arbitrators Play, which leads off the new Yearbook on Arbitration and Mediation.

Benjamin Seigel
Minimizing the Litigation Risk in Mediation (7/07/14)
Benjamin Seigel
Litigation is risky, uncertain and expensive. Mediation works when the factors discussed are put into play and when they are not, mediation may not have been the proper path to follow.   1 Comment

Cinnie Noble
Jumping From the Frying Pan into the Fire (7/07/14)
Cinnie Noble
It happens in conflict that things frequently escalate in a way that results in the other person or us making things worse. The expression “jumping from the frying pan into the fire” applies here as an idiom that generally means escaping a bad situation for a worse situation. According to one source, “it was made the subject of a 15th-century fable that eventually entered the Aesopic canon”. Here is the story in brief.

Rebecca Foreman
Courage to Manage: Evaluation Summary (7/07/14)
Rebecca Foreman
Demand for ‘soft skills’ training to prevent conflict is growing, and our clients have increasingly been asking for alternatives to classroom training that will effect behaviour change in a more cost-effective and less time-consuming way. We developed our latest e-learning package, The Courage to Manage: having essential conversations at work, in response.

Vivian Scott
Me, Myself, and I (7/07/14)
Vivian Scott
Who hasn’t seen the poster on a break room wall or heard the rally cry at a company meeting that shouts, “There’s no I in team!”? Yep, the quote is everywhere and even though I understand the intention behind it, I say pshaw to that notion!

Lorraine Segal
Effective Strategies for Managing Conflict at Work–webinar (7/07/14)
Lorraine Segal
Unresolved conflict can affect productivity and satisfaction at work. While it is human to have disagreements, effective communication skills can turn these into opportunities to deepen mutual understanding, solve problems creatively, and co-exist peacefully.

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