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Phyllis Pollack
Empathy - Part 1 (7/31/15)
Phyllis Pollack
Empathy- it is an interesting word. Although containing only 7 letters, it is packed full of meaning. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “empathy” as “the feeling that you understand and share another person’s experiences and emotions: the ability to share someone else’s feelings.”

Joe Markowitz
Openings (7/31/15)
Joe Markowitz
In a prior post, I suggested that in the absence of a thorough re-vamping of the rules of civil procedure, parties and practitioners should try to invent new ways to resolve disputes outside the court system, How exactly would that work?

Gracious Timothy
The UNCITRAL Convention on Enforceability of Settlement Agreements Resulting from International Commercial Mediation (7/30/15)
Gracious Timothy
In February 2015, the U. N. Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Working Group II (Arbitration and Conciliation) met in New York to consider the case for a Convention on the recognition and enforcement of international settlement agreements achieved through mediation. The task was to report on feasibility and the possible form of work in that area. The Working Group did receive several comments from states on the need; the status of settlements; possible exceptions; and the technical feasibility of this new convention. This article collectively summarises the questions underlying possible harmonized solutions.

Jennifer Winestone
Litigation vs. Mediation - “Child’s Play” for Understanding Your Options (7/30/15)
Jennifer Winestone
This article applies the litigation and mediation processes to a common parenting scenario in order to illustrate the differences between the processes and the advantages of resolving family conflict through mediation.

Gary Direnfeld
Just to be clear: Family Court Doesn’t Resolve Conflict (7/30/15)
Gary Direnfeld
Parents turn to the court thinking a Judge will settle matters and life will be peaceful thereafter. This is far from the truth.

Michael A. Zeytoonian
Legal Informed Consent Includes Knowing Your Legal Process Options (7/30/15)
Michael A. Zeytoonian
"An educated consumer is our best consumer." That was the memorable tagline for Syms, a successful men’s clothing retail store in the New York area years ago. It struck a chord for many reasons. A business that wants its customers to be educated on its products or services reflects honesty, transparency and a shared desire for quality and value. It respects and compliments the customers. It implies that the business wants its customers to be intelligent, do their homework, research and due diligence before coming into the store or office and doing business together.

John Lande
Seeing the World Through Others’ Eyes (7/30/15)
John Lande
In our conversations, I have talked about the value of trying to see the world through others’ eyes. There are several reasons why I have found it valuable including moral, practical, and even mental health reasons – it helps me maintain whatever sanity I have left.

Lynn Duryee
Make the Most of Your Mediation: The Single-Family Construction Defect Case (7/30/15)
Lynn Duryee
How can you economically and effectively settle the single-family construction defect case? In a recent mediation involving a homeowner, contractor and 15 subs, the participants used the following practices, which resulted in 16 signed settlements at the end of one day.

Cecilia Iro-Cunningham
Comparing Arbitration and Mediation as ADR tool for Workplace Conflict (7/29/15)
Cecilia Iro-Cunningham
Recently arbitration has been considered or mandated by many employers in response to increasing cost associated with employment litigation (Shea, 2015). Arbitration in workplace dispute is mostly used to determine bridge of collective agreement and grievances arising from terms and conditions of employment as contained in the collective agreement.

Bennett G. Picker
How to Become a Successful Mediator (7/23/15)
Bennett G. Picker
The theme of today’s conference is “Succeeding in Mediation.” The simplest definition of mediation is “facilitated negotiations by a trusted individual.” If I had to define mediation in only one word, my word would be “opportunity.” The process offers the parties an opportunity to telescope issues in hours that might take years in litigation, to forge solutions based upon underlying interests, to preserve relationships and, quite obviously, to avoid the time, expenses and distractions of litigation.

Jay Folberg
Mediating Family Property and Estate Conflicts: Keeping the Peace and Preserving Family Wealth (7/22/15)
Jay Folberg
Of all of the cases I have mediated over the past 30 years, the most challenging and rewarding disputes have been those between family members over family property, estates, trusts and businesses.

Richard Barbieri
The Future of Mediation: Changing the Default of Fault (7/21/15)
Richard Barbieri
Will the future of mediation be, as Woody Allen remarked, “much like the present, only longer”? Given what we know about human nature, systems, and the resistance of each to change, that’s perhaps the safest prediction. But it’s also a less than hopeful prognosis, because mediation has much to offer the future, far more than it has achieved at present.

Katherine Graham
Counting the Cost of Conflict (7/21/15)
Katherine Graham
In our final week of watching Carol’s struggle with Mike and her team, we see the outcome which many organisations are all too familiar with, as the employer is now Counting the Costs.

Lorraine Segal
The Long Path to Immediate Forgiveness (7/21/15)
Lorraine Segal
I had a short lived fight with my wife, Linda, recently that I actually feel good about, because it shows the positive results of my ( and her) long hard work on forgiveness.

Phyllis Pollack
Mediation Marathon (7/21/15)
Phyllis Pollack
I have mixed emotions. Why? Recently, I have conducted multiple mediations simultaneously in matters involving the same plaintiff’s counsel and defendant’s counsel. These are lemon law cases and so frequently the same plaintiff’s counsel will have multiple cases with the same defense counsel. The mediations are thus scheduled for a single day and only counsel are present.

Ian MacDuff
On Civility: Mediation and Ethics Part 2 (7/21/15)
Ian MacDuff
What a broad reading of ethics can also give us is another analytical tool, to enrich one specific resource mediators already have: the practice of framing and reframing.

Bill Eddy
Dealing With Defensiveness In High Conflict People (7/14/15)
Bill Eddy
When most people think of high conflict people (HCPs), they think of bad behavior. The goal seems to be to get them to STOP their bad behavior, by verbally motivating them to have insights into how bad they are acting. However, the high conflict behavior of HCPs is not driven by logic and self-awareness. If you don’t understand this and don’t accept this, you will waste your time arguing for insights and miss your opportunities to calm them down and set real limits on their behavior.

Nancy Foster
Good Communication Starts With Listening (7/14/15)
Nancy Foster
When you are speaking and someone is not paying attention, how do you feel? Annoyed, frustrated, discounted, rejected, anxious or angry? Such feelings usually make communication more difficult. So how can we show someone who is speaking that we really are paying attention to them?

Zena Zumeta
Styles of Mediation: Facilitative, Evaluative, and Transformative Mediation (7/14/15)
Zena Zumeta
Mediators around the country find themselves uncomfortable with what is being called mediation in their own and other areas. Accusations are made that one or another approach to mediation is not “real” mediation or are not what clients wanted. In addition, many clients and attorneys are confused about what mediation is and is not, and are not sure what they will get if they go to mediation.

Donna Duquette
Finding a Maryland Divorce Mediator (7/08/15)
Donna Duquette
If you are thinking about working with a divorce mediator, then this is probably one of the more difficult times in your life. To make matters even more challenging, in the midst of this emotional turmoil you are called upon to make some important family decisions. One of these decisions is how to find a divorce mediator who will be right for you and your spouse. Here are suggestions for finding a divorce mediator in Maryland.

Mieke Brandon
Book Review: Handbook of Positive Supervision for Supervisors, Facilitators, and Peer Groups (7/07/15)
Mieke Brandon
This book introduces us and gives the reader a taste of a unique form of supervision, based on positive psychology and solution-focused brief therapy, which have their philosophical roots in social constructivist tradition.

Tim Hicks
Seven Steps for Effective Problem Solving in the Workplace (7/06/15)
Tim Hicks
Problem solving and decision making. Ask anyone in the workplace if these activities are part of their day and they'd certainly answer 'Yes!' But how many of us have had training in problem solving? We know it's a critical element of our work but do we know how to do it effectively?

Judy Ringer
We Have to Talk: A Step-By-Step Checklist for Difficult Conversations (7/06/15)
Judy Ringer
What you have here is a brief synopsis of best practice strategies: a checklist of action items to think about before going into the conversation; some useful concepts to practice during the conversation; and some tips and suggestions to help you’re energy stay focused and flowing, including possible conversational openings. You’ll notice one key theme throughout: you have more power than you think.


Are You Really Ready for Divorce? The 8 Questions You Need to Ask (7/06/15)
Bruce Derman, Wendy Gregson
This article outlines what couples need to do in order to face the numerous dilemmas that are inherent in divorce. A dilemma implies that you are torn between two choices, each of which have undesirable fearful elements. If people have not resolved their dilemmas before the divorce, they go through the process trying to manage their fear in different ways by hiding their doubt, responsibility; vulnerability, or dependency.

J. Kim Wright
What is Integrative Law? The Emergence of a New Legal System (7/02/15)
J. Kim Wright
The author describes the pillars that have developed and appear to be the foundation of the Integrative Law movement and the emergence of a new legal system.

Don Gordon
Solving the Growing Never Married Parent Dilemma for Courts and Divorce Professionals (6/29/15)
Don Gordon
Almost one of every four births today are to unmarried, cohabitating couples. This represents an 80% increase. It used to be that marriage was the norm when pregnancy was involved. Now it is not.

Charlie Irvine
“Justice” Report for England and Wales: A Missed Opportunity for Radical Change (6/29/15)
Charlie Irvine
"Justice," a UK think-tank committed to legal reform, launched a new report in April 2015 entitled "Delivering Justice in an Age of Austerity". It proposes significant changes to the justice system of England and Wales, including a new character, the "Registrar", who would have powers to mediate, provide early neutral evaluation, dismiss cases or refer them to a judge. The article provides a detailed critique of the proposals, concluding that despite great merit, they extend the "shadow of the law" by making early neutral evaluation the default. A more radical and empowering change would have been to make mediation the default, with ENE and adjudication the remedial alternatives.

John Sturrock
In An Interdependent World There Is No Them And Us, Only Us (6/29/15)
John Sturrock
The old certainties are gone. The disruption caused by the General Election result will inevitably cause instability - and opportunity. Now is the time for new thinking, a break from the old paradigms. You don't solve your problems by using the same thinking that got you into them, as Einstein would say.

Richard Bone
Avoiding the Uncertainty of a Medical Malpractice Trial (6/19/15)
Richard Bone
Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) provides viable and attractive alternatives to jury trials as a means of resolving medical legal disputes arising out of allegations of professional negligence. The two primary alternatives to a jury trial for medical malpractice cases are mediation and binding arbitration.

Jay Rothman
The Cincinnati Police-Community Relations Collaborative as a National Model for Improving Police-Community Relations Today (6/19/15)
Jay Rothman
The US is now facing national crisis and vigorous discussion about the faults of its criminal justice system, particularly around the African American community and its encounter with the police. This is an opportune moment to take stock of lessons learned from The Cincinnati Collaborative, hailed as national model for police-reform and improving partnership and problem solving between police and community.

John Sturrock
Making Better Use of Mediation to Resolve Disputes and Manage Difficult Issues (6/19/15)
John Sturrock
Mediation encourages parties who have – or who anticipate having – differences, conflict or a dispute to sit down and talk, with a view to finding a mutually acceptable way forward. It is usually most appropriate when, for a number of reasons, people are unable to negotiate effectively for themselves or have reached some sort of impasse or deadlock. It recognises that direct negotiations can be difficult in many situations. It can also be effective to prevent awkward situations escalating.

Jeff Thompson
Researchers Identify Useful Negotiation Strategies for 'Honor Cultures' (6/19/15)
Jeff Thompson
The following research study could be of interest to crisis negotiators as it involves the concept of different cultures- especially those in which "honor" has a significant role.

Michael A. Zeytoonian
Why Taking the High Road to Deflate “Deflategate” is Important (6/19/15)
Michael A. Zeytoonian
It’s the most talked about dispute in New England and in sports these days. Deflategate. But really, how important is this issue? Whether the league rule was violated and footballs were intentionally deflated to a weight less than the range allowed. On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being most important, this topic is a 1, if that. Ask anyone who ever played football, at any level.

Jai Jayaraman
“Bags of Trouble” (6/19/15)
Jai Jayaraman
I started getting interested in conflict resolution back in the late 90s. At the time I was a business analyst working on retail supply chain issues.

Viggo Boserup
Consolidation and Conflict in the Health Care Industry (6/19/15)
Viggo Boserup
The health care industry has experienced a significant increase in consolidations among providers of facilities and services alike. From drugs to devices to service providers, 2014 saw the largest consolidation within the health care industry in the past 20 years. - See more at: http://jamsadrblog.com/#sthash.AQhZ4CpV.dpuf

Tammy Lenski
The Surprising Way to Ask Better Questions in Conflict (6/19/15)
Tammy Lenski
When we’re stuck in conflict, sometimes it’s the questions we’re asking ourselves or our sparring partner. To ask better questions in conflict, try this surprisingly useful trick…

Charlie Irvine
Lawyers of the Future on Mediation: Threat or a Promise? (6/19/15)
Charlie Irvine
We have just reached the end of the annual marking season (grading for North Americans). The verbal joust of examinations is almost over. Students get their blows in first; teachers’ strike back with marks and comments.

Joe Markowitz
Trade Negotiations (6/19/15)
Joe Markowitz
This article contains some thoughts based on my experience with negotiation and mediation in general that may be relevant to the ongoing Congressional fight over passage of fast track authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement (which suffered a major setback in June, 2015).


Designing a Successful Parenting Plan (6/17/15)
Don Gordon, Jack Arbuthnot
Here are several important issues you should think about as you design your parenting plan. A child needs the love and affection of both parents, but they also need both as teachers. These roles should override your desire to “own” your children.

Dave McDonald
Say it Ain't So, Marge and Homer! (6/12/15)
Dave McDonald
It was leaked recently that Marge and Homer Simpson are soon planning to separate. I guess the divorce rate in Springfield is comparable to the rest of the United States, and with Homer’s continued antics, how can you blame Marge?

Jason Dykstra
Why We Have Different Experiences (6/12/15)
Jason Dykstra
How often does this happen to us? We experience the same action as another person and walk away from the action with a totally different perspective that happened. It happens at staff meetings, conversations with our bosses or employees, and even with our partners and kids.


Missourri Declares it Unconscionable for NFL Commissioner to Arbitrate Employment Dispute (6/12/15)
Beth Graham, Liz Kramer
Disputing would like to invite you to check out Liz Kramer’s recent blog post entitled “Missouri Declares It Unconscionable For NFL Commissioner to Arbitrate Employment Dispute.” In her blog post, Ms. Kramer examines two significant arbitration decisions that were recently issued by the Supreme Court of Missouri.

Katherine Graham
So You Think You Don’t Need Dispute Resolution in Your Organisation? (6/12/15)
Katherine Graham
Over the next 6 weeks we will be following Carol, Mike and their colleagues, as they experience the difficulties that arise when we don’t have the skills to handle conflict at work. It all ends in an unnecessary grievance; so how did something that started out as a small problem get to that outcome?

John Lande
Planning is Critically Important for Early Dispute Resolution (6/12/15)
John Lande
Early mediation is a waste of time. This was a refrain I heard several months ago at a meeting of lawyers representing large corporations.

Zachary Ulrich
Not All Mediation Educational Programs Are Worth the Time or Money (6/12/15)
Zachary Ulrich
Given the rapid expansion of the mediation field over the past several decades, an increasingly important question for young and aspiring mediators is whether it is worth the time and/or money to invest in what are, in many cases, quite extensive mediation and dispute resolution training programs that have popped up around the world.

Tammy Lenski
Walk it Out to Work it Out (6/12/15)
Tammy Lenski
If you want to boost creative problem solving or get a fresh perspective, then get up from your conference room table and climb out of those comfy living room chairs. Walking is better.

Mattie Robertson
Compliance Success with Mediated Settlements in Small Claims (6/11/15)
Mattie Robertson
A report on the success of mediated settlement agreements by SEEDS Community Resolution Center's mediation team in Small Claims Court in Alameda County. High compliance with settlements has provided litigant parties with a reliable and effective way to resolve their cases using interest-based negotiation within a community mediation model.

Laura Athens
Overcoming Reluctance to Engage in Mediation (6/11/15)
Laura Athens
Many attorneys know and appreciate the benefits of mediation.  Those who are familiar with the benefits of mediation readily propose and eagerly participate in it.  However, should you encounter any resistance, how can it be addressed?

John Ford
The Future of Mediation (6/09/15)
John Ford
A coach once asked me to predict which way a drop of water would go around a rock up ahead. Of course there is no way of knowing: the water drop may not make it due to evaporation to the atmosphere, absorption by the river bank, and then if it does make it to the rock, whether it goes left or right, over or below. However, even if the future is uncertain, we can still comment on where the drop of water is at the moment. Even its relationship to our imagined future. And of course about its past.

Belinda Jokinen
Dissolution- Don’t let the Resolve Dissolve (6/06/15)
Belinda Jokinen
I was helping this couple, Jane and John of course, sort out the details of their divorce. The item that was the most difficult to “separate” was the china cabinet. They had invested time, and money, and both had an attachment to it. We were on our 3rd session and they had been able to remain in the same room every time. When we discussed the cabinet they got real snippy so it was time to visit with them separately.

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