Where Does Marital Mediation Fit In?
During the past quarter century, academics and others writing about mediation have characterized styles of mediation as belonging to one of three categories: “facilitative,” “evaluative,” and “transformative”. The categories are quite clearly defined.
Musings on Mediators, Pizza-Makers, and Humanity
I began this article on the future of mediation practice at what I thought, reasonably enough, was the beginning. Discussing how I came to New York in 1985 to train with John Haynes on a new approach to managing disputes that at that time had not yet found its way to the United Kingdom where I practised as a solicitor. However, In the course of writing and reviewing this piece, it began to dawn on me that while the trip was my conscious recollection of the beginning, it was not the actual beginning of my attraction, engagement and investment in what has become a personally and professionally fulfilling career.
Be Less Certain—and More Flexible
The challenge we face is how to be adaptable but still focused and effective. To meet this challenge, we need to remain clear about our fundamental purpose, to keep working on refining our skills and enhancing the range of approaches we can take to achieving those purposes, to commit to diversifying our field, and to maintain a clear hold on our values and ethical principles.
The Need For Increased Coordination Among Divorce Professionals:
The divorce experience starts early...perhaps in the therapists office and the Wednesday reading group where the decision is made...quietly... to move on. And once the papers are signed there are months of recovery, both financial and psychological, until a sense of "normal" is achieved. The whole process can take several years from start to finish, and involves a host of professionals. So it is no small surprise that the outcomes are varied and often poor.
Further Thoughts on Armstrong Arbitration Award
Lance Armstrong was named the winner of the Tour de France in 2002, 2003, and 2004. When Armstrong won in 2004, considerable speculation existed regarding whether he had won cleanly. SCA Promotions, the prize insurer, was reluctant to pay the prize money given the speculation, and ultimately SCA, Armstrong, and Tailwind Sports arbitrated the case.
Teaching Students to Be Problem-Solvers and Dispute-Resolvers
Reports on what lawyers should know, including the MacCrate Report and Educating Lawyers, regularly list problem-solving, negotiation, and dispute resolution as skills that lawyers should have. Best Practices for Legal Education called for law schools to educate students in problem-solving and in practical wisdom, in order to solve clients’ problems effectively and responsibly.
Our Narratives Reflect Who We Are
Somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, a single whale calls out again and again and again. Whale 52, as he’s known, has never been seen by humans. But he has been heard. For years. His call has been recorded and it’s in a frequency that matches no other whale species.
Mediation Confidentiality in California
Many mediators are troubled by the Milhouse case currently pending in the Ninth Circuit, which recognized a vaguely-defined "due process" exception to mediation confidentiality to allow evidence of offers and demands exchanged in an unsuccessful mediation to be introduced in an insurance bad faith case. In addition, the California Law Revision Commission is currently considering whether to allow an exception to mediation confidentiality in attorney malpractice cases.
Christian Radu Chereji, Constantin-Adi Gavrila
There is a lot of talk nowadays about the apparent failure of mediation to live up to its potential. Reports published on paper and online, presented before institutions or at various conferences, point to the relatively low number of mediation cases compared to the number of lawsuits filling the logs of the courts and then draw the inevitable conclusion that mediation has missed the opportunity of (be)coming mainstream.
Mediating Divorce Agreements: The Problems and the Potential
It was really exciting to be part of the divorce mediation movement when it became national around 1980. Almost everyone seemed to be aware of the problems with the adversarial system of divorce, and mediation held the promise of a process that was more personal and far less expensive and time consuming. Mediation training was mainly focused on divorce agreements, and those training courses rapidly became a major source of income for the trainers.
Ética y Profesionalismo del Mediador: Una Receta Para el Éxito Profesional
Hace varios años en Houston, Texas, asistí a una interesante presentación sobre acuerdos escritos y otros temas de mediación para abogados. La diferencia entre los dos exponentes me pareció tan diferente que todavía los recuerdo después de tantos años. Un exponente habló en términos de movidas, estrategias y “trucos del negocio”. El otro habló en términos de buenas prácticas y normas éticas.
Jan Frankel Schau
Litigation and mediation need to change in the future. People have new expectations about interacting with professionals, and the wise mediator will make note of these changes and incorporate these new trends in their practice.
The Mediation Future
So long as market users , i.e. the true decision makers, remain dependent on their legal counsel to select, direct and control the mediation/negotiation process, there is likely to be little advancement in public education about the importance and availability of mediation.
APR: Alternative Political Resolution
Mediation has proven to me that adversarial litigation is an archaic way to resolve many of our conflicts. I think it's logical that we the best for the future is to use mediation to resolve the political deadlocks that are plaguing our societies, transforming democracy from the divisive popularity contest that it has become to the participatory civic engagement that so many have fought for.
Branding the Industry of Mediation
We were all trained to be aware of “what's in our bags” or to phrase it differently, what each person brings to the table. Then we’re told you must not bring anything to the table but the ability to listen and ask open-ended questions.
Learning From Mediation
It seems a shame that the natural tendency of parties and their attorneys is to analyze the issue in legal terms and threaten to go back to court for resolution.
Mediation Program Outreach: Reflecting on What Works
RSI started running three foreclosure mediation programs in 2014, which means we’ve spent a lot of time over the last year thinking about how to make mediation services more accessible and increase program usage rates. Such issues can be a challenge and often require creativity, especially with limited resources. Here’s what we’ve learned.
A Conversation about Evaluation in Mediation
A made up conversation follows. It’s an amalgamation of conversations I’ve had with mediation trainees.
Mediation Trainee: I get it that mediation is about self-determination. Therefore, when parties ask us to give them an evaluation of their case, shouldn’t we honor that determination they’ve made? I mean they’ve hired us to settle the case, right? Don’t they need to know if their expectations are too high?
Federal Judge Orders Sugar Land Nursing Home Visitation Dispute to Mediation
A Sugar Land nursing home dispute that arose after an elderly resident’s family was banned from a long-term care facility over a number of social media posts has reportedly been ordered to mediation. According to a complaint filed in the Southern District of Texas, Silverado Senior Living barred a woman’s two sons and daughter-in-law from the premises after the individuals refused to remove several photos and videos of their mother at the facility from their social media accounts.
Court ADR Trends for 2015
Last year perhaps the most visible trend in court ADR was the courts’ use of mediation to address truly large-scale crises. From the mediators who helped opposing groups reach the Grand Bargain that led Detroit out of bankruptcy, to the mediations being used to address thousands of insurance claims that remain from Hurricane Sandy, courts essentially created ad-hoc ADR programs to respond to major crises.
Philosophy of Mediation
Zeno Daniel Sustac
When we speak about the philosophy of mediation we inherently have to relate to the philosophy of law and the philosophy of conflict. The philosophy of mediation is a present-day subject and of interest among the specialists in the Alternative Dispute Resolution field.
We Need a Better Consensus About Negotiation Theory
In previous posts, I argued that there are serious problems with the general consensus on negotiation theory reflected most clearly in Getting to Yes. I described problems with the system of negotiation models, which assumes that most or all negotiations can fit into two models of highly-correlated variables (or a few variations of these models).
Why I Said “HR Should Be Ashamed of Itself”
It’s no secret that I can be spikey – and I sometimes rue the things I say after I’ve said them. And, believe me, I do understand why HR Directors need to be at the Board Room table, because without that influence your job is all the more difficult.
When Your Boss Won’t Change
Who doesn’t have a list of things they’d like their manager to do differently? Everything from the way he slurps that first cup of coffee in the morning to how he plays his staff against one another is a frustration. Though it’s possible to make adjustments in any working relationship, there are still going to be some things that don’t change; no matter your efforts. What then? Here are a few ideas.
Is Conflict Like Driving?
Recently, the Kluwer Mediation Blog posted an interesting discussion about the cognitive biases at play during a dispute. What caught my interest is that the author- Charlie Irvine- used the example of driving to make his point.
Ambiguity and Mediation
Some time ago I acted pro deo – instructed by the state but literally meaning for God – for a client who was on trial for murdering his victims with the heavy wooden handle of a pickaxe. It was a difficult case, but I learned a lot about high conflict mediation.
The Business of Mediation
Many mediators are drawn to this field because they have a calling to help. This article reminds us that the work we do is valuable. It is important to see mediation as a legitimate business--and then the public will begin reflecting that view.
After the Conflict is Resolved
It does not matter who you are, or whether you are fighting on behalf of yourself or your organization. As a conflict is prolonged, people repeat and rehearse the story over and over again in their minds. When it is time to move on, it can be hard to disengage.
A recent artical in the ABA Journal on movements to license legal technicians to perform limited legal services cited a Bar Foundation study showing that most people encountering what the study called "civil justice situations" either handled the situation themselves, did nothing about it, or enlisted the help of friends and family.
Whisper It Quietly?
This is a blog I have shied away from writing. Several times. Even now, as I do so, I am wary of it. But here goes. I’ll come right out with it.
The Downside of Evaluation in Mediation
“Based on my years of experience as a litigator and as a judge, I’d say your latest positions are both within the reasonable range for this case. I’d say the plaintiff’s demand of $200,000 is on the high side of that range; and I’d say the defendant’s offer of $100,000 is on the low side of that range. So I’d say that any settlement you arrive at now, between those numbers, would be a good deal for both sides, considering the costs and uncertainty of continued litigation.”
To Publish, or Not to Publish Arbitral Awards: That is the Question
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Einer R. Elhauge, Petrie Professor of Law at the Harvard Law School, has authored “To Publish, or Not to Publish Arbitral Awards: That is the Question…,” 81 International Journal of Arbitration, Mediation and Dispute Management, Number 1, 2015. In his research paper, Professor Elhauge examines some potential pros and cons of establishing a publication mechanism for international commercial arbitral awards.