“Justice” Report for England and Wales: A Missed Opportunity for Radical Change
"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.
In An Interdependent World There Is No Them And Us, Only Us
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.
Avoiding the Uncertainty of a Medical Malpractice Trial
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.
Making Better Use of Mediation to Resolve Disputes and Manage Difficult Issues
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.
Why Taking the High Road to Deflate “Deflategate” is Important
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.
“Bags of Trouble”
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.
Consolidation and Conflict in the Health Care Industry
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
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
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.
Say it Ain't So, Marge and Homer!
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?
Why We Have Different Experiences
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.
Not All Mediation Educational Programs Are Worth the Time or Money
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.
Walk it Out to Work it Out
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.
Compliance Success with Mediated Settlements in Small Claims
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.
Overcoming Reluctance to Engage in Mediation
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?
The Future of Mediation
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.
Dissolution- Don’t let the Resolve Dissolve
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.
Separated Parents and the Continuum of Conflict
Not all parental separations are alike and not all parental separations spell disaster for their children. The social science research advises that the most salient factor in determining risk for poor developmental outcomes for children subject to parental divorce is the level of conflict between the parents.
A Maddening Nevada Supreme Court Case
Three days ago, the Nevada Supreme Court released an opinion in the case of Weddell v. Sharp et al. (Here). Although it has facts that would make ADR & Civ Pro professors fairly swoon, the opinion itself is maddening. Both the majority and the dissent.
The Little Things in Our Relationship Won’t Ruin Us
A few months ago Yahoo Style published an item by Sloane Bradshaw that talked about how letting the little things go in her relationship ended her marriage. The headline caught my eye and, as I began to read, I expected to recognize small warning signs in my own relationship.
A Pregnant Pause: Using ADR to Resolve Pregnancy-Related Workplace Issues
A recent case heard before the U.S. Supreme Court, Young v. UPS (issued March 25, 2015), caught the attention of many women and employers as well. In Young, the Court interpreted the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), in particular the second clause of that Act, which reads that employers must treat “women affected by pregnancy…the same for all employment-related purposes…as other persons not so affected but similar in their ability or inability to work.” - See more at: http://jamsadrblog.com/2015/06/02/a-pregnant-pause-using-adr-to-resolve-pregnancy-related-workplace-issues/#sthash.wJpiwrSY.dpuf
This is a repost of a blog from a few years ago that was recently brought to my attention. I received a message from a reader that asked if I could point them to the follow-up posts that I alluded to in this post. As I searched for the follow-ups I realized that I didn’t actually write any! So…in the coming weeks (this time) I’ll be posting more about this communication model and it’s awesomeness.
The 2016 Global Pound Conference Series
In April 1976, an event now known as the Pound Conference ignited modern ADR in the USA, launching discussion of what might be the “greatest reform in the history of the country’s judicial system “. Forty years later, all stakeholders in the dispute prevention and resolution fields around the world are being invited to participate in a series of unique thought leadership events around the globe under the auspices of a Global Pound Conference (“GPC”) series.
Mediating Early and Late
It’s not always easy to spot trends. But one that I have noticed over the last year or two is an increase in the number of cases I am being asked to mediate in which litigation or arbitration proceedings have not yet been issued.
Plaintiffs file lawsuits seeking “justice”. Defendants respond, stating they are seeking “justice” as well. Both come to mediation, seeking “justice”. When I am told this, that each side wants “justice”, I am not sure how to respond because I do not know exactly what that word means.
Musings of a Long Time Arbitrator
Musings of a Long Time Arbitrator reflects on the positive and challenging aspects of serving as a neutral, in a manner both realistic and humorous. Similar practitioners will be able to immediately relate, and those that seek or utilize the services of ADR providers will get a direct look at the implications of a neutral’s daily reality.
Beyond “Divorce American Style": The Search for a More Responsive Process
Marriage is a high risk undertaking. Consider the statistics. In recent years the number of marriages each year is just over twice the number of divorces in the same year. So when two adults in their late 20’s – let’s call them Justin and Lisa - decide to get married and have an expensive wedding with all the trimmings, there is a good chance that they will also get divorced. And when they do, it wouldn’t be unusual for their divorce to cost as much as (or more than) their wedding and honeymoon.
Presenting Your Presentation: A Few Words
The passing of William Zinsser leads me to offer some suggestions on writing well in a specific context: applying to present at a professional conference, or seeking to attract participants to a workshop, based on over forty years of both writing and reviewing proposals.
Settle Your Personal Injury Claim Before A Lawsuit Is Filed
As a retired lawyer who handled many personal injury cases (both as a defense lawyer and for plaintiffs), an Arbitrator and Mediator who has handled many, many more, some things become ever more obvious as the years pass. Resolving most personal injury cases before a lawsuit is filed (or at least before the defense files an answer) accomplishes most of the objectives of the parties more quickly and efficiently than after.
The Family Mediator's New Tool
After setting forth the nexus that alcohol abuse and dependence has with both domestic abuse and violence, but also with high conflict parties, then briefly discussing the evolution and technological advances of alcohol detection devices, the Author recommends that every family mediator should be carrying one, both to ensure the safety and security of the mediator and parties, but also as a tool in negotiating child visitation and possession when alcohol abuse or dependence is alleged.
Competition to Cooperation
When I started mediating cases, I never thought that I would have to be aware of or learn advanced mathematics. But a book that I recently finished has shown me otherwise.
In This Corner: The Antisocial Personality Disorder (It’s all about me!) Hostage-taker
A few years ago, police in New England cornered a young man, who, after a long hot pursuit from an aborted bank robbery in Vermont entered a residence in Massachusetts, and took a deputy sheriff and his children hostage in their home. This individual, who said he had to rob the bank because his parole agent was demanding he repay the car loan that he lost gambling, met his father for the first time when they were in the same state prison. During protracted negotiations, he rationalized his situation and blamed others for his troubles.
Workplace Systemic Issues: Do Your Leaders Really Want to Know?
Like many conflict resolution or ADR professionals who start as a mediator, it doesn’t take long before a mediator doing workplace cases in one organization begins to wonder about the organization’s culture, communication, or leadership skills. “If only the organization had better practices, the mediation (or coaching or training or group facilitation) wouldn’t be needed”, many have thought.
Juries of Their Peers
When I was in fourth grade, a few millennia ago, our teacher established a system so we could settle a lot of our own disputes. General mischief-maker, Walter, was elected judge, a decision that completely confounded our teacher, and the class was the jury.
Managing the Cost of Conflict
Alessandra Sgubini Roxanne De La Roche
Conflict is a common occurrence in society. It arises everywhere, among different types of parties, in different parts of the world, and for different reasons. If conflict is not addressed properly it can escalate and degenerate leaving serious consequences in its wake. This article explores the true costs of conflict, methods to address conflict, and how to prevent conflicts from escalating in the first place.
The Good Divorce
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Dr. Lynne C. Halem
“What is a good divorce?” you ask. “After all, divorce is not a good or a happy event.” Correct you are. Divorce cannot be logically characterized as “good,” if we are referring to the event itself. Divorce is a time of sadness, even regret; it symbolizes the end to dreams once held. “ So,” you ask again,” how can a divorce be good?”