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Learning a New Perspective at the ABA Conference

by Jan Frankel Schau
April 2011

From Jan Schau's blog.

Jan Frankel Schau

The ABA Conference for the Dispute Resolution Section was inspiring this year. The keynote speaker, Temple Grandin, really made a lot of us "verbal/top down thinkers" think about different perspectives. Dr. Grandin, autistic from birth, has made her name in understanding animals, graphs, numbers, science in ways she describes as only "geeks" can do. She references the thinking of people within the autistic spectrum as "visual" and "bottom up" in contrast to verbal thinkers, whom she describes as "top down". It really made me consider different perspectives and why, despite my eloquent and painstaking efforts to explain theory, principles and justifications, sometimes people mediating before me just don't understand. On the other hand, it highlighted my own limitations as, for example, I cannot understand my own son, a computer science major, or my husband, an architect in their detail-driven thinking which sometimes flies in the face of my own overarching analyses.

In the end, I'm again struck by how much can be learned from people from different disciplines about how better to practice our own.

I was also happy to present (for the 3rd year in a row) a presentation on "Ethics for Mediators" with Kim Taylor, JAMS COO John Sherrill, Seyfarth, Shaw and R. Wayne Thorpe, Chair of the Section, as well as honored to present a story which will be a Chapter in Eric Galton's upcoming book, "The Stories Mediator's Tell".

Biography


Attorney Jan Frankel Schau is a highly skilled neutral, engaged in full-time dispute resolution. Following a successful career spanning two decades in litigation, she has mediated over 700 cases for satisfied clients. Ms. Schau understands the nuances of trial and settlement practice as well as client relations and balancing the needs of their representatives with the risk and expenses of trial. Those who have used Ms. Schau’s services recognize excellence in her persistence, optimism, creativity and integrity.

Ms. Schau was the President of the Southern California Mediation Association in 2007 and is recognized as among the most outstanding mediators in Southern California in the mediation of civil disputes by her peers and clients. She also serves as a Trustee of the Board of Directors of the San Fernando Valley Bar Association, and has presided as Chair of it’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Section and Litigation Section. She holds a Certificate of Advanced Skills in Negotiation from the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution of Pepperdine University as well as from the Western Law Center for Disability Rights at Loyola Law School.



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Website: www.schaumediation.com

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