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In Praise of Joint Sessions

by Geoff Sharp
May 2007

From the blog mediator blah...blah...

Geoff Sharp

Most of us will be aware of the Ninth Annual Section of Dispute Resolution Conference held in Washington, D.C late last month.

ADR in Bloom: Politics and Collaboration in the Nation's Capital by all accounts was a tremendous success.

My friends and colleagues Tracy Allen of Southfield, MI and Eric Galton of Austin, TX (who I mention alot on this blog) anchored a skills session that is very dear to my heart:
In Praise of the Joint Session: Skills and Techniques to Enhance Communication and Resolution

They ask mediators - 'Is the joint session not working for you? Have you abandoned it? Do the parties? Do lawyers? Yet many believe that the Joint Session Rocks! It is really possible that an improved joint session will increase the chances of settlements and resolution!'

Here's their gem of a paper handed out at the gig only, but now exclusively available to you, my dear readers.

Tracy and Eric start off as they mean to go on...recording some attorney comments we've probably all heard around joint sessions;
> "I never do a joint session"
> "I never let my client talk in a joint session"
> "We don't need a joint session. We know all the issues"
> "If we do a joint session, the whole thing will blow up"


Ever heard of CDR's Satisfaction Triangle?

Emotional, procedural, substantive needs ring a bell?! Hmm...better read this chapter from The Conflict Resolution Toolbox : Models and Maps for Analyzing, Diagnosing, and Resolving Conflict by Gary T. Furlong


Geoff Sharp is a Commercial Mediator from Wellington, New Zealand. Geoff works in the Asia Pacific region, including New Zealand, Malaysia, Thailand and Pacific Islands. He is a mediator resolving business problems. He is a fellow of the International Academy of Mediators and mediates complex and hotly debated litigation covering a wide range of subject matter from insurance disputes to historic sexual abuse claims.

Geoff is author of the award winning blog mediator blah...blah... a mediation blog experiment in reflective practice and the Mediation vBlog Project, a kind of mediation genome project by video blog.

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Additional articles by Geoff Sharp