Arnold Swartz and Associates

Business and Family Mediation

720 Kipling St., Suite 200 • Lakewood, CO 80215 • TEL: 303-237-4828 •
Commercial Articles

Archived Content: Commercial

Commercial Mediation Articles

Ride Sharing Arbitration Agreement is Socially Unconscionable (9/25/15)
Beth Graham
A California judge has reportedly declined to order a dispute between transportation network company Uber and a former driver to arbitration. In the case, a San Francisco Superior Court judge ruled that the arbitration clause between the parties was “substantively unconscionable” due to its contradictory language.

Arbitrating Antitrust Claims From Suspicion to Trust (9/18/15)
Beth Graham
Vera Korzun, Adjunct Professor at the Fordham University School of Law, has authored “Arbitrating Antitrust Claims: From Suspicion to Trust,” New York University Journal of International Law and Politics (JILP), Vol. 48, 2016, Forthcoming. In her scholarly article, Professor Korzun discusses the adjudication and enforcement of domestic antitrust laws by international arbitral tribunals.

Keep it Simple. Keep it Interesting. (9/18/15)
Sapna Jhangiani
In an age of ever-increasing complexity, where your watch can open your garage and answer your phone (yes, the Apple watch can really do that), many of us in the international arbitration community have lost sight of the most powerful weapon in the advocate’s toolbox: simplicity.

Mediation in Turkey (9/12/15)
F. Peter Phillips
A recent trip to Turkey included a delightful visit at the offices of leading Turkish law firm Hergüner Bilgen Özeke and several of its members, including H. Tolga Danisman. It was also a chance to get an inside look at a rapidly developing legislative and judicial initiative in commercial mediation in this troubled and beautiful country.

Arbitrating Antitrust Claims: From Suspicion to Trust (9/12/15)
Beth Graham
Vera Korzun, Adjunct Professor at the Fordham University School of Law, has authored “Arbitrating Antitrust Claims: From Suspicion to Trust”. In her scholarly article, Professor Korzun discusses the adjudication and enforcement of domestic antitrust laws by international arbitral tribunals.

“Perversion of Law” in Chinese Criminal Law – An Indiscriminate Legal Weapon Against Arbitrators (9/12/15)
Arthad Kurlekar
Article 399A included in the Criminal Law of People’s Republic of China, provides for criminal liability to arbitrators for “perversion of law” (Wangfa Zhongcai Zui). The provision has been a Part of the Criminal Law since 2006. However, on 24 June 2015, the Supreme People’s Court (‘SPC’) and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP) of China have undertaken the task of interpreting Article 399A (Further information about the process may be found here).

Reasoned Awards in International Commercial Arbitration (9/04/15)
Beth Graham
University of Missouri School of Law Professor S.I. Strong has written “Reasoned Awards in International Commercial Arbitration: Embracing and Exceeding the Common Law-Civil Law Dichotomy,” 37 Michigan Journal of International Law, 2016, Forthcoming; University of Missouri School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2015-18. In her publication, Professor Strong analyzes the requirement for reasoned awards in the context of international commercial arbitration.

Whistleblower Cases are Custom Tailored for ADR (9/04/15)
Jeffrey Grubman
Various state and federal statutes exist to protect and compensate employees whose employers retaliate against them after they disclose certain fraudulent practices to the employers or government agencies. These are known as Whistleblower statutes.

Laying the Table (8/28/15)
Ian MacDuff
In both practice and training, we’ve long operated on some assumed attributes of mediation – confidentiality, neutrality – and a loose consensus on at least the key elements of what mediation looks like, though without offending our other cherished values of pluralism, diversity, mediator autonomy, and context-sensitive design.

Conversation with Peter Benner About PEDR, Part 6 (8/21/15)
John Lande
I think company managers, by and large, do feel they have control, which is, as you say, reflected in increasingly tight litigation management, which does predominate and persist, as well as loosened loyalties to a particular firm. Beating up lawyers on fees is now considered part of the relationship. The issue is one of culture and disposition rather than control.

Are You Seeing the Benefit of Soft Skills? (8/21/15)
Katherine Graham
“Soft skills like communication and teamwork are incredibly important to our business because of the impact they can have on our customers’ experience. As integral as they are to the performance and progression of our employees, I know that we can do more to recognise their importance which is why we are launching this campaign," says the Chief People Officer of McDonalds UK.

Patent Arbitration: It Still Makes Good Sense (8/21/15)
Beth Graham
Peter Michaelson, Michaelson ADR Chambers, LLC, has published “Patent Arbitration: It Still Makes Good Sense,” Landslide (Journal of the ABA Section of Intellectual Property Law); July/August 2015, pp. 42-47. In his paper, Mr. Michaelson examines the future of patent arbitration following the implementation of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act.

The Downside of Arb-Med-Arb Procedures (8/21/15)
Gracious Timothy
The AMA procedure is not the end of the line. Enforcement of settlement agreements is cited as a crucial aspect and the AMA procedure is not completely geared up for it looking at its many downsides. It would be more desirable and feasible to prepare a uniform model provision on enforcement of mediated settlement agreements that would be universally acceptable.

Colin J. Wall Memorial (8/07/15)
F. Peter Phillips
The death of Colin J. Wall on July 16, 2015, is a crushing blow to our profession and a personal loss to me.

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.

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.

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.

“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.

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.

A Maddening Nevada Supreme Court Case (6/06/15)
Michael Moffitt
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.

Mediating Early and Late (6/06/15)
Bill Marsh
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.

A Pregnant Pause: Using ADR to Resolve Pregnancy-Related Workplace Issues (6/06/15)
Lorraine Brennan
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:

Checkmate: Early Moves Define Negotiation (5/22/15)
Beth Graham
The Litigation Section of the State Bar of Texas recently published Don Philbin’s article entitled “Checkmate: Early Moves Define Negotiation Outcomes” in its newsletter. In his article, the Chair of the Texas Bar’s ADR Section discusses the insight predictive analytics can provide to negotiators.

Use and Perception of International Commercial Mediation and Conciliation: An Empirical Study (4/24/15)
Beth Graham
This Article analyzes results from the first-ever large-scale international survey regarding the use and perception of international commercial mediation and conciliation by the international legal and business communities.

And What is Your Biggest Achievement in Mediation? (4/24/15)
Martin Svatos
The MBB was founded in 2006 in order to promote mediation not only in the USA but also worldwide. Its main task is expressed in the following motto: “The only lasting peace is the one built by the disputants themselves.”

Looking to the Future: Complexity, Chaos, and Making Connections (3/31/15)
Lisa Parkinson
Diversity matters! For mediation to develop in fresh and vibrant ways, we need to think and act creatively. Some of the best ideas come from making connections – for example, between mediation, sciences, and the arts – and through using these connections in practice. Bernie Mayer's article in the Mediation Futures series struck chords with me, with its references to complexity science, chaos, and the importance of adapting the ways we mediate to meet diverse needs, instead of expecting participants to fit in with the particular way we choose to mediate.

The Future of Mediation (3/26/15)
Chris Poole
It is impossible to talk about the future, present or past of mediation without putting some sort of definition to that term. Clearly, mediation as dispute resolution has been around as long as disputes. When defined as a process that involves a designated third-party to assist in the resolution of disputes, mediation can be considered an old process.

SEC Approves FINRA Proposal to Further Revise Definition of Public and Non-Public Arbitrator (3/06/15)
Jill Gross
The SEC approved FINRA’s proposal to ” refine and reorganize the definitions of ‘non-public’ arbitrator and ‘public’ arbitrator.” Customers who file an arbitration claim against a broker dealer or associated person now has the right to an all-public arbitration panel, so the definitions of who fits the two classifications are high stakes.

The Mediation Future (2/20/15)
Tracy Allen
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.

The Mediator's Log: A Mediation Story - Section 3 (2/13/15)
John Sturrock
The Mediator's Log gives a step-by-step diary of a mediator's day as he moves through a complex negotiations. This is the final step of the mediator's negotiations.

Is Conflict Like Driving? (2/13/15)
Phyllis Pollack
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.

The Business of Mediation (2/06/15)
Becky Bartness
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.

Negotiation Advocacy and the Future of Alternative Dispute Resolution (2/03/15)
Nathan Witkin
One promising and yet underdeveloped segment of the alternative dispute resolution movement is negotiation advocacy. Roles such as collaborative attorney and conflict coach are allowing ADR practitioners to enhance their clients’ experience at the negotiation table with communication coaching and a style of advocacy that is cooperative in nature.

F=T(Q+I) F = The Future; T=Trust; Q=Quality; I=Information (2/02/15)
Deborah Masucci, Michael Leathes
The Future of mediation hangs on several factors. Probably the most important is Trust. If mediation is not widely trusted by users, it has a mediocre future. This is simply because mediation depends on the parties, who usually do not trust each other, fully trusting the mediator and the mediation process. Unfortunately, mediation appears to stand some way down the trust stakes.

Truths in Advertising (1/26/15)
Howard Gadlin
Several times in the course of my life I’ve been involved with a cohort of people who envisioned themselves as a possible vanguard of fundamental social change even while they were pursuing professional careers In fact, many of the early mediation practitioners were also veterans of civil rights and anti-war activities who were drawn to ADR as an alternative path to justice, equality, and social change.

Joint Sessions: More Arrows in the Mediation Advocacy Quiver (1/23/15)
Daniel Ben-Zvi, Caroline Vincent
While private caucuses and shuttle diplomacy successfully produce settlements, attorneys who also choose to advocate directly to their opposition in joint session are availing themselves of more arrows in the attorney’s quiver.  Mediators Daniel Ben-Zvi and Caroline Vincent encourage attorneys not to overlook this valuable tool and discuss strategies to use in conjunction with joint sessions to provide the most favorable resolution for their clients.

Mediation: Centerpiece of World Recovery (1/20/15)
Debra Oliver
This articles examines the future of mediation as a tool for global improvement. There are a variety of venues where mediation might prove to be the only answer for entrenched conflict.

The Cost of Organizational Conflict (1/16/15)
Cinnie Noble
Ill-managed conflict costs organizations in many ways besides the expense of litigation and related claims.

Fees of the Successfully Challenged Arbitrator? (1/16/15)
Alfred Siwy
In its decision of 17.2.2014, the Austrian Supreme Court decided on a claimant’s request for reimbursement of the portion of the fees advanced to the arbitrator whom it had successfully challenged during ongoing proceedings and on his liability for frustrated costs caused by the challenge and the appointment of a new arbitrator.

Looking to the Future: Is There Still A Place For Proactive, Early Intervention Mediation in Our Changing Field? (1/13/15)
Nina Meierding
In the author's experience as a mediator in over 4,000 cases and in almost thirty years of working with advocates, consulting attorneys, and collaborative lawyers, she believes that all forms of mediation are valuable processes which each have their place in helping parties move forward in their conflicts. She takes no position on the "best" process, only that self-determination remains the ultimate goal of any form of mediation. She is hopeful that mediators, participants, and attorneys will re-examine the trend of late intervention, lawyer-centric mediation and bring pro-active, early mediation back as one of the important focuses of the mediation field.

Click here for MORE ARTICLES