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Phyllis Pollack
Mediations Are Supposed To Be Confidential... But Are They Really? (12/19/14)
Phyllis Pollack
Many times a mediator has analogized mediation confidentiality to the television ad, "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" to explain the sacrosanct nature of mediation confidentiality. But, are mediations really confidential? This article was reposted to ensure mediators are fully aware of this important topic.

Michael A. Zeytoonian
How You Go About Resolving Your Dispute Is Up To You (12/19/14)
Michael A. Zeytoonian
One point we want to drive home with clients in this series about tiered dispute resolution clauses is that parties have the right and the need to find the right process choice. Not only do parties have options, but with good, creative advice from their lawyers, they can sometimes design the process so that it is tailored to their needs, bandwidth and the circumstances of the specific dispute.

Larry Susskind
What's the Right Thing to do When You are Really Angry About What's Happening in America? (12/19/14)
Larry Susskind
Students are marching in the streets to protest the recent killings of Black Americans. They want those in positions of power to acknowledge that these deaths are, at least in part, the result of unchecked racism that is still very much alive in our country. Whatever progress has been made over the past fifty years to address inequality, unfairness, racial bias, ignorance, lack of empathy and unequal opportunities, there is still a long way to go before everyday life in America aligns with the ideals we espouse as a nation.

Meredith Richardson
What an 8-year-old Taught Me About Life (12/19/14)
Meredith Richardson
Playing games brings out the worst in us," normalized these feelings for me. I am not the only one who feels a little yucky during the game as the competitive spirit takes over, while, at the same time, there is no clear path to controlling the situation so as to create the best possible outcome for myself. The need to win can bring out the worst in each of us.

F. Peter Phillips
Najar on Dispute Management 2.0 (12/19/14)
F. Peter Phillips
Najar, his colleague Michael McIlwrath, his former colleague PD Villarreal, and others at General Electric were responsible for pounding into my head two distinctions. The first was the concept of “dispute management” rather than “dispute resolution,” and the other was “Early Dispute Resolution” rather than “Alternative Dispute Resolution.”

Beth Graham
Non-Judicial Means of Collective Redress in Europe (12/19/14)
Beth Graham
S.I. Strong, Associate Professor at the University of Missouri School of Law, has published a book chapter entitled Non-Judicial Means of Collective Redress in Europe in Collective Redress in Europe (Oxford University Press, anticipated 2015); University of Missouri School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2014-29. In her book chapter, Professor Strong analyzes large-scale arbitration and other non-judicial avenues for collective redress in Europe.

Larry Susskind
Retire Already! Why? (12/12/14)
Larry Susskind
This article discusses retirement in non-traditional fields such as mediation and teaching. Should there be a set retirement age?

Phyllis Pollack
It Is All In Your Perspective! (12/12/14)
Phyllis Pollack
The December 2014 edition of The Atlantic contains an interesting article entitled "The Real Roots of Midlife Crisis" by Jonathan Rauch. In it, he notes that mid-life crisis is not a unique reality to the United States. Rather, it is a worldwide phenomenon explained by science and more particularly the "U" or happiness curve.

Geoff Sharp
The Californication of Mediation (12/12/14)
Geoff Sharp
The rise and rise of the mediator’s proposal [1] and other evaluative interventions by many of our number, along with the relentless demise of the joint session, are all part of a larger lurch to the right for mediation practice.

Martin Quinn
Mediator’s Proposals: God’s Gift to Mediation, or a Betrayal? (12/12/14)
Martin Quinn
Once upon a time some 35 years ago, mediation was talked about in the United States as a tool to cure dissatisfactions with the civil justice system. The great early teachers and scholars of mediation — Frank Sanders, Christopher Moore, Leonard Riskin and others — envisioned a process focused on party autonomy that would allow disputants not merely to resolve an immediate legal problem, but to reorient their personal or business relationships into a productive path.

John Lande
Conflict Doctors (12/12/14)
John Lande
I recently stumbled upon a useful analogy that I used in our required Lawyering course, namely that lawyers are like “conflict doctors.”

Susan Yates
‘Tis the Season for Mediation (12/12/14)
Susan Yates
In what has become an annual tradition, here is RSI’s seasonal parody of the Twelve Day of Christmas. Enjoy!

Tammy Lenski
In the Midst of Ferguson Chaos, an Apology Done Right (12/05/14)
Tammy Lenski
It would have been easy for Louis Head to blame his raging words the other night fully on the grand jury. Or on the Ferguson, Missouri police department. Or on Office Darren Wilson. Or on racism and injustice. And if he had, there’d be a lot of people who would have given him a pass under the circumstances.

Beth Graham
Arbitration Trends in 2014 (12/05/14)
Beth Graham
A survey recently conducted by Today’s General Counsel asked in-house attorneys about their thoughts on arbitration. The results published in Arbitration Trends 2014 indicate that nearly half of lawyers surveyed normally choose arbitration over traditional litigation because it is required by contract. In addition, 38 percent stated they select arbitration because it is less expensive than litigating a case and the process preserves confidentiality.

Katherine Graham
Behind Mediation’s Smoke and Mirrors (12/05/14)
Katherine Graham
Positive mediation outcomes are fairly common, which you might think is down to the magic of mediation. But there are several implicit reasons why mediation outcomes are high, which aren’t generally to do with the quality of the mediator! I want people to understand the reality of mediation and what it can achieve, and not to be taken in by the rhetoric you’ll find on some websites.

Cinnie Noble
Having an Axe to Grind (12/05/14)
Cinnie Noble
According to wiseGEEK “There are two meanings to the phrase ‘an axe to grind’. The first meaning is the traditional American one, which means having an ulterior motive or personal reasons, other than the obvious, for doing something. The British meaning is to hold a grudge or a grievance against someone or something.”

Andrea Schneider
Talking About Ferguson (12/05/14)
Andrea Schneider
We have started the last week of classes in ADR this week and usually, at this time in the semester, I turn to the overarching subject of how to counsel clients when choosing among different dispute resolution processes. Last night, I took a deep breath, and asked the class to think about the situation in Ferguson.

Beth Graham
Use and Perception of International Commercial Mediation and Conciliation (12/01/14)
Beth Graham
The project was constructed with two goals in mind. First, the study attempted to discover and describe current behaviors and attitudes relating to international commercial mediation and conciliation so as to set a benchmark for further analysis in this field. Second, the research attempted to determine whether the legal and business communities thought an international instrument in this area of law would be useful and if so, what shape they believed that document should take.

Dan Simon
Improve Your Communication: Use Earplugs! (12/01/14)
Dan Simon
Guest blogger Kees van Eijk writes, "It started as a communication problem between my spouse and me. But my hearing impairment has remarkably become the most important instrument in my communication toolbox."

Wayne Brazil
The Key “Moral” from Stories Mediators Tell (12/01/14)
Wayne Brazil
The theme of the 2014 Mediation Week was inspired by Stories Mediators Tell, a moving and illuminating collection of stories about the often dramatic facts of mediation life that Editors Eric R. Galton and Leila P. Love coaxed from a diverse group of experienced mediators to share with the rest of us.

Meredith Richardson
My Least Favorite Part of Conflict (12/01/14)
Meredith Richardson
My least favorite part of conflict is not the conflict itself, nor is it any argument that may result. It's the aftermath. It could be that the conflict remains unresolved. It could be that things were said that deeply hurt one or both people, and that hurt feelings have been lingering for quite some time and only recently voiced.

Joe Markowitz
Trials, Part One (12/01/14)
Joe Markowitz
Mediation is often touted as a better alternative to taking a lawsuit to trial. It usually is; but I believe that is still the wrong comparison to make in most cases.

John Sturrock
Mediator’s Proposals? A Story… (12/01/14)
John Sturrock
I have never been a great fan of mediator’s proposals. I took the view that the mediator’s job, done well, was to help the parties to come to a solution themselves. Party autonomy and all that. Achieving a satisfactory outcome, I thought, shouldn’t require a specific suggestion by the mediator.

Alberto Elisavetsky
De qué manera puede incidir e insertarse el Crowdsourcing en la Resolución Electrónica de Disputas (CORD) en un futuro? (11/21/14)
Alberto Elisavetsky
El siguiente es un artículo colectivo, producto de los aportes, comentarios y reflexiones que se realizaron en el foro de Cyberweek 2014.


First Ever Conflict Resolution Flash Mob! (11/21/14)
Linda Mealey-Lohman
Talk about creative ways to teach the public about ADR! Watch the video of the first conflict resolution flash mob.

Karmit Bulman
Processing it All on the Last Day…. (11/21/14)
Karmit Bulman
On my last evening in Israel, I walked on the beach and gazed at the sunset over the beautiful Mediteranean Sea and I was full of so many complex thoughts. That day my visit to Neve Shalom Wahat Al-Salam involved me joining a group of German Citizens who came to view the atrocities imposed upon the Palestinians by the Israeli Government.

Michael A. Zeytoonian
What is a “Tiered Dispute Resolution Clause” and What Options Does it have to Offer? (11/21/14)
Michael A. Zeytoonian
Tiered dispute resolution clauses in contracts -- this is the first step in providing clients with alternatives to court and litigation. It gives parties value in three ways: (1) It gives them the opportunity to work together on how they will resolve a dispute; (2) it allows lawyers to educate their clients on what their options are, how they work and what their pros and cons are while the parties are calm and agreeable; and (3) it gives the parties more control over the process as well as the outcome.

Jan Schau
The Golden Sounds of Silence (11/21/14)
Jan Schau
Once you acquire some skill in mediation, I find one of the hardest things to master is keeping quiet when emotions erupt. Yes, anger, shouting, tears and bluster happen. Our job as mediators is to bring peace and calm into the room, but I find one of the challenges is to remain silent and still without reacting in a “fix it” mode. Eventually, the anger usually blows over once the steam has been let out.

Phyllis Pollack
Thanksgiving Through The Centuries! (11/21/14)
Phyllis Pollack
Thanksgiving will soon be upon us. And while we will all give thanks for the many blessings that we have, I thought I would share some of the lesser known, but interesting facts about our national holiday. (Spoiler alert: This blog has absolutely nothing to do with mediation!--maybe just communication and national culture?)

Maria Simpson
Whose Job is the Conflict? (11/14/14)
Maria Simpson
I am a big proponent of taking responsibility for resolving a conflict that somehow includes or affects you, especially if you started the dispute, and this article offers skills for doing this.

Jason Dykstra
5 Ways to Ruin Your Relationships (11/14/14)
Jason Dykstra
Ugh…relationships…who needs them? They are so needy! Your coworker always wants to go out for a beer after work, your partner wants to spend time with you, your friend keeps calling you up to come see your new house. Who has time for all this? It’s probably better just to get rid of them all. So here’s 5 things you can do to ruin any relationship in your life; work, home, friends, even acquaintances.

Chris Poole
$1B Settlement Reached in Stryker Hip Implant Mass Tort (11/14/14)
Chris Poole
Thousands of plaintiffs in New Jersey and around the country who had surgery to remove failed hip implants settled their claims November 3 in a deal that is expected to pay out more than $1 billion. It was reached after four months of negotiations with Stryker mediated by retired U.S. Magistrate Judge Diane Welsh, a JAMS mediator based in Philadelphia.

Margaret Moses
The Growth of Arbitrator Power to Control Counsel Conduct (11/14/14)
Margaret Moses
There have been increasing calls over the past few years for an international code of conduct for counsel in international commercial arbitration, and for arbitrators to have more power to control counsel conduct. The growing concern is related to significant changes that have taken place in international arbitration practice.

Phyllis Pollack
Time Is "Like-The-Present" (11/14/14)
Phyllis Pollack
There is an old adage, "Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow?" And indeed, many of us do just that because time is a precious commodity of which there is never enough.

Cinnie Noble
Who Are You When You're in Conflict? (11/11/14)
Cinnie Noble
It happens sometimes that we lose track of ourselves when in conflict. We may find we turn into someone who doesn’t even resemble who we usually are and how we interact. We may become an angry parent, a petulant child, a dogmatic teacher, a judge or other personas that reflect a different somebody than we want to be.

Dan Simon
5 Reasons It’s Hard for Mediators to Support Self-Determination (11/11/14)
Dan Simon
Many mediators practice consistently with our intention to support party self-determination throughout the process. These mediations tend to be very meaningful to the parties and tend to lead to profound shifts in how parties see the situation, themselves, and each other. They also tend to lead to settlements that all parties are genuinely, lastingly at peace with. But in the world of litigation, mediations continue to be far less effective, meaningful, and empowering than they could be. Many mediators who work on litigated cases continue to use methods that undermine self-determination, that interfere with inter-party recognition and that cause the process to be far less satisfying. Here are 5 reasons that these less effective practices persist.

Sabine Walsh
Giving Children a Voice (11/11/14)
Sabine Walsh
“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” Nelson Mandela

Joe Markowitz
Metrics (11/11/14)
Joe Markowitz
I was interviewed the other day for a possible article on court-ordered mediation. In discussing this topic, it's hard to avoid talking about such questions as settlement rates in various kinds of programs, or how mediation programs affect the workload of the courts

Phyllis Pollack
Did Hunger Sabotage A Mediation? (11/11/14)
Phyllis Pollack
The other day, I conducted two mediations between the same plaintiff's counsel, the same defendants and their counsel. The only different party in the two mediations was the plaintiff. One mediation was to start in the morning and the next in early afternoon, figuring each would take about 3 hours.

John Lande
What is Negotiation? (10/31/14)
John Lande
We often think of negotiation as a distinct and climactic phase of a dispute. Interactions leading up to the final settlement event are often considered merely as preparation, if that. In litigated cases, we often ignore the litigation as if it was largely irrelevant to the information available and the dynamics in negotiation.

Cinnie Noble
Hair Trigger Temper (10/31/14)
Cinnie Noble
You may have heard the phrase hair trigger temper referring to someone who reacts strongly when angry. As an adjective hair trigger has been described to mean “easily activated or set off; reacting immediately to the slightest provocation or cause”.

Vivian Scott
10 Things I’ve Learned From Being a Mediator (10/31/14)
Vivian Scott
I’m lucky that I’ve had so much training and experience in mediating issues between others. It’s impossible to be a part of the mediation community and not learn a thing or two about oneself in the process. So, today I’m going to share, in no particular order of importance, ten things I’ve learned along the way.

Lorraine Segal
Healing your Relationship with Money: Letting go of Fear, Resentment, and Scarcity (10/31/14)
Lorraine Segal
Is talking about money scary, triggering, or confusing? Do you worry that there is never enough? Issues around Money can be big emotional triggers for many of us.

Beth Graham
E.D. Texas Orders Guardrail Safety Case to Mediation Following $175 Million Jury Award (10/31/14)
Beth Graham
Interestingly, Judge Gilstrap stated representatives for the nation’s Department of Justice and the FHA may be involved in the mediation process due to the unique nature of the case.

Nick Redding
Conflict Expression: Moving from the ‘What’ to the ‘How’ in Assessing Conflict in the Workplace (10/31/14)
Nick Redding
In both research and practice, conflicts at work are often categorized based on what they are about: conflicts over the actual work that is being done (i.e. task), disagreements over how team members should work together (i.e. process), or conflicts resulting from personal differences (i.e. relationship).

Dan Simon
Transformative Mediation Program Helps Ohio Employees (10/31/14)
Dan Simon
Calls kept coming in to the Ohio Employees’ EAP program. Some calls came from a supervisor who was having trouble dealing with an employee. Some came from an employee who was having trouble with a supervisor. Sometimes it was co-workers who were in conflict with each other. Regardless of whom the conflict involved, the EAP was underequipped to help. They could counsel the caller, but the director of the EAP knew a different type of service was needed. So they sought outside expertise on workplace conflict intervention, and they put out a Request for Proposal.

Maria Simpson
Gender and Decision-Making (10/24/14)
Maria Simpson
Men and women are pretty much equally good decision-makers when under low stress levels, but “When stressed, men are more prone to taking risky bets with little payoff.”

Alyson Carrel
Is ADR Your 1st Career? (10/24/14)
Alyson Carrel
Mediation for many is a second field--after giving the first half of their professional career to the law, social work, therapy, real estate, business negotiations, and many other fields. This law focuses on the few who began their career in ADR--and how they managed to get started without another path to build on.

Giuseppe Leone
Body Language in Online Mediation - What Do We Miss? (10/24/14)
Giuseppe Leone
Leaving aside for a moment the question as to whether the "limited" body language in online dispute resolution is sufficient or not for doing our job, I believe that while for us mediators body language is a key factor, from the parties' perspective it is not the "only" factor. For them, there are other important factors to consider.

John Lande
To Puff or Not to Puff . . . (or When and How to Puff) (10/24/14)
John Lande
I’m no expert on moral philosophy or the social psychology of lying, but I think that most people probably believe that some misrepresentation is acceptable and even justified. Students in my Lawyering course regale the class with tales of their perfidy, sometimes with pride rather than shame.

Cinnie Noble
Expectations and Conflict (10/24/14)
Cinnie Noble
One of the things that can lead to conflict has to do with unmet expectations. For instance, we had hoped that another person would have said or done something that reflects their care and concern for us; they excluded us from a gathering or decision; they had something we wanted and knew it was important to us; or they didn’t provide their support or were unreliable about a matter.

Elizabeth Kantor
The Consolidation Arbitrator – An Arbitrator Too Far? (10/24/14)
Elizabeth Kantor
Whilst many institutional rules now contain provisions which expressly address the complex issue of consolidation, the recently revised rules of the International Centre for Dispute Resolution (the “ICDR”), the international arm of the American Arbitration Association (the “AAA”), are the first to have introduced the novel concept of the “consolidation arbitrator”.

Richard Levie
Eight Tips on How to Impress Your Arbitrator (10/24/14)
Richard Levie
While the most successful way to impress your arbitrator is with the merits of your case, there are smaller, but important, ways to create a favorable impression of yourself and your client’s case. This article is one arbitrator’s guide to creating an arbitral environment favorable to you and your client.

Beth Graham
Federal Judge Orders Google Wallet Consumer Privacy Dispute to Mediation (10/24/14)
Beth Graham
A federal judge in California has reportedly ordered a consumer privacy dispute that was filed against technology giant Google to mediation.

Morna Ellis
Mediation - The Savvy Choice (10/21/14)
Morna Ellis
Elder mediation can be helpful for families trying to make difficult decisions. It helps children and parents make decisions that include everyone's opinions.

Meredith Richardson
Fall is a Time to Reap What You've Sown (10/21/14)
Meredith Richardson
Fall is in the air. The nights are cooler and longer. The apples at local farms are almost ready to be picked. If you've been taking care of yourself and your relationships, then spending time at home with your loved ones may be quite pleasant.

Jan Schau
The Trading Zone in Mediation of Employment Disputes (10/21/14)
Jan Schau
Sometimes I feel like I’m in the middle of a tug-of-war. This week I had the anomolous situation of having two nearly identical full day cases back to back. In the first, the Plaintiff started the demand at $1 million and Defense offered $30,000 (the equivalent to one year of salary). She was alleging age discrimination, though the Company had laid her off in a reduction in force and she was only 42. In the second, Plaintiff started the demand at $200,000.00.

Michael A. Zeytoonian
Lessons from Jerusalem, Part II: The trouble with false assumptions (10/21/14)
Michael A. Zeytoonian
I wanted to continue the theme from my last Blog post about the Sea of Galilee and the notion of “being a Galilee” a bit with this blog post. This article discusses what I learned over this trip and the trouble with false assumptions.

Phyllis Pollack
Mediation 101: Know What It Is That You Want! (10/21/14)
Phyllis Pollack
I had an interesting mediation the other day. I say "interesting" as I am not sure what other adjective to use. Like most of my mediations, it involved an automobile. The plaintiff claimed that the defendant, a used car dealer, misrepresented several important details in the financing of the used automobile that she was purchasing. As a result, she was suing.

Meredith Richardson
When Trust is Broken (10/13/14)
Meredith Richardson
Do you want to be right or do you want to be in relationship? This can be one of the hardest questions to answer.

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