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Featured Blog Posts



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.

Jan Frankel Schau
What I Learned from Sitting on the Other Side of the Table (10/13/14)
Jan Frankel Schau
Since 2003, when I quit litigating, I have never attended a mediation as a disputant–until last week. I was asked to help be a part of a mediation. Here are my observations from the other side of the table.

Joe Markowitz
Losing (10/13/14)
Joe Markowitz
Certainly there is no shortage of candidates for blame when you have lost something. Yet finding the right person to pin the blame for failure can't be the whole story.

Cinnie Noble
Walking on Eggshells (10/13/14)
Cinnie Noble
When applied to interpersonal conflict I think of those disconcerting situations – such as walking on eggshells – when I am reluctant to raise an issue expecting that by doing so I will overly upset the other person. It seems this is most likely to occur when I have a history with and am aware of her or his sensibilities. Though I expect it also happens when we don’t know the other person but reckon that what we have to say will be difficult to receive. In any case, the image itself – from whatever the source –conjures up an extremely uncomfortable experience.

Cynthia Alkon
Just Don’t Ask and Get Good Karma??!! (10/13/14)
Cynthia Alkon
As many are probably aware, Microsoft’s CEO recently said that women who don’t ask for raises will enjoy “good karma.” So, his negotiation advice seems to boil down to just don’t ask and you count on the universe rewarding you in this life (or the next).

Michael A. Zeytoonian
Lessons from Jerusalem: What Attitude Do We Bring to our Conflicts? (10/13/14)
Michael A. Zeytoonian
Strange as this might sound, I had the good fortune of being in Israel during a war, a declared cease fire and its aftermath, and experiencing how these impacted the people involved. While it was a source of some tension and heightened vigilance, it provided a rare opportunity to experience the shifts and changes that occur when a war stops and a cease fire is in effect, in this place that has been a historical hotbed for conflict.

Joe Markowitz
When to Fight (10/05/14)
Joe Markowitz
President Obama's speech to the United Nations this week is worth reading to study the evolution of the president's foreign policy views in response to new and continuing conflicts around the world. With respect to such crises as Russian aggression toward Ukraine, preventing a nuclear Iran, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the president reiterated his belief in finding cooperative, negotiated solutions.

Jennifer Shack
How to Mediate High-Conflict Cases: Balance and Control (10/05/14)
Jennifer Shack
Like a lot of ADR researchers, I’m always interested to know what really happens in the black box that is the mediation session. So, when someone pries the box open to look inside, my eyes light up. Researchers have begun using conversation analysis to uncover what happens in mediation that leads to successful outcomes. The latest contribution to this research comes from Norway, with a study of 154 custody mediations.

Cinnie Noble
I Hate When He . . . (10/04/14)
Cinnie Noble
Lately I have been hearing several of my friends complaining about their life partners. It seems it is more than usual, but maybe I am just more aware of their plaints these days for some reason. The gripes typically start with “I hate when he (or she)…” and the “odious” acts, as they perceive them, may be how the person answers the phone, eats, flosses, leaves laundry on the floor, makes puns, and on and on.

Jeff Thompson
Creating Spaces for Effective CVE Approaches (10/04/14)
Jeff Thompson
Have a look at the following. It reminds me firstly of Bernie Mayer's Beyond Neutrality- if we as conflict resolution professionals are seeking to make an impact in the world, perhaps we have to move beyond the neutral role of mediators (and other neutral roles).

Beth Graham
Amarillo COA Holds Arbitration is Required in Construction Fee Dispute (10/04/14)
Beth Graham
In January 2013, several of the subcontractors (“Scottco”) filed a lawsuit against Journeyman to recover payment for services rendered pursuant to their respective subcontracting agreements. Journeyman responded by filing a motion to abate the court proceedings and compel arbitration. After the district court denied Journeyman’s motion, the general contractor filed an interlocutory appeal with the Amarillo appeals court.

Jason Dykstra
Finding Success in Leadership (10/04/14)
Jason Dykstra
We asked a leader how anyone manages to stay engaged when they have to re-inspire leaders in a variety of different settings. The answer that they gave, seems to be the secret to success in every field, mediation and otherwise.

Phyllis Pollack
It Is All In The Attitude ! (10/04/14)
Phyllis Pollack
Once again, the New York Times has published an interesting article in its Sunday Review section on September 5, 2014 entitled "Liking Work Really Matters" by Paul A. O'Keefe. The thesis is that when we really enjoy what we are doing, we can do it for much longer than if we find it to be tedious. Our mental gas tank is nowhere as depleted when we are in the "in the zone" or in "flow": "During a flow state, people are fully absorbed and highly focused; they lose themselves in the activity." (Id.)4545

Cinnie Noble
My Way or the Highway (9/26/14)
Cinnie Noble
t has been a long time since I first heard the expression my way or the highway. Within the context I first heard it and ever since, I have interpreted it to mean that if someone doesn’t go along with the other’s view (position, want, need, etc.) she or he might as well just leave or go away.

Beth Graham
Dallas COA Affirms Arbitral Award Despite Evident Partiality Claims (9/26/14)
Beth Graham
The Fifth District Court of Appeals of Texas in Dallas has affirmed a trial court’s order confirming an arbitral award in a dispute between a residential builder and several homeowners. In Meritage Homes of Texas, L.L.C. v. Ruan, No. 05-13-00831-CV (Tex. App. – Dallas, September 16, 2014) a group of individuals who bought newly built homes from Meritage allegedly learned that their houses were smaller than the square footage that was represented to them prior to purchase.

Ian MacDuff
On Collaboration (9/26/14)
Ian MacDuff
Many companies and their executives have embraced the imperative of sustainability, but it’s that step into a collaborative approach that still seems too hard.

Joe Markowitz
When to Fight (9/26/14)
Joe Markowitz
President Obama's speech to the United Nations this week is worth reading to study the evolution of the president's foreign policy views in response to new and continuing conflicts around the world.

Tammy Lenski
You Don’t Have to Have This Experience with Conflict Resolution (9/26/14)
Tammy Lenski
I’ve finally found the way to describe my work with the help of an image.

Andrea Schneider
Prisoner’s Dilemma Game Show (9/19/14)
Andrea Schneider
In class earlier this week, we rebooted the idea of the prisoner’s dilemma as previously portrayed on The Bachelor Pad (discussed on the Freakonomics Blog and four years ago on this site). This time, the conversation revolved around a British game show called Golden Balls that was very popular several years ago. I can only assume that you’ve already discounted Golden Balls’ educational value based on its name alone but bear with me . . .

Cinnie Noble
Never Cut What You Can Untie (9/19/14)
Cinnie Noble
Recently on the Conflict Coaching Guild on LinkedIn I asked members if they would share idioms, phrases, metaphors and other expressions on conflict that they like. There are many I had not heard of and one of those is the title of today’s blog – never cut what you can untie.

Katherine Graham
How to Make Mediation Accessible to People who are Suspicious (9/19/14)
Katherine Graham
Mediation is not an easy option; it is far easier for humans to tolerate the status quo or seek someone else to fix things for them. Mediation must be the workplace equivalent of root canal work at the dentist.

Phyllis Pollack
Should Your Next Mediator Be An Avatar? (9/19/14)
Phyllis Pollack
Once again, The Economist has reported on an interesting study concerning artificial intelligence and psychology. In its August 16, 2014 edition, the authors of "The Computer will see you now" discuss a study in which the participants chatted with an avatar.

Beth Graham
New AAA Consumer Arbitration Rules are Now in Effect (9/19/14)
Beth Graham
On September 1st, new American Arbitration Association (AAA) Consumer Arbitration Rules went into effect. The 55 new rules reportedly replaced the eight Consumer-Related Disputes Supplementary Procedures that previously applied to consumer arbitrations filed with the organization. The new rules apply to all arbitral cases filed after September 1, 2014

Jeff Thompson
Creating Spaces for Effective CVE Approaches (9/19/14)
Jeff Thompson
Have a look at the following. It reminds me firstly of Bernie Mayer's Beyond Neutrality- if we as conflict resolution professionals are seeking to make an impact in the world, perhaps we have to move beyond the neutral role of mediators (and other neutral roles).

Kim Taylor
The ADR Provisions of EU Privacy Laws (9/19/14)
Kim Taylor
Companies doing business globally have a variety of complex issues to deal with, not the least of which is concern about the security of personal data collected from their customers.

Dan Simon
Lawyers Benefit from Transformative Mediation – Video (9/12/14)
Dan Simon
Why hasn’t transformative mediation swept the world of litigated disputes with represented parties? A new video reveals that there’s no good reason. While the transformative approach has succeeded in the US Postal Service workplace mediation program, and while some community mediation centers and family mediators have embraced it, the realm of civil litigation continues to be dominated by far more directive approaches.

Martin Quinn
Mediation Briefs: Do’s and Don’ts (9/12/14)
Martin Quinn
Here are some Do’s and Don’ts from a mediator’s perspective to help you prepare your mediation briefs. Treat the event with the importance it deserves, and start by preparing an effective, timely brief.

Susan Yates
What Did Labor Day Teach Us About ADR? (9/12/14)
Susan Yates
For a while in the evolution of the ADR field, when two neutrals met they would sometimes ask what the other’s “profession of origin” was. What they meant was, “what did you do before you were a mediator?” There were some unspoken questions packed in there, too. They wanted to know, are you a full-time neutral or are you really from some other profession and trying to break into this one?

Tammy Lenski
High Conflict Personality: Are you sure? (9/12/14)
Tammy Lenski
High conflict personality: Are you sure? chaotic neon "He's such a high conflict personality that I'm scared to disagree with him." "She's high conflict and I don't think any of these approaches will work with her." "How can we best deal with high conflict personalities in the workplace?" "I've been labeled 'high conflict' and I'm blamed for starting every argument."

Joe Markowitz
Truth, Justice, and Peace (9/12/14)
Joe Markowitz
One of the top reasons people advance for being reluctant to agree to a negotiated resolution of conflict is that they cannot abandon the quest for truth and justice. I just heard this feeling expressed recently in a mediation between two former business partners who each felt betrayed by the other.

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